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    Default Looking for new portable radios... you should look at these!

    If you are looking for new VHF or UHF portable radios for your department you should take a look at the new Vertex 820 and 920 series. They are loaded with many features (lots of two-tone encode and decode flexability) that FDs could use. Plus, they are guaranteed water proof and the 920 is available in APCO P-25.

    I really like these radios!

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    Quote Originally Posted by toddman
    If you are looking for new VHF or UHF portable radios for your department you should take a look at the new Vertex 820 and 920 series. They are loaded with many features (lots of two-tone encode and decode flexability) that FDs could use. Plus, they are guaranteed water proof and the 920 is available in APCO P-25.

    I really like these radios!
    Those radios are nice, until you put them interior with a crew. They aren't designed, or built to withstand that kind of use. I wouldn't risk my crews life on a lower quality portable.

    Motorola or Kenwood. There are no substitutions.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

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    We use the new Kenwood tk-3180 Uhf. By far the best radio I have ever used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Res343cue
    Those radios are nice, until you put them interior with a crew. They aren't designed, or built to withstand that kind of use. I wouldn't risk my crews life on a lower quality portable.

    Motorola or Kenwood. There are no substitutions.

    IMO: the new Vertex VX-920 is very much a public safety grade radio. Many of the Vertex radios prior to this radio series where not built or designed for the use that you mention. If you are using Kenwood or Motorola now, I think you would find this specific series of Vertex radios of equal quality.

    In my department and with nearly all of our mutual aid depts, all fire ground communications is with Bendix King D-series and G-series portables. They just never fail...

    Vertex actually waranties this radio for water immersion for up to thirty minutes. If it gets wet and fails...they send you a new one. That tells me that they must be constructed fairly well.

    Take care!

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    And how long does it take for their service department to actually do something now? That was their major downfall for the last many years. Sorry, but 4 months is not acceptable for a warrently repair.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire
    And how long does it take for their service department to actually do something now? That was their major downfall for the last many years. Sorry, but 4 months is not acceptable for a warrently repair.
    The last radio that we had sent directly to Vertex for repair was about 10 days.

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    Im not going to sit and defend or endorse Vertex, I am just suggesting that you should look at their new radios and make your own decission.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toddman
    IMO: the new Vertex VX-920 is very much a public safety grade radio. Many of the Vertex radios prior to this radio series where not built or designed for the use that you mention. If you are using Kenwood or Motorola now, I think you would find this specific series of Vertex radios of equal quality.

    In my department and with nearly all of our mutual aid depts, all fire ground communications is with Bendix King D-series and G-series portables. They just never fail...

    Vertex actually waranties this radio for water immersion for up to thirty minutes. If it gets wet and fails...they send you a new one. That tells me that they must be constructed fairly well.

    Take care!
    I can tell you a fairly large department that used the Vertex for the simple reason of the warranty. After half of there radios had to be replaced they forced vertex to refund there money. The fact is after every fire they had to send in there radios that were on the interior attack. They now use Kenwood TK-3180.

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    Vertex actually waranties this radio for water immersion for up to thirty minutes. If it gets wet and fails...they send you a new one. That tells me that they must be constructed fairly well.

    Or they make enough of a profit on cheap piece of crap to continue sending cheap piece of crap replacements.

    Not saying they're a cheap piece of crap, but good warranties does not necessarily mean good radios. Just means they've built their warranty replacement cost into the price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalmatian190
    Vertex actually waranties this radio for water immersion for up to thirty minutes. If it gets wet and fails...they send you a new one. That tells me that they must be constructed fairly well.

    Or they make enough of a profit on cheap piece of crap to continue sending cheap piece of crap replacements.

    Not saying they're a cheap piece of crap, but good warranties does not necessarily mean good radios. Just means they've built their warranty replacement cost into the price.
    So when Motorola charges and arm & leg for a POS Minitor pager (or radio) they are building in the cost of warranty or is it because the things are highly designed, ultrareliable, high performance piece of kit?

    Your thesis is nonsense. A well designed/well made piece of equipment has LOW warrenty cost and that can let you reduce your selling price (makes you more competitive). No doubt that is why Motorola is able to keep lowering their prices. Perhaps you are correct that can not necessarily judge quality of the equipment by the length of warrenty bust certainly a factor to consider.

    We use Vertex VX180 no particular problems and we are

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa
    So when Motorola charges and arm & leg for a POS Minitor pager (or radio) they are building in the cost of warranty or is it because the things are highly designed, ultrareliable, high performance piece of kit?

    Your thesis is nonsense. A well designed/well made piece of equipment has LOW warrenty cost and that can let you reduce your selling price (makes you more competitive). No doubt that is why Motorola is able to keep lowering their prices. Perhaps you are correct that can not necessarily judge quality of the equipment by the length of warrenty bust certainly a factor to consider.

    We use Vertex VX180 no particular problems and we are
    Not disagreeing with what you say but Motorola is a poor example. They are a special case all their own. They get away charging ridiculous prices because their name is always out there, that's what they've always done, purchasers are too dumb to notice, they are cashing in on their good name, and out of sheer arrogance.

    Motorola really chaps my hide

    Birken

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    My Motorola HT1000 portable works first time, every time. It''s been dropped, soaked, fallen on hard and still works everytime.

    "The bitterness of poor quality remains far longer than the sweetness of low price"
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa
    We use Vertex VX180 no particular problems and we are

    I use a Vertex VX180 as my backup when my Kenwood TK-3180 battery goes dead on long scenes. It also works pretty good when a second radio is needed to monitor several frequencies.

    Our communications set up is as follows:

    Apparatus: Kenwood TK-8180 mobiles and Kenwood TK-380 portables.
    Officers: Kenwood TK-880 mobiles and Kenwood TK-3180 and 380 portables.
    Firefighters: Kenwood TK-380 and 360
    All Personnel: Motorola Minitor 5 pagers.
    Last edited by RES81CUE; 03-21-2006 at 06:07 PM.

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    As Captain Gonzo said Motorola HT 1000, they are bulky, heavy and utterly reliable. Lost mine one night on a scene, found it the next day encrusted in ice. Thawed it out, recharged it, back in service.
    "My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea." - Tommy Douglas 1961.

    Tender 9 - old, slow, ugly, cantankerous, reliable!

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    Neiowa,We're on the same page.We've been using the 180's for five years now.Cheaper than a pager and two way capable.As far as Vertex not being interior radios: I've got some folks on staff that could break an anvil.And they haven't broken these radios.Now NM and I have had some discussions on the fact that a 180 isn't a "rated"radio and he wouldn't use 'em.He's entitled to his opinion.We had/have Motorolas and Kenwoods along with the Vertexs(180/900/and the mobiles).For our use and our coverage areas,none are any better than the other.I think we've had 1 or 2 with a LCD screen issue.And one of those was run over by a truck,I wouldn't call that a radio defect.Opinions on radios are like Chevy/Ford. I base my findings on radios on up time/service,range and we've had good luck with ours. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101
    I base my findings on radios on up time/service,range and we've had good luck with ours. T.C.
    What about price, and features? This was my beef with Motorola, not that they build a chinsy radio, but that it is super expensive and way less feature quality than anything comparable. And there is no reason for it except sheer arrogance.

    Birken

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    Yep. I easily save $500-$800 EACH per radio by not buying a Motorola product. The product I do get is of equal (more likely better) quality so the only sacrifice is Motorola's bottom line... one i don't really care about.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Birken,Our radio system is pretty simple with only one repeater,VHF band.Features? Well go look at the list on the Vertex 900.All the stuff you need and more.512 channel capable.Price is VERY reasonable for a radio with all the feature this one has.The 180's? NO frills,simple and as I stated in the post;cheaper than a pager and as far as I can tell just as reliable.Are there others as good or better? Natch. We get next day turnaround on orders,I've had 1 warranty issue promptly handled and excellent dealer support.Our Kenwoods? Phasing them out along with the Motorolas.We have the software in house to program/clone the Vertexs which makes putting new units in service a breeze.T.C.

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    Nothing wrong with Vertex per se, I just happen to work for a Kenwood dealer and I know for certain that Kenwood is making a really good run at Motorola right now in all their radios. Also to clear something up when I say "features" I don't mean beepy buttons I mean things like stripping the PL tone from the speaker audio so you don't have to hear it. (Motorola known for not doing that even in the very newest radios). Anyway the Kenwood radios we have used are better than anything we had ever seen before. One thing I can't say enough about is the recieve sensitivity, they pick up systems from so far off that it is almost a nuisance but it is good in the end, because our moutains and canyons make for lots of very weak signal.

    Anyway this thread was not about mobiles it was handhelds which we have not done too much of in Kenwood. Out west here most all rural agencies prefer Bendix King anyway because the Feds use them and it makes for easier operation on shared fires, also with the BKs if you have a nail that needs driving a Bendix King is a pretty good radio to use for that too

    Birken

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    Birken,Nothing wrong with a BK as long as you don't mind lugging a yugo block on your chest or hip.Our luck with Kenwood hasn't been too good but our dealer is none to attentive either.That along with a few other issues caused our switch to Vertex. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BirkenVogt
    Nothing wrong with Vertex per se, I just happen to work for a Kenwood dealer and I know for certain that Kenwood is making a really good run at Motorola right now in all their radios. Also to clear something up when I say "features" I don't mean beepy buttons I mean things like stripping the PL tone from the speaker audio so you don't have to hear it. (Motorola known for not doing that even in the very newest radios). Anyway the Kenwood radios we have used are better than anything we had ever seen before. One thing I can't say enough about is the recieve sensitivity, they pick up systems from so far off that it is almost a nuisance but it is good in the end, because our moutains and canyons make for lots of very weak signal.

    Anyway this thread was not about mobiles it was handhelds which we have not done too much of in Kenwood. Out west here most all rural agencies prefer Bendix King anyway because the Feds use them and it makes for easier operation on shared fires, also with the BKs if you have a nail that needs driving a Bendix King is a pretty good radio to use for that too

    Birken
    In my opinion if Kenwood would come out with a pager similiar to a motorola minitor 5 most people would switch to it. I know there radios will decode but it is just nicer to have a pager on your belt all the time rather then a radio. The new Kenwood 3180 portables and 8180 mobiles are by far there best products yet. IMO

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    I fully intend to rattle kenwood's cage about that subject, however my boss says it will never work...he is too pessimistic...I will call the salesman some day if not corporate, maybe both.

    Also yes we are selling the heck out of 7180s right now (VHF version of above) for use in our own commercial system, around here it is 90% TK-790s for mobiles and Bendix King for HTs though, it will be hard for anyone to break into the BK fire market for a long time to come in this area. 2180s a few of the bosses who have our commercial system have bought them and like them but not too popular yet...they worry (correctly) that employees will lose them. Kenwood also makes the 290 HT which is the fancy "fire" one and those that have them really like them but I found it expedient to stick with BK at my department for these.

    Birken
    Last edited by BirkenVogt; 03-24-2006 at 11:09 PM. Reason: addition

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    To be honest with you I have never heard of the Bendix King radio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RES81CUE
    To be honest with you I have never heard of the Bendix King radio.


    Come West young man!!!!

    I think we have about 40 BK portables. They are heavy, they are bulky but.... they work, they work with ni-cad, lithiom ion and the good ol AA clamshell. They can be programmed in the field with little more than a pocket knife.

    http://www.relm.com/BK_radio.asp
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    I think I will stick to my Kenwoods.......

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