Intek DRS-5070 Review

Radio Supplied By Thunderpole

Features:

8 Channels PMR446 + 69 channels LPD433, 38 CTCSS Tones

Roger Bleep On/Off, Digital S/RF Meter, Adjustable Squelch

Backlit LCD Display, 8 Memory Channels

High/Low Power (500mw/10mw), Scan, Dual Watch

VOX, Power Save, Power Supply/Charger Included

4 Watts RF and Voice Scrambler (Export Version Only)

Price 78.29

 

This radio is basically a home base version of the Intek MT-5050, with the same features and software. The case has been used on several radios in the past such as the XT1000 which we covered back in 2003. The build quality is excellent and the radio has a large, easy to read LCD display which shows the selected channel, CTCSS, power setting etc. The radio comes complete with a power supply/battery charger, and an easy to follow instruction manual. The radio also has a longer antenna than found on most PMR446 radios, which should give it an advantage for those of you who like to get the most out of their radios. As the export version of the radio covers most of the 70cm band, licenced amateur radio operators may like to know that the antenna can easily be removed as it is only held in place by a small screw. A BNC connector fits perfectly into the hole in place of the antenna, allowing you to connect the radio to an external antenna.

 

Controls:

The buttons are a good size and easy to operate. All of the main features are accessed via the MENU button and are adjusted using the UP/DOWN buttons.

The radio also has a SCAN button which doubles as a keylock, a MON(Monitor) button which opens the squelch, volume UP/DOWN buttons, a backlight button which doubles as the SCAMBLER on the export version,  a CALL button, and of course the PTT and POWER buttons.

The microphone can be seen to the left of the CALL button.

An external speaker/microphone can be attached by using the sockets on the side of the radio. This means that professional microphones can be used. I tried a Yaesu microphone and it worked very well indeed.

The audio quality from the internal speaker is very good and outgoing audio was also of a very high quality. The units microphone is very sensitive and you can actually use the radio at arms length without any major problems.

Just as with the Intek MT-5050 a major advantage of this radio is that you can adjust the squelch level. The squelch can be set from 0(Squelch open) to 6(Only very strong signals are heard). I found that I could set the squelch to number 1 without any breakthrough from noise or static, thus I was able to hear weak stations that simply could not be heard on other PMR radios. This effectively increases the maximum range of the radio.

The LCD display is very clear and shows all of the relevant information required to operate the radio.

The radio can be used as a desk top unit or can be vertically mounted on the wall. The antenna swivels through 360 degrees to ensure that it can remain vertical at all times.

The radio can transmit whilst being powered from the mains. I had been worried that there may be a mains hum when doing this but in fact no mains hum was present.

Although designed as a home base radio, the radio is very portable and can be powered by 5xAA rechargeable batteries which can be charged by the supplied power supply/charger. If you don't have rechargeable batteries it is possible to use alkaline instead. If this is the case there is a switch on the top side of the radio to prevent the radio attempting to charge the alkaline batteries.

On The Air:

Initial testing took place with the Intek DRS-5070 at home and me going out mobile with another radio. Reliable communication was maintained throughout my tests which covered most of my local town up to a range of about 2 miles.

I then drove to a local high point at a distance of about 4 miles. Communication became scratchy at times whilst I was in the car (Not surprising due to the screening effect of the car body) but as soon as I got out the car a very clear, strong contact was made once again.

Later in the day I asked some of the local CB stations to go on the air on PMR446 to give me a further check. I used the DRS-5070 from the top of our local pit heap and managed to speak to several stations including: Stan - 1 mile, David - 1 mile, Arthur - 3 miles, Derek 5 miles, Peter 5 miles, John - 13 miles. Most of these stations had previously helped me review the Intek MT-5050, and they all agreed that the DRS-5070 performed to the same level as the MT-5050, with very clear outgoing audio. Again although the radio is designed for home base use I found it very easy to use portable. Mind you it probably looked a bit strange and there was no way I could put it in my pocket!!!!

Conclusion:

As stated at the start of this review the Intek DRS-5070 is basically a home base version of the MT-5050. So I was expecting a good solid performance from the radio and that is exactly what I got. The incoming and outgoing audio are both excellent. The adjustable squelch makes this a very sensitive radio that can pick up stations that other radios simply cannot.

Previous attempts at home base PMR446 radios have not lived up to expectations but this radio is a true home base PMR446. The ability to use the radio on the mains means you can leave it on all the time. The addition of an external speaker/microphone really makes you feel like your using a proper home base. This is UHF CB in all but name!!!!

Many thanks to Thunderpole for supplying the radio.

PLEASE MENTION 'DELBOY' WHEN CONTACTING THUNDERPOLE


More Information:

Click the thumbnail to see an image of the inside of the radio >

At the top of the image you can see the heat sink on the output transistor and the small screw that holds the antenna to the board.

This image shows a close up of the output transistor  >

A short video showing the Intek DRS-5070 >


Power/Frequency Modification:

It should be noted that all tests were carried out with the standard European 500mw radio and NOT with the export version which can give 4 watts of output power. For details of the 4 watt, expanded frequency modification please visit my UNOFFICIAL UHF CB PAGE. Thunderpole WILL NOT  modify this radio and any modifications made to the radio will render the warranty void.


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