Ultra Portable LF/MF/HF/VHF receiver on a budget.

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by WastedDaze, Jan 14, 2016.


  1. WastedDaze

    WastedDaze Monkey

    Been thinking of buying one of these receivers...
    It's not that I need any more radios but I just don't have one this small.

    County Comm the vendors site.
    CountyComm - CountyComm GP-5 SSB Radio

    A good review:
    http://swling.com/blog/2014/12/a-review-of-the-countycomm-gp5ssb-portable-radio-a-great-emergency-portable/

    For $75 and from the reviews I've read this looks to be a very good inexpensive receiver for emergency situations. Incredibly small and well designed. It's about the size of a TV remote.

    I really like the fact it has real upper and lower sideband filters for HF (shortwave).
    From what I've read it was designed for US .gov agency use.... Interesting...

    It covers these bands:
    LF, low frequency 150-522 khz
    MF, medium frequency 520-1710 khz (AM broadcast band)
    HF, high frequency 1711-29999 khz (Shortwave)
    VHF, very high frequency 88-108 mhz (FM broadcast band)

    Modes of reception are: AM, USB, LSB and FM.

    Might come in handy during an emergency, traveling or camping.
    Just thought some here might be interested in radio like this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
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  2. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

  3. WastedDaze

    WastedDaze Monkey

    You asking me?
    Amateur Extra Class
    GROL (PG) with Radar Endorsment
     
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  4. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+

    It's a "you get what you pay for" sorta deal. Still, the radio has a lot of nice features you don't expect for that kind of money. The manual tuning knob on the side is a huge plus, especially for SSB. And speaking of SSB, I'll bet the filtering/selectivity is not that good.

    How useful the radio is depends on how much you want HF/SSB. Aside from that, it's just an AM/FM radio. In my opinion, having HF/SSB is not essential for most prepping purposes because when SHTF no one is going to care about what's going on 2000 miles away. And if you do decide that HF is mission-critical, then you'll probably want a way better radio and certainly a way better antenna.

    If it comes down to space/weight in a backpack, get a hand handheld scanner to monitor your local area. They also cover the weather band.

    Not a bad find for the money. Well done.

    The link to the review you posted doesn't work.
     
  5. WastedDaze

    WastedDaze Monkey

    Ok, fixed the link to the review.

    About SSB;

    First, you might be surprised how this little radio works with real SSB filters. See below.
    Second, don't discount NVIS operation by amateurs, county / state ecomms and National Guard / Military. In a major disaster most if not all of your mountain top repeaters will be down for one or multiple reasons. VHF/UHF is only good for line of sight then. NVIS operation from about 2-10 mhz will allow local comms out 200-400 mile range and less. right up and over hills and mountains. SSB will be the main mode of transmission with some digital modes thrown in.

    From the review:
    "Single-sideband

    Of course, when I received the GP5/SSB, the first thing I did was tune the ham radio bands in SSB mode.

    Nick, the CountyComm rep in charge of the GP5/SSB design, is an amateur radio operator, and I’m pleased that he represented the importance of a truly functional SSB mode on this radio.

    The GP5/DSP only has 1 kHz tuning steps: more than adequate for broadcast listening, but too coarse for SSB. Amateur radio operators do not necessarily transmit right on a frequency; they’re often slightly off-frequency, either accidentally or intentionally. And older ham radios are also prone to drifting until the rigs have properly warmed up. Radios with SSB need finer-tuning controls to hone in on SSB signals. But the GP5/SSB has a work-around for this.

    The GP5/SSB accommodates SSB by allowing the listener to select either the upper or lower sideband, then use the BFO function to help fine tune and zero-beat a signal.

    Specifically, here’s how to tune to an SSB (phone) amateur radio signal with the GP5/SSB:
    Turn on either the upper or lower sideband, depending on the meter band (generally, 40 meters and below are lower; all else, upper).
    When you hear a signal, use the 1 kHz tuning increments to find where it’s strongest.
    Now, press the BFO button once to activate BFO tuning; the U or L (indicating upper or lower) will begin to blink.
    While the sideband indicator is blinking, use the tuning wheel to adjust the BFO. Adjust tuning until the voices in the signal sound natural.

    Once you’ve done this a couple of times, the process becomes second nature.

    Overall, I’m very pleased with the SSB functionality and performance. While I prefer either very fine tuning increments, or a separate BFO knob (no room for that on this tiny radio), I appreciate that CountyComm has used the BFO function to eliminate the need for a separate tuning wheel."


    Mini You Tube review... With a demonstration of SSB operation near the end. Looks like SSB works pretty good to me

    And wow, this thing has a lot of neat features.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2016
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  6. Georgia_Boy

    Georgia_Boy Monkey+++

    I really like my unit. It really works nice and is small enough to carry when camping. I really missed my SSB rig on the boat but this little unit fills the gap nicely.
    GB
     
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