News, Events and Network Radios
Simon Parker evaluates new CB transceivers from President, Midland, CRT and Anytone, foreshadows busy PMR446 and CB summer events
Simon Parker evaluates new CB transceivers from President, Midland, CRT and Anytone, foreshadows busy PMR446 and CB summer events, ventures into network radios and acquires a triple magnetic antenna base.
This month I’m going to start with some sad news. It’s always bad when we have a passing to silent key of an operator but this time I have news of two recent silent keys.
The first was a family member of RadioUser. Bill Robertson (Chris Lorek) from Scanning Scene has recently passed away. His column provided a great place to see all things scanning.
Over the years we had become friends, due to the love of this great hobby. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye and – via this column – pass on our sincere condolences to his family at this trying time. He was also involved with QSP73 Software which had many really good programs.
The second loss is from the Netherlands and has also been a friend of mine for many years. His CB name was CB Radio Romantica and his real name Wim. He had a massive homemade Yagi along his washing line, with a Northwest-Southeast orientation. He also had another one installed Southwest to Northeast, which propelled his signal all around the world on SSB and to Europe on FM.
His love of radio was contagious. He loved the thrill of the chase for a contact and also the excitement of getting to new places. This year has been a really bad year for us radio enthusiasts, with many operators passing away. I guess this always been the case but, with the proliferation of the internet, Twitter, e-mail and Facebook, we find out much more quickly nowadays.
Very sad news and once again condolences to all families involved.
Twelve Months of President
I have received many messages and questions on what happened in regard to President over the last 12 months.
Well, as I see it, the last year was an ambitious one for the company. Remember, President is not like anyone else. That is why it has been selling transceivers for forty years.
In my limited understanding, the firm has been dogged by two main issue. First, a few components have been very hard to find. Two, there was a capacity issue, with the testing of radios before production and the subsequent wait for production to start. The latest news, dated 10th May, is that Avera, in The Netherlands, is expecting to see the President Bill model (Fig. 1) in May. It may be on the shelves before this issue of RadioUser comes out.
CRT Xenon & Anytone Herra
As of 10th May, the latest news about these two models is as follows: The Anytone Herra will come out as a 10m metre radio initially. In the export mode, it can cover from 25.6 to 30.1MHz in AM/FM.
However, it seems it will come in simplex mode only and will not offer any CTCSS codes functionality.
The CRT Xenon is based on the same chassis and will come as a multi-norm transceiver, with multiple colour display and selection of ‘Roger’ bleeps.
The transceiver will, in all likelihood, cover the 24.7 to 30.1MHz frequency range.
I have suggested to CRT that, if they could add Band M, this would allow access to the 27.601 to 27.991 range because, as it is at the moment in export mode, this coverage will be lost.
As always, decisions in this area are cost-related.
I expect to see these two transceivers in July or August, with the manufacture of the CRT expected to start in June. As many of you might know, I have tested the prototype of the Herra. It seems OK, except for some small niggles, which, I believe, have been ironed out by now. At the time of writing, it was possible to disconnect the standard microphone and use an adapter fitting the CRT-2000.
PMR / CB Events
On 2nd June 2018, from 7 to 9pm, the PMR event widely known as PMR Štafeta, once again took place.
Although I did not take part this year, I was on air in the Beskydy Mountains in the Czech Republic and made contacts with old and new friends alike.
At the same time of year, the IslandFestival is taking place. I will be taking part in this latter event but as a chaser, not from an island.
The month of July will be largely quiet for me. By contrast, August 2018 will be a very busy time indeed.
I will be in the Czech Republic, then in Poland and Hungary for three days, before returning to the Czech Republic.
For those who have caught me on the air in previous years, I will again transmit from these places. As always, I am happy to send you a card.
In September I will be back in the Czech Republic for the PMR event Pikador. Once again, I will be in the Beskydy Mountains at the time.
Some transceivers of the new Midland M-30 model have been shipped and you can expect to see them on the shelves shortly, if not before this article is published. The transceiver will be available with a PC programming facility. However, I am not sure it comes with CTCSS as standard.
The latest rumours are that this transceiver model is now in production, but concrete details are as yet thin on the ground. I am awaiting a reply to an enquiry I have made with my contacts in Italy.
CRT FP 00
These black- or yellow-coloured CRT dual band handhelds have recently been released and cost around €39.99 in most market areas. In terms of programming software, it may be best to ask your friendly dealer at the point of purchase if you can and see if they can help you.
If you have found the software for the CRT FP1 online, you may be in luck because this program appears to work across both radios, the FP1 and FP00.
I am going to briefly mention network radios such as the Inrico TM-7 3G/WiFi IRN Mobile Network Radio (Fig. 2) and the Android and iPhone app Zello (Fig. 3).
Zello is a VOIP (Voice-Over-Internet Protocol) application. It has a push to talk button, like a walkie-talkie.
On this platform, some network radio channels have been formed. It has become a home for radio amateurs, those interested in radio generally, short wave listeners and CB enthusiasts alike.
Tim Kirby has tested a transceiver, which this app works with, in our sister publication PW and we had a chat about the review item (Practical Wireless, July 2018: 16-23).
Try it out, it is an excellent idea and interesting too, when the conditions are as poor as they are now.
I joined a few groups and had a chat here and there when time allowed.
Please remember to be polite and do not use bad language or be crude on these channels because hobbyists of many ages may be listening.
If you look at the website of Southgate ARC, you will find that network radios are discussed here.
You can download Zello from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. It is free to set up and requires a username, e-mail address and password.
Our reader Steve K recently asked me about triple-based magnetic aerial mounts, also known as ‘triple mags’ (Fig. 4). To be fair, I have not used one of them before on a regular basis. Normally I am quite content to use the President UP magnetic base with an SO239-to-3/8 adapter for other antennas.
However, I have now ordered one of the triple-based mounts to try it out.
What is more, I have just changed cars from a Škoda Superb to a little Go Kart Q3 from Audi, and I will fill up the roof, I guess.
Multiple dealers sell these mounts. Mine is coming from Sigma Euro-Comm, the makers of antennas. I have ordered it for the Island Festival 2018, which starts at the beginning of June (see above).
Gone and Returned
It has been suggested that the President Grant II Premium and President JFK II models were about to be discontinued. Some dealers have confirmed this, as have friends and customers who have messaged me.
However, President’s online information claims these two transceivers will, once again, be on general release from the end of May. Therefore, you ought to catch these transceivers while you can.
Ranger Communications Inc (in the USA) appear to have some issues and trying times at the moment. Many hobbyists in the USA have told me that the company moved its factories last year.
It seems that since that time the firm has experienced issues with ‘nicks and dents’ on the transceivers; others were found to have been covered with marker pen stains.
I have my nose to the floor and will try to find out more.
Friends, I wish you a great month. You’ll read this near the end of June or beginning of July, while I will be stood on a hill in the Czech Republic.
I have purchased two new Motorola T-82 Extreme PMR (Personal Mobile Radio) 16-Channel 500mW transceivers and I cannot wait to have a go with these.
Small tests, undertaken at home so far, are indicating that they are excellent.
Until the next time have a lovely month and I will be back with more news, equipment reports and, above all else, answers to your questions. Best wishes and kind regards, Simon
This article was featured in the July 2018 issue of Radio User