Connect Systems Upcoming Radios

new_connect_systems_cs600_cs700_dmr_digital_mototrbo_radio_for_saleEveryone is anticipating the next release from Connect Systems for their DMR and DSTAR radios. Arguably, the most popular DMR radio on the market right now is the CS700, their UHF-only handie talkie that will transmit in both Digital DMR and Analog for ham operators. These radios are also very popular among Red Cross members and First Responders.

In speaking with some fellow hams over the past week or so, there seems to be some discrepancy around the next piece of equipment to come from Connect Systems. So rather than dig around and do alot of research in emails, I decided to contact the owner directly. As always, Jerry was responsive and helpful with providing information to my questions. Below are the results I found:

CS800 Mobile DMR Radio
This radio will be the mobile version of the CS700. It will be UHF and transmit both Digital DMR and Analog modes. At last word from Connect Systems, this radio is due to drop in October of 2014, if not a bit sooner. I personally don’t expect to see it before October, and honestly it might even be towards the end of the month. Releases of new equipment always seem to take longer than expected.

CS7000 Dual-Mode DMR/DSTAR Radio
This radio will be the “revolutionary” dual mode that will be capable of both Digital DMR and DSTAR transmissions, as well as Analog. But it will be an HT radio. This was the question that lots of people had, some people thought it was going to be a mobile unit, but it isn’t. Jerry says that there will be a CS8000 version released after the CS7000, which will be a mobile unit, and maybe even a dual-bander (VHF/UHF) and will do dual-mode also. Nothing confirmed about that, though.

I am looking VERY forward to the CS800. I’ve been itching to get this radio since it was announced. It has been delayed a couple of times, so hopefully it will be rock-solid when it drops, which will hopefully be in October. I signed up to be one of the first buyers when I was in Dayton this year, so I am hoping to be contacted soon about this radio.

Sadly, the CS7000 will only be an HT. I go back and forth on whether or not I will be buying this radio. I can’t see the need for another HT radio. All the Chinese manufacturers seem to be focused on HTs and have a lack of mobile units. Connect Systems is no different. I don’t mean that in a negative way, HT radios certainly have their place, but so do mobile units. Most of the Hams I know, who are serious into DMR or DSTAR, are wanting mobile radios. It only makes sense due to higher power and antenna performance. So I might wait for the CS8000 before actually getting into DSTAR.

Be checking this site for the latest news and updates on these radios, I plan to keep up with both Jerry and the yahoo group.

15 Responses to “Connect Systems Upcoming Radios”

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  1. Rod G. says:

    Thanks for the update and clarification! I will prob end up buying the mobile anyway.

    • jape says:

      Yea, me too. I’m thinking about the HT, but really I will probably wait for the mobile.

    • Ted says:

      Jape,

      I’m with you on waiting for a CS8000!

      But, will I/we dare to dream for full cross-band capabilities in a mobile dual band, dual mode (digital/analog) with DMR and DStar (for starters) mobile radio?

      Not asking to be able to crossband analog to digital signals; just dreaming for a dual band mobile rig that will come with cross band analog to analog and or digital to digital signals so as to be able to extend the range of HT’s transmitting on a simplex frequency through the mobile radio.

      If a CS8000 dual band/dual mode mobile radio were to come out with cross band capabilities, I would buy one or two from Connect Systems immediately.

      My comment were in response to the following portions of your article which are listed below

      [” Jerry says that there will be a CS8000 version released after the CS7000, which will be a mobile unit, and maybe even a dual-bander (VHF/UHF) and will do dual-mode also. Nothing confirmed about that, though.”]

      [“So I might wait for the CS8000 before actually getting into DSTAR.”]

      • jape says:

        Hi Ted, thanks for commenting.

        I’ve no heard anything about cross-banding for any of these radios, although I do think that is a good idea. I might or might not be possible, depending on the decoders, etc. I am not familiar enough with the technology to know how feasible it is.

        Jerry did say that he is hoping the CS8000 will be a dual-band. So it will do Analog 2M/440, DSTAR and DMR. So he hopes… he wasn’t certain about that. But if he made that happen…? Wow. I think everyone would buy one.

        73

        • jape says:

          Coincidentally, today I just saw this message from Jerry:

          The CS8000 (Mobile version of CS7000) when it is released next year will probably come in three flavors:
          1. UHF
          2. VHF
          3. Dual Band
          There is plenty of room in the mobile to have two independent R.F. sections. It will have a removable head like the CS800.
          Jerry Wanger KK6LFS

  2. Jack Koflik says:

    Interested in news updates and pics of CS 7000. Thank you.

  3. Doug says:

    I see a couple of issues with Jerry’s plans (but I hope he does get past them).

    First, by the time the CS8000 mobile arrives in the dual-band version with DSTAR, I have to wonder what the price-point will be in comparison to whatever Icom is shipping by then? If Jerry’s units aren’t significantly less than Icom (in similar configs) he may end up with much less of a cost difference (and therefore much less selling advantage) that he thinks right now.

    Second, I can’t imagine Icom will be overjoyed with a new radio in their DSTAR turf, so I’d expect several of the CS8000 units will end up in Icom’s testing labs. Whatever Jerry’s OEM Chinese supplier has done to reverse engineer Icom’s hardware he’d better hope they did a fabulous job. If not, one call from Icom’s lawyers could really screw up his incoming shipments.

    Before everyone jumps in about how Chinese are always ignoring intellectual property and/or patents, that is of course true, but that may not prevent U.S. Customs from stopping incoming shipments at the dock “if” (and that’s a BIG if) Icom finds a legal leg to stand on. I’d love to see more DSTAR activity (and lower equipment pricing), but I think I’ll withhold judgement for now about well Jerry’s chances for success are until the product has been shipping for a few months and some equipment reviews are published.

    • jape says:

      Thanks for the comments, Doug.

      1. The CS8000, when it finally drops, will not only be dual-band analog, but will also encompass both the DSTAR and DMR digital modes. So even if the price-point is closer to that of other radios, no radios can offer this many features and transmission modes, at least not yet.

      2. Icom doesn’t own DSTAR. They simply were the only ones to adopt the proprietary AMBE Codec owned by Digital Voice Systems, Inc. Anyone can adopt this, and it used to cost a fee to do so, but I believe that fee/license has expired and the codec is now opensource. I’d have to look that up to be sure it is right, but either way, Icom doesn’t own DSTAR, so there is nothing they could sue for (unless Jerry did actually reverse-engineer one of their radios, which I don’t think he is doing) The CS8000 won’t be an Icom copy, it’ll simple contain the DSTAR codec, which to date, only Icom has chosen to use.

  4. John says:

    Being a big fan for dual band / dual mode mobile radios I too am looking forward to the drop on the CS8000. There are many hams here in Indiana looking for the opportunity to shift to the digital mode luster, and with DSTAR, DMR, and P25 repeaters already popping up over our State and yet the still widely used analog systems in play, the CS8000 is truly needed. I believe in the technology and am spreading the word here in Indiana about the new offering of the CS8000 to and over the many repeaters of all the modes. There is currently work being done here to link repeaters throughout a 14 County area, the project is expected to be completed by mid year 2015. How great it will be to have the CS8000 offering to be able to utilize more coverage in that analog linking as well as to be able to communicate over the DSTAR, DMR networks as well. This is the true answer to be a real difference in an all out emergency where amateurs may be needed to pass real time information from County to County as well as State agencies in those times of need. Is there currently any way to receive an email announcement when the CS8000 becomes available? Also, do you have information as to whether that radio will be available in time for the Dayton Ham-fest?

    • jape says:

      Hi John, thanks for the comments.
      There is currently nothing known about the CS8000. The anticipation right now is for the CS800 and the CS7000, both of which have been pushed back in release date several times. Currently they are expected early next year, but there isn’t a guarantee on that either.
      Also, I know that Jerry wants the CS8000 to be dual-band, but I don’t think that is 100% certain either. It’ll be a mobile version of the CS7000, which is a monoband radio right now. I think the idea of so many modes/bands in 1 radio is great, and probably doable, but it has to pose lots of problems also. It wouldn’t surprise me to not see this radio in its dual-band state until this time next year.
      Jason

  5. Gary says:

    CS7000, CS7001? CS8000.

    While many of you talk about wanting the mobile and not an HT makes me wonder how many are going to be running around PS events with a mobile under a trench coat?

    On a more real note, I just hope that on the dstar side that these radios are going to not only operate to some degree as the icom radios, in the way of utilizing the DVAPS and hotspots in simplex modes to be able to set up on dstar where access repeaters don’t exist or are too far from the ht or mobile application.

    While new to the concept and operation of DMR, I am interested in its existence and growth, while I don’t know if there are ways around getting on DMR if no access repeater is in the area.

    Just hope trying to put all this technology into one package doesn’t cost us some of the features we are use to or the special ways hams trick radios to work in special situations.

    One thought, I believe I saw the DMR freq range was so wide, and we know people try to utilize radios to the max, I am sure the antenna for the amateur range is not going to be as wide as the radio is capable of operating.

    First interest for me would be the HT, if it appears to be everything expected, than the mobile is definitely doable.

    Gary.

    • jape says:

      Hi Gary, thanks for commenting.
      I already have the HT, which is why I am wanting the mobile unit. I actually have several DMR HTs from various manufacturers, I like to test them when I find new ones. HTs are great in their own application, but I want a mobile unit to setup in the shack and in the truck so that I am not limited by 4-watts on the HT while at home or driving around.

      The DMR frequency for UHF ham radio is the same as analog. All of the repeaters in this area are at +5MHz split, same as an analog UHF machine would be. I’ve read about some people applying for narrow-band repeater splits for digital use, but I’ve not seen anything like that online yet

      73 – Jason

      • Gary says:

        Thanks for the reply,

        While I am familiar with and have played with P-25 and D-Star, DMR has peaked my interest. I realized it was over seas, but after just basic searching for information I was surprised with the amount of infrastructure that was already in place here in the states.

        When I saw the information on the cs7000, I was impressed with what csi was doing and had intentions of putting out in the way of equipment. I must say it is VERY BOLD of Jerry, and I think I need to jump on this band wagon. While my initial interest is on how the radio works with D-Star, but in my eye if it passes that stepping stone whether through a D-Star repeater, in simplex mode via a DVAP or D-Star Hot spot, my next test point would be on the DMR side since I have been advised of some DMR sites coming to life in my nearby area in the coming months.

        I have sifted through 9 months of web sites (that have what I call vaporware and misinformation on D-Star). I have invested / wasted enough time removing myth and putting together factual information that I have been asked to put together common sense programs on D-Star. This month alone, I have 2 programs to put together from an introcution to D-Star and a basic use of the technology. They want me to do more advanced programs throughout the year and doing the same on DMR and other Digital Technologies. I am staying clear of Fusion at this time because I have heard and seen that most of these repeaters are replacements for older / outdated repeater systems that the owner and operators are looking at forcing them into an analog mode only.

        I am looking to get one of the cs7000 and if all looks good with it. adding the mobile (CS8000) radio to my arsenal of amateur radio gear. While I thought they had a ship date of January, I guess it is pushed out to march, I will be very interested when it happens.

        Again, I thank you for the insight. I love to find out the real info from those who are using the technology and have the equipment, rather than the experts that know everything about it without having the radio, using the services, and experiencing the actual outcome of what is going on. Can’t wait to get the radio and experience it for myself.

        Gary
        KD8VIQ

  6. John says:

    So now, it’s February, 2017 and still no radio and no timeline still. Seems to me this is “vapor hardware.” Anyone want to refute that?

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