Harris Unity All Band Handheld Radio????

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gman183

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Hello,

I am a Police Officer in the southern California area and work for an agency which has a huge (LA Co, SB Co, Imperial Co) area. I currently have to carry three handheld radio's in my unit and depending on where I am have to grab the radio for the county I am in when I get out of the car. My vehicle radio is an all band Harris Mobile and don’t have an issue communicating, but when I’m out of the car it’s a different story, especially because some counties have neighboring agencies which use different frequencies (i.e., VHF/800). I have the opportunity to purchase a Harris Unity All-Band handheld via my department to solve this problem but have a few questions.

If elect to buy the Harris radio which is capable of P25 trunking, could it talk on a system which employs Motorola Smartnet type II or EDACS trunking (i.e., San Bernardino and Riverside Counties)?? Any assistance would be appreciated as my radio knowledge is very limited.

If you choose you can respond to my personal email at PC832PROF@msn.com or via this forum.
 

radioman2001

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Your best bet is to talk to Harris, I believe the radio can be outfitted with any of the trunking formats and P-25 and the like (very expensive, 4k for each trunking format I believe). If you are not purchasing new from Harris be advised that if it doesn't have what you want Harris may not reflash the radio to them for you, and the other agencies may not give you the system keys for the trunking programming. I also understand that the Harris radio will work on Motorola Smartnet systems with the exception of the Emergency button working. I am sure they did that on purpose.
 

K6CDO

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The Harris Unity radio will NOT operate on a Motorola non-P25 trunked radio network (SmartNet or SmartZone). EFJohnson is the only other manufacturer who has been able to license the older 3600 baud technology.
 

car5le

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K6CDO is correct. Our county bought a bunch of the XG-100P on an interoperability grant with the understanding that it would work in a Motorola trunked system. It doesn't.

On top of that, and if you have to have a Harris, you may want to wait a month or so until Harris comes out with the new firmware upgrades in February. There will be new programming software with the new firmware. If you buy one now, you are going to get stuck paying for the old and then new software.

Do you have to have a tri-band Harris? Have you looked at the Motorola APX 7000 to see if it will suit your needs? If you are still working the streets, the APX is a much more comfortable and user friendly radio to use.
 

ShawnInPaso

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You might also have a look at the Thales tri-band hand held radio. In my line of work they have worked well for our application.
 

2wayfreq

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I would recommend an APX7000 (700,800,VHF). I would have it flashed to firmware 7.0. They are TDMA/FDMA/Smart-zone compatible. Riverside County will be TDMA (Phase 2) Trunking when they cut over (about a year),
Orange,SB,SD county will phase in their sites one at a time to 7.x P25.Los Angeles County's LA-RICS will be a lengthy MONSTER project but they are looking at TDMA phase II as well but it may have allot of Raytheon infrastructure. But of-course, you will HAVE to be granted system access.
 

inigo88

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It might help if we knew your agency or the agencies/comm centers you'd need to talk to in LA County (PM me if you'd like). I think the APX7000 with 700/800 MHz is a good bet for San Bernardino and Imperial counties, but I don't see 700/800 or VHF being that useful to you in the LA Basin, where almost all the law enforcement traffic is on the UHF T-Band (470-512 MHz). Unless of course your agency is a user of the LA County CWIRS 800 MHz EDACS system, in which case a Motorola radio wouldn't help at all.

Do they make APX7000s that cover 700/800 MHz AND 470-512 MHz? I think that would be ideal.
 

gman183

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Wow thanks for all the help guys!! I am reluctant to disclose my agency as they will hang me, but I am happy to advise on the dept’s I need to talk to... I spend most of my time in the San Bernardino and Riverside County areas, plus need to communicate with CHP on the "High Band" it’s an UHF allied agency channel. Ill get the full list of agencies within a day or two.

I have a Pyramid repeater in my unit that can patch me from VHF handheld to UHF, so from what you guys are recommending the VHF/800 would be best. It could cover my need to talk on the 800 radio systems as well as VHF and I could have it programmed to my vehicle repeater channel to gain access to UHF systems...I already have system access via the four radios issued to me so gaining the access for my personal radio wouldn’t be an issue. I’ll be typing a few of you individually for questions regarding "firmware" (I’m radio stupid, so I don’t even know what this is).
 

inigo88

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I am reluctant to disclose my agency as they will hang me, but I am happy to advise on the dept’s I need to talk to... I spend most of my time in the San Bernardino and Riverside County areas, plus need to communicate with CHP on the "High Band"
Sorry for asking, knowing the general area and who you'd potentially need to contact is more than enough. I agree that you should go with the 700/800 MHz - VHF model (thanks car5le for the link!):

AZ489FT7036 (136-174 MHz and 764-869 MHz)

Unfortunately this model does not support the older proprietary EDACS trunking system type used by Riverside County Sheriff, but it will work with the new ERICA P25 system that Palm Springs recently joined. However, you may be able to use the Pyramid extender/repeater to patch the signal from your portable into an EDACS-capable radio in your unit.

Also, as long as you can use the Pyramid repeater to patch the VHF signal from your portable to a UHF 'Range 2' (450-512 MHz) radio in your unit, you'll be able to reach all the major law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles county, including the LA County Sheriff's Dept and LAPD.

Having both VHF and 700 MHz in your portable would also give you flexibility in reaching CHP when out of your unit on foot, because some CHP officers are carrying the new 700 MHz portable while most still have the VHF one.

Hope that helps.
 

gman183

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Update!!

OK well my department didnt care what I had to say and bought me the Harris Unity all band yesterday. I had it programmed yesterday as well, but it wasnt done properly. Its a cool radio, light weight, nice front (color) and top display, bluetooth and GPS. Im going to try and get it reprogrammed in the next few days and Ill give an update. If anyone is thinking about buying one, im in the Inland Empire and your welcome to meet up and check it out before spending the several thousand dollars. Personal Email: PC832PROF@gmail.com
 

car5le

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Just make sure they get you the most current firmware update and software. The new firmware cleans up a bunch of stuff on that radio. It is supposed to already be out. And if you do get the new firmware you will also have to have the new software.
 

E5911

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harris unity

One other thing we found out, some of our system here uses moto ADP encryption, none of the tri banders the harris, the Datron or the Thales will do ADP.
 

car5le

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Interesting about the ADP. I know some agencies in central valley are beginning to use ADP on their P25 tactical channels. I also heard that AES will become the standard encryption standard if any government agency is going to buy radios under grants.
 

K6CDO

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One other thing we found out, some of our system here uses moto ADP encryption, none of the tri banders the harris, the Datron or the Thales will do ADP.
ADP is a Motorola PROPRIETARY encryption protocol, and is NOT compliant with the P25 suite of standards. AES is the P25 compliant encryption protocol.
 

car5le

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Thanks K6CDO. That makes sense.

And for everyone else, the new Firmeware Version 3 of the XP-100P firmware and related programming software will be available on the 21st of February. If you use this radio, especially with MDC functions, here are two things you will want to get to update your radio.
 

E5911

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harris tri band

two things:
Motorola was pushing the APX radio recently as the solution because they had been giving deals on ADP encryption when they pushed the P25 systems. Make of this what you will. Granted they can't push it anymore, but how convientent.....

Second I spoke to some fire chiefs that told me the Harris is having issues in the field, and one that tried the APX, the Harris, and the Thales, and it was Thales hands down. This Chief has bought 50.
 
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