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Moto DTR-700

PCTEK

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
425
Location
Northern California, USA
I am considering the DTR-700 in place of FRS or simplex GMRS. The specs on the DTR700 has a 350K sq foot range. The only say it will go 1-30 stories (Doesn't say under what conitions that measurement was made). I'm wondering, since these are only 1 watt, what the distance would be using them in a camping or road trip, or even for our local CERT group.
 

footage

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Messages
43
These are excellent radios, especially in populated areas. They work line of sight so aren't necessarily great around hills and dales, but in my urban environment they easily reach a mile radius from my house, even when one unit is inside. With unobstructed line of sight between a unit on a hill and another on the ground, I've easily talked five to seven miles. For community emergency purposes and neighborhood groups they'd be great, but only in relatively flat areas. I've used them in the forest, but as soon as a hill rises between two units, you're out of luck.
 

n1das

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,215
Location
Nashua, NH
What footage said. They are excellent radios and work amazingly well.

My distance record is 12 miles from the Cocoa Beach Pier in Cocoa Beach FL to the steps leading down to Hightower Beach in Satellite Beach FL. There is some coastline in the way so it's not entirely line of site. I did this test with a friend a couple of years ago so I know I'm definitely talking to one of my DTRs and not somebody else's DTR. I got a data point as a distance record but that's really not what I got them for. Local on-site simplex type use is where they blow other radios away on simplex. We also did the same test with a pair of 4W UHF Part 90 radios on GMRS and they worked too but the received signal was noisy and we each had to find a hot spot to communicate. The DTRs had clear digital audio and it wasn't as critical to find a hot spot at each location.

In-building penetration is better with the DTRs compared to UHF Part 90 radios on simplex. Buildings tend to be more open at 900MHz compared to 460MHz. The DTR's FHSS operation helps too. The DTRs were designed for on-site small business use and must work where businesses are located and that's inside buildings.

As for hilly terrain, the DTRs work well there too and no worse than what you would expect on UHF with a pair of Part 90 portables on simplex. At the point where hilly terrain blocks the DTRs, UHF Part 90 radios on simplex will be out of coverage too. Forget using FRS.

Where the DTRs blow other radios away is aboard cruise ships and operating from deep inside the ship. Users of DTRs aboard cruise ships report having full ship coverage on all decks compared to a pair of 4W UHF Part 90 radios on GMRS which had trouble penetrating more than 1 or 2 decks. When deep inside a cruise ship, you are essentially inside a compartmentalized metal box. The ship is much more open at 900MHz compared to 460MHz or even at 150MHz. The shorter wavelength signals at 900MHz reflect in and out and around the nooks and crannies of the ship where longer wavelength signals won't. The many reflections that are created also help. The DTR's FHSS operation also helps. As the DTR frequency hops on 900MHz, the individual hot spots and dead spots also move around. The FHSS operation effectively stirs the modes for the DTRs. When you finally do run out of coverage, it's totally GONE. UHF conventional radios will already be out of coverage at this point too.

I own a fleet of DTR650 radios and a fleet of DTR700 radios. I previously owned a fleet of DLR1060 radios that I later sold to a friend for his business. At first he wasn't sure what he was going to use them for except maybe for rentals to his customers. Now he and his employees use them all the time in normal day to day activities at job sites and also for personal use as an FRS replacement. My DTRs are my digital replacement for GMRS/FRS and MURS for my local on-site simplex type use with family and friends. A coworker once asked me why not just use FRS? My answer was that I have already been doing that since FRS was first created in 1996 and longer than that as a GMRS licensee since 1992. I want an all-digital solution that is higher quality and more professional than FRS. Being able to make them reasonably secure as a business might want to do and not having to worry about FCC licensing and frequency coordination are bonuses. I still have GMRS/FRS and MURS as backups and for interoperability with conventional radio users but they are no longer my default go-to mode for local on-site simplex type use. I essentially don't use analog at all anymore for my non-ham use of 2-way radio because the DTRs work so well.

The DTRs are excellent radios. People keep underestimating them.
 
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n1das

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,215
Location
Nashua, NH
I am considering the DTR-700 in place of FRS or simplex GMRS. The specs on the DTR700 has a 350K sq foot range. The only say it will go 1-30 stories (Doesn't say under what conitions that measurement was made). I'm wondering, since these are only 1 watt, what the distance would be using them in a camping or road trip, or even for our local CERT group.
Your wanting to use them a digital replacement for FRS and/or simplex GMRS is exactly what I got mine for. My wife loves using them with me when we are shopping at Walmart* or doing whatever. We have used GMRS simplex in the past but now she prefers the DTRs because they work so well. She is not a ham or a "radio" person but she totally "gets it" when it comes to keeping in touch when we are out shopping or doing other activities.

The advertised distance and sq footage ranges are marketing hype. FRS users look for "X" mile range. Business users look for sq footage coverage inside buildings or around a property such as an apartment complex.

The DTRs blow away FRS and portables on GMRS simplex and are all digital. And while technically not encrypted they can be made VERY secure. They are not monitorable on any consumer grade receiver (scanner) so don't even bother trying. The only inexpensive and practical way to monitor them is to have one yourself AND everything has to be programmed correctly. Setting up Private groups and using 1 to 1 private calling can make them more secure.
 
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