If you want a single band DMR / Analog radio you have a choice between the CS580 or CS750. Comparing the two is like comparing the Rolls Royce against a Tesla. They are both great cars but the Rolls Royce won't accelerate to 60 mph is 3.9 seconds. In a like manner, the CS750 is one of the best made DMR radios made at any price but does not have a few features of the CS580. The CS580 was designed for the HAMS that want to take a radio along while traveling and not have to worry about making a code plug. It is also beneficial for the HAMS who are new to digital radio and are intimidated by the terminology and technology necessary to carry on a simple conversation.
Can You Hear Me Now?
The sensitivity of the CS580 is amazing. With a digital service monitor, we have measured the sensitivity to be less than .1 microvolt. This will allow you to pick up signals in the fringes that even the more expensive radios cannot achieve.
Many HAMS have reported that the voice quality of the CS580 radio is even better than the Motorola XPR6550 costing over six times as much. Part of the reason is because the speaker is not physically mounted to the case like most other radios, rather it is mounted on a bracket inside the radio.
What is Unique About this Radio?
The are four things unique about this radio that will be described in detailed in detail below. They are:
1. No computer needed to use this radio
2. Enhanced Scanning
3. Enhanced Monitoring
4. Enhanced Parameters
For those rocket scientists out there, it is still possible to make a code plug and program this radio using a computer. But for those HAMS who don't like computers, don't have a Windows computer, or are traveling and don't want to take their computer, this radio is perfect for you. All the necessary parameters are programmable from the keypad including your unique ID. All other entry level DMR radios require a computer.
If you are traveling and are not familiar with the repeaters in the neighborhood, put the radio in the Enhanced Scanning mode and the radio will find all the active repeaters between the two frequencies you set up. If you hear a conversation you want to join in, press the lock key and then your radio automatically reconfigures itself to allow you to join the conversation. As a bonus, the radio has the ability to work in an unattended mode while you are sleeping. The radio permanently store the different repeaters it finds. For those that want to listen to public safety or commercial stations, the radio can be programmed to scan in the range of 400 MHz to 480 MHz.
Put the radio in the enhanced monitor mode and you will hear all the digital conversations on that repeater you are listening to. You do not have to know or set the Slot Number, Color Code, Tx Contact, or if the conversation is group or private. The radio will display all the parameters. If you want to join the conversation just press the lock key and you can join in. If you want to also store that channel, pressing the key again will allow you to permanently store the required parameters to allow you at some future date make a call to the same contact. You can either store the channel information on the channel you are on or store it in the first free available channel in the zone you are using. You never have to understand the concepts of Color Codes, Slots, or Tx Contacts while in this mode.
Put the radio in the enhanced parameter mode and you can change all the parameters necessary on a single screen to allow you to communicate with any Brandmeister or DMR MARC user anywhere in the world. Change the parameters, press the lock key, and now you are ready to speak. For the expert, they can preprogram the channel for everything necessary except the Tx Contact and then they only have to change the Tx Contact setting. The user can permanently store what was programmed in either the channel you are on or the first free available channel for that zone. You can use this mode to only change the frequency and then go back to the enhanced monitor mode and wait for the repeater to become active.
The CS580 has the sharpest and easy to read multiline color display among the HAM radios. If you want a better display you have to spend hundreds of dollars more and get a commercial radio.
Have you ever tried to get support? If you know Mandarin Chinese and you have free international calling you will have no problems. If you want to speak to someone who native and only language is English, you call Connect Systems during normal business hours. We also answer e-mails after hours and holidays. Here is what some of our customers say.
"Once emailed Connect Systems in the early morning hours east coast time. Knowing they were west coast and would not be open for hours I was surprised to get an email response from Jerry personally before they were even open." (From Facebook)
"I've always has good support from Connect Systems. Chris is amazing." (From Facebook
This radio is unbelievably priced at $130.
39 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
The build quality rivals that of the "batwing" radios. The receive audio is among the best I've heard and the display resolution and clarity is best in class.
The biggest downside to this radio is it's limited memory capability. It is limited in the number of digital contacts so the majority of the contact database is used to store talk groups.
As the title mentions, a great travel radio. With the enhanced receive mode you can use the radio to capture active DMR repeater talk group and parameter settings by simply monitoring or scanning for the repeater output frequency. With a push of a button you've captured the information and can join the QSO or store it in a channel memory for later use.
This is my second CS580 ... I liked the first one well enough to buy #2
This is a rock solid DMR HT. Here is a list of some of the great features: Long battery life, loud speaker, large display, good audio reports, wonderful documentation, good price and quick delivery. In summary, this DMR met my spec and I'm having fun with it. I recommend ordering the programming cable when you purchase the CS 580.
I was first attracted to the CS580 because of the ability to program the radio without a code plug. I am a new ham and just wanted to get my feet wet with DMR. For the new ham, this little radio is great: it’s compact, easy to use, and competitively priced.
I’d also like to thank Jerry and his staff for helping me with the radio when I first received it. They stand by their products and their customer service is top notch.
Jerry made me discovered this handheld at Hamvention 2018. Great features you won’t have on most device, like promiscous listening.... nd you don’t need a PC to program the handheld..... Excellent when in the field or when travelling. I highly recommend this handheld for beginner, or like me, as a device to carry on a daily basis.
Great radio for someone new to DMR, easy to program. Small but very powerful. CPS software is easy to use. Firmware was a breeze. I highly recommended this radio for a new ham exploring DMR.
I’ve got 2 of these. Since I have 2 DMR repeaters I like the enhanced scan modes on these radios. This makes it easy to monitor all TG’s Also great for traveling.
Great battery life.
Love these radios.
A friend of mine talks wonders about the CS580 so I had to take the leap and get me one for myself. I would say that for the money that this device costs, it is an excellent investment. So far I have been playing with it for about just couple of days, and although a very basic device, it is all you need to immerse yourself in the world of digital radio.
Pretty compact, easy to program, price is good for anyone starting on DMR.
The one thing that makes this radio stand out is it's ease of use. I don't think you can find a radio that is easier to use. Programming a code plug is easy, and it just works well.
Radio fits the hand nicely. Nearly a pocket sized radio. Very convenient to cary
Miss being able to have lots of contacts, but they are not really necessary.
Only thing I would really like to see is more flexibility on the backlight. Automatic or On are only choices. Would like to be able to adjust the on time. In Automatic, on time is very short.
The CS580 is my first DMR radio. I like the solid feel of the radio and it appears to work well. I was up and talking right out of the package after configuring a local repeater and talk group. The two minor negatives are no DMR ID database to see actual amateur callsigns and the backlight time is not configurable. Other than that, I am very happy.