• 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.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    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).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.

Wanting some opinions, commercial, VHF conventional.

Status
Not open for further replies.

evfd1625

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
369
Location
Indiana
I'm a paramedic, currently using a VHF TK-2140 for a conventional system. We have about 16 channels, repeated. Mainly use one channel for communications with dispatch, but do scan other channels for additional information in regards to our runs. I was trying to weigh the benefits of having a smaller radio with a display, and lack of heft, vs a larger radio, such as an HT1250, or XTS3000, model 1, possibly even an Astro Saber 3,or a TK-2180. Obviously, I don't need a huge number of channels available to me. The benefits of a display are nice, but I just am throwing some alternatives out there, and seeing what people prefer and if anyone could give me their personal preferences?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
29
I work in the same profession as you do and as our departments radio guy I'd strongly suggest you stick with a commercial radio.

Out of the larger radios you listed the 1250 is the smallest. Going with a ham radio, which some of our guys did (against my advice), they quickly learned that it wasn't for them. They seemed to break them muck quicker than the 1250s and 1550s we use, had difficulty programming them, etc. Nothing against ham radios but many of the guys complained they weren't as loud/couldn't hear as well or that it wasn't as clear. I'm sure it was probably because the bought the cheapest one possible and didn't do their homework. We now have switched to a trunked system and are using XTS2500i. Heavier than our 1250s but quite durable.

The display is really nice to be able to see an alpha tag instead of trying to remember what 15X.XXX is. I'd think you could be up a decent used 1250 for around 200-300. Don't quote me on that as I haven't looked for any VHF radios in a while.

We used 1250s and 1550s and they both held up quite well. The 1550 had common screen issues but we never had any major problems with 1250 screens. And believe me if you know firefighters/EMTs they can break just about anything. Our radios have taken lots of falls, drops, etc. but held up quite well. I don't have much experience with the Kenwood radios but one of our guys had one and liked it.

Any further questions feel free to PM me and I can try and help you out.
 

evfd1625

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
369
Location
Indiana
Well the 2140 is a commercial, but it's marketed towards business as opposed to public safety. I've owned several 1250's in the past, but part of me likes the larger size and durability of the 3000 series, But I also like the small form of the 2140. I'm mostly feeling indecisive and urging to buy new. Haha. Just thinking if anyone uses several different models and could give me their perspective on good and bad p of each.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
15,499
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Don't overlook Kenwood NX 200 and NX 210 for a smaller form factor VHF radio. While they are digital NexEdge radios, they will do analog just fine, both wide and narrow FM.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
29
Well the 2140 is a commercial, but it's marketed towards business as opposed to public safety. I've owned several 1250's in the past, but part of me likes the larger size and durability of the 3000 series, But I also like the small form of the 2140. I'm mostly feeling indecisive and urging to buy new. Haha. Just thinking if anyone uses several different models and could give me their perspective on good and bad p of each.
The 1250 is the same way. Its not a public safety radio but many agencies used it as one without problems. The XTS is their public safety line. I've used a 3000 before and noticed it was slower to switch channels on a trunked system compared to a 2500. I didn't have any complaints about the 3000 other than batteries, chargers and accessories cost more...
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2007
Messages
355
Location
Northern,New York
I can tell you coming from someone who switched a Motorola dept over to kenwood and I have got no complaints in the last five years.

The Kenwood 2180 is a great radio and will preform as well if not better than Motorola Portables. I have also used some 2170 also and the work great.

I still have 8 HT1250s in service that very rarely get used

It all comes down to that your looking for. The 2180 offers MDC1200 if you need that.Most all of the portables offer two tone decode and encode. and a list of other options
 

WillB

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
304
Location
Henry County
I will say that if you are looking for a 2180 used for sale they are pretty hard to find. There is one on ebay right now.
 

evfd1625

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
369
Location
Indiana
Thanks for the replies. I went ahead and actually bought one on ebay... we will see how it goes as far as ebay purchases. But yes, you are right in that they are hard to find. I may be interested in unloading my 2140 at some point in time!
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
137
Location
Muhlenberg County, KY
You can't go wrong with the Kenwood TK-2180. It's definitely a hard to beat radio. I had one, wish I never traded it off for something more along what I was working on at the time (Motorola MTS-2000).

Water logged, dust covered, fell off a truck..... just a few things that happened to mine and still worked just like it was brand new out of the box when I shipped it out. Even had a change of chassis on it (don't ask about that one. I hate explaining that one!!) Anyways, you can't go wrong with a good Kenwood radio. TK-2180, TK-2170, NX-200, NX-210, TK-2312...... all good commercial radios with good reputations.
 

kayn1n32008

ØÆSØ
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
6,299
Location
Sector 001
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (BlackBerry; U; BlackBerry 9780; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.8+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0.0.600 Mobile Safari/534.8+)

Another good radio is the TK280. I am using one for amateur and work. I have every Vhf amateur repeater in Alberta, a few work channels, and about 50 Rx only channels I scan. I still have room left over should I need it. Batteries, speaker mics, and chargers are plentiful online. A solid radio that has relegated my VX170(not used for outside of ham band) to become the radio for my APRS beacon in my truck.
 

Raptor05121

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
167
Location
Live Oak, FL
The TK-2180 is an EXCELLENT radio for FD work. I have the Firefighters leather carrying case, shoulder strap, lapel mike, and concealed earpiece for it. This is my personal radio and everyone in the department is envious of it, especially its ability to double as a pager. I got mine for cheap, too. Mine has been dropped numerous times (hence why I later got the leather carrying case) and has even been dropped (fully submerged) in a river! The MIL-spec waterproofing is AWESOME!



However, the TK-2180 is a Trunking/MPT/FleetSync radio, so if you are using conventional channels (like I am), you are really paying a premium for something you aren't using. If you want an LCD, I highly suggest the older TK-2170, or the newer TK-2312. If you don't need the LCD or unlimited channels (a pun since I can never fill mine up), the TK-2160, TK-2360, or the impressive TK-290 may fit your need more. Don't settle for Motorola's non-PS radios like the HT750/1250 line.
 

evfd1625

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
369
Location
Indiana
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.6; en-us; DROID RAZR Build/6.5.1-167_DHD-14_M3-8) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

One of the things I like about Kenwood compared to other manufacturers, is the ability to have the pf buttons on the microphone to go direct to a frequently used channel. Kenwood is so much easier to program and the software is a lot cheaper than big M. Lol. I'm overall happy with the 2180. I has been using a 3180 on an LTR system for a while now.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top