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New IDAS System Questions Icom or Kenwood

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DirtMerchant

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I am looking very seriously at switching my business from analog VHF to NXDN VHF, I have a couple questions that I hope you all can help with:

*What are the benefits of going Icom instead of Kenwood ? (F-5061 removable faceplate is a big plus for us but I can seem to find any other real benefits to Icom over Kenwood)

*For an Icom System what GPS tracking software can I use for AVL and how much does it cost ? (Kenwood has the KAS-10 software that is $300 seems like the 3rd party solutions for IDAS is quite expensive , Ozitracker @ $1200? is there a less expensive alternative?)

*If I want to use the rolling code encryption module (UT-110R) in my mobiles, do I have to have a module installed on the repeater? Or does the encryption simply pass through the repeater?

*For the F-5061 radios, is it necessary to have the remote mount kit to perform a remote mount ? We have late model vehicles with no room to install a full radio in or under the dash and would like to "flat mount" the radio face to the dash rather than have the big stand off bracket.

Thanks in advance, this is tough to figure out which way to go!
 
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mmckenna

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I am looking very seriously at switching my business from analog VHF to NXDN VHF, I have a couple questions that I hope you all can help with:
I did this a few years ago. I switched from a 5 channel analog trunked system on 800MHz to a Kenwood NexEdge (NXDN) system. I've got about 350 radios on the system.

*What are the benefits of going Icom instead of Kenwood ? (F-5061 removable faceplate is a big plus for us but I can seem to find any other real benefits to Icom over Kenwood)
Almost all the Kenwood radios will do remote head installs as well, all but the lowest tier model. Both Kenwood and Icom are using the same NXDN standards and are compatible unless you are talking about trunking (even that's changing). Icom does "Very Narrow" mode. Kenwood will do "Very Narrow" and "Narrow" mode. None of that really should matter. If you are building a new system, I'd suggest going with the "Very Narrow" mode.
I've owned both Icom and Kenwood radios over the years. The Icom radios I owned were mostly lower tier models, and the Kenwoods were mostly higher end ones, so my comparisons wouldn't be a good one. Personally, I like the Kenwoods, but that's just a personal opinion. What you should consider is your local support, make sure there is either a Kenwood or Icom authorized dealer/shop in your area.

I went Kenwood because I had existing 800MHz frequency pairs. Icom doesn't make any 800MHz gear, so Kenwood was the answer for us.

*For an Icom System what GPS tracking software can I use for AVL and how much does it cost ? (Kenwood has the KAS-10 software that is $300 seems like the 3rd party solutions for IDAS is quite expensive , Ozitracker @ $1200? is there a less expensive alternative?)
I don't know about Icom, I'm using the Kenwood KAS-10 and I've been mostly happy with it.

*If I want to use the rolling code encryption module (UT-110R) in my mobiles, do I have to have a module installed on the repeater? Or does the encryption simply pass through the repeater?
The encryption passes through the repeater. I'm using the stock/included Kenwood encryption in some of my radios. The stock Kenwood encryption is something like 15 bit, 12,000,000 codes or such. Not top level encryption, but good enough for what we do. I didn't really need to purchase the add on higher grade encryption units.

*For the F-5061 radios, is it necessary to have the remote mount kit to perform a remote mount ? We have late model vehicles with no room to install a full radio in or under the dash and would like to "flat mount" the radio face to the dash rather than have the big stand off bracket.
Yes, the remote head kit would be required. I've done a few remote head installs and it turns out nice and the install is a lot easier. Being able to just mount the small control head up front makes installs in smaller cars a lot easier.

Thanks in advance, this is tough to figure out which way to go!
Talk to a shop. A good salesman should be able to help you with all this, and they'll make sure you get the right products. If you go into it with a known budget and a known final outcome, you'll be able to make good decisions.
 

mmckenna

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*For the F-5061 radios, is it necessary to have the remote mount kit to perform a remote mount ? We have late model vehicles with no room to install a full radio in or under the dash and would like to "flat mount" the radio face to the dash rather than have the big stand off bracket.
I should add:
This is where having a good installer involved can help out. Installing in newer vehicles can be a headache, with airbags, limited space and all the computerized stuff, it makes a lot of sense to get a professional involved. Someone with some experience might be able to come up with some unique solutions.

On the other hand, the remote mount kits are not that expensive, and they can really make life easier.
 
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