TESTED: GME TX3350 UHF RA­DIO

A MUFFLED TWO-WAY RA­DIO CAN BE DAN­GER­OUS. GME HAS A FIX, WITH ITS TX3350 OF­FER­ING CLEAR SOUND, 80 CHAN­NELS AND FULL-FUNC­TION LCD CON­TROLLER.

4 x 4 Australia - - Front Page -

WE ALL love to chat on two-way ra­dios, whether it’s with fel­low trav­ellers about how they’re trav­el­ling, strangers about haz­ardous road con­di­tions, or sta­tion work­ers about ac­cess­ing land. How­ever, one thing is for sure: It’s a damn pain when we can’t hear each other prop­erly. It’s a sit­u­a­tion usu­ally caused by one of two things: the UHF is out of range, or it has poor sound qual­ity and vol­ume.

Of­ten, no mat­ter how high we turn up the vol­ume, all we get is louder muffled noise, be­cause the speaker is mounted within the dash or near the footwell. Some ra­dios have an op­tional re­mote speaker, but many don’t. The al­ter­na­tive has been a hand­set with a built-in speaker, which is smaller and there­fore eas­ier to at­tach to the dash or con­sole. But this still raises the prob­lem of sound qual­ity; by hold­ing the mic and speaker, you’re in­ad­ver­tently block­ing the sound or hav­ing to hold a mic that’s too large.

This is not so with the TX3350, which fea­tures the trade­marked Sound­path speaker mi­cro­phone. What the en­gi­neers at GME have man­aged to do is pro­ject the sound away from your hand to al­low clear sound from the in-built speaker.

GME has also man­aged to pro­duce an er­gonomic, full-func­tion LCD hand­piece to con­trol all fea­tures of the base unit – a top ef­fort in minia­tur­i­sa­tion. The head unit can be tucked away un­der the dash, within the con­sole, un­der a seat or in any other hid­den space. It comes with an ex­ten­sion lead from the head unit to the mi­cro­phone. The hand­piece is mounted on a tra­di­tional mi­cro­phone clip, and ex­tra ex­ter­nal speak­ers aren’t nec­es­sary.

The TX3350 also fea­tures dig­i­tal sig­nal pro­cess­ing for pure sound, user-se­lectable/ ad­justable open and group scan, squelch, du­plex chan­nels and pri­or­ity chan­nel, plus 104 in-built DCS codes, 50 in-built CTCSS codes, five-digit sel­call with quiet mode, and a five-year war­ranty. It’s Aus­tralian de­signed, en­gi­neered and man­u­fac­tured.

Hav­ing used the GME TX3350 for just a few weeks, I reckon it’s the duck’s nuts of UHF ra­dios. I didn’t need the ex­ten­sion lead as I’ve semi-hid­den the head unit un­der the cen­tre dash and hung the mi­cro­phone where my gan­gly arm can eas­ily reach it. Some­thing I’ve found over the years with some ‘loaded’ hand­held mi­cro­phones is the an­noy­ing ease of ac­ci­dently push­ing but­tons while us­ing the mic. Some­times I’ve un­in­ten­tion­ally changed chan­nels while talk­ing; other times I’ve in­ad­ver­tently turned the vol­ume way down, leav­ing me to won­der why no one wanted to talk to me!

Not so with the GME TX3350. The er­gonomics of the hand­piece negate ac­ci­den­tal but­ton-push­ing.

I’ve opted for a GME AE4705 an­tenna that mea­sures 1200mm long and has a 6.6dbi gain. It’s ground in­de­pen­dent and came com­plete with a sturdy spring base. The fi­bre­glass whip is eas­ily re­mov­able should I wish to use shorter (for hilly coun­try) or longer (for flat coun­try) whips to suit dif­fer­ent ter­rain.

Same goes for the su­per-rugged, heavy­duty stain­less-steel spring mount; I had the same on my last ve­hi­cle and, while it soaks up the stresses of cor­ru­ga­tions and pot holes, it doesn’t flop all over the show like a pansy in a gale.

All up, I’ve got a bril­liant UHF set-up that’s been de­signed and man­u­fac­tured in Aus­tralia for our con­di­tions. The com­pact­ness of the head unit al­layed my fears of squeez­ing it into my dash, and the hand­held unit de­liv­ers qual­ity easy-to­hear sound. It’s a beauty! Once I learn which but­ton does what, all I’ll need is some­one who’ll lis­ten to me.

RATED

AVAIL­ABLE FROM: www.gme.net.au RRP: TX3350 $449.00. AE4705 $249.95. WE SAY: Com­pact; easy to use; full-fea­tured. That’s all of it hang­ing on my dash – speaker and all.

Every­thing in the palm of my hand.

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