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Purchasing Used XTS Radios: Is this a common practice?

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mainegrw

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This might be more general question about any surplus radios, but today it's in reference to an XTS3000.

Anyway, I now have three XTS radios, one 5000 and two 3000s, in addition to an EF Johnson 5100. I have bought all of these radios used, the 5000 came completely wiped blank, one of the XTS 3000s came from a friend who had programmed it with some local traffic, but AFIK was sold to him as surplus and totally wiped, and the EFJ 5100 I bought direct from the ambulance company that phased it out and it was still programmed for their old system.

My new XTS3000 feels a little sketchy though. This one came off of eBay, was the only one available from the seller, and came loaded with an extensive P25 Trunked System from Denver, CO region (County Sheriff, several Police and Fire depts, etc.) that's still fully active. The radio is also engraved with the name of local municipality from which it originated within that region, so I'm sure its not somebody's amateur programming.

Whereas the radio being 19 years old suggests it was replaced in service at some point, what I am curious about is why it wasn't wiped of programming if it was surplused out. Is this pretty common with these older radios? I would suspect this is a pretty big security issue, especially when a department only upgrades their portables and mobiles, but doesn't upgrade their infrastructure. On the other hand, could I be handling potentially stolen or lost department property? Seller appears to be an industrial liquidator, though this is the only XTS radio they had listed, and it was radio body only with a dead and cracked open NiCd battery, nothing else. They did have some other radios listed, but they were brand new XPR radios, this was the only random used one. As to why I chose this one over the literally hundreds of other 3000s listed online, was because of the installed Flashcode, which included 9600 baud trunking, and it was cheap.

Thoughts?
 

prcguy

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That could go good or bad. If its been properly surplussed few people at that dept may know the details and the person you get on the phone might think you should not have it and demand it back. I've come across this in the past where law enforcement makes an assumption that you can't possibly own that legally, not knowing the actual facts. But at the very least you will know if its hot or not.

Contact the agency listed on the radio, give them the serial number, they can tell you for sure if its stolen or not...
 

mmckenna

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Whereas the radio being 19 years old suggests it was replaced in service at some point, what I am curious about is why it wasn't wiped of programming if it was surplused out. Is this pretty common with these older radios? I would suspect this is a pretty big security issue, especially when a department only upgrades their portables and mobiles, but doesn't upgrade their infrastructure. On the other hand, could I be handling potentially stolen or lost department property? Seller appears to be an industrial liquidator, though this is the only XTS radio they had listed, and it was radio body only with a dead and cracked open NiCd battery, nothing else. They did have some other radios listed, but they were brand new XPR radios, this was the only random used one. As to why I chose this one over the literally hundreds of other 3000s listed online, was because of the installed Flashcode, which included 9600 baud trunking, and it was cheap.

Thoughts?
Short answer? Yes.

Longer answer? Who knows.

I avoid buying used radios without knowing their origin. It's not uncommon for radios to go missing/lost/stolen/misplaced/etc. They sometimes end up in odd places.
What I would do is take a look at the codeplug and see which system it is. If that XTS-3000 would be compatible with said system, then due diligence would be to contact the agency and let them know what you have.
If the radio isn't compatible with the current system for that agency, then don't worry about it. Probably surplussed or written off a long time ago.

XTS-3000's are still used by some agencies, but they are getting really old. I always wipe our radios when they are getting recycled/e-wasted/auctioned, etc. But not all agencies do. Most don't even consider the ramifications of getting rid of radios that could still work on their system.
 

N4KVE

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I once bought a UHF XTL5000 radio That was the trunk part, w/o control head or cable. Put a head on it, & used it as a front mount radio. But when I read the radio, the ch names showed it was from a fire rescue vehicle from an Air Force base in Florida. They didn’t delete any freq’s from the radio at all. I’ve seen perfectly good radios, radios where the display was deliberately broken, & even radios that had holes drilled in them that all came from military entities. So don’t worry if the radios weren’t wiped clean.
 

I_am_Alpha1

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It's common not to wipe radios when they swap to a new system and deprecate the system the radio was programmed for. Why waste time and money to wipe radios for a system that has been turned off or no longer used. I've bought about 75 big M radios from e-bay and auctions...most were not wiped--lots were engraved. Didn't worry me in the least. The radios I bought from auctions weren't pulled and sold right away...most sat in a warehouse for 6 months to a year before being sold.
 

mmckenna

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Why waste time and money to wipe radios for a system that has been turned off or no longer used.
Well, for my radios, it was because there were a couple of other active systems in those radios, as well as simplex/interop conventional frequencies. Having been involved in the industry for a long time, as well as being a hobbyist, I know that radios can end up in the wrong hands. Leave a simplex channel in there, and next thing you know you've got someone using it as a "fancy CB".

I know most agencies don't do it, but since it's common to have simplex/conventional frequencies in them, they certainly should be.
 

jpm

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Just bought five XTS radios only one was wiped out. Akron radio still programmed. The other three Unknown where from.
 

KD0DUJ

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I bought a Motorola XTS 2500i with FPP and the day I received the radio I programmed the radio for Ham radio use
 

FFPM571

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Denver is Phase II and encrypted. They have not used XTS3000 for probably nearly 5-7 years at minimum. I was out there earlier this year and everyone had APX radios. Stuff sits in surplus for years and then gets auctioned and then can sit with the buyer til he sells it..
 

iMONITOR

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There have been White House Communication radios surplussed with frequencies AND DES encryption keys still intact. Nothing surprises me these days.
Exactly! Same with computers/hard drives being sold on Ebay with tons of confidential or proprietary information still stored on them! Our countries government at all levels is extremely careless in this regard!
 
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