Kenwood have announced that the NX-1200 and NX-1300 will be the successors to the hugely popular TK-D240 and TK-D340. With the former being VHF and the latter UHF, there are multiple different options available to you including models with partial keypad. A range of 4 radios means that no matter the environment that you are working in you are sure to find the ideal solution for your workplace from these devices.
Having found a winning formula with the TK-D340 it wouldn’t have been a smart business move to cancel a popular product without replacing it.
Throughout this blogpost I will be referring to the TK-D240/TK-D340 as the TK-D340, whilst the NX-1200/NX-1300 will be referred to as the NX-1300. The simple black-box model is the main focus point of this piece, although the additional models with partial keypad being touched on later in this blog.
Starting out with the aesthetics of the NX-1300 it is a slightly bigger and heavier radio compared to its predecessor. With the supplied as standard KNB-45L 2000mAh Li-Ion battery attached the NX-1300 stands at 123mm in height, 54mm in width and 33.5mm in depth whilst weighing 295g*. Although it is a slightly chunkier device compared to the TK-D340 the radio is still comfortable to carry for the operator, when carried via the use of either a hand strap, belt clip or carry case little to no strain will be felt by the user ensuring that it doesn’t become an irritation whilst working.
*Dimensions and weight may vary depending on the chosen battery.
A fairly basic design as previously mentioned the NX-1300 (DE3) has a sleek yet modern design that would be a fit for environments ranging from hospitality through to the construction industry. The faceplate of the NX-1300 is the home for both a speaker and microphone, whilst also having an LED status indicator that can flash 7 different colours. These colours can be programmed to alert the user of various status’ including selective power on, selective call alert and a low battery level indication. On the top of the radio is a port for the antenna, a channel selection knob and a volume knob that is also used as the power switch for turning the radio on and off. Finally, on the left hand side of the radio has a 2-pin accessory connector whilst the right is home to both the push to talk button and two programmable buttons.
As standard the NX-1300 has a total of 64 possible programmable channels, making it more than sufficient for use in large workforces. These channels can be split into 4 zones, each with 16 channels, this an ideal solution should you want each department of your business to have their own designated channels. Although this radio allows for sectors of your business to have their own private channels, there is also the possibility of programming channels that allow for cross communications between departments when needed, thus meaning that should a site wide message need to be relayed then this is still a possibility.
With 64 channels to play with these can be programmed using both digital and analogue signalling. Due to the NX-1300 being dual-mode capable this allows for the radio to be used as a transitional device, should you have existing analogue radios then the current frequencies you have can be programmed into your new radios so that existing working analogue radios don’t go to waste. Commonly on the newer digital devices the channels are usually split with 1 through 8 being analogue and 9 through 16 being digital, this can then be changed to a full digital device once the older analogue radios have been taken out of circulation.
There are many features that help with operability for the user. From scanning to safety functions, we have picked out some of the features that we recommend you make use of with your NX-1300s. All features that are listed below may not be required in your working environment, but it’s probably a good idea to be familiar with everything your new NX-1300 can offer.
VOX Voice Activation
VOX Voice Activation is a feature that can be found on almost all new two-way radios. In order to use this feature with the NX-1300 an optional earpiece or microphone must be used, although once connected this will allow for the operator to simply speak without pressing the PTT and their message will be transmitted onto their selected channel.
As previously mentioned there are two programmable buttons on the right hand side of the radio. One of these buttons can be configured to be an emergency button to be used in occasions where safety or security is breached. When pressed this button will alert all other radios within the network that a fellow member of staff may be in trouble, this allowing for fast action to be taken when required.
Should you be working in environments with low lighting conditions then you may not be able to see the channel that you are switching to. If you choose to program this feature into your radio, when switching channels, the radio will announce the channel number that they have switched to in order to make sure that they are currently listening and transmitting on the correct channel.
The last thing that you want to happen is for an important transmissions to be missed, especially when you’re investing significant amounts of money into a communications system. Channel scanning allows for one of the channels to be programmed as a scan channel and when selected will cycle through all programmed channels. Once a transmission has been found the scan will stop and the radio will listen in, once the transmission has finished the scan will continue its cycle.
Due to the NX-1300 being a digital radio you have the option for both group and individual calling. This means that should a group transmission need to be made to relay new instructions or check up on the progress of a team then this can be done, whilst also having the option of an individual call so that a private conversation can be had.
Although we have only mentioned 5 features in this blog post there are for what it seems a never ending list that help with usability for the operator. If you’d like to see all of the features that the NX-1300 is capable of then you can check out the specification sheet by clicking here.
The final aspect of the non-display NX-1300 that we will be talking about is its capabilities when faced with the elements. Built to IP54 protection rating this ensures that the radio has a limited protection against dust intrusion whilst also being capable of surviving splashes of water from all angles, this means that it can be used outside even when raining without the worry of the radio breaking or malfunctioning. The NX-1300’s durability is further reiterated due to the NX-1300 being built to MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G, this ensuring that the radio can continuously operate in differing environmental conditions including blizzards, snow storms and other extreme weather conditions.
As we previously mentioned the NX-1300 has multiple variants. Our main focus of this blog post has been the DE3 model which is without both a screen and keypad. Should you be looking for a radio with these features there is differing options to choose from. The DE2 features both an 8-character alphanumeric display whilst also having a partial keypad, the keys on the keypad can be used for a variety of purposes including programming quick access to features and switching between zones whilst the screen displays such information as battery life and various call signs. The DE2 model also has the added bonus of additional channels, rather than having just the 64 like the DE3 model it has 260 that can be split over 128 zones.