I figured why not? I’ll review my radio.
Installation was really as simple as following the directions and finding a place in the vehicle for it. That was harder than anything else. What’s really nice is it has a detachable face…not for theft, but for remote usage. In my truck, only the faceplate is mounted to the dash with sticky tape, and the actual radio is under the passengers seat. The speaker is mounted behind my head. It has a speaker, but the external one makes it easier to understand.
I use a dual band thru-glass antenna located on the upper left corner of the rear window. It seems to work fairly well, I can get out 20 miles to a repeater on a cell tower with little effort during the day, and 46 miles out to the same repeater at night being told I was crystal clear into the repeater. My antenna looks like a cell phone antenna on steroids so it doesn’t attract a ton of attention and act like a neon sign saying, “Come see, this truck has some expensive radio equipment in it.” In fact, I have a scanner antenna on the other side and it looks almost identical.
Programming it…well, I can’t do it without the software and cables that are available. With the software, its as easy as filling out an excel spreadsheet. It links to your computer via a USB or serial port and automatically programs once you enter all your repeater frequencies, etc. Having a laptop available makes this job a ton easier though.
I have used to to make phone calls and it works well. Unfortunately, our local repeater isn’t working for phone calls anymore.
All in all it’s a nice radio with lots of nice features. I’ve been told I sound very clear on it and it’s so small it doesn’t get in the way. It has selective power settings of like 10 watts, 20 watts and 50 watts. On 50 watts the antenna gets so hot you can’t touch it, so it definitely gets out there! It also has a scanner of lots of frequencies including 800mhz so it will scan at airshows, etc. It also picks up weather stations too.
In this photo the actual frequency is on the display. I have mine set up to show not the frequency, but the 6 letter or number identifier that I gave each one. What I did was just spelled out, as best I could given the 6 letter limit, the name of the city where the repeater was located. So if I’m traveling, and know the next city, I just turn to a repeater in that city. I certainly can’t remember the actual identifiers of these repeaters so I don’t even try. If the city is big enough to have multiple repeaters, I use the FAA 3 digit airport identifier for that city and then label them 001-999. It stores 1000 repeaters in memory, that’s a lot!