- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Connect Systems CS800 Help

Reviews Summary for Connect Systems CS800
Connect Systems CS800 Reviews: 10 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $$280
Description: DMR Mobile (Digital Mobile Radio) Voice Radio
440 45 watt Digital Voice Radio (mototrbo)
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Connect Systems CS800.

VE6DO Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2017 14:58 Send this review to a friend
Pretty good little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I wanted something a bit better than a MD380. So looking around and seeing that many of my friends own a Connect Systems radio, I looked at the CS800. I decided that it would be a great addition to my Yaesu FT-7800R in my car (using it on 2m only with a diplexer). So after programming my code plug, and tweaking things I installed the radio and it worked as designed. It receives DMR and analog well with great audio and overall a pretty good little radio. I added an external speaker and no complaints. I am very happy with my purchase.
KY4TS Rating: 4/5 Apr 24, 2017 06:24 Send this review to a friend
Good so far  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I won this radio at the 2016 Dayton Hamvention. My only other experience with DMR was a Tytera MD-380 that I purchased at Dayton. At first, the initial setup of the CS-800 was a little confusing, but after a few re-reads of the documentation and a few "oops" moments it finally came together. The actual programming of the "code plug" wasn't that difficult since I had already been working with the 380. I've had a few unexplained glitches such as the short and long presses of the programmable buttons not working the way I programmed them, but that could have been an error on my part. All in all, it has been a solid performer both in the digital and analog modes. Right now it is operating as a base station in my shack, but at some point, I plan on mounting it in the car to see how it holds up.
K6LO Rating: 4/5 Dec 17, 2016 10:53 Send this review to a friend
A good radio but...  Time owned: more than 12 months
A good radio. Nice audio on both conventional FM and DMR. My radio failed (operated only in temp controlled shack) twice in the first year. First the 16.8 mhz TCXO became extremely unstable with temperature. This is an inexpensive part readily available from Digikey. Three months after that, one of the 8 volt regulators simply quit. Again inexpensively remedied from Digikey. Fortunately the service manual is quite good, and can be downloaded from Connect Systems. You may find it a necessary resource. This is a single board design and it is actually pretty easy to troubleshoot and work on if you are comfortable with small SMD. Test points are well
KB2KOS Rating: 5/5 Aug 16, 2016 14:52 Send this review to a friend
nice radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
works great
ON3TVC Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2016 15:23 Send this review to a friend
Simple but the best for me  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Have it now almost one year in daily mobile use. Since the last firmware updates it is perfect in use. Loaded all the dmr id callsigns worldwide in the transceiver. Also the amount of channels is amazing. It is not a modern looking transceiver but it is easy in use. Very good radio reports also.
WB8NUT Rating: 5/5 Jun 30, 2016 07:41 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio, Solid Performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I read some of the previous reviews and was quite puzzled by some of the comments. Not saying they did not have the experiences they noted, but I have not had similar experiences and I use this radio all the time without issue.

I purchased the radio a year ago in June 2015. At that time the radio worked well, but the firmware had a ways to go. I can now say that the firmware is very well along, the radio has tremendous functionality for hams (can have 2000 channels and over 64,000 contacts - no other DMR radio I know of has this capability).

With this amount of space to store contacts, I am able to load the entire database of worldwide amateur DMR users. So when they make a call, or I am conversing with them, their call and name appears instead of the meaningless registration number which you will find on other DMR radios limited to 1000 or so contacts.

The radio is stable. I have none of the issues previously mentioned. Complete instructions on upgrading the firmware for the radio and the panel are available for download on the Connect Systems website. I have upgraded the radio firmware at least 8 times and have upgraded the panel firmware at least three times - each time using the instructions I downloaded from their website.

The audio is excellent. The buttons on both the radio panel and the mic are all programmable. I have the radio customized exactly like I want it to operate.

Unlike many DMR radios, the CS800 can now be programmed without having to use the software program (free download), some people call it "front panel programming" since it is usually associated with a handheld.

The CS800 comes with mic, mounting bracket, power cable and programming cable.

If you want to DMR radio for mobile or home shack use, and don't want to pay a fortune for a Motorola commercial radio and software subscription, for under $290, this is a great value.

Oh, one final thought, while the radio is made in China, it does have U.S. support from Connect Systems. That is another reason to buy it is the excellent support if something were to go wrong.
KT4WO Rating: 3/5 Jun 22, 2016 02:47 Send this review to a friend
Ehhh...Here too  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had many of he issues the gent. below has had.
I also have motos that work fine.

KC7YRA Rating: 3/5 Jun 21, 2016 17:15 Send this review to a friend
Ehhh. It works most of the time  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Owned this for the past 6 months and have put it through the paces. Here are my findings.

First the pros. The radio is affordable, the CPS is easy to use, and the radio generally works quite well.

Now the cons. BUGGY!!! Everything about this unit is buggy to the point of barely being acceptable. The display will lock up often. If you are receiving a conversation on a distant repeater then drive out of range, the display will continue to show the last heard ID and whatever data you have programmed for it. You either must restart the radio or transmit to get it to pop back.

The other issue I have is if I am sitting on a simplex frequency but scanning a repeater which is in use, I will then transmit on the simplex channel but the display will act as if I am transmitting on the received repeater (No, I do not have talkback turned on. Yes, I am sure it is actually transmitting on the simplex frequency).

Another problem I have been having is one where I will be having a conversation and suddenly others hear me briefly transmit then stop nearly a half second later, despite me keeping on the PTT and talking away. The only way to remedy this is to turn the radio off and back on again. This issue has been observed on several different units all running varying degrees of firmware.

Speaking of firmware, how does one go about upgrading it in the radio and head? The instructions are non existent and it is not intuitive AT ALL!! I own and upgrade firmware on everything from Motorola to Icom equipment without issue, but the CS stuff is killing me.

Our group has also had a couple situations where the radio will be performing correctly then, without any programming changes, spontaneously change the function of buttons. So, for example, if you lose the zone down button, you will reach the top of the zones you've created and be stuck. They are not cyclical like other manufacturers. The only fix is to haul out the programming equipment and blow in another CP.

The few issues I noted (and almost a dozen more) is why I'm not super stoked about this radio. It works KINDA, and it does it on a budget. Good enough for me in this particular use. But name brand commercial mobiles (of which I own several) all function perfectly. They are polished to a degree which I now expect. If CS can just get the bugs worked out in following firmware (then make a decipherable path to upgrade that firmware), they will have a competitive product.
NT9M Rating: 5/5 May 31, 2016 17:17 Send this review to a friend
Affordable DMR mobile  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I was surprised that there was just one review of this radio.

I've had my CS-800 for nearly a year now. Firmware's been updated a couple of times. Mine developed a strange problem that was temperature related. But I give kudos to Connect Systems for great support and taking care of their customers. It's been working great ever since.

I nearly purchased a Motorola mobile, but changed my mind and went with Connect Systems instead and it was the right decision for me. At nearly one-third the price I got a mobile that works analog and DMR with plenty of power and free programming software. I've heard plenty of Motorola's on the DMR system and they don't sound three times better on the air. Some sounded the like the audio was over-driven. I've always received good audio reports on my 800. I think much depends on how you handle the microphone of any radio.

There's a learning curve in setting up the radio since it's got more in common with LMR than the amateur service. But there are helpful videos on YouTube and many groups and state networks have code plugs you can adapt to your locale.

This is my second radio from Connect Systems. A CS 700 is the first and I love that radio. A solid 5 on that one. I would rank the CS 800 radio as a 4 and the customer experience with Connect Systems a solid 5. That's 4.5 and I'm rounding up to a 5 on this one.
W2AIQ Rating: 5/5 May 31, 2016 15:32 Send this review to a friend
Excellent level of quality  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
built in audio is fantastic, I cant imagine why someone would spend 3 times the amount for a Motorola? always get a good audio report and everyone on DMR sounds great, what a wonderful mode... a word of caution: when testing power output on ANY DMR radio, make sure you have it set to transmit on analog or you will get an extremely low reading unless you have a specialized power meter designed for DMR, and this radio can be set to transceive on both digital and analog, what a great piece of equipment for a great price, microphone appears to be identical to the tm-v71a's mic, as though they actually used the same mold. I dont however know if they are wired the same.
Will update review after a year, have so far loved it after 1 month.

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.