If you do not already have one, it is recommended you get a programming cable for $10
"I have to say that the CS580 is probably the most underrated DMR HT out there or maybe it's the best kept secret". (Customer review)
This amazing DMR and Analog radio works so well, you would expect it to be priced three times what we are currently selling it for. First let me show you what some of our customers think of that radio.
Posted by Frank D
I have to say that the CS580 is probably the most underrated DMR HT out there or maybe it's the best kept secret. I am amazed at how much you can do with this radio without a computer/cable/codeplug. Within minutes of opening the box, I was quickly able to punch in a local DMR repeater via the front panel and I was on the air. I am also extremely impressed with the monitor and scan features.
Posted by Edgar
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.
Posted by Sean F
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.
Posted by KA6CJL
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 cost, 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.
Why We Designed This Radio
When we designed this radio, we had three criteria.
(1) Make it so a computer is not necessary to use this radio. All the important parameters can be entered from the built in keypad.
(2) Make it so you do not have to be a rocket scientist to use it. With this radio you can put it in enhanced monitor mode, listen to all the conversations coming off the repeater, and then when you hear a conversation you want to join, just press the lock key and start talking back. You do not have to know what color code, slot number, or Tx contact is. All you need to know is the frequency. It also has a scan mode so you can find all the different frequencies being used in your area.
(3) Make it inexpensive so everyone can afford it. Price is $130. Programming cable is $10 extra if you really want to use a computer to make a code plug.
Here is the best part. If you do not think this radio is worth what you paid for it, you can return the radio within 30 days and get a complete refund of your purchase price. If the radio breaks during the first year, we fix it for free.
With a deal like this you would think you would be dealing with a company located in Hong Kong or China. We are a United States company and have been in business since 1982.
The most important feature of this radio is called the Enhanced Monitor Mode. In this mode, you are waiting for someone to start speaking on the channel you are monitoring. An example of the radio in this mode is shown below.
The radio now shows that user 310325 is speaking on frequency 435.325 MHz. The radio you are listening to is making a Group Call, has a Color Code of 1 and they are using slot 1. The group number is 320. You now press the lock key and you are ready to have a QSO with the person you are currently listening to.
At this point you can permanently store the contact in the radios memory so the next time you turn on the radio you already have a channel with that contact. In other radios you need a computer to make a code plug to store this information in your radio.
The next important feature is the Enhanced Parameter Mode. From the keypad, using a single screen, you can set up a complete channel without using a computer. The channel can be in the Ham bands or the Commercial bands. A picture of the Enhanced Parameter Mode is shown below.
Once you entered the appropriate data, you press the lock key and you are ready for a QSO. If you prefer, you can also permanently save the channel.
The last important feature is the Enhanced Scanning mode as show below.
From the keypad you set the parameters and then press the start key. The radio now automatically starts scaning and if a channel is found, the radio stops and allows you to lock it in for an immediate QSO or store it in the radio's memory for use at a later time. This feature is great if you are traveling and you are not familiar with the repeaters available in the area.
The CS580 is one of the most exciting new products that we have designed in the past 30 years. This DMR radio is designed specifically for the amateur radio operators and offers the best value in the DMR market. The radio includes a number of unique and advanced features such as Enhanced Monitor Mode, Enhanced Scanning Mode and Enhanced Parameter Mode and is easy to operate.
Connect to any DMR network without the use of a computer. Experienced Hams who prefer to use a computer can program up to 1,024 fixed channels.
Strong, durable and tough. Meets MIL-STD-810C/D/E/F for humidity, vibration and shock and is dustproof and waterproof to IP54.
Frequency of the repeater can be entered from an easy to use screen on the radio in conjunction with a built in keypad. By pressing a single key, you can enter into monitor mode. You can join a conversation by simply pressing the lock key.
Advanced Hams can enter the frequency, slot number, color code, Tx contact number and type of call from a single easy to use screen. Just press the lock key and you are ready to initiate a call on any DMR network, including Brandmeister and DMR-MARC.
Find the frequency of local repeaters in any area by placing the radio into scan mode. Then let the radio automatically find the frequencies in use for you.
In a similar manner, communications on an analog channel is possible without a computer.
Stores up to 1024 analog and digital channels in 64 zones with up to 250 contacts. The CPS software for making the code plug is free and available for download from our website www.connectsystems.com
Optional programming cable available for $10.
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.
13 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
The CS-580 is a great little lightweight radio. Does everything I need it to do and more. Haven't had it but a week, so far so good!!!
I have purchased 4 so far for friends and family to be used as a digital scanner. Programming can disable the transmitter and the radio's menu so no one can alter the programming to transmit without authorization. Zero problems and CPS is straight forward. Small size fits in shirt pocket.
Very nice radio and great support from Connect systems.thanks Jerry
Excellent HT! Price point is good! Easy to program.....compliments UHF version (personal choice not to go dual-band). Display, comfortable in hand and tx/rx audio reports are excellent as well.
Bought to scan public safety DMR. (Digital scanner that MAY receive DMR start at $550 I am told). Highly recommend. Easy to capture settings. Easy to program.
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.