If you want a single band 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 scientist 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 136 MHz to 174 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 would 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.
8 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
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 use 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.
The CS 580 BFD is listed as an entry level radio. We have found that the only thing entry level is the low price. This little radio out performs the other low price competitors by a mile. The audio is great. The controls are easy and the receiver is very sensitive.
We have bought several to give out to first time DMR users. We have both VHF and UHF models. Both models are excellent. This coming from a Motorola user!
Mine is the VHF model. I haven't had it long but I've had several long QSOs with it (ham radio). I like the features, the control layout and programming software very much; better than the radio I used before from a different company. The radio seems of better build quality too. The PTT button is much easier to press than my old one, which helps. Better display too. I'm hoping to get a CS801 later for mobile. I also like that the company is in the U.S. if I need support.
Works really well, have not found a digital person to talk to yet.
But I live in a small town and all the digital repeaters are UHF.
However, they are on the way. Love the radio! Many thanks to CSI.
radio did everything it wa suppose to,made it so easy to talk and scan dmr
I really like this radio and it is an extra tool in the toolbox, but I am concerned that in the enhanced parameter entry mode I can not enter a VHF frequency. I have called customer support and they are aware of this firmware bug. Hopefully it will be resolved soon. Everything else works great!!
I purchased both the UHF and VHF CS-580 products. The VHF unit replaced a TYT. The CS580 is solidly built, and both the volume and channel knobs have adequate resistance to stay where you put them, unlike the TYT. The form factor is slightly smaller than the TYT and fits in my radio patches, where the TYT did not. The hinged access door for the programming cable/accessories is very well designed, and is unlikely to break (compared to access doors that use flexible rubberized material, this actually has a hinge pin). The user interface navigation is easy and well thought out. Customer Programming Software is slightly different than other makes in that you actually create a channel in a zone instead of creating a channel and adding it to a zone, but the layout is similar to other software and is easy to use. My only complaint is the lack of DTMF encode on either analog FM or DMR transmit, which negates being able to control a repeater via DTMF. Lastly, the mic audio is a bit hot, and not adjustable via software, so you may need to adapt operating procedures to hold the radio a few inches further away. Sounds great on transmit and receive though.
I'm using the vhf version on several commercial systems, with Hytera, Vertex and Motorola repeaters. Works with no problems. The enhanced scan feature is really useful.