Review OMDI 5 watt UHF CB handheld

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:05
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Recently this chinese UHF CB has become available via ebay
at the low price of $165-$195 delivered depending on options.

Model number is OM-477CB and is about 1/2 cost of my other 5 watt handhelds.

They are cheaper if brought in bright saftey colours and a friend brought 3 bright orange ones with the acessories packs and these I have reviewed over the last two weeks.

On basic RF performance, they are outstanding. Measured with professional equipment they exhibit very high receive sensitivity and transmit a slightly stronger RF field than even my UH076 Uniden which has been highest I have so far measured.
This could be because of the slightly longer full length detachable(sma connector) 1/4 antenna.
The audio is a little shrill, but user tests place there actual in hand performance as equal to or better than most other radios.

The display is your standard little LCD screen, harder to read and with smaller text than most handhelds these days.

The unit uses a solid diecast internal chassis, and has large 1200mah rechargeable 6v battery with a long standby life of 4-5 days , and have a really decent belt clip.

Documentation is poor and its hard to get to know how to set it.
For example I use the CTCSS private channel function a lot, and while this unit has it, I could not figure out how to set one channel with CTCSS and have another channel without it set.

I eventually discovered that this radio has two fundamently different modes that toggle on and off when you turn the radio on with the function key held on.

Mode 1 is channel mode and it gives you your standard 40 channels which are pre programmed.

Mode 2 displays the radios frequency and allows you to transmit anywhere within the CB band in increments that you can set even in between the legal 25khz steps.
You can even program different repeater offsets, not that this is off much use.

The units I reviewed came with the acessories pack which was free purchased at the $170 'buy it now price' and this includes both mains charger and an in car charger.
External speaker/microphone and an earpiece and Vox setup.
I.E. everything you could want, and they work well. Set up in a mobile phone holder and using a external mike they gave great car tot car performance.

I tried to contact the supplier over the confusing and skimpy instruction book and got no reply, so if you got this product it should be great but if it dies I wouldn't count on much support.

website - provides some more infohttp://www.gotools.com.au/

Robin Miller

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Reply By: ben_gv3 - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:13

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:13
Great post.

One more question though:

Is the antenna removable and does it use a standard connector. I contacted the seller a while back and he quoted it doesn't use a standard connector and to buy a plug will cost about $25. Is this still the case?

It would be good to be able to connector a vehicle antenna for better range.
AnswerID: 293757

Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:19

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:19
This could be because of the slightly longer full length detachable(sma connector) 1/4 antenna.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:36

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:36
Hi Ben

The SMA connector is well known in radio circles but is not available at local electronics shop generally.

Think I got an sma to bnc adaptor for mine which was about $10 but that was years ago
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 20:31

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 20:31
Jaycar sell SMA adapters.
.
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Reply By: Member -Signman - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:44

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:44
Are the 40 channels set up for Aussie usage??
Does is has scan facility?? If so the whole band or selectable channels??
(And tnks for the heads up)..
73s
AnswerID: 293759

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:54

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:54
Hi Signman

Comes set up for aussie range and does have scan.

Now I didn't figure this out entirely , but it appears you can program up to 99 channels with any atributes - theres a phone number quoted on the website for info but from my reading of it (wbsite) I'd say the supplier does not have much real radio knowledge.
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:44

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:44
Oh dear Robin - sounds like these radios don't meet the conditions for "Type Approval" for Oz UHF CBs - you'll have the forum radio police after you!

This model is made in a range of frequencies - 2m and 70cm and I believe some others. I have the 2m version of it (bought from Ebay for about A$100 inc. postage iirc). Mine works well enough but 3 cells of the rechargeable battery failed within 3 months. Although the battery is a sealed unit it is possible to "break" it open and change individual cells. The cells are 2/3AA NiMh and a little difficult to obtain but Jaycar sell a replacement battery pack for a Panasonic cordless phone which uses 3 of these cells and does the job quite nicely.

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:51

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:51
I was pleasantly surprized that all transmissions are at least inband Mike but anyway they'll never catch me on my new DRZ 400e I pick up to-night.



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Follow Up By: warfer69 - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 11:31

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 11:31
but anyway they'll never catch me on my new DRZ 400e I pick up to-night.


Lucky Bugger !
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 18:16

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 18:16
I knew I could count on Mr What's His Real Name making another snide comment.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 18:31

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 18:31
Footloose - aka CyberStalker : you need to be consistent in your radio policing - if you are going to berate people using non type approved radios on HF then you should also whinge about people who do the same on UHF CB although I appreciate you don't sell UHF CB stuff so it may be of lesser interest to you.

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 18:55

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 18:55
Ah, Mike Harding aka Spectrum anarchist, non RF "design engineer" why should I worry ? Since the device also covers 2 and 70cm, I'll just let them interfere all over the top of you. That should do a Dick Smith, shouldn't it "Mike".

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Reply By: wrexed03 - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 17:35

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 17:35
I bought one of these as well. The review is spot on.
The doco is crap but it does the job well.
I have setup a uhf antenna on my bull bar 6db and its great.
I will be buying a connector as well shortly so i can sort of standardise the fitting Its a bit of a pain with the extrnal antenna and the sma connector but it works.
There is software and a cable availiable for these units on ebay. apx 40 bucks from what i remember. I think it just makes life easier to program the channels.
Check channels 22 and 23 i cant transmit on them for some reason i may have entered the frequencies incorrectly. (I reset it to defaults and had to re do it all).
To the original poster if you could do a write up or a how to using the advanced functions it would be great.

Regards


AnswerID: 293808

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 20:37

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 20:37
Hi Wrexed03

I don't know if I'll get to the advanced functions , but on the channel 22 & 23 , many radios including these are blocked from using these channels as they are no longer general use CB ones but are reserved for data transmissions only.
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Follow Up By: Member -Signman - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 19:33

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 19:33
Hey Robin
Did you work out if you can do ' selective' channel scan- or has it gotta be full band scan???
Also, any other tips n tricks would be helpful..
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 20:26

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 20:26
Didn't work it out Signman , but still have one here in Wantirna and manual says it can auto scan the lot or scan all memory channels with data provided at least 2 channels have data.

Its not definative I know but it must be able to scan a variable amount of memory channels so set up.

I only see 1 key to invoke scanning so presume only 1 type of scanning depending on the programmed channels.
There is a reference to computer based programming as well.
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Reply By: wrexed03 - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 20:48

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 20:48
No probs in regards to those channels wasnt sure if they were supposed to be like that or not. Thought it was something i had done.

Regards
AnswerID: 293849

Reply By: ben_gv3 - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 15:35

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 15:35
Robin,

WRT the in car charger, can you use the UHF and charge at the same time? Sounds kind of strange but some in-car chargers will only charge the battery but won't allow you to operate the unit at the same time.
AnswerID: 296394

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 19:01

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 19:01
Hi Ben

I think it can , but there is no specific warning against this.

I think they all can if they come with a purpose built 12v charger as does this one.

You may have been reffering to a Uniden unit that cannot transmit while on charge , in that case the warning refers to its 240vac charger and it does not come with a 12v charger.
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