If you want a single band, DMR / Analog, VHF mobile digital HAM radio you have a choice between the CS801 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 CS801 is best in its class. With a sensitivity of about .12 microvolts, . The CS801 will allow you to pick up DMR and Analog signals in the fringes that even the more expensive radios cannot achieve. With an output power of 50 watts, the radio can normally reach the repeater even under adverse conditions.
How Rugged is the CS801?
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 CS801 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 CS801, any birdies can be eliminated. Not so for the less expensive designs.
CS801 Verses Hacked Radios
Some of you might be comparing the CS801 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 CS801. While they did a decent job, they still have not incorporated many of the features that has been in the CS801 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 CS801. 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)
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Works great love it cs801,cs support is great can't go wrong.
Happy with cs801 and the great support from connect systems.
Just tried my new CS801 for the first time this evening. Sounds very nice, just be sure to check your volume first. My first contact nearly blew me off my chair. Like some others, I have the MD380 and wanted something with more power. The CS801 fills that niche very nicely. Don't forget to order a N male to SO239 adapter if your coax has a PL259 connector.
I have a MD390, but I wanted more power and decided to try the CS801. What a great radio. Front panel programmable (all but the Radio ID from what I can tell). Great Audio. A little soft out of the box but put the mic gain up to 15 and look out. I like that you can program anything on the front panel, arrows, even the dial!! Monitor mode (Slot 1 or 2 only, not both) works right out of the box, no aftermarket firmware needed.