1. #1
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    Default Radio Advice Needed ASAP!

    I need to find the best radio that can be had for somewhere under 500$, the less expensive the better!!!

    We have been authorised to get 8-10 radios, depending on price, but we need to find very basic, durable, fire ground radios that are small enough to carry in place of a pager.

    They need to have at least 5 channels, rechargeable is a major plus, and size does matter, not to big, not to small.

    Does anybody have anything that would fit this bill?

    We only have experience with the big old Bendix Kings and the high end Motorolas, neither of which are what we are looking for.

    Thanks!!
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  2. #2
    firefighter3531
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    We use kenwoods model number 272g. We are also on vhf.They have worked well for us. they alos have some newer models out that even seem to be better. The cost to us was 298.00 a radio after we went out on bid for them. I know thye arn't motorola but they work for the price at the time and have been working well for the last few yrs and still are. If they were to break and need replacing tommorow we have got are money out of them already vs buying motorolas for 3 times the cost plus higher prices for parts and fixing.

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    NYC might be unloading their old Sabers.

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    Kenwood 90 series radios are my first choice for fireground. However, your probably going to have a hard time getting the radio, battery, charger, and antenna for $500 or less. The 70 series are excellent radios as well. They aren't as beefy as the 90's but are durable and small.

    Remember when you are pricing portable radios you need to buy the radio, a battery, an antenna, and a charger. These are often seperate items and do not come with the radio.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Like firefighter3531, we have 15 of the 272 Kenwood radios, We've had no problems with them and were able to purchase these for about 280 each.
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    We use the Motorola p1225 with the LCD. With the LCD it pushes the $500 mark but it is a huge plus, especially if more than one person uses the radio. If the are programmed right they can be easily used as a pager. Without the LCD they are cheaper. Good reliable radios. Much easier to carry if you can get ahold of the stubby antanaes, check E-Bay.

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    I wouldn't use the P1225 for that. It is not designed for that kind of use.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Motorola has a new one out, CP200, 16 chan with scan, & paging. I got a quote a while back of 413.00 w/rapid charger from our local guy. They are a little cheaper than that online.

    We have various low-end motorolas..such as SP50 and CT250, they are good radios. They may not be as durable as the Mot. HT750 but we haven't had any issues with them on the fireground. The only issues we have had is guys leaving them laying on the bumper of the truck, then taking off to a call, later finding it squashed in the road.

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    Default radio help

    We use the Kenwood 270 series, if you need VHF and they are a very durable radio, for around $300 ea.

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    Default Look-

    People are always selling all kinds of radios
    (new/used) on Ebay. Check it out-
    www.ebay.com

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    Smile We Use.................

    Motorola HT 1000s. And as Brett said, watch ebay............
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    i know a guy in salt lake city that is selling cp200 motorola 16 channel radio, on ebay for 290 dollars. i have also delt with him direct. 1866-972-7200 gts is the name of the company.

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    Take a look at the Vertex line.We've used the 180 portable for a while now,16 ch scan(true 16 scan)page programmable,cloneable,a real nice small radio.After having one for awhile I like them better than Motorola and they are priced right.Rugged too.My fireground portable is a Vertex 900 but that's a bit more radio than you require and a bit more money.512 channel capable.T.C.

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    Question Problems with p1225

    nmfire

    What is not right about the p1225 radios? Maybe we are missing something and need to rethink them.

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    Thanks for the info guys!

    What is the main differences between the Motorola HT 750 and the CP 200s. Are they a similar unit, the HT 750s are about 600$ IIRC, the CPs about half.

    We are in a rural community, so range and transmit power are important.

    Does the CP200 have similar transmit and revcieve power as the HT 750?

    There are some HT 750s around, they are very good radios in our area.

    Thanks.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

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    leoestill,

    i wouldn't worry too much about the p1225 radio, my chief has one and has never had a problem with it, the rest of our department uses gp300's the older version of the p1225? and sp50's and we have had great luck with all of them radios. also a city fd near by uses all p1225's and they have never had any big problems either.

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    The P1225, SP50, and CP200 are not a public safety radios. You will not see it advertised as such and no respectable radio shop should be trying to sell them as such. Their duability, resistance to the elements, mil-spec standards, accessories, etc are not up to par for what we do with them. The SP50 is even worse and I can't even picuture using that on a fireground. Thats like a toy in my book. If you use them and haven't gotten screwed yet, your lucky. I would never in a million years issue any of those radios to people in my department to use on the fireground. My life depends on them and so does everyone elses.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  18. #18
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    The SP50 is junk. We use them on the rr and they have trouble talking to our dispatcher 1 mile away-------line of sight!
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    We have 17 of the TK272G VHF and 4 TK372G for the UHF side of our district. So far we have got along fine. You will want a spare battery unless you can shut your radio off to charge it. They don't work right if you leave them on to charge. Our only issues have been programming and that is a human issue. We had no radios before so it has been a learning experience. It is way better than the whistle. We also have 15 of the Motorolla Minitor IV pagers. So far they have been very good also.

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    Yea, the SP50 may not be as durable but when you are a vol. fire dept and thats all you can afford, thats the way to go. We have 8 of them and we have no problems. Mindful that we are not some big city, we are out in a rural area and don't run that many calls.

    stm4710 - is that on a repeater or simplex system? If you have a repeater you should have a direct (or talkaround) you could switch to if you are that close to dispatch. If your simplex, then you have some serious problems to be within line of sight and them not hear you.
    Last edited by cmjones; 03-17-2004 at 08:54 PM.

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    stm4710, when we looked at the SP50 a couple of years ago you could get it in a 2 watt or 5 watt version. If you're only getting a mile in outdoor conditions, it is probably a 2 watt unit - that's FRS (family radio) level power. Most modern radios also let you program channels at a lower power rating so even if you've got a 5-watt, it could be transmitting at a lower power rating on purpose.

    Now that I've defended the SP50, let me add that we didn't buy them. You can get tons more radio for the same or less money if you stay away from the big M. Our PD uses the Kenwood 272 series and we've been using the 2140/2160 series for about 6 months now. So far, both have proven to be fantastic units and that are very affordable. Many manufacturers also make radios with similar features at the same price. I only have two real recommendations, first don't get caught up in the Motorola name and second, let the quality of your dealer's customer service department a big part of your purchasing decision.

  22. #22
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    Originally posted by nmfire
    The P1225, SP50, and CP200 are not a public safety radios. You will not see it advertised as such and no respectable radio shop should be trying to sell them as such. Their duability, resistance to the elements, mil-spec standards, accessories, etc are not up to par for what we do with them. My life depends on them and so does everyone elses.
    Now I am starting to wonder.

    A number of departments in my area have been buying the CP200 for all around use and as a belt option in place of 400 dollar pagers.

    They have been getting them for 400 or so, so it doesnt make sence to get pagers, at least thats the theory.

    Our dealer says they are just fine for emergency service use. Mil Spec, 5 watt, loud clear speaker, durable...

    I hope they are not pulling our leg

    Here is the PDF broucher for the CP200.

    http://www.motorola.com/cgiss/docs/C..._Brochure2.pdf

    And the website.

    http://www.motorola.com/cgiss/portables/cp150.shtml

    It does say they are Mil Spec, so maybe they are tuff enuff???
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    Good question SAMSONFCDES.

    I have started to look at the Motorolas and the Vertex radios and they all list the same Mil Spec standards 810 C/D/E. From what I am hearing here, that must not mean much or is there something else that we should be looking for in the standards. Any body have an answer?

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    You'll notie that Motorola says nothing anywhere about the CP200 being used for fireground communicaitons. It is all retail, hotel, security, warehoues, etc. It's not a public safety radio. Can it be used as one? Well yea. But I wouldn't want it in building that is on fire and I wouldn't give them to someone else either.

    However, that said. Sometimes money IS a major limitation. I'd rather see you with a CP200 or lower tier Kenwood instead of nothing at all. But don't just be cheap and buy a CP200 when you can afford an HT1000 or TK-390.

    FRS radios are limited to 1/2 watt and an SP50 is not an FRS radio by any means. It is not type accespted as such and is not made to be used as one.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the input NM. Cost is a very major factor for us. We wanted the HT 750, but the powers that be saw that the CP 200 was 200$ cheaper, right around 400 from our local dealer, programed, and a lot more support then what you would get from buying of the net.

    We are pretty much limited to Motorola. We have a vast radio system, 4 counties, which is all done by our Motorola guy. He would not work on any Kenwood or anything like that, and he is realy the only guy available to our area.

    I think we would do ok with the CP 200s, but I do heed your warnings that we should not expect them to be HT series.

    If they are kept in our radio pockets (left chest) of our PPE (both structure and wildlan) they should be pretty well protected, I hope.

    And, as you say, better then nothing.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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