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Budget and Entry Level Transceivers - For discussion of budget or entry level radios such as Baofeng, Wouxun, Puxing and other radio communications designated as commercial but not targeted for Amateur or GMRS. Also included are MURS and ISM 900MHz designed radios.

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Old 06-29-2018, 10:23 AM
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Default BF-888S, Trying to mirror Kenwood NX340

Hello All, I am an absolute newbie to all of this but I have been tasked with setting up some newly purchased Baofeng BF-888S radios. We purchased them to supplement our existing complement of Kenwood NX340UK radios that we use here at work. I am completely in over my head and am struggling.
I have installed the CHIRP application and have the serial cable working.
I can read from the BF888S.
I can’t read from the Kenwood.
I tried to edit the settings on the image file from the 888 and successfully changed the frequency numbers in the correct locations but there are other fields that do not show in the “drop-downs” For example Tone on the Kenwood is RAN1, not an option.. Mode is set to FM and I can’t change it to UHF, etc..
Any help would be appreciated
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:20 AM
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The radios you bought don't do NXDN. Basically you are out of luck.
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:27 AM
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Ouch
That is sure disappointing.. I didn’t buy them but the person that did was well intentioned. Oh well I guess that I have some new radios for hunting this fall

Thanks for the prompt reply
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:29 AM
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not to mention the BF888 is illegal for any service in the US except Part 97 amateur radio, for which you must be licenced
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:07 PM
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We do hold a license for the frequencies that I had intended to program them for. Again, I don’t know much… but I thought that we legal based on the existing license?
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:09 PM
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Is there an entry level handheld that would be suitable for NXDN? We have the constant duty radios for the users that require them but we were looking for something for less than even occasional use.. The radio would sit in a charger in an office.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k9wkj View Post
not to mention the BF888 is illegal for any service in the US except Part 97 amateur radio, for which you must be licenced
BF-888s has part 90 certification:

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/tcb/repor..._id=ZP5BF-888S

But yeah, definitely not an NXDN capable radio..
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:27 PM
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Those nx340's are about the cheapest nxdn radio you'll find. I'd take a used kenwood over a cheap Chinese toy any day of the week. You're going to have to go name brand with nxdn.
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by call_sign_null View Post
BF-888s has part 90 certification:
neither one of my 888s have a part 90 acceptance sticker in them
like one of my other Baofengs and my 6m/2m Wouxon do
so maybe some runs were built to part 90 and some not
unless they actually dont need a sticker
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Old 06-30-2018, 1:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weld-fab View Post
Is there an entry level handheld that would be suitable for NXDN? We have the constant duty radios for the users that require them but we were looking for something for less than even occasional use.. The radio would sit in a charger in an office.
There are only a couple of companies that make NXDN capable radios.
Kenwood
Icom
Alinco

Alinco makes the DJ-NX40 UHF radio: http://www.alinco.com/Products/nxdn/...0/DJ-NX40T.pdf

Icom makes an entire line of NXDN capable radios, sold under the IDAS product line. The Icom F2000D is the lower tier radio that will do what you need.

Kenwood has a couple of options you can take a look at. The NX-340 is the lower tier commercial radio, and may be your best choice. List price is $367.50
Kenwood also recently released the NX-P500, a low cost 2 watt UHF NXDN radio. List price is $275, but you should be able to shop around and find them a bit cheaper.



I fully understand the desire to find a lower cost alternative. Radios can be expensive, depending on how you look at it. If you consider the value they can add to the work force, they generally are a very economical tool that can boost production.

It's really not a good idea for someone not familiar with radio systems to be trying to buy radios on line without understanding the technical details. As you discovered, it's easy to purchase the wrong thing.
Not only the wrong thing, but it's really easy to buy low end Chinese junk that doesn't meet the FCC requirements. Unfortunately the internet has allowed equipment to be sold in the US that shouldn't be.


As for cost savings….
Looking only at the cost of the radios will miss the rest of the costs associated with them. Purchasing programming software, cables, as well as the labor that goes into properly setting them up to work with other radios, the risks of getting the wrong products, violating FCC rules, and the issues of having dissimilar batteries, chargers, user interfaces, etc. should be considered.

If you take a look at the cost differences between the Kenwood NX-340 and the NX-P500, you are looking at less than $100.00.
Since your time figuring out how to program them isn't free (you don't work for FREE do you?), your employer should consider that in the costs.
Since the user interfaces between the radios are different, you'll have a bit of a training curve. Again, staff time isn't free.

The Chirp programming software probably isn't going to work on the NX-P500, at least not any time soon. Adding in the cost of the Kenwood programming software needs to be considered. $258 list price for the software, that's almost the price difference between 3 NX-P500's and 3 NX-340's.

Considering all this, it would be worth the time considering just purchasing a few more NX-340's. Get your dealer to program them up for you (negotiate them doing this for free as part of the purchase) and you'll be done. Interchangeable radios, interchangeable batteries, etc.

Sometimes trying to save a few bucks ends up getting really expensive. We occasionally have to consider this where I work. It's really easy to tie up a bunch of engineers in meetings trying to save a few thousand dollars, only to discover we've blown through the cost savings in labor.
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Old 06-30-2018, 1:22 AM
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I'll add that leaving a portable radio sitting in a charger on a desk all the time, especially while turned on, will kill the battery.
If it's going to be used that way for a long time, you might want to consider setting up a small base station, if your license allows it. Long term it can save you money in batteries, if done right.
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