1. #1
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    Default portable radio reviews

    Our department is about to replace our outdated portables with P25 compliant radios. We don't have the horsepower to conduct our own field tests, so I'm wondering if anyone out there has recently compared handheld radios before purchasing, and if that info is available. Thanks, MG

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    Chenzo's Avatar
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    I currently have a Kenwood TK-2180, which after looking on Kenwood's website, I found is not P25 compliant.

    About a year ago on my POC EMS agency, I was issued a Kenwood TK-5210. That was probably one of my "favorites" out of what I've used so far. It stood up well to heat, stood up well to being wet, etc. Quality seemed excellent. Clarity and range on transmission was better before we had to narrowband everything, but even after the clarity was awesome. I believe the EMS agency paid $700 a piece for these, very user friendly, very easy to change programming with the right knowledge and programming cord. The front 4 buttons were programmable by the user to a "most used" channels, and I know from looking at the programming software there were a lot of other options as well.

    I have very limited use with the Kenwood TK-5220, but what I can say is that the couple times I've used it, it seems to be a very good radio. Good reception, good voice clarity, very user friendly. Being a Kenwood, I would imagind that it is just as easliy programmable as the 5210. Unsure on the price.

    Before my 5210, I was issued a Motorola XTS1500. I hated it. I don't know if it was the way it was programmed, but I didn't find it very user friendly. It was also gigantic IMO. The TK-5210 is a big radio, but the XTS1500 dwarfed it in my opinion. The other downfall was price. We paid just under $1700 a piece I believe for each. The upside was it had good reception and voice clarity.

    I hope this kinda sorta answers what you're looking for? If not and you have specific questions on any radio let me know and I'll see what I know or what I can find for an answer.
    "A fire department that writes off civilians faster than an express line of 6 reasons or less is not progressive, it's dangerous, because it's run by fear. Fear does not save lives, it endangers them." -- Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

    "Because if you don't think you're good, nobody else will." -- DC Tom Laun (ret) Syracuse

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    I am retired and sold two way radios for 22 years, mostly Motorola, Icom and Vertex. The Moto XTS1500 is their entry level radio in the XTS group and was a large radio and not one of their best. The other models are quite expensive. The Icom and Vertex models are worth looking into if you have a dealer in your area that sells and services them. I have nothing against Kenwood, my bag was already full of radios and I did not need another product line. If I was going to by one I would lean towards the Vertex. They are tough, durable radios.
    Quote Originally Posted by nicoyaspa View Post
    Our department is about to replace our outdated portables with P25 compliant radios. We don't have the horsepower to conduct our own field tests, so I'm wondering if anyone out there has recently compared handheld radios before purchasing, and if that info is available. Thanks, MG

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    Take a look at TAIT :
    http://www.taitradio.com/

    We have been using them for 6 years now with outstanding results. Durable rugged case, midsized, waterproof and immersion proof and they cost less than K or M offerings with similar features.
    Last edited by islandfire03; 12-01-2013 at 11:02 PM. Reason: corrected web address

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