Intek M-490 Plus Review

Multi Standard AM/FM CB radio

Radio Supplied By White & McCarthy - Price: 105

Main Features:

Multi standard AM/FM Radio, 10 selectable bands

Large backlit LCD display, ESP modulation processor,

Memory channels, Scan, ANL, RF gain, Mic gain,

Digital S-Meter, Local/DX Attenuator, Dual Watch

First Impressions:

As you can see from the photograph the radio is a a very nice looking piece of kit. The LCD display is large and very easy to read, the controls are well laid out and easy to operate. The channel change is in the traditional right hand location and the microphone is the larger fist type not the now common smaller type. On the rear of the radio we find external speaker, PA speaker and S-Meter sockets.

The radio is factory set to the FM only CEPT 40 channel system. The first thing you need to do is to select the appropriate legal frequency bands for your country. In this case for the UK. The correct bands are selected by holding down the 'F' (Function) key whilst turning on the radio. You can then select the country code by rotating the channel selector - See below:

Country Code Country Specifications
I0 ITALY 40CH AM/FM 4W
I2 ITALY 36CH AM/FM 4W
DE GERMANY 80CH FM 4W - 12CH AM 1W
D2 GERMANY 40CH FM 4W - 12CH AM 1W
EU EUROPE 40CH FM 4W - 12CH AM 1W
CE CEPT 40CH FM 4W
SP SPAIN 40CH AM/FM 4W
FR FRANCE 40CH FM 4W - 40CH AM 4W
UK UNITED KINGDOM 40CH FM 4W UK - 40CH FM 4W CEPT
PL POLAND 40CH AM/FM 4W POLISH

After selecting the required bands you are ready to go. It should be noted that unlike many other modern radios this radio does not sound a loud beep when turning the radio on or when changing channel - A big plus in my opinion!

Features:

Local/DX switch - RF attenuator reduces distortion on very strong local signals

ANL(Automatic Noise Limiter) - Reduces electrical and electromagnetic interference (Works best on AM where permitted).

Large Backlit LCD - A very clear, easy to read LCD display which shows information on each enabled function suck as band, channel number/frequency readout (Toggle this by pressing and holding 'F' button for 2 seconds), Memory channel, operating mode (AM/FM), etc.

AM/FM Mode Button - Toggles between AM and FM (Only if allowed by programmed band) or in the case of the UK this button will switch between the UK40 and the CEPT frequency bands.

Scan Button - The radio will scan for any signals on the selected band.

LCR(Last Channel Recall) - Quick recall of the last used channel.

DW (Dual Watch) - Automatic monitoring of 2 channels.

EMG - Quick access to the Emergency channels 9 and 19.

ESP - This radio has a built in speech processor. When activated your outgoing modulation will be compressed. Incoming audio is expanded. This feature works best when talking to someone who is also using a radio with this facility.

Q.Up/Q.Down - At each press the channel number jumps 10 channels up or down.

Truck - This is a programmable one touch instant favourite channel selector.

M1/M2/M3/M4 - Four programmable memory channels.

Digital S-Meter - A 10 bar s-meter for accurate signal readings.

Verdict:

Pros: Multi standard AM/FM radio which can be expanded to cover 25-31MHz (Look on the web for yourself if you are interested). Loads of features for your money. Both incoming and outgoing audio is excellent. The radio has a good sensitive receiver. Controls are easy to use. The large LCD is very easy to see. The large fist microphone is comfortable and easy to use. A power microphone can be used with this radio (An adaptor may be required). No loud beeping when turning on the radio or changing channel. The radio comes with a very good operators manual which includes circuit layout diagrams.

Cons: No analogue s-meter. Digital s-meter is lazy (This can be rectified by making an adjustment to RV101 at the back of the board if you are feeling brave), Speech processor limited unless you are talking to someone who also has this feature on their radio.

Features: 09/10 No Analogue S-Meter
Appearance: 09/10 Again an Analogue S-Meter would look better
Ease of use: 09/10 Most controls/features are very easy to use
TX/RX performance: 10/10 As good as any radio I've tried
Value for money: 10/10 At only 5 more than I paid for a Binatone 5 Star way back in 1981
     
FINAL SCORE: 90%  

So am I happy with this radio?

Yep, I sure am. This radio performs well as a mobile or home base radio. The audio quality is good from the internal speaker and even better with an external speaker. The supplied microphone is of high quality and has channel Up/Down and Lock buttons on it - a very handy feature. The radio performs well with a power microphone. I tried a Cobra Dynamic style microphone and a base microphone when operating from home. Both microphones performed very well. Reports from other stations have all been excellent.

Many thanks to Jeff from White & McCarthy for supplying this excellent radio. Jeff would love to see you so why not pop into his shop sometime!



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