Intek MT-5050 Review

Radio Supplied By Thunderpole

Features:

8 Channels PMR446 + 69 channels LPD433, 38 CTCSS Tones

Roger Bleep On/Off, Digital S/RF Meter, Adjustable Squelch

Backlit LCD Display, 8 Memory Channels

High/Low Power (500mw/10mw), Scan, Dual Watch,

4 Watts RF and Voice Scrambler (Export Version Only)

VOX, Power Save, 1500mAh Ni-MH Batteries and Charger Included

Price 63.61

First Impressions:

When you first take this radio out the box you instantly know that this is a bit special. This is not your ordinary PMR446 radio. The feel of the radio, and the build quality are well above average. All the controls are well laid out and the large display clearly shows all the required information for channel number, battery power, features etc. The radio comes complete with batteries, charger, belt clip, and an easy to follow instruction manual.

Performance:

The radio has a proper on/off/volume control which gives a reassuring click when you turn it on. All of the main buttons are located on the front of the radio. The PTT button is on the left hand side of the radio and on the right hand side we find the speaker/mic/charger sockets. The radio is designed to stand upright and does so very well, unlike some radios which tend to fall over.

The display screen is large and easy to read, showing all of the information you will need(Channel, CTCSS, Signal Meter, Hi/Lo Power etc).

Audio quality from the internal speaker is very good. Reports on outgoing audio are also very good but I quickly found that you need to talk across the microphone as it tends to distort slightly if you talk directly into it. In other words the microphone appears to be very sensitive.

Accessing all the features is very easy, all you need to do is press the MENU button until you reach the function you wish to alter then use the UP and DOWN arrows to change your selection.

The SCAN function scans the 8 PMR446 channels then the 69 LPD channels. It would have been nice to be able to select which band you want to scan especially as there always seems to be a strong signal on one of the LPD channels which stops the scan in mid-flow(The LPD channels are also used by door bells and car central locking systems). One way around this problem is to allocate the PMR channels into the 8 memory channels, then you can scan just the 8 PMR channels by switching to memory mode(Press and hold MENU then press the PTT button), then press the SCAN button.

 

One major advantage of this radio is that you can adjust the squelch level. The squelch can be set from 0(Squelch open) to 6(Only very strong signals are heard). I found that I could set the squelch to number 1 without any breakthrough from noise or static, thus I was able to hear even the weakest stations. I placed the Intek, a Motorola PMR, and a Cobra PMR side by side and listened. The Intek was able to receive stations that didn't make it through on the other two radios. This is mainly due to the adjustable squelch but I also believe that the receiver on the Intek is more sensitive than on other PMR radios.

Battery life using the supplied 1500mAh batteries is said to be 40 hours, which is very good indeed. Of course if you want more operating time it is easy to replace the batteries with higher capacity cells(I tried a set of 2700mAh batteries).

On The Air:

Initial tests from the house and from the car immediately produced better than expected results. The Intek was able to maintain contact when my other PMR radios could not(Again due to the low squelch setting on the Intek). Communication around town was ok up to about 2 miles. All stations reported that the outgoing audio was excellent.

Next it was time for a bit DX work, so off up to the top of my local pit heap. I had been on the CB radio earlier and told the local operators that I would be on PMR446 so I was hoping for several contacts. I was not disappointed!

Contacts were made with Stan - 1 mile, Arthur - 3 miles, Norman - 3 miles, Derek - 5 miles, Alfie - 10 miles and finally John - 13 miles. All of the contacts were with operators who were in their house at the time and they all gave a glowing report. At least 3 of the stations said they would seriously consider buying an Intek for themselves after hearing me on mine.

Conclusion:

What a great radio!

It looks the part, it feels the part, and it works really well. It's packed with features and is very easy to operate, there are several accessorises available such as drop in charger, speaker mic, etc. Overall it's a lovely bit of kit.

UPDATE: New SMA adapter, antenna and other accessories - CLICK HERE

Many thanks to Thunderpole for supplying the radio.

PLEASE MENTION 'DELBOY' WHEN CONTACTING THUNDERPOLE


Power/Frequency Modification:

It should be noted that all tests were carried out with the standard European 500mw radio and NOT with the export version which can give 4 watts of output power. For details of the 4 watt, expanded frequency modification please visit my UNOFFICIAL UHF CB PAGE. Thunderpole WILL NOT  modify this radio and any modifications made to the radio will render the warranty void.


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