DMR HT Recommendations?

ArkTex

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So I'm in the market for a new DMR HT, as that is what seems to be most popular around my QTH. I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations. My budget is $600 but can go up if absolutely necessary. I've been looking into the Kenwood NX-3300, as it seems like it's well liked reading some forum posts. P25 capability would be a plus but isn't absolutely necessary.

I'd like to hear any opinons/questions/comments ya'll might have. Trying to finally get into DMR.
 

mmckenna

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I've been looking into the Kenwood NX-3300, as it seems like it's well liked reading some forum posts. P25 capability would be a plus but isn't absolutely necessary.

I've got a bunch of the NX-3400's on my NXDN system, and I've got some NX-3300's running analog on a UHF system. Nice radios, a lot of features, durable and good audio. I'm not running them on DMR, however. I've been carrying a 3400 at work for about 5 years now, and I'm happy with it.

The programming software is a bit of a challenge to learn, if you are not well versed in the modern Kenwood stuff.

I've got about 75 of the NX-1300 on simplex DMR at a site. Less expensive radios, less features, but a good deal for the price. They've been in use for about a year by maintenance guys, and I haven't had any issues with them.

If you want P25 and DMR, then that would be the NX-5300, which you might find used for something close to that price, but new will be quite a bit higher. P25 and DMR are feature keys, so make sure any used radio you purchase actually has those features loaded in the radio. They are not free.

If I needed a DMR UHF radio, NX-3300 would be on my short list.
 

N4KVE

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When I recently bought my R7, I sold my MINT Moto XPR7550 for $275. So for under $300, you can get a great radio. And Moto no longer charges for the CPS. But if you want DMR, & P25, Kenwood is the way to go. But it’ll be a lot more.
 

Spankymedic7

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I own a few Moto XPR 7550s, some XPR 6550s, an R7, and some Kenwood portables...all of which are fantastic radios for DMR. All can be had for sub-$600 easily (except the R7). Give eBay a look, there are many to choose from.
 

ArkTex

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I've noticed the 7550's and 6550's. The only concern I'd have with buying used Moto's is I've read how difficult they are to work with if you aren't a customer. I'm guessing that might not be the case, but is the reason why Kenwood has been where I'm looking.

I have considered getting a dedicated ham HT like an Anytone 878, but the build quality of commercial radios blows any ham radios out of the water in my experience.

I'm also going to have to think about what my use case is further, though. $275ish for a commercial radio is great until a new battery, programming cable and charger come into the picture, then it can be $400+ easily.
 

N4KVE

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Even though I have a 7550e, & R7, I still have a few 6550’s. Still a great radio, the last one cost me $50, but had no accessories since I had a bunch. So figure $100 for a 6550 with battery, charger, & antenna. Software is easy to find, but many friends don’t have the software, & for the once a year they need their radio programmed, there’s plenty of friends who can help.
 

ArkTex

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Even though I have a 7550e, & R7, I still have a few 6550’s. Still a great radio, the last one cost me $50, but had no accessories since I had a bunch. So figure $100 for a 6550 with battery, charger, & antenna. Software is easy to find, but many friends don’t have the software, & for the once a year they need their radio programmed, there’s plenty of friends who can help.

Is there any major differences between the 7550e, 7550 and 6550? They all appear to be really similar.
 

N4KVE

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Basically the 7550’s do the whole UHF split 403-512, while the 6550 is either 403-470, or 450-512. The 7550 will do AES-256 while the 6550 won’t. A few other extra features in the 7550. Plenty of people still using 6550’s.
 

w2xq

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The TYT MD-UV380 is a bulletproof KISS Inexpensive DMR/analog HT. Search on my call for comments and hints posted in the past. HTH.
 

alcahuete

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I have considered getting a dedicated ham HT like an Anytone 878, but the build quality of commercial radios blows any ham radios out of the water in my experience.
Absolutely true, but it's a give and take. I own a crapload of commercial radios and a couple 878s. One of the best things about the 878 is the ability to key up a talkgroup on the fly. For a repeater, you can literally have two channels programmed (one for each timeslot) and pull up whatever talkgroup you want. Not going to do that with a commercial radio. And of course you get the VFO.

With the 7550e radios, for example, you can get the audio leveling entitlement, which is worth its weight in gold. It is absolutely the BEST feature when it comes to amateur radio, because everybody is using different radios, hotspots, etc. The biggest P.I.A. with ham DMR is the volume variation. The amateur radios aren't going to have such a feature.
 

rf_patriot200

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While being a Niche piece of gear, the Rfinder B1+ is a DMR Vhf/Uhf Full Coverage Part 90 Certified talkie with a Built in internal hotspot for voice over internet DMR use. NO Codeplug, No programming is required, due to the onboard directory. It's also a Full featured Android phone that's unlocked with room for Two sim cards. I got mine at a deal price, and used it for 3 years now.
 

N4KVE

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While being a Niche piece of gear, the Rfinder B1+ is a DMR Vhf/Uhf Full Coverage Part 90 Certified talkie with a Built in internal hotspot for voice over internet DMR use. NO Codeplug, No programming is required, due to the onboard directory. It's also a Full featured Android phone that's unlocked with room for Two sim cards. I got mine at a deal price, and used it for 3 years now.
I would definitely hold off on this device. The owner did not show up at Dayton this year. That’s a bad sign to be a ham radio vendor, & not show up for Dayton. Think, MFJ wasn’t at Dayton for the first time ever, & we all know why. Stores are refusing to carry the product because they are problematic, & have taken back radios customers are unhappy with. But Bob doesn’t give refunds, so he didn’t want to be confronted by vendors demanding their money back. A great idea, just not ready for prime time yet. And they don’t work on AT&T. This isn’t speculation, I know the guy who helps Bob at the ham fests. He offered to run Bob’s booth without him, but was told “no”. So I‘d hold off on this device until the future about them is clear.
 

AF1UD

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I've got many Anytones, Kenwood VP8000, NK-5K, and RFINDER B1+. The Rfinder B1+ was the worst out of all of them and should be avoided. Clunky and buggy. Anytone makes a very reliable product, with a learning curve for programming. The NX-5K line(although it's monoband) is the best DMR radio I've ever used. The VP8000 is getting there...
 

rf_patriot200

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I've got many Anytones, Kenwood VP8000, NK-5K, and RFINDER B1+. The Rfinder B1+ was the worst out of all of them and should be avoided. Clunky and buggy. Anytone makes a very reliable product, with a learning curve for programming. The NX-5K line(although it's monoband) is the best DMR radio I've ever used. The VP8000 is getting there...
Mine works terrific, maybe I was lucky.
 

k6cpo

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If you go with the AnyTone (and that would be my personal recommendation) you have to understand the factory programming sofware is clunky, comes without decent instructions and the radio firmware and CPS version have to match. This means that every time you upgrade the firmware in the radio, you have to get a different piece of software. I'm looking into the RT Systems software for my AnyTone.
 
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