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Seeking advice for an XL-200

K2NEC

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Oct 23, 2017
Messages
1,673
Anyone that owns or has used an XL-200 before, I'm looking to invest in one.
I want to hear all the good, the bad, and the ugly about this radio. Before I spend a good chunk of change on it I want to be sure that this radio is everything I'm expecting it to be.
I'm looking for anything and everything that you can tell me about it.

For starters, how is the battery life on them? The batteries seem kind of small so will they at least last a whole day?
And the accessory port, it only has a little tab on top that holds the accy in with the screw, i've seen that break before on a radio. Is it ever a problem with day-to-day use?

Thanks
 

mmckenna

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@RussH might be able to provide some info. I think he's using some.

I'm interested also. If I get my next project funded at work, I'm going to be buying about 40 of the portables and 20 or so of the mobiles. So far the people I've talked to that have used them show positive results. I've been looking at Harris, Motorola and even BK, but we keep coming back to Harris.
 

MTS2000des

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I got to demo an early (beta) XL-200 back in 2015. I was impressed with the radio in all aspects: battery life, performance on all bands, and overall quality. The only thing that sucks is RPM2 and getting (legal) access to current RPM2, and system keys for all the systems I need (yes, I have a Harris TAC provided hardware and software key for my system, but this does nothing for the other 9 systems in the area I don't own).
That being said, if you can afford the price of RPM2, and dealing with L3Harris, you have one of the finest radios on the market.
 

12dbsinad

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Messages
1,452
A good unit for the money. As far as battery life, for sure get the upgraded 4800Mah battery. The standard battery sucks. Radio draws WAY to much current to have a small battery and I don't even know why they even offer it. The bigger battery does kind of stick out in the back (added cells) and makes the bottom half the radio fat, like an afterthought.

As far as software, what MTS said. RPM2 can be a pain and expensive if you're just trying to program 1 radio. I'd suggest getting the dongle version RPM so you can use it on multiple computers (with the dongle). All in all it's a decent radio and has a good feel.
 

K2NEC

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I wasnt aware of their being a non-dongle version of RPM2. What's the other version? Just a download?
 

rjschilder

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AES FTW
Correct. Harris provisions the license via AAC, and handles your WACN/SID rights from their end.

Also, I use several XL-200's daily. They're great, and I agree about the extended battery. Also, if you plan on using BeOn at all, make sure you get one with a global modem (I believe they're all global modems now). They all have embedded verizon SIM cards, and can accept an additional SIM card (firstnet, etc...). It's easy in RPM2 to choose which SIM to use (embedded vs external), and you don't have to send in the radio to L3Harris (or pay a fee) if you choose to switch providers (unlike another manufacturer).

Another overlooked, but cool, feature is the backlight color on the top and main lcd. For example, you can program your 800mhz interoperability channels (8tacred, 8tacblue, 8tacgold, etc...) and assign a backlight color to them (red, blue, yellow, etc...). Just a very quick way to identify what channel you're on. You can also do this by talkgroup. So, Law talkgroups could be blue, Fire/EMS could be red, etc...
 

K2NEC

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What is BeOn? I've seen it in the options and heard of it but I have no idea what it is.

The display thing is very similar to the APX which is cool but not always super practical.
 

rjschilder

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What is BeOn? I've seen it in the options and heard of it but I have no idea what it is.

The display thing is very similar to the APX which is cool but not always super practical.
BeOn let's you use the radio (or IOS/Android/Windows) device as a subscriber unit over cellular or wifi. It requires a vida core and some licensing behind the scenes. It's very cool.
 

sbk1982

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
80
Harris XL-200 Pros:
LTE
WiFi
Ability to hotspot off the radio
BeOn (if you have access to Harris network you can use the portable on your system from anywhere in the world)
Color Display on front and top
A/B/C/D switch allows for large "zones" and quick switching between clusters of 16 in that zone.
Keypad button management to quickly navigate frequently used features
Great speaker, powerful and clear

Cons:
Standard battery only gets about 8 hours of use depending how hard you use it
Upgraded battery doesn't fit in in the leather cases (belt or strap)
I've seen some radios not hold up the greatest in high heat. Still functioning but the display is faded and what-not. Just don't feel like they're as rugged as the Batwing competition.

I have used both the APX and the XL-200 and I enjoy the features of the XL more although I feel the APX is more solid in a construction sense. I'm also a Harris System Admin so a few of those Pros are a fun privilege.
 

K2NEC

Member
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Oct 23, 2017
Messages
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Harris XL-200 Pros:
LTE
WiFi
Ability to hotspot off the radio
BeOn (if you have access to Harris network you can use the portable on your system from anywhere in the world)
Color Display on front and top
A/B/C/D switch allows for large "zones" and quick switching between clusters of 16 in that zone.
Keypad button management to quickly navigate frequently used features
Great speaker, powerful and clear

Cons:
Standard battery only gets about 8 hours of use depending how hard you use it
Upgraded battery doesn't fit in in the leather cases (belt or strap)
I've seen some radios not hold up the greatest in high heat. Still functioning but the display is faded and what-not. Just don't feel like they're as rugged as the Batwing competition.

I have used both the APX and the XL-200 and I enjoy the features of the XL more although I feel the APX is more solid in a construction sense. I'm also a Harris System Admin so a few of those Pros are a fun privilege.
Thanks for the input! This is definitely the kinds of stuff I am looking for.
Unfortunately for me, for my application I won't be using LTE, WiFi, BeOn, or even the hotspot (even though that would be cool as heck to incorporate)
I did hear that there was a caveat with the battery and now I see that the slim is too small and the extended is too bulky. But I'll make do or figure it out somehow.
 

RussH

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
21
Anyone that owns or has used an XL-200 before, I'm looking to invest in one.
I want to hear all the good, the bad, and the ugly about this radio. Before I spend a good chunk of change on it I want to be sure that this radio is everything I'm expecting it to be.
I'm looking for anything and everything that you can tell me about it.

For starters, how is the battery life on them? The batteries seem kind of small so will they at least last a whole day?
And the accessory port, it only has a little tab on top that holds the accy in with the screw, i've seen that break before on a radio. Is it ever a problem with day-to-day use?

Thanks
I have about a hundred of these in service and the users like them so much we're about to add a ton more. In addition, a lot of the local agencies here have started purchasing them as well.

For the accessory port screw, I don't recall that we've ever had an issue with them breaking.

I also completely agree with all of @sbk1982's observations and matches what we've seen as well. In the several years that we've been using them, the failure rate is amazingly low (user intervention notwithstanding). Plus, from the cost sheets that I've seen, the XL is significantly cheaper than the APX. As sbk said, DEFINITELY purchase two batteries. It's also important to note that there aren't nearly as many accessories available for these. I don't know if that will be an issue for you but it could be a factor if you have some specialized equipment you're trying to connect to. We had to jump through a few hoops to find a solution for our helicopter team.

While I've never had an issue with the APX, personally, my users seem to despise them for some reason. For whatever reason, they didn't like the form factor and said "it felt backwards".
 

K2NEC

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
1,673
They seem like really awesome radios. One thing that is definitely weird about the APX is the display. You have to have the radio in a holster to carry it, which is kind of inconvenient for some. And then needing to take it out of the holster to access the display/soft keys. It's nice because at least the display won't get damaged, but it's weird.

It's not the accessory screw I'm worried about, it's the tab that you slide the connector up first. There is or was an XL on ebay that had the tab broken off. I'm just wondering if that's a once in a lifetime thing or if that was a regular occurrence.

I'm not too worried about the accessories. All I really need is a speaker mic, the rest I can do without. And I like the design of the Harris speaker mics so it works out for me.

I use an APX daily but I think it might be time to try something new. And the XL200 seems like a really reliable option.
 

mmckenna

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While I've never had an issue with the APX, personally, my users seem to despise them for some reason. For whatever reason, they didn't like the form factor and said "it felt backwards".
The county I'm in tried APX but just using analog. The users hated them due to horrible sound. It took a huge amount of work to get them to sound as good as the XTS radios they were using. Motorola wasn't much help, as usual, just wanted them to buy more.
And the cost….
Looks like they are going Harris also.
 

flametamer

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Joined
May 13, 2002
Messages
52
Location
Benton, MS EM42ut
Another overlooked, but cool, feature is the backlight color on the top and main lcd. For example, you can program your 800mhz interoperability channels (8tacred, 8tacblue, 8tacgold, etc...) and assign a backlight color to them (red, blue, yellow, etc...). Just a very quick way to identify what channel you're on. You can also do this by talkgroup. So, Law talkgroups could be blue, Fire/EMS could be red, etc...
Is that front panel configurable or through RPM2?

Dt
 

RussH

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
21
...One thing that is definitely weird about the APX is the display. You have to have the radio in a holster to carry it, which is kind of inconvenient for some. And then needing to take it out of the holster to access the display/soft keys. It's nice because at least the display won't get damaged, but it's weird...
This was the principal complaint that we had as well

It's not the accessory screw I'm worried about, it's the tab that you slide the connector up first. There is or was an XL on ebay that had the tab broken off. I'm just wondering if that's a once in a lifetime thing or if that was a regular occurrence.
Gotcha... of the 200 or so XL-200Ps that my team has worked on, there has only been one instance of that tab breaking off. We're not sure what happened but we can only assume the user tried to brute force their speaker mic. Obviously, if that happens, you have to completely replace the case.

Is that front panel configurable or through RPM2?
Through RPM-2... can't think of why you would need to do it on the fly.
 

IFRIED91

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Sorry if I’m repeating what was already said but…. STOP!! HALT!! SCREECH!!!! For RPM2 a License dongle is necessary for it to be of any use other then a cool icon on your desktop… the basic one runs about $875 and the P25 Phase II Trunking/EDACS one will run u close to $1500… that’s without the respective required Trunking and P25 phase II or any other features enabled in the feature string…. To make matters even more gritty is that unless you’re name is a 3 or 4 letter govt agency you can send all the emails, business letters, Manila envelopes, u want and the only thing you’ll hear back is absolute silence… L3Harris essentially does not deal with individuals anymore
 

mmckenna

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the basic one runs about $875 and the P25 Phase II Trunking/EDACS one will run u close to $1500… that’s without the respective required Trunking and P25 phase II or any other features enabled in the feature string…. To make matters even more gritty is that unless you’re name is a 3 or 4 letter govt agency you can send all the emails, business letters, Manila envelopes, u want and the only thing you’ll hear back is absolute silence… L3Harris essentially does not deal with individuals anymore
Not really a big deal. I know a couple of us are large enough agencies that it is not an issue.
And $1500 for software when we're spending several million dollars on radio systems/subscriber units, etc. isn't a problem either.

But, yeah, problem for the individual/ham user who wants a cool radio. Most companies are clamping down on bootleg software. Kenwood has done it, Motorola has done it. No more ripping software off a .ru website.
 

IFRIED91

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Not really a big deal. I know a couple of us are large enough agencies that it is not an issue.
And $1500 for software when we're spending several million dollars on radio systems/subscriber units, etc. isn't a problem either.

But, yeah, problem for the individual/ham user who wants a cool radio. Most companies are clamping down on bootleg software. Kenwood has done it, Motorola has done it. No more ripping software off a .ru website.
whats the story with kenwood and their programming software?? i hear they are now THE HARDEST and MOST EXPENSIVE since merging with EFJohnson...
 

K2NEC

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Oct 23, 2017
Messages
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whats the story with kenwood and their programming software?? i hear they are now THE HARDEST and MOST EXPENSIVE since merging with EFJohnson...
This isn't the place for that. If you want an answer, start your own thread.
 
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