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Old 02-19-2017, 2:30 PM
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Default Didn't even know these existed.

The MX300 series is one of my favorite radios. Available in 3 VHF high splits, 3 UHF splits, and 800 MHz. There was even a trunked model. Specs as good as a lot of mobiles. Their main downfall, to me was the plastic frame. Drop one and the frame would break where the battery connected. The 6 layer boards in later synthesized models, and particularly the ruggedized ones were susceptible to losing lock on transmit. But, i loved the things. Recently I got a manual for mid band models. What? Midband? No way. I have never seen one, heard of them, and I would have bet money that they didn't exist. But, now I have the manual for them. H*2AAU with the * being a 1 to 4 for the different power ranges. I'd dearly love to get my hands on one. I expect they were only sold in Europe.
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Old 02-20-2017, 1:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WPXS472 View Post
The MX300 series is one of my favorite radios. Available in 3 VHF high splits, 3 UHF splits, and 800 MHz. There was even a trunked model. Specs as good as a lot of mobiles. Their main downfall, to me was the plastic frame. Drop one and the frame would break where the battery connected. The 6 layer boards in later synthesized models, and particularly the ruggedized ones were susceptible to losing lock on transmit. But, i loved the things. Recently I got a manual for mid band models. What? Midband? No way. I have never seen one, heard of them, and I would have bet money that they didn't exist. But, now I have the manual for them. H*2AAU with the * being a 1 to 4 for the different power ranges. I'd dearly love to get my hands on one. I expect they were only sold in Europe.
They were fantastic radios with excellent receivers. The frame breakage may have resulted from certain cleaning solutions and Flux removers that would make the plastic become brittle. The next best radio are the Sabers which are almost as good with respect to receiver, but are much wider bandwidth and more capable with respect to programming. Both are nice modular radios with great reliability. I think the modern generation radios are lacking with respect to receiver performance and reliability.

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Old 02-20-2017, 3:23 PM
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There were quite a few models being mfg for Motorola had bands available for both north america and european use with euro Mid band being popular. Most product lines built for US use there were others built for the other country. They built many strange models you'd never heard of in the US for asia/europe besides the normal product lines. Many with wonky bandsplits and signalling code and data formats only used in those countries. The software for them is different as well. the saber had a euro version, the HT600, MT1000, XTS, HT series all have counterparts for their regions. The model names often changed between the region used for. The MX1000 is a euro saber
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Old 02-20-2017, 4:16 PM
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VHF mid band is still used in some paging (on-site), telemetry and RF link applications.

As far as the MX radios, the first "for real" Motorola portable I got my hands on was an MX-330S VHF low split (136-151) back when I was 16 in 1991. It was rated as a 2 watt radio but easily put out 3.5 watts with a fully charged battery. It's receive sensitivity was on part with a well tuned HT-220, and the battery life for a synthesized radio was amazing. Three or more days off one of the hi-cap batteries with 12 hours a day of receive with some transmit.

Try getting that with an APX. Some of our users complain of low battery alerts after 7 hours of use, and we have the 3400mah IMPRES 2 batteries.

I was lucky as there was a local guy who had the rare R-1801A and correct newer revision EEPROM code plug (that is where the term came from!) to do MX and Syntors. Those radios were amazing for their time (1975 was the year of introduction if I recall).

Always wanted an MX-360 with multi-zones and encryption.
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Old 02-20-2017, 5:30 PM
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I've seen mid band MX300R radios floating around but I had no reason to pick one up. I do have a mid band Saber II, which is very rare in the US. I just found an old secure VHF MX-350 S in a drawer, 10 channels with an A/B switch but don't remember what freqs are in it. Should probably throw it on Epay.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WPXS472 View Post
The MX300 series is one of my favorite radios. Available in 3 VHF high splits, 3 UHF splits, and 800 MHz. There was even a trunked model. Specs as good as a lot of mobiles. Their main downfall, to me was the plastic frame. Drop one and the frame would break where the battery connected. The 6 layer boards in later synthesized models, and particularly the ruggedized ones were susceptible to losing lock on transmit. But, i loved the things. Recently I got a manual for mid band models. What? Midband? No way. I have never seen one, heard of them, and I would have bet money that they didn't exist. But, now I have the manual for them. H*2AAU with the * being a 1 to 4 for the different power ranges. I'd dearly love to get my hands on one. I expect they were only sold in Europe.
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Old 02-20-2017, 7:35 PM
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Motorola has certainly made some strange radios over the years. Remember the first trunked mobile? I believe I have only seen one. What a kludged up mess. Motorola Germany used to make a little mobile that used MX modules. I saw a very few at hamfests years ago. Always wanted one, but never had one. I can't even remember the model name now. We had secure Saber 1's when I worked for the Government some time back. I didn't really care for them. I sat mine down for a minute one day to help someone and it fell over. There went the synthesizer module. I thought :"What a piece of crap." A few months later, one fell of the belt of a coworker 15 feet onto solid concrete with only a couple of scratches. Ours had the big batteries and the users hated them. After I left the Government's employ, they changed out the batteries for lithium ion ones which were much smaller. Then, the users loved them. I remember in the early 90's getting some Micor bases and repeaters. Motorola told us the only customer was the government, and the only reason they made them for us was because they hadn't yet figured out how to put Securenet in an MSF5000.
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Old 02-20-2017, 7:54 PM
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Not to hijack the thread too far, but somewhere around the early 1990s it was stated the Motorola Saber series was the most reliable radio to date at that time. This was after Motorola did some failure analysis and found latent damage from ESD was not uncommon, and after changes at the factory the Saber achieved some ridiculous low failure rate.
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Motorola has certainly made some strange radios over the years. Remember the first trunked mobile? I believe I have only seen one. What a kludged up mess. Motorola Germany used to make a little mobile that used MX modules. I saw a very few at hamfests years ago. Always wanted one, but never had one. I can't even remember the model name now. We had secure Saber 1's when I worked for the Government some time back. I didn't really care for them. I sat mine down for a minute one day to help someone and it fell over. There went the synthesizer module. I thought :"What a piece of crap." A few months later, one fell of the belt of a coworker 15 feet onto solid concrete with only a couple of scratches. Ours had the big batteries and the users hated them. After I left the Government's employ, they changed out the batteries for lithium ion ones which were much smaller. Then, the users loved them. I remember in the early 90's getting some Micor bases and repeaters. Motorola told us the only customer was the government, and the only reason they made them for us was because they hadn't yet figured out how to put Securenet in an MSF5000.
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Old 02-20-2017, 8:19 PM
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Without the MX the Saber wouldn't be here

My favorite MX is my MX360
Strange history was uncovered with a large frequency list taped to the inside of the back cover

It's an FAA radio for the FAAs 170 MHz LMR national network of repeaters, phone patches and utilized DES encryption
it has a one time prom
radio built 1985
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Last edited by chrismol1; 02-20-2017 at 8:51 PM..
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Old 02-20-2017, 8:23 PM
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My MX-300R is midband!

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5662/2...c57c16ed_h.jpg
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Old 02-20-2017, 8:59 PM
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I carried a VHF MX340 with the extended battery as a Public Safety Officer/Paramedic in the early 90's while chasing a subject who was in a fight with a knife through a parking lot. I was hit by a car and the MX took the brunt of the impact it sheared off the battery contacts on the radio. I got a big ol bruised hip and we put a new battery on it and it worked for a long time after that til we upgraded to jedi's
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Old 02-20-2017, 9:21 PM
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When I worked for the Government, we had a few of those MX300R models. The fire department used them. They were VHF high split.They had 6 layer boards and DES encryption. That rubber case had conductive paint on the inside and when it began to degrade with time and continued vibration, the VCO wouldn't stay locked when transmitting. RF from the antenna would get back into the rest of the radio. About the only cure was to either turn the power way down, or replace the case. The case was several hundred dollars. Your midband looks to be in very good condition. Mold will attack that case and eat it up if not kept in the right atmosphere. I have seen those things completely covered in white and the case rotted out. The PTT cover on regular MX's is particularly vulnerable. Mold will even eat the knobs too.
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Old 02-21-2017, 8:04 PM
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Its actually not mold. It is the plastic breaking down
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Old 01-07-2018, 2:47 PM
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Default MX-300R Ruggedized Radios

I bought 30 of these as Surplus. They all functioned and had DES in them. They were very clean and in the 136 to 150 Split so I used one as a HAM Radio and people looked at me creepy. Sold a set of six to a lady in Florida with charger. The batteries were EXPENSIVE and could not be rebuilt like my Old Rugged Saber Radios as they were rubber coated. You could bounce one of the concrete like a basketball with no damage. I bought two convertacoms which were equally heavy duty looked like pterodactyls. Huge with MEDICO locks to secure the radios.

Glad to have found homes for them and as they say "Such are the Days or Our Lives".
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Old 01-07-2018, 4:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WPXS472 View Post
.....I expect they were only sold in Europe.
Mid band VHF (66-88 MHz) MX300's were sold and used in Australia extensively in the 1980's.

R
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:14 PM
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I am looking for some old MX300 batteries to rebuild. If anyone knows of a source. Please PM me.
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Old 01-08-2018, 4:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WPXS472 View Post
The MX300 series is one of my favorite radios. Available in 3 VHF high splits, 3 UHF splits, and 800 MHz. There was even a trunked model. Specs as good as a lot of mobiles. Their main downfall, to me was the plastic frame. Drop one and the frame would break where the battery connected. The 6 layer boards in later synthesized models, and particularly the ruggedized ones were susceptible to losing lock on transmit. But, i loved the things. Recently I got a manual for mid band models. What? Midband? No way. I have never seen one, heard of them, and I would have bet money that they didn't exist. But, now I have the manual for them. H*2AAU with the * being a 1 to 4 for the different power ranges. I'd dearly love to get my hands on one. I expect they were only sold in Europe.
I noticed with a UHF "S" model that simply tapping the end of the antenna while transmitting would cause loss of lock. The RF shielding and bypassing was not so good on those radios.
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Old 01-08-2018, 5:29 PM
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Great Battery Site---Reasonably Priced Also

https://www.cutratebatteries.com/col...-mx300-battery
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Old 01-08-2018, 7:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
Not to hijack the thread too far, but somewhere around the early 1990s it was stated the Motorola Saber series was the most reliable radio to date at that time. This was after Motorola did some failure analysis and found latent damage from ESD was not uncommon, and after changes at the factory the Saber achieved some ridiculous low failure rate.
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I have a slew of UHF Systems Sabers that I am refurbishing and find three failure modes:

1) The 7 MHz clock crystal for the MCU, an easy fix. Radio behaves "dead" but far from it. With the radio buttoned up, you can "tune" it in with a SW radio and hear it trying to run. Sounds like RTTY as the MCU boots over and over. There are actually two such crystals in a Systems Saber or analog Saber II or III.

2) The volume and channel knobs eventually rot and break. Get new ones from China.

3) The MX style antennas rot and break, also available from China.

Batteries, being a consumable, are actually now better with age. Now you can get 3X capacity 5500 mah Lithium Ion also from China and shave 6 ounces off of the radio package.

Not bad for such an old radio.

The ESD problem was static build up on the battery clip. The fix from what I can tell is simply removing the baked on paint from an edge of the metal where it meets the aluminum battery attachment plate. I think the "A" version clips would build up a charge and arc over near the control top. Grounding at the base fixes that.
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Old 01-08-2018, 7:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ipfd320 View Post
Great Battery Site---Reasonably Priced Also

https://www.cutratebatteries.com/col...-mx300-battery
Good to see they still have MX batteries. I am still looking to repack some depleted MX batteries with lithium Ion or 9V battery strictly for use with KVL's.
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Old 01-09-2018, 8:27 AM
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I have collected over the years several hundred MX and MX-S radios from auctions. Everything from a 2 channel 340, anumer of black faced S model 340's for the Secret Service, to a 48 channel with TT, MDC-600, scan, multi PL and DES from a DEA auction. I also have about 1/2 a dozen MX-300-S porta-mobiles on various freqs. I also have 2 different suitcase repeaters in Zero cases that use 2 portables strapped into a frame.

They were the best radios of the time, and I carried one for nearly 10 years (the actual same radio) while working NYCEMS and it never failed working 24/7 between all our crews. The plastic frames were a problem which continued even after an early mod to not have to totally disassemble the radio to change the frame (A model circa 1977) out from the battery breaking it at the bottom when sat on. I found that in the S model you had to have the grounding clip tight inside the radio for it to work properly. I converted a few of the MX suitcase repeaters to S models using some brand new boards I picked up, and I still use it as my frequencies are in the T band. Even if the radio has a one time prom you can jumper it to one of the other 3 12 channel zones or 16 if programmed that way.

I set up about 60 units for my son's CAP unit on their VHF channels. I felt it was much better to have a 20 year old MX broken or lost then a current radio at that time while they were EPIRB chasing in the woods of upstate NY at Fort Drum. We also used the UHF ones while at Boy Scout camp in the Adirondacks, and I also had rental units on one of my repeaters and used many on GMRS.

I bet you never heard of a MX mobile. It was made in Germany and was just a MX chassis in a box with a funky looking mic. I can remember installing only one in the Hackensack N.J.Police Chief's car in the glove box. I don't think it was a big hit due to it's low power output and small speaker.

Quote"
I noticed with a UHF "S" model that simply tapping the end of the antenna while transmitting would cause loss of lock. The RF shielding and bypassing was not so good on those radios.

That usually was a bad solder connection or dirty Converta Comm connection for the antenna. When you pull the radio out of the holster by the antenna everyday you eventually break the wire connection to the T/R relay. If I wan't using the radio in a CC I would jump out the external antenna.

I have been looking for years for the mid band H42 model radios, along with a Railroad Micor for my collection.
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