This review of the CTX-10 radio follows more than a year of combined experience with the two CTX-10s that I have purchased. The CTX-10 is very compact and light but very sturdy - great for travelling and backpacking. It has internal rechargeable lithium batteries and a charge controller allowing a direct connection to a solar panel. Recently, I added protective side rails from Portable Zero to help protect the front and rear panels during transit and a Begali mounting bracket with their Adventure paddle to further enhance its suitability as a field radio. As an owner of the CR1-A receiver that preceded the release of the CTX-10, I found the menu very easy to use. Firmware updates during the past year have resolved initial issues with the tuning range of the automatic antenna tuner, corrected some microphone and keyer issues, and added split operation with dual vfos. Finally, Don at Commradio is very responsive and helpful if one has questions and/or needs help. In short, I like the CTX-10 very much; it’s a keeper.
"I operated with the CTX-10 for the first time during ARRL Field Day of June 2019. I broadcast into two compromise non-resonant antennas, so I employed an external ATU. The space weather was horrible, but that didn't stop this hardly little rig from performing magnificently. I obtained 36 QRP (at 5 watts RF out) QSOs in about 4 hours under adverse operating conditions. It was tough going due to the lousy space weather, but I nonetheless received routinely excellent audio and signal reports and managed to bust into more than a few pileups involving other operators who were working barefoot to high power. I even received a few 5X9 signal reports in the midst of the RF mess that characterized the marginal propagation that I experienced. That's pretty good for a QRP rig not even operating at its rated maximum of 10 watts RF out (which is SSB QRP BTW except for ARRL Field Day). Very easy to operate. Hook up a radiator and mic or key and go for it. The internal battery lasts for a good long time and you don't even have to mess with complicated menus to get the radio operating. I lasted the nearly 4 hours of operating on the internal batteries alone. Robust chassis and RF output FETs. It even looks like a radio instead of like a plastic box with attitude. In short, a great rig. I am a very happy customer!"
Noting the fact that this is a 10 watt transceiver, my first contact with my CTX-10 was KH7XS in Hawaii on 17m CW. From central Pennsylvania using a dipole oriented the wrong way. This is what you can do with a 10 watt rig.
While this is subjective, I was especially impressed by the user interface. I would say that the interface is excellent. It’s very intuitive and I was impressed that all the settings could be accessed with little effort.
I’ve worked in electronics manufacturing and I’m also a former USCG Electronics Technician. I will tell you that this is a robustly constructed rig. It seems almost Mil-Spec. Everything about it, from the display to the feel and action of the knobs feels high quality.
Bottom line is that I really like this radio. And because it’s an SDR radio, I’m looking forward to how it changes as new features are added in the future. (NOTE: As I was writing this a new firmware update came out that added capabilities).
This is a pleasurable rig to use. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a robustly constructed and easy to use low power transceiver.