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KENWOOD TK-3170 to work with a Saber?

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xm_jdm

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Pardon the noob question but I am completely confused with what MIGHT need to be done or purchased here.

Let me get started. I work for a company that uses these TERRIBLE KENWOOD TK-3170 radios. Most of us use our cellphones instead of actually using the radios because they are so damn unreliable. We have another group that uses some other Motorola radios and their communication with us is always stellar. Seems that the Motorola's work much much better.

I spoke with my department head and after months or complaining he has agreed to look into replacing our radios.

I have a buddy of mine who has a lot of Motorola Saber III radios that he picked up from a government auction. At one time he used them in his paintball league but since then he has married, has kids and hasnt touched these in a good few years. I called him up and inquired about him selling me one and he is happy to offload a couple.

I would love to buy one of his radios and get it setup to communicate with these ****ty KENWOOD TK-3170's and if my boss likes them enough he might replace them all together.

So what all do I need to get this done? Please be kind as I am brand new to all of this. I sincerely appreciate any help or advise given.
 

KG4INW

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Unfortunately, even though the Sabers are awesome, rock-solid radios, because of the looming FCC narrowband mandate (effective 1/1/2013) they won't be legal for use on Part 90 frequencies (upon which, no doubt, your company is licensed to). So, you'd only be allowed to use them for less than a year if you haven't already gone narrowband. The Sabers are wideband only and there's no legal way around that.

Motorola does make plenty of NB compliant radios now and recently that'll work just fine. What radios are the other group using?
 

KG4INW

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OK, HT750s are NB compliant and work quite well. I'm not sure what exactly to recommend though because there are many options available.
 

gtriever

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Before you go to all that expense, I have one question: When was the last time these radios were actually serviced? If the answer is "we don't know", I'd have a service shop check them before doing anything else...
 

62Truck

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Just a quick question, what makes the TK3170 unreliable? My old job we had the 3170's and we had a onsite repeater and they worked pretty well. Our 3180's on the other hand would eat up batteries like crazy.

But with the NB mandate approaching soon, you should be able to find NB complaint radios popping up on the used market as every one is going to purchasing new radios and most every one likes having matching radios in their fleet. Like you said the HT750 is NB complaint so are the HT1250's and 1550's, and so are the HT1000's.
 

xm_jdm

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Nobody can ever hear anyone talk on the other end. I will key the button, start talking and the person on the other end hears absolutely nothing. This happens very frequently. With the other radios (HT-750's), they always come in every single time.

So I am looking at an HT1000 radio, but I dont know what to pick up. UHF, VHF? What band/freq? I assume I would have to determine what the Kenwoods are first before selecting an HT1000 right?

Thanks again for all your help guys.

And regarding service on the Kenwoods, we had a tech come out, test out and look over the radios about a month ago and he said everything looked okay from what he was seeing.
 

Astro25

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The TK-3170 is a UHF radio (most commonly sold split is 450-520MHz, however they are available in 400-470MHz).

So, if you're looking for an HT1000, assuming the split you want is 450-520MHz, you'd be looking for one with a model number of H01SDC9AA3DN. (or H01RDC9AA3DN if you need 403-470MHz)

Make *sure* any HT1000 you buy has the 'DN' suffix at the end of the model number. This denotes a narrow-band capable radio, as earlier revision HT1000s do not support narrow-band (aka AN, BN, and CN models).

I too am wondering why you're having problems with the 3170. I have hundreds in service with little complaints. The most common issue I see on ones that come across my bench for repair are broken antennas, especially if you're using the tapered stubby antenna. They have a tendency to break off at the internal base from too much bending/pressure. If you can get a new antenna, see if it helps.
 

xm_jdm

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Thank you again for that. To be honest I dont know what split I want/need. I asked my boss and he is just as confused about it as me. Would it help if I pulled some #'s off of the Kenwoods and shared them with ya'll?
 

SMFD34

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Are both groups using the same system and frequencies? Perhaps your problems lie with a different system than the one they are using with the Moto's
 

Astro25

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Thank you again for that. To be honest I dont know what split I want/need. I asked my boss and he is just as confused about it as me. Would it help if I pulled some #'s off of the Kenwoods and shared them with ya'll?
More than likely, both HT1000 splits will work for you, unless for some reason you're licensed in the UHF T-band (470+), which isn't very common. I'd guess you're operating somewhere between 450-469MHz.

If you know for a fact that you're licensed, try searching for your company's name in the FCC ULS. If you have trouble with that, you can PM me your company's name and location (if you wish) and I can try and search for the license for you. There's also a chance that they're entered in to the RR freq database, which more than likely would provide you with any applicable PL or DPL tone(s).
 

xm_jdm

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Here is a screenshot of the radios we are using. Does this help any of you in determining what HT1000 I should pick up?

 

xm_jdm

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A google search says that the Kenwood is a 450-490 MHz So....

I purchased this radio here:

Motorola HT1000 UHF 16 CH 450-512

I called a local Day Wireless and they have told me they can get the first 2 channels programmed up for me. I done good? :)
 

xm_jdm

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Yes sir. It certainly is a DN. I made sure of that. Awesome. The guy I bought the radio from said I could take it to any radio/communcation store and have them "clone" it. I assume that means take all the channels from the Kenwood and toss it on over to the Motorola?

This certainly has been an experience but a good one to say the least. If my boss decides to still be a cheap *** then at least I will have a personal radio that I know it solid. :D
 

xm_jdm

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You know, while I am here and have this thread going I have another question for ya'll.

What is the tone called that I hear sometimes on radios when the mic/radio is keyed. It's a like a couple of beeps that indicates to user (I assume this is what the tone is for) to start talking.

Is the HT capable of this?

I ask because I always found that "feature" helpful. Many years ago I worked for AMR and all of our radios had this tone before being able to speak.
 

mmckenna

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Talk permit tone. I think there is a way to make an HT1000 do it, but I personally dislike those tones so I've never tried.

Shame on Grazi Communications, they should be doing more to keep your business. Sounds like there could be any sort of issues, likely they could be easily fixed if someone took the time to research it. Doubt there is an issue that is related to the model/make radio (Kenwood vs. Motorola thing) Sounds more like a programming or user training issue.
 

Thunderknight

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Nobody can ever hear anyone talk on the other end. I will key the button, start talking and the person on the other end hears absolutely nothing. This happens very frequently. With the other radios (HT-750's), they always come in every single time.
.
First thing is I would verify the programming is correct (PL tone too). And all radios set for either wide or narrow and not a mix. Also I would check the PL deviation and TX power. Also for physical damage (broken antennas or bent contacts).
Granted, I know you are just an end user, but a shop should start with the above.

One thing you can try, do the radios have a monitor button that opens the squelch? If so, press that while the other user is talking and see if you hear them then.
 

KG4INW

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What is the tone called that I hear sometimes on radios when the mic/radio is keyed. It's a like a couple of beeps that indicates to user (I assume this is what the tone is for) to start talking.
As mmckenna said, it's a talk permit tone and only is really available if you're on a trunked radio system, which you are not. The HT1000 can be tricked to simulate the TPT but it transmits DTMF every time you key the mike and will no doubt annoy your coworkers!
 

xm_jdm

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As mmckenna said, it's a talk permit tone and only is really available if you're on a trunked radio system, which you are not. The HT1000 can be tricked to simulate the TPT but it transmits DTMF every time you key the mike and will no doubt annoy your coworkers!
I just read about that. And yes, I believe it wouldnt only just annoy my staff but also the other crew that operates on our channel. So scratch that. :)
 
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