Kirisun PT3300 radio review

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xuliH
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Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:50 pm

Thanks to Family_Bulldog for lending us the Kirisun PT 3300 radios for our trip to Namibia.

This was my first time using a radio so I can not compare it to others.

Our overall impression was that it served it's purpose very well. It is very handy when driving in a convoy, looking for camping spots and game viewing.

We did not get a chance to test the claimed 5km range, but while driving the 2km (line of sight) is spot on. Although the sound quality does get worse at this distance, it is still audible.

The sound quality at close range is very good and you can clearly hear what the other person is saying.

We did not use the radios for long conversations, but kept it to short sentences at a time. This resulted in amazing battery life. After the first charge, the batteries lasted for four days. Switching it on when starting to drive and off when setting up camp and not using it a lot.
A rough estimate of the time spent on sending and receiving messages, I would say we spoke between a minute and a minute and a half a day. (8 hours). That equates to 0.2%-0.3% of the time sending and receiving and the rest idle.

Charging the radios takes around 2 hours when using 220V. I opted to build 12V convertors which took around 3 hours to charge.

One of the drawbacks was that it sometimes made a crackling and hissing sound which seemed happen when driving close to power lines. This forces you to turn down the volume. A “call” function would be very handy in this situation. I don't know if it is possible to do with these.

A nice-to-have would be some kind of vehicle mounting. Sacrificing a cupholder is not ideal as it shakes around, and the obvious drawback of having no elixir.

These radios seems to be well put together and sturdy. It's size is also a very big plus. It is almost the same size as a cell phone with a long aerial. It comes with a belt clip on the battery so you are able to carry it on your person if you are so inclined.

One test I would like to see is if they can communicate with other types and brands of vhf radios. Otherwise every vehicle in your group will need the exact same radio.

In closing, these make a nice travel companion and I might consider buying it for our next trip.

http://shop.4x4community.co.za/subcateg ... VHF+Radios
05D4D2.5SC4x4STT

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Family_Dog
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Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:03 pm

Hi Miki,

Thanks for your review!

I have sent the radios away again to a member who does have other radios (Kenwood TK7100 Mobnile Radios & HYT 610 Portable radio) so it will be most interesting to see how they fare against these more expensive models. One thing I did find as I re-programmed the radios, was that their Squelch setting on the two radios was extremely sensitive - in fact, for a synthesized radio, very sensitive. This will make the radio go into "squelch-mode" (sort of SSHHHHSHH sound) if it should pick up any source of interference, such as RF radiated from a GPS or any form of computer. I did reduce it ever so slightly, but feel I could reduce the squelch setting even more. Will do that the next time the radios are used.

Power lines should not cause interference, as the radios are FM and not AM, but nowadays ESKOM sends all sorts of additional signalling along power lines so I guess Harmonics might be a possible source of interference.

The Kirisun PT3300 portable radio is primarily a budget type radio, and I was concerned about its effectiveness because of this. The beauty of it, apart from the budget price, is the size of the radio. It must be one of the smallest functional radios ever! I have seen smaller, but not as effective.

Thanks again, Miki!
Kirisun PT3300.jpg

-F_D
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White Fang: 1999 2.7i DC Raider 4x4
Bull Dog: 1987 4Y-EFI 2.2 DC 4x4
Pra Dog: 1998 Prado VX 3.4
Hound Dog: 2000 2.7i SC 4x4


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xuliH
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Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:24 pm

Thank you very much.

I look forward to see how they compare to the more expensive models.
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HennieJ2
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Sun Dec 21, 2008 5:37 pm

Hi Eric,

I recognised the radio on the pic as being the same what we are using here with our local community policing forum. I the had a look and saw that, although they look exactly the same as ours, we have the PT446. Are they similar in performance to the PT3300?

Regards

Hennie

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Family_Dog
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Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:28 pm

Hi Hennie,

Slight cosmetic differences in the housings, but these are 5-watt VHF (available in UHF as well) portable radios whereas the PT446 fall under the Licence-Free UHF category only, with 0,5 watts RF output. These are the cheapies and i was somewhat worried about how they would fare if used for off-road purposes, but the three users of them so far, who tested them on extensive trips, have provided good reports so I will market them to the off-road community.

See: http://www.hilux4x4.co.za/shop/radios.php

Thier big advantage is the small size, they can easily fit inside a shirt pocket. :)


-F_D
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White Fang: 1999 2.7i DC Raider 4x4
Bull Dog: 1987 4Y-EFI 2.2 DC 4x4
Pra Dog: 1998 Prado VX 3.4
Hound Dog: 2000 2.7i SC 4x4


One Staffie, One Jack Russell, One Ring Neck Screecher, 17 Fish of questionable heritage


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HennieJ2
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Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:13 pm

Hi Eric,
Since you bought the winch, I might have some spare cash to spend on a radio. I have read your posting on the 4x4Comm forum on radios, but still do not know what to buy. I am looking for something that will have good comms in dense bush areas, such as Botswana and it should be a vehicle mount, not handheld. We want to scan as much area in different directions, but if you come onto something, you should be able to contact the others with grid ref (co-ords). This should be in a radius 0f 20km max. What would you recommend?
Regards

Hennie
Hilux D/C D4D 4x4 ; Hilux 2700i S/C 4x4

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Family_Dog
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Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:32 pm

Hennie, as a member of the Community Forum, you are eligible to join the ORRA and therefore make use of their VHF/FM frequency. 29MHz is useless for what you want, therefore go VHF/FM only. An added advantage is that more and more chaps are fitting VHF/FM radios so you will usually find someone around when on a trip.

I would suggest the Kenwood TK7102 radio which is an excellent 4-channel capable radio (you only need one channel) and has excellent audio response as well.

Image

The prices have fallen again somewhat, if you're interested I will better the price that I have posted in the Forum Shoppe (refer my previous link).

The antenna will be approximately a metre in length if fitted on the side of the vehicle, behind one of the doors, or you could make use of the 1/4-wave antenna which is about 40cm long if fitted in the centre of the roof.


-F_D
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White Fang: 1999 2.7i DC Raider 4x4
Bull Dog: 1987 4Y-EFI 2.2 DC 4x4
Pra Dog: 1998 Prado VX 3.4
Hound Dog: 2000 2.7i SC 4x4


One Staffie, One Jack Russell, One Ring Neck Screecher, 17 Fish of questionable heritage


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HennieJ2
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Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:02 pm

Thanks Eric,

Once my friend is back in early Jan., I will speak to him. We need to fit the same, as he is always travelling in the front and I cover the rear (driving a Toyota see). I will also speak to the other members of the group, so that we could finalize and submit our applications for the licenses. A, that's another question I have - what about the licenses in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia? I suppose I could go and read up on that, but since you are our club's guru, you might know from the top of your head.

regards

Hennie
Hilux D/C D4D 4x4 ; Hilux 2700i S/C 4x4

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Family_Dog
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Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:21 pm

Hennie, the ORRA radio licences are only good for South Africa. You would be required to download a RF Communivations Licence from each of those Country's Communications Authority and apply for the specific ORRA VHF/FM frequency. There will be no problems with that, it is a temporary radio licence they issue for you to use whilst in their Country.


-F_D
Image

White Fang: 1999 2.7i DC Raider 4x4
Bull Dog: 1987 4Y-EFI 2.2 DC 4x4
Pra Dog: 1998 Prado VX 3.4
Hound Dog: 2000 2.7i SC 4x4


One Staffie, One Jack Russell, One Ring Neck Screecher, 17 Fish of questionable heritage


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HennieJ2
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Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:15 pm

Family_Dog wrote:Hennie, as a member of the Community Forum, you are eligible to join the ORRA and therefore make use of their VHF/FM frequency. 29MHz is useless for what you want, therefore go VHF/FM only. An added advantage is that more and more chaps are fitting VHF/FM radios so you will usually find someone around when on a trip.

I would suggest the Kenwood TK7102 radio which is an excellent 4-channel capable radio (you only need one channel) and has excellent audio response as well.

Image

The prices have fallen again somewhat, if you're interested I will better the price that I have posted in the Forum Shoppe (refer my previous link).

The antenna will be approximately a metre in length if fitted on the side of the vehicle, behind one of the doors, or you could make use of the 1/4-wave antenna which is about 40cm long if fitted in the centre of the roof.


-F_D
Eric, can you please work out a quote for 1 set-up, to possibly buy 2 units. I would suggest we take the antenna that's a side mount, as we both have roof racks. If you could please mail that, with the neccesary blank legal docs to henniej2@telkomsa.net
I heard that Botswana is quite strict with radio's and I was wondering if you know how long will it take to apply and get approval?
Remember, I am a bit stupid when it comes to these things, as it all is new to me. We are used to work with the low output radios that don't require licenses.

Thanks

Hennie
Ps: Does the Lux club has it's own frequancy on the VHF/FM radios, or are you guys sing the LCCSA frequancy?
Hilux D/C D4D 4x4 ; Hilux 2700i S/C 4x4

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Family_Dog
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Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:05 am

Hennie, the Importers only opened this week and I am awaiting the latest price lists, so if you can give me a few days I will give the latest prices.

Regarding the VHF frequency, you would have to join the ORRA (Off Road Radio Association) at a cost of about R100 per year, and then you will immediately be eligible to make use of their frequency. Hilux4x4 is not currently a member of the ORRA, but the Community Forum is, and provided you're a member there (which you are), then you are eligible to make use of the ORRA frequency once you have paid you annual subs.

Plaese refer this lionk for further details:
http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/sho ... hp?t=26582


-F_D
Image

White Fang: 1999 2.7i DC Raider 4x4
Bull Dog: 1987 4Y-EFI 2.2 DC 4x4
Pra Dog: 1998 Prado VX 3.4
Hound Dog: 2000 2.7i SC 4x4


One Staffie, One Jack Russell, One Ring Neck Screecher, 17 Fish of questionable heritage


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iHilux
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Mon May 25, 2009 11:38 pm

Thanks to Eric, here's my contribution.
PT3300 features mature technology, reliable performance, excellent audio quality and easy-to-use design. It is an ideal choice tool for two-way communication in simple and daily circumstances
Kirisun PT3300.jpg
Kirisun PT3300.jpg (23.14 KiB) Viewed 3245 times

Specifications:


Frenquency Range
136~174 MHz 400~420 MHz 450~470 MHz,
420~460 MHz 440~480 MHz

ChannelCapacity
15+1

Channel Spacing
25 KHz

Frenquency Stability
4ppm

Operating temperature
-10℃~+60℃

Operating voltage
7.5V DC ±20%

Dimension(H×W×D)
58mm×117mm×35mm

Weight
225g

Battery
1100mAh Li-ion
●Advantages

Channel Annunciation
While switching to another channel, the user can hear the voice annunciation of the current channel number.

CTCSS/DCS
38 groups of standard CTCSS and 83 groups DCS are available (PC programmable). Built-in CTCSS/DCS Encoder/Decoder can prevent co-channel interference and unwanted conversations on the same frequency and ensure smooth communication.

High/Low Power Switchable
The user can transmit signals in high or low power according to the actual needs. When in communication, transmitting in low power can reduce power consumption.

Auto Power-saving
Auto power-saving provides longer transmission and stand-by time.10 seconds after no signal or operation, the auto power-saving is activated to minimize power consumption. It resumes to normal mode while receive signals or being operated.

●General Functions

16 Channels (15+Scan)
15 communication channels and 1 scan channel provide flexible channel assignments among different user groups.

Multiple Scanning
Scan channel is convenient for the team leader to monitor the on-site situations. The scanning mode and scanning priority is programmable.


Low Battery Alert
When the battery power is low, the working status indicator flashes red, reminding you to recharge or replace the battery.

Time-out Timer (TOT)
When TOT is on and the transmission exceeds the preset time limit, the communication will stop after warning tone. TOT can prevent the radio from any potential damage caused by overlong transmission.

Monitor
To monitor whether the current channel has signal, press the MONI key. The Monitor function is used to receive weak signal.

Wired Clone
To quickly set the parameters on a radio, you can clone the radio data from another radio with the supplied data cable, saving the time of parameter setting.

Invalid Channel Alert
Thanks to Eric for allowing us use of, and testing the Kirisun PT 3300 radios for our trip to the Saamtrek at Khamkirri.

My overall impression of this little unit is that it is extremely reliable, has excellent audio quality and is easy-to-use. It is extremely handy when driving in a convoy or on the trail, and keeps up with all the other fixed mount units, although range would be it’s only “Achilles heel”.

Range.

Although very difficult to test, it is quite comfortable sending and receiving at 2km, with 3km quite possible at most times. Under good conditions, 5km is about the max. We did find that the unit was able to receive from further (no doubt due to a stronger signal from a fixed unit), but not able to send. Sound quality remains good over all distances and you can clearly hear what the other person is saying.

Battery life.

For monitoring purposes (ie on, but no talking), the batteries lasted for four days. En route to and at the Saamtrek, there was excessive radio talk, and the average battery life was around 14 hours. A rough estimate of the time spent on sending was around 5% and receiving I would guess closer to 20%. Charging the radios takes around 2 hours when using 220V. One of the drawbacks it that the unit does not have a battery indicator, but a neat little homemade 12V adapter helps to charge at anytime. Although a battery indicator would have been an added bonus, if you get into the habit of charging the unit every evening, you won’t be left standing. The unit works while in the charging cradle.

Interference.

During the time used, I hardly ever had any interference with the unit. For the purpose of testing, the unit had both the Cruiser frequency and the Off-road frequency programmed. When left on the scan channel, there were times that the unit picked up a hiss, and when monitoring the offending channel, it was every time on the off-road frequency channel. I can’t comment on the reason for this, but it did happen from time to time. Further, the unit behaved, even when using the GPS and CD player. The unit did however pick up quite a fuss when we played the kids portable DVD’s. So that being said, I don’t know if it is possible to manually adjust the squelch on the unit, but that would be another nice to have.

General.

A nice-to-have would be some kind of vehicle mounting bracket. This bracket / cradle can then also double as a charging unit. I clipped the unit onto the sun visor above my head, and barring one particular bouncy “dune storm” it stayed there all the time.

These radios are robust, well put together and sturdy. Its size is also a very big plus. It is almost the same size as a cell phone with a long aerial. It comes with a belt clip on the battery so you are able to carry it on your person if you are so inclined. It is great little unit, and right at home whether used in or out the vehicle.

Summary.

Pros:

- Price
- Size and weight
- Battery life and quick charge
- Simple and easy-to-use
- Audio quality and more that adequate volume
- 15 Channel & a scan channel
- Robust and solid design
- Portable

Cons:

- Range, in relation to fixed antenna units
- Lack of battery indicator
- Ability to adjust squelch

Eric, once again thank you for the opportunity and use of the unit. The KIRISUN PT3300 certainly gets my “thumbs up”.
2007 Toyota Land Cruiser 76 SW
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Family_Dog
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Tue May 26, 2009 3:09 pm

Wade,

Thanks for the most detailed report!

To recap: The PT3300 is a budget radio and therefore does not have too many pops and whistles, although its small size makes it very handy for people to cart around. It's chassis is rugged enough and I regard it as being one of the better VHF portable radios in its class.


Range between any two portable radios is 'line of sight', which equates to around 4-5km maximum in the open, but probably less than half of that when used in a vehicle, as you stated. RF power is usually set at around 4w (instead of the rated 5w) to provide for better battery life between charges, and the small loss of radiated RF power certainly won't affect the obtainable range to any significance.


Squelch adjustments can be made at a Dealer when programming the radio, and it might have been set a bit too fine if it picked up RF interference from the DVD players. We usually set the squelch tighter in certain cases, sspecially in an urban area. Basically, the DVD units then do not have RF filtering!


In general, the battery is designed to provide for an operating cycle of 8-10 hours usage using 5% talk time, 5% receive, and 90% standby. Your periods of battery life obtained are impressive! But there is, in fact, a simple low-battery alarm built in to the radio: The LED lights red while transmitting, lights green while receiving a signal; flashes red when the battery voltage is low; lights orange when turning on the radio.


Many thanks for your detailed report, it is of value. Basically, I wanted to test the PT3300, which is lower-priced portable radio in this type of operating scenario and this is the fourth such test on the very same units.


Many thanks for the detailed report. Those two radios have been to more places in Southern Africa than I can ever hope to be



-F_D
Image

White Fang: 1999 2.7i DC Raider 4x4
Bull Dog: 1987 4Y-EFI 2.2 DC 4x4
Pra Dog: 1998 Prado VX 3.4
Hound Dog: 2000 2.7i SC 4x4


One Staffie, One Jack Russell, One Ring Neck Screecher, 17 Fish of questionable heritage


Image

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