Puxing PX-888K Reviews

Puxing PX-888K

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Puxing PX-888K Review

Aug 30, 2012 (Updated Sep 2, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Low cost, Many great features, great performance. Narrow band compliant.

Cons:Low battery life, very slow scan speed.

The Bottom Line: All in all a very good radio.  It is perfect for amateur use and has all the functions needed for a great radio.


Puxing PX-888k Review

FCC ID:AUJPXDZ888K001

This radio is FCC Part 90 certified for commercial use.  
It is also legal for Amateur radio use.  It is not approved for FRs/GMRS/MURs use.

Features of this radio:

DTMF: DTMF ANI and selective calling
CTCSS/DCS
5tone selcall and ANI
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.
Compander function to improve narrow band fidelity.  

Radio Operation:

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 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.  This radio has 5tone and DTMF selective calling and Automatic Number Identification
(ANI)  It also uses an MSK data burst in alphanumeric format for an ANI, if selected.  All ANI
ans 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 has a compander which will improve fidelity on narrow band.  All radios in the communications system must have a compander for this function to be effective.  Many people think this is a speech compressor or mic gain.  This is not true.  It compresses transmitted audio yo fit in bandwith, then the receiver re-expands it to proper fidelity.
 

My observations:

Programming:  This radio is easier to program than any other radio I have used, including
other Chinese manufactured radios.  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.

Use of the computer software is generally easy.  You should have some experience with some of the
more advanced modes, such as 5tone and DTMF signalling.  I noticed no computer error, however, it
is important to have a USB programming cable with a genuine Prolific chipset or other genuine
chipset.  Some of the "clone" chipsets may not work with genuine drivers.  One work around is to
use an older version of genuine 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.  The radio has a dual-watch, rather than a dual receiver.  
This still is an effective way to monitor two frequencies/channels.  

Audio on receive is strong and clear with no distortion.  Volume in all cases can be loud enough
in most cases without distortion.  Transmit audio is loud and clear, with emphasis towards a
little "bassiness".  There is no indication of "muffled" sounding audio, which has been a fault of
earlier Puxing radios.

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 1500 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 not have menu or software configurable 2.5 kHz frequency steps.  Howeverall narrow band frequencies can be programmed via software.  There was an earlier version of the programming software that included 2.5 kHz step configuration, however it did not work and was removed from a later edition of the software.  Perhaps a later verion will fix these issues. 

Summary:

What I liked:  This is the least expensive FCC approved full-feature Dual band radio I have owned.
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
implimented.  The radio accesses all the repeaters any other radio I have used can access.  It
sounds good on both transmit and receive.

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.
while Part 90 commercial approved, there is no provision to lock out the front panel programming
as required for commercial use.  Perhaps a new version of the programming software will correct
this omission.

All in all, a very good radio.  I have ordered three!  I am very glad I made my purchase.

Recommended.


Note: page was edited on 8-31-12 to include discussion on narrow band capability.  


Recommend this product? Yes


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