These low cost UHF DMR radios are not “endorsed” by PNWDigital but may be used. If you are new to DMR, this series of UHF DMR HT’s will not provide the best user experience for you to fairly evaluate DMR. There may be a place for them such as for use on hotspots, back-up, throw-away, simplex or full duplex monitoring.

Early testing puts the C004D (4D for short) at the head of the class of the 3 for a value/cost ratio. It is about $30 (Amazon with coupon) currently while the C001D (1D for short) is about $21. Get the “4D” as it is substantially better for a few more dollars. It uses a different prog cable but uses the same battery as the “1D”‘s (nice if you already have one). Do not pay $60 for the “4D”, there are better and proven HT’s out there with a decent track record.

Pictured are the Anytone 878-I / C001D / C004D / C006D

Amazon Reference: C001D // C004D // C006D // Prog Cables are $9 for the 1D and 6D, $20 for the 4D

BOTTOM-LINE TIP: Go for the C004D (at around $30 out the door) if you are interested in the cheap C001D for any use other than monitoring. The upgraded “4D” is so much better and has multiple zone, 32 channels rather than 16 in the single zone, translucent display and works quite well on VHF and 220 with an antenna mod

The C006D $65-$100 UHF “professional” radio is best of the lot and may be useful on VHF. So the value/cost is about half of the dual-band Anytone 868 at around $120 and I’d go with the 868 if possible. No 223.5 Rx lock was evident (1D and 4D do work on 220 DMR). See more on this radio (below).

C001D Codeplug, Information and Screenshots of the programming in the Starter Codeplug are <here>

C006D Update: Seems to function as described, no issues yet, single receive, appears to be No digital monitor, so must use the Rx/Scan technique, has interesting Equalizer setting in radios menu. Knee jerk reaction is this radio might be worth $57 but still the 868 at under $120 would be the better value.

I’m working on creating test codeplugs so I can better evaluate “4D” and “6D”. PNWD Starter Codeplugs will appear in our Codeplug directories eventually.

While the Cotre’s are very low cost, they are especially poor for first time DMR users and should not be considered a primary radio. The user’s DMR experience is likely to be inferior as the radio does not have the great ham features of the Anytones and will not likely make for a good first impression of Ham DMR. Simplex and single slot hotspot use may be OK as well a a glovebox, backpack or secondary radio.

BEWARE: It appears that the CPS is the same for all 3 radios. But be sure to load and write the correct codeplug to hardware. The wrong version written to the radio can BRICK it. Ask me how I know this. The stock codeplug for each radio is included in each CPS for each version. Or you can just read your new radio, save it, tuck it away and then resave it again under a new working filename and build away.

The Cotre’s should be considered an experimental radio and not a primary DMR radio for new DMR users.

List below is pending and will expand as I get time to work through the 3 models

C001D Pro’s

  • Inexpensive at $13-$21 on Amazon
  • Fine for monitoring, hotspot use, simplex, glovebox, backpack, spare or emergency use
    • Use it a duplex monitor radio back from a repeater for feedback on your signal
  • Tx audio quality is good overall but very low and not adjustable
  • Use external speaker for excellent Rx audio monitoring
    • 2.5mm RS male out to amplified computer speakers
    • Use 1k to 1.2k ohm resistor in series with a .01 mf capacitor cut bass and decrease level
      • This puts level 1 or 2 out of 1D to around 1/3-1/2 of computer speaker volume range
    • feed 2 “1D’s” (or 4d’s) out to left and right of computer speakers
      • I made a “Y” cable for two 2.5mm TS males to one 3.5mm TRS female (for standard computer speaker stereo in for radio left and right)
  • Can be modified for very wide Rx, down into VHF and up higher, for RX only
  • Standard low power USB port on a computer, etc will charge fine
    • Charge in car or RV via 5 VDC micro B USB male to charger base
    • Radio off draws almost nothing and radio on draws 45 mA with radio idling
  • Great support site with a VHF Rx mod/service at: jhart99-AJ6JA
  • Use of the AJ6JA Unlocker, CPS is enabled for 100-999 Mhz channel entry (thanks to AC7RX)
    • WARNING: Tx outside of 400-480 may break things
    • Rx on VHF analog and DMR works with less sensitivity and likely reduced Tx output
      • Tested was s220 RF repeater 19 miles away using quartwave spike antenna on HT
    • TX on 220 Mhz works on analog, DMR was not tested but should work (WARNING)

C001D Con’s

  • No Display, 2 Watts, UHF only (mod for 100-999 Rx available)
  • 1 zone of 16 channels from a selection of 32 channels ,maximum
  • No digital monitor but can use mix of scan and RX groups for pseudo promiscuous mode
  • Short battery life
  • Hot minimum audio level with hot voice annunciation as well
    • Internal speaker audio quality is OK, external speaker or speaker/mic might be an improvement (pending)
  • Programming cable is not included, uses Baofeng style cable but most cables fail as the Cotre expects the CH-340 chip
    • Prog cable most likely to work uses the CH-340 chip, prog cable is $9 on Amazon
  • Antenna connector is a 3mm screw with no ground (but has been modified to an SMA)

So now have 2 1D’s listening the desk chargers 7/24. The wall wart is 5VDC @ 550mA into a micro B connector. Radio batteries charge at 4.2 VDC and float at 4.1 VDC. Radio on in charger with fully charged battery is drawing about 45mA. So a standard low power USB port on a computer, etc will keep these radios charged, so you can charge them in the car if you like.

C004D Pros – this is the model suggested as having the best value/cost ratio (VHF, 220 & UHF)

  • Around $30 currently
  • Much improved over the 1D
  • Numeric display through translucent case
  • Lowest volume level better than the hot 1D
  • Tx Audio is higher (better) and has more settings (not yet explored, but seems good to enable all 3 in Tx)
  • Uses same battery and charger (more of less) as the 1D
  • Smaller than the 1D, more a pocket radio
  • Better for use by EmComm or other groups that need simple radios
    • Cheaper for mass users by personnel who don’t full need displays
    • Near disposable radio
  • Unique PTT approach, not a plus or minus, just different or weird
    • The PTT switch is where the speaker normally is – very large button
    • But it is fine, speaker is located at the bottom front of the radio
  • LED for PTT, Signal Rx, etc is located as a ring around the base of antenna and is used for several functions
    • Red for Tx, Dark Green for active talker, light green for TG Group Call Hang Time and Scan active
  • Display is numerical, translucent through front of radio above the speaker
  • Use of the AJ6JA Unlocker (or Hex Edit), codeplug can be enabled for 144-470 Mhz channel entry (thanks to AC7RX)
    • VHF and 220 work on DMR, antenna is very poor for out of band operation and needs to be mod’ed
    • AC7RX has upgraded the antenna for better Rx and Tx
    • See more info in the C001D Pro section above
  • Best Value for a $30 FM/DMR Tri-band HT with translucent display, far better than the “1D”

C004D Cons

  • 2 watts, UHF only, Fixed antenna
  • Shorter battery life (if like the “1D” model), battery difficult to access, so likely must keep the charger handy
  • Cotre Prog cable is a micro B and is $20 on Amazon…but see below for $13 cable
  • Headphone Jack is 2.5 mm, marked as headphones
    • Unknown if it supports mic, but likely does (undetermined at this time)
    • Unknown if this 2.5 jack is TRS or TRRS version, guess would be TRS
  • Antenna is not removable, about 3 inches in length with green LED ring at base
    • Needs to be modified for use on VHF or 220, either cobble antenna or hardware your own wire/antenna

C006D Pro’s

  • 4 watts, SMA-R antenna connector, same as the Anytone
  • Closer to a professional radio…at least by Chinese standards but nowhere close to an old Anytone 868
  • 1024 channels, 1024 contacts, 10 scan lists, 32 talkgroups per RX Group
    • (more pro than con but weak against Anytone)
    • Scan is fairly fast looping through 14 channels
  • Uses same Baofeng Ch340 cable as the C001D, $9 on Amazon
  • Unlocker works as well and appears to have normal low power, suggest setting the useful range to: 144-470 Mhz
    • Must use a dual band antenna but hit a DMR repeater on low power, 8 miles out at -114 through the forest
    • SMA-R antenna connector is deep reash, so be sure your antenna connects to center pin
    • I trimmed the rubber off the base of the antenna to get an extra 1/16th inch
    • FM RF Power output using Bird 43 5 watt slug in appropriate range (used 3 slugs 100-1000 Mhz)
      • 445.00 – Low Power = 1.20 watts // High Power = 3.8 watts
      • 223.50 – Low Power = 0 watts // High Power = .05 watts (No Rx lock at 223.5)
      • 146.00 – Low Power = 1.22 watts // High Power = 2.4 watts
      • 700.00 – Low Power = 0 watts // High Power = 0 watts
      • 925.00 – Low Power = 0 watts // High Power = 0 watts
      • No Rx sensitivity measurements done as yet, VHF is likely good based on Tx testing
    • Bottom line: get a 868 for around $120 for all but throw-away back-up uses.
  • Audio Equalizer has settings for 400, 1000 and 2500 Hz and then level changes from 0 to minus 4
    • not fully explored as to their effect, likely for Rx side
    • Mic has a denoiser (honest, that is the term), likely a form of level control

Might be a decent inexpensive $63 Dual band FM/DMR Starter Radio without the many features of the Anytone HT’s

C006D Cons

  • UHF only (but can be unlocked)
  • Single band receive
  • $65 to $100, save your money and get a more mainstream and better supported radio for the money, pending though
  • Programing cable not included but uses the same cable as the inexpensive “1D”
    • ($9 on Amazon), USB A with electronics to the Kenwood 2 pin type connector
  • Less display information displayed compared to Anytones
  • SMS is not compatible with Anytone

That is about the end of the testing…likely not much more to be published beyond the 1D codeplug, possibly the 4D codeplugs but I doubt many hams will spring for the 4D…no7rf

First Published: January 20, 2022 Last Updated: 1 year ago by Mike – NO7RF

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Thanks Mike. I agree with your observations and review comments for the CO01D, which I got 2 weeks or so ago to test out. I also would like to stress that this radio would provide very poor introduction to DMR compared to a radio with a display, with zones, front-panel programming, an antenna jack, 2 watts max, and a host of other things listed in your ‘Cons’ section. I’d also like to reiterate for new users of DMR that 16 channels also means a maximum of 16 talk groups, since there is no way to separately select a talk group from having one TG tied to one channel. So very limiting!

    I noticed that the programming cable you linked is now selling for $19, but this Baofeng badged one says it has the (compatible) CH-340 chip and appears to be the one I’ve been using, and for around $10 (amazon):

    For the new user of these radios:
    There seems to be a lot of variation in different hams’ success with programming the CO01D. I have one computer (Win7) that has almost no problems with the read / write to the radio, and another (Win 10) computer that won’t work. It could be drivers… Also, occasionally it fails to load the code plug, gives a communications error. I retry and it usually works. Sometimes power cycling the radio helps. Worse though, a few times out of my 100 or so programmings of it it appears to load normally but something is amiss. Once the voice prompts disappeared but reloading the same code plug fixed it. Be sure to test your programming changes! I will post a code plug for starters soon, using the basic system settings that Mike has come up with but probably a little different for scanning and pseudo-monitoring mode.

    Greg – AC7RX
    Olympia, Wa

  2. Mike - NO7RF

    Great report Greg. Thanks. The $19 cable is for the “4D”.

    Do you wish to share the secret stuff that might drive some experimenters to the “1D”? It was rather cool discovery. I’m curious about sensitivity but haven’t gotten out the service monitor.

    I now have 2 “1D”s on the desk on computer speakers and they do sound excellent…now this makes for great DMR monitoring of you hotspots or area repeaters.

    So now have 2 1D’s listening the desk chargers 7/24. The wall wart is 5VDC @ 550mA into a micro B connector. Radio batteries charge at 4.2 VDC and float at 4.1 VDC. Radio on in charger with fully charged battery is drawing about 45mA. So a standard low power USB port on a computer, etc will keep these radios charged, so you can charge them in the car if you like.

    I’ll put this info in the page above eventually.

  3. Mike - NO7RF

    I am done with the evaluations for the most part. I do want to test VHF Rx sensitivity on the 6D at least. I’ll get a codeplug on for the 4D as that is the one I recommend as the catchall, bottom-line, best entry level (especially for new hams.

    I will be using the !1’s for monitor radios in the chargers on fulltime and fed into computers for superb audio. Not to be touched by human hands if I can help it.

    The 4D will be likely seldom used as (shoot me) but they do work well as Tri-bands and with the translucent display, they can be a handily low end radio for repeater, hotspot, simplex, which can be dropped off a cliff and not whine about the loss. Battery life is poor though as they use a cordless phone battery.

    I have the 6D set up to be a decent handy dual band, single band receive, DMR HT with RX/Scan on my 9 handy repeaters, making it easy to monitor the assets passively.

    The Cooties do work on PNWDigital and there are others out there that cost more and perform poorly, so can’t dismiss them outright.

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