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Questions from new Motorola user

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photojournal4

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#1
After talking with quite a few other media photographers, I have been thinking about getting into Motorola radios for monitoring and ham use. I have searched through the forum here to learn as much as I can but I have a few questions I’m hoping the more experienced users can give advice on.
I was thinking of a used HT1250 or HT1550 (VHF) radio since most of what I monitor is still analog and there seems to be quite a few used at a decent price. I have also already signed up for a MOL account and have access so I’m ready to buy the software when I find a radio.

Do I need to look for anything specific with these radios? I see different variations in style with keypads.

Do you get programming cables from Motorola or are there third-party cables that work?

Will the CPS software work with any HT1250 or HT1550 radio I purchase?

Any tips or advice before getting started?

Thank you
 
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#2
After talking with quite a few other media photographers, I have been thinking about getting into Motorola radios for monitoring and ham use. I have searched through the forum here to learn as much as I can but I have a few questions I’m hoping the more experienced users can give advice on.

I was thinking of a used HT1250 or HT1550 (VHF) radio since most of what I monitor is still analog and there seems to be quite a few used at a decent price. I have also already signed up for a MOL account and have access so I’m ready to buy the software when I find a radio.



Do I need to look for anything specific with these radios? I see different variations in style with keypads.



Do you get programming cables from Motorola or are there third-party cables that work?



Will the CPS software work with any HT1250 or HT1550 radio I purchase?



Any tips or advice before getting started?



Thank you


I love using Motorola. It handles the radio systems way better than a scanner in my opinion. Not to mention they are more rugged and louder. As well I love the drop in charger.

What systems/agencies are you planning on monitoring? That will be helpful so we can provide better advise.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Pro-91, MTS 2000 800MHz, Astro Saber VHF, APX 6000 7/800MHz
 

photojournal4

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#3
I plan to monitor local fire (Ventura Co. Fire) to start and maybe add a second Motorola for Los Angeles Co. FD (UHF) in the future. I'm hoping to get better reception of the command/tac channels when I am at a brush fire which has been spotty with a Uniden scanner.
 
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#4
Motorola makes great radios. I've been using them 22+ years now & the HT1250 & 1550 are both solid choices. One benefit that the 1550 has over the 1250 (if the 1550 is a Model 3/full keypad) you can use Front Panel Programming aka FPP, but you have to have what's known as a Red Battery to use that feature. A simple Google search will reveal details in that regard.

I'm not sure what your budget is but if you can swing it I would go with the XTS series if possible. Both the XTS2500 & XTS5000 are awesome radios and are my daily drivers. I'm glad to see that you've set up an account on MOL and want to buy the s/w the legit way. On the not of programming cables, Motorola can be a bit proud of theirs and it shows in the price of the cable. Average price for an XTS5000 USB cable from Motorola usually sits right around the $300 range. If you don't want to drop that much for one and want to get an aftermarket cable I would suggest a brand named Kawamall. I've bought a number of cables from them and they've all been great & usually average between $30-40. Also when using a cable to program the XTS series you won't need what's known as a RIB (Radio Interface Box) which can be a bit steep as well. The XTS series will also do FPP & if you look on eBay pretty much every Model 3 2500 or 5000 will have it enabled. The feature "code" you want to look for is either Q52 or Q53 FPP. Q52 means you won't need the programming dongle that attaches to the radio to use FPP. Q53 means you will need the dongle from Motorola & that dongle attaches to the side connector where you would normally attach your speaker mic.

Hopefully I didn't confuse you to much. Any other info needed, just ask!
 

lacoscannerguy

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#5
I use Astro Sabers, XTS's, and an APX6000. Also have a MTS2000, and a HT1000. Nothing beats a Motorola (in my opinion).

I agree with others...I'd go for a XTS3000 (ensure it's flashed for P25). Solid radio, and digital capable when the time comes. And at today, can be had for not much more (or less than) the HT1250 and HT1550.

Just my two cents :)

Thanks.
 
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#6
Since the OP said he needs a radio for analog, I would go with a MTS2000. A higher tier radio than the Waris series [1250 & 1550] they can be had for $100, or less. I've owned both, & got rid of both my Waris radios within 1 year, while I still own numerous Jedi radios. I don't know why, but to me the MTS2000 radios have MUCH better RX audio than the 1250's.
 
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#7
Since the OP said he needs a radio for analog, I would go with a MTS2000. A higher tier radio than the Waris series [1250 & 1550] they can be had for $100, or less. I've owned both, & got rid of both my Waris radios within 1 year, while I still own numerous Jedi radios. I don't know why, but to me the MTS2000 radios have MUCH better RX audio than the 1250's.
I would agree that the Jedi series is a solid family of radios, but I suggested the XTS series because of the age of the Jedi series & support not really being there much anymore, and parts are getting harder to come by. One other issue being the display problems that plagued that series. I suggested the XTS series because parts are more easily found, the CPS will work on newer machines (I use Astro 25 Portable CPS 20.01.00 on my Windows 10 laptop), etc etc. And the XTS line is a lot easier to program on the go if you use FPP versus having to find a computer, of course the exception to that rule is if you have a JT1000, but then you lose alpha tags on each channel.
 

photojournal4

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#9
Thanks for the advice guys, especially @FD5722.

Is Motorola's CPS software model dependent or can I use any recent Motorola radio with it? I unexpectedly won an Ebay auction for a HT1550 XLS kit for $200 (I thought it would go for more judging from recent auctions). I did talk to the seller before hand so I should be good with the radio.

If you have any more tips or info, I'm all ears...
 
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#10
Thanks for the advice guys, especially @FD5722.

Is Motorola's CPS software model dependent or can I use any recent Motorola radio with it? I unexpectedly won an Ebay auction for a HT1550 XLS kit for $200 (I thought it would go for more judging from recent auctions). I did talk to the seller before hand so I should be good with the radio.

If you have any more tips or info, I'm all ears...


Motorola software is somewhat model dependent...... Example, Astro25 Portable CPS will program the XTS1500, 2500, 4000, & 5000. If you wanted to program the HT1250, 1550 you would Motorola Professional CPS. Doing a Google search will usually net a result with which s/w is needed. If you open a MOL account you can purchase the needed s/w from Motorola, and that can be a bit pricey.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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#11
A thing to remember about buying the software from M is that the software will probably cost more than what your HT1250 is worth. Just something to think about when using a current supported product. Obviously if you have a fleet of radios the cost is justified.

Just adding my 2 cents.
 
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#14
One thing to note…some CPS will run on 64 bit architecture, some won't. Some will program, and some won't have any working serial communications.

I can't even run the second to last Professional series CPS on my company issued laptop (Win 7 64 bit). I have to use either my personal radio laptop (Win 7 32 bit) or the company's XP computer which has never been on the network due to some regulations with the local city's trunk system but that only comes into play with Astro 25 radios (as Apex no longer supports XP). Oh yea, I work for a Motorola shop…
 

Anderegg

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#15
I am fairly sure that standard Waris "Professional" CPS will not work with that HT1550XLS model, which is an LTR trunking unit. You need the CPS specific to that,a nd I have found that trunked LTR Motorolas are somewhat limited in what they can do in conventional, that mode of operation seems to be an afterthought.

Paul
 
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#16
Standard Waris CPS will work just fine with the HT1550XLS. I don't have time to check ours right now but I'm pretty sure they were more capable (conventionally) than some of the HT1250LS and LS+ models were.
 

Nasby

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#17
I am fairly sure that standard Waris "Professional" CPS will not work with that HT1550XLS model, which is an LTR trunking unit. You need the CPS specific to that,a nd I have found that trunked LTR Motorolas are somewhat limited in what they can do in conventional, that mode of operation seems to be an afterthought.

Paul
It will for sure work on the 1550XLS.
 
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