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Old 01-17-2013, 5:39 PM
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Default MCS2000 for Ham use

All,

I have been looking at the MCS2000's now for a little while for use on the ham bands. I want something that is rock solid and stable as well as being able to interop with public safety frequencies.

I've read that many people have had great success with the MCS models and I was wondering if there are any known issues with the hardware i.e: burning out finals from "out of band" use, etc?

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Old 01-17-2013, 7:00 PM
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Unless you really need the high power MCS-2000, I'd suggest you go with the CDM1250 or CDM1550 radio. We have MCS-2000's at work, on VHF and 800, and I'm not really impressed with them. They do work fine, but they are an older radio and getting hard to get parts for. The CDM's are really nice too. They might end up costing you a bit more, but they are still in production (or at least they were last year when I bought a couple). The MCS2000's need to be flashed with the functions, and if you need something specific, you'll really need to do a lot of searching to get the right one. The CDM's, however, come with everything standard. CDM's have the standard 16 pin compatible connector (it's actually 20 pins on the radio, but the 16pin connectors work just fine and you don't loose anything useful on those missing 4 pins. The MCS use a DB25 that is mounted on the bottom of the radio, which is easy enough to find, but I just think the 16 pin connectors work a bit better.

I've run MCS2000's and CDM1250's side by side and can't really tell the difference. I've purchased 5 CDM's myself for personal use, 4 of them off e-bay. The remote mount kits are easy to do and can be purchased new or found on e-bay. Upgraded microphones are easy to find, even DTMF mics. If you get the right model, they do 160 channels. 14 character display and customizable buttons.

While the MCS2000, in good shape would be just fine, I'd personally much rather have the CDM.

Last edited by mmckenna; 01-17-2013 at 7:52 PM..
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Old 01-17-2013, 7:01 PM
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Oh, and CDM's run 136MHz to 174MHz standard, so you wouldn't be running them out of band. You don't have to worry about what split you are getting, either, so you can load additional stuff in there without issue.
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Old 01-17-2013, 7:05 PM
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CDM's don't need to be flashed for anything. It's the MCS's that need to be flashed if you want certain options like trunking, quick call, MDC ID display and so on.


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Old 01-17-2013, 7:48 PM
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Thanks for catching that, I transposed the names....Fixed it.

Last edited by mmckenna; 01-17-2013 at 7:52 PM..
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Old 01-17-2013, 7:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmckenna View Post
Thanks for catching that, I transposed the names....Fixed it.
I figured as much lol.


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Old 01-17-2013, 8:53 PM
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I have a 30 watt 900 MHz MCS2000 mobile I use daily on the ham band, along with another one turned down to 15 watts as a link station connected to a W5TXR Electronic Labs interface on the EchoLink 927_TECH conference which has been in use continuously for a year. Absolute rock solid performance. The 900 MHz mobiles are available regularly on eBay at very reasonable prices, and there is a growing community of linked repeaters and users around the country due to limitations on 440 MHz repeaters in some areas from the USAF Pave Paws radar systems.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:35 PM
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I use a 30 watt 900 MCS, & a 100 watt UHF MCS & both are fabulous radios. As for any commercial radio used in the ham bands, you need a cooling fan to keep it cool as we are much longer winded than Peter the plumber. I've never used a CDM, but I'm really happy with the MCS's. GARY
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:58 AM
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CDM's are nice mobiles. I've owned a CDM1250 in UHF and I currently have one in VHF. They get a little warm too so a cooling fan like Gary mentioned is a good Idea. I also have a 110 watt spectra for 440. Name:  ImageUploadedByTapatalk1358492284.111032.jpg
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Old 01-20-2013, 7:07 PM
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I only run the MCS2000's on 900MHz. They are the easiest way onto 900 in my opinion. The squelch is a little weird on them and they have no signal strength indicator for conventional use. As others have mentioned not all options are available on every radio as they are of the flashport optioned type radios.

For VHF/UHF I too like the others here have suggested would go with the CDM series. They are nice rigs still current production, have a nice little signal strength indicator and most commonly used options like MDC and QCII are in every radio. The built in speaker is loud and has excellent audio. Also if you need UHF-T band you can easily use the 450-520MHz radios down to 440MHz with a very easy software modification.
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Old 01-21-2013, 2:46 AM
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I think the MCS2000 is miles above the CDMs. They run cooler, they have better front ends, and MCS2000 CPS offers "drag and drop" compatibility with the MTS2000, making programming a breeze if you have multiple radios. True, you have to have one with the desired flashcode if you want all "whizbangery", but in reality, most people don't need MDC1200, Quick Call, or other tones for HAM use unless they are just trying to be whackers and make noise on ham repeaters to annoy others LOL.

The MCS also offered 250 mode options, close to a hundred more channels than a CDM1550, and IMO, the two line display on the model II/III is the best display on a mobile radio ever offered from that era, one 14 line for zone names, and one 14 line for channel names. Selectable PL is also a nice option, again, if the radio is flashed for these options- these come in handy for HAM use (lots of channels for repeaters, and user selectable PL/DPL tones, and big display for naming of channels and zones).

RSSI indicator? Seriously? The CDM/HT1250 RSSI indicator is about as useless as a Baofeng RSSI indicator. It's not like it's an accurate S meter on a TS-2000.

Out of band performance: on the 5 UHF "S" split MCS2000's I've programmed, all fell within spec for rated freq error, and TX power down to about 441MHz. The CPS modification is easy to do.

I see the MCS2000's en masse on everyone's favorite auction site, sure the radio is OOP, but it's also very affordable. People tend to want a kings' ransom for their CDM's, and if you want a high power (100 watt) MODERN (read not some 20 year old Spectra, Maratrac or Syntor X) mobile, there are few options other than an MCS2000, unless you go Kenwood, Vertex, etc.

I like them, I like the MTS2000 and other Jedi radios too, so I guess I'm a little partial. The CDM/Pro/Waris series just never said "quality" like the Jedi/Skywalker radios did.
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Old 01-21-2013, 6:36 AM
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I must be a wacker then cause I use MDC but only on simplex though.

Don't the MCS's also have the MPL option also? That is a real neat feature to have also


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Old 01-21-2013, 8:36 AM
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I run 4 high power MCS 2000's, a VHF/UHF in the truck, and a VHF/UHF in the shack. I think they are great radios. My UHF's were the 403-470 split, so no mods were needed for ham use. My VHF's, I had to mod the CPS to take them down to 144 from 146, but it was simple to do. As far as keeping them cool, I set all my personalities to low power default, this is usually around 60 watts. I also program the horns and lights button for switching between high and low power, that way I can switch to high if needed, but always start on low. They will get warm on low power, but nothing like on high.

We have some CDM's at work, and I'm just not a fan of them. They do have nice features, but we've also received new ones that were DOA.
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Old 06-28-2013, 9:50 PM
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Default Mcs2000

How do you mod the CPS for mcs2000 to program out of factory split?
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdascenz View Post
How do you mod the CPS for mcs2000 to program out of factory split?
Google "MCS2000 out of band" and you will find the modifications you need to make to CPS. You will need to use a hex editor (Hex Workship or similar).
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