If you want a single band UHF mobile digital HAM radio you have a choice between the CS800 and... I don't think you have a choice. This radio has been out now for a few years and the performance and features of this radio is absolutely fantastic. Currently the radio has 2000 channels and 65,000 contacts. Soon it will be expanded to 4,000 channels and 130,000 contacts. Compare that to the commercial radios that have only 1,000 channels and 1,000 contacts. There is not much room in new cars for radios. To solve this problem the radio has a removable head that allows you to put the radio body in the trunk or underneath the seat and the head could be mounted near by.
For the competitors that have removable heads, the cost of the removable head kit is close to twice what you pay for our radio. The Hytera removable head kit is about $405. With this radio you get everything you need except standard CAT 5 cable to remotely mount the head.
Can You Hear Me Now?
The sensitivity of the CS800 is best in its class. With a sensitivity of about .12 microvolts, . The CS800 will allow you to pick up signals in the fringes that even the more expensive radios cannot achieve. With an output power of 45 watts, the radio can normally reach the repeater even under adverse conditions.
How Rugged is the CS800?
The radio is built to commercial standards and has a very large heat sink so a fan is not needed to cool the radio. Radios that have fans are inherently unreliable.
Will in Work in Sunlight?
One of the important critera for radios in a mobile environment is the ability to clearly see the display. This radio has a backlit monochromatic display that give superb visibility in sunlight and at night.
Superheterodyne Receivers Verses Direct Conversion Receivers
The CS800 receiver is based on a tuned front end double conversion superheterodyne design. This gives the ultimate in sensitivity and selectivity. The cheaper radios are based on a single chip design that often fails in a high RF environment such as you might find if you go to a HAM convention. Because of the design of the PLL in the CS800, any birdies can be eliminated. Not so for the less expensive designs.
CS800 Verses Hacked Radios
Some of you might be comparing the CS800 with the dual band hacked radio from one of our competitors. What the engineers who hacked the radio tried to do was add features that was already in the CS800. While they did a decent job, they still have not incorporated many of the features that has been in the CS800 for many years.
If you are hesitating to get this radio because your friend has one of our competitors, be aware that through the generous effort of Tom Wheeler, he made a conversion program called "Contact Manager" that converts virtually any manufactures code plug to the CS800. You can get that free program by following this link.
Have you ever tried to get support from some of our competitors. 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)
13 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
Appreciate timely shipping and tracking. Arrived with current firmware and was able to easily program local code plug, on the air in short order. This is my 3rd CSI purchase, every order has met or exceeded expectations! Thank you CSI!
I'm new to DMR radio. The CS-800 is a easy radio to use. With the black Friday deal I bought 2.
easy to program, easy to upgrade firmware, easy operations, good audio for a small speaker. Would like to see more editing power in the programming software, movement of Channels, Zones, etc.making it easier to add channels to exciting channel line up.
The staff of CSI go's way outside of the box to stand behind there product ! My CS800 had a problem. I talked with the staff they had me return it and I had it back in less then 5 day's !!! Great radio and Yes I would buy another one !!!
Impressive radio. Bought 2 UHF and 2 VHF to replace the 4 Motorola radios I HAD. Tired of putting up with licence renewal fee's just to have the capability of changing frequencies once or twice a year. CS software is free and easy to use, including upgrades made to the operating system, control head features, revisions etc.
The big M has no place in my world.
Ease of programming
Nice illuminated Mic
Display is very clear and Bright
Loud front speaker Audio
All in All I would recommend this radio as a mobile radio
Would be nice if the receive went up to 500 MHz
So, how simply do you want it? Setting up and running your DMR UHF radio. Don't go anywhere else. This is it. Country boy from Augusta County VA/inactive FF/EMT can do it...1 hour..tops. ....DO IT!
I received your product very quickly, packed very well, and it worked well right out of the box. I actually had prepared a code plug to start off with and using the programming cable, the code plug loaded up and worked as soon as I turned the radio on. Great experience.
I look forward to mounting it in my vehicle and having a stand along DMR device available.
The CS800 arrived last week and I have had the opportunity now to unbox, program, and functionally use this transceiver and I am very impressed. This radio will be a workhorse for you in either a mobile or base station setting. The audio is clear and sufficiently load so it can be heard in a moving vehicle without the need for an external speaker. One thing of note, loud audio does not always work in small mobile radios because the speaker distortion makes intelligibility difficult. Not so hear. Loud and clear. The programming of this radio is quite simple and the software/radio interface works right out of the box. This is a significant milestone if you have ever tried to program some of the cheaper radios with dubious serial/USB drivers. Plugged it in, and the PC recognized the device without difficulty. Programming via the free software download was straightforward. If you are not familiar with programming for DMR, there are several YouTube tutorial videos available that will provide the needed guidance for you initial setup. The CS programming software is included in those tutorials.
If I had the opportunity to recommend changes to the CS800, I would opt for a larger screen size. Although this radio was designed primarily for the commercial FM market, the larger screen would be helpful to amateurs. This is not an issue with commercial users as they rarely care what is shown on the faceplate.
I have not had the opportunity to extend the faceplate and try the remote operation, as I did not get the extension cable for the faceplate to the radio. Perhaps at a later date we will review that configuration.
Potential buyers should opt for the programming cables as they are well made and essential for properly programming the radio and firmware updates to radio AND faceplate.
All in all, this radio is a great product for the price point and I am looking forward to years of good service.
I put the CS800 in my 2015 Tacoma truck, with the head remote mounted just above the rearview mirror and the main unit mounted behind the rear seat. It's one of the few DMR mobiles that support remote mounting the original head with a simple CAT5 cable. The TX and RX audio are great and I'm very happy with the performance on both DMR and analog modes. Scanning works well, and channel/contact capacity are well suited for amateur radio use. It's also nice to have software to program it that isn't locked down and hundreds of dollars by itself. Between the supplied software and 3rd party apps like ContactManager, I can sync up codeplugs between various radios. Nice work CSI.
Excellent, simple to use, good support, great value.
First DMR mobile acquired. Wanted good basic starter DMR mobile so I elected to purchase a CS800. Radio programmed quickly with CPS software. Be sure to purchase need cables. Audio to my ear is crisp, clear. Receiver and transmit operations are more than sufficient for ham DMR use. Screen display is a bit small. For the cost this is a good DMR radio for mobile or home use. Connect Systems folks are very supportive and I recommend radio and Connect Systems to other hams or users.