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Kenwood TK-2180 and TK-3180 Programming

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markgramlich

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I'm a volunteer with the Sky Valley / Scaly Mountain Volunteer Fire & Rescue. Our fire district covers a portion of GA (Sky Valley) and NC (Scaly Mountain). The Rabun county GA fire frequencies are VHF. The Macon county NC fire frequencies are UHF. Thus we end up with two sets of radios for all the members of our department.

Both counties have selected different programming options for the radios. The same button is programmed differently by each county. We purchased the software and cable to be able to program all our radios. When fighting a fire, we don't want our firefighters to have to remember which radio they happen to be using. We want them all to operate the same.

Once we read the programming on both sets of radios, we realized that these radios have all sorts of features. Is there a reference manual or guide available to help us sort through all the different options available? The Kenwood software isn't very helpful when it comes to explaining the features.

TIA - Mark
 

BirkenVogt

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Agreed.

The "function reference" is what you need but it is harder to find online. Ask your dealer for a copy if you can't find it. The help is not that helpful.
 

MTS2000des

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Not to sound like a prick, but do you have any formal training on programming public safety subscriber radios? These are complex, computer driven devices. A simple "owner's manual" isn't going to tell you what you need to know, nor how the advanced features work- and how they should be configured based on your agencies' needs. You should start by contact the radio systems manager for your agency and inquire if they offer any training, or maybe they can point you to someone who does offer training. GEMA has radio programming workshops several times a year at their MCV exercises, and Kenwood's manufacturers' rep has attended several of these.

And any duty used gear should only be programmed or serviced by a qualified person. Someone who has had training from the manufacturer or their representative. Why? It's all about liability. Do you want to be liable if one of your radios programmed with "information from internet websites" is involved in something bad, or worse, an LODD?

I am not trying to sound harsh- but this is a harsh world we live and work in. It's one thing to program radios for hobbyists, but when you are dealing with equipment that is used by people who's lives (and the lives of others) depend on it, it should be done right- or not done at all. You would use the same prudence with your SCBA, hoses, and turnout gear, and radio communications gear is no exception.

The START is to get the RIGHT training. Kenwood offer classes as well as service manuals on their dealer site. Of course you will need to open an account, but your dealer or manufacturer rep can help you with that. You should also let your shop do a once a year PM check on all your portables, which includes putting them on a service monitor to verify proper RF performance, and check for any problems like water intrusion, damage or install firmware updates.

That is what is called doing it RIGHT. Then there is the shadetree mechanic way so many people insist on taking, and they gamble with safety of themselves and others when they do.
 

com501

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You do your own brake work on your fire trucks right? Oh, you don't? Why would working on radios which is a safety of life tool be any different?

We just recently lost 19 firefighters in the line of duty, and there is a great deal of indication it was a radio problem.

Would you want that liability on your head? Or your conscience? Forever?

Go see the radio shop. Get the right training. Otherwise put CO in your SCBA and be done with it, its a faster way to go.

Yes, I am being harsh. For two reasons. Someone pays me to fix screwups when non-professionals work on their radios, and the other is I have worked in public safety for many years. You just don't take these kinds of risks. Certainly not with MY tax dollars. Do it on your own time, with your own radios, but NOT with department gear without the proper training and certification, and the PROPER HARDWARE.
 

goodcaset

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Kenwood TK-2180/TK-3180 Programming Reference

I found a "Function Reference" that might help... http://files.radioscanner.ru/files/download/file3224/kenwood_tk-2180_function_reference_.pdf

For programming, I found this field programming manual... http://files.radioscanner.ru/files/...2180_3180_7180_8180_programming_reference.pdf

I also have a newer version "KENWOOD Field Programming Reference (FPRG) for TK-2180/TK-3180" that may help. I think I got it from the internet. If you can't find it online I can send the PDF file to you.

Hope that helps... Good Luck!
 

MTS2000des

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You do your own brake work on your fire trucks right? Oh, you don't? Why would working on radios which is a safety of life tool be any different?

We just recently lost 19 firefighters in the line of duty, and there is a great deal of indication it was a radio problem.

Would you want that liability on your head? Or your conscience? Forever?

Go see the radio shop. Get the right training. Otherwise put CO in your SCBA and be done with it, its a faster way to go.

Yes, I am being harsh. For two reasons. Someone pays me to fix screwups when non-professionals work on their radios, and the other is I have worked in public safety for many years. You just don't take these kinds of risks. Certainly not with MY tax dollars. Do it on your own time, with your own radios, but NOT with department gear without the proper training and certification, and the PROPER HARDWARE.

10 times this! THANK YOU Com501...this should be made a sticky...but what do we know.

It never ceases to amaze me that many public safety users don't see their radio gear as a serious tool and RESPECT it as such, they adopt this cavalier attitude of "it's just a radio" and "we can save some money, I can do this because I am an internet expert".

Then we wonder why people get KILLED when their "get er done" repair fails.

I don't know how some folks sleep at night.
 

markgramlich

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Thank to everyone who responded. I would like to address some of the comments posted above.

.. formal training on programming public safety subscriber radios?
No. That's why I'm here looking for advice.

GEMA has radio programming workshops...
I've looked at the GEMA web site and I didn't find anything concerning radio programming. If someone has any specific information on GEMA classes, please let me know. I did not see anything that talked specifically about radios on the GEMA or GA PSTC web site. I looked at the Kenwood web site and did not see anything there either. It looks like Kenwood provides training to "dealers". We are an end user, not a dealer. Not knowing how Kenwood operates, I don't know if this is a viable option or not.

SCBA, hoses, PPE, apparatus checks, etc..
Yes, radios are just as important and all these items. We stick as close as we can to the NFPA guides as we can. Each county provided us with a radio configuration. Those configurations are very different. At 2:00 am in the morning, we don't want to start an incident because we have two different radio configurations. This is the very, very real situation we are trying to prevent. Our older Kenwood TK280, TK290, TK380 and TK390 radios had very few options. It was far easier to come up with one configuration that all our firefighters could learn and use. The new TK2180 and TK3180 radios are much more complex.

At times, our department gets shrugged off by both counties. Rabun County GA treats us like a NC department. And Macon County NC treats us like a GA department. We volunteer here to provide a service to all residents regardless of their location. We send most of our firefighters to GA classes, as GA seems to have the higher standard. We send most most of our rescue members to NC, as NC has the higher standard. Our medical responders and EMTs go to either state, as there is a recognized national standard. We very much try to do things right. We do not practice "get er done". We have a reputation in both counties as a hard working, well trained, conscientious, efficient department. It has taken a good many years to get here. We will not do anything to jeopardize our reputation.

Another option would be sit down with a good service company and work with them to look at both configurations. They can PM the radios at the same time. The closest one that I am aware of is located in Asheville NC. If anyone can recommend a good service company in the greater Asheville NC, Gainesville GA or Greenville SC area, we would be interested.

We are trying to be proactive before we give these radios to all of our firefighters. As they are presently configured, they are a liability and we will not put them in service. We need to come up with one configuration, so we can be good stewards of the funds our community provides to us. Ultimately it's all about being safe. both for the community, our members, our neighboring departments and even some of you folks that may need emergency services while traveling in our fire district.
 

MTS2000des

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Thank to everyone who responded. I would like to address some of the comments posted above.

.. formal training on programming public safety subscriber radios?
No. That's why I'm here looking for advice.

We are trying to be proactive before we give these radios to all of our firefighters. As they are presently configured, they are a liability and we will not put them in service. We need to come up with one configuration, so we can be good stewards of the funds our community provides to us. Ultimately it's all about being safe. both for the community, our members, our neighboring departments and even some of you folks that may need emergency services while traveling in our fire district.
Respectfully, a hobbyist site like RR is NOT the right place to learn how to program public safety subscriber radios for use by anyone in life safety services. IMO, there is plenty of "advice" on the Internet- some good and some bad. One thing that has been made clear by some very experienced people on this thread and should be emphasized is that only properly trained and vetted people should be programming radios for use by public safety.

If you want to PM me with your contact info, I can put you in touch with a Kenwood manufacturer's rep in Atlanta who might be able to help you with some training. The classes they offer are usually held at one of their dealers in Gwinnett county (which is not too far from Kenwood Communications US HQ). That particular company services Kenwood radios and systems for many municipal agencies in metro Atlanta/North Georgia and also operates two large ESMR systems (one NXND, one DMR). I have no affiliation with them- they would be a good starting point, while a little further south than Gainesville (Gwinnett county), they are COMPETENT and work very closely with Kenwood USA.

GEMA usually has the workshops at the MCV exercises they stage at Jekyll and Six Flags. Those exercises are on the GEMA training site.

I understand your issues with agency politics- but this is where you need to speak a little LOUDER to your city/county in which you operate regarding getting the funding/clearance to get the needed training. I hate to use what happens in Arizona as an example, but this drives home why inexperienced people should NEVER be touching public safety radio equipment. Period.

I applaud you for not putting those radios into service until they have been properly configured and PM checked. Again, feel free to PM me with your contact info and I will do whatever I can to help (and no, I do NOT work for any SMR/radio shop or vendor).
 

glatts17

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Lethbridge AB
Maybe things are different in the states but in canada Kenwood does not train end users on how to setup or program radios for public safety or for any other use. If an agency buys there product direct from kenwood they are setup as dealers with properly trained radio techs.

There is a reason there are radio techs like me so there product is setup and sold properly.

I am guessing a dealer gave you that software not kenwood that is the main reason its a licensed software so the properly trained people set them up.
 

markgramlich

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What features are you wanting to use?
Are you just wanting to duplicate the key functions so the buttons do the same on each of the sets of radios?
I'm trying to figure out what features the radios have. One came with almost no features turned on. The other seems to have almost everything turned on. I would like to understand the features available. Then our department can make some intelligent decisions on what features would be useful for us.

I do want to come up with a standard set of key functions for each of the sets of radios.
 

celeb40

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Tk3180

I am trying to decide wether I want want the tk3312 or tk3180 what's your recommendations
 

rapidcharger

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The land of broken calculators.
I'm trying to figure out what features the radios have. One came with almost no features turned on. The other seems to have almost everything turned on. I would like to understand the features available. Then our department can make some intelligent decisions on what features would be useful for us.

I do want to come up with a standard set of key functions for each of the sets of radios.
Sorry I haven't seen your reply until just now.
The pocket-friendly owners manual does a great job of walking you through the features that are available on the radio. It'll probably say something to the effect of "if enabled by your dealer..." you know what that means. It means you have to program it to that.

I am trying to decide wether I want want the tk3312 or tk3180 what's your recommendations
My recommendations would be to have one of the moderators of the forum split your post off into a new thread and then follow up with a reply telling us your needs how it will be used etc. The x312 is a newer radio. The x180 is older but more features and a few rungs up on the ladder.
 

karkarlo

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I found a "Function Reference" that might help... Ôàéëû

For programming, I found this field programming manual... Ôàéëû

I also have a newer version "KENWOOD Field Programming Reference (FPRG) for TK-2180/TK-3180" that may help. I think I got it from the internet. If you can't find it online I can send the PDF file to you.

Hope that helps... Good Luck!
hi, were i can found it?? can you hel me ?? TNX
 

mechanic50

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Front panel programming Kenwood TK3180

Hello guys, i have been searching the web to see if you can field program a TK3180 using the front panel keys, or is all programming done through PC connection
 

MTS2000des

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Hello guys, i have been searching the web to see if you can field program a TK3180 using the front panel keys, or is all programming done through PC connection
Nope, you have to have the KPG-89D software and cable to program the 3180.

Kenwood did offer a factory option for FPP (known as Tactical Feature Set) for the VHF version (2180) , but it was special order and had to be flashed at the factory if ordered later in the field.
 

mechanic50

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Front panel programming Kenwood TK3180

Thank you for the clarification, i have been searching online for information on the TK3180 radio's and did not find much, i have a used unit being delivered soon and just trying to learn a little bit about how to program it, so far it does not seem easy to program as my Bendix King DPH, i guess Police do not need to field program like we do in the field,i appreciate your reply , i am sure i will be on here a bit when it start programming my radio , thanks
 
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