Otaku Patrol Group

The New Early Adopters …since 1993

Radios: The iRadio CP-168

Posted on 19 August, 2016  in Radios

IMG_20160816_134700I have a weakness for exotic, tiny radios. Usually because they’re inexpensive and unusual.  The iRadio CP-168 definitely fits the description.

This radio is approximately the size of a speaker microphone from other radios but still boasts a 2 W transmitter power. One feature that sets this apart from the usual entries in the Baofeng 666/777/888 or other small radios is the 128 channel memory capacity.
One thing about this radio that catches the eye and tingles my geek nerve is the hidden display.

Similar to the MotoTRBO SL300 radios, the iradio CP 168 uses LEDs that shine through the front of the case. Unless the display is in use, you would not even know that it is there.

 



IMG_20160816_134803

The charger also reflects some good design and sensible features.  This radio uses a Mini-USB for charging, so you’ll be able to plug in the included drop in charging cup to many of the USB ports or chargers that you already have.  The radio also has a mini-USB charging socket on the bottom for times when you don’t have the charge cup with you.

 

Programming the radio is done with the standard Baofeng / Kenwood F-connector two-prong cable. I initially had some trouble programming it with the first cable I tried (which works for most of my Chinese radios but is somehow non-standard) but the second, more standard, straight from Baofeng cable did the trick.

The antenna is a removable SMA style, so you’ll be able to swap these out as you like.

 

On the top between the antenna and the power button, is a paddle switch to move the channels up-and-down. Holding “channel down” will lock the radio.

 

The two buttons on the bottom below the PTT Control the volume up down. I found that volume 01 was still a bit loud while volume 00 is silent.

 

Holding “volume up” opens the squelch while holding “volume down” starts and stops the scan.

 

The scan list members appear to only be programmable in software, so you will have to know what you intend to scan before you leave your computer. Like most radios in this class, the scan speed is not particularly fast.

 

When I first got this radio it felt as if the speaker was a bit loose. I squeezed the case a couple of times and that seems to solve the problem but look out for other very minor manufacturing slack. This isn’t uncommon for Chinese radios, but I did find it to be the case here.

 

In my excitement, I had trouble charging this radio for the first time. One thing with this radio that I did not expect is that the battery came packed inside the radio, but with tape over the contacts. I tried charging it a few different ways until I opened it up and figured this out. A little embarrassing for me, but don’t let it happen to you.

 

IMG_20160816_141955If you want a tiny 2-watt radio while still needing a capacity greater than 16 channels, at $40 or so this could be the radio for you.

 

 

The software will run in English, although not perfect English.

 

With the antenna on top, this looks just like a thin, public safety style speaker mike …except without any cable or even any radio attached!

With the hidden display, it’s a pretty cool little radio.


These trend on eBay for around $40-$45 a piece.

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13 thoughts on“Radios: The iRadio CP-168

  1. Tandom Fox KC1FQF WQWU622

    In trying to contact someone regarding the OPG. Not exactly sure where the “Contact Us” portion is located. Please email me. I’m trying to inquire some information.

      1. There is a description of the fm broadcast reception mode to the user manual.
        This would be a mistake of the user manual.

        Thank you.

        1. I can’t seem to find my manual right now. I tried the usual power up combinations that most of the other radios use without luck. Is the manual you are looking at posted online where I can see it?

          1. Thanks for chiming in. I’ll have to check out QZIRadio. I still haven’t worked out where he is seeing this in the manual… In context it might show where the confusion lies. -DC

  2. I ordered one of these radios on ebay and have done about 5 hours of research to try and solve the problem of “the radio will not program”. I just keep getting a “check connection” message. I have downloaded the drivers running on the proper operating system ect…

    what cable did you end up using that worked correctly for you? where can I purchase one

    1. Sorry for the late reply. The spam was very thick. I have a handful of these cables from all of the different radios I’ve bought that came with a Kenwood type USB cable. For some reason, the one I initially tried wasn’t working, but just with this radio. I dug around and found one of the Baofeng cables and it is the only cable this radio likes. If you still don’t have it solved, I’ll try to analyze the different in the two cables.

      1. thanks for the reply. I ordered the Win7 USB interface Programming cable for BAOFENG UV5R UV-5R Series from http://www.409radio.com and have been going back and forth with them to try and solve this radio not programming/ check connection issue. They had me trim the edges of the baofeng cable plug in so that it would fit tighter into the radio port and I have watched many youtube videos in regards to programing issues and I have done everything correctly with driver software levels ect…when attempting to write or read from the radio the display flashes “PC” for half a second and then I get the “check connection” error. Im about to throw this thing in the garbage and consider it a loss. Any ideas before I do? thank you very much for the help I sincerely appreciate it.

  3. UPDATE: After owning this radio for a few months, the shine has worn off a bit. It’s nice to have a tiny radio with so many channels, but the performance isn’t that amazing. The build isn’t as solid as the WLN KD-C1. I’ve had to squeeze it a few times to get the speaker to come back on and the belt clip on the back broke off after only a couple of weeks.

    I had a project come up where I needed a handful of tiny radios and I chose the KD-C1’s over this model. This is still a neat radio, but I’ve probably already bought the only one I’ll own.

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