A friend got one a week ago, and I played with it a few minutes and ordered one this morning. I heard a lot of SSB hams and utilities on it, and for $80+ tx and shipping, it's not a bad little toy. Only real question mark is battery life on speaker.
If it was only $45, it would be the bargain of the century. Actually, at $79+, it's still a great price. I'm glad the SSB version doesn't come in silver, as it always ages badly when the silver paint starts wearing off. It seems like every time I want to buy something that comes in black or silver, or white, and I want it in black, I can't find one, except in silver or white.
This receiver has me excited! I currently do not have a SW receiver with SSB although I should have on Christmas day (PL-660). But I will still probably buy this one any way because of the form factor.
I really hope that TECSUN will start integrating the SSB capability into all of their current production receivers. A PL-380 , PL-310ET or a PL-390 with SSB would be awesome! And I would gladly pay the extra 20-40 dollars to add this feature.
Will have to check this out. County Comm has always provided me with lots of cool gear I "need". Their little pry bars come in handy for Motorola equipment repair, and this SSB radio could have been useful in my military days.
Their satcom antenna bags are great too.
I got mine Fri afternoon. I haven't had time to play with it much yet. I brought it to work with me, but this place is like a torture chamber of RFI so all I can report on is AM and FM broadcast reception right now, I will go watch some trains in the morning and see how it does outside.
Some first impressions:
1. It comes in a totally bare cardboard box with nothing on it except for a green dot and a Universal Radio sticker with a bar code and the "County Comm GP5/SSB" name on it. inside is a molded tray with openings for the radio, rotating antenna, and the stereo earphones. The manual is ok, it's pretty clear, even though, as expected it has some of the usual "Chinglish" errors that always amuse me.
2. It's amazingly light. No batteries come with it, and without them it almost feels like nothing is inside it. It's about the size of a TV remote in all dimensions, and seems nicely finished for something so cheap. Once the batteries are in it, it's about twice as heavy and at least has some slight heft to it, but it weighs much less than any of the three remotes I use daily. The 17" telescoping antenna is solid and seems to be firmly attached, unlike some radios I've had over the years where the antenna feels like it will pull out from the first pull.
3. When you touch the larger than any other button Power button, it comes to life instantly, the display light comes on, and the display says "ON" in large characters. If a button is not pressed, the display light turns off in about 5 seconds. If the tuning knob is used, the light comes on too, a nice touch. No complaints so far, nothing seems too hard to understand and use. It's missing a keypad seems to be the only real usability issue and that can be worked around by using the memories to store freqs as you tune around the bands, which are selected using the pair of buttons in the lower right, labeled "SW", of course.
4. When I turned on the GP5SSB for the first time, it was on an AMBC frequency with some ad running, it's got nice clear, and surprisingly loud audio! I've never had a radio this small, or even twice it's size, with the volume it has. With a speaker size of about 1.5 inches, that alone is impressive. I found some music on AM, and it sounded fine. So far, I'm impressed. I switched over to FM, and in Mono through the speaker, it sounded pretty much the same as AM, but a little quieter. With the supplied earphones plugged in, it sounded great. With a set of better headphones, it was even better, but a tone control is missed, but not a big deal. At my desk, I could only get about a dozen AM and about 6 FM stations, but that's actually pretty good for here. Some high dollar receivers can only get about 3 AM stations, so it's doing well.
5. I went outside for a couple of minutes and tuned through 75 meters in LSB, and I was able to hear several hams with just the telescoping antenna. They sounded very good, a little monkey chatter due to an obviously wide SSB filtering on some , but all in all, it was impressive. In the morning, I will spend some more time with it and post some other thoughts about the GP5/SSB.
I don't know if it's me, but those videos of it in someone's hand, moving around seem very odd to me. Not sure why, but when I watched them, I kept thinking, "Relax and stop waving your arm around!". I might make one when I get a chance.
Well, yeah, it is a modded PL-360, and I read someplace on some webpage that I can't find now, that the Tecsun version is coming soon. I would imagine in both black and silver paint. I'm about to leave and see how the GP5/SSB does away from this noisy noisy place.