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Recommendations on New Radios / Repeater

Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
1
Hi folks,

I help run a large school and we currently have Kenwood TK3402UK radios in use in conjunction with a repeater (the exact model escapes me at the moment). With Covid chaos we've lost a few (due to negligence and wear and tear) and the question now is do we keep what we have or upgrade to a digital system. Our radio rep (who I trust-ish) recommended us moving to a NX-1300DUK and the concomitant repeater/duplexer however I wanted to ask the radio experts of the Internet for any recommendations you might have since we get to mostly start from scratch here. I'm not tied to any particular brand (or even this rep, honestly). I'm just out for what's the best product for the best price.

Our use case right now is pretty simple. We operate on one channel with the kind of radio discipline you'd expect from a school (mostly chaotic and obnoxious). Opening up to some other channels and feature set (like overriding other voices during emergencies) could prove useful for moderating the chaos on the main channel. I haven't had the chance to do much research into what type of options are out there for us and I've found specific niche forums on the Internet can better inform me (or get me started on the right research) than any other source.

As far as budget we're looking at 36 radios and around $20k to $25k of space to make it all work. I'm even willing to do programming if it means saving some money for features elsewhere.

And for frequencies we have 1 licensed frequency at the moment.
 

mmckenna

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Joined
Jul 27, 2005
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The Kenwood NX-1300DUK is a UHF analog/DMR capable radio.
It replaced the older TK-#### lower tier radios. I haven't had my hands on one yet, but I'm using a few hundred Kenwood radios at work, including the bigger brother of this radio, the NX-3### line.

Should be a good radio and appropriate for your application.

It'll do analog, so as long as your current repeater is OK, they will have no issue working with it. You can keep using your old radios, too.
If the dealer is trying to sell you a new DMR repeater, you'd need to find out if the current repeater really needs replacing, or are they just trying to sell you more stuff. If the current repeater isn't working well, and it hasn't been properly maintained, then it probably needs to be tuned up by a good tech.

DMR could be useful, if you have the budget to do that. You'd need to replace all your radios to work with it, though.
DMR is a Time Domain Multiple Access system, it uses two time slots on the RF channel to allow you to run two separate conversations simultaneously. That can be good if your current radio channel is overloaded, but if the single channel was working fine for your needs, don't throw a lot of taxpayer dollars at new technology you don't need.
DMR can give you encryption, which can be handy if you are passing any student information over the radio. But your analog system will do scrambling, so again, no need to replace the system.

The radios should be just fine. I'd recommend getting more than one quote, though.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2008
Messages
815
recommended us moving to a NX-1300DUK and the concomitant repeater/duplexer
You should not need to replace your duplexer even if you move to DMR, it's tuned to your frequencies. If you change it can be retuned. You have 1 licensed pair of frequencies, not a single freq, at least I hope you do for legal purposes.

Overriding other users is a standard DMR function, you can do it in analog since your radios have priority scan.
I don't know if you can get PMs yet since you have rookie status on the forum, I can send you a quote if you want.
 
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