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Kenwood & EF Johnson Forum - For discussion of land mobile radio products manufactured by Kenwood or EF Johnson. For discussion of Kenwood Amateur Radio Equipment, please use the Amateur Radio Equipment forum.

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Old 08-12-2018, 3:14 PM
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Default NX320 easily broken?

We recently upgraded all our radios to NX320's, 75 in total.

Eight of them the volume control has come off, the post just falls out.

Sixty of them the case is broken at the bottom corners, four bad enough to be unusable and had to be re-cased. The rest you have to keep away from liquids.

Is anyone else finding the NX320 to be a very fragile radio?
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Old 08-12-2018, 3:48 PM
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I've got about 10 NX-420's running at work for about a year now. So far, no issues with them.
I've got about 400 NX-410's also, other than normal failures for 6 years of use, no issues.

The NX-x20 is the lower tier radio. They are not as durable as the NX-x10 and NX-x00 models. If you are suffering a lot of failures, then I suspect that your demands exceed what these radios are designed for.

Other issue I've seen with some radios is that the users take a dislike to them for any number of reasons, dislike the job, dislike the "new" radios, bad day, etc. and will take that out on the company radio.

What sort of application are you using them in? What sort of accessories are you using?
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Old 08-12-2018, 4:23 PM
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Type-D trunking (three channels) so we are stuck with them.

We are a large convention centre with radios distributed to most departments, Security & Set up radios are a little worse off, but even radios issued to management and sales are getting the cases cracked at the bottom corners.

Front line staff have KHS-8BL headsets, others get KHS-27.

Radios were supplied with KRA-23 & KSC-25L.

Management had a knee jerk reaction and removed all the belt clips (KBH-11) replacing them with KLH-156NC. Which made things worse since without the clip it was easier to drop a radio, and having to take it in and out of the case when issued/returned daily and charging.

We do not have an in house radio shop and rely on the local radio dealer for everything.

Last edited by LeeKozak; 08-12-2018 at 4:28 PM..
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Old 08-12-2018, 4:40 PM
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OK, type D trunking limits what you can do on the Kenwood side.

Which leaves two options…
Change the system to a Type C system and utilize the higher tier radios.
Or, switch to Icom and use some of their higher tier radios.

Leather cases can help, but they need to be paired with the right audio accessories so the users don't have to constantly take the radios out of the case and risk dropping them. Chest harnesses for some of the users might be a good idea too.

From what you are describing, it really sounds like this tier of radio is not appropriate for your usage. When the Type D system was set up, they should have been looking at the entire radio system as a whole, not just the system, then radios separately.

I'd call an Icom dealer and see what you can do for you.
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Old 08-12-2018, 4:49 PM
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One of our partner agencies was a large stadium venue that bought NX-320-K2s to replace their aged TK-3180 and TK-380 LTR portables, as the NX-320 worked on their 20 year old LTR system. 120 portables, all purchased in 2011/2012. The stadium was demolished to make way for a new one (we do that quite a bit here in ATL). anyway, the old radios were given to our EMA/EOC. I was asked to evaluate their condition/serviceability. (The new billion dollar stadium installed a MotoTRBO CapMAX trunked system as part of that project)

All were working but I noticed many had cracked corners (from being dropped). Otherwise working. No issues with the knobs. But the belt clips on many were broken off. The cracked housings seem to be the biggest defect.
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Old 08-12-2018, 4:55 PM
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We had CP200 before from the batwing dealer.

When the Kenwood dealer heard we were in the market they went all out to win the contract.

Set up a temporary repeater and gave us all public safety grade loaners.

Unfortunately no one in the negotiations had a radio background so they did not even get a handful of knobs & antennas so we could replace them in house, have to go to the dealer to replace a knob.

We did get an extremely competitive deal, considering the dealer even handled licensing of the new frequencies and handhelds (we have to pay license on each frequency and individual radio unit each year)

When I hear them talking about replacements I will mention type C and public safety grade.

Last edited by LeeKozak; 08-12-2018 at 5:13 PM..
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Old 08-12-2018, 4:55 PM
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Yeah, good point. If it's -just- the housing that is cracked, it's probably fine. The chassis is aluminum and they are pretty durable. The radios can be "recased" if that's a concern.

As for the knobs breaking, that's curious. I'd have to see one and see if one could figure out how they were broken.

I do know that some individuals are just hard on radios.

Of the 400 or so NX-410's I've got, many of them are in the hands of plumbers, electricians, HVAC guys. The get wet. They get dropped. I've even seen one that got dropped into a running air handler. All were still working. The cases were a bit rough, but the guts were still doing their job.

Consider that getting 5 years out of a portable radio in the public safety field is normal. Some commercial uses can be just as hard on the radio. Getting dropped repeatedly on hard concrete floors will do damage. Replacing antennas, knobs and belt clips are all part of the game. I stock parts for all our radios so we can do that on the fly.
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:42 PM
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I have 1 customer with some 1,200 320's, yes some of them have had knob issues, but cracked cases, not so much other than physical abuse.

Still waiting to hear if the 3320/3300 will do type D. Chatter is still quiet, but rumor is low possibility.

Worse case scenario, flash the radios to normal, and use conventional nxdn, or if in Atlanta, get on Georiga FleetTalk.

I have several resources in Atlanta to assist.



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Old 08-13-2018, 9:49 AM
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I have about 150x NX-320 on rental, and they are permantley coming back with exactly the iisues you mentioned, casings breaking in the bottom corner and the volume controls breaking or the audio goes soft by itself as the volume control get "play" on the shaft.

I wish Kenwood would add Type D trunking to the NX-3000 range, as it is a far better built radio than the NX-320
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:05 AM
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We've has a great experience with the NX-x20 series radios we've sold. They're much sturdier than the TK-3173. If knobs are getting broken, they're being dropped too often. There is also a ceramic filter inside these that will go out from abuse. If your dealer can't repair these in house, the bill could be pretty high. I recommend addressing the problem of dropped radios as soon as possible.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:01 AM
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It is a known issue. Sometimes they cover it under warranty, sometimes not, it is a crap shot (if you send in a radio with both a bad case ant volume control, they used to automatically call it physical, but we have had some covered as of lately). We ALWAYS use United Radio for warranty work. Take a close look at the volume controls that have snapped and you will see very little of the shaft is solid. As far as the housings, same thing, a short drop from a belt the can bust a case the first drop. I have seen it a lot of them and it gets old. I always wanted to do a side by side drop test with a NX-x20 vs a CP200d. Same with the volume control, but a torque test.

The full keypad units do seem to be a lot more durable as far as the housings go.

Last edited by n7maq-1; 08-17-2018 at 12:02 AM.. Reason: Grammar error..
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Old 10-31-2018, 6:26 PM
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Update...

The Kenwood dealer says the NX-320 is now discontinued and will now supply us with the NX-340.

25 of the 75 320's had the volume knob break so that is a 33% failure rate.

The 340 takes a different battery, charger, case, only the headsets are interchangeable so that will be a nightmare for me when it comes to issuing radios and swapping batteries to be charged.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:05 AM
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Yes, same issue on hundreds of them! A school district bought about 1,000 of them and at least 250 have been sent in for warranty on the volume pots breaking/falling out and terrible case issues. All in less than 10 months. Kenwood claims there is no problem.... Legal is now involved
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:59 PM
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The NX-3320 will take the same battery + charger + mics. The 3320 is more money but if keeping the same charger + battery is important then you can get that radio.
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Old 11-07-2018, 2:24 PM
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NX-3320 is a nice unit, however I do not see Type-D trunking on the specifications.
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Old 11-07-2018, 2:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeKozak View Post
NX-3320 is a nice unit, however I do not see Type-D trunking on the specifications.
NX x40 series is type D ready. 3000, according to the IWCE talks, will not be a type D radio. Not for now.

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