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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | BK Radio EPH-5102S Help


Reviews Summary for BK Radio EPH-5102S
BK Radio        EPH-5102S Reviews: 4 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $890.00
Description: Commercial VHF hand held radio usable on 2 meter amateur band also avalible in a UHF model
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.relm.com/pages/products/portable/bkportab.htm#top
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W7KFO Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2011 17:59 Send this review to a friend
Heavy Duty & Versatile  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
As a Search and Rescue volunteer I needed a heavy duty radio that would (legally) cover the SAR frequencies as well as the 2 meter HAM band. The EPH satisfies completely, and is available at low cost. Programming is a snap, and the battery life far exceeds most "pocket size" HAM transceivers. Accessories are readily available on the used market, and programming software is also readily available.

Firefighters prefer BK radios for endurance and field programming/cloning abilities. ARES/RACES HAMs should give the EPH a look.
 
KD6MHO Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2006 08:10 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
These radios pretty much use the same parts hardware wise all the way down the line, emphasizing practicallity over profit margin unlike another "M" ajor manufacturer. They are VERY rugged and simple to operate. (No tiny displays or buttons) These radios were designed to operate in harsh enviornments. They are big and ugly but built like a tank to survive conditions even the "submersible" amateur sets would cringe at.

The transmit and receive audio are of excellent quality. It is nice to find a commercial grade radio that is truly field programmable. I love the way BK has upgraded the firmware in their radios yet kept to the same basic hardware and operating methods across the line, making users of the older models already familiar with the new line.

If you can come across one of these at a good price, I'd grab it.
 
K7IHC Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2003 04:40 Send this review to a friend
Public-safety quality radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned an EPH-5102S 210 ch radio for over two years. It was purchased new. There is also a metal cased version of the EPH, as well as UHF models known as EPU series. It would be awesome if BK Radio made a dual-band EPH/EPU radio.

To those used to the micro-size amateur H/T radios, this unit is somewhat large and heavy. The case is an old design (King Radio), but with updated internals. This enables it to use the numerous King/Bendix-King accessories that have been around for many years. The Calif Dept of Forestry & Fire Protection (CDF), U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and many other federal, state, and local agencies have used thousands of B-K portables for more than a decade. The military also uses a version of the radio.

Enabling the EPH for use in the 144-148 MHz range requires a one-time software programming. The program is easy to obtain and is free. Then, the radio has a TX/RX range of 144-174 MHz.

Using the radio is different than using a typical ham H/T, as the B-K's channels are arranged in 15 groups of 14 channels. Through a programming cable and software, a group scan function can be enabled to allow one to scan all 210 channels. In normal use, one usually sticks to one group at a time. I like to program my groups for separate areas or regions that I work, live in, or travel to. Switching groups only takes three or four keypresses (#, group number, #)
The audio output of the B-K portable is outstanding. Full volume is approx 500 mW, and it has a good, slightly bassy tone. Three toggle switches on top control the output power (hi/lo), scan on/off, and priority channel on/off. The radio has CTCSS and DCS tone capabilities. It can also have user-selectable tone *swapping* between channels. That can enable you to easily make one channel use the tone characteristics of another within that channel group.
A plethora of accessories are available for the B-K portable. Remote speaker/mics, belt holsters, spring steel belt clip, full 1/4 wave flex antenna, and AA *clamshell* battery pack are some of them. The AA battery pack enables one to use 9 AA alkaline cells to power the radio at full output power, not a lower level like most ham H/T AA packs do. Several versions of NiCd and NiMH batteries are available. There are also several types of battery chargers (including *ConvertaCom* style w/ external mic/speaker/ant connections) for home and vehicle use.

The radio is front panel programmable after two pins of the side connector are briefly shorted with a paper clip or penknife tip. It is not as easily programmed as a typical ham H/T, but with 210 channels, one can setup the radio with all their popular 2m freqs and rarely need to alter the programming. The Windows-based programming software is easily available, and the expensive ($100+) cable can be made with about $8 of common electronics parts and a $15 B-K accessory connector or a cannibalized speaker/mike.

The alpha-numeric display has 8 large digits, so most channel/repeater names can be displayed in full. There is no provision to toggle between frequency and channel name, as in most ham units.
The radio is easy to use with gloves on, and has a large PTT switch. The battery is securely attached with a twist-lock method.
The radio is very durable, and is built to MIL specs.
The antenna connection is a 5/16-32 thread, which makes it much more durable than the common SMA found on most ham rigs. A BNC connection is an option. The radio's side connector has a 50 ohm antenna connection in 1/8 in. mono miniplug size. This enables one to make an external antenna connection from a shielded miniplug and a length of RG-58 cable. Plugging into the side antenna connector disconnects the rubber ducky from the transmitter, so you don't have to remove the top-mount antenna to use an external remote whip.

The resale value remains high on late-model 210 ch EPH radios, if you want to sell it at some later time.

Good support can be found through the BK_radio Yahoo group.
All in all, this is one rugged radio that will last a long time.
 
KB9WZD Rating: 5/5 Jun 30, 2003 21:56 Send this review to a friend
Great radio for heavy use  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This radio is built like a brick and almost as heavy but is extreamly durable and has great battery life on 8 AA cells I am averging 20 to 24 hours of use and that is scaning the most used frequencys in our county. It is a commercial radio and needs to be set up to work on the ham band but that is only a matter of runnig a simple program from relm to down band it the radio has 210 channels aranged in 15 banks of 14 channels it has 8 caracter alphanumaric labeling

The best part is that it is Keypad programable that makes it easy to use and great for ham use.

it costs about $650.00 new and considerably less used

BK Radio AKA Bendix King or just king has a long history of great Hand helds most of which are keypad programable one of the best sources of info on them is:

http://www.commrepairdepot.com/commrepairdepot/

He can awnser all of the questions you may have.

I gave it a 5 because it beats icon yeasu kenwood and alinco ham radio hand helds hands down it is more durable, has longer battery life, and if far better in intermod preformance

If you can stand a full size radio and don't mind the cost it is one of the best radios on the market give it a try you won't be let down as they have been making this same type of radio for almost 2 decades it is a well proven design and worth your time
 


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