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booster2003 07-04-2015 12:43 AM

Hytera alternative?
 
Hello all. Well i am brand new to this forum, so hello from detroit. I have a radio dilemma i was hoping you all could help me figure out. Ive pored over forums and youtube videos and pdf files on the web and im not learning the correct information i need to. Let me paint the picture:

I run a youth group of students ages 14 to 21. We operate parking, traffic, and crowd details for private and governement entities. We have a bank of uhf Hytera TC500s that we use. And we use them alot. They may be ok for a family camping trip, but hard use gear they are not. We have taken 5 or 6 out of service due to damage. I was hoping maybe to find an efficient alternative. I was thinking of ordering the better models of hyteras like the 610s, but not sure if they are built tougher. Now, i have a commanding officer that hates spending company money, and refused to actually purchase the hyteras. The students had to fundraise for them. However, he has given me the green light to purchase some more radios using company money. But i still cant go overboard. We like being able to program the radios ourselves, and are looking for a radio that we can do this innexpensively. And i can go the used route as well, ebay or something.

So my questions are:
Can i program another make of radio the exact same as the HYTs? Because the hyts have the security codes, and i dont know if other radios have these same security codes.

What radio that i can program myself cheaply and easily, would you recommend? Motorolas? Icoms?

Has anyone had trouble programming the tc500's because my computer (windows7) all of a sudden wont even let me read the radios?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

MTS2000des 07-04-2015 8:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by booster2003 (Post 2416405)
I was hoping maybe to find an efficient alternative. I was thinking of ordering the better models of hyteras like the 610s, but not sure if they are built tougher.

Low end Chinese radios are what they are: low end Chinese radios. The Hytera DMR radios like the PD series are built better, but they are way overkill for what you would be using them for, and 5 times the price.

Quote:

Originally Posted by booster2003 (Post 2416405)
Now, i have a commanding officer that hates spending company money, and refused to actually purchase the hyteras. The students had to fundraise for them. However, he has given me the green light to purchase some more radios using company money.

Hopefully your C.O. understands that TOOLS, not TOYS are needed to conduct the daily operations of the venue. Good TOOLS cost money, but they last and increase productivity. Good TOOL vendors stand behind and support their products.

One can't pay for pizza and beer and expect steak and ale. It's that simple.

Quote:

Originally Posted by booster2003 (Post 2416405)
We like being able to program the radios ourselves, and are looking for a radio that we can do this innexpensively.

Icom, Kenwood and Vertex Standard all have radios in the sub $200 price range that are far superior to the lesser known brands. Icom and Kenwood have 2 year factory warranties, V-S has 3 year warranties. V-S is very easy to get FREE programming software by filling out an online form and registering for an account. The programming cables from OEM are pricey, cheaper alternatives are available.

Kenwood has the Pro-Talk series, Icom has the F1000/F2000, and Vertex Standard's VX-230 series are all good basic radios that will be better than anything Hytera or the ChiComms offer. There are other models in the product lines. Did I mention finding a reputable authorized dealer is the way to go? Tell them your budget. But be realistic, GOOD quality radios in this category will run $165-200 new, that's with a full warranty and support.

Quote:

Originally Posted by booster2003 (Post 2416405)
And i can go the used route as well, ebay or something.

I advise against buying used radios, unless you KNOW THE SELLER. With anything, always BUY THE SELLER not the product. There are many good reputable dealers that also sell online, I STRONGLY recommend buying only from an authorized dealer of the manufacturer who's product you purchase. You may pay slightly more, but service after the sale is everything when you are using something for business use. A fellow professional will understand this and support you as a professional customer.

Quote:

Originally Posted by booster2003 (Post 2416405)
Can i program another make of radio the exact same as the HYTs? Because the hyts have the security codes, and i dont know if other radios have these same security codes.

When you say "security codes", I assume you mean CTCSS/DCS codes? Or the inversion scrambling feature? CTCSS/DCS is industry standard, and so long as frequency/tone data matches they will work with any brand of radios. Analog scramblers aren't always compatible with other vendors, but often they are. This is something a good dealer can tell you when you talk to them about potential replacements/additions to your fleet.

Quote:

Originally Posted by booster2003 (Post 2416405)
What radio that i can program myself cheaply and easily, would you recommend? Motorolas? Icoms?

Icom radios generally are much more wallet friendly than Motorola, and the software is easier to come by, along with the programming cables. I've found Icom's cloning software to be very easy, almost like a spreadsheet, and this is common to their low tier stuff all the way to their high tier digital radios.

Motorola, OTOH, is very difficult to legally obtain programming software for most of their product lines. They require you to sign a license agreement, and their software is rather pricey. The programming cables are also expensive.

Quote:

Originally Posted by booster2003 (Post 2416405)
Has anyone had trouble programming the tc500's because my computer (windows7) all of a sudden wont even let me read the radios?

This is where having a good relationship with an authorized dealer who sold you the radios and programming software/hardware comes in handy. More often than not though, it may be a simple driver issue. Try uninstalling and reinstalling both the software and driver for the cable and see if that helps.

rapidcharger 07-04-2015 8:51 AM

Icom is the value leader in the fo-real radios category. And they're still made in Japan.
I have put mine through pure misery.
Best of all, a lot of dealers carry Icoms and many will program them for free to your licensed frequencies so you won't have to be hassled with obtaining the software and cables and learning how to use it.

booster2003 07-05-2015 2:46 PM

Excellent, thank you guys for the info. I'll start with the Icoms and go from there.

booster2003 07-05-2015 2:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MTS2000des (Post 2416475)


Hopefully your C.O. understands that TOOLS, not TOYS are needed to conduct the daily operations of the venue. Good TOOLS cost money, but they last and increase productivity. Good TOOL vendors stand behind and support their products.

One can't pay for pizza and beer and expect steak and ale. It's that simple.




Ive tried convincing him that buying crap radios just means that we are going to spend more money on crap radio replacements. He has spent so much money on crap before I came along, that he thinks thats all thats out there I guess. But like you put it, they're tools not toys. There's just hardly any wiggle room with him lol.

Thanks for all the info!

MTS2000des 07-05-2015 5:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by booster2003 (Post 2417016)
Ive tried convincing him that buying crap radios just means that we are going to spend more money on crap radio replacements.

Just pull out your four function calculator and add up how many cheapo radios have been bought, how many hours of lost productivity dealing with cheap radios, then run the numbers of what good quality Icom or Kenwood radios would run. You'll find that buying a quality radio that will work right the first time, everytime will SAVE money in both costs and man hours.

Quote:

Originally Posted by booster2003 (Post 2417016)
He has spent so much money on crap before I came along, that he thinks thats all thats out there I guess.

My former employer used to waste money on race to waste pet projects but wouldn't pay for the basics. For example, they bought APX4000 trunking radios on a county DTRS for in facility use, which is 99 percent of their needs, and pay $44 a month per radio to be on the system.

Yet they still have a bootleg UHF repeater used by maintenance and balked when I suggested they coordinated and properly licensed. I guess gambling the risk of paying FCC fines is a better bargain

All one can do is present the information, make sure you save those emails and all communication, that way when it goes bad you can't get blamed.

ron11 10-17-2015 9:01 AM

Try the Hytera Tc-446. One of the easiest to use an program.

Project25_MASTR 10-19-2015 12:24 AM

Check out Tecnet. Decent quality (not the best) but for the price it's much better than some of the stuff offered by many of the Chinese companies.


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