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?s on which portable to purchase

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whitesox4life

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i am looking at purchasing a new portable radio. I am having a hard time finding a model that fits the criteria. I need a vhf with 16+ channels. It must also support multiple 2-tone sets on different channels (pager/selective call mode). It would have to have alphanumeric display and dual priority channels (2 channels are priority for me).
 

pdfdems286

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although i'm not the foremost expert on portable's, i think i can say that their are no commercial port's that will scan 2 tone's on multiple channel's.you can set the kenwood tk-2170 for multiple tone out ch's,but listen to only one at a time.this is basically written in stone <i believe> because of the requirment's of 2 tone paging. also, i don't think any commercial gear will do multiple priority channel's. if your talking about a "dual watch" type feature you'll probably need a amateur radio. this present's a second challenge,because you cannot use a ham portable as a commercial radio. i.e. operate outside the ham band.
if you can live with 1 priority channel and 1 2 tone decode channel at a time,then i would strongly recommend the kenwood tk-2170.
128 alpha channel's, 128 zone's, great audio, 2 tone sequential plus a whole lot more. all for around about 5 bill's. i would stay away from the big M. because they have their limitation's,and can be pretty pricey. my .02 cent's.
 
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ramal121

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I'll throw out the TK-2180 portable also. The 2170 will do only one priority channel for scan where as the 2180 has 2 priority channels. 'Nuff said.

Now on two tone decode, that gets a little hairy. Both radios will allow you to assign 4 tones to any decode group ( tones A, B, C, or D). The 2170 will allow you to make 2 sequences per tone group (ie: A-B and C-D). where as in the 2180, you can assign 4 sequences (ie: A-B, C-D, A-C, B-D). You can scramble up the 4 tones any way you want. The radio will alert to any sequence of the tone group assigned to that channel. You can also use long tones sequences (used as group call but can also alert to old single tone Plectrons).

The 2170 will allow 3 tone groups and the 2180 will allow 4 tone groups. Groups can have all different tones in them, but only only one group can be assigned to a channel.

As far as trying to decode 2 tone pages on multiple channels (scanning), it won't work. The only way to decode 2 tone on scan would be to have a single alert channel and make it the priority one channel. In addition, the delay time between when dispatch keys the radio and when the tones are sent out would have to be greater than the priority sampling lookback time. This limits you to one channel only for 2 tone decode. The 2nd priority and non prioity channels would not decode because of the dropout to sample the priority one channel. This is true of all manufactures. The only other way would be to disable priority scan. Reliability of decode would hinge on how active the scanned channels would be, but it will never be 100%.

Now if you are not going to scan, and just want different 2 tone in different channels (say depending on station assignment), see if the above fits your needs.

addendum: On a quick check, the Motorola ht 1250 is like the the TK-2180. 2 priority channels for scan. 2 tone decode has 4 tones per group and 4 groups max...
 
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whitesox4life

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i am not looking to decode on multiple channels at same time...i run fire and ems (2 seperate frequencies) and am getting sick of carrying 2 pagers. The reason for the dual priority is for the same reason (fire dispatch and ems dispatch).
 

ramal121

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i am not looking to decode on multiple channels at same time...i run fire and ems (2 seperate frequencies) and am getting sick of carrying 2 pagers. The reason for the dual priority is for the same reason (fire dispatch and ems dispatch).
???? Confused! Fire and EMS on different freqs. But you are not looking to decode on multiple channels. To me, different freqs = different channels. This would involve scan to monitor both. What is your definition of "dual priority"? Maybe I can explain how this all works....
 

Magnetsteve

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Looks like the Motorola HT1250 is going to be the closest thing to meeting all of your criteria. But I am not sure about all the two-tone stuff. I'm not familiar with how thats set up.
 

stevelton

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Any Newer Icom portable with display will do what you want.
f3021, f33g, or f3161

Then you can buy the cable and software, and program yourself.
Steven
 

ramal121

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Again, what I see here, is the ability to have 2 different frequencies (channels) both with two tone decode. No radio on the market will do that, or do it reliably. Maybe some kind dual band ham rig where the same band can be set on both sides and both monitored at once. And it would have to do QCII also.

I'd just stick with 2 pagers and call it good.
 

whitesox4life

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not looking to decode 2 channels at same time. What i mean by dual priority is having 2 priority channels (fire dispatch=1 & ems dispatch=2). The way my walkies have been set up in the past, fire dispatch was priority and when i was working ems, i had to monitor the ems dispatch channel that way i didnt miss a call. I am wanting a walkie that will allow me to have 2 priority channels but have a main and secondary.
 

RKG

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The Waris (HT1250, HT1550) Motorola portables will take something like 128 channels (in "zones" of 16 channels per zone).

Each channel can be affiliated with a scan list (i.e., different scan lists for different channels; radio scans the list associated with the "selected" channel).

Each scan list can contain up to 16 members. One member can be "selected," which means that if Scan List A is associated with Channel X, when Channel X is "selected" and scan is invoked, Channel X is temporarily added to the scan list. (In fact, I always program "Selected Channel" as member of all scan lists.)

Each scan list can have up to two priority channels, which are themselves prioritized (i.e., either takes priority over non-priority channels, and Priority Two takes priority over Priority One). Radio can be programmed so that transmission during scan is either (a) on the selected channel (even if scan has "landed" on something else) or (b) on the landed channel (a/k/a "talkback scan"). (I always program transmit steering to "selected channel," otherwise coms on the selected channel can be difficult and unintended transmissions on a "landed" channel will happen.)

Any channel may be programmed for Quik Call (Motorola's name for Type 99 or two-tone signalling). Comes in two modes: Call Alert (like a pager; gives audible/visual indication that radio was paged) or Sel Call (i.e., "voice paging," like a Minitor, in that radio is muted on channel unless and until the QC tones have been received).

That said, if you have radio in scan, then even if the alert channel is in the scan list, the alert is likely not to be received. The reason for that is that two-tone signalling is time sensitive, and entering a QC-programmed channel after the tone sequence has started will fail to meet the QC timing criteria and not be decoded as valid.

(A lot of my clients issue "take home" portables to members. Where a QC system is used for alerting those with "call back" responsibility, that channel is always programmed for "no scan" (as well as "RXO"). Member can leave the radio on all the time, without bothering family with routine dispatch traffic and without the risk that someone will pick it up and press the key. On receipt of a QC, radio will now unmute to all traffic, and members get the message without Dispatch or Fire Alarm having to go to the effort of making phone calls. Works well.)

The Waris portables are not considered "public safety grade," though a lot of public safety agencies have used them with great success. They are comparatively inexpensive (under $1,000 most places). They will send and receive MDC ID.

That said, if you ask my recommendation (and take into account that my purchase recommendations are always for public safety use and usually for fleets of radios), I'd go with either XTS2500 or XTS5000. These are current top of the line radios, will remain a "current product" longer than the Waris portables, can hold a lot more channels (modern systems are gravitating toward channel-heavy "interoperability" channel plans), are capable of modalities to which systems are gravitating, and are more physically robust. Downside is that the radios are more expensive, and some featuers that come standard on Waris portables require extra cost "flash" upgrades on XTS portables.

Sorry for the long answer; I didn't have time to write a short one.
 
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