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Kenwood TK-8180 or Motorola PM400, CM400?

9Track

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I wasn't sure where to post this on the forums, as I didn't see a GMRS-specific area. I currently have a Kenwood TK-8360HU (and have been looking for an 8180H). I have the programming software and am comfortable using these.

Would a Motorola PM400/CM400 offer any benefit over the Kenwoods for GMRS? I've considered one at times, but here are a couple of my concerns.

1. Software. I'm not sure if I can obtain the programming software. This would be a deal-breaker. I could look for a Motorola dealer, but I've read that the software is expensive. I don't know what that means. Does anyone know approximately how much that would cost from a dealer?
2. Audio-out. The Kenwoods have a 1/8" audio out port. It appears that the Motorola requires a different kind of audio cable? Am not sure, since I haven't seen a clear picture of the back panel.

If anyone has experience with each of these, I would appreciate any feedback or advise.
Thanks!
 

kd4efm

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Software for Kenwood 8180's is not that expensive.
audio out, the kenwoods have both a db25 audio out and a 3.5mm speaker out. No issue here.

I work for a Kenwood dealer and offer ham radio prices for licensed hams and competitive prices for commercial users.
 

mmckenna

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Would a Motorola PM400/CM400 offer any benefit over the Kenwoods for GMRS? I've considered one at times, but here are a couple of my concerns.


No. Less channel capacity, smaller display, less buttons to program for features, no remote head capability.
The PM-400 was a low tier mobile. Even the Motorola glossy refers to it as a radio "good for first time users", as in very basic.

Unless you are blinded by the Batwings logo and really have to have a Motorola, you'll be better off with the Kenwood.

1. Software. I'm not sure if I can obtain the programming software. This would be a deal-breaker. I could look for a Motorola dealer, but I've read that the software is expensive. I don't know what that means. Does anyone know approximately how much that would cost from a dealer?
It's out there if you know which internet rock to look under. Usually websites that end in .ru (Russia). Downloading bootleg software from Russia is always a wise choice. Not.

And if you want to go bald faster, just try Motorola software, it'll speed up the process. I had to learn Motorola software when I first started, and it was one of those things where you lock yourself in a room for 2 days and scream loud obscenities at periodic intervals. Of course that was DOS software and programming trunking radios. The PM-400 software is windows based, so it's slightly easier. Slightly.

2. Audio-out. The Kenwoods have a 1/8" audio out port. It appears that the Motorola requires a different kind of audio cable? Am not sure, since I haven't seen a clear picture of the back panel.
The PM-400 uses the Motorola standard (at the time) 16 pin connector. You can roll your own connectors fairly easily, and there's a guy on E-Bay that sells kits and pre-made cables if you want to buy one rather than make your own.


If anyone has experience with each of these, I would appreciate any feedback or advise.
Thanks!
I own several Motorola radios, both hand held and mobiles. They work fine. But they don't work any better than Kenwood, or any other of the known reputable name brands. Basically you are paying for the label on the front of the radio. Some want that brand name really bad and are willing to spend the money to get it. After a while, you get over it. For a low tier radio like this, you can easily do better.
 

wwhitby

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9track,

There's nothing wrong with your TK-8360, unless you need the ability to program in more than 128 channels. I liken the 8360 to being the little brother of the TK-8180. Although my personal mobile radio is a TK-8180, I'm considering adding a couple of 8360s to the fleet that I manage. To answer your question, IMHO, there's no big incentive for switching from the Kenwood mobiles over to Motorola. I think you'd be happier with your 8360 or an 8180.
 

9Track

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To all - thanks to all for the fantastic information. The 8360s that I have work great and have good sound. I'm able to easily communicate with repeaters that are more than 30 miles from my house and have been told the transmission is strong and clear. I suppose I was just wondering if the grass was greener...

This saves me a lot of grief and expense. I'm happy with the Kenwoods and the software is very easy and straight-forward. I'll stick with them.

KD4EFM - I'll definitely keep you in mind for Kenwood items. Thanks!
 

MTS2000des

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The 8180 is actually part 95 certified for GMRS.
Not sure about the CM300/CM400.
The 8180 software as mentioned is inexpensive when legally purchased. Motorola software is more expensive and requires a process of applying for a license. The KPG can be ordered by any dealer and sold to an end user without the hassle.

Kenwood is the way to go. Software is easy, radios are easy, they sound great. Their fully legit. No brainer.
 

mmckenna

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They are not Part 95 certified.
The high split non-H model TK-8180 does indeed have Part 95 certification:

The low split model as well as either split of the H models do NOT have Part 95.
The TK-8360 does not have Part 95, either. This has been explained to the OP before in another thread.

None of the Motorola PM400 UHF models have Part 95 certification.

QUOTE="SteveC0625, post: 3385031, member: 239916"]
They (and the handheld versions CP200XLS and the keypad version of the PR400) do have one slick feature; they can be set up to have selectable PL or DPL from the keypad. (One or the other but not both.)
[/QUOTE]

Kenwood and Motorola will both do this, which can be handy for making changes on the fly.
 

9Track

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Sep 29, 2020
Messages
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Software for Kenwood 8180's is not that expensive.
audio out, the kenwoods have both a db25 audio out and a 3.5mm speaker out. No issue here.

I work for a Kenwood dealer and offer ham radio prices for licensed hams and competitive prices for commercial users.
How may I contact you to order some things? I haven't found a PM provision on this forum. Thanks.
 
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