Month: August 2018

Looking for Kenwood TK-3201 or Kenwood TK-3301 Radios? They’ve Been Replaced. But By What?

Kenwood Licence Free Radio Lineup

Do you have a Kenwood TK-3201 or Kenwood TK-3301? Did you know it’s been replaced? Indeed it has – by the Kenwood TK-3401D. Read more below.

What Replaced These Awesome Radios?

The official replacement for the Kenwood TK-3201 and Kenwood TK-3301 is the Kenwood TK-3401D. The TK-3401D is an improved version of the TK-3201 and TK-3301, works on the same channels, but also adds in digital mode for ultra-clear audio – so a massive improvement. See below for more TK-3401D improvements and features.

The Kenwood TK-3501 Myth

Many people think that the TK-3501 is the replacement for the TK-3301 and TK-3201. This is simply not true. The TK-3501 was released before the TK-3401D was released. And both were released before the TK-3301 was cancelled. And we presume this may have been the source of the confusion. The fact is that the Kenwood TK-3501 is a very slimmed down radio in both features and build quality. This means that TK-3501 is a cheaper radio, and it is by no means anywhere near as rugged as the TK-3301. In contrast the TK-3401D is built to the same MIL standard and is improved in quality.

Why Is The TK-3401D The Replacement

Kenwood says so. But not just that. The Kenwood TK-3401D shares the same battery, charger, belt clip and accessories with the TK-3201 and TK-3301 – making it an obvious replacement.

Kenwood TK-3401D Features

  • Replaces the highly successful TK-3301E model
  • Operates on the PMR446 License-Free Service in both Digital and Analogue FM modes. dPMR mode complies with the ETSI TS 102 490 Standard
  • 8 Analogue PMR446 Frequencies and 16 dPMR446 Digital Frequencies
  • Switch between analogue and digital mode easily
  • AMBE+2 Vocoder for Natural Sounding Digital Voice
  • Works with all other licence free radios (programming maybe required)
  • Built-In Voice Scrambler
  • “Industrial Strength” Construction, to US MIL-STD Specification 810G and IP54/55
  • Supplied with Li-Ion Battery, Belt Clip and optional charger

You can buy the Kenwood TK-3401D on our website here.

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What Radio To Buy & Where It’s Most Effective

License Free
License free radios are an ideal solution should you be looking to cover a small distance for communications, often simple to use a PMR446  radio takes all the hassle away from complicated licensed alternatives but this does come at a cost of reduced range. Often found in smaller institutes such as educational environments or activity centres, a license free radio is cheap and cheerful but will often get the job done providing it is used in the right environment.

All major manufacturers produce their own models of license free radios, Motorola, Kenwood and Hytera all leading the way similar to the market for business grade radios. Kenwood have the highly popular TK-3401D which is the license free equivalent to their TK-D340 one of the most popular radios of 2018. Providing the working environment only requires short communications the TK-3401D would be ideal for use in tougher working conditions, this due to its IP55 protection rating and being built to military specification.

Motorola is the manufacturer of the most popular license free radio range, with many people opting to use the TXX models due to both its cheap price and easy to use interface. Radiotronics’ bestselling license free radio is the T82, available in a quad pack these radios are most commonly used by families when on activity holidays or camping trips, allowing for easy communications between parents and children due to the simple design and operability.

UHF/VHF
A UHF radio is a licensed option for your communication needs, with UHF being ideal for work where transmissions need to penetrate buildings or areas with obstructions between workers. Warehousing and construction companies are common place for UHF radios, this due to the heavy steel and aluminium walls separating the building.

VHF radios are also a licensed option most commonly used in farming environments. Many farmers will often have VHF mobile radios installed in their tractors or machinery, this to allow workers to communicate between themselves when transporting livestock/harvest or completing a job on a separate piece of land. VHF radios are not suitable when trying to communicate through buildings, therefore they are ideal for farmers and other outdoor working environments where extended range is required.

Companies will often separate radios by bands using separate product numbers, an example of this being Kenwood with their TK-D240 for VHF and TK-D340 for UHF models, the usual change being between odd and even first numbers.  Often the common choice and most recommended, UHF is ideal for almost every communication need. A UHF radio is what Radiotronics will always recommend even if buildings are only a small part of your site due to the consistent communications that the UHF band provides.

PoC
Push to talk over cellular technologies has come to the forefront of radio communications in 2018, this due to it unlimited range allowing for communications to continue no matter where around the world operatives are located. Abbreviated as PoC, these radios are available in a variety of designs ranging from a simple black box with the Inrico T199 through to the Hytera PDC760, a radio that can operate as both a two way radio and an android mobile phone.

Commonly placed in transportation businesses, PoC radios allow for drivers of lorrys, taxis, buses and trains to remain in contact with a head office to make them aware of any ongoing issues. Due to cellular technology this means that PoC devices are able to be tracked at all times, giving a control room the exact location of a person or vehicle should an issue arise, helping to improve both efficiency and safety of workers.

The most popular PoC radio that we at Radiotronics offer is the Telo PTT TE580, available for both rental and purchase the radios are a customer favourite due to their compact size yet robust operation. Running on an android operating system the TE580 is the ideal choice should you be looking into purchasing a PoC communications system, this due to its affordable price and advanced capabilities when using dispatch software alongside.

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