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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | CountyComm GP-5/SSB Help


Reviews Summary for CountyComm GP-5/SSB
CountyComm GP-5/SSB Reviews: 26 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $79.95
Description: Portable SWL receiver w/SSB
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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QRPNEW Rating: 3/5 Mar 24, 2019 05:35 Send this review to a friend
Good As a SSB portable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wanted a general purpose SSB portable receiver. The main criteria was stability and independent selection of USB/LSB/AM, which this radio does. I was not not expect the unit to compete with the better performing larger portables or desktop SWL radios. I mainly used this radio with a tuned magnet loop for finding QRM using a tuned loop. I also use this radio as general purpose ham band receiver when away from home or on holiday say camping etc.

Likes:

1. Portability
2. Stability
3. Battery life
4. Loud Volume
5. S-meter on AM

Dislikes:

1. Horrible tuning that is very ham unfriendly a real dog to tune. It would be nice if it had a dedicated ham band selection button. You can do it with the memories channels but it would be a lot better with a ham band only selection
2. No decent way to route or connect an external antenna. A BNC connector would have made a nice antenna connections. I hot glued a BNC and soldered a cable into the hole where the whip goes. The whip is basically useless for shortwave listening and ham band listening anyway. I use a cheap OPEK HF antenna plus small tuned loop when finding QRM around the neighborhood. Having the ability to connect an antenna quickly with a connector is really great.
3. The AGC on SSB is terrible, it pumps and overshoots. The SSB sounds OK but you can hear the pumping on strong signals.
4. It would be nice to have a half decent S-meter for finding QRM or tuning a peak with a magnetic loop. The S-meter only really works in a reliable manner on AM. Even the facility to plug in an external meter would be a great option for RFI work.
5. It would be nice to have a proper off switch that disconnects the batteries to prevent slow self drain. This way you can leave the radio in the trunk or GO bag etc
5. The MW loop stick is a bit small and not very sensitive. It would be nice if it was larger and covered the full marine and aircraft beacon bands.
6. They could broaden the appeal of this radio by having HAM Band Buttons, CB band Button and Marine band only buttons. I modified the radio to receive weather fax when sailing and it worked good.
7. I blew the front end out because I left it on in the car and later went onto the main station. I had to add small grain of wheat globe and some 1n4007 diodes to prevent this happening. Now I am not worried about static and front end blowout.


In short I have found the warts acceptable since the radio is so portable. I hope they offer an improved version that makes it a useful general purpose ham receiver and a excellent portable radio that has no match especially for Utility, QRM and ham band receiving. I do say even with the issues listed above its still a good buy.

 
KG7M Rating: 5/5 Mar 22, 2019 14:38 Send this review to a friend
Been Waiting 30 Years for this Rcvr   Time owned: months
I've been a SWL since age 10 and I am 67 now. Been a licensed ham since 1978. I have been looking for a Handheld General Coverage Receiver for thirty years. I've owned an Icom R-1, POS. An AOR AR-1500, crappy. AORs 8200, better, but dead without an outdoor antenna. And now the GP5.
What a great little receiver! And plenty sensitive. Hears as well as my Icom and Ten Tec transceivers, using the built-in rod antenna. I'm sure that those reviewers that commented that their GP5s were "dead", had defective units. In my area a few local hams rag chew on 27.385 MHz (CB Channel 38. Don't know why they don't use 10 Meters). Monitoring them on any of my station receivers, the strongest of the group is usually an S5. When I first tuned the GP5 to 27.385 LSB, there they were! And on the GP5s built-in antenna! My station receivers use a 130 foot End Fed Zep antenna. So for those who say it's "dead", or "dead above 20 mHz", sorry man. But you have a defective receiver.
Is it a pain in the rear to tune? It can be. The workaround is to store your favorite band segments and frequencies in the GP5s generous memories. Initially, it's time consuming to set it up, but we'll worth the effort.
Finally, the jack on top that accepts the rotatable mediumwave rod antenna, also works as an antenna input on the shortwave frequencies. I am definitely purchasing a second GP5 for backup. I highly recommend the GP5.
 
KC3BKJ Rating: 2/5 Dec 2, 2018 03:15 Send this review to a friend
A pig to tune  Time owned: more than 12 months
The radio is very difficult to tune using any of the three prescribed tuning methods. There is no way to pump in a frequency because there is no numeric keypad and since the radio goes right across the spectrum, there is a huge span to cover especially in SW.

You can use the numerous memory slots to help you get to places quicker, but the instructions are so poorly written in Chinglish that they make no sense at all and figuring out the steps is almost like having no manual at all. There is some help on YouTube but it's very basic and spotty.

These people need to publish a manual in English.
 
KM4OBL Rating: 5/5 Aug 12, 2018 02:34 Send this review to a friend
Good Value and Performance - With Minor Shortcomings  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For its price point, this radio seems like a good value. My GP5 SSB Gen 3 is very sensitive and selective for its size. I find the controls intuitive and easy to use compared to the older GP-4 and my Degen 1102. Setting memories and tuning SSB is easy. There are plenty of features here for the money.

Minor shortcomings are the "chuffing" while turning the tuning knob on shortwave, and the fact that there are no "number keys" you can press to tune to an exact frequency without turning the tuning dial. Yes, you must tune through all the frequencies with the tuning dial, but you can also skip to various shortwave bands using the "up" and "down" shortwave tuning buttons, so that greatly reduces the amount of time you have to spend turning the tuning knob.

The amber backlight is great, and the radio will run a long time on three AA cells. You can leave some NiMH cells in the radio and use the included charging cable to charge the radio, if desired. The radio also comes with a soft case with belt loop, earbuds and a plug-in extended shortwave antenna. The telescopic whip antenna is nice and long - and seems to work well. A separate rotating ferrite AM antenna is also included with the radio - which is very effective at tuning AM (MW) signals.

For emergency use, easy portability, or your bail out bag, I think this radio is a good bargain. It uses the same DSP chip as the PL-880, which explains why it is relatively sensitive and selective for its price.
 
KG4RUL Rating: 1/5 Jun 6, 2018 13:05 Send this review to a friend
Doesn't Deliver the Goods  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
While conceptually this seems like a great radio, in practice it is a PITA to use. Tuning to a specific frequency requires minutes of rotating a thumb-wheel tuning device. If you use their Easy Tuning Mode (ETM) (just a scanner that automatically active frequencies into memory), the results are less than stellar. Compared to an emergency radio from China that cost half as much, it is virtually deaf. A DEFINITE no-buy recommendation from me.
 
N2MFG Rating: 5/5 May 31, 2018 21:30 Send this review to a friend
Bought 5 over 3 years - love it  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a gem of a SSB radio. A great value under $90. Perfectly sized to carry and a emergency go bag or on the belt hiking or on the go. You cannot beat the sensitivity, solid good performance & easy to use ETM frequency function for search & save into memory. 450 memories spanning AM/FM and SW-SSB bands. Has a convenient USB 5 volt power port that will also charge internal rechargeable AA cells (takes alkaline as well) or for direct power.
 
W6CAW Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2018 17:26 Send this review to a friend
WOW!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
WOW! What a great radio. Now I can listen to Ham radio anywhere. Great sensitivity and tons of features.
 
K5TTE Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2018 21:58 Send this review to a friend
Decent CW reception  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I cant add much more to the satisfactory reviews from other hams.
But since Im a CW nut, I was pleasantly surprised that this
pocket lightweight radio provides decent Morse reception.
The BFO feature allows precise manual tuning of a CW signal - essentially a fine-tuning bandspread function that a CW operator will appreciate.
 
N0TLD Rating: 4/5 Dec 24, 2017 22:46 Send this review to a friend
Cute fun  Time owned: more than 12 months
If the rating was purely about the coolness and fun factor, it would be 6+. This little thing is very enjoyable to use, for me anyway.

It performs remarkably well for its size and design -- the MW ferrite antenna actually turns and nulls noise and other signals; SSB reception is not difficult to tune in and it STAYS tuned in.

One feature I really enjoy is ETM, or Easy Tuning Mode, which is its ability to scan the FM and/or AM bands for stronger, local signals and put all of them in temporary memory without using up real memory slots (of which there are 100 AM, 100 FM and 250 SW), which you can cycle through with the push of a (little!) button. This adds a LOT to its usefulness as a traveling radio -- its form factor and size are excellent for travel, and the ETM brings you local radio stations in a new place in as little time as a minute. That is a very good travel radio.

I'm quite convinced that the reviewer who claimed it was 'deaf as a stone' had a broken/damaged radio -- I've used mine for two years now, as well as given a number of them as gifts and have put all of them through their paces first, and they are ALL quite sensitive and perform much as my Tecsun 660 performs. If you "can't hear a thing" even with an external antenna connected, then the problem is with that particular radio, not the design itself.

It may not be a powerhouse DXing radio but it is certainly NOT deaf as a stone. Try another unit and see.

I don't like the lack of a visual S meter, replaced with a numerical system that is just tedious and clutters the already packed display. A common LCD bar line would have been perfect.

I don't like the on board audio, but of course it's a tiny radio, you can't expect it to be loud and rich. But through the headphones, it is very warm, rich and worthy.

I don't like the lack of a numerical keypad -- tuning can be a pain in the ass across large sections of spectrum. I got around this, though, by putting a few freq's in memory for each HAM and SW band, so that scrolling through memory I am never far from where I want to tune. It greatly eases tuning!

But overall I love this thing. It performs quite well, feels solid and not cheap, has SSB, and stereo through headphones, and fits in a coat pocket. It puts the fun back in functional!

 
KF7SLM Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2017 15:03 Send this review to a friend
Real value for the price.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It does what all the others promised,I bought over the years and didn't deliver. The ETM function is a dream. Just the whip hears a lot when in a hurry. The audio is good. It fits in my shirt pocket like some of the newer HTs. $10 more now than the price listed. The guys in the club assumed it didn't have SSB. Nice that it has a charger for NiCads & NiMh. Great when you are on HF and can check the signal. I would buy it again in a heart beat.That says a lot for 79 & counting



 
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