Finally a low-cost option for DMR Radios


EDIT: (1-29-2014)After some review, I learned that this radio actually is made in China.  However, it is made FOR Connect Systems, out of California, and not for anyone else.  CSI supports the radio 100% so you never have to deal with an over-seas company.

Those who have dipped their feet into the world of DMR or Mototrbo operation know how costly the radios can be, and how few of them are available.  Only Motorola and Vertex are currently making Digital Radios with DMR capability, or so I believed.

I posted today about making my first DMR contact just yesterday on the Dallas Repeater, in the NTX group, and the operator I spoke to had a Connect Systems HT radio, which he just recently purchased, and was using for our QSO.  He sounded strong and clear, but since my Motorola XPR-4350 doesn’t have an S-meter, I couldn’t see an accurate reading.  He told me that he had just bought the radio, and that it was a very reasonable price, though we didn’t talk numbers.  He said the company had a “first time buyers” program, so he was able to snag a radio at a really good price.  Of course this peaked my interests.

I found the website he was referring to and contacted the sales rep, asking about the model CS-700 (which is the one used by my DMR contact) and also inquired about this “first time buyers” program.  I received an almost immediate reply to my email.  As it turns out, there is not a “first time buyers” program, the company is simply running a sale on these radios until the end of 2013.  The normal price for this radio is $180, and their sale price is $160.  $160 for a DMR radio with 1000 channels!  What??

That is correct.  $160.  4 watts of power, 1000 memory channels, FREE programming software (downloaded from their website) and they even include the programming cable with the radio at no extra cost.  And this is NOT a Chinese radio, this is a Made-In-The-U.S.A. company.

A review will be coming.  I called and ordered my radio today, and they are shipping it out today, they claim.  I spoke to the President of the company when I called, and he said this was the last radio they had in stock.  They should have more by the end of the month.  At that price, I doubt they will last long.

From the vendor’s website:

This full featured professional radio is the best in its class. Compare this radio to the competitors and you can see why there is no better radio to buy than the CS700. Some of its highlights are as follows:

 Lowest Cost.
 Compatible with Motorola and Hytera DMR Radios
 LCD Display and full keypad.
 Highest Power. 4 Watts UHF.
 Better Battery. 1700 mAH Lithium Ion
 Better waveform. DCS looks like a digital waveform, CTCSS looks like a sine wave.
 More Channels. 1000 channels available 

 Better Documentation. No guessing how the unit really works. 

 Free Programming Software and Programming cable on first order

13 Responses to “Finally a low-cost option for DMR Radios”

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  1. Duffy says:

    How did your Connect System DMR radio work out?

    • jape says:

      Hi Duffy, thanks for commenting.

      It is working out great. Well worth the $160 price tag – even the $180 normal price tag, still well worth the cost, in my opinion. I am currently working on a review of the radio that I will post here when complete. I meant to have it done by now, but have fallen behind. Thanks for the reminder!

      • Duffy says:

        Cool, well I sent them an email inquiring and no response. Not really interested in it so much for ham radio, but to listen to some local chatter. I am concerned if there are any compatible batteries available for it from sources other than connect systems. Did you find any?

        • jape says:

          I haven’t looked for extra batteries.

          I don’t think they will sell you one without a ham license, but I am not 100% sure about that.

          For just listening, did you want to listen to just the single band? It is only 440MHz at this time, but they claim to be working on a VHF model. Why not just use a scanner? Or did you want to listen to the DMR chatter?

          • Duffy says:

            I have a license and actually have been licensed for well over 30 years.

            There is no scanner available to receive DMR. At this point you have to have a DMR radio.

            Cannot get CS to respond to email.

  2. jape says:

    Oh ok, well good deal. DMR is fun.
    What email are you using to contact them? I had some issues getting through via email at first also, but since I work in IT I was able to get around it.
    Try these 2 emails, if you haven’t already:
    jwanger@pacbell.net
    jerry@connectsystems.com
    Tell them I referred you, if you want. I’ve spoken with Jerry alot, he is the President.

  3. Ted says:

    Can’t get their site to load, hopefully they’re still around

  4. Hans PD0AC says:

    Good find, posted about it, and linked back to you.

    We’re in the process of getting two of these.

    Hans

    • jape says:

      Thanks Hans
      These are great radios. I believe they allow you to buy 2 at that price. I should probably pickup another one, but I am waiting for the mobile unit to be released also. Rumored to be 3rd quarter of this year.

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