My Reviews


SDRPlay RSP1 - This is a software defined receiver. I originally I wanted to use it as a panadapter/RX with the TS-590SG. It was difficult to set up and when working I simply did not like it. After much fiddling I did get it working as a RX (using SDR-Console and HDSDR) but it wasn't a pleasant experience. I was able to 'synch' it with a TS-590SG using Kenwood ARCP-590 software (and Omni-Rig).

However, it had numerous technical issues which made it unsuitable in that role. Instead, I now use it as a general coverage receiver when on holiday, but may find other uses for it in due course.

Cross Country Wireless SDR4+

Reviews of the CCW SDR4+ suggested that it had some features missing from the SDRPlay RSP1 which make it more suitable as a second RX for a TRX. After a few software issues it is in regular use with HDSDR and the TS-590SG. I find it easier to use than the SDRPlay. Although the bandwidth is narrower than the RSP1 I do find it much more suitable as a panadapter.

Icom IC-703 Mini Review

Read more here

JCD-201M microphone

The Korean-made JCD-201M desk microphone has received mixed reports, many from CBers who may not have been able to test it in the best of circumstances.

It is available from several Ham Radio and CB shops for around £100. The Ham Radio shops are usually dearest and may charge high prices for additional leads. Mine came from Knight's in Kirton in Lindsay in Lincolnshire and included two leads of my choice for £99 plus shipping. So it appeared to be potentially good value. But how does it perform?

The JCD-201M is an electret mic. with manual and auto compression, FM and SSB tone and a VU meter. It has two switchable outputs and a barrel/coaxial socket for a footswitch. A full review can be found on-line here.

I have used this microphone with a Yaesu FT-101ZD MkIII to great effect. It drives the radio very well and people prefer the FM setting (on SSB) for rag-chews, while the mic's SSB setting is evidently more suitable for DX. The mic has two auto compression settings (high and low) and a manual one. I have found the manual setting a bit tricky and have consistently used the high compression setting.

Received reports have all been complimentary, often without me even enquiring, so my 'customers' like it.

Construction is as good as I hoped for in a mic costing £100-150, although it must ne recognised that the switches are typical surface mount ones with a membrane which may not last as long as the FT-101 has. The VU meter is fun, but not really much use. The footprint of the base is really large. There are two outputs for different radios and a small coaxial/barrel socket for a footswitch.

In all, it is quite well made, with a good performance and good value for money. Recommended.