Retevis RT24 Set of 2 legal radio stations

In this review, I want to talk about the couple completelylegal (in the Russian Federation) radio stations, and these are no longer children's soap boxes, but devices that can be used comfortably without, however, violating the framework of the law. No superpowers are expected from these radios, but they justify their cost. I will describe the details further ...

PrefaceTo start explain why thesewalkie-talkies. I can describe myself as a “non-favorite with experience” and although it would be interesting for me to dig into the forbidden frequencies, common sense insisted on a more pragmatic version. I plan to use radios several times a year in the forest “for mushrooms” and, possibly (very rarely), for connecting two cars on the track. I live in a densely populated area with law enforcement agencies, and in case of unplanned contact, I want to avoid the unwanted “gun on the stigma”. Another factor is that the second half of the equipment will have to be operated by the sensitive female hands of my beloved half and, knowing its nature, the device must have the functionality of a kitchen knife: to have a minimum of parts and maximum performance in the area of ​​its destination. Therefore, buttons on the front panel, a screen, no one needs a flashlight, separate SOS keys and off-SPP ... generally everything that requires playful pens of advanced amateur radio skills would be undesirable. Well, the last argument was the "week of discounts on Ali" in late August. I suffered for a long time, I monitored coupons on the musk, but in the end I decided to order for $ 24. (now this kit comes for $ 27)
about ordering


I chose delivery from a warehouse in Moscow (for cheaper than from China), after 4 days the courier brought the parcel.
Characteristics *: General
Model - RT-24
Range - PMR446
Number of channels - 16
Power - 3.7V Li-ion battery
Operating temperatures - from -10 to + 50C
Antenna impedance - 50 ohm
Communication mode - simplex
Speaker power - 1 W
Capacity of the battery - 1100 mA / h
Receiver
Reception sensitivity - <= 0.2 µV
Selectivity -> = 65 dB
Impedance -> = 55 dB
Audio Distortion - <= 5%
Standby / active receive current 80/220 mA
Transmitter
Output power 2 / 0.5 W
Current in transmission mode 0.5 / 2W - 0.8 / 2.3 A
* All specifications can be found in the Guide (link at the end of the review), I quoted, those that could translate
Description of radio
The kit is sufficient for immediateuse - received, opened, assembled, loaded and went to the forest. There is a plastic latch, lanyard and even a headset in the kit. When ordering, charging can be selected from the network or from USB.

The radio RT-24 is assembled in a classic ergonomiccase, the only push button PTT on the side face is located exactly under the finger, the stroke is soft with tactile feedback - click when pressed and heard and felt.

The remaining two controls are in the form of twists.With a comfortable corona handle. On the right is the volume control and it turns off the radio in the extreme position. In the center of the channel selector at 16 positions. There is the voice of the selected channel in a male clear voice, quite legibly.
Left antenna, declared as non-removable (more on that later).

On the right, a rubber plug covers the headset / programmer connector.

And everything, nothing superfluous, only in the case. An important advantage is that if you unplug the battery, on the back wall there are factory settings: PMR range, power 0.5 W. Within the limits established by law.

And this information is always with you, no need to carry any passports and prove that you are not a camel.
Check in the forest
Walkie-talkies were taken on the first mushroom outing. Here I confess, we could not disperse to such a distance, at which the reception would worsen. I marked on the map the most distant points from which we communicated, it turned out one and a half kilometers plus or minus .. (this is at a power of 0.5 W, because I received the programming cable later). Communication remained clear and clear, without hints of deterioration.


More in the forest to get out yet fails, deeds, deeds ...
In the village
Average indicators are as follows: reliable reception and good audibility up to 500 meters at a power of 0.5 W and up to 1 km at a power of 2 W.
For testing, subscriber 1 was placed onthe playground of the inner yard territory, the subscriber 2 left him according to the average typical urban development (almost all the houses on the way of the radio signal - panel reinforced concrete.
At a power of 0.5 W and a distance of 350 meters - the connection is clear without hints of noise, you can communicate perfectly.

At a power of 0.5 W and a distance of 650 meters - all the words can still be heard without interruption, but against the background of noises, it is possible to communicate, but it is already dangerous to disperse further.

At a power of 2 watts and a distance of 900 meters - the connection is clear without hints of noise, you can perfectly communicate.

At a power of 2 W and a distance of 1200 meters - all the words can still be heard without interruption, but against the background of noises, it is possible to communicate, but it is already dangerous to disperse further.

Charger..


Possible improvementsWhen there is a cable for programming (I ordered right here) you can configure advanced options foreach channel, the general parameters, and also increase the transmit power to 2 watts. To my regret, the popular CHIRP program does not read the settings (there are no Retevis RT-24 in the list of models, I hope, temporarily).
These parameters are read from the factory radio standard program RT24:

The nominal “fixed” antenna (11 cm) is in fact simply fixed by a locking screw.

If we weaken it, the antenna is unscrewed and we are holding a conventional antenna with an SMA-male connector.

I suppose that by replacing regular antennas with quarter-wave antennas, you can still increase the communication range, but it will be uncomfortable to walk with such antennas in the forest.
Conclusions I was pleased with the drafts. I understand that the power is small, for such money you can buy something up to 5 W, but (IMHO!) In the conditions for which these radios were purchased, I could not go beyond their capabilities. Plus, I walk with a clear conscience, because I know that I'm not breaking anything. There are no problems with batteries, as in the "children's" models, charged, thrown into a backpack. For more serious tasks, I will look for a separate other subject, when a need arises for this, now these radios are just what was needed. Along the way, another scenario of their use came to light - a nephew looked in and dragged the street to play spies))
Additional materials•Some theory and useful information.
Briefly about frequencies and subtones.
Another interesting article for beginners.
RT-24 User Guide
Native RT24 utility for programming
Retevis C9018a Cable Drivers
For this, let me leave, I will be glad if the review helps to make a choice.