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Reviews For: CountyComm GP-5/SSB

Category: Receivers: General Coverage

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Review Summary For : CountyComm GP-5/SSB
Reviews: 29MSRP: 79.95
Portable SWL receiver w/SSB
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
GRUMPY2021 Rating: 2021-08-25
Don't believe all you hear on Youtube Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
After listening to the Youtube "used car salesman" I bought into the sales pitch of how wonderful it is. No. It's not user friendly at all. It's just a strange quirky radio and I won't even think about the updated version with a keypad. That is just more lipstick. I threw mine in the trash.
N8VZ Rating: 2021-08-25
Looks good, works not so great Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I will have to agree with K0CRX, this radio is a dud. It has extremely low sensitivity. It's user ugly to operate. It's tall & thin form factor is awkward. I recently purchased another pocket-sized radio -- the C Crane SkyWave SSB. This radio beats the GP-5 SSB Gen 3 hands down -- better form factor, easier to operate, direct frequency entry, better sensitivity, logical button placement, readable buttons, etc. The only real use I've found for GP-5 SSB is to use the rotating AM antenna to find the sources of RFI in the shack or around the house. It's more a test instrument than a radio.
KC3RT Rating: 2021-07-29
Great AM Receiver when it worked Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I liked the small size and convenience of tuning the ham bands and AM broadcast when on vacation trips. The unit is hard to tune just like others have stated. The battery life is fantastic.

The biggest disappointment is the ferrite bar. When it works it is great for dxing the AM band but unfortunately the receptacle is very cheap and did not hold up well. The receptacle contacts gets loose with age and the ferrite bar no longer mates well. Without the ferrite bar the AM band is dead.
LNXAUTHOR Rating: 2020-06-14
limited by SiLabs 4735 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
ordered from Countycomm, although you can buy online from Universal Radio, or from offshore as a Tecsun PL-365.. Countycomm shipped fast, with rig double-packed..

what's missing: no freq sorting and dupe removal like the PL-660; no air band; no NOAA WX; no selectable AM filters (like the inexpensive PL-380)

recvr has SSB, which is enabled with a long-press via a button, then toggled from USB->LSB, with a long-press to return to AM

you'll note a delay when enabling SSB (with the upper-right display icon flickering); this is because this feature, lacking on the PL-360, is accomplished via a binary blob firmware hack which loads code into the receiver's CPU - not the fastest execution, but it works

you also have the ability to change Hz tuning rate, and you can enable fine-tuning of SSB reception, a nice feature; i was able to listen to a 40M roundtable three states away from my chair inside a block concrete tiled house; plenty of memories; AM BCB reception is great, even without using the included ferrite jack; FM reception is very good, and i was able to pull in a distant station.. like the PL-660, you can get a bit better audio on distant FM by turning off stereo; SW is good, but Radio Havana always seems to come thru strong; also listened to VOA, but do not know where tx originates

battery life is excellent, and nimh batteries inside can be charged in the rcvr using a small 7W solar panel; radio did NOT come with a mini (not micro!) usb cable

buttons are small and not backlit; you'll need a flashlight to quickly operate in the dark

i don't find navigating freqs difficult at all with this little portable - i use stored freqs then just copy to the VFO as needed - there are plenty of memories too: 350 ETM and 450 regular... ETM scans are using morning and evening for SWL, regular scans are used for BCB AM/FM, and for ham bands i have multiple memories for each band - navigating is easy!

it is compact and comes w/clip and pouch - spare antennas are available (good for clumsy oafs like me who have a tendency to bend or break them)

it was $10 cheaper than my PL-660 purchased a week earlier, which could make this receiver just about the least expensive general coverage receiver with SSB on the market

i like the GP-5 and it is now a part of our bugout bag
QRPNEW Rating: 2019-03-24
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.


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


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.

Earlier 3-star review posted by QRPNEW on 2015-12-29

I bought this as a replacement for the Degen SSB receiver. I wanted precise frequency tuning with USB and LSB. I also wanted it as a replacement for my Icom R20 which i used for hunting down RFI. The Icom is too expensive to leave in the back of the pickup!

S meter wont stay on when Sideband is selected
No mode CW mode position
Tuning is fiddly for ham use
NO EXTERNAL antenna socket. The clip on long wire picks up too much noise and even a 3.5mm antenna connector like on the Degen would have been acceptable. I am thinking of modifying the MW or headphone jacks as an external antenna jack. A Stereo jack could be used for the antenna. One connection for MW and one for shortwave antenna.
Sensitivity could be better. The Degen 1103 is more sensitive on the whip.


MW and LW works well with the ferrite bar antenna. I had no problems hearing aero beacons and direction finding their direction

Shortwave tuning and memory tuning is OK

Size and AA batteries are excellent features.
Direct volume control is nice without having to use a menu.


I see a lot of potential for this little receiver.
If it was made more ham friendly, improved sensitivity, improved user interface, S-meter on SSB, and a better ham user interface it would make a nice Shortwave general purpose RX. If this was done and a MUTE was added that allowed for transmit it would make a nice QRP receiver for use with homebrew QRP transmitters. The main reason that I bought it was finding all the crud in the house from switch mode power supplies. It excels as a RFI receiver.

KG7M Rating: 2019-03-22
Been Waiting 30 Years for this Rcvr Time Owned: N.A.
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: 2018-12-02
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: 2018-08-12
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: 2018-06-06
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: 2018-05-31
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.