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XTS2500 as all around radio ?

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W3ETC

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Hello,

I am rather new to the Motorola Portable radio world and am asking is the XTS2500 a good choice for an all around Moto portable ? I am looking for a VHF high band that can do 2 meter amateur, monitor narrow band Fire simulcast and VHF Marine. Ability to scan, tones, etc.

I am not looking to spend a ton of money on the latest or the greatest. I have a Moto account and priced the software and cable for the XTS at $265 and $237.

So before I pick up one of these radios am I picking the right model ? By the way I have a MT2000. Sounds good however I don't own the software for it so its flexibility is limited.

Thanks all
 

PACNWDude

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They are durable and can be had relatively cheap. Just beware the ones that are "too cheap", buy from a reputable source. You may even find an XTS5000 for a reasonable price.
 

pro106import

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If you get an XTS3000 you can save money on not having to buy the software. It is readily available for download legally on the web. The radio is no longer supported by Motorola so the software can be had for free legally.
A programming cable will run you 15 bucks on ebay.
 

grem467

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I agree with the above unless you need 700mhz. The xts3000 does not have capability to do 700, only 800 in that split.
 

MTS2000des

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the 2500 is still in production, at least until November 30, 2014.
It will be officially supported by Motorola for 5 years from that date.
This applies only to the "BN" versions with the 8 MEG boards. The earlier production "AN" radios went out of production a few years back and are already no longer supported.

The majority of the eBay low priced 2500s are the "AN" variety. A few things about the older radios: there will be no more firmware updates coming from Motorola. Because the earlier version had limited HOST ROM, new features that become available or enhancements won't make it to the older "AN" radios.

The other point is the durability and serviceability. I've owned many and my employer currently has XTS2500 (both a mix of AN and BN versions) but they are being phased out gradually with APX4000s. The weak point in these radios is the front cover interconnect flexes. This is how the radio's front cover electronics and side connector interface to the main board. These connectors are FRAGILE, and mainly fail due to "Mr. Goodwrench" and his golden screwdriver folks poking around inside. If the radios work, they are fairly reliable.

However, if they are dropped too many times and the connectors develop problems, the radio is pretty much history. Flat rate repair is still available for the BN units, but it isn't cheap ($380 for end users last I checked).
The connectors are impossible to repair and damn near impossible to replace unless you have a hot air rework station and know what you are doing.

Third point: there are many sellers on eBay selling hacked, non-legit XTS2500 and 5000 radios, but the 2500s seem to be a target. Many of these are obvious bogus radios like this one:

Motorola XTS2500 Model III 700 800MHz Portable Radio | eBay

Note that this is an "AN" radio with a fake tag and a serial number with a manufacturing date of 2013.

Here is what someone who had several of these gems show up in his shop had to say about these radios:

"Ugh... I'm familiar with his junk. AN 2500s with a date code well into the era of BN manufacture, extra-whored flash code, glued-on volume knobs. 50 of them rolled through our shop, many failed bench test, including a basic button test. Same user bought some XTL5000s from them, equally junk. Obviously bogus tags, and the radios said last programmed with depot several weeks before they were bought. No attempt made to disguise their use of the forbidden software. "

So 20 people spent $475 on a radio that fails basic BER testing, has glued on parts, and was obviously a scrap parts unit cobbled together and misrepresented.

Always BUY THE SELLER not the item. It's the wild wild west. Do your research. There are some great sellers on Ebay and the forums, and they are well known.

But before spending hundreds of dollars on a radio, make SURE your seller is honest. ASK for detailed pictures. Check the serial numbers and flashcodes. ASK if it is a legit Motorola radio or one built from parts. Will they accept returns? Do they warrant their product? Overseas sellers may have lower prices, but many of the radios are "accelerated life testing" or scrapped units. Even if they stand behind them, return shipping can be a costly expense you will have to cough up to send back a bum radio.

Don't get scammed.
 

brndnstffrd

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Have you considered just getting the software for the MT2000? You didnt mention needing digital, so if you dont, the MT2000 would work just fine for your needs.
 

sfd119

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I carry an XTS2500i for day to day use. Hasn't failed me in several years.
 

N4KVE

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They are good radios, but like Erik said most of what's on that auction site is recycled junk. People are printing bogus serial # tags to increase the value of parts built crap. Do you need a digital radio? The Jedi line is excellent, & priced right. People don't build them from parts, as they're priced so low. Would you buy a used car where Bubba made a vin plate in his basement?
 

902

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Always BUY THE SELLER not the item. It's the wild wild west. Do your research. (snip)

Don't get scammed.
I think that's the most sound advice I've ever seen concerning online auctions.

When my former agency converted from analog to Wide Pulse Astro digital (kinda like P25, but not exactly), some of the municipalities that needed to interact with my former agency were forced to look into radios that far exceeded their budgets. Many of the local chiefs were in the positions they had because they were crafty "wheeler and dealer" types who could toss together a department from whatever they could find in someone else's dumpster on trash day. So, their first move was not to budget for new, but to hit the auction sites.

Yours truly was in the barrel for programming several hundred mostly XTS-3000/split mounted Astro Spectras. I had it under control. I had the proper cabling/setup for what I needed. What shipped in to some of these departments were odd control head configurations, under-dash model radios that were parts'ed into being A9 control heads, odds-and-ends circuit boards, and not even original hardware.

So, they powered up and had default information in them (most likely programmed up before they were frankensteined) and after being read as something completely different than what they were, I had to program them with stockware, not hackware that doesn't exist. And they errored out. Now, crafty ol' Roscoe P. Coaltrain is upset because his $700 bargain radio is clocking through at least 6 FL and E error codes on the display ("You broke it!"), and I'm like, "Hmmph. Don't look at me you cheap... ! Send it to the depot." They quoted over what he paid to make it right. He probably boxed it back up and resold it on the website he bought it on.

Caveat emptor. They ARE out there.
 

MTS2000des

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902,

"SMH"...

That always gets me, the "know it all" internet experts who would buy a mission critical life safety ANYTHING off of that auction site or from the back of a truck and then expect to get the same performance, quality and warranty of something bought from a vetted, bona fide dealer.

They cut corners and then get mad when they find out the real bargain of those bargain basement scrapper units is NO bargain. At least in your case no one was hurt or got killed.

Imagine how bad it can go if there was an LOOD or shootout and someone's "AS-IS with NO WARRANTY" scrappile radio throws up a FAIL 01/82.

Any dollar store lawyer would have a field day in court when they search purchase records and find that gem.
 

SCPD

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Get the 2500, I have 3 of them and love them. All have been dropped accidentally since I am at times clumsy and they still run like a champ. As stated, they are still supported my Motorola so they could go to the Depot if a repair is needed. All the cops on my local dept. are all issued 2500's and have no complaints on the audio quality or durability,
 

N4DES

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Messages
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As stated, they are still supported my Motorola so they could go to the Depot if a repair is needed.
Motorola is only doing depot repair in the "B" models, which are the ones without the finger indents on the bottom sides of the radio. The "A" models are no longer repaired at depot.
 
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