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CDM series vs. MCS2000

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kayn1n32008

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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 dunno, Kenwood puts DB-25's on the back ends of their radios... That makes it pretty easy to interface with most anything.

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...

Kenwood over Vertex. Although I have not played with the VX-5000/6000 or the VX-7200 mobiles, I have used a few different analogue ones. They are less refined(although the VX92x series are pretty nice) than any of the Kenwood stuff I have used. The Segmented, 8 character displays in most of their mobiles and portables are 1990's stuff. I mean really, dotmatrix displays have been around for MANY years now. Would be nice to see it in their mobiles with out having to go to a VX-7200. The mics are cheap, and the squelch crash when on CSQ is a bit annoying. Performance wise(TX and RX) they are decent, but are about 10 years behind Kenwood on their displays. The hard plastic buttons are pretty annoying as well.
 

12dbsinad

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There are many better radios on the market that do EVERYTHING a CDM does, with out the hassle of dealing with Motorola.
Yeah, for some reason I forget they are getting worse as time goes on...

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.
This has been M's trademark for years! If you don't deal with a loose mini-uhf, you aren't selling Motorola!
I always give them a tweak with my leatherman. Just don't overdue it.
 

krazybob

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I have used and sold Motorola's, Kenwood, and your text. The person asked for an entry-level radio. That would mean something such as a tk-880. As I mentioned an associate of mine swears by the high-end Kenwood. I loaned him a VX-4000 and he came back a week later and said that it matched the performance of his beloved Kenwood's. It's all based on what the user wants. To suggest that they have cheap microphones, I'm not sure which ones you're talking about but every veritex I have purchased comes with a very serious microphone in the same category as a Motorola. It sits in the hand it has wait. The new Motorola's come with crappy little CD radio type microphones that I absolutely don't compare to that of a vertex but I would take the Motorola CDM-750 over the Vertex VX-2100.

With that said, I use a combination of VX-2100's, VX-4000's, VX-5000's and Uniden 780's, and 785's to stream nearly twenty separate feeds over the internet. The Vertex radios are fantastic for this use. The Kenwood's performed equally as well. The Motorola's are too pricey to pick them up on eBay.

My first amateur radio repeater was built using their Vertex 2100's. They were changed out to CDM-750's. The Vertex's couldn't hang on a busy radio site while the Motorola's did just fine. I have a service monitor in a room full of test equipment to backup my experience. But that doesn't mean I know everything. In the busy Los Angeles metropolitan area image rejection and adjacent Channel rejection are key factors.

It is all in what the user considers acceptable and affordable.

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kayn1n32008

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I have used and sold Motorola's, Kenwood, and your text. The person asked for an entry-level radio. That would mean something such as a tk-880.
Even the TK-880 is long in the tooth.

As I mentioned an associate of mine swears by the high-end Kenwood. I loaned him a VX-4000 and he came back a week later and said that it matched the performance of his beloved Kenwood's.
I totally agree, the performance, receive and transmit is similar. But Kenwood has a much more refined and mature feel to them. I like the interface of the Kenwoods better. The company I work for has a fleet of Vetrex VX-2500, and VX-2200 mobiles. There are a few Kenwoods mixed in. The vast majority of our portables are VX-231's, with a healthy mix of VX-180 and some VX160's as well. I have occasionally found some ancient P200's, P110's and even the odd IC-H16. Usually, anything other than the VX-231 and VX-2500, were bought from a dealer that one of our offices uses, rather than the usual dealer, in the city we are based out of. We have offices spread out over almost a dozen cities in the Canadian prairies)

It's all based on what the user wants.
Very much so.

To suggest that they have cheap microphones, I'm not sure which ones you're talking about but every Vertex I have purchased comes with a very serious microphone in the same category as a Motorola. It sits in the hand it has weight.
Are we talking about Vertex? They have **** mics on the VX-2200/2500/4600 mobiles.

IThe new Motorola's come with crappy little CD radio type microphones that I absolutely don't compare to that of a vertex but I would take the Motorola CDM-750 over the Vertex VX-2100.

Unfortunately 4 or 8 channels is just scratching the surface of what our company uses. Just one of our clients requires 8 different repeater and simplex frequencies when working for them. Now once you get into western Alberta the number of channels needed jumps significantly.

With that said, I use a combination of VX-2100's, VX-4000's, VX-5000's and Uniden 780's, and 785's to stream nearly twenty separate feeds over the internet. The Vertex radios are fantastic for this use. The Kenwood's performed equally as well. The Motorola's are too pricey to pick them up on eBay.
The CDM series are really cheap these days. But I base my equipment on more than just a name.

I believe Vertex uses DB-15 connectors on the back of their radios. Handy and easy to find connectors for them.

The Vertex mobiles are decent performers. I just like the Kenwood software, and interface better. Vertex has steadily improved over the last decade, but they still have catching up to do.

My first amateur radio repeater was built using their Vertex 2100's. They were changed out to CDM-750's. The Vertex's couldn't hang on a busy radio site while the Motorola's did just fine.
No argument here. The group I belong to is starting to use CDM mobiles to build some repeaters.

In the busy Los Angeles metropolitan area image rejection and adjacent Channel rejection are key factors.

It is all in what the user considers acceptable and affordable.

Agreed. I have been very happy with my NX-700 I am currently using in my truck. No issues with adjacent channels rejection, my amateur mobile on the other hand...
 

krazybob

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Well, the NX-700 is NXDN and not an apples-to-apples comparison. For what it's worth I love NXDN! It is an excellent digital standard that I wish Icom in Kenwood would bring to the amateur world.

Before I go any further let me apologize for the obvious misspelled words in my previous reply. I am using speech to text and my smart phone is stupid. LOL.

The lesser-quality Vertex radios do have cheap microphones. The VX 3000, VX 4000 and VX 5000 all use serious microphones. They are on the same level as the Motorola and what I consider to be the oversized Kenwood microphone. I even have some 900MHz Motorola Maxtrac 35 watts output that come with miniature Ivory colored Motorola hand mics. I called them baby Motorola mics. They're awesome! They fit so easily in the palm of the hand. They work just fine on the CDM's.

Remember that the Kenwood radios you are referring to are those used by the Forest Service. They meet mil-spec standards that the lesser quality don't. Who uses what is changing rapidly. Kenwood used to be favored among California agencies. But now we see a real emergence of Motorola. For example, instead of Bendix-King portables we're switching to Motorola XTS 5000's. Motorola APX radios are replacing Astro Spectra's. But the fire service is not switching to P25 or other digital formats because the manufacturers have not yet looked at the problem of hose noise being digitized and obliterating the voice communications.

I also agree that the radios we are talking about have since been replaced buy new radios including the CDM series. But that's what the OP asked about. Given a choice I would personally use a VX 5000 which I own several of. They are 501 Channel VHF or UHF. The UHF covers continuously 450 MHz to 520 MHz. This lets me use one radio to cover the entire Los Angeles County Fire Department and still have room left over for police departments on a different bank if I choose. That's one of the nice thing about the Vertex is that the programmer decides how many channels are in a bank. The Motorola CDM's are only 160 channels.

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KC2GSP

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I've never used an mcs, I know the volume pots on the cdm is sometimes susceptible to failure when adjusting the volume. the mcs is older and heavier with features but they are often unused by radio amateurs.
 

kayn1n32008

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Well, the NX-700 is NXDN and not an apples-to-apples comparison. For what it's worth I love NXDN! It is an excellent digital standard that I wish Icom in Kenwood would bring to the amateur world.
I primarily use this as an analogue radio. I have one ham simplex NXDN frequency that a friend and I chat on. Other than that 99.99% of the channels are only analogue.

Although the buttons are labeled differently, it is almost exactly the same as a TK-7180, same dimensions, same display, same control head mould.

Before I go any further let me apologize for the obvious misspelled words in my previous reply. I am using speech to text and my smart phone is stupid. LOL.
No worries

The lesser-quality Vertex radios do have cheap microphones. The VX 3000, VX 4000 and VX 5000 all use serious microphones. They are on the same level as the Motorola and what I consider to be the oversized Kenwood microphone. I even have some 900MHz Motorola Maxtrac 35 watts output that come with miniature Ivory colored Motorola hand mics. I called them baby Motorola mics. They're awesome! They fit so easily in the palm of the hand. They work just fine on the CDM's.
I had a GM300 with one of those mini-mics. I liked it a lot.

Remember that the Kenwood radios you are referring to are those used by the Forest Service. They meet mil-spec standards that the lesser quality don't. Who uses what is changing rapidly. Kenwood used to be favored among California agencies.
The TK-7180 is deployed by Ministry of Forests/Range in BC.

But now we see a real emergence of Motorola. For example, instead of Bendix-King portables we're switching to Motorola XTS 5000's. Motorola APX radios are replacing Astro Spectra's. But the fire service is not switching to P25 or other digital formats because the manufacturers have not yet looked at the problem of hose noise being digitized and obliterating the voice communications.
I have zero need for P25, the closest P25 ham repeater is over three hours drive from where I live.

I also agree that the radios we are talking about have since been replaced buy new radios including the CDM series.
My Kenwoods are still current.

But that's what the OP asked about.
Folks need to get over the name. Motorola is not what they used to be.

Given a choice I would personally use a VX 5000 which I own several of.
I have no need for 50-100w mobiles, legally I can only run 30w max on my LMR channels.

They are 501 Channel VHF or UHF. The UHF covers continuously 450 MHz to 520 MHz.
My Kenwoods hold slightly more, but they are not maxed out. I also have no need for 470-520. I have no LMR stuff at UHF, everything I use is 140-174MHz.

This lets me use one radio to cover the entire Los Angeles County Fire Department and still have room left over for police departments on a different bank if I choose.
The NX-x00 and TK-x180 are the same. 512 channel 128 zones. Scanning is much better on the Kenwoods than Motorola too.

That's one of the nice thing about the Vertex is that the programmer decides how many channels are in a bank. The Motorola CDM's are only 160 channels.

Yea, Motorola has some decent competition now, between Hytera, Tait, Harris and Kenwood, they need to start changing their attitude towards their customers.



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krazybob

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I believe that the one notable thing that has come from this thread is each of us has expressed our bias for a particular model. The point is that the OP ask about a particular radio. I am guilty myself of breaking a policy that I have. That is of answering the question and not stressing my point of view that they change to a different radio. We then add to the fact that at least one responding person is in Canada where they have different laws. To me this is all like somebody asking how to fix their Chevy and someone comes along and says but you should have brought a Ford to begin with. At this point I've lost track of what the original question even was.

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