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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-24-2013, 8:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rapidcharger
If you want a commercial/LMR radio, you might look for one with OST (operatable selectable tone). So that way you can change the squelch tones if you need to without hooking up to a computer for programming. I beleive the PM-400 will do it. They're a step above the cp-200.

As for my earlier comments on the batteries, If an OEM battery costs $75 and lasts five years and several hundred charging cycles, a better AM batt costs $50 and lasts 2.5 years, and an Ebay Imax Expert Battery costs $25 and lasts one year with terrible performance begging at age 1 month requiring twice daily charges to get a full day of service at 90/5/5, which is really the cheapest battery?
To fuel a radio over 5 years, here's the actual cost breakdown...
OEM: $75, no headaches, solid performance
Good AM: $100, one replacement
Imax Xpert super cheap ebay battery: $125, 5 replacents, twice daily charging!
Well put RC. I whole heatedly agree. With respect to OST or in the Motorola world MPL(multiple PL) take a good look at Kenwood. I own both the TK280 and TK380. They allow up to 16 selectable PL tones. Some other good Kenwood radios to look at are the TK390 and the TK-3180. You will find all three on ebay for decent prices, and there are loads of accessories as well.
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Old 01-24-2013, 9:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rapidcharger View Post
If you want a commercial/LMR radio, you might look for one with OST (operatable selectable tone). So that way you can change the squelch tones if you need to without hooking up to a computer for programming. I beleive the PM-400 will do it. They're a step above the cp-200.
The CP200XLS also has field editable PL/DPL, and is slightly less expensive than the PR400. Both are very decent radios, especially for GMRS use. The CP200XLS is capable of 128 channels, whereas the PR400 full keypad version holds 64, and the limited keypad only 32.

Both radios however have a limitation with the field PL/DPL edit, in that you can only change between like formats. For example if you programmed a channel with PL, you can only change to other PL tones, and not DPL or CSQ. If you programmed a channel as CSQ, you cannot change to PL or DPL. Since you can edit both TX and RX tones individually, you could program (using CPS) receive as CSQ, and transmit as PL. This could still be quite useful as you will be able to hear everything on the channel, and be able to select any transmit PL, which seems to be much more popular than DPL.

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Well put RC. I whole heatedly agree. With respect to OST or in the Motorola world MPL(multiple PL) take a good look at Kenwood. I own both the TK280 and TK380. They allow up to 16 selectable PL tones. Some other good Kenwood radios to look at are the TK390 and the TK-3180. You will find all three on ebay for decent prices, and there are loads of accessories as well.
I agree, take a good look at Kenwood. Their newer gear will allow you to program up to 40 OST lists, with any combination of PL, DPL, or CSQ you want, although they do have to be pre-programmed using CPS.
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Old 01-24-2013, 9:38 AM
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Well OST on a Kenwood is definitely a lot easier and more flexible. I have owned x180's for several years and up until digital rolled up on the scene, I was convinced they were the last portables I'd ever need to buy. I have the ham bands programmed into mine... the entire ham band with standard repeater offsets so I can scan like the radio has a VFO and I use the OST to change the PL/DPL . I just press and hold a button and turn a knob and voila. But they're miles ahead of a CP-anything so I didn't bring them up.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:22 AM
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EDIT - missed some posts
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:17 PM
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OK sorry -

About the Kenwoods, I know they're good radios but I'm in the market for Motorola. I have had some experience with them and always liked them.

RC - Thanks for the battery info, makes a lot of sense.

About the CP200s/PR400s, they're nice but I mean they seem to be in the same price range as, and if not more expensive than, the HT1000s... You guys have to help me out, I'm brand new to this stuff and I don't know anything about CTSS/DPL/PL tones etc etc...
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Old 01-26-2013, 1:10 AM
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Originally Posted by rapidcharger View Post
As for my earlier comments on the batteries, If an OEM battery costs $75 and lasts five years and several hundred charging cycles, a better AM batt costs $50 and lasts 2.5 years, and an Ebay Imax Expert Battery costs $25 and lasts one year with terrible performance begging at age 1 month requiring twice daily charges to get a full day of service at 90/5/5, which is really the cheapest battery?

To fuel a radio over 5 years, here's the actual cost breakdown...
OEM: $75, no headaches, solid performance
Good AM: $100, one replacement
Imax Xpert super cheap ebay battery: $125, 5 replacents, twice daily charging!
Funny, I've bought a few hundred Imax batteries in recent years (mostly for HT 750's/1250's, but several for HT1000's & XTS series, as well as a few oddball other models), and never had any known problems or bad reports from users. Never heard of such a thing as twice daily charging from any of the users, many who work 12 hour shifts. That includes daily users as well as cache radios that sit dormant for weeks at times with minimal to moderate exercising at best. Never run into one with a bad fit or cosmetic defect either. And I believe they have a 1 year warranty on most, if not all of their batteries, which is comparable to most OEM if I am not mistaken.

I guess their nearly 69,000 feedbacks with a 99.9% positive rating must be misleading.

I agree, OEM is generally great. The 30-ish agencies I support have hundreds in use, and OEM is primarily what we buy. I also believe there is some real knockoff junk out there. But to blast Imax by suggesting their batteries are gonna dump at one month is not even remotely close to accurate from my experience with them. For whatever it's worth, I've had tremendous luck with them.

Last edited by RodStrong; 01-26-2013 at 1:13 AM..
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Old 01-26-2013, 9:45 AM
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Funny, I've bought a few hundred Imax batteries in recent years (mostly for HT 750's/1250's, but several for HT1000's & XTS series, as well as a few oddball other models), and never had any known problems or bad reports from users. Never heard of such a thing as twice daily charging from any of the users, many who work 12 hour shifts. That includes daily users as well as cache radios that sit dormant for weeks at times with minimal to moderate exercising at best. Never run into one with a bad fit or cosmetic defect either. And I believe they have a 1 year warranty on most, if not all of their batteries, which is comparable to most OEM if I am not mistaken.

I guess their nearly 69,000 feedbacks with a 99.9% positive rating must be misleading.

I agree, OEM is generally great. The 30-ish agencies I support have hundreds in use, and OEM is primarily what we buy. I also believe there is some real knockoff junk out there. But to blast Imax by suggesting their batteries are gonna dump at one month is not even remotely close to accurate from my experience with them. For whatever it's worth, I've had tremendous luck with them.
It could be that your customers are just not telling you or maybe they just don't know the batteries suck.
I bought 4 batteries from Imax Xpert in the spring, all either for different models and/or different chemistries and they're all junk. And they aren't good cosmetic matches either. The color and texture is way off.

Imax Xpert's warranty works like this... You pay $10 or so to ship them back your batteries to California (remember they're used lion batteries so ground shipping only) and then they'll test them and MAYBE they'll send you a new battery, maybe not. No thanks. I'll just cut my losses.

Motorola upped their warranty on their Impres batteries. Now it's 4 years!
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:35 PM
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You guys have to help me out, I'm brand new to this stuff and I don't know anything about CTSS/DPL/PL tones etc etc...
CTCSS and DCS is the same thing bubble-pack FRS/GMRS radios call "privacy codes" or "interference eliminator codes", and PL and DPL is simply Motorola's trademark name for it. See here and here for more information on it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 5:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Avery93 View Post
CTCSS and DCS is the same thing bubble-pack FRS/GMRS radios call "privacy codes" or "interference eliminator codes", and PL and DPL is simply Motorola's trademark name for it. See here and here for more information on it.
So does that mean I'd have to have a PL code programmed in an HT1000 if I were to get one and use it on GMRS with the bubble pack radios?
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Old 01-26-2013, 5:48 PM
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So does that mean I'd have to have a PL code programmed in an HT1000 if I were to get one and use it on GMRS with the bubble pack radios?
Most bubble packs should have the option to have the "privacy codes" turned off (such as setting to Channel 3-0). This would eliminate the need for those special codes. The issue here is that different manufacturers usually decide on their own privacy codes and what it ultimately represents. Think link may give you an idea on what I'm talking about:
GMRS and FRS Frequencies and CTCSS Tones

CTCSS and PL are the same thing and more information is in the link below:
Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System - The RadioReference Wiki

DCS and DPL are also the same thing and once again can be found in the link below:
DCS - The RadioReference Wiki
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Old 01-26-2013, 7:56 PM
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So does that mean I'd have to have a PL code programmed in an HT1000 if I were to get one and use it on GMRS with the bubble pack radios?
If you want to easily use them with bubble pack radios, then the best way is to make sure all of the radios are carrier squelch (no PL) receive. This way you will always hear everything on the same frequency, regardless of PL. However I would suggest that the HT1000s transmit an easy to remember PL such as 67.0 (usually "privacy code" 1 on the bubble packs), in case you need it for whatever reason (like if someone else can't figure out how to disable PL on their radio).
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Old 01-26-2013, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rapidcharger View Post
It could be that your customers are just not telling you or maybe they just don't know the batteries suck.
I bought 4 batteries from Imax Xpert in the spring, all either for different models and/or different chemistries and they're all junk. And they aren't good cosmetic matches either. The color and texture is way off.

Imax Xpert's warranty works like this... You pay $10 or so to ship them back your batteries to California (remember they're used lion batteries so ground shipping only) and then they'll test them and MAYBE they'll send you a new battery, maybe not. No thanks. I'll just cut my losses.

Motorola upped their warranty on their Impres batteries. Now it's 4 years!
"......maybe they just don't know the batteries suck". Okay that was kinda funny. Anyway, sorry you must have got a hold of a bad batch of batteries and had some bad luck with them. Maybe the forced labor camp in China they were built in got ahold of some bad materials, or the Chinese gov't. imprisoned the manager and they spun out of control for a few days......I dunno.

Whatever the case, for every one of you who had a bad experience, there are seemingly thousands more who have had a good experience with them. I am one of those thousands, and have bought from them numerous times over the past 5 years or so. I have had mixed luck with other knockoff brands, but never once with Imax. Whether you like them or not, I am sure you would admit any seller on Ebay with 69k feedbacks and a 99.9% rating is pretty darn impressive. I would struggle to find even one seller out there with better feedback after tens of thousands of transctions. If they clearly sucked as bad as you suggest on a regular basis, their feedback would surely reflect that suckage over time.

I have never bought lithium ion from them, only ni cad and nickel metal. I have never had to return any batteries, although I did once return 4 speaker mics that worked fine, but the quality didn't match the application I needed them for. I returned them and they refunded me, no questions asked. However, I do think I paid the return shipping, which isn't necessarily unusual.

I was not aware impres had a 4 year warranty. That is good to know.

Ironically, as I type this, I am listening to an xts2500 with of all things a 4+ year old Imax battery on it. Like all Imax batteries I have personally used, it is rock solid, and is more than adequate to this very day. Maybe I am just lucky. Good luck to you in your future battery purchases.
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Old 01-26-2013, 9:57 PM
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I bout 2 IMAX batteries of my TK380 one failed with in months the other is going strong 1.5yrs later. I will not buy from them again. I have found a local source that I will be using from now on.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:31 PM
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About the PL tones...

I'll check my Talkabouts, to see if you can set it to "0".
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:46 PM
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About the PL tones...

I'll check my Talkabouts, to see if you can set it to "0".
If your Talkabouts don't have a "0" setting, you should refer to the manual to see if you have a "privacy code" feature on your radios.
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Old 01-27-2013, 8:04 AM
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I feel like we're going off topic, I just wanted to comment on this, and this will be my last about batteries..
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" Whether you like them or not, I am sure you would admit any seller on Ebay with 69k feedbacks and a 99.9% rating is pretty darn impressive.
I gave them positives too. In fact, I gave them 4 of those positives. As a seller, they deserved it. And since they do accept returns months later, I'd rate them highly as a seller even still. I wouldn't rate their products highly but the feedback isn't about long term satisfaction. It's about did the seller do what they said they were going to do? Was the product as described? Yes to both. But you get what you pay for. I was skeptical about the quality when I saw the price but the description never claimed the batteries were just as good as OEM. IME, if you pay more for the battery, you usually get something with Japanese cells, and in many cases they are assembled somewhere other than China. Not that that means anything. I have an OEM nicad battery on my PR1500 right nowt hat says "cell origin china" that still holds a charge for 8 hours with a 2007 date code.

Last edited by rapidcharger; 01-27-2013 at 8:07 AM..
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Old 01-27-2013, 4:54 PM
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Just say NO to Chinese Ebay batteries. You get what you pay for when it comes to batteries.

Motorola batteries may be more expensive but they come with the best warranty and there's a reason. Some of the aftermarket batts are ok, honeywell, power products etc.. But OEM always seem to be the best.
If you had ever seen a cut-away, like I did when I was a Motorola dealer, of the Motorola battery and a few other third party batteries you would understand why they cost more. Quality can only be priced so low, junk can be priced what it is worth.
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Old 01-27-2013, 5:28 PM
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I sold two-way radios for 25 years. The HT-1000 is probably the best portable ever built, unfortunately it is dated and probably isn't supported any longer. So if you lose a knob, etc. you will have trouble finding a replacement.
I sold 100's of CP-200's and PM-400's into industrial, educational, manufacturing, public safety, etc. They are one tuff radio with great specs for the price. (They are the same basic radio, the PM just has more channels and an 8 digit LCD display). I sold RCA, GE, Motorola, Kenwood, Icom, Vertex, EF Johnson, Redicom, Repco, Midland, Yaesu, and probaly others that I have forgotten. I wasn't "married" to Motorola, but they just made good stuff. Like that old Fram oil filter commercial with the mechanic cleaning his hands: "you can pay me now or pay me later", meaning a good oil filter cost a little more but it is cheaper than an engine overhaul".
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:53 PM
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If you had ever seen a cut-away, like I did when I was a Motorola dealer, of the Motorola battery and a few other third party batteries you would understand why they cost more. Quality can only be priced so low, junk can be priced what it is worth.
Yep, just like the Chinese knock off antennas and other plastic crap from China, what's inside tells the true tale.

Motorola Radio Batteries Proven Tough - Overview

Sure, there are some decent aftermarket batteries, Alexander makes some OKAY stuff, but it still lacks the fit and form on the real deal.

You get what you pay for.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:46 AM
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I sold two-way radios for 25 years. The HT-1000 is probably the best portable ever built, unfortunately it is dated and probably isn't supported any longer. So if you lose a knob, etc. you will have trouble finding a replacement.
I sold 100's of CP-200's and PM-400's into industrial, educational, manufacturing, public safety, etc. They are one tuff radio with great specs for the price. (They are the same basic radio, the PM just has more channels and an 8 digit LCD display). I sold RCA, GE, Motorola, Kenwood, Icom, Vertex, EF Johnson, Redicom, Repco, Midland, Yaesu, and probaly others that I have forgotten. I wasn't "married" to Motorola, but they just made good stuff. Like that old Fram oil filter commercial with the mechanic cleaning his hands: "you can pay me now or pay me later", meaning a good oil filter cost a little more but it is cheaper than an engine overhaul".
I know there's some replacement/refurb kits on eBay, but like you said, not many, because the HT1000s are starting to go outdated.

See my main issue is price. I'm not in the market to spend a lot of money on something that I'm not going to be depending on or using all the time... I've found some pretty good deals but I'm still peeking around.
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