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Huang's AN/PRC-148 radio replica

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Old July 29th, 2009, 16:52   #1
Kokanee
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Huang's AN/PRC-148 radio replica

I ordered the "Bowman" package AN/PRC-148 from Huang during the first round of shipments. It arrived in record time and comms from the seller were great with tracking # provided.

However after fiddling with this item for about an hour, I have to say that it is not worth the $195 I spent, or even $50. It's complete and utter shite.

Now onto the particulars;



The "rechargeable battery" goes into this section here. To get to it you have to unscrew two screws that go into the brass inserts (which are glued to the body of the radio). The plug is not a standard TM large plug, but a unique one that is matched to the included charger. The charger supplied looks to be a converted cell phone charger, so be prepared to wait a while to charge your battery up.

I should note that this connector arrived with a detached wire, I reinserted the wire before taking this photo.



The buttons seen here are the only way to interact with the radio. Drilled into the plastic body of the radio, they stick out and are an eyesore on the front portion. The red button is the power button, and pushing it for 2 seconds will turn the radio off. Given how far it sticks out, I can see this accidentally powering off your radio at random if stuck in a pouch.



The long "duckbill" style antenna that comes with the radio arrived broken, the element and connector were attached via a weak glue and came right apart.



The connector for the headset cord cannot be properly plugged into the unit. The threads on the chassis of the radio are covered in plastic, and this must be removed otherwise the cable pulls out at the slightest stiff breeze.



The battery is simply AA rechargeables thrown into a Radio Shack style battery pack, and a plug thrown on. Liberal amounts of the same white glue used on the antenna have been sprayed into the case and the screw, so I havn't gotten a chance to take it apart. But seriously, for almost $200 I'm getting this?



The only good thing I have to say about this radio is the trademark stickers. They are nice and spot on.

Conclusion

Overall this is the worst bit of airsoft kit I have bought over the years. Yes it's a "china made" replica, but I was expecting much much better for the kind of money that was being asked for this item.

The amount of broken/non operational bits that this unit arrived with, the lack of instructions, the crappy build quality. It all amounts to a lemon.

I'm giving this radio 1/5 Goulets. RUN! Do not walk away from this as fast as you can.



*Update: Was not able to get this radio working after charging the battery, this radio is DOA. However Huang has stood by his product and has agreed to offer me a refund.

Last edited by Kokanee; July 29th, 2009 at 17:10..
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Old July 29th, 2009, 17:03   #2
ex
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Glad I didn't fork over the money...I had a feeling this would happen.
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Old July 29th, 2009, 17:14   #3
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i knew they would suck. i could just tell but thats even worse then i thought. pure shit
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Old July 29th, 2009, 17:18   #4
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You must understand that the price you are paying for a headset and a UHF radio, that it's actually a good deal. Now, it's not top notch, but it functions, and it functions properly and effectively.

The radio comes through exceptionally clear and the headset transmits and receives very effectively. You are able to communicate with any FRS or GMRS radio, and the range that it has is really exceptional. It has the necessary squelch features as well as Dual Watch and other such features only available on more expensive radios.

Yes, the build quality is low, and it doesn't look terribly pretty, but, it's going to sit in a pouch, and not really be looked at. As for your comment about hitting the power button, I would say that is the worst part about the radio, though since nobody has field tested it yet... I can't say whether it will be problematic or not.

The whip anttenna is just for looks... it's not going to give you much more of an effective range at all since the actual antenna part is only 4'' long, even without the antenna plugged in, I am picking up transmissions from local towing companies and such. The solid antenna is a much better choice, and definitely the one I will be utilizing.

As for the headset not plugging in properly... yes, that's a design flaw, but it's nothing that a little cutting of the plastic doesn't easily solve. The headset itself is built well with no issues, and the PTT works every time.

All in all I'd say this was a great purchase for the price. In no way would you be able to find a keypad programmable UHF radio and a Bowman Headset that would be even close to this price, better yet one that has the appearance of an MBITR.

It's not top notch stuff, but for the $180 shipped I spent on the Bowman package, I am very very happy with how it performs.

You have to keep in mind, you're not buying just another FRS radio here, but rather a high powered UHF radio, you simply cannot try and compare the 2. You bought a chinese radio, you should have expected to do a little work to get it to run properly.

Last edited by cgyarring; July 29th, 2009 at 17:22..
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Old July 29th, 2009, 17:25   #5
Kokanee
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cgyarring, I'm glad yours arrived in working order and has tested well. As I was unable to get mine working your comments are good for feedback in that regard.

Well aware that the whip antenna is just for show, I work in the communications field for a living, and am gtg when it comes to things like RF propagation theory and antenna lengths etc, my beef was with the build quality.
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Old July 29th, 2009, 17:49   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgyarring View Post
[snip]
Yes, the build quality is low, and it doesn't look terribly pretty, but, it's going to sit in a pouch, and not really be looked at.
[snip]
All in all I'd say this was a great purchase for the price. In no way would you be able to find a keypad programmable UHF radio and a Bowman Headset that would be even close to this price, better yet one that has the appearance of an MBITR.
[snip]
You have to keep in mind, you're not buying just another FRS radio here, but rather a high powered UHF radio, you simply cannot try and compare the 2. You bought a chinese radio, you should have expected to do a little work to get it to run properly.
If it's just going to sit in a pouch, why does it matter whether it looks like a MBITR or not? And if appearance is not an issue, yes, there are much better deals to be had.

For around the same price, maybe a few bucks more, one can get a Linton LT-6288. It's the most highly recommended UHF set here on ASC.

http://www.airsoftcanada.com/showthr...ghlight=Linton

Made in China, but has the full range of functions you'd expect in a UHF with a working LED and keypad (not just transmit/receive, on/off) with excellent build quality. Pick up the bowman set separately, strap a fake whip antanny to your radio pouch and you end up with a far superior set up.

And seriously, I doubt Kokanee was even remotely comparing this to bubble pack FRS when he wrote this review. Given the quality of other Chinese-made UHF like the Linton, I can see why he'd be understandably disappointed.
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Old July 29th, 2009, 18:37   #7
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This is a pre-order, so there could be some surpise. I offered Kokanee a return/refund since he bought through me. Next time, better come in my store check before buying if you don't like surprise lol.

Once you lock the radio keypad, the on/off red switch is locked too. So no worry.

So radio itself seems a working UHF raido with a 148 looks. Acoording to cgyarring, the radio seems pretty fun. I am looking foward to try it out myself. :-)

When I got the radio, those who are interested in can come in my store and try it out its. I will get a replacement antenna.

I also have the toy solder 148 dummy box in stock. If you have a radio and want a 148 looks, give it a try.

This is not a mass production product, but an airsoft project. price wise, you can't really compare it to a Linton radio.

Last edited by huang; July 30th, 2009 at 00:55..
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Old July 30th, 2009, 23:35   #8
ex
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Ugh....Almost 200 bucks to be told it's just a pre order? an Airsoft Project? That was NEVER outlined in the sales thread. Was it? The pics were sketchy at best..taken by a cell phone. But the utter shit quality come on. The manufacturer should be ashamed of themselves. At least Huang offered a refund,..most would tell you to fuck off and deal with it. Good on your Huang. But this mentality that its made for airsoft and you should expect shit...forget it. 200 bucks is 200 bucks. I don't have a spare C note sitting in my wallet. Every penny I spend is accounted for and if I got this piece of crap I'd be pissed.
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Old July 30th, 2009, 23:54   #9
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It looks sweet anyways, I will wait till the product finishes and ratings would get at least 3-4/5, then I will grab one. Muahah. Is there a way where you can convert the connector to use for airsoft battery packs?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 13:55   #10
Kokanee
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... Is there a way where you can convert the connector to use for airsoft battery packs?
Yes, just clip off the supplied connector and solder on a dean's plug or other battery connector.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 22:44   #11
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I have to say that given the price, I'm kind of disappointed too. As a radio, it works pretty good, but the build quality is very very low. The knock off bowman headset is the worst. The build quality on the headset is extremely low and the audio quality isn't top notch. The charger just plain sucks. I unplugged it and the prongs came out and the wires broke. I had to solder the wires back on and epoxy the prongs back in to keep it from breaking everytime it's used. I was also quite disappointed to see everything thrown togeather with white glue. My antenna isn't broken, but I can tell it will break in the near future, same way kokanee's did. For $200, I was expecting better then this. It's also not the same radio shown in the photos in the thread and on the red dragon site.

EDIT: Well, repairs to the charger failed and the charger broke, AGAIN! I refuse to repair the thing every single damn time I have to charge the battery. I am not happy. The radio is useless as anything but a paper weight with the charger constantly breaking and both antennas likely to break in the very near future. Not to mention the danger of electricution it's put me in having to yank the charger prongs out of live plugs, twice now!

When I first got the radio, I was pleased. But now, with the charger breaking everytime I touch it, and the discovery of more and more flaws, I am not satisfied. With an extra 50 bucks, I could've had a top notch 5 Watt UHF, or the batteries I need for my 6 GE MPA UHFs. Right now, I essentially have a paper weight shaped like a radio.

Should've gotten element to make the radio.
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Last edited by redhawk_six; July 31st, 2009 at 23:09..
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Old August 1st, 2009, 02:03   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ex View Post
Glad I didn't fork over the money...I had a feeling this would happen.
wow i got a toy soldier AN/PRC-148, it use 5 AA battery, but the qulity of radio i guess is no better than the huang's one(talk buttom on the side of radio is better than huang's one it's bigger like the real one), also when i first got my radio it was transfer only can't even receive anything, after i took the handset apart and redo the wiring, it's working again but it's like voice control only, the talk button on the handset is totally not working .
i paid 145us so what can i say hopefully the later version could get better.
i may wait for a few more month to buy from huang see how it's turn out i think it should be much better .
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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:34   #13
huang
 
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I am communicating with manfuacturer DH workshop to see what's going on with the radio. Send me more picutres of the broken parts will help.

I can see most of the compaints about the charger, antenna, headset which I might get the reinforced replacement.

So more detail info/pcitures is welcome. I am sure we will figure out a way to resolve the issues.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 13:19   #14
MadMorbius
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Reinforced? How about they just make them to standards. Like, solder?
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Old August 1st, 2009, 15:03   #15
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Really, the radio itself isn't horrid, it works fairly well. Once you get past the extremely poor build quality of the antenna, battery, headset, and charger, you have the basis for a decent airsoft radio, as long as you don't abuse it too much. But as a workhorse radio for other applications, where it would see heavy use, it's not up to the task.

That being said, the quality (or lack there of) of the solder job on the charger does cause me concern for how long the radio will function properly before the soldering fails in it too.
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