Every cloud has a silver lining and 2011 is starting to look like an interesting year for the 10 meter Transceiver market.
After year 2000, when the Multimode market seemed to be completely dry of new multimode radios, all the manufacturers produced some surprises and launched impressive models, MAGNUM, PRESIDENT, COBRA, SUPERSTAR, RANGER etc.
The last few years have seen the market shrink again and most of the rigs have now been discontinued, Cobra 200GTL-DX, Magnum S9, S45, Omegaforce, etc.
To make matters worse, the European RANGER RCI distributor have announced this year, that they will no longer be stocking the RANGER RCI-2950DX, RCI-2970DX and RCI-2970N2 multimode transceivers, leaving a massive gap in the transceiver market.
This is a major disappointment, especially as the RANGER RCI series are the ONLY multimode radios that cover the 10 meter to 12 meter bands (24-30mhz). No other Multimode transceiver can boast the frequency coverage of the RCI series and although the aesthetics were not to everyones' taste, no-one can doubt the performance of the Ranger transceivers. Excellent receivers and great transmit audio (even with the standard mic), exactly what you would expect from the brand made in Taiwan (ex-Cobra Factory).
Now, rewinding back to Summer 2010 and Cobraworxshopz were privvy to a 'sneaky-peak' at the NEW multimode transceiver (now called the Superstar SS-6900 among other names) and we were very impressed with the performance of the demonstration model we were supplied. Since then SUPERSTAR have announced their intention to sell the SS-6900 in late Feb / early March 2011.
Our first impressions of the SS-6900, the receiver is excellent and transmitted audio superb, certainly on a par with any other multimode transceiver currently 'rated' by owners and users. This is not too surprising considering the manufacturer is renown for PMR equipment of a very high standard. The SS-6900 is feature packed and computer re-programmable, a first for a 10 meter transceiver. The only couple of additions that we would have liked to see is 12 meter (24Mhz) coverage and CTCSS (sub tone) capability for repeater use. Had the previously mentioned additions been included, the 6900 would be a fully fledged substitute for the Ranger RCI-2950DX and filled the gap perfectly.
Overlooking the lack of 24mhz and CTCSS, the 6900 is complete in every way and should appeal to Radio Hams and Freebanders alike. In due course Cobraworxshopz will provide a more in-depth assessment and YouTube videos of the new transceiver. The 6900 will be supplied with the very latest version of Firmware and several 'mods' Factory fitted to eliminate one or two niggles that have cropped up in the new chassis. Interestingly the 6900 chassis is very much like the Ranger RCI-series and has surface mounted components, RF output, Audio and regulator stages are virtually identical to the PB-010AB Uniden chassis, something we welcome.
Initial batches of SS-6900's will be supplied with an Orange LCD back-light display and later versions will be supplied with a Blue coloured LCD display. We imagine the Orange display versions will be sought after, as they will ultimately be the first and will be in relatively short supply. A multi-coloured display (32 colours) and 100 watt RF output versions are being touted for later generations of the chassis but as with the Yaesu FT-450 (multi-coloured display), only time will tell if this comes to fruition, without any issues.
The Superstar SS-6900's will be supplied with a lenghty 2-Year Warrantee, another first for a 10 meter transceiver.
Cobraworxshopz.com patiently await the first baches of the SS-6900 in our Worxshopz and we are sure it will be a fantastic Multimode transceiver to use and own.
If you would like a Cobraworxshopz "perfectly" tuned and aligned 6900, please be sure to check out our eBay Pre-Order advert for the Superstar SS-6900 in due course.
Greetings for 2011,
Italian aerial manufacturer SIRIO are laying the law down to Worldwide retailers of their products, in the face of cheap counterfeit "copies" coming in from the far-east.
Sirio have published a statement making it very clear that they are more than willing to take legal action against any retailers who are selling the counterfeit SIRIO products.
Cobraworxshopz.com are advising customers not to purchase these counterfeit products, after hearing some horror stories of aerials actually "melting" and causing irriversable damage to output transistors in several high powered HF solid-state amplifiers.
In our opinion, SIRIO make some of the best aerials in the World (especially for 10 meters) and everyone should be on their guard for these counterfeit products. Ultimately it is you 'the customer' who will be seriously out of pocket by purchasing inferior products, as we have already witnessed on several occasions.