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Mini Walkie Talkies


SteveH
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A friend of mine (a licensed GMRS user) purchased out of curiosity an EASYTALK ET-M3, described as a Mini Walkie Talkie 16 channel FRS/GMRS two way radio. This, and a multitude of similar little radios, seem to be widely available. The ebay link is https://www.ebay.com/itm/172702266455

 

There is no FCC ID on or within the radio that we could find and the specs say 400-520 MHz, power less than/equal to 2.5 watts. Programming cable available as an extra.

 

Something tells me this thing isn't quite legal.

 

Anyone have any further knowledge of these devices?

 

73, Steve

 

 

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It's not part95, they also make one with a display, and baofeng makes a BF-T1 that is much nicer. also not part95. both TX is actually about 1w, the mini has horrible tiny sound, but unnoticeable on RX end. the T1 has good sound TX/RX

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Yeah, pretty much any of those off-brand eBay export radios won't have any type acceptance whatsoever. Whoever is selling it is keyword spamming. Stuff like that should be reported to eBay; aside from keyword spamming you could say they're encouraging buyers to commit a federal crime.

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It is not illegal to sell these radios, It may be illegal, after you buy one to actually key it up. I have not seen a listing that claims part95 type acceptance. There is nothing e-bay can/should do. These radios are sought after by a particular type of radio user and therefore listings for said radios are not spam.

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Blah, I’ve seen those before - but pass. (I wasn’t looking at it for GMRS.) As already said above, it’s not Part 95, so it can only be used for amateur (in the US, anyway). The reason I passed, however, is because the price and it looks like junk. Plus, being that small, how long can the battery really last? Baofeng has the mini one noted above. I do have one of those KD-C1 mini HT’s that I got from Amazon for $18. It doesn’t have a screen (I didn’t want a screen anyway). Fits fine in a shirt pocket. I mainly just use it with my TH-9800’s when I have one of them in crossband repeat (rarely). I used 2m fine with it, crossbanding from 70cm. I haven’t got on a 70cm repeater with it, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I had to Google for the (Windows) OEM software to program it. (I use Macs, but run a Win7 VM under VMWare for all the Win radio software.) Battery life was better than expected. There are several “branders” of those KD-C1 mini’s and also the Zastone X6 which appears to be the same exact radio with just a different name... You can get two of those KD-C1 or X6 mini’s for just a few bucks more than that little mini in the eBay listing...

 

Yeah, it’s one of the thousands of misleading eBay listings. eBay isn’t going to do anything. At the end of the day, it’s our (GMRS) responsibility not to transmit on non-Accepted transmitters. It can be deduced by just looking at the specs that it isn’t Part 95...

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  • 1 month later...

I have one. I was never able to program it. I can read from it, but when I try to write to it, it bricks and I have to wait for the battery to die before it resets itself. Once it resets, I find that the programming I tried to load into it is not there... only the factory stuff.

So, as far as I am concerned, it is a piece of crap.

If you want sorta small, look at the WLN KD-C1... they work great !

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If you want sorta small, look at the WLN KD-C1... they work great !

 

Yep, a very good radio for what it is. They also go under different names such as Zastone X6. AFAIK, Zastone is the manufacturer of all, including WLN KD-C1. I really wish that they would factory program them for FRS and get part 95 approval for that model (while leaving "dealer" programming capability). We have WLN KD-C1 radios that are still pulling daily duty, all day, for a couple of years now. Coincidentally, when I turned on one of these radios (my morning habit upon waking), I happened to think, "Wow, for CCRs, these are pulling industrial duty pretty well and still going. I had better buy some more backups for when these ever fail."

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Retevis sells the KD-C1 as the RT22, which comes with an FCC number on the sticker, and claims to be part 95 on their Amazon listing. The default channels on the ones I got all correspond to non-repeater GMRS-only frequencies, too. I think it's low-power setting is 1 watts, so they avoid out-of-box violations by avoiding the low power FRS frequencies entirely.

 

I was able to program one and successfully used it to reach a local repeater last night, using CHIRP on Linux (running on a Raspberry Pi). So, however they got their cert, it's definitely still possible to re-program. I haven't specifically tried to set it on any non-GMRS frequencies, though, so maybe there is a sneaky lockout in there somewhere.

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Retevis sells the KD-C1 as the RT22, which comes with an FCC number on the sticker, and claims to be part 95 on their Amazon listing. The default channels on the ones I got all correspond to non-repeater GMRS-only frequencies, too. I think it's low-power setting is 1 watts, so they avoid out-of-box violations by avoiding the low power FRS frequencies entirely.

 

I was able to program one and successfully used it to reach a local repeater last night, using CHIRP on Linux (running on a Raspberry Pi). So, however they got their cert, it's definitely still possible to re-program. I haven't specifically tried to set it on any non-GMRS frequencies, though, so maybe there is a sneaky lockout in there somewhere.

What is the FCC ID for the RT22? I can't find it on Amazon or ebay.

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The KD-C1 radios are fully able to be programmed on any UHF frequency within the band range. I have one programmed receive only on eight of the Chicago PD dispatch channels. The others are strictly limited to simplex and repeater GMRS frequencies used by NSEA.

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doing power testing with the mini walkies, since the mini's have non detachable antennas. I connected a UHF antenna to the input of my meter, and hold the radio next to that antenna. I have noticed the tiny radio similar to the one in OP "mine has a simple display" has the highest reading of ALL of my HT's. not sure if this clean power or a splatter puss, but it sure is noticeable on a simple meter. I have a spectrum analyzer that I plan to run and view the output to learn more. Will update here.

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Ok this time I used my spectrum analyzer for a quick test, and know why the mini walkie shows such high power. unlike all other radios in my quick check, the mini walkie has two peaks and additional low power splatter. Since this test was quick, I did not measure the frequency for the peaks or low power splatter, but it looks to be centered within 3 wide band channels. I have not repeated this test so these are first readings. but looks very messy so far. Even the BF-T1 had a clean single peak. Will update when I run more test.

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Thanks for the testing Logan5.

 

How high of a possibility is it that the splatter readings are user error? I ask because someone else had related to me that their tests found them to be relatively clean. Of course, they could be spectrally dirty, your data being correct, and that would be most unfortunate.

 

I really hope that I don't have to switch us over to BF-T1 radios here. :(

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I would say highly likely. so I plan to try to replicate the results.  should I have an exact measure from antenna to antenna? How can I prove it's not user error? I only have one spectrum analyzer. used same RX antenna on the analyzer. I will try again.

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I would say highly likely. so I plan to try to replicate the results.  should I have an exact measure from antenna to antenna? How can I prove it's not user error? I only have one spectrum analyzer. used same RX antenna on the analyzer. I will try again.

 

I have no idea if the measurement, antenna to antenna, should be exactly the same. As you know, there are some really knowledgeable techs here that hopefully will chime in. My question about user error was since you were relatively new using the equipment. I was trying to gauge how confident you felt about your results. If you are very confident then I am satisfied that it is a good datapoint to consider on these little radios.

 

I appreciate that you are taking the time to test these. It's always a nagging question in the back of my head about radios our family & group use. :)

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Thanks Berkinet, This analyzer output looks similar, only the second peak is about 1/2 to 2/3rds the height of the main peak under my test. Also I noticed more low power scatter. I imagine it is different from radio to radio of the same model. lack or absence of quality control is likely to blame.

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