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Puxing PX-UV973 Review


FCC ID: AUJPXDZ973K001

Features of this radio:

DTMF: DTMF ANI and selective calling
CTCSS/DCS
Cross-Band Repeater operation
Full Duplex Operation
True dual receive
UHF/VHF
128 memory channels
VHF 5W/UHF 4 W output power
Transmit/receive enable/disable
DTMF (touch tone) Encode and Decode
1750hz repeater tone
Voice annunciation
Scrambler operation
Built-in FM radio
MSK ANI
Alphanumeric channel name capability
Front panel programmable
PC programmable (required for some advanced functions)
Custom power-on message capability.
Two line LCD display
Wide/Narrow band capability.
Backlit keypad.



Introduction:

This radio has an easy to use menu system that allows programming of basic
functions.
Frequency programming, CTCSS/DCS programming, scan step, power level and memory
channel
assignment can be programmed. Channels can be added or deleted from the scan
function via
the front panel also. The only functions that cannot be programmed from the
front panel are the ANI
functions and the manual lockout functions to prevent users from changing the
configuration.
My radio did not come with a manual. The manual was provided by the
manufacturer and is generally
fairly easy to follow.

The selective calling functions must be programmed from a computer, using the
optional
software and cable. The cable is the same used on other chinese manufactured
radios, such
as Wouxun. (Kenwood compatible) This radio has Minimum Shift Keying (MSK) and
DTMF
selective calling and Automatic Number Identification
(ANI) It uses an MSK data burst in alphanumeric format for an ANI, if selected.
All ANI
and selective calling identifiers are displayed on the LCD display of the radio.
This radio has narrow band capability, as well as a full narrow band receive
filter.
Most chinese radios do not have a true narrow band receive. This radio does
not have a compander
which would improve fidelity on narrow band.

My observations:

Programming: The Puxing brand radio is easier to program than any other Chinese
brand
of HT. The front panel allows the abovementioned abilities, as well
as a few more not covered. I especially want to note that it is a big plus to
allow setting scan
lockouts from the front panel. Accessing the programming menu can be done with
a single press of the
"MENU" button. From there you can either press another of the indicated keys as
shortcuts or use
the volume control to scroll through menu options. From there, options can be
programmed. Unlike the
PX-888K, the functions are printed on the keys, instead of the case of the
radio. This allows sight of the
functions via the lighted keypad. also, there is less risk of the lettering
rubbing off.

Use of the computer software is generally easy, even though it is the "typical
Chinese radio" type of software.
You should have some experience with some of the
more advanced modes, such as MSK and DTMF signalling. There appears to be no
issues with the famous
"Prolific driver problem", although I am using an older driver. I have not
tested with the latest Prolific drivers.

I give an above average on programming.

Operation:

Radio operation is easy and straightforward. Selection of the upper or lower
channel
display can be done on one keypress. This radio has "real" dual receive.

This radio has FM broadcast reception. You can select whether or not you want a
received two way radio signal to break in.

The radio can be set to use both display lines for a single channel. You could
use one line to display the channel name,
and the other line the frequency and such. When scanning, however, it reverts
back to use of both lines of the display.
I wonder why they did that.

The cross band repeater works great. you program one frequency in the upper
display, and another in the lower display.
If a signal is received on one of these frequencies, the signal is
simultaneously retransmitted on the other frequency!
One frequency must be VHF and the other UHF. I am unsure if the radio is
programmed to disallow same band
repeating. The manual cautions against it... so be careful if you set it up
wrong.

The radio has a true dual receiver. You can select the volume levels via the
menus and software to differentiate
which VFO is louder than the other.

I didn't test the full duplex option, as I didn't have a satellite pass handy to
test. Also, there are no linked VHF/UHF
repeaters in my area.

Audio Quality:

Audio on receive is strong and clear with no distortion. Volume in all cases
can be loud enough
in most cases without distortion. BUT, if a signal is not full quieting, it
seems the noise in the signal
is enhanced if the received signal is very weak. You could receive a faint
signal, but only hear noise.
This was maddeningly annoying when on vacation, I would listen to some folks on
146.520 simplex.

The BIG QUESTION: Is the transmit audio muffled?

My experience indicates it is NOT! BUT... I really had good experiences with my
green model
PX-888K. The 973 was a little less "bassy" sounding than the 888K. I did "echo
tests" with both
radios for comparison, and the 888k was fine, as I reported in my review of that
radio. The 973 did
sound better, and the highs were more prominent. On air reports across the
board indicated no
difficulties whatsoever. My voice tends to come over the air pretty good
though.

Transmit range seems on par with other handheld radios I have used. The
supplied antenna is
sufficient for normal use.

The radio is supplied with a 1200 mAh battery. Battery life is average; but
nothing special.
With intense high power operation, battery life is a bit shorter than I would
like. After extended
use, neither the battery, nor the radio got excessively warm, even at high duty
cycle.

What is really cool is the selective calling system and the ANI. With simple
MSK ANI, you can
have a name come across the display of a receiving radio. with the selective
calling system,
you can call specific radios, via programmed codes, and can set up a "dialing
directory" in
your radio to call specific radios. The called radio can be set to "ring back"
to acknowlege the
call. You can also enable/disable the radio via a tone sent from another radio.
These functions
could be useful for search and rescue teams, or emergency services. In a
commercial setting, this
could identify specific departments.

This radio does have menu or software configurable 2.5 kHz frequency steps.

Summary:

What I liked:
The custom message on power on can display my call sign when I turn it on.
Functions are easily selected,
and programming is a snap. The ANI and selective calling is really neat and
fully
implemented. The radio accesses all the repeaters any other radio I have used
can access. It
sounds good on both transmit and receive. While not yet Part 90 commercial
approved, there is
a provision to lock out the front panel programming as required for commercial
use.
This along with full narrow band compliance, it ought to receive approval soon.
Naturally the true
dual receiver and the crossband repeater functions make this radio in my
opinion. I now
have a ton of HTs and would not have bought this one, had it not have these
features.

What I did not like: The battery life could be better; but this can be fixed by
getting a more
powerful battery. The scan speed is terribly slow! If the dual watch function
is disabled and
the radio operating in single channel mode the scan speed does improve a but;
but is still slow.
This radio does not have a compander, so narrow band fidelity may be lacking.
This radio does
include a scrambler, which is really more or less something that would be used
far less than a compander.
The annoying amplification of noise is not a deal breaker by any means; but is a
real pain at times.
.

All in all, a very good radio. I am very glad I made my purchase.

If anyone needs any info I neglected to include here, please let me know.

I recommend this radio.

John KD8DVR