This is a great little (and inexpensive) radio
24 January, 2015
This is a great little (and inexpensive) radio. I have a much older pro 500 model that still works. That radio has been in an old jeep, mounted on a 4 wheeler, laying on the floor of a truck (temp install), and sitting on a shelf in an outside storage room (humid climate) for years. It's at least 20 years old... and it's still working. I made the mistake of letting someone open it up to "peak" it probably 15 years ago. It still works, but I think it did more harm than good. I recently hooked it up again. Receive was GREAT, but transmit wasn't so great (I'm blaming the "peak" job for that). It did transmit, but it wasn't very clear. I bet if it had never been hacked, it would be working perfectly. That's the main reason I decided to buy a similar model.
I was originally shopping for a bigger, fancier radio, but decided the price of this was a no-brainer. And it's really all I need. I spend about an hour a day on the road and mainly listen in for traffic reports and "bear" sightings. I connected it to a Wilson "Little Wil" and had a good SWR reading right away. Just like the old radio, the receive is great (and the speaker is nice and loud). I tested the stock mic, an old RK56, and a new Astatic Road Devil. The stock mic actually sounded the best. The RK56 was much quieter and sounded muffled (although it always worked great on a Cobra 29). The Road Devil was a bit louder, but lacked the clarity of the Uniden mic (but only slightly/not enough to matter). I personally don't like the small size of the stock mic, so I'm using the Road Devil for now. I hooked up the old radio (pro 500) to an AC adapter inside my garage and connected an old magnetic antenna to it. I let my kids talk to me on that radio as I drove a couple miles away. Even with that much less than ideal setup, the old radio was receiving my new 520xl loud and clear at 2 miles. Hopefully, this one will last as long as the old one.