The word of the day is BTech 2501+220. Okay, maybe that is 2 or more words. Several local hams purchased these from Amazon, on sale, for about $100. The results were a bit of a mixed bag. At the heart of it is essentially a UV-5R or UV-B5, with the added band of 220Mhz, in a mobile friendly package, with 25 watts. You can read some some great information at Miklor, so there is no reason to reinvent the wheel here. It is a dual watch radio, with the typical awkward menu system typical of these radios. But once you have programmed a memory location a few times, it goes fairly quickly. And as is also typical, it is easier if you use either software from the BTech web site, or Chirp.
The “mixed bag” experience primarily deals with the transmit audio being fairly muddy, muffled, and dull. One cure is:
- Open the hand held microphone
- Carefully Remove the microphone element
- Place it on your bench
- Smash it with a hammer.
Amazon sells a 10 pack of replacement microphone elements for about $6. Order a pack, and solder in a new one. To some, the fact you need a soldering iron to make the radio useable, adds a certain charm. Others, including myself, prefer to have even my $100 gear work, out of the box. Another cure for the microphone issue is to switch from wide-band to narrow-band for transmit. This pair of changes makes the radio fairly usable. The built-in speaker can get quite loud, and works quite well. I did not particularly care for the microphone. It found it to be overly large and boxy – And I have big hands. My radio failed within the first 24 hours and went back to the farm. Others have had better luck with theirs so far. Your mileage may vary. – KJ6VTP