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Author Topic: An amazing ham radio Zastone D9000 I have experienced.  (Read 3892 times)
NEVBEN
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Posts: 104




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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2017, 04:08:22 PM »

I don't think Kenwood, Yaesu or Icom make mobile radios in Japan anymore.  I just bought two Kenwood mobiles and they're both made in Malaysia.  I also bought two Kenwood HT's, both made in China.  I am sure the engineers are in Japan but they don't make them there.

10% THD is standard audio specification for mobiles.  Kenwood does the same thing.  I have a Yaesu mobile also and the audio is also specified at 10% THD and worse than the Kenwood.

Still, I do suspect Zastone is just a badge put on pirated hardware that was diverted out of a contract manufacturing plant and re-engineered using borrowed intellectual property and that the direct-from-Shenzen marketing via eBay and Amazon bypasses FCC regulation.  They're probably also bypassing import fees if it goes under the "radar" so to speak.  I wouldn't expect the least bit of sympathy for any kind of technical or warranty support, or even returns.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 04:11:40 PM by NEVBEN » Logged
NEVBEN
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2017, 04:20:40 PM »

Check out the Zastone UV-8DR
https://www.amazon.com/Zastone-128-Channel-Tri-Band-Two-Way-Earpiece/dp/B071H26672/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1512691678&sr=8-3&keywords=zastone

compare it to the VX-8DR.
https://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=03484E782FF9B7DFA27AEE086A68F530&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0

quite apparently from the contractor's back door
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N4UE
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Posts: 708




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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2017, 05:11:00 PM »

Hi. I don't have a dog in this fight, but I just wanted to add a comment or two.
I am a true Pro-American, being a Viet Nam vet. I've also been a ham and target shooter for 56 years.

I am NOT Pro Chinese, but, just because something is made off-shore does NOT automatically mean is of poor quality.

I'm old enough to remember when ANYTHING made "in Japan" was crap. We taught the Japanese SPC and they were GOOD students. Before I retired, I worked with many Japanese electronics vendors. They make our industry look inefficient. Sad, but true. Work ethic.

Today, some of the world's best riflescopes are made in Germany (no surprise) and Japan. Yes, the USA makes some super nice products such as Nightforce, USO, etc.

The point of this reply is to say the Chinese are now capable of building anything to world class standards, but they (being good business folks) always build TO A PRICE POINT. Don't go to WalMart and buy cheap stuff and then complain. Duh!

Want a radio that will retail for $100? They will build you one.
Want a radio that will retail for $1000? They will build that also.

Most of the 'American' rifle scope companies low end 'scopes are made in China now. Labor costs, pure and simple. Weaver, Redfield, etc.
However, all companies can procure the world's best glass and coatings. I have over 40 'scopes, from $50 to $3000. Can you see the difference? Sure. But once you get to a mid price point, you reach the point of diminishing returns. The Philippines seem to make the best optics for the $. Japanese parts, China type labor.......

Again, "you get what you pay for" is a truism. But, just like everything in life, there ARE exceptions.

The Chinese are quick learners and shrewd business folks.

Have fun, life is short!

ron
N4UE
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K6BRN
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Posts: 490




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« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2017, 07:03:02 PM »

Based on the Zastone reviews, the radio is pretty poor.  I don't think this is a back-door "VX-8DR" even though it may look similar to one on the surface.  China does that a lot - they tend to have a P.T. Barnum mentality ("...there's sucker born every minute").  But, if you'd like to think so, have fun and buy this POS.  Its Christmas, and if nothing else, you can use it as a tree ornament.

I do agree with N4UE that not ALL China goods are crap.  Rigol has earned my respect, for instance, and Siglent has potential.  Hope they keep going in that direction.  But much of the Chinese stuff is still straight off the slag heap and painted red, white and blue to look pretty.
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NEVBEN
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Posts: 104




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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2017, 10:44:50 PM »

There's no doubt the Chinese can make good products.  I work in enterprise IT and all the servers in the datacenter are made in China -- ALL of them.  It doesn't matter if they say HP, Dell, IBM, Sun/Oracle or whatever.  There are none made in the US anymore.  These are not junk PC's.  These are servers that range anywhere from $30K per box to $3M.  I rarely work with HPC (supercomputers), but China also dominates the TOP500: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOP500#/media/File:TOP500_Supercomputers_by_Country_June_2016.svg

I too remember when "made in Japan" was pejorative.  I was a little kid in those days, and the US was not trading with China.  My stuffed animals were "made in Korea" but the junk in the kitchen drawers (what you would find nowadays at Walmart) was "made in Japan."  The Japanese got extraordinarily good at a few things like cameras at first, but the proliferation of Monozukuri in Japan today means that most anything they produce could be worth acquiring if only you could afford it.

I don't believe the Zastone is a complete VX-8DR out the back-door.  I don't think it's the same radio at all.  But I am pretty sure it shares a lot of the same parts out of the same factories.  This is how a lot of counterfeiting is done -- they don't tool up to make close copies.  Instead, they use the exact same parts out of the same factory.  Sometimes the batch failed the customer's QC or were diverted for some other reason.  But there can be a lot of other cost-cutting because a radio like this is probably not built from scratch all in one factory.  There are probably a lot of factories contracted for different parts, and then Yaesu assembles them.  So some enterprising persons are less likely to take complete radios and sell them under a different brand.  Much more likely they will get an assortment of parts and tackle the challenge of sourcing the rest themselves.  They may have a different display, a different microcontroller, different firmware, and for a radio they could use something different for the finals to save expense.  I can't speculate how much is the same, but I can tell you that for the UV-8DR they didn't lovingly copy the VX-8's case -- it's the same case.  Inside, they probably cut every corner they could to maximize profit.  In some cases that might mean they managed to score the same parts and in other cases they were forced to find alternatives.   I'm sure it's a completely junk radio and I'd never recommend one.  But there's a reason the Chinese aren't making copies of Thales or Harris radios -- because those factories aren't there in China.  When Yaesu outsources to China, the Chinese factory isn't just going to make a part Yaesu wants and then stop.  They'll go full-tilt on any piece that Yaesu isn't guarding carefully, and sell as much of it as they can any way they can.



« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 10:55:40 PM by NEVBEN » Logged
W4KYR
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Posts: 1608




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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2017, 10:58:02 PM »

Can the Zastone D9000 do APRS like the TH-D710 ? Where is the TNC function on it?
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The internet and cellphone networks are great until they go down, what then? Find out here. 
https://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,111948.0.html

Using Windows 98 For Packet...
NEVBEN
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Posts: 104




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« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2017, 08:52:47 AM »

The sellers' ads I've seen don't mention it, but the first post in this thread indicated the hardware is there only the firmware to enable it has not been released yet.  I don't think a buyer could expect it to function for the life of the radio.  The firmware is probably a copy-and-paste job, but not all the features were compatible with the components they were using without some modification.  There might be someone with a job to work out these incompatibilities by fixing the firmware or there might not be, but they're selling the radios now.  You might find that APRS is not the only feature that doesn't really work.
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AC7CW
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Posts: 1004




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« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2017, 09:54:28 AM »

The seller lost me at "D9000"... belongs in a comedy skit, no, maybe in a low budget sci-fi show? What does the "D" stand for? Did it take them 8999 iterations to get something to work? What?
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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
K6BRN
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Posts: 490




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« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2017, 06:24:23 PM »

NEVBEN:

Suggest you go back and disassemble a few of your servers.  The tags on the sub-assemblies and in the cabinets should tell the full story.

They are not:
 
Quote
all the servers in the data center are made in China -- ALL of them.  It doesn't matter if they say HP, Dell, IBM, Sun/Oracle or whatever.

In fact, the components and major sub-assemblies are sourced from multiple countries and final rack assembly, integration and test is also performed in multiple countries, from Mexico to Malaysia to (yes) China and even (a few) the USA.  It is true that most server integration seems to have moved offshore.  But not all to China.

And if you are saying that because China can produce some quality products, especially when closely monitored, and that proves that their other products, like the "Zastone 9000" $60 series of disposable junk radios is high quality, I guess I'll have to disagree.  Until China sets an internal standard for quality and integrity that is commonly enforced and met, every single company and product from China is suspect until proven otherwise.  Particularly in light of their long, long history of shipping defective junk.

Other countries, like Japan, Korea and Taiwan have turned the corner from cut-rate commodity vendor to providers of world-class products.  They have built trust with their customers through a you win/we win philosophy.  China still has a long way to go in this area - in particular, their pervasive I win/you lose business philosophy needs to be updated.  Some Chinese companies have taken this step, with remarkable success (Rigol, for one).  But most still have a long way to go.

So if I get a Zastone 9000 for the holidays, its going on the tree as an ornament, no batteries in it, so that it can do no harm.  While the $120 or $160 Yaesu/Kenwood/Icom radios will get some real use.  Because they've earned my trust.

Brian - K6BRN
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K3GM
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Posts: 2227




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« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2017, 08:03:23 AM »

I don't believe the Zastone is a complete VX-8DR out the back-door.  I don't think it's the same radio at all.  But I am pretty sure it shares a lot of the same parts out of the same factories.  This is how a lot of counterfeiting is done -- they don't tool up to make close copies.  Instead, they use the exact same parts out of the same factory.  Sometimes the batch failed the customer's QC or were diverted for some other reason. .......

Coming from a career in the printed circuit board field, I can tell you this is without a doubt the case.  China has PCB manufacturing "factories" that are small cities.  They are equipped with dormitories for single male and female employees.  They dwarf anything that was ever in the US.  Today, entire products, schematics, and parts lists that were engineered in the US are transmitted to China for fabrication and assembly.  Factories that are contracted to build a product from company A can be building a direct competitor's product from company B.  While retired now, I am still contractually bound to confidentiality.  But I can tell you that "some" US companies have entire departments dedicated to patent enforcement, and counterfeit research.  There's no reason to believe that our Japanese counterparts wouldn't have similar operations.  This is not to say that the entiire Chinese PCB and assembly industry is rife with unscrupulous activities.  But I have no doubt that many products are clearly exposed to counterfeiting.  In many instances, the only thing that separates a genuine product from a fake these days is the software.  Without the code, a knockoff will show it's colors.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 08:08:55 AM by K3GM » Logged
K6BRN
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« Reply #25 on: Yesterday at 08:56:29 AM »

Tom (K3GM):

Sorry - just have to disagree with you that:

Quote
the only thing that separates a genuine product from a fake these days is the software. 

Having disassembled, examined and repaired look-alike products, ALL manufactured in China and sold under different labels, it is OBVIOUS that even seemingly identical products from the same Chinese factory are different.

The Chinese have taken manufacturing to a set price/quality point far beyond other nations.  And so, they use multiple assembly lines fed with different grades of parts and assembled to different quality standards - at the lowest grade, hand soldered and assembled by barely trained workers.

A very good example are the following two power supplies, with nearly identical designs, identical cases, and VERY different component selection/quality, assembly quality and operational reliability.

1) PowerWerx SPS-30DM - https://powerwerx.com/variable-power-supply-digital-meters-30amp

2)  MFJ-4230MV - http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-4230MV

#1 above is a known reliable supply recommended and offered by Elecraft to support their own transceivers.  It is well made with few issues.  Inside, the components are of good quality and cleanly soldered and assembled.  I have several - none have failed.

#2 above is a POS supply with a reputation for not only failing, but sometimes taking the attached equipment with it.  I've been inside a failed unit and the parts quality stinks, while the soldering seems to have been done by a half-blind raccoon with palsy (solder drips, partial bridges, cold joints, conductive FOD all over the place...etc.)

Side by side, from the outside, they look nearly identical.  On has a digital meter (#1) while the 2nd has an analog meter - but they fit in exactly the same cut-out!

So.. again... if you really believe that a Zastone-O-Matic 9000 is just the same as a Yaesu (Kenwood, etc.) backed by a major manufacturer... just with different software... buy one.  At about the same time you figure out the software, the PTT switch on your radio will probably stop working and you'll later find out the mic slot is stuffed with glue (this happened with a friends $65 Baoefeng).  It's cheap.  And apparently, so is your time, because it will provide many hours of delightful frustration and RF emissions "Far beyond that of ordinary radios" (verbage swiped and adapted from the old Superman series opening line).

Did you say you've spent a great deal of time in the Chinese factories?  Didn't they show and offer you multiple levels of product quality and provide a tour of the lines? You would have seen this first hand, then.

Brian - K6BRN
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K3GM
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« Reply #26 on: Yesterday at 04:41:03 PM »

You're misinterpreting the nature of my post.  I wasn't suggesting that these two transceivers were remotely similar in QUALITY.  It was to point out that many legitimate products are exposed to counterfeiting.  If a contract manufacturing facility has ALL of the board layout data, ALL of the packaging data, as well as schematics and parts lists which of course are necessary for the build process, proprietary data is just hanging out there ripe for picking, and all the vetting available may not reveal perhaps one employee, who is bent on making some cash on the side.  That's why many of the products I worked on were flashed with firmware in a facility not associated with the manufacturing of the product, a process perhaps done even in a different country.  
Similar to your power supply examples, take a look at the TYT TH-9800 quad band FM transceiver.  The resemblance to a Yaesu FT-8900 is uncanny.  I saw it at Dayton a few years ago when it was first released, and I couldn't believe my eyes. It was laughable, even the in-your-face model the "9800".   Does it use the same parts? I personally don't know.  But it makes you wonder just how much commonality the two possess.  
Without commenting on the process for my employer, I'll say that any company who is looking out for their proprietary interests will regularly send representatives at least annually to visit and inspect as much as possible a company contracted to build their products. Supplier transparency is key, and line tours of PCB manufacturing, enclosure fabrication, etc. are part of the inspection process.  Also, competitors often have a pretty good idea which houseshouses are putting out the others product by simple reverse engineering and industry gossip.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 05:04:14 PM by K3GM » Logged
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