GME radios: Product test
For directions when reversing onto your site or as general communication between vehicles, a hand-held radio should be part of every vanner’s kit.
Although everyone has a mobile phone these days, there’s no doubt that hand-held UHF radios are better for general communication.
We decided to road test GME’s TX670 UHF 477MHz 80-channel hand-held units.
The TX670s are a 2W unit that comes with a number of features, including a scanning ability, the capability to monitor two selected channels at the same time, a keypad lock to prevent accidental setting changes, rechargeable batteries and the ability to reduce transmitter power to conserve battery power.
That’s just a few of the features included in these relatively small hand-helds. For those who are in and out of vehicles all the time, another is the accessory connection for an optional ear and speaker microphone.
The performance of the 2W TX670s was excellent but there were occasions when my personal 3W TX680 80-channel radio seemed to operate better over longer distances. That’s not a criticism of the TX670s; rather, it’s an observation that it’s important to consider how you will use your hand-helds before buying them.
A couple of radios have very recently been added to the GME range: the TX666 (1W) and GME 675 (2W). Both come with lithium batteries, which GME says will give up to 14 hours’ operation. But their other feature is the charging method.
They can be charged from a 5V USB socket, which will bring many cheers from those, including yours truly, who have to lug around a bag full of battery chargers – one less unit to worry about. Of course, GME does supply chargers with the radios, both 12V and 240V mains supply, but it’s good to know that that just the lead can be carried.
Fitted to vehicle
There are many RV travellers who really don’t need a hand-held unit but who find it very useful to have one fitted in their vehicle. Most of the units that GME supplies, such as the TX 3100, are 5W-rated and come with a microphone and all the essentials.
However, there are units designed for confined spaces (like the TX 3345) as well the TX 4600 for use in things like quad bikes. Additionally, there are radios like the TX3510WS that have a steering wheel mount control – always good for frequent users.
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #535 March 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!