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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-21-2018, 6:33 PM
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Exclamation NEW CTX-10 CommRadio HF Transceiver

I'm pleased to share the first 'sighting' of the new CTX-10 HF Transceiver. The link to the first YouTube video showing the CTX-10 in operation is at: CommRadio div. AeroStream Communication CR-1, CR-1a Wide Range Receivers

I've been told that other videos are in process and will be posted shortly within the next few days.

I know there are quite a few pre-orders placed. Thank you Don Moore for all your hard work!

Bob
WB2KTG
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:13 AM
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I'm very curious about this radio, I had a CR-1 and it was an ok little receiver. However, looking at the features vs the price and looking at its competition the CTX-10 will have to be a stellar performer to justify the price.

Take for example the Elecraft KX2. Its also a 10W radio that weighs 13oz, is super low power consumption and for about the same price will come with an internal wide range auto antenna tuner. Its also has dozens of features the CTX-10 does not seem to have like being able to send and receive PSK and RTTY right from the radio without a computer and dual split receivers (over a narrow range) and infinitely variable pass band tuning and auto notch filters and a built in mic or external hand mic and all modes including FM and preamps and 8 band TX and RX equalizers and so on. Its also got well known world class performance on both transmit and receive plus a huge network of engineering and service people to support it.

If the CTX-10 can compete with the likes of a KX2 then it may have a reasonable amount of sales. If it doesn't then word gets around fast in the amateur community and sales could dwindle to nothing if it turns out other radios that cost the same or less beats the pants off the CTX-10 and have more features.

I need another HF radio like I need another hole in the head but I am curious and will be waiting to hear first comments on this one. If Don wants to know how it will fare with similar priced radios like the KX2 I would be willing to field test one and give honest feedback.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WB2KTG View Post
I'm pleased to share the first 'sighting' of the new CTX-10 HF Transceiver. The link to the first YouTube video showing the CTX-10 in operation is at: CommRadio div. AeroStream Communication CR-1, CR-1a Wide Range Receivers

I've been told that other videos are in process and will be posted shortly within the next few days.

I know there are quite a few pre-orders placed. Thank you Don Moore for all your hard work!

Bob
WB2KTG
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Old 01-29-2018, 8:29 PM
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I too am curious about the CTX-10. I've yet to find the 'perfect' radio, either receiver or transceiver. Just like a spouse, many look exciting from afar, but when you actually start turning the knobs (better not go there...), when you start using the equipment (better shut this down totally). When you actually have spent some time with a new radio, you discover it's strength and weaknesses. Appearance and 'wow factor' definitely add to my enjoyment also. For my taste, the KX2 and KX3 have too many bells and whistles, too many nuances of functionality, all wrapped up in an uninspired package. Electrically top notch, but not ruggedized to any extent, and from what I've read about requiring external heat sinks and the like, perhaps with marginal design safety factor. That's just my take, having played with them but never owned one.

I've never operated a CTX-10, but from what I understand it is designed using some of the same philosophy as the CR-1 and CR-1a. Ruggedness is built-in. The die-cast magnesium case provides a high strength, light weight, ruggedized heat-sink, allowing essentially indefinite operation without overheating. Is pretty well dust sealed and shock / vibration resistant. Internal lithium battery pack and internal ATU come as standard equipment. Also, you don't need a PhD to learn all of the submenu options, etc. Kind of like the same philosophy as one of my favorite receivers of all time, the Racal 6790 - you don't need 463 knobs and adjustments 'cause it just works! Can't wait to 'kick the CTX-10's tires'!
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:29 AM
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I had a CR-1 and thought the menu system was cumbersome to find a polite word. Its performance seemed ok and it was somewhat rugged, but if you dropped it on its face you might be replacing the encoder or volume control. I bought it on a whim and with all the other radios I have it was eventually sold off in favor of others. I will say the CR-1 was a good receiver and the retail price was at the very extreme upper end for what it offered.

I also own the Elecraft KX2 and KX3, where the KX2 will be a direct competitor of the TX-10. A similar equipped KX2 will be around the same price. For $78 more you get aftermarket SideKX side panels with protective handles and a Lexan cover for the radio face. I can guarantee this setup is many times more rugged than a CR-1 type radio and you can easily drop a KX2 with side panels on any side onto concrete from a table and walk away with only scratches and a working radio. Unless some front panel protection is added, I can't say the same about a CR-1 type radio.

Then there are the features. A KX2 type radio can seem daunting at first, but you don't have to use any menus or features if you don't want to. In its basic form everything you need is right at your fingertips and you don't have to dig into menus, its actually easier to use than a CR-1. Take for instance the auto antenna tuner, on the KX2 you simply tune your frequency' push the tune button and transmit. I don't see a tune button on the CTX-10 and wonder what you must do to tune? Select your freq then dig through menus then tune then navigate back out to continue?

I also like to get really good and punchy transmit audio from all my radios, and especially QRP level radios. Setting up the transmit audio and compression on the KX series radios makes them sound much louder than 10W. If there are no similar adjustments on the CTX-10 you are stuck with the sound of the stock mic, and I own stock Yaesu mics which the CTX-10 seems to use and they sound terrible. Everyone I had needed a Heil HC-5 element to perk up the radio and those elements are no longer available.

I could go on for many more pages on comparisons, so I will finish with this. I am considering buying a CTX-10 mostly out of curiosity. I have a lot of field experience with commercial and military portable QRP radios, a lot of people know me and I have a big mouth. If Don can produce a radio that makes me happy then the world will hear about it in a good way. If a competing radio at a similar price greatly outperforms it then the world will hear about it in a not so good way. I would also offer my radio to Rob Sherwood for evaluation and depending on where it lands in pecking order on his site it can help or hurt sales. I really hope I can share good news about the CTX-10 in the near future.
prcguy




Quote:
Originally Posted by WB2KTG View Post
I too am curious about the CTX-10. I've yet to find the 'perfect' radio, either receiver or transceiver. Just like a spouse, many look exciting from afar, but when you actually start turning the knobs (better not go there...), when you start using the equipment (better shut this down totally). When you actually have spent some time with a new radio, you discover it's strength and weaknesses. Appearance and 'wow factor' definitely add to my enjoyment also. For my taste, the KX2 and KX3 have too many bells and whistles, too many nuances of functionality, all wrapped up in an uninspired package. Electrically top notch, but not ruggedized to any extent, and from what I've read about requiring external heat sinks and the like, perhaps with marginal design safety factor. That's just my take, having played with them but never owned one.

I've never operated a CTX-10, but from what I understand it is designed using some of the same philosophy as the CR-1 and CR-1a. Ruggedness is built-in. The die-cast magnesium case provides a high strength, light weight, ruggedized heat-sink, allowing essentially indefinite operation without overheating. Is pretty well dust sealed and shock / vibration resistant. Internal lithium battery pack and internal ATU come as standard equipment. Also, you don't need a PhD to learn all of the submenu options, etc. Kind of like the same philosophy as one of my favorite receivers of all time, the Racal 6790 - you don't need 463 knobs and adjustments 'cause it just works! Can't wait to 'kick the CTX-10's tires'!
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Old 01-31-2018, 3:38 AM
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Default Is that it?

The minimal information of that display is a little "millennium" by today's standards. It's not much better that that of an FT-817 - a 17 year old design. Expectations are now for more display real estate, clearer menus and more on-screen information. They could have put a much bigger screen on that as it is. The screen-printing words and logo take up as much of that front panel,as does the display.
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Old 02-22-2018, 2:03 PM
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I would like to see this thread made into a STICKY like the CR1 was when it first came out.
Don should put a pdf Owners Manual on the website to answer such questions as where is
the ANT TUNE button, etc.

The radio should start shipping any day now, and I will be looking forward to hearing what
new owners have to say.
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Old 02-22-2018, 7:57 PM
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Smile ATU Function

Quick answer on the ATU. With power on, you push the left knob in.The default selection is ATU. You press it a second time and the ATU function begins. If you press it a third time, the ATU function aborts.

Hope this helps.

Bob
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Old 03-05-2018, 9:34 PM
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Universal Radio is now saying that the CTX-10 will not be available until April 30.
I wonder what the holdup is?

-Jim
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Old 03-11-2018, 8:33 PM
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Default from the CommRadio website ( www.commradio.com )

Last Update: 11 March 2018:

A new release date has been set: May 1, 2018 due to completion of the ATU antenna tuning algorithm and a quality hold on the chassis finish. 240 complete board sets have been manufactured and tested.

To reserve your CTX-10 (no obligation) -
Please contact Universal Radio. (614)-866-4267 www.universal-radio.com

Introductory price for the sale of the first 240 units: $999.99 (Includes sales at Hamvention)

YouTube Videos:

1. Introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGdD...ature=youtu.be

2. 25 WPM Keyer-Battery Endurance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuZQ7_1NKjA
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Old 03-11-2018, 8:55 PM
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Need more videos of the radio in operation showing receive quality, transmit audio quality, antenna tuner working, etc. Also some important receiver specs like close spaced dynamic range measured the same as ARRL or Sherwood labs. Its hard to sell a radio on faith, especially when the CR1 series had some problems and it took quite awhile to address them.

This radio will be competing in price and features with some very well known, well established and highly regarded radios. If the intent is to produce just 240 radios then fade away as the CR1 series did, then nobody will ever take Commradio seriously.
prcguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by WB2KTG View Post
Last Update: 11 March 2018:

A new release date has been set: May 1, 2018 due to completion of the ATU antenna tuning algorithm and a quality hold on the chassis finish. 240 complete board sets have been manufactured and tested.

To reserve your CTX-10 (no obligation) -
Please contact Universal Radio. (614)-866-4267 www.universal-radio.com

Introductory price for the sale of the first 240 units: $999.99 (Includes sales at Hamvention)

YouTube Videos:

1. Introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGdD...ature=youtu.be

2. 25 WPM Keyer-Battery Endurance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuZQ7_1NKjA
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Old 03-23-2018, 9:00 AM
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There is a new picture, of the CTX-10, at the Universal Radio Site.
It shows just how small this radio really is. I believe this is going to
make a great field radio.

-Jim
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Old 04-06-2018, 3:45 PM
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The CTX-10 page at Universal Radio now has a Preliminary Pre Release
User Manual on pdf.

-Jim
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Old 04-06-2018, 4:12 PM
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Default Here's the Universal Radio CTX-10 manual link

https://www.universal-radio.com/cata..._2018_0405.pdf
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Old 04-18-2018, 9:50 AM
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I'm surprised that there are not more people on here
talking about the CTX-10. The one thing I wish it had
is FM mode for 10 meters, even if it is only for receive.
Maybe it can be added later in a firmware update. It's
not a deal breaker for me, but I wish it had it.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:28 AM
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There is very stiff competition in the multiband QRP radio arena and the CTX-10 would have to deliver something super stellar to compete. Otherwise it will become a limited production oddity like the CR-1 series.

In my experience with the CR-1, its way behind the Elecraft KX2 in performance and features and the CTX-10 will cost about the same as similar equipped KX2. There is also the similar cost TenTec Argonout VI, which is a very good full feature QRP radio but may not be in production at the moment.

Just for fun look here at what you get for about $1,000 Elecraft® Hands-On Ham Radio™ then look here and let me know if you think the CTX-10 will sell very well for the same price: Product Information: CTX-10

CommRadio is planning on about 240 CTX-10s to be produced on the first if not the only production run and there is probably at least 5,000 Elecraft KX2s out there. Another thing I worry about is Commrado seems to be basically one guy in charge where Elecraft has teams of engineers, each specializing in different aspects of the radio.

Then there is the warranty and repair question if a problem arises. Look at past complaints about poor functionality when the CR-1 was released, slow firmware upgrades, bad encoders, etc. Then look up Elecraft's reputation for service, its the finest in the industry.

I keep comparing Commradio to Elecraft but there are lots of other full featured and high performance QRP rigs from other companies like the Elad FDM-DUO plus some newer Chinese radios that work well for half the price. I hope Commradio can pull it off but something has to change from the company that made the CR-1.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbm32 View Post
I'm surprised that there are not more people on here
talking about the CTX-10. The one thing I wish it had
is FM mode for 10 meters, even if it is only for receive.
Maybe it can be added later in a firmware update. It's
not a deal breaker for me, but I wish it had it.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:17 PM
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Not in my future. I was quite disappointed on how they stopped supporting the CR-1 / CR-1a. They even quit answering e-mails. So for now, I'll pass.

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Mike
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Old Today, 8:12 AM
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Anyone on here have one on order? I hope you will give us
some feedback when you get it.

One thing I noticed was that it is all aluminum now, no magnesium.
May be because they were having quality control issues with magnesium.
I don't see that as an issue.

-Jim
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Old Today, 8:33 AM
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I had a long chat with Don from Commradio at Dayton on Saturday and went over my list of questions about the CTX-10 using the Elecraft KX2 as my baseline for the conversation. They had two functional radios at the Universal Radio booth that I played with a little but there was no decent antenna on the radios to do any usable testing.

Don says the receiver section is basically the same as the CR-1 which I'm familiar with leaving only the transmit audio quality as my only concern. Don told me the radio will have a 30 day money back guarantee and if I thought the transmit audio sucks I can return it, so I just placed one on order.

I will carefully run it through its paces and if its a keeper I'll offer it to Rob Sherwood for receiver evaluation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbm32 View Post
Anyone on here have one on order? I hope you will give us
some feedback when you get it.

One thing I noticed was that it is all aluminum now, no magnesium.
May be because they were having quality control issues with magnesium.
I don't see that as an issue.

-Jim
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