Motorola Solutions is the world leader in radio communications – by a very long way. There is an emerging competitor – Hytera. But as of February 2019, Motorola still holds the worldwide top spot for two way radio systems. Motorola Solutions, hereon in referred to as just Motorola, has an extensive lineup of two way radios and this guide is designed to be the ultimate guide to which is which and what does what, so to speak.

Motorola Digital Two Way Radios

Motorola Only Makes Digital Two Way Radios

Motorola has two different types of two way radios – analogue and digital. However, it’s important to note at this stage that all Motorola analogue two way radios are discontinued, with the exception of licence-free XT and TLKR series two way radios. As of 2019, there are no longer any professional grade analogue Motorola two way radios available (except new-old stock*).

* New-old stock is stock which is brand new and typically offered with warranty that’s no longer made by the manufacturer.

But What About Analogue Two Way Radios

For 6-7 decades, Motorola has made analogue radios. And Motorola sells two way radios in every country on earth. No it’s not surprising that there are millions of two way radios. And since digital two way radios have only been around for about 10 years, there are a lot more analogue two way radios out there. Motorola is aware of this. And Motorola supports old radio fleets better than any other manufacturer.

To that end, almost all of Motorola’s digital two way radios have analogue-only mode to enable the backward compatibility, to be used with older analogue-only two way radios. Most Motorola digital two way radios cannot be used in digital and analogue mode on the same channel. But you could have channel 1 as analogue and channel 2 as digital, for example. They would not be able to speak across the channels, but this facilitates a path to migration to digital.

Note: Whilst digital two way radios almost always work in analogue mode for backwards compatibility. There are a few exceptions, notably the Motorola SL4000/e and SL4010/e which only work in DMR mode.

Analogue Motorola Two Way Radios

For fairness, let’s talk about the old analogue radios before we start to talk about the digital models. There are four major analogue models that have been sold over the last 25 years and, if you take a look on eBay, these are the models you’re most likely to see for sale.

Motorola Radius GP300 “The Brick”

Discontinued: 1998

Motorola Radius GP300

The Motorola Radius GP300 was, by a long way, the best selling Motorola radio of the 90s. It had a big brother, the GP900 which was used for larger systems – and is relatively unknown when compared to the GP300. The Radius GP300 is considered a predecessor to the GP340 and they’re often confused as the same radio – they are not the same radio. The Radius GP300 was, and still is, fondly referred to as “The Brick” due to it’s 1/2 Kg weight and 140 height, 59mm width and massive 42mm depth, which is unheard of since the turn of the millennium when surface mount technology (SMT) became normal in Motorola’s two way radio manufacturing process.

The Motorola Radius GP300 came in a number of versions. The most popular was the 8-channel no-display no-keypad version. There was also a 16-channel version. And even versions of the 8 and 16 channel models with a display and keypad for private calling and other more advanced radio use. On the whole, a very good radio for it’s day.

Want One? Probably a Bad Idea. Why? Unfortunately, the Motorola Radius GP300 was discontinued in the late 90s with the last new ones being sold in the early 2000s. Whilst you can still pick them up on eBay almost all genuine accessories have been cancelled by Motorola worldwide. This radio is not a good investment, even 2nd hand. However, if you do have one and need some accessories, you can buy accessories for the Motorola Radius GP300 on our main website.

What came next? Enter the GP-Professional Series: GP340 & It’s Siblings…

Motorola GP340 (Part of the GP-Professional Series)

Discontinued: 2014 – Read More

Motorola GP340

The Motorola GP340 was the leader of the GP-Professional series. A little known fact, outside the two way radio industry, is that the Motorola GP340 was one of 5 models in the range. The entire range consisted of GP320 1 channel version, GP330 4-channel non-display version, GP340 16-channel non-display, GP360 255 channel, full display, limited-keypad version and the flagship GP380 with display, a full DTMF keypad and 255 channels. The whole lineup is called the GP-Professional Series.

So why did the GP340 become the leader of the GP-Professional Series? No one actually knows why. In theory, the GP320 with 1 channel or the GP330 with 4 channels should have been the most popular as they were in theory cheaper models with the same audio quality and build standards. The most likely reason is that dealers opted to stock the GP340 as it had every feature needed from a two way radio at the time. The GP340 covered all bases. Literally, anything a customer could need from a two way radio – the GP340 could deliver. Except of course a contact list – but this is what the GP360 and GP380 delivered.

What about the GP640? At this stage it would probably be sensible to mention the cousin of the Motorola GP340, the Motorola GP640. The Motorola GP640 looked identical to the GP340 and is often very much confused as being mistakenly dubbed the GP340’s big brother. That’s absolutely not the case. The GP640 is a radio specifically designed for trunked radio systems – specifically to the MPT1327 standard. GP640 was never designed to be used back to back (radio to radio) and, whilst it’s possible, it’s a nightmare to program in “conventional mode”. They’re not the same radio and the GP640 should be avoided unless used for a trunked system.

The direct replacement for the Motorola Gp340 is the Motorola DP4400/e – see below. However if you’re only using your radio back to back (radio to radio) and not using any of the lone worker or sell-call features, you could just use a Motorola DP1400. Read on…

Motorola CP040

Also know as: CP200 (CP140 is also a similar radio in many ways)
Discontinued: 2014 – Read More

Motorola CP040

Motorola CP040 is a slimed down radio with very basic functions. However, CP040 still maintains 4W (5W in VHF models) output power, extremely clear audio and an 8-hour “working day” battery life from the basic battery supplied with the radio.

The most observant of you would ask why Motorola would introduce this radio when they already had GP320, GP330 and GP340? Well, whether Motorola would admit this or not, historical evidence shows that the Motorola CP040 was first introduced as a counter measure to the emergence of cheaper two way radio models coming from Chinese manufacturers. The cheapest model GP Professional radio, the GP320, had a price tag of well over £200 GBP (exclusive of VAT). And there were some cheaper radios on the market for around £100 GBP each. This would, no doubt, have been affecting Motorola’s entry-level radio sales.

The Motorola CP040, also known as Motorola CP200 in the USA, was a very smart move by Motorola. The Motorola CP040 recaptured the entry level market space and Motorola CP040 became almost as good a seller as the GP340! In fact, whist there are by far more GP340s out there than any other radio  in history, the Motorola CP040 is a very close 2nd.

I have CP040’s – what should I buy? The CP040 was replaced by the Motorola DP1400, which we mention later in this article. In fact, the Motorola DP1400 is almost identical. So much so that all the accessories are interchangeable – you can buy a DP1400 and keep your existing earpieces, batteries, chargers etc. If you have a CP040 and want new radios – you should undoubtably be buying the DP1400.

Digital Motorola Two Way Radios

Enter… Motorola MOTOTRBO…

Motorola MOTOTRBO Logo

Here’s where the two way radio industry ceased to be mundane and has finally become interesting! Motorola, just before the turn of this decade introduced their DMR (digital mobile radio) based digital radio system called MOTOTRBO. MOTOTRBO is not a single product as such. MOTOTRBO is a range of products (mostly digital radios) and solutions (such as Capacity Plus, IP Site Connect and Capacity MAX). In fact, Motorola Solutions’ website has an entire section on their website dedicated to MOTOTRBO and it’s features – boasting MOTOTRBO as the world’s most feature rich, complete end-to-end, digital radio communications solution – which it is. Whilst there are some competitors who offer feature-rich systems such as Hytera’s XPT, Kenwood’s NEXEDGE and Icom’s IDAS system (and others), Motorola’s MOTOTRBO system when compared side by side offers more features and options than any other system.

The most notable features are multi-site (IP Site Connect), transmit interrupt, selective calling, advanced emergency features and GPS/Man down (only on “1” radio models). But what really sets MOTOTRBO apart is it’s ability to integrate with PC software such as TrboNET and Smart PTT, SIP-based VoIP telephone systems and multi-site quasi-trunking, also known as Capacity Plus.

GPS Note: The GPS feature is only any use when a system is connected to PC based dispatch software (such as TrboNET).

This might sound complex, but it’s really quite straightforward. The product lineup starts with the DP1400 which is the entry-tier radio. The DP4000 range are the professional tier radios with the DP2000 range are lightweight versions of the DP4000 and the DP3000 being stubby compact versions. Finally, there are the super compact and lightweight range being the SL1600, SL2600 and SL4000 radios.

Motorola DP1400 – Entry Tier Radio

View @ radiotronics.co.uk: Motorola DP1400

Level: Entry Tier Basic Radio Systems
Introduced: 2012-2017
Price Range: £120 – £185 GBP, Per Radio (As of Feb 2019)

Motorola DP1400

The entry-level MOTOTRBO radio is the Motorola DP1400. The Motorola DP1400 is a natural step forward from the CP040 as it’s cost effective without the compromise on quality. And, as mentioned above, it shares all the CP040 accessories.

However, the Motorola DP1400 is a complex little beast as it’s the only “digital ready” Motorola MOTOTRBO radio. What does that mean? As described in our article, What’e the difference between the analogue and analogue-digital versions of the DP1400?, the DP1400 can be purchased as a “digital-ready” analogue only radio, or a digital-activated analogue and digital radio – and there’s about £50 GBP difference in price, each. Our advice has always been. If you’re intention is to simply add to your CP040 fleet, then save yourself the approx. £50 per radio and get the analogue only radios. After all, you can always upgrade to digital later. But if your intention is to slowly migrate to digital, then but the digital-activated versions straight away.

Incompatibilities: There’s also some other considerations about the DP1400, even if you buy the digital-activated model. The Motorola DP1400 is not compatible with Motorola Capacity Plus, Linked Capacity Plus (Quasi-Trunking) or Capacity MAX (Trunking). So if you’re intention is to slowly build a Capacity Plus system, this is not the radio for you. On the up side, DP1400 is compatible with IP Site Connect (via Chargeable Licence Upgrade), so can be used with basic multi-site MOTOTRBO based systems.

Ideal for most basic use: Most people will be using their existing CP040 radios back to back (radio to radio) or via a simple conventional repeater based system. The Motorola DP1400 is absolutely the ideal radio for basic level requirements. Our advice to our clients is always – only ever spend what you need to spend.

Motorola DP4000 Series

View @ radiotronics.co.uk: DP4400e, DP4600e, DP4800e

Level: High Tier Systems
Introduced: 2012-2017 non-E Range, 2017+ E-enhanced Range
Price Range: £200 – £500 GBP Depending On Licence Features, Per Radio (As of Feb 2019)
Why buy these: Full Size Robust Two Way Radio, 5-10 Year Lifespan
Accessory Connector: DP4000 Connector

Motorola DP4000 Series

The Motorola DP4400e (previously Motorola DP4400) is Motorola’s leading radio from the MOTOTRBO range. The Motorola DP4400/e directly replaces the legendary Motorola GP340 bringing it’s GP340’s features to their new digital MOTOTRBO system. Just like the GP Professional Series, the DP4000 series is made up of multiple models – DP4400, DP4600 and DP4800.

Which are the GPS/Bluetooth/Man Down Version Models? There are also GPS/Bluetooth/Man Down models of this radio. They’re denominated by a 1 in the model. For example, DP4401 is a GPS/Bluetooth/Man Down enabled version of the DP4400. It’s important to note thatGPS/Bluetooth/Man Down features cannot be retro-fitted. If you will need GPS, Bluetooth or Man Down you must purchase an “1” version radio in the first place.

GPS Note: The GPS feature is only any use when a system is connected to PC based dispatch software (such as TrboNET).

What’s the difference between DP4400 and DP4400e, I hear you ask? DP4400e is the replacement for the DP4400, which is now cancelled by Motorola. Similarly, any DP4000, DP3000 or DP2000 series radio is now cancelled and replaced by DP4000e, DP3000e and DP2000e radios. When you’re looking to buy new radios – you should be supplied “E” models. The “E” models have some significant improvements over battery life, signal range and RFiD features. More information on the improvements on the E-range check out the “what’s new” section in this PDF document.

Motorola DP3400 & DP3600

View @ radiotronics.co.uk: Motorola DP3400, Motorola DP3600

Status: Permanently Cancelled By Motorola
Important Note: Not DP3000 Series

Motorola DP3600

At this point it’s worth talking about the cancelled DP3400 and DP3600 radios. For many dealers, the DP3400 and it’s full keypad sibling DP3600 are seen as Motorola’s stop-gap radio. When Motorola first introduced the MOTOTRBO system, these were the first digital MOTOTRBO digital radios available. Whilst they feature many of the same features of as the DP4000 series; the DP4000 series is the official replacement for the DP3400 and DP3600, and the DP4000 series has all the features from the DP3400/DP3600 and many many more. We would always suggest a DP4000-series radio over a DP3400/DP3600 radio where possible.

DP3000 Series Note: The DP3400 and DP3600 is no longer referred to as the DP3000 series. This is because the DP3441/e and DP3661e not have inherited that title. Read more about the DP3000 series below.

Motorola DP2400/e & DP2600/e

View @ radiotronics.co.uk: DP2400e, DP2600e

Level: Mid-High Tier Systems
Introduced: 2012-2017 non-E Range, 2017+ E-enhanced Range
Price Range: £195 – £350 GBP Depending On Licence Features, Per Radio (As of Feb 2019)
Why buy these: Smaller, Lightweight Robust Two Way Radio, 5-10 Year Lifespan
Accessory Connector: DP2000 & New DP3000 Connector

Motorola DP2000

So what are these? In a nutshell they’re almost identical to the DP4000e series above, just 1cm smaller in height. They’re the same width (ish) and exactly the same depth as they take the same batteries as the DP4000/e series. However, there is no GPS/Bluetooth/Man Down versions. They are MOTOTRBO compatible however, in order to use Capacity Plus an additional licence key (which has a price) is required. Nevertheless, use as a lightweight back to back radio, or use on a conventional repeater based system – these are ideal – and slightly cheaper than their DP4000 series big brothers.

New Motorola DP3000/e Series

View @ radiotronics.co.uk: DP3441e, DP3661e

Level: Mid to High Tier Systems
Introduced: 2014-2017 non-E Range, 2017+ E-enhanced Range
Price Range: £275 – £395 GBP Depending On Radio & Licence Features, Per Radio (As of Feb 2019)
Why buy these: Stubby, Lightweight, Robust Two Way Radio, 5-10 Year Lifespan
Accessory Connector: DP2000 & New DP3000 Connector

Motorola DP3000e

The new Motorola DP3000 series is called “new” because there was once before a DP3000 series – the DP3400 & DP3600 we mentioned above. However, they’re now completely cancelled and these are now what’s referred to as the DP3000 series. DP3000/e series is made up of two radios. DP3441e (previously DP3441, not related to the DP3400 in any way) and the DP3661e – which is the most recent addition.

The new DP3000 series is a very special set of radios in that has almost everything built-in. There are some things that need a licence key to switch on such as Man Down, OTP (over the air programming) etc. But it’s a “1” radio – so GPS & Bluetooth are enabled by default.

The DP3441e is the non-display version of the DP3661e. Other than that they’re identical. They take the same accessory connector as theDP2400/e and DP2600/e – which means if you have DP3X01/e models and DP2X00/e models – you can share accessories between them.

New DP3000E Series Charger Notice: The new Motorola DP3000/e series does not share the DP2000 and DP4000 charger. It actually uses a charger from an older radio – the Motorola GP340 (or more specifically GP344). But the good news is that if you have a DP2000/DP4000 series charger, you can get an adapter for the new DP3000e series – which you can find on our website here or you can see the entire range of DP3XX1E chargers here.

Motorola SL1600 & SL2600 Lightweight Radios

View @ radiotronics.co.uk: SL1600 & SL2600

Level: Mid Tier Systems
Introduced: 2014-2017 non-E Range, 2017+ E-enhanced Range
Price Range: £195 – £345 GBP Depending On Radio & Licence Features, Per Radio (As of Feb 2019)
Why buy these: Stubby, Lightweight, Robust Two Way Radio, 5-10 Year Lifespan
Accessory Connector: DP2000 & New DP3000 Connector

Motorola SL1600

These two are technically display radios. The SL1600 has an “active view display” which is a basic LED pixel based screen on the front of the radio. The SL2600 takes this a step further with a complete display and a limited set of function buttons. These are the lightest radios in the entire MOTOTRBO line up.

The SL1600 and SL2600 do have some differences, however. The SL1600 cannot be used with a Capacity Plus system, but can be used with an IP Site Connect system with a paid software upgrade. Whereas the SL2600 has IP Site Connect function built in and can connect to a Capacity Plus system with a paid software  upgrade.

Nevertheless, when used back to back (radio to radio) or on a basic repeater based system they work identically. Due to their lightweight build design, they only transmit at 3W. But their lightweight design mean they’re ideal for hospitality where a discreet communications solution is required.

Motorola SL4000/e Ultra Portable Fully Featured Radio

View @ radiotronics.co.uk: SL4000e

Level: High Tier Systems
Introduced: 2014-2017 non-E Range, 2017+ E-enhanced Range
Price Range: £250 – £425 GBP Depending On Licence Features, Per Radio (As of Feb 2019)
Why buy these: Lightweight Fully Featured Two Way Radio, 5-10 Year Lifespan
Accessory Connector: SL4000e

Motorola SL4000e

The Motorola SL4000e (previously SL4000) is Motorola’s flagship fully featured lightweight two way radio. It supports all MOTOTRBO system features including IP Site Connect, Capacity Plus and Capacity MAX.

NOTE – UHF Digital Only: The SL4000e (and SL4000) is only available in UHF frequency and only works in DMR digital mode – the SL4000e does not work in analogue mode at all. That, to some, may be considered a drawback. However, if you’re using a UHF digital system anyway, this is not a problem. But it’s something to keep in mind when designing a system.

SL4000e is one of the lightest radios in the range and looks just like a small mobile phone. Ideal for hospitality and catering where a discreet communications radio system is essential.

Programming Motorola DP Series MOTOTRBO Digital Radios

A question we get asked all the time, literally every day, is How can I program/reprogram MOTOTRBO radios?

Motorola MOTOTRBO Software

You don’t need to if you buy new radios from Radiotronics. Here at Radiotronics, we program your new radios FREE of charge. When you buy radios from Radiotronics, we ensure they’re delivered ready to use right out the box.

However, we’re a big believer in customer choice. So if you don want to program them yourself, you’re very welcome to do that. You’ll need a specific programming cable for your radio and a piece of software, aptly called MOTOTRBO Customer Programming Software (CPS). MOTOTRBO CPS is currently at version 16.x. Everything you need to program your radios is available from Radiotronics. And whilst we can’t help you program your radios, we can pre-program them for you so that there’s only minimal things to change.

On our website you can purchase and instantly download MOTOTRBO software and a DP4000 programming cable (for DP4000/e radios) or a DP2000 series programming cable (for DP2400/e and DP3000e radios). You might also need the USB driver for your MOTOTRBO radio.

Note: MOTOTRBO v16 requires Microsoft Windows 7 or above operating system. It’s also worth noting that MOTOTRBO programming software does not work on networked computers operating in the 10.x.x.x IP range.