CS-700 Review

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kayn1n32008

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Ok, just got my radio. First impression? WOW. It feels good in the hand. Compact, but not too small.

Programming? Easy. Plugged in the cable and radio to the laptop, and had my first code plug loaded with in 5minutes. I did slightly cheat, I had already downloaded the software. All I had to do was load the drivers, and read the radio.

Audio quality is great, although there is the 'popping sound with button pushes, and TPT. What ever, this is not a big deal at this time. Looks like the speaker mic plug is Motorola RADIUS spacing. Still waiting on my speaker mic, as it is back ordered.

While there is not a DMR repeater locally yet, myself and a friend of mine have played on simplex. Audio quality is decent. No complaints from me. I understand it is a half rate vocoder, and am not expecting analogue sound, but this radio comes close.

I was at a public service event yesterday, and my friend and I played on simplex. Low power approximately 1.25KM apart with terrain and buildings between us. Signals were from zero to three bars, and had no issues with audio recovery. Very impressed, analog would not have been stable enough at this distance on low power.

My only dislike is the belt clip. It feels cheap and flimsy. I was hoping that my IC-92ad belt clip would have fit, at first glance it appeared the screw spacing was similar, but it is not. Oh well.

My radio firmware is ver. 1.25 and code plug ver. 1.13.

I am going to update later today to latest of both.

All in all, very nice radio, at this price point. Makes a great mono band UHf radio, and it will be most likely be my go to portable. As I very rarely use VHF where I live, simply because the UHF repeaters are there.




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human8472

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Thanks for the review!

Have you had a chance to play around with the privacy settings or encryption?
 

kayn1n32008

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Thanks for the review!

Have you had a chance to play around with the privacy settings or encryption?

I have not, it appears that the CS -700 privacy is a 4 digit hex code. Not secure by any stretch of the imagination. Also due to being used in the amateur band,encryption is a no go. Regardless, even with encryption, the contents may be masked, but the location is not, neither is extrapolating what is going on, via other methods of observation/surveillance, even if you do not actually know the contents of the transmissions.


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N9NRA

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CS-700 radio, might hafta give this one a look at Dayton.

Just read the review, and i`m now thinkin` this one merits a serious look when i go to Dayton this year even if i don`t get one yet (only one DMR repeater that i know of in this state unfortunately). Still, might hafta give this one a really hard look :). Thanx for posting! N9NRA
 

kayn1n32008

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Just read the review, and i`m now thinkin` this one merits a serious look when i go to Dayton this year even if i don`t get one yet (only one DMR repeater that i know of in this state unfortunately). Still, might hafta give this one a really hard look :). Thanx for posting! N9NRA

I was seriously looking at a XPR radio, but CPS is a royal pain to license to individuals in Canada. When I saw the early reviews on eham, and here, I jumped. I am very satisfied with this radio. It WILL be my go to portable when not in camp working and I am home in my city. DMR has been fun even on simplex. Even as an analogue UHF radio it does just fine.


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kayn1n32008

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What about the battery situation?

Does it use the same battery from something else more readily available or is it unique to those CSi radios?

As far as I can tell the batteries are unique to the CS-700, but for the price, it is worth getting a spare or two.


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N9NRA

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I was seriously looking at a XPR radio, but CPS is a royal pain to license to individuals in Canada. When I saw the early reviews on eham, and here, I jumped. I am very satisfied with this radio. It WILL be my go to portable when not in camp working and I am home in my city. DMR has been fun even on simplex. Even as an analogue UHF radio it does just fine.


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Wow, if it`s that hard to license CPS on Canada, i can only guess how hard it is to do here, more reason to get this new radio :). Going to have a good look at Dayton this year, and just MIGHT be boarding the train home with a new DMR radio in tow :D. Groovy. N9NRA. P.S. Just thought of one more thingy, only hiccup might be registering on something like DMR-MARC, from what i know a goodly number of the DMR machines (and users too) are on that group`s repeaters, and that is pretty much run by Motorola guys. While not a bad thingy in itself, i`d see if they`ll allow this radio to be used on their network, they may not, which means that your use of it might be greatly limited. Just a thought.
 

kayn1n32008

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Wow, if it`s that hard to license CPS on Canada, i can only guess how hard it is to do here, more reason to get this new radio :). Going to have a good look at Dayton this year, and just MIGHT be boarding the train home with a new DMR radio in tow :D. Groovy. N9NRA. P.S. Just thought of one more thingy, only hiccup might be registering on something like DMR-MARC, from what i know a goodly number of the DMR machines (and users too) are on that group`s repeaters, and that is pretty much run by Motorola guys. While not a bad thingy in itself, i`d see if they`ll allow this radio to be used on their network, they may not, which means that your use of it might be greatly limited. Just a thought.

Actually from all indications, CPS is much easier to license from Motorola in the US.

Because the CSS-700 is DMR compliant, all you need to do is ask for a RID and tell them it is a CS-700. Simple as that. There are some features, that are not usable, but you can talk, both local an linked, on the DMR-MARC system. In fact there are a wide variety of DMR radios on the DMR-MARC system including Hytera, Vertex, Tait, Harris. ANY DMR compliant subscriber radio should be able to operate on the DMR-MARC network.


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N9NRA

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Actually from all indications, CPS is much easier to listened from Motorola in the US.

Because the CSS-700 is DMR compliant, all you need to do is ask for a RID and tell them it is a CS-700. Simple as that. There are some features, that are not usable, but you can talk, both local an linked, on the DMR-MARC system. In fact there are a wide variety of DMR radios on the DMR-MARC system including Hytera, Vertex, Tait, Harris. ANY DMR compliant subscriber radio should be able to operate on the DMR-MARC network.


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Groovy :D. Even better. Yep! Just might be riding the rails back here to WI with some new toys :). N9NRA
 

kayn1n32008

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Groovy :D. Even better. Yep! Just might be riding the rails back here to WI with some new toys :). N9NRA

Well, for the price, you get a pretty decent radio, with a decent front end, and audio that will make you deaf! Try that with an IC-92ad! And while the CS-700 is not perfect, it does have some firmware bugs, Jerry has been responsive. Also as a heads up, if you buy one, go and get yourself a GP-300 or a CP-200 speaker mic, they fit and are compatible with the CS-700.


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N9NRA

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Well, for the price, you get a pretty decent radio, with a decent front end, and audio that will make you deaf! Try that with an IC-92ad! And while the CS-700 is not perfect, it does have some firmware bugs, Jerry has been responsive. Also as a heads up, if you buy one, go and get yourself a GP-300 or a CP-200 speaker mic, they fit and are compatible with the CS-700.


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Nice :). Now all i gotta hope for is for them to offer it at a really nice price during the show, although i`ve heard the unit goes for something like $180, which isn`t bad when ya think about it. And for what ya do get it looks like a nice radio. Just curious, but ya mentioned some firmware issues, are these really serious or just anoying? N9NRA
 

JPSan

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I had a phone conversation with Jerry Wanger and he said that he probably WILL NOT be bring the CS700 to sell at Dayton. Said it is an issue with bringing people with him to assist at his booth. He will be taking orders and answering questions.
His show operation is atrictly a one man show.
 

kayn1n32008

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Nice :). Now all i gotta hope for is for them to offer it at a really nice price during the show, although i`ve heard the unit goes for something like $180, which isn`t bad when ya think about it. And for what ya do get it looks like a nice radio. Just curious, but ya mentioned some firmware issues, are these really serious or just anoying? N9NRA

Mostly annoying, nothing that makes the radio not work. If you are interested in this radio, join DMRCSI yahoo group. All the issues with firmware and software are documented. Lots to see, plus there are shared code plugs there too.


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Jay911

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Is it TRBO compatible DMR? If someone had a TRBO system they wanted to listen to (that wasn't encrypted or had RAS enabled), could this radio accomplish that?

I guess the other obvious part of that question is, can it tune non-ham freqs.
 

kayn1n32008

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Is it TRBO compatible DMR? If someone had a TRBO system they wanted to listen to (that wasn't encrypted or had RAS enabled), could this radio accomplish that?

I guess the other obvious part of that question is, can it tune non-ham freqs.

Yes it is TRBO compatible, kind of. I have not tried to listen to commercial TRBO yet, but I figure you would need, color code, slot and TG numbers to match, to be able to listen. And yes it does receive 400-470MHz.


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Radiobern

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Is it TRBO compatible DMR? If someone had a TRBO system they wanted to listen to (that wasn't encrypted or had RAS enabled), could this radio accomplish that?

I guess the other obvious part of that question is, can it tune non-ham freqs.
Yes, you can listen to commercial DMR/TRBO transmissions outside of the ham bands. I believe this radio was originally designed for commercial use but just happens to have quite a few ham users. As stated before, you will need to know the frequency, color code, time slot and talk group. The radio does not support Motorola's Connect Plus trunking or Capacity Plus features.

To find color code, time slot and talk group, you can use DMRDecode with a scanner that has a discriminator tap. It will also tell you whether that DMR/TRBO transmission is Connect Plus, Capacity Plus or just plain DMR/TRBO.

I've been using my CS-700 to talk on ham repeaters and programming in commercial frequencies for practice. It does help you understand what is needed and how to program your radio using the free CPS.
 

Jay911

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To find color code, time slot and talk group, you can use DMRDecode with a scanner that has a discriminator tap. It will also tell you whether that DMR/TRBO transmission is Connect Plus, Capacity Plus or just plain DMR/TRBO.
I'm well aware of how to figure out a TRBO system, thank you. I thought that would have been obvious by my terminology used in the original post.

I asked what I did because every new ham radio that comes out has a different flavor of digital modulation proprietary to the manufacturer these days. So there was no explicit statement that the CS-700's implementation of DMR would receive TRBO.
 
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