The reason why I bought the CS800D is that in my newest car (Mercedes-Benz GLK350 SUV) space is at premium and I did not want to clutter it with a bunch of radios. I normally prefer commercial rigs like Hytera and Motorola, but this radio was intriguing.
I bought the CS800D because;
- Dual Band DMR/Analog
- Remote Control-Head
- According to website not restricted to Ham Frequencies – although not specifically advertised as Part 90 approved yet either. Optimistic for an approval. I have need for ’90 frequencies.
- Price is OK.
Here is what I like so far:
- Dual Band Mobile DMR/Analog
- Remote Control-Head
- Remote head cable is CAT 5 ethernet. Easy to customize.
- Call book size
Here is what i don’t like:
- Not (yet) Part 90 – staying optimistic.
- Display is small and absolutely minimalistic. Typically not ham, but ok for biz use.
- Controls feels cheap, but it is a ham radio (have to remind myself).
- DMR audio is not balanced with analog audio – even after adjusting setup.
- DMR ID is for the radio, not for the channel. In most cases OK, but not for special events.
- Audio from a channel in scan list is different than when channel selected.
- No roaming.
- Zone limited to 16 channels. Same problem with my other biz-band radios.
- Audio is “tinny” from a small speaker. Little or no acoustic finesse in design.
- CSI Websites is borderline misleading.
- No MAC programming software.
All programming takes place through the typical computer program we have seen for so many of the DMR radios. It is functional, but lacks a few convenience items. I program frequencies and the radio itself via the CPS. I use Contact Manager for all the DMR Contacts. I keep the basic file small while I work on the basic setup. Then I add contacts (100k+ callsigns) and upload to radio. Editing the completed file with contacts is to slow on my computer.
For my use (always optimistic) I still hope this will be the low-cost “swiss army-knife” of a radio that will cover 90%+ needs for ham, town volunteer services and my biz band frequencies, but not yet.
Would I buy it again? With a part 90 certification, hands down. Until that time??