This page is for information, notes, links, and thoughts about this hardware. It is not intended as a thorough review, or an argument. I do not claim to be an expert on this hardware.
Purchased from the QRZ.com swapmeet, from another ham. I guess I figured that getting one someone else had already tested would be a good idea. These are regularly available on eBay and through other channels. They're a pre-built version of a design you can make yourself. They come in a few different case styles, with a narrow variety of advertised specs. Basically, some enterprising builders over in China found the uSDX open designs, and decided to make a few bucks.
Things I Like About the uSDX Clone
For the price, the radio is great. It's a lot of fun, and it makes contacts. Right out of the box, I was able to get across the country SSB voice without an issue. Digital was easy enough to setup, and I was able to use JS8Call with it just fine. The case feels very solid, and the internal battery works well. Even on the battery, I easily get 5W out with the right settings, and more if I try harder. The built-in speaker and mic seem to work well, and my model has a PTT button on the side, so you can operate it like an HT. Very easy to operate.
There are some out there who want to harp on these for being non-compliant with FCC regulations. Ultimately, it's a nonsensical argument, as the operator can and should modify the radio to ensure proper operation. This isn't a type-certified radio, and it doesn't claim to be. It's a pre-assembled homebrew radio kit, and can be treated as such to produce a functional and affordable station that meets all the requirements. It's not a Yaesu , it's just a no-brand kit. Have fun, alter it, and be a ham.
Things I Dislike About the uSDX Clone
- The hand mic was trash. It worked, but the quality was horrible.
- The VFO knob was loose, but even tightened it feels very sloppy and is at a strange angle. Maybe I'll re-solder the encoder.
- Case is slick. I 3D printed some rails, which help make it easier to hold, and a stand.
- Documentation is non-existant. At least, specifics on this build. You have to dig around and find what you can, or take it apart to determine pinouts.
- Getting CAT control working is either hard or impossible.
- Menus can be a little funky, with some options not functional.
Bottom line on the dislikes is: this is not a commercial rig. If you expect it to be, you'd be disappointed. If you keep your perspective, you'll have some fun.
uSDX Chinese Clone Files
I have a few files for these, hosted here: usdx chinese clone files