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Motorola DTR700 Portable Digital Radio 900Mhz

Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
593
#81
Here are some initial first impressions from playing with my DTR700 radios and getting them working with my DTR650 fleet and DLR fleet.

Likes:
  • Best audio of the DTRs (and DLRs) goes to the DTR700 due to AGC in the transmitted audio. It doesn't matter if you talk a few inches away or climb up on it. This is a BIG win in my book and for a lot of people. The older DTRs and the DLRs don't have AGC in the Tx audio. The DLRs will transmit badly distorted audio if you climb up on them. All testing was done with the mic gain at the default (medium) setting. Best audio goes to the DTR700, worst audio goes to the DLRs, and with the older DTR 410/550/650 somewhere in the middle.
  • Slim package design like SL300/SL3000/TLK100.
  • Nice look and feel. Very easy to operate.
  • PTT button is in the best spot for natural feel and operation.
  • Uses color display from XPR7550.
  • Uses keypad from XPR radios.

Dislikes:
  • Antenna connector - small threaded stud instead of an SMA connector.
  • No talkgroup scan feature like DTR550/650.

Programming:
  • Programs like the DLRs.
  • Much easier to program than the older DTRs, more intuitive.
  • The Profile ID features first added in the DLRs are nice added features to the DTR700. The 4-digit Profile ID feature makes it insanely easy to set up new DTRs and secure your channels without needing the CPS. New radios can be added to an existing fleet of radios without needing to reprogram all radios in the fleet. Programming Private Groups with the CPS was the only way to do this in the older DTRs. You can still program public and private groups identical to the older DTRs for 100% backward compatiblity if you want to.

Range & RF performance:
  • Appears to be identical to the older DTR550/650 and DLRs, based on testing from several favorite test locations. I haven't had a chance to do any serious range testing yet.
  • DTR700 output power (from FCC grant) = 830 mW (+29.2 dBm)
  • DTR410/550/650 output power (from FCC) = 890 mW (+29.5 dBm)
  • DLR output power (from FCC) = 880mW (+29.4 dBm)

Unknown/TBD:
  • Overall ruggedness of radio = ??? The older DTR550 and DTR650 have a more rugged feel to them. The DTR700 is rugged but feels feather light compared to the older DTRs.
  • Ruggedness and reliability of antenna connector = ??? Too early to tell.
  • Time will tell regarding ruggedness and reliability after years of wear and tear from lots of use and abuse.
Mind making a video for the youtubes when you get a chance to mess around with them? Very interested to see how they work and how they compare to the DTR's. THX
 

footage

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Messages
36
#82
I received a pair of DTR700's a week ago and have been playing with them in the western neighborhoods of San Francisco and in Hollywood. Having never worked with FHSS radios before, I was a bit suspicious about what range you could achieve with 1 watt, but I'm actually quite impressed. In our San Francisco neighborhood, which has hills and dales but a 40-foot height limit on most blocks, I can establish a connection within about a one-mile radius, sometimes farther (with one unit inside a frame house, not near a window). In some cases I'm even seeing a connection without direct line of sight, which makes me wonder whether FHSS allows reflections as one might expect with UHF signals. From a hilltop, I've copied line-of-sight transmissions about 3 miles away. The other day in Hollywood I staged one unit in a motel room slightly uphill from Hollywood and Highland. On the streets I could connect until about 1.5-2 miles, and there were obstacles in between. These are cool radios -- I would especially recommend them for neighbor-to-neighbor communication. Soon I'll try them in snowy and rainy woods and see whether there is water attenuation.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,138
Location
Nashua, NH
#83
FHSS can deal with reflections and multipath effects quite well. The old MOTOTALK platform the DTRs and DLRs operate on is very robust.

FHSS effectively stirs the modes. When you are at the fringe of coverage is where it matters. At a given location, what might be a dead spot at say 902MHz may be a hot at say 915 MHz or 927MHz. The individual hot spots and dead spots hop around as the frequency hops, effectively stirring the modes for you. When you finally do run out of coverage, it's GONE. At this point, coverage from conventional VHF and UHF portables on simplex will already be gone too.

Coverage inside buildings is where the DTRs and the DLRs beat conventional VHF and UHF portables on simplex. You will get better building penetration on 900MHz than on UHF or VHF due to buildings being more "open" at 900MHz compared to 460MHz or 150MHz. The DTRs and DLRs are marketed for on-site small business type use and are designed to work where businesses are located and that's inside buildings.

The ideal case for the DTR and DLR radios is aboard cruise ships where you are essentially inside a compartmentalized metal box. The ship is much more open at 900MHz compared to 460MHz and 150MHz. The shorter wavelength signals at 900MHz reflect in an out of the nooks and crannies of the ship where longer wavelength signals won't. The reflections actually help coverage and the FHSS continuously stirs the modes. People who have used DTR radios on cruise ships report having full ship coverage on all decks, whereas a pair of 4W Part 90 UHF portables on GMRS were unable to penetrate more than about 2 decks.

The DTRs and DLRs aren't intended to set any range records. Where they blow other radios away on simplex is reliable local on-site type coverage, particularly inside buildings.

These are amazing radios. I have gone all-in with the DTRs and DLRs and they are my replacement for GMRS/FRS and MURS for my local on-site simplex type use with family and friends. I had a coworker ask me why not just use FRS? My answer was that I have already been doing that since FRS was created in 1996 and longer than that as a GMRS licensee since 1992. I want a secure, all-digital solution that's higher quality and more professional than FRS. I still have GMRS/FRS and MURS as backups and for interoperability but they are no longer my default go-to modes for local on-site simplex type use.



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Last edited:
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,138
Location
Nashua, NH
#84
To help with range testing, I recommend setting the 4 digit Profile ID to something other than the 0000 default. This guarantees that the only radio responding to you is your other radio and not other DTR or DLR radios in the area. I am finding I can connect to other DTR and DLR radios in urban areas and large retail districts. Most users seem to be using them out of the box at the factory default settings like FRS bubble packs. Costco Wholesale near me is using DLR radios and I can listen to them when I'm in range. The little DLR radios seem to be getting popular.


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Last edited:
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,138
Location
Nashua, NH
#86
My DTR range record stands at 12 miles from Cocoa Beach Pier in Cocoa Beach FL to the top of the stairs leading down to Hightower Beach in Satellite Beach FL. There is a bit of coastline in the way so it's not a direct line of sight shot. The test was done with a pair of DTR650 radios with the 3.5 inch quarter wave antenna. I didn't have an opportunity to test with the 7 inch half wave antenna.

I did this test with a friend during a vacation trip to FL. I brought 4 of my DTR650 radios and the MUC for them on the trip. Between my wife and I and friends, 3 of the 4 radios were in use at all times. I rotated their use with the 4th radio to keep all of them charged. We also had GMRS with us but didn't even bother at all because the DTRs worked so well. We did not use any analog 2-way radios at all during the vacation trip. Only digital radios were used.


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Last edited:

alcahuete

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 24, 2015
Messages
536
Location
Antelope Acres, California
#87
My range record stands at around 25 miles, and that's because I ran out of road. I'm pretty convinced that I can get way more than that out of it if I felt like finding a new route. Of course, that's out here in the desert with minimal obstructions when I was testing. That was using the 7 incher. Your mileage will vary drastically once you start adding obstructions, trees, forest, etc.

And I most definitely get full ship coverage on cruise ships. Comms. between terminals in the ridiculously huge DFW airport? Yep! Full coverage in 40 story Las Vegas hotels? Been there done that.

They are amazing radios and perform consistently well. I can't believe the things work as well as they do.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,138
Location
Nashua, NH
#88
You will like the DTR600/700 audio better than the older DTRs and the little DLRs. The DTR600/700 has AGC in the transmitted audio to help control the audio level and prevent transmitting distorted audio, even if you climb right up on it and practically eat the microphone. The older DTRs and DLRs don't have AGC in the transmit audio. This is a BIG win in my book and for a lot of people.

Best audio goes to the DTR 600/700. The worst audio goes to the DLR series and I recommend enabling the TREBLE option in the CPS to help minimize distortion. Motorola should fix this with a FW update to add AGC to the DLRs. The audio from the older DTR 410/550/650 are somewhere in between the DTR 600/700 the DLRs.

:)


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Last edited:
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,138
Location
Nashua, NH
#89
DTR 600/700 CPS cable:
The HKKN4027A CPS cable for Motorola Business radios is around $36 on Amazon. The DTR 600/700 radios program through the Single Unit Charger (SUC) cradle. The same CPS cable is used to program other Motorola Business radios.
https://www.amazon.com/Motorola-HKK...1547952758&sr=8-1&keywords=motorola+hkkn4027a

I wouldn't bother with the HKKN4028A Radio to Radio Cloning cable. It's easy enough to clone radios with the CPS. If you only want to set or change the 4 digit Profile ID to secure your channels, the Profile ID can be cloned over the air (OTA) if you don't want to use the CPS. A power-up button sequence is used to put each radio into clone mode. This is all described in the DTR 600/700 User Guide.

CPS:
The required CPS version for the DTR 600/700 is R07.00. The Motorola Business Radio CPS is a free download from Motorola and programs all of Motorola's business radios.
Motorola Solutions DTR700 - Motorola Solutions

You don't need the CPS to get up and running with DTR radios. They are usable right out of the box and will talk to each other at their factory default settings. Just charge them up and then turn them on and go. The 4 digit Profile ID can be set or changed from the radio's keypad and cloned OTA. A few other features can also be adjusted without the CPS. Customization of features and settings requires the CPS.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
177
Location
Northern Colorado
#90
Ordered several DTR700 radios to replace some DTR650's in our fleet that went missing. There is a lot to like about these radios, the audio quality is great, the dedicated Private Button is nice, the small & light factor of the radio itself is great, but there are a couple of complaints that I have so far:

1) The antenna is too darn tall!! We always used the stock stubby antennas with the DTR650's and they were great. Now the antenna is double the height! Coupled with the new holster design, makes it really awkward to carry the radio on a front pocket or back pocket...or even on the hip for that matter. Really becoming an issue. I've tried contacting Motorola to see if there is any other antenna option and I'm getting a flat "NO" answer. Anyone else have an option for a stubby antenna for these radios? If not, I seriously might just return them, our users will do nothing but complain about these antennas, or they will flat out destroy them or the radio trying to work around it. When you look at the Motorola WAVE radios and they can have antennas that are 1" tall, it makes me wonder if they are trying to frustrate users with these tall antennas so they go to something like the WAVE radios instead.

2) The radio does not show the current user when the talkgroup is active anymore like the DTR650's did. It only shows "Public G. Call <TALKGROUP NAME>" Really liked that feature on the DTR650's where you could see who was dead keying or had an open mic...now I can't.

3) Sounds stupid, but there is no clock on the screen any longer. Some of our users really liked that feature.

4) NO TALKGROUP SCANNING!! This really surprises me! You can't scan all of your talkgroups any longer. We have users that routinely forget to change talkgroups when getting back to the office and this was a really great feature to have...now we don't.

5) Programming via the CPS. I've run into the radio not accepting programming via the CPS. I've had to try to Write to Radio a number of times in a row before it will finally take it.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should return these now and wait for the DTR720 (I saw that out there at some point, but now I don't.) Maybe that radio will have the rest of the "good" features.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
177
Location
Northern Colorado
#91
For those that aren't a big fan of the taller antenna on these radios, I am currently running an HKAN4002 antenna that belongs on a WAVE TLK100 LTE radio on our new DTR700's and have not noticed any decrease in signal or distance thus far. It's a significant height savings, and makes the radio actually easy to carry around (like it should have been from the start.) According to Motorola support, there is no alternative option for a shorter antenna...but this one is working darn well so far! YMMV

DTR700_Antenna.jpeg
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
177
Location
Northern Colorado
#92
I'm beginning to wonder if I should return these now and wait for the DTR720 (I saw that out there at some point, but now I don't.) Maybe that radio will have the rest of the "good" features.
For those that may have seen the DTR720 on the Motorola website and hoped it was a "more feature rich version" of the DTR700, that isn't the case. According to Motorola support, the DTR720 is an International version on a different frequency spectrum than the US version. Just wanted to correct myself. :)
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,138
Location
Nashua, NH
#93
I looked at the specs on the DTR720. It looks like it is the Latin America version, similar to the DTR620. It operates on the 902-928 band like the USA/Canada DTR 600/700 does but has a hole in the frequency range from 907-915MHz. A lot of RFID systems including EZ-Pass operate in that range.


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Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,138
Location
Nashua, NH
#94
For those that aren't a big fan of the taller antenna on these radios, I am currently running an HKAN4002 antenna that belongs on a WAVE TLK100 LTE radio on our new DTR700's and have not noticed any decrease in signal or distance thus far. It's a significant height savings, and makes the radio actually easy to carry around (like it should have been from the start.) According to Motorola support, there is no alternative option for a shorter antenna...but this one is working darn well so far! YMMV

View attachment 68163
This is awesome!! I just ordered a bunch of HKAN4002 antennas for my fleet of DTR700 radios. I've been digging around for information on the HKAN4002 antenna but haven't been able to find anything on it.
HKAN4002A HKAN4002 - Motorola TLK 100 Stubby Antenna, US LTE - ShopWiscomm

Thanks for posting!


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Last edited:
Joined
Oct 6, 2018
Messages
272
Location
Land of entrapment
#95
Well as with anything if many inquire firmware could change the talkgroups issue down road. While it's s long stretch let's nor forget they dropped ball on the apx with qcII for while lol
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,138
Location
Nashua, NH
#97
Is the DTR700 backwards compatible with the DTR650,550, and 450?
Yes, backward compatible with the older DTR 410/550/650 models. There never was a DTR450 model that I know of.


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Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,138
Location
Nashua, NH
#99
Yea that was supposed to be 410 my bad
No problem!

From my earlier post above....
n1das said:
You will like the DTR600/700 audio better than the older DTRs and the little DLRs. The DTR600/700 has AGC in the transmitted audio to help control the audio level and prevent transmitting distorted audio, even if you climb right up on it and practically eat the microphone. The older DTRs and DLRs don't have AGC in the transmit audio. This is a BIG win in my book and for a lot of people.

Best audio goes to the DTR 600/700. The worst audio goes to the DLR series and I recommend enabling the TREBLE option in the CPS to help minimize distortion when users climb up on the mic. Motorola should fix this with a FW update to add AGC to the DLRs. The audio from the older DTR 410/550/650 are somewhere in between the DTR 600/700 the DLRs.

:)
Aside from not having the public talkgroup scan feature like my DTR650 radios have, I am liking the DTR700, a lot. :)
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
593
No problem!
Aside from not having the public talkgroup scan feature like my DTR650 radios have, I am liking the DTR700, a lot. :)
Do you have the stubby antennas on them now? And do you like them better than the old DTR radios design wise?
 
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