• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

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Motorola Professional Radio for Amateur Radio

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#1
Hi. I was wondering if i should save up for a Motorola MT 1500 or PR1500 instead of an ICOM or Kenwood amateur radio that's like only $150-$200? I'd really like to get a portable that would last a lot longer than an amateur radio. The MT1500 costs $750 and the PR1500 costs $1200! Your input would be nice.
 
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#2
BillQuinn said:
Hi. I was wondering if i should save up for a Motorola MT 1500 or PR1500 instead of an ICOM or Kenwood amateur radio that's like only $150-$200? I'd really like to get a portable that would last a lot longer than an amateur radio. The MT1500 costs $750 and the PR1500 costs $1200! Your input would be nice.
Better, last longer are somewhat subjective to usage patterns. While the Motorola's may be built better does it really matter, how will you use the radio. If your using the commercial radio in a commercial environment they may not last as long as a ham radio in a ham environment. HOw you plan to use the radio is also a big factor. If your looking for a purpose specific radio then the commercial radio's are great. if you know what frequencies you will be using all the time and dont leave an area then again you can program them up. The ham radio will give you dual band capability you will not get in a commercial radio (at least one you can afford and dont need government documents to buy). You dont get frequency agil radio's in the commercial gear. The two radio's you mentioned have less channels than a ham radio. Commercial radio often lack adjustable squelch and switchable on the fly power levels, while this isnt so much an issue in a portable a mobile commercial radio may not allow you meet "least power" rules hams should be following and often dont work well on simplex where a squelch is nice to have.


Overall the quality of the motorola's might be better but will it matter for you? If the radio is never pressed into service that needs ruggedness then why spend the extra money, loose the features. Motorola has also been a PIA in getting software to program you own radio's so programming cost can be an issue.
 

mancow

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#4
For that kind of money you could buy a used FPP (face panel programmable) XTS5000 or XTS2500 and have something you can program by hand wherever you go.
 

OpSec

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#5
Even a nice FPP JT1000 would work...it's only 16 channels, but the parameters are changeable on the fly.

Don't forget to look at Kenwood commercial gear either, as they are making some nice gear these days...and cheaper than /\/\ without the BS licensing hoops to jump through.
 
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#6
my thinking exactly on the kenwood's.i enjoy my kenwood tk-2170.136-174,128 channel's,128 group's,rugged construction,somewhat field programmable <although i have not tried to figure out how to do it>.one of the best feature's is it's fcc part 90 compliant.
if you are a ham,public safety official,buisness user,you can use this radio for everything.you don't have to worry about using ham gear and causing interference with it.
if you get it,you may want to have the programmer avoid programming input channel's on frequencies you are not authorized on.that way there's no beef's.
 
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#7
The problem with using any commercial gear on the amateur radio bands is they aren't capable of switching frequencies as when you go on a road trip. If you go from New England to Florida, you want to be able to use repeaters in all those areas. You can't pull over to the side of the road and whip out the laptop every few hundred miles, that would get old in a hurry. I'm glad I have my Yaesu FT60R now, I can program all 1000 channels for use on the trip to Richmond I hope to be taking later this year. I won't have to stop and load a different set of frequencies at various places along the way.
 

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#8
N1BHH said:
The problem with using any commercial gear on the amateur radio bands is they aren't capable of switching frequencies as when you go on a road trip. If you go from New England to Florida, you want to be able to use repeaters in all those areas. You can't pull over to the side of the road and whip out the laptop every few hundred miles, that would get old in a hurry. I'm glad I have my Yaesu FT60R now, I can program all 1000 channels for use on the trip to Richmond I hope to be taking later this year. I won't have to stop and load a different set of frequencies at various places along the way.

There are some that are FPP which has already been stated. Plus with some radios being able to hold up to 850 channels, I think that might be enough for many people.
 

chrismol1

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#9
Grog said:
There are some that are FPP which has already been stated. Plus with some radios being able to hold up to 850 channels, I think that might be enough for many people.
dont forget about some kinda mobile with the DTMF number pad on the Mic
 

Grog

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#10
chrismoll said:
dont forget about some kinda mobile with the DTMF number pad on the Mic

They make DTMF mics as well, although I can say that I have never used a DTMF on ham freqs in 11 years so I would not miss it.
 
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#11
my Yaesu FT60R now, I can program all 1000 channels

That's true and makes sense.
I find myself draggin a laptop and all my software nowdays because I have 900 MHz amateur capability. Still waiting for the day someone makes a FPP 900 Mhz handheld.
And do the information on the rprtr directories match what the actual rptr techincally requires? hahahahah LOLOLOLO!!! Now that doesn't make sense!!
rcvmo
 
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#12
There are plenty of HT's on the market that would work. No need to waste money unless you have nothing better to spend it on. My FT-50 has lasted me 10 years now with no problems. I haven't been exactly kind to it either. Yaesu has one out that is even waterproof.
 
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#13
For beginner amateur use, anything Motorola just doesn't make sense. There are many better options, especially if you buy new. And there's lots of amateur portables that are every bit as tough as a piece of commercial gear.
 
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#17
W4CRT said:
Kenwood VHF handheld and mobile.

The Kenwood TH-F6 is a nice radio. N1BHH has a good point programming is a hassle. Motorola radios were not designed to do ham nor are they FCC type accepted. However, people do buy them so they can do MDC1200 on the amateur bands.

If you really want motorola, you're going to have to spend some cash, not just on the radio but register with MOL business and sign the software license to purchase the CPS @ $317.00 (for 3 years). You can get a good cable on ebay.

Good Luck!
 

Grog

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#18
res148cue said:
Motorola radios were not designed to do ham nor are they FCC type accepted.
Type accepted for what? You do not need to operate a type accepted radio on amateur radio frequencies, hence the reason so many hams still home built radios. If a company sells a radio, they have to be certified by the FCC, but so does your scanners. Transmitting on the ham band has nothing to do with being type certified.


res148cue said:
people do buy them so they can do MDC1200 on the amateur bands.
Not true at all, some of us like a quality radio and most of the ham grade stuff is not close to the quality motorola radios built over the years.


res148cue said:
If you really want motorola, you're going to have to spend some cash, not just on the radio but register with MOL business and sign the software license to purchase the CPS @ $317.00 (for 3 years). You can get a good cable on ebay.

Once again, not always true, there have been RSS for sale cheaper then that the last time I checked.



When I speak of motorola quality, I am not speaking of the stuff they are over-charging for now. I mean the rugged and well built radios of the past like the MT1000, saber, and even the Jedi series.
 
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