• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

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    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

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Sometimes it's worth sampling for performance...

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I took this picture today as it's something that I've been doing all over the place here lately. 58 Kenwood TK-5210's going to the junk pile with 4 still new in the boxes.



Reason they are being replaced, the departments who purchased them initially thought they were saving money (~$1000 per radio) by purchasing the Kenwoods. After 5 years of performance issues they are being replaced (they had planned for a 10 years service life). In the long run, not taking the time compare SU performanced ended up costing the departments time and money. Haven't heard anything but praises about the replacements though.
 

sfd119

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I'd take them too.

Curious though, I'm not sure why you're having issues with them. I have replaced many Motorolas with 5210s and 5220s without any issues. In fact, the Kenwoods worked better in some cases.

We have departments up here that would KILL for those radios right now.
 
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Trunking performance has left a lot to be desired. Great example, when installing one of the replacement mobiles, pulled the cruiser into the sally port and the Kenwood immediately went OOR (7 miles from the site). Someone forgot to put the antenna (a stealth puck in VHF) back on the car and turned it on with the replacement APX1500…RSSI was 90 which (~-82 dBm) without an antenna in the sally port. One of the volunteer departments used to have to leave a man outside of the grocery store as the Kenwood's would go OOR in the store. Switched them out and now they don't miss calls inside.

Unfortunately, the radios were all taken on trade ($800 credit) by mother /\/\. All I can do at this point is send them. Also unfortunately, Kenwood has left a bad taste in all of these departments mouths and frankly, none of them are willing to buy new radios from Kenwood (even the Vikings as they are openly associated with Kenwood). That bridge has been burnt…
 

MTS2000des

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Curious what version hardware they are (V1, V2 or V3).
I own a 5210 V3 and 5310 (UHF) V2, both are superb radios, have louder audio than our APX6000 AN versions (which we just got notice of intent to cancel on. How nice.), and great battery life.

The first Kenwood P25 radios were crap. That was 10 years ago. Since they acquired EFJ, the Viking firmware Kenwood (VP series) are great products. I was one of the first in the region with a VP6000, which I put on our 7.14 LSM 800 system, and it worked very well, even the ARC-4 encryption played nice with ADP.
 
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Curious what version hardware they are (V1, V2 or V3).
I own a 5210 V3 and 5310 (UHF) V2, both are superb radios, have louder audio than our APX6000 AN versions (which we just got notice of intent to cancel on. How nice.), and great battery life.

The first Kenwood P25 radios were crap. That was 10 years ago. Since they acquired EFJ, the Viking firmware Kenwood (VP series) are great products. I was one of the first in the region with a VP6000, which I put on our 7.14 LSM 800 system, and it worked very well, even the ARC-4 encryption played nice with ADP.
Mix of V2's and V3's. All VHF of course.
 

sfd119

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Trunking performance has left a lot to be desired. Great example, when installing one of the replacement mobiles, pulled the cruiser into the sally port and the Kenwood immediately went OOR (7 miles from the site). Someone forgot to put the antenna (a stealth puck in VHF) back on the car and turned it on with the replacement APX1500…RSSI was 90 which (~-82 dBm) without an antenna in the sally port. One of the volunteer departments used to have to leave a man outside of the grocery store as the Kenwood's would go OOR in the store. Switched them out and now they don't miss calls inside.

Unfortunately, the radios were all taken on trade ($800 credit) by mother /\/\. All I can do at this point is send them. Also unfortunately, Kenwood has left a bad taste in all of these departments mouths and frankly, none of them are willing to buy new radios from Kenwood (even the Vikings as they are openly associated with Kenwood). That bridge has been burnt…
Sounds like some alignment and/or firmware issues to me. The 5210s and 5220s I have in service are rock solid and perform just as well as the Motorolas and other properly tuned/aligned equipment.
 
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Sounds like some alignment and/or firmware issues to me. The 5210s and 5220s I have in service are rock solid and perform just as well as the Motorolas and other properly tuned/aligned equipment.


There aew well 1500 of these in service, all having the same issue. They've been doing it since they were new, Kenwood has actually upgraded the firmware on 5 separate occasions…nothing was ever a solution.


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mmckenna

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It would be helpful to know what the cause was. There are several counties around me using the TK-5x10 radios on p25 trunking systems without issue. The fact that none of them worked reliably would indicate something other than just QC issues.
I know the county just south of me is using them. The only issue they had with them was because they were letting the individual fire agencies program them on their own. The guys doing it didn't have enough training and were making mistakes on the programming resulting in issues. When they started taking a closer look, they discovered varying issues, including people only putting the site control channel in, but none of the other frequencies.

I don't doubt what you are saying, I've heard people complain about these, but so far there are enough of them in use to suggest it's not a shortcoming with the design. They meet P25 standards and are in use in a lot of agencies. It would be helpful if someone would have taken the time to figure it out rather than just selling them to Motorola.

While I am a Kenwood fan, and I've got 400 Kenwood radios on various systems without issue, I'm also very suspect anytime Motorola gets involved.
 

KI5IRE

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Is the performance better than a Uniden 436 in terms of reception and deciding? If so I would love to find one of these to use as a scanner if the P25 decoding is better. If it's a weak antenna, I can hoop it up to my attic discone.


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RFI-EMI-GUY

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I wonder if it is a self quieting problem. Maybe the voice channels fall on some spurious frequency and the effective sensitivity sucks. Also the IM spec 68 dB narrow band is sort of wimpy.

A radio with 136 to 174 MHz operating bandwidth had better have some fancy tracking front end filter and a very stout RF amp and mixer, otherwise the paging, NOAA, etc stations will be overloading the receiver. I think some manufacturers figure the terrible efficiency of the VHF helical antenna will attenuate the overload.

Assuming this is a weak RX design, they may work great in some rural area and not in other areas with high power VHF stations.

Also the VHF band has terrible spectrum management. The FCC should have rearranged the band for duplex repeater splits along with narrowbanding. Why they did not is a mystery and reflects badly on the industry and the FCC,
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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It would be helpful to know what the cause was. There are several counties around me using the TK-5x10 radios on p25 trunking systems without issue. The fact that none of them worked reliably would indicate something other than just QC issues.
I know the county just south of me is using them. The only issue they had with them was because they were letting the individual fire agencies program them on their own. The guys doing it didn't have enough training and were making mistakes on the programming resulting in issues. When they started taking a closer look, they discovered varying issues, including people only putting the site control channel in, but none of the other frequencies.

I don't doubt what you are saying, I've heard people complain about these, but so far there are enough of them in use to suggest it's not a shortcoming with the design. They meet P25 standards and are in use in a lot of agencies. It would be helpful if someone would have taken the time to figure it out rather than just selling them to Motorola.

While I am a Kenwood fan, and I've got 400 Kenwood radios on various systems without issue, I'm also very suspect anytime Motorola gets involved.
It could be that linear simulcast bugaboo...
 
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It could be that linear simulcast bugaboo...
That's on the 800 MHz side (79 sites currently with a mix of 800 MHz and VHF). Nothing is simulcast on the VHF side currently (and it's all rural on VHF).

One of these days I figure out how to reconfigure my service monitor for VHF and actually test one of these radios real quick. 800 MHz is easy, VHF not so the way the monitor is setup. Unfortunately it's when compared side by side to any Astro 25 radio or APX...its a night and day difference in performance.
 

kk6rq

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Well, definitely count me in for a few (2-5+); PM me to give paypal info for postage & shipping, etc. (if you go through with this).

I'm well familiar w/ TK5210s on VHF and I found them excellent performers for the local VFD. The only bugaboo I ever experienced was their inability to support what Moto calls P25 "WIDE"-- problem of course fixed itself when the agency in question narrowbanded in 2013. I was aware the radio was technically capable of doing the WIDE P25 but it necessitated applying it radio-wide (wasn't going there...).

Thanks!

Bob
 

sfd119

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Guys, the OP has already said the radios have been traded in to Motorola. They are not for sale or for giveaway.
 
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