Last Friday the 7th January I received my latest radio for the 4m band.
I started off in the early 1990’s using Pye Olympics, Reporters, Europas etc., all on AM and mostly on 70.260 Mhz.
I have had a quite amount of success with these including one contact into Gibraltar using a Pye Olympic running 8 watts and a folded dipole.
I stopped using 4m when I moved into Drogheda and regained my interest in it again in 2002.
Since then I have been trying various different radios, Philips/Simocos PRM80, Maxon etc..
I also have used a few Ascom SE550’s. These were my favourite to date as they have the whole 4m band on them and have lots of other features such as output TX power adjust etc.
I also use a Yaesu FT-847 on 4m, this has all mode but only runs approx. 15 watts on 4m at the moment.
What I like to have is a good “Stand Alone” 4m FM radio that I can leave scanning the 4m band listening out for anybody calling.
A long time friend of mine, Aidan whose callsign is EI5KB called down to me before Christmas told me that there was a dedicated radio for 4m being sold I had a look on the internet, had a look at the specs and reviews and decided there and then to get one.
When the radio arrived last week I was all excited, hoping that it would live up to my expectations, I have it a week now and tested it with the locals, both fixed stations and mobile and not so local stations and I am very pleased with it, also surprised with the amount of features it has.
Firstly it arrived very well packaged, has a very long DC lead so it could be mounted in a car and reach the battery with no difficulty. There is a mobile bracket, screws and even spare fuses with it.
The radio itself approx. 160x155x40mm and weighs about 1Kg.
There are 5 buttons on the front, from left to right: Func, Call, V/M, Scan, SQ/C, Enter. There is a rotary knob on the top left of the radio, this has multiple functions, it changes the Channels or Frequencies depending on the mode you are on, press in briefly and will change the Volume and press Function will set the Squelch level.
There are 3 LED’s under the Frequency display which shows, Power on (orange), RX (flashing green) and TX (red).The display itself is backlit orange.
The speaker on the radio is on the front right, handy for sound facing the operator.(there is a jack on the back for an extension speaker)
The radio was advertised as having a standard microphone (QHM-02), mine came with the DTMF microphone (QHM-04),much to my delight. This microphone not only has the DTMF feature but can input the frequencies that I want to be on, also has VFO/Memory, Call, Set, Dial, Band (for changing from 25-20-12khz bandwidth) , TX power adjust and Squelch on off buttons. Up and Down buttons are on the top of the microphone.
The features on the radio are similar to a conventional 2m radio, Duplex, CTCSS, Scan, Priority, Naming the frequencies etc.
There is one thing that I was surprised to find in the Menu was a thing they call “Compander Function” this I discovered operates a bit like a very fancy Noise Blanker as it totally eliminates the static heard on a very weak station.
On the Air with the radio I noticed it was very easy to use and setup, the TX power is in 3 stages, 10-25-45 Watts. Trying out the radio with local hams I noticed how good the internal speaker sounded, they also gave me very good reports back on different TX band width settings.
Another friend of mine, Jim 2I0SBI went mobile from his QTH to different locations and noticed that he could hear me in places where I was weak before, so the 45 watts helps. I found that I could hear him a lot better than before, comparing it with the Ascom SE-550 the Anytone AT-5189 has a much better receive and when Jim was mobile I had very little mobile flutter on him. Using the Compander Function when Jim was mobile totally eliminated any background static when he was at his weakest to me.
As I said, I have the radio a week now and I can say that I am very happy with it, thinking now of buying another one to put into my car for mobile!!!