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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | CIR Astro 200 Help

Reviews Summary for CIR Astro 200
CIR Astro 200 Reviews: 1 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $995.00
Description: digitally tuned SSB transceiver
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
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PC5F Rating: 4/5 Nov 21, 2011 23:58 Send this review to a friend
Solid State rarity  Time owned: more than 12 months
The CIR Astro 200 is a "solid state" 100 watt HF transceiver from 1977. It is quite compact and light compared to transceivers from the period (weighs only 8 pounds=3.6 kg). Evidently meant for mobile use. External 12-14v power supply and external speaker needed. It covers the 5 classical bands, SSB and CW with semi break-in. Controls are standard with a few extra's such as fine-tuning, VOX and display brightness. Some controls are only accessible after taking off the cover (VOX controls, sidetone, meter controls, AGC).
The CIR Astro 200 is a precursor of the better-known Cubic Astro 150. As far as I have been able to determine, the CIR company (in California) was taken over by Swan in 1978 (was CIR too small to compete with the big companies with the result that not enough Astro 200's were sold ? - there are just a few of these on offer second-hand, maybe 1 or 2 a year in the online auctions); Swan renamed the Astro 200 to Astro 200A; within a few years Swan was incorporated by Cubic; Cubic produced the Astro 150 and others in the Astro line for some time and some versions were used by government.
Now for the pros and cons. Pros: a very stable VFO for a unit from the 70's (it's a "synthesizer vfo"); furthermore very good performance in using voice; the Astro 200 has a built in speech processor (can't be switched off); reasonably sensitive to weaker signals. Cons: I couldn't work in digital modes with the unit: it wouldn't read most signals - maybe this has to do with the synthesizer vfo ?; next con is that the vfo has a startup time of some minutes (you will hear random oscillations during startup); then there is the exotic tuning method by using 2 spring-loaded switches (one for fast tuning up/down, the other for slow up/down) - this is more tiresome and takes more time compared to a normal large tuning knob - on the other hand these switches are less likely to be prone to accidental frequency change by a swish of the hand.
The cons aren't critical and all in all as a basic transceiver used for voice it does it's job well and is also suited for mobile use.
I got lucky, buying this unit with a matching power supply and a matching external speaker on Ebay Germany in October 2009 for about 30 euros - a low price, probably because it's pretty much unknown in Germany; it just needed a repair for a fried resistor and some tlc, so this was a great find.


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