1. #1
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    Default Portable radios Moto, KW, Vertex

    We just received a grant for portable and mobile radios. Has anyone used Motorola PR1500 portables? What kenwood models would you suggest? I am leaning toward Motorola, just not sure which model.

    Thanks

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    hi just a opinion but anything but motorola is what i would use after 13 yrs as chief of our fire dept and dealing with this my opinion of them is poor. they do not seem capable of making any thing user frendly, i have mutiple units and every differnt model needs a different interface cable and program to change any thing on them. i like to do my own programing as from experiance never are the programing like you want or some one in my mut aid area will change or add a chanel and the i have to pay fee to get them reset to new freq. i have started to roll my units over to vertex portables and mobiles. have had some of the vertex portables 6-8 yrs and they have performed flawlessly. i rate them 10 out of 10. there software to program and the cables needed are very cheep compared to motorola.

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    We just received the AFG grant which we wrote specifically for communications. We have tested both kenwood, motorola, and vertex and decided no the Motorola. We decided upon the HT1550. The radio offers a fair number of frequency slots, has a alphanumeric display, is water resistant to 3 feet, drop resistant from 6 feet, and user field programmable with the special programming battery attached. We field tested all of the radios i mentioned above and were most satisfied with Motorola. It has been our experience it will cost as much as the price of a new kenwood to have it repaired when it breaks.

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    A note about the HT1550s, they're not that water resistant. I dropped mine into a river, it didn't go more than a foot under water and it was only for a few seconds but by that point it was already to late for the screen. Also, they seem to not like being placed in a cup of birch beer. It makes it beep and the buttons hard to press. So, uh, don't try washing your in birch beer. Root beer might work better but I haven't tried that yet and hope not to.

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    Just looked at the new Vertex P924. Nice radio. The price is right, it is p25 compliant and is completely submersable to 3'. It also meets the same mil specs as the motorola radio we are looking at. It may be difficult to pass on these new radios. Keep the input coming though.

    Thanks guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by hatfam View Post
    We just received a grant for portable and mobile radios. Has anyone used Motorola PR1500 portables? What kenwood models would you suggest? I am leaning toward Motorola, just not sure which model.

    Thanks
    What band do you need?

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    Default Radio brands

    We have switched over the Vertex radios. I have mostly all Model 180s, with a few 900s and 1 820. We have standardized the frequency list in all the radios for ease of use and have been very satisfied with operation and durability. We program the radios ourselves as we have the cables and software for the above mentioned models. If any of our mutual aid town switch or add frequencies it is a very simple process to change the programming w/o cost. I can also purchase 2.5 180s for the price of 1 Motorola pager w receive only capability. The only drawback seems to be the bulk of the portable vs the pager...just our thought we welcome yours.

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    Default Radios on grant

    Our Sheriff's department and City police department got a radio grant a couple years ago and have been extremely happy with the Kenwood TK2180 radio. The audio is good, the radio is simple to use, and you're getting almost the same radio as the HT1550, except you'll spend probably $200 less per unit. If interested, I can get you connected up with our sales representative, who could better help you. We had HT750's, and would not recommend them.

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    Default Pr1500

    We started phasing in the PR1500 after the HT1000 was discontinued. We currently operate 32 HT1000's and 7 PR1500's. Both models have been VERY reliable and have really taken a beating. Our adjacent mutual aid department uses some HT1250's, and they seem to be not as rugged as the 1000's and 1500's. I would highly recommend the PR1500.

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    Our Fire & EMS went to all Kenwood for the P25 interoperability program. My TK-5210 lost its LCD Screen, Nothing visable, in December of 2008. The radio still worked but I had no way of telling what Channel or zone I was on. The Radio was about a month old, Never been abused. The radio was sent to Kenwood the first of January 2009. It is now the end of February and the only info I can get on my radios status is that kenwood does not stock parts for this radio. Our other kenwood Mobiles and Portables are Sticking on the last channel that talks when on scan, no further scanning, no going to priority channel. We cant get answers on this problem either. If you have a choice, spend the extra money and go with motorola

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaishadow View Post
    Our Fire & EMS went to all Kenwood for the P25 interoperability program. My TK-5210 lost its LCD Screen, Nothing visable, in December of 2008. The radio still worked but I had no way of telling what Channel or zone I was on. The Radio was about a month old, Never been abused. The radio was sent to Kenwood the first of January 2009. It is now the end of February and the only info I can get on my radios status is that kenwood does not stock parts for this radio. Our other kenwood Mobiles and Portables are Sticking on the last channel that talks when on scan, no further scanning, no going to priority channel. We cant get answers on this problem either. If you have a choice, spend the extra money and go with motorola
    with the channel not scanning or no priority it more of a programer error it a easy system to program and also easy to skip stuff the radio need to work 100%

  12. #12
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    Actually, the programming of the 5210 can be quite complicated for someone who is new to programming radios. I have seen many errors made by dealers who seem to rush through getting radios out the door.

    If you need any help, contact me.

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    Try the Icom F70/80....the best on the market today and if you are in calif you get it on WSCA (Western States Contracting Alliance) prices at 37% discount.
    Check out my web site (www.williamscom.com) under Icom or go to www.icomamerica.com. I have over 113 in service in my local county, city and volunteer depts. You can always email me also....i have demos!!

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    Try the Icom F70/80D, its all P25 and kicks the competition down quickly. Price is great espically if you can get on the WSCA program with 37% disount. This is the best radio on the market today and none of the other manufactures can come close to the features, egronomics and prices. Contact me for more info. or visit me at www.williamscom.com and look under Icom.

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    Just remember with grant money you cannot purchase non P25 radios.

    With that said we have been using the non P25 Kenwood 2180 for the past 2 years with zero problems. Its a great radio. I have not seen the the TK-5210 which is P25 compliant. There was a post below about scan problems which to me sounds like a programming issue. These radios have tons of functions/options and when we left Motorola after 20 years we spent months playing around with the Kenwood to get it exactly how we wanted it. If you are having a dealer just program your radio you may run into this isssue. I would recommend anybody to have an in house firefighter figure out what you want.

    We have comm tech for our dept but they don't know exactly what we want in the field because they are not firefighters. We collaborate together to get the radio dialed in to how we need it to operate.

    For mobile radios we have been using grant money to purchase the Kenwood Tk-5710 which is P25 compliant.

    We are on a VHF high band simulcast system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajohansson View Post
    Just remember with grant money you cannot purchase non P25 radios.
    ....
    Not true. 1st what is the source of your grant? And does your state or other agency require P25?

  17. #17
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    We purchased non p-25 conventional radios this year with AFG grant funds. All depends on what your state requires and there is no FCC mandate for p-25 digital to be required any time soon. narrow banding by 2013 yes ,but thats a completely different animal.

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