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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-19-2012, 9:09 AM
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Question Vertex vs. Motorola portable radios for golf course

I currently use 12 Motorola HT750 and one Motorola XPR 6550 radios for communication and operating our irrigation system on a 100 acre golf course. I am looking into replacing the HT 750's this year and have heard good things about the vertex 231, 351, and 459 radios. The price is very attractive at less than half the cost of the Motorola radios, and I have heard of a couple of couses that have bee using them with good results. I was able to get a demo of two 351's and found the audio volume to be quite a bit lower than my motorolas. Is there an internal setting or adjustment that can be changed to make them louder? We had the volume knob turned all the way up and it was about 1/2 the volume of the motorola radios. Also, what makes these two radios so much different that there can be such a drastic difference in price?

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Old 12-19-2012, 5:19 PM
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Try the VX-450 series... They have higher audio output than the 350's and the 230's. They also are supposedly waterproof? I haven't dunked any of our demos yet to check, but... They say they're waterproof!

If you want an XPR6550, the Vertex VXD-720 is actually the same exact radio, minus a few features. But the VX-459s would serve you just fine.

As far as what causes the big difference in price, well, a lot of it is the Motorola name, some build quality differences, but both are a good product and would work equally well for your application, I would say.
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Old 12-19-2012, 5:49 PM
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Just stay with the Motorola ht750 there good Radios. If you must buy more go p25 digital with xts1500. Don't go with vertex there crap Radios
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Old 12-19-2012, 6:04 PM
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... or buy two Vertex for the price of one HT750. And as far as going P25 digital, for one, there's no reason, and number two, it wouldn't work with the DTMF-controlled irrigation systems they have at the golf courses. They need a full keypad, which the XTS1500 won't give them anyways!
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Old 12-20-2012, 6:09 AM
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I personally would keep the radios you have, as they should be plenty good for your application. But if you want to replace them, that's of course your business.

Having said that, I think you could largely get away with either the 231, 351, or 451 radios. I don't have personal experience with the 351's, but I do with the 231's and 450 series. The 231's are smaller and more delicate than the 450 series, which is much more rugged. But unless you just beat your radios to death, you could probably get away with 231's. Even if a few of your radios do indeed face really rough service, 231's are so cheap you can practically toss it in the trash and not lose much if the radio breaks for some reason. Remember Vertexes have a 3 year warranty, so paying 175 bucks or so for a 231 and having it last 3 years under warranty is a great a deal IMO. Anything beyond that is a bonus. The more rugged 450 series is only a hundred bucks more.

Good luck.
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Old 12-20-2012, 6:18 AM
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Thanks for the responses so far. We will not be able to keep the HT 750's we currently have as they are in pretty rough shape, but I will keep the newer xpr 6550. Out of the 12 I have, only 5 still work well. We are rough on them. They get dropped, and we work in the rain and mud with them on our hip. I did send a bunch of them out to be repaired last winter, but most of the fixes did not last.

The three year warrenty and price is what attracted me to the vertex, but it seemed too good to be true.
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Old 12-20-2012, 7:14 AM
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I have carried and purchased many of the vertex 351 and Motorola 750/1250 portable radios. My experience is that the Vertex is a less expensive option initially but more costly in the end. I have found the Vertex radios have that tin can sound, are more prone to malfunction, breaking and mine spend a lot more down time than the Motorola radios. It is a hard choice but if you are in it for the long term I suggest the Motorola portables. Also consider keeping the radios in the leather case. Best of luck!
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Old 12-21-2012, 7:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdaniels View Post
Thanks for the responses so far. We will not be able to keep the HT 750's we currently have as they are in pretty rough shape, but I will keep the newer xpr 6550. Out of the 12 I have, only 5 still work well. We are rough on them. They get dropped, and we work in the rain and mud with them on our hip. I did send a bunch of them out to be repaired last winter, but most of the fixes did not last.

The three year warrenty and price is what attracted me to the vertex, but it seemed too good to be true.
If your radios are beat up that bad, and you are really trying to not pay top Motorola dollar, I would suggest the 451's, and maybe a couple of 231's if you have some radios that live in an office or less demanding environment. I don't know anything about poor sound quality as the previous poster suggested. $275-ish for a 451 with a 3 year warranty is still hard to beat.

If you do buy them, make sure you buy them from an authorized dealer. There are a lot of grey market dealers on Ebay and such that will sell you the radio 50 bucks cheaper than an authorized dealer, but often the radios weren't bought through the proper channels, and the warranty isn't honored in the USA. Also these flea market dealers are often MIA when it comes to customer service.

If you are looking for a dealer, I would recommend Red Dog Radios Red Dog Radios. Tom will help you from start to finish, he stands behind his sales, and won't tell you to pound sand and deal with Vertex if you have a warranty issue. He is also an authorized Vertex repair center. I think I recall him telling me he has done some golf courses too, and I bet he might be willing to set you up with a demo or two. He also sells and services Icom, and you might consider looking at some of their offerings too. I have bought dozens of Vertex and Icom radios from him, and never had a failure with Vertex. I have had one Icom refurb'd mobile need a display replaced, but other than that, outstanding results. Again, good luck.
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Old 12-21-2012, 8:59 PM
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Personally, I'd recommend the Vertex product line. We rent 750 Vertex VX-351 (and a few VX-354) VHF & UHF portables to ski areas and they live up to the ruggedness with weather, loudness, etc. and the batteries last much longer than any Motorola radio does.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:58 AM
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I will second the vertex line. I use VX-231's for work, and they have been flawless. Even with 1100mah Li-ion batteries, covered in snow and ice in -25c they last all day. They are solid radios and have been well abused and still have not failed. Motorola is not the be-all-end-all of radios.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:11 PM
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Motorola owns Vertex now also. The Vertex radios that we use on our Rescue Squad have held up well over the last 10 years. I personally use a VX454 and I drop it frequently on concrete at work and it is still working after 1.5 years with no issues. The Motorola ht750 has always had issues in our area with the receive not being as sensitve as the Vertex. I love the 3 year warranty also. We have the 350's also and they have worked well and given good service. You are right about the audio though the Ht750 and 1250 have very good audio and they are louder than the vertex. the 454 is close though.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:30 PM
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The company I retired from in 2000 uses Vertex VX180U radios for sideline comms at all of the Redskins' home games. I know that's not a current model number but I'm sure there is an equivalent available. The radios have plenty of audio, besides which they use speaker mics which enables the user to get the sound near the ear to be heard. Vertex has always made a point of having loud audio, usually in the area of 750 mW which by most reasonable standards is fairly loud. One thing to be aware of in dealing with Vertex is that they try to control the territories covered by their dealers, so be sure that your dealer is operating within the limitations of his sales agreement or you might be seriously compromised if you get into a situation involving a "bad" return requiring factory replacement.
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