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Railroad/Railfan Monitoring Forum This is the place to discuss monitoring railroad communications.

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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 12-21-2013, 9:48 PM
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Kenwood NX series radios make very good monoband scanners. The iCom offering, while cheaper, has disappointed me in terms of selectivity- I get so much more noise interference from signs, power lines, automotive electrical system electronics. The Kenwood has proven much nicer, but it costs more.

For handheld radios, the battery life of Kenwood can't be beat by its icom brother. I'm sure a Kenwood dealer would be more than happy to sell to a hobbyist and could (for a fee) have all the railroad channels programmed in a zone with mixed mode (analog and digital) receive on all 97 of the primarily used channels- and scan them all too.... the only issue is that it takes about 5+ seconds to scan all the channels and odds are you'll miss some activity somewhere.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:23 PM
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For the record, the NXDN protocol is owned by the NXDN Forum, not Kenwood or any other radio manufacturer NXDN Forum Website The NXDN Forum has released the protocol into the public domain NXDN™ Forum To Open Technical Standards | News | NXDN Forum Website and it is available to download at NXDN™ Forum: How to Obtain the NXDN™ Open Standards | Instructions | NXDN Forum Website by anyone including the general public.

Whether or not that makes it easier or less expensive for the scanner manufacturers to add NXDN to new scanners, I have no clue.

It should also be noted that NXDN is being used by some Amateur Radio operators. There are NXDN repeaters in New England, Florida, Texas and Illinois.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:48 PM
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I quote from the NXDN™ Open Standards Suite Download page on the NXDN™ Forum:

Quote:
By agreeing to this notice, the user accepts the conditions below.
a. The content of this website, the NXDN standards provided herewith for download, the content of the documents and any and all future content that may be provided is the copyright of the NXDN Forum and the NXDN Steering Committee.
b. The NXDN Steering Committee is the owner of this website, the NXDN standards provided herewith for download, the content of the documents and any and all future content that may be provided.
While the NXDN™ trademark may be held by Icom and Kenwood, the NXDN™ Open Standards are owned by the NXDN™ Forum of which Icom, Kenwood, and others are members. It's worth noting that Uniden is not listed as being a member of the NXDN™ Forum.
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh View Post
Kenwood NX series radios make very good monoband scanners. The iCom offering, while cheaper, has disappointed me in terms of selectivity- I get so much more noise interference from signs, power lines, automotive electrical system electronics. The Kenwood has proven much nicer, but it costs more.

For handheld radios, the battery life of Kenwood can't be beat by its icom brother. I'm sure a Kenwood dealer would be more than happy to sell to a hobbyist and could (for a fee) have all the railroad channels programmed in a zone with mixed mode (analog and digital) receive on all 97 of the primarily used channels- and scan them all too.... the only issue is that it takes about 5+ seconds to scan all the channels and odds are you'll miss some activity somewhere.
CSX is finding that out the hard way around NYC. The primary portable in the Albany Division is the Icom F3161DT, and they're a pain in the *** in the Bronx, which is intermod hell. There's multiple cell sites, pager sites, and not to mention Amtrak overhead around Oak Point and Hunts Point Market. Friend of my went and bought the Kenwood version...cut his issues in half while on the job switching out The Point.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Josh View Post
Kenwood NX series radios make very good monoband scanners. The iCom offering, while cheaper, has disappointed me in terms of selectivity- I get so much more noise interference from signs, power lines, automotive electrical system electronics. The Kenwood has proven much nicer, but it costs more.

For handheld radios, the battery life of Kenwood can't be beat by its icom brother. I'm sure a Kenwood dealer would be more than happy to sell to a hobbyist and could (for a fee) have all the railroad channels programmed in a zone with mixed mode (analog and digital) receive on all 97 of the primarily used channels- and scan them all too.... the only issue is that it takes about 5+ seconds to scan all the channels and odds are you'll miss some activity somewhere.

The problem with mixed mode is that the radio takes a little time to decide what it is listening to, and you're likely to miss something.


For what it's worth, I can program the kenwoods and I'll do it for shipping costs.
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:34 PM
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Yeah, then I forgot to also mention that the software can be purchased at a reasonable price as well, and a serial cable for the mobile can be made fairly easily, but the portable is a bit more tricky.
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:43 PM
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[QUOTE=Josh;2092053]Kenwood NX series radios make very good monoband scanners. The iCom offering, while cheaper, has disappointed me in terms of selectivity- I get so much more noise interference from signs, power lines, automotive electrical system electronics. The Kenwood has proven much nicer, but it costs more.

My 5061 hasn't had any issues with any type of interference.
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Old 12-22-2013, 2:44 PM
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Quote:
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Yeah, then I forgot to also mention that the software can be purchased at a reasonable price as well, and a serial cable for the mobile can be made fairly easily, but the portable is a bit more tricky.
I bought a single cable off of fleabay that will do both of them. It was around $20
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Old 01-09-2014, 2:06 PM
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I reference to an earlier post regarding intermod, etc affecting CSX radios in the Bronx. My experience has been that switching to NXDN mode vastly improves the usuable range of the RR radios in these types of environments.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RadioDitch View Post
CSX is finding that out the hard way around NYC. The primary portable in the Albany Division is the Icom F3161DT, and they're a pain in the *** in the Bronx, which is intermod hell. There's multiple cell sites, pager sites, and not to mention Amtrak overhead around Oak Point and Hunts Point Market. Friend of my went and bought the Kenwood version...cut his issues in half while on the job switching out The Point.
Just to let you know that I have yet to see any Icom radios other than older F30's on the Albany division. We have been issued only Kenwood NX200 portables.I work on the Albany division. The only railroad that I have seen F3161DT are on Conrail Shared assets in North Jersey. I also have a F4161DT and an F3061DT and have used them in Manhattan on both 2 meters and 70cm and never had any issues with them. They make great vhf/uhf scanners. I would recommend them to anyone.
Bill
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