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CDM series vs. MCS2000

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Zsneese

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I'm looking for a mobile for my truck with a remote head mount and I have the software for both of these radios. What would you choose and what are your reasons behind?


Those views reflected here by me do not reflect those of my department.
 

krazybob

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I'm looking for a mobile for my truck with a remote head mount and I have the software for both of these radios. What would you choose and what are your reasons behind?


Those views reflected here by me do not reflect those of my department.
Your comparison is apples and oranges. The CDM 1550 is it good radio but in a low budget category vs the MCS2000's. A remote head kit is available for the CDM but depending on the model MCS you get your power output level is 110 Watts instead of 50 Watts on the CDM. It depends on the band that you're on however.

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kayn1n32008

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I'm looking for a mobile for my truck with a remote head mount and I have the software for both of these radios. What would you choose and what are your reasons behind?


Those views reflected here by me do not reflect those of my department.


Personal preference would be neither of them.

They are both quite long in the tooth, the MCS2000 is the older of the two and has been discontinued for quite some time.

The CDM is only capable of 64 channels. Which is not very many these days. If it is not EOL already, it will be very shortly.
 

SteveC0625

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I'm looking for a mobile for my truck with a remote head mount and I have the software for both of these radios. What would you choose and what are your reasons behind?
I'm the opposite. I've got exclusively CDM's here and they're just fine. But, I've never used a MCS2000 so I can't and won't discount or pooh-pooh it.

My county has hundreds of CDM's in service because they were able to completely equip every fire department with CDM1250's and HT1250's thanks to a grant in the early 2000's. My ambulance squad is exclusively CDM as well, and several of our members who have mobiles in their POV's all have CDM's. I've also got one of them running in my office as a ham station which can also legitimately do Part 90 service if needed.

If you've already got the cables and reasonable current versions of the software for both, it's kind of a toss-up. What you might do is see what others around you are using. It's handy if you all have the same unit, but not a necessity.
 

SteveC0625

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The CDM is only capable of 64 channels. Which is not very many these days. If it is not EOL already, it will be very shortly.
At least one version of the CDM1550 will do 128 conventional channels and there's one that will do 160. Not commonly known, but there it is.

The whole product line was finally EOL'd two years ago.

One advantage for the hobbyist is that these radios are now readily available on the used market for not a lot of money.
 

kayn1n32008

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At least one version of the CDM1550 will do 128 conventional channels and there's one that will do 160. Not commonly known, but there it is.



The whole product line was finally EOL'd two years ago.



One advantage for the hobbyist is that these radios are now readily available on the used market for not a lot of money.


160 channels is not nearly enough.

Just ham stuff alone in Alberta there are well over 200 VHF repeaters. Add in all the resource road channels that I find myself using, and my channel count is between 400 and 500 channels.

After using the CDM1250 radios that my department has, I am not all that impressed with them. There is much better out there for the same price, or less.
 

Zsneese

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I am operating on the vhf 151-159 range and I only use about 40 channels so that is more than enough. This is for fire use


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HummerMike

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Think about this. I have used both the MCS2000 and CDM versions. If you are looking for strictly Commercial use, either will be OK. They only scan a max of 16 channels. If you are looking for Commercial and Ham, 64 or 160 channels gets used up quick.
I personally like the Kenwood TK-5710. They can be picked up on Ebay for $350 from time to time on Ebay. {One there now as I am typing this}
The features of the 5710.
512 channels, A scan list as you want, P25 capable, 8 buttons that you can program as you want, 14 character alpha numeric display, programmable (8 or 10, I think) selectable PL tones from the front. Kenwood great audio, Still a current production model. No down side.
 

mmckenna

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I am operating on the vhf 151-159 range and I only use about 40 channels so that is more than enough. This is for fire use


Those views reflected here by me do not reflect those of my department.
I've used both, also.

Either radio would be fine.
I'd be willing to bet that for your use, 100 watts isn't necessary. The difference between 50 watts and 100 watts really doesn't add up to a whole lot. Anyway, before you spend the money on a 100 watt radio, check to see what the departments license says. No use running 100 watts if your agency is only licensed for 50.

We ran MCS2000's at work for a long time, both VHF and 800MHz. I wasn't a big fan.
I've got a bunch of CDM1250's at work. I've got CDM-750's, 1250's and 1550's for my own personal stuff.
If you don't need all the extra buttons, the CDM-1250 will work just fine. The non-trunking models will do 64 channels.

The CDM line was also EOL'd only recently, and the MCS2000's have been gone for a while. Based off that, it's likely you'd have better luck getting a CDM repaired or for finding replacement parts.

And since this is going in your personal truck, I wouldn't get hung up on the "public safety" versus "commercial" thing. The people listening on the other end won't be able to tell, and you are not going to beat up a radio so bad in your personal vehicle to really need one.

Either way, if you do install one of these radios, make sure you do the following:
Power directly off the battery and use the ignition switch lead if you need to.
Install the large Motorola external speaker. They really make the radios sound nice. The CDM's do OK without them, but they really sound better with the external speaker.
Make sure you get something in writing from the licensee. As an employee/volunteer for your department, you are not legally allowed to add radios to the license without the licensee's permission. Make sure you get something in writing, and make sure you get any frequencies for other departments approved in writing from the agency that holds the license.
 

krazybob

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I believe in answering the question asked by the OP. Since he asked for a comparison between the two that's what I gave him. Instead of a CDM or MCS I could have recommended an astro Spectra P25 255 channel 110 watt with a W-9 head but that wasn't his question. Zsneece, if size as you're concerned the CDM is the smaller of the two. And yes, there is a 128 and 160 Channel version. Both are readily available on eBay. Since both are slightly older and becomes a matter of whether or not you will be able to get repairs down the road.

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AZ_chris

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I have two CDM1550's and use them for GMRS/FRS use. They work great.
I have one installed in my car. No problems.

There is quite a selection of parts and accessories for the CDM series too still available.
 

AZ_chris

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I didn't just read that you use a 50-watt radio GMRS / FRS :wink:

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Yes, I do. 50 Watt mobile to a GMRS repeater. All legit.
When it comes to the talkaround stuff, of course it's low power 5 watt.
 
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krazybob

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I was more pulling your chain about FRS than GMRS. But even on the interstitial channels you are restricted to 5 watts ERP. As I recall those are channels 1 through 7.

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krazybob

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Just for the record I too have the frequencies programs get my commercial radios as well as my amateur. Working for search and rescue the amateur radio operators that had the VX7's as well as our 800 trunking radios. That way when our 800 failed we could use amateur radio. In the event the party we were searching for was operating on FRS/GMRS we had them programmed with full power. Unlike commercial radios they have a signal strength indicator it was often useful relocating the party. Our radios of course we're more sensitive and could also be heard at a greater distance. I make no bones of it. My main radio is a commercial type accepted radio. I also make it a habit staying with the law as well but I won't deny having Walmart do a stock check. LOL.

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12dbsinad

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CDM1250 is not really that great of a radio. Our department has three, and a TK7180. The TK7180 is by far a better radio than the CDM.

Can you go into a bit more detail here as to why you draw this conclusion? It will help the OP and any other person reading this thread that may be thinking on purchasing a used CDM.

We have a few in my area (soon to be replaced) and I haven't heard to many complaints as far as performance in the years they have had them.
 

krazybob

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I agree that this relatively no difference between the single board Kenwood and the single-board CD ends. Absolutely nothing else will possibly do. I will say that the cdm750 makes an excellent repeater. The receiver specifications are a bit better but your mileage may vary. They're easier to interface from the 16 pin accessory port.

I have a friend that insist on Kenwood only. But I caught him in a moment of weakness. In this case he tried a Vertex single board that I had laying around and reported that it was at least an equal if not slightly better than the Kenwood. He didn't put them on the service monitor so for all intents and purposes each of the single board radios is essentially the same. That's been my experience and I have a room filled with Motorola, Kenwood, and their checks. Literally a room filled with them. It's supposed to be a bedroom but well now it's not anymore. LOL.

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kayn1n32008

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Can you go into a bit more detail here as to why you draw this conclusion? It will help the OP and any other person reading this thread that may be thinking on purchasing a used CDM.



We have a few in my area (soon to be replaced) and I haven't heard to many complaints as far as performance in the years they have had them.


CDM series are EOL. There are many better radios on the market that do EVERYTHING a CDM does, with out the hassle of dealing with Motorola.

The stupid mini-UHF connector is the single biggest pain in my *ss. I have been fighting with one of our CDM's our tender. The connector will not stay tight. I finally resorted to using pliers to keep it from backing off.

The radio feels cheap. The head, the buttons, everything about it. Especially the microphone. The mic feels worse than the mics that come with Yaesu ham gear, that and the stupid 10 pin modular plug.

I work in the oil patch in Alberta. 64 channels is a fraction of what my LMR radio has in it. I would need 4 or more CDM1250 mobiles to hold everything, never mind ham stuff.

Thankfully our department only has 16 channels in our radios. The TK-7180 is a better radio, better controls, better all around. The only thway no it does not support that the CDM does is multilevel MDC id's.

They are an old and tired radio, from a company that treats their customers like crap, who produce horrible bloat ware software. Never mind the hassle of buying it.(to be fair Kenwood is worse with software in Canada). Yea, I would rather spend my money on a radio that is still currently supported, and made by a company that actually listens to their customers and does not make you pay to beta test **** firmware.
 
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