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Reviews Categories | Ham Repeater Controllers | Arcom RC210 Help

Reviews Summary for Arcom RC210
Reviews: 36 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $349
Description: 3 port repeater controller with natural speech and very reasonably priced
Product is in production.
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KD8RYP Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2017 16:12 Send this review to a friend
Works Great for my requirements  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered the RC-210 in kit form. The instructions were pretty clear (I could pick around at a few things) and I managed to get all the components installed in about 6 hours solder time. I am very cautious and use a multimeter to check for shorts and traces as I solder to avoid issues when complete.

Upon trying to program by DTMF, it became apparent that I needed to use the windows software. Doing small programming changes by DTMF is easy and no big deal but if you are wanting to set the controller up from scratch, the windows software is a must.

There is a lot of features that makes this controller very flexible. It's very well priced for all the capabilities it has. I'm currently running it on 2 motorola CDM series radio's and an Alinco DR-235 220MHz link radio. All the connections were very straightforward and easy.

I would recommend this controller. Pro's and Con's are listed below:

Pro's -
- Highly flexible.
- Windows Programming Software makes programming very easy.
- Voice speech is very smooth and sounds great.
- Great customer service/support.

Con's -
- The three voice ID's rotate. This makes it difficult to designate one as a welcome message on the repeater. This could be a programming issue on my end but I haven't found a solution yet. Anyways, not really a big deal for me.
- Real Time Clock is external. The clock function relies on an external chip to keep the time. This doesn't really bother me but I'd like to see it already added on the original RC-210 board.
AA8HS Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2016 19:09 Send this review to a friend
Great but be careful of ADR interface  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The controller is great but I must caution users about the ADR interface for the Yaesu DR-1 Fusion repeater. There is a yellow wire that is a PTT sensing wire that must be added to a cable in the DR-1 repeater. Our wire was installed to a custom cable at the factory but not insulated. Thus, it intermittently shorted to the exposed ground in the cable and caused the controller to fail. If you use the ADR interface, inspect Arcom's work first!
N2XPM Rating: 5/5 Feb 17, 2016 17:42 Send this review to a friend
Still Going Strong!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Since my last post in 2005, the Controller is still going strong and has been updated to the latest firmware. I am extremely happy with the performance so far and I can't see why anyone would rate this controller anything less then a FIVE. Still cheaper then most controllers, but delivers a huge value compared to the other more expensive devices on the Market. Besides, Customer Service is second to none....All calls and emails are answered in a timely fashion....KUDOS
AB3PJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 14, 2014 05:24 Send this review to a friend
Great Controller!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Only in service a month, but by far the easiest to work with. Setting it up, getting cable made up, no question it is easy to do. Programming via laptop the best. We also set up a PC with remote desktop function to make changes from the comfort of home. Ken and the Yahoo Group the best to work with. As far as the price, very competitive.
VE3GRW Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2014 19:13 Send this review to a friend
GO ARCOM RC-210  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just a few words to say I have had many controllers over the years, but the RC-210 is the Ultimate controller for serious repeater owners.

This controller is quality built and I love all the features it presently has.
Previous comments made here have all been addressed. This controller is Rock Solid.

This controller can be bought in kit form or already assembled and tested. Some of the true hams enjoy building the kit and also learn about their controller at the same time. The price for the RC-210 are the most reasonable there is.

What makes this controller stand out is the real human speech for the word list. None of that synthesized speech like old controllers use. This is a modern and up to date controller for the discerning repeater owner and user.

No more sending in long strings of dtmf to program the controller. All programming is done from the comfort of a laptop that I use. The computer software to program this is great. There is no better. Even though this controller has everything you could possibly want, Arcom is always working on something new to add to their controller for the repeater owner. I would think that they will come out with new goodies in 2014 for this controller.

The RC-210 has a dvr that can be used for custom IDís or courtesy tones etc. Programming the dvr with audio tracks is very simple and the audio tracks sound perfect. The dvr can also be set up to use like a echo to record yourself going in and then it will play you back. Great for checking your signal both in and out.

If you have a Doug Hall RBI-1, then this is the controller for you. Lots of flexibility. I like the memory channels that can be setup. Other controllers do not have this feature.
The audio going through this controller is perfect. The audio that goes in is what comes out. The tail on the 210 is quiet and perfect. I mention this as other controller builders audio does not sound as good and they have noisy tails. The Rc-210 excels at the best audio in the business.

The support with the RC-210 is the Best there is. Ken provides a Yahoo Group forum where he answers any questions quickly. He is also just a phone call away and will provide any assistance with a Smile. Ken is a great guy who is always willing to help. I say that Arcom provides the Best customer service in this industry.

If youíre looking for a Rock Solid controller with the Best support then Go Arcom.
K7DAA Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2013 16:14 Send this review to a friend
Very Powerful Controller That's Easy to Work With  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been very pleased with this controller. Based on my experiences, I believe that all of N5UWY's comments from more than two years ago have been addressed. This controller has lots of flexibility, and a good set of defaults, including a nice set of courtesy tones that are already there.

We get very good support via a very active Yahoo Group, and Ken at Arcom is super at dealing with any questions people have. He is very upbeat and positive, and very easy to work with. There are regular firmware updates with improvements and bug fixes. On my last site visit, I updated my controller to version 6.01 in about 3 minutes with my laptop computer plugged in to the built-in serial port. Nothing to it!

I have my Arcom 210 set up with the following configuration at a site with no commercial power, so it is running as a full-time solar-charged battery system:

Port 1: 40 watt UHF repeater
Port 2: Full-duplex 2 watt RF link to my VHF repeater and IRLP computer 4 miles away
Port 3: 5 or 25 watt VHF remote base using a Kenwood TM-271A transceiver (yes, I dialed the power down a bit)

Support for all of this stuff is built in. The controller does a great job of handling a number of VHF/UHF/HF transceivers for remote base operation. My users love our frequency-agile 2 meter remote operation.

I decided to have some Halloween fun this year, so using the RC-210's DVR, I recorded a witch's cackle and a ghost howl. It was easy to program the controller to randomly insert these sounds. The witch did her thing as part of every third time the repeater ID'ed (about every 30 minutes), and the ghost made his appearance every 11 times the repeater transmitter dropped out. To most users, it appeared pretty random, not overly intrusive, and sparked a number of laughs during the evening commute!

I'm planning to buy another one soon so that I can have all of this flexibility on my 2 meter repeater as well. There is just no competition for this controller in the same price range. I own four other controllers, and none of them come close.

Reliability has been great, with no problems whatsoever. My RC-210 is running my full-time solar-powered UHF system, and just keeps on ticking. What more can I say?


Dave - K7DAA
WA3GIN Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2013 05:44 Send this review to a friend
Robust Audio / Reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
If you can understand what you read you can easily set-up the RC-210 for most applications. The option selections are relatively easy to understand and easy to verify. We got four of these units. They've been on-line for over 6 years w/o any faults or failures.

I've read some reviews of this product that were less than glowing. Not sure what the issues were but we've found ARCOM to be very helpful with questions. The product is rock solid! We operate the units in dense RF environments with a mix of VHF, UHF, Public Safety 800 and Cell transmitters w/o issue. If you are having an issue you did something wrong -- read the manual again ;-) and apply common sense installation best practices for intense RF environments.
W4MAA Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2012 14:37 Send this review to a friend
Great controller for price  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
We purchased the controller to replace a blown up CAT-400 controller that is no longer supported, thank goodness. We have had the new controller supporting 2 repeaters and 1 frequency agile remote base and have had no problems. Programming is somewhat simple and if you read the manuals or use the RCP software its a snap. Lots of powerful tools and features are used in the RC-210 controller. When ordered we got all three delay boards and the 19 inch rack mount. Lots of support is available online and makes it a win win.
N5UWY Rating: 2/5 Jul 19, 2011 19:11 Send this review to a friend
Very complicated, uneven support  Time owned: more than 12 months
People seems to either think this controller is the greatest thing *evah* or that it sucks and we don't think it's the former.

Documentation was written by the designer. He has all the details straight in his head, but he seems unable to get it down on paper in an understandable manner. Way short on theory of operation and very few examples.

The controller has many, many features, but almost no reasonable defaults. Example: you can make 10 courtesy tones per port each with up to 4 segments of 1 or 2 tones each with variable delays between segments. But there are no default tones - every tone has to be programmed from scratch.

The optional programming software is getting better and doesn't seem as fragile as it did a few versions back (not nearly as many crashes, for example). Sadly, there is no way to map the DTMF commands listed in the manual with equivalent options in the software. This makes it difficult to keep your config file in sync with commands you may have sent OTA between site visits.

Our 20+ year old RC85 may not have as many features, but it's not a struggle to program and tweak.
KJ7YL Rating: 3/5 Nov 21, 2010 08:12 Send this review to a friend
Audio routing issue  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Ham Radio club I belong purchased a RC-210 to replace the RLC-3 controller that was in use for the past fifteen years. After we installed the new controller we discovered that is/was a loss of functionality with our simulcast system with the Autopatch Board installed.

When an over the user dials an Autopatch on a specific port (port 1) for example the Telco audio will be routed back to the same port. This would not be a problem if the ports are always used in a stand alone configuration. The problem is that when the ports a linked and Autopatch call is made the controller will continue to route the caller audio (over the air audio) to the other linked port, but the Telco audio will not be. In other words, a person listening to the Autopatch call on port that is linked to the port that made call will only hear half of the conversation (the over the air audio) but not the Telco Audio.

I also found that if a call is in progress on port 1 and a user tries to make call from port 2, the controller will try to dial a second call. When this happens the controller will possibly go into a feedback loop depending on which second port is used.

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