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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    The North East

    Question Help! Which Portable Radios?

    O.K. let's hear what orks and what doesn't. Here's our situation:

    Our department is currently loking to upgrade our High-Band (154-174) portable radios. With so many out there we'd like to buy units that stand up to the rigors of our job. Our current radios Motorola GP300's tend to short out quickly when they get a drop of water on them. Now most of us use the radio strap under our coats, but then the speaker mike gets wet and quits. I'm very interested in what FDNY does as since everyone has a radio they must keep them working so the units don't get locked in the open freq. mode (when ours get wet they open the mike!)

    I don't want an arguemnet over brands or even costs, just a simple this works for us....

    ^Thanks For Your Help!


    P.S. our basic need is: high band, 5 watt, 8 channel scanning minimum.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001


    We are a fan of the kenwood line. Our line officers cary the tk250, 100+ channels, scan etc. The pieces are equipped with the 260's. 8 channel (all fireground and water movement freqs), 5 watts but no scan. All are equipped with speaker mikes. They seem to be everything Big M was 10 years ago, but at a much more realistic price (big points with the bean dept). We use them daily, no problems with water or elements.

  3. #3
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas


    i prefer the kenwood brand as well. the other day we mutual aided another dept for a fire. my coat was on the back of one of the trucks with my hand held in it. the truck left the scene before i could get my coat back. needless to say the coat fell off and landed on the road. i got the coat back and the radio was scrapped up but it still works great.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  4. #4
    Forum Member wellsfr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Cold Part of Nevada


    We use bendix king (BK radio) for us it is mainly a compatability issue with other agencies on wildland fires. The cloning capablity to interface with state forestry and BLM make this the choice for us out west. Any where from 14 to 210 channels, 5w and easy to field program.
    We've been doing so much for so long with so little. We can do almost anything with nothing.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Bridgton,Me USA


    We recently upgraded our VHF portables.Chief officers were issued Vertex VX900 512 channel portables with speakermics.Line officers were issued VX180 Vertex 16 ch. scan with speakermics.These units were purchased thru RFwiz(Multec)in Rockland Mass.They are VERY attractively priced,Brian and Laura have been absolutely great in the support and odd request catagory.To date we have had exceptional performance from these units with no infield issues in the form of moisture issues,drops,vibration etc.They are easy to "clone"and have performed well,some of our people aren't particularly radio user friendly.I would say at this point these units would meet or exceed the GP300 performance,and the GP is as good a portable as there is around.We had the Kenwoods and I wasn't particularly impressed.For the money the 180 is a nice little Radio.T.C.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Keystone, OK


    Our department currently uses Relm WHS150 and the MPV32. They have worked very well for us and have had no problems. A few years ago we were on a large wildfire and a firefighter lost his radio in the field. A short time later he found it burned to a crisp. The front display along with the buttons was melted. The firefighter picked the radio up and keyed it and talked just as if nothing ever happened to it.
    Brian Cook
    Asst. Chief

  7. #7
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....

    Thumbs up Only One.........

    For a handheld that doesn't mind getting the S--- kicked out of it the only thing out there is the Motorola HT1000. Been usin' them for some time now and they are better than anything else around here. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.


  8. #8
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000


    HT1000, my favorite
    HT750, OK, but less expensive
    HT1250, quality of the HT1000 with more features, but do we really need a alphanumeric display of who last called you?

    Only catch on the HT1000 is the damn programmable toggle switch. Make sure it's programmed "OFF" or whatever you call it so it doesn't matter.

    The toggle is handy for the police market, you can program it to turn off your speaker, so people don't hear you sneaking up on them. This is *not* a firefighter friendly feature and will be de-programmed on the one I usually use next time radio service is at our station.

    The GP300 is part of Motorola's Radius line, those ain't public safety radios folks, those are cheap radios for the budget foolish. Working in a nice, dry warehouse? Radius is for you. Working in all weather, all conditions? Look at the HT line.

    (Actually, I don't have a problem with Radius mobile UHF radios, they seem to work fine, but then there in a protected vehicle environment unlike the handhelds!)

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Franklin, Va.


    We use motorola ht-1250s. Very solid built radio. Batteries seem to last a long time and they do have lots of extra features.

  10. #10
    Senior Member shammrock54's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001


    Kenwood tk250s or an older Maxon. The 250s are what we are going to, but the older Maxons we have and I use most of the time just cant be killed, including a deep six in a pond by an LT (it was a bad night in the woods chasing a fire). And for overall durability the "Squad 51" wieghs as much as a brick portables are the best, we still have one (on a forestry rig and its been there since the 70s) and it still works like a champ
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
    New England FOOL
    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

  11. #11
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Maryland (DC Suburb)


    Those 2 way switches can be programmed to do LOTS of different things. They can switch channel banks (zones), turn the scan on and off, scan program, monitor mode, direct/repeater, low power, etc etc etc.

    Sometimes though, especially with the fire service, if you don't need the feature, don't put it in. It will just get someone screwed up when they can't reach dispatch because they are now in some funky different mode.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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