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Motorola equipment requirements / Questions

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TSBDEKev

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
6
Location
Fort Worth, TX.
Greetings,
I'm a new member here and have registered to learn from all of you. Here's the scenario;

I am an agent with a smaller sized State agency that has until recently, not employed police officers. 4 years ago the agency began hiring officers and developed a criminal enforcement division. We are fairly new and, are in the growth stage.

Recently we signed on with the Texas State Interoperability Program agreement and are now searching for radios for the agents.

I've been assigned by the director to be the point person in this and have to admit, I'm blown away by the amount of knowledge required to obtain this stuff. I had originally been told that VHF would be fine and thus, started looking around at state contractors (Moto guys) as well as different radio retail and wholesales and of course, ebay for equipment. I think I may have shot my foot by telling the boss that it looked like we could get some Moto GP68's for around 125.00 each new and, that they would work. Oops!

Today I was advised by a radio shop manager that we needed to have VHF BUT...they needed to be digital. Well, looks like we have jumped into an entirely bigger $$ range. We are wanting to get decent equipment but, the agency is new in the whole radio world and, is very cost conscious.

My question(s) for the experienced here are;

1) Recommendations on both portable and mobile radios that will work with the Texas State digital system in either Moto, GE, or Kenwood.

2) Names of any dealers that would have this equipment.

3) Any suggestions or recommendations the experienced may have.

I hope I'm not asking to much and I would really like your input.

Thanks,
Kevin
 

zz0468

QRT
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
6,036
Find out when and where your local APCO chapter meets and talk to those folks. They'll know everything you're looking for.
 

TSBDEKev

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
6
Location
Fort Worth, TX.
Sounds like a plan, I'm just hoping to get educated a little more before I go. Guess I'll get with the radio shop and find out when there's a meeting.

Thanks,
Kev
 

zz0468

QRT
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
6,036
The local police or fire chief might be a better resource. Commercial radio shops don't necessarily participate in APCO, although some do on behalf of their clients. Don't be afraid to go there totally green. They don't bite! The people here do.
 

TSBDEKev

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
6
Location
Fort Worth, TX.
You would be surprised about the lack of co-opearation around here!!

The State radio represetative's from the DPS shop and the program admin have been great but, they can't do my job for me. As far as getting local help, everyone is really hush-hush when it comes to sharing their knowledge.

Heck, ya'll seem to know more about this stuff than many of the officers and PD shops do.
 

BigLebowski

Member
Joined
May 5, 2004
Messages
535
Location
Piedmont NC
The good news is that Texas DPS is not a P25 Trunking System.

The bad news is... P25 and cost effective do not go together in the same sentence.

I personally would gather the information I could from your local APCO chapter and perhaps speak with the radio maintainers of other local agencies and get their opinions on what radio equipment has worked best for them. Motorola, EF Johnson, Kenwood, Vertex, and Icom all make P25 portables and mobiles. I personally would be looking at Vertex and Motorola.
 

jim202

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
2,648
Location
New Orleans region
ATF has given you some good pointers.

My concern is what frequencies are you planning to use the radios on? Who is the license holder for
those frequencies? Will they allow you onto those channels? If not, your facing a greater problem
than trying to figure out what model radios to purchase. Your going to have to file for a license
to use some or several frequencies. Don't expect this to happen over night. It will probably
take several months minimum, just to get all the forms filed. It will also have to go through
one of the frequency coordinators. Then the FCC will do their normal sit on it for a couple of weeks.

Jim
 

ElroyJetson

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Messages
2,506
Location
Florida, where you wish you were!
You're probably eligible for grant money for new radios. I'd bet on it.

I've dealt with every major brand and I'd give a strong recommendation for Icom IC-F70DS portable radios, which are P25 VHF radios that will suit your needs. They have excellent audio characteristics
and are very affordable compared to the "major competitors" which are Motorola and M/A-Com.

I have hands-on experience with P25 VHF portables from all three of these vendors, working together
in the same P25 system in digital mode, as an interoperability test. Yes, they all DO work together,
no problem with that. But when you compare performance vs. cost, the Icoms came out ahead of
the other two.

I didn't submerge the radios or subject them to a heavy downpour or run them over, but my evaluation of clarity of audio, both transmitted and received, is as follows:

Motorola XTS-5000: Transmitted audio quality was good, not great. Received audio quality was excellent.

M/A-COM P7100IP: Transmitted audio quality was excellent, received audio quality was fair.

Icom IC-F70DS: Transmitted audio quality was excellent, as good as or better than the 7100IP,
received audio quality was excellent, comparable to the XTS-5000.

I'm neutral on brand preference, personally speaking, because I have all those brands and think they
all have their good points and their weaknesses, too. But when comparing cost vs. performance,
the Icom radios are the best solution for P25 conventional operation of the radios that I personally
have evaluated.

I have not evaluated any Kenwood radios under the same conditions. When I get my hands on a
demo or sample of a Kenwood P25 VHF radio, I will be able to do so. I expect it will stack up well
at its price point based on previous experience with other Kenwood radios.

Elroy
 

TSBDEKev

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
6
Location
Fort Worth, TX.
ATF has given you some good pointers.

My concern is what frequencies are you planning to use the radios on? Who is the license holder for
those frequencies? Will they allow you onto those channels? If not, your facing a greater problem
than trying to figure out what model radios to purchase. Your going to have to file for a license
to use some or several frequencies. Don't expect this to happen over night. It will probably
take several months minimum, just to get all the forms filed. It will also have to go through
one of the frequency coordinators. Then the FCC will do their normal sit on it for a couple of weeks.

Jim
Hi Jim,

We have the authorization to operate on the State frequencies, the state already holds the license(s). By chance today, I got the opportunity to speak to a radio shop owner. After 15 minutes or so I learned alot about the state interoperability plan and, got to speak to him about what our needs and useage would be. It was very helpfull! I also spoke to a dealer in Nevada about some equipment that may suit our needs as far as durability...not really compatable with the TX. system but, a good value.

The local shop owner here also showed me a Kenwood product that is very nice and priced quite reasonable as compared to the XTS units.

In all, it was another day with alot of information. I think I need a new job title....Lol

Kev
 
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