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XPR6550 Purchase Advice - Please

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jhartman

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I've gotten hooked on ham DMR. I have always loved Motorola stuff and would like to upgrade from my starter rig - TYT MD-380 to a XPR6550 (UHF). I'm homing in on the 6550 because it looks like a lot of radio for the money right now.

I have an appreciation for the expense and challenges with programming. Setting that aside, is there anything that I need to worry about as I shop for a unit? I saw a post once that mentioned a particular version of the 6550 that wouldn't work for ham DMR on the UHF bands. I can't find the posting any more. If it's true, and someone can give me some details I would appreciate it.

I'm eager for any suggestions, recommendations, gotchas that folks are willing to give.

Thanks a lot,
Jeff - KD0TNH
 

GTR8000

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If you want a 6550 that works on the ham frequencies without having to hex edit the codeplug, look for model H55QDH9LA1AN, which is the UHF Band 1 (403-470 MHz) split.

H55TDH9LA1AN is the UHF Band 2 (450-512 MHz) split, which would require a PIA hex edit of the codeplug to get it down below 450 MHz. Two lousy things about hex editing a MOTOTRBO codeplug: #1 if you read the radio after programming it with the modified codeplug, you wipe out all of the out-of-band frequencies and #2 performance may suffer somewhat since the radio wasn't intended to work below 450 MHz.
 
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Price wise the 6550's are fairly cheap and people are upgrading from them all over the place so there are many to choose from, that's probably the reason why he is. That's the reason why I've been looking into the 6550's myself.

Sent from my LG-H901 using Tapatalk
 

IAmSixNine

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Also ask if the volume (on off) knob is in good working condition.
many of the 6500 and i think the 6550 were affected by a bad batch of knobs.
When you turn the unit on /off there is a solid clicking feel. On many units that clicking has worn off and the knob should be replaced.
I had one like that and found a guy who didnt mind and purchased it off me.
Not sure how wide spread it is but its an issue on many.
 

kayn1n32008

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I've gotten hooked on ham DMR. I have always loved Motorola stuff and would like to upgrade from my starter rig - TYT MD-380 to a XPR6550 (UHF). I'm homing in on the 6550 because it looks like a lot of radio for the money right now.

I have an appreciation for the expense and challenges with programming. Setting that aside, is there anything that I need to worry about as I shop for a unit? I saw a post once that mentioned a particular version of the 6550 that wouldn't work for ham DMR on the UHF bands. I can't find the posting any more. If it's true, and someone can give me some details I would appreciate it.

I'm eager for any suggestions, recommendations, gotchas that folks are willing to give.

Thanks a lot,
Jeff - KD0TNH
One draw back to this radio is that it will not hold the entire DMR user ID database. If you don't mind only seeing RID numbers instead of name and call sign it is not a big deal.

You will also need a wide band EID to be able to program analogue ham stuff as well. You will need a legit copy of CPS along with a MOL account to get the wide band EID. If you have someone local that already has it, along with CPS then not a big deal either.

There are better DMR radios out there, as someone else suggested, the XPR-7550 is a much better radio, and although more expensive, better bang for your buck.

Although I am not a Motorola fan, they are solid radios, and I have used them in an industrial setting, on a trunk system and they performed quite well, recovering full audio at signal strength levels that would be completely unintelligible if it was analogue.
 

jhartman

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Well, you guys have me thinking I need to hold out for the 7550. As I was warned with the 6550, is there any particular model of the 7550 that I need to make sure and get for ham use?

Thanks again for all the input,
Jeff
 
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It's the same thing, just watch for the brand split that you want to work with. Make sure it's in the ham bands.

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jwt873

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One more thing to consider..

The XPR7550 won't accept an external antenna. The XPR6550 will. If you plan to use the radio handheld only in close proximity to a repeater, then the 7550 would be the best choice.

In my case, I live in the country. The two DMR repeaters I use are both about 30 miles away. Accessing them with a handheld is marginal at best. But, when I connect my XPR6550 to the dual band vertical antenna mounted on top of my 40 foot tower, the signals are solid.

Also, when mobile I connect the 6550 to my Larsen dual band antenna mounted on my vehicle. This gets me much better range.
 

IAmSixNine

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I too started out with XPR65xx radios and quickly got my hands on a XPR3500 then picked up a couple of XPR7550. I must say from experience i really like the 7550 portable. Other then the odd antenna connector they chose to go with im really liking the unit. I opted for the tuned stubby antenna and i think the unit has an excellent receiver in it and great audio.
The 3500 is also a great radio but limited to 120 channels. Stil if you get one cheap enough go for it.
 

jhartman

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Thanks to you all for the replies! This is good stuff. I believe I have decided to go down the 7550 path.
I really appreciate it.
Jeff
 

Anderegg

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Glad you decided on the 7550, I use a 6550 daily and hate the damn little thing. The 7550 in the hand just feels like quality, compared to the 6550, which feels...well, a little weird and odd shaped. Mine also has the volume knob that doesn't physically indicate when your shutting it off or on...I am used to turning to zero volume then turning up to a known comfortable sound level, but on my 6550, I get to wait 10 seconds as the radio gets turned off...ugh.

Paul
 

AI7PM

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One draw back to this radio is that it will not hold the entire DMR user ID database. If you don't mind only seeing RID numbers instead of name and call sign it is not a big deal.
On the other hand, we've gone for years without seeing the call sign of the other party. I rarely ever look at the ID display, unless I want to look up someone in the database. Like today, when a guy decided it was a good idea to experiment with texting on a network of 23 repeaters. I'm sure he'll be getting replies for some time to come.
 

AI7PM

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Thanks to you all for the replies! This is good stuff. I believe I have decided to go down the 7550 path.
I really appreciate it.
Jeff
You won't regret it. That was my first DMR radio purchase. My mobiles and event gokit are XPR5550, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

And if I may address the antenna a bit. I've seen many website conversations and overheard other conversations bemoaning the XPR7550's study antenna. I''ve had absolutely no issues with it. I normally run on low power. On low power, I've conversed on the Pikes Peak analog machine from 92 miles away.

Motorola isn't Pooslung, Batdung, or whatever the "Inexspensive" brand of the week is, this week. Thier technical standards are unbeatable. If they deliver it with an antenna, be assured, it's an antenna that works. You don't see Police and FIre agencies buying aftermarket antennas for their Moto radios.

Some of the aftermarket bling is just that, Bling. Longer bling to smack other people with as you walk around at the hamfest. Buyer beware.
 

rescue161

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It looks like you already made up your mind, but I do have two XPR6500s for sale in the classified area. The volume switches as well as the cases were replaced so the on/off works great. They each do 1000 channels and hold 1000 contacts.

https://www.radioreference.com/apps/classifieds/showproduct.php?product=8522

As another member stated, you cannot use an external antenna on the 7550, but you can on the 6500/6550. These are solid little radios. I have two and was looking for $350 for each.
 

IAmSixNine

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You won't regret it. That was my first DMR radio purchase. My mobiles and event gokit are XPR5550, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

And if I may address the antenna a bit. I've seen many website conversations and overheard other conversations bemoaning the XPR7550's study antenna. I''ve had absolutely no issues with it. I normally run on low power. On low power, I've conversed on the Pikes Peak analog machine from 92 miles away.

Motorola isn't Pooslung, Batdung, or whatever the "Inexspensive" brand of the week is, this week. Thier technical standards are unbeatable. If they deliver it with an antenna, be assured, it's an antenna that works. You don't see Police and FIre agencies buying aftermarket antennas for their Moto radios.

Some of the aftermarket bling is just that, Bling. Longer bling to smack other people with as you walk around at the hamfest. Buyer beware.
Im very happy with the stubby antenna on my XPR7550.
 
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