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|Reviews Summary for Puxing PX-UV973 dual-band HT with crossband repeater
Average rating: 4.7/5
Description: UHF/VHF handheld transceiver with true dual band receive, cross-band repeater function and full duplex operation.
Product is in production.
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write your own review of the Puxing PX-UV973 dual-band HT with crossband repeater.
Aug 27, 2013 18:54
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Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had this for about a month now and I think I'm ready to give a review at this point.
This is a big step up from previous Chinese made/branded HT's that I've tried such as older Puxings, and Baofengs. True dual band receive, yes, you can receive two stations at the same time, on the same band or on both uhf and vhf. Cross band repeat works either both ways, repeating both frequencies back and forth, or if you don't program a tx freq on one channel it will only go one way.
This feature works but I've not really had a chance to play with it other than very brief testing. I do know that if done on high power and set to repeat both ways you're going to burn it up as it will be constantly be transmitting.
Receiver seems to work well. I'd guess this is a SDR based chip design like other dual bands in this sort of price range and by the way the audio sounds. Like the Baofeng radios, there is just a tinge of white noise on all signals. You really have to be looking for it to hear it.
Recently I took the Puxing PX-UV973 on a mountain top trip and used it and another HT to hit some distant repeaters from home about 100 miles away. On the same mountain top there is a NOAA weather radio station blasting out non stop at 300 watts out. The Baofeng I had with me was about useless on VHF ham frequencies with strong desense and intermod from the NOAA station. The Puxing was not affected at all in the ham bands. I've also noticed similar traits with it at home when I have it on but using another HT to get into a repeater.
It has a solid receiver, I've not had any issue with pager intermod in town or any sort of weird quirkyness. I'd say it has a very good receiver and would be interesting in seeing it measured.
Transmit is "OK" It's not muffled and has a lot of highs. One friend that's heard it does not like it, others have said nothing. So it doesn't stand out and it's not terrible, but it could be better. It certainly isn't like previous Puxing models that I've tried.
Like most rigs that double as commercial radio these days it has ani call options, split tones, ect ect that you may not ever need. Standard commercial male connector. Comes with a desktop charger. This radio has the belt clip on the battery that can easily be removed, or if you get a spare you can leave one battery without the clip so you can keep it slim and switch it back and forth. You can vary volume on both vfo's but you have to vary it in the menu. Three display colors can be chosen from, but unlike the Baofeng UV5r you can't pick different colors for different states of the rig such as rx/tx or standby.
This would be a great starter radio, or just a good radio to have if you need true dual receive, which would be handy if you work sats or have a couple active repeaters in town.
Jul 19, 2013 04:41
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Nice cross band
Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had this unit for a day now and have had time to play with it a bit, my primary use case for it was as a portable cross band repeater. I won't really comment on the radio as a primary HT, but I will say the menus are responsive (unlike some other brands), the RX audio seems good. It uses a SMA-male plug on the radio like Baofengs, making finding a good antenna hard without using an adapter. Internal microphone isn't great, but not super awful either I guess.
The radio is as easy to program as any chinese made radio, it came with a manual that had a few typos but otherwise was pretty well written. Curiously the box says PX-UV973 on the top and PX-UV9R on the side, I used the software for the PX-UV9R and it worked fine except the VFO was always wiped when uploading.
I think the Norwegian comma/point layout makes it convert 151,4 to 151.0 when uploaded. Repeater shift is similarly problematic, when uploaded to the radio it's set to 0, clearly a problem with the software not handling the system locale.
Despite this, I had my radio repeating within 15 minutes of opening the box.
Battery life is hard to estimate, the manual gives no indication, I tried to measure the current when transmitting through the charging cradle but that didn't work. What is clear is that the 1.2 Ah battery is not enough to support long term operation, and I've ordered the 12V adapter pack so I can run it off a SLA battery or directly off a power supply. Of note is also that when the device is cradled and the charger has completed, any audio received or transmitted will have a nasty noise signal from the charger switching in and out rapidly, so it's absolutely necessary to have the 12V pack for this kind of use.
Audio quality is acceptable, but it adds a nice amount of background noise and what sounds like whining from the internal CPU clock. The pre-emphasis is too harsh and it adds a lot of treble to the audio. There's an option for a compander that seems to add even more treble.
It has support for ANI and DTMF kill-tones which is useful if it's going to be operated remotely, if it starts causing problems, just enter the kill code and it stops transmitting. There's a TX-stun that I've enabled which lets you use a second code to reenable it. It also supports some actions if you key in the radios ID.
The only useful mode I found is the call mode, which in normal mode will make it ring, and in x-band mode will make it output a single call tone on the output frequency (i.e. the one you didn't use to call it on), then it holds the output keyed for about 10 seconds and returns to normal. It's not actually all that useful though.
VFO A supports DTMF decoding, if you use a second radio to transmit into VFO A and enter some keys, it will show up on the display. This doesn't work on VFO B. As a consequence, you can only use the remote kill codes from one side of the repeater.
You can enter DTMF codes via the keypad before transmitting on the radio, which is a nice feature.
ANI by defaults transmits a nasty sounding MSK signal, for my repeater setup I set the designated "output" frequency (Which links into a real repeater) to transmit a three digit ANI burst in DTMF at the end of transmissions. The purpose here is to identify my repeater station, in case we have noise problems (which happens from time to time) it will be easy to tell if my system is relaying noise or not. Plus everyone knows more beeps = cooler radios.
I couldn't get roger beeps to work, it has options for a whopping 10 different types, but none of them actually did anything...
It's possible to set different ANI codes for BOT and EOT, combined with the TX Stun/Unstun feature this has the potential for some funky stuff, unfortunately I only have one of these radios.
I really wish they would just make this about as big as the old Icom bricks and put a huge battery + comprehensive DTMF remote control features, they'd have a killer product.
Jun 30, 2013 12:57
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True dual band radio with crossband repeater. Great deal.
Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Puxing PX-UV973 Review
FCC ID: This item has not yet been approved by the FCC
Features of this radio:
DTMF: DTMF ANI and selective calling
Cross-Band Repeater operation
Full Duplex Operation
True dual receive
128 memory channels
VHF 5W/UHF 4 W output power
DTMF (touch tone) Encode and Decode
1750hz repeater tone
Built-in FM radio
Alphanumeric channel name capability
Front panel programmable
PC programmable (required for some advanced functions)
Custom power-on message capability.
Two line LCD display
Wide/Narrow band capability.
This radio has an easy to use menu system that allows programming of basic functions.
Frequency programming, CTCSS/DCS programming, scan step, power level and memory channel
assignment can be programmed. Channels can be added or deleted from the scan function via
the front panel also. The only functions that cannot be programmed from the front panel are the ANI
functions and the manual lockout functions to prevent users from changing the configuration.
My radio did not come with a manual. The manual was provided by the manufacturer and is generally
fairly easy to follow.
The selective calling functions must be programmed from a computer, using the optional
software and cable. The cable is the same used on other chinese manufactured radios, such
as Wouxun. (Kenwood compatible) This radio has Minimum Shift Keying (MSK) and DTMF
selective calling and Automatic Number Identification
(ANI) It uses an MSK data burst in alphanumeric format for an ANI, if selected. All ANI
and selective calling identifiers are displayed on the LCD display of the radio.
This radio has narrow band capability, as well as a full narrow band receive filter.
Most chinese radios do not have a true narrow band receive. This radio does not have a compander
which would improve fidelity on narrow band.
Programming: The Puxing brand radio is easier to program than any other Chinese brand
of HT. The front panel allows the abovementioned abilities, as well
as a few more not covered. I especially want to note that it is a big plus to allow setting scan
lockouts from the front panel. Accessing the programming menu can be done with a single press of the
"MENU" button. From there you can either press another of the indicated keys as shortcuts or use
the volume control to scroll through menu options. From there, options can be programmed. Unlike the
PX-888K, the functions are printed on the keys, instead of the case of the radio. This allows sight of the
functions via the lighted keypad. also, there is less risk of the lettering rubbing off.
Use of the computer software is generally easy, even though it is the "typical Chinese radio" type of software.
You should have some experience with some of the
more advanced modes, such as MSK and DTMF signalling. There appears to be no issues with the famous
"Prolific driver problem", although I am using an older driver. I have not tested with the latest Prolific drivers.
I give an above average on programming.
Radio operation is easy and straightforward. Selection of the upper or lower channel
display can be done on one keypress. This radio has “real” dual receive.
This radio has FM broadcast reception. You can select whether or not you want a received two way radio signal to break in.
The radio can be set to use both display lines for a single channel. You could use one line to display the channel name,
and the other line the frequency and such. When scanning, however, it reverts back to use of both lines of the display.
I wonder why they did that.
The cross band repeater works great. you program one frequency in the upper display, and another in the lower display.
If a signal is received on one of these frequencies, the signal is simultaneously retransmitted on the other frequency!
One frequency must be VHF and the other UHF. I am unsure if the radio is programmed to disallow same band
repeating. The manual cautions against it... so be careful if you set it up wrong.
The radio has a true dual receiver. You can select the volume levels via the menus and software to differentiate
which VFO is louder than the other.
I didn't test the full duplex option, as I didn't have a satellite pass handy to test. Also, there are no linked VHF/UHF
repeaters in my area.
Audio on receive is strong and clear with no distortion. Volume in all cases can be loud enough
in most cases without distortion. BUT, if a signal is not full quieting, it seems the noise in the signal
is enhanced if the received signal is very weak. You could receive a faint signal, but only hear noise.
This was maddeningly annoying when on vacation, I would listen to some folks on 146.520 simplex.
The BIG QUESTION: Is the transmit audio muffled?
My experience indicates it is NOT! BUT... I really had good experiences with my green model
PX-888K. The 973 was a little less "bassy" sounding than the 888K. I did "echo tests" with both
radios for comparison, and the 888k was fine, as I reported in my review of that radio. The 973 did
sound better, and the highs were more prominent. On air reports across the board indicated no
difficulties whatsoever. My voice tends to come over the air pretty good though.
Transmit range seems on par with other handheld radios I have used. The supplied antenna is
sufficient for normal use.
The radio is supplied with a 1200 mAh battery. Battery life is average; but nothing special.
With intense high power operation, battery life is a bit shorter than I would like. After extended
use, neither the battery, nor the radio got excessively warm, even at high duty cycle.
What is really cool is the selective calling system and the ANI. With simple MSK ANI, you can
have a name come across the display of a receiving radio. with the selective calling system,
you can call specific radios, via programmed codes, and can set up a "dialing directory" in
your radio to call specific radios. The called radio can be set to "ring back" to acknowlege the
call. You can also enable/disable the radio via a tone sent from another radio. These functions
could be useful for search and rescue teams, or emergency services. In a commercial setting, this
could identify specific departments.
This radio does have menu or software configurable 2.5 kHz frequency steps.
What I liked:
The custom message on power on can display my call sign when I turn it on. Functions are easily selected,
and programming is a snap. The ANI and selective calling is really neat and fully
implemented. The radio accesses all the repeaters any other radio I have used can access. It
sounds good on both transmit and receive. While not yet Part 90 commercial approved, there is
a provision to lock out the front panel programming as required for commercial use.
This along with full narrow band compliance, it ought to receive approval soon. Naturally the true
dual receiver and the crossband repeater functions make this radio in my opinion. I now
have a ton of HTs and would not have bought this one, had it not have these features.
What I did not like: The battery life could be better; but this can be fixed by getting a more
powerful battery. The scan speed is terribly slow! If the dual watch function is disabled and
the radio operating in single channel mode the scan speed does improve a but; but is still slow.
This radio does not have a compander, so narrow band fidelity may be lacking. This radio does
include a scrambler, which is really more or less something that would be used far less than a compander.
The annoying amplification of noise is not a deal breaker by any means; but is a real pain at times.
All in all, a very good radio. I am very glad I made my purchase.
If anyone needs any info I neglected to include here, please let me know.
I recommend this radio.
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