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.
37 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
Very pleased with the CS 580 UHF DMR radio, very good audio and has features not found on most DRM UHF radio's!
This is my first DMR radio. Very high quality build. No manual comes with it. Manual online is very limited. YouTube videos posted by other hams helped immensely. Enhanced Scan and Enhanced Monitor make the radio well worth it. RX contacts operation documentation is not correct with current firmware. Low number of contacts prevents showing name/call signs but that isn't a big deal to me. Programming software works well. Overall, very good service and radio.
Easy to program, setup and use. Does more than it’s competitors. Clear broadcast. Good to have in your Ham Radio handheld collection. I did not order the programming cable and they included it in the box. I love this radio.
Hey, this a a good little DMR radio for the price. I would certainly recommend it for someone getting their feet wet in DMR. I have moto stuff and them every day, but if I lost or dropped my 7750 200 feet, I would be peeved. I lose or drop this one, it's easier to swallow the loss and move on. Seriously, though, this radio is a darn good deal and would probably be a go-to radio for the casual user. UHF or VHF, their both good.
My order arrived in 24 hours and I found the radio and accessories to be excellent quality beyond my expectations for the price. I also ordered the USB probramming cable and with the PC software (plug and go, nice !) I proceeded to save the factory setup before making my first attempts to load talk groups and repeaters. It was not long before I found it very easy to setup but a lot of time goes into locating DMR repeaters at locations that ar often visited then making a list of available talk groups. All in all I give the hardware and the software top marks.
Nice pocket Radio , like the enhanced scan ...but would recommend the CS750 for a UHF DMR hand held
Best company I have ever dealt with ever...
Love this radio! Great audio reports on DMR and analog. Feels sturdy in my hand and has some weight to it, making it feel like a quality piece of equipment. The rubber duck antenna seems to do fairly well too. No problem getting into the local DMR repeater inside my house (granted I am fairly close by). Love the enchanched monitoring feature for lurking on the local repeaters as well. Took a recent trip to California and was able to lock onto the local DMR machines there without needing to build out a new code plug...great feature for anyone who travels. The software for programming is a little funky....but fairly easy once you get the hang of it. Battery life also seems to be pretty decent so far. Digital audio has a nice, full sound to it as well. Wish the screen could be turned off fully to conserve battery life...it just appears "black" when its idle and on..but the screen is still actually on. Would be great if it held more than 250 contacts but for the price and size one can't really complain too much. Will likely buy the mobile CS800D later this year....impressed with this company!
I wished it was open firmware, it would make the perfect radio to beat them china radios. Love the scan functions. The manual is vague, or null. It wasn't in the box. Buy American :-), Wished open source firmware. so bad, cant wait until some one hacks it or they realize open is the way to go. The times, the times.
Great Radio for the price. Scan feature is great for finding local repeaters. Nice fast menu buttons and settings. Enjoy using the software for programming code plugs. Easy to get around and customize.
Nice radio easy to use code plug, with easy cable. One thing I did not like battery to hard to slide back off after attaching the clip. Love the analog or digital channels scan, and cable very easy to use.
Pros: Smaller in size, ability to hunt for DMR frequencies, larger color display, half the cost of the CS-750, cool Digital Monitor Feature, faster scan speeds, RX Groups actually works, some ability to clone zones and channels.
Cons: Rough CPS but better than the MD-380, no handy codeplugs, some bugs, $30 more than the MD-380, 1000 contact limit, no 3rd party codeplug software, channel sorting flaky.
This is a new model so in time, bugs and software will mature. Great little radio, the first of all the non-TRBO radios that I am actively carrying and using, all other imports are sitting in the chargers and monitoring dedicated talkgroups.
This is my first dmr radio and so far it hasn't disappointed. Programming was a breeze using the software and cable. Do yourself a favor and update the firmware right out of the box - development is ongoing and bugs are being fixed.
I can hit most of my local repeaters on high power from my home qth and signal reports are good on analogue and digital. The enhanced monitor mode is one of my favorite features allowing me to have contacts with people on different talkgroups not saved as tx/rx contacts. The programmable soft keys are easy access to your most used features. A bright, easy to read screen with plenty of real estate for your alphanumerics although the backlight timer could be a little longer. Good battery performance too - it can easily scan all day with limited talk time on one charge. All in all, a great little performer.
I just haven't figured out if there's a vfo mode yet - maybe another question for support, they promptly answered one I had about the scan lists.
A speaker /mic would make a great accessory for this. :-)