Month: September 2019

DMR Radio Comparison- Hytera, Motorola & Kenwood

Kenwood, Hytera and Motorola are some of the largest companies to provide us with two-way radios and each of them have their own popular DMR radio. Kenwood’s most popular DMR radio is the TK-D240/340. Hytera has the PD405 and Motorola has the famous DP1400.

First lets start with the Kenwood TK-D240/340. They are both exactly the same in every way except the 240 is VHF and the 340 is UHF. All the features and physical attributes are identical. Both radios stand at 122mm tall, 54mm wide and 34mm in depth meaning it is designed to fit in the user’s hand comfortably. It is thinner than most radios which makes reaching around the radio to other buttons much easier. The TK-D’s only weigh 285g which is pretty light for a taller radio. Looking at features the user has many to choose from. 32 channels comes as standard with both radios through two zones and channel scanning can be used to scan through all the channels in use to hear the next incoming transmission. Rating IP55, the TK-D’s can withstand dust and has limited protection against water. Lone worker is also available to be programmed which allows the user to work safely when working alone. Should the user’s radio be inactive for a pre-set period of time an alarm will sound. If  the user does not respond to the alarm in a set time then an alert will go out to their fleet, notifying them that they are potentially injured or unsafe while working alone. This can work great for many different work environments like a warehouse or as security. Transmit interrupt is available which allows the user to interrupt any on going transmissions in an emergency to notify the fleet. This works well when the channels are busy and there is an emergency. This feature is usually programmed into the supervisors radio as only one or two users may need this feature. CTCSS and DCS prevents unwanted transmissions and digital transmissions from reaching your TK-D340, this can be useful on a construction site where you may have to listen closely to instructions for safety. As well as this, busy channel lock out will also block some transmissions out when the frequency appears or is in use. The user’s receiver could could be receiving another signal but it is muted due to squelch settings. The TK-D240/340 has the time out feature which will electronically prevent the PTT button from being used if it is held down for a long period of time. This stops any damages to the user’s radio and it means that all commands and transmissions should be short and simple.` If the user wishes to talk to someone personally then direct mode is available. This will allow someone to talk directly to a member of their fleet personally to discuss anything private or sensitive. There are many other features available and a great digital feature is the fact that the TK-D’s enables the user to have to separate conversations on the same channel frequency. As we can see the TK-D340 and TK-D240 have many great features available and it is incredibly clever. It is cost effective and can be used in many different ways.

The next radio we will be looking at is one of Hytera’s most favoured radios, the PD405. This radio is much more cost effective than most entry level DMR radios but does it match and keep up with it’s competitors in productivity? The Hytera PD405 stands at 112mm tall, 54mm wide and 28mm so it is a similar in size to the Kenwood TK-D240/340. Weighing 240g the PD405 is lighter than the famous Kenwood radio making it even more comfortable in hand. UHF and VHF is available with this radio meaning it can be used in any work place in any environment. There are many features available with the PD405 that can be used to create more efficient work, better communication and greater safety in the workplace. This radio comes with 16 channels that can be used as analogue, digital or a mix of the two (hybrid). DMR signalling is present which betters the quality of the audio and the connectivity between radios. VOX is available which allows the user to activate transmissions without the need to press the PTT button. Once the user begins to talk the radio will automatically begin to send a transmission. This works amazingly well with compatible earpieces and remote speaker microphones. Lone worker is available meaning this radio can be used for user’s working alone. An emergency button can be programmed into one of the programmable buttons. Once this is pressed an alarm will be sent to the whole fleet which will notify them all of an emergency. This feature can be used as an alarm to evacuate the premises or to keep employees away from a certain area or situation. Roaming is available which allows the user to switch between sites on multi-site conventional systems giving flexible communication between the fleet. There are not many other features available for this radio. The important features are included but it is not quite as accessible as the TK-D240/340 but the PD405 is  much more affordable.

The final radio that I’m going to talk about is one of the most famous radios released and has been at the top of the market since it was released. Motorola’s DP1400. Coming with UHF or VHF this radio can be used in any environment from farming in open fields to security in a city. This radio is affordable and it comes with so many features to make work life even more easier and safe. It stands at 127mm tall, 61mm wide and 42mm in depth making it he largest out of three radios I’ve spoken about. But imagine it is just holding in so much potential! A lot goes into this radio and although it is that little bit larger, it does fit comfortably in hand. The DP1400 can also come in different colours when buying from Radiotronics for an additional cost. Rating IP54 the DP1400 can withstand dust and it has limited protection against water. 16 channels comes as standard and channel scanning can be implemented to allow the user to hear the next incoming transmission from any channel. CTCSS and DCS is present which will block out any unwanted analogue or digital transmissions from reaching the user’s radio. Lone worker can be programmed for those who work alone. VOX is available for anyone wishing to communicate easily and quickly without the need to use their hands. Transmit interrupt is available for emergency announcements to the whole fleet. So the DP1400 has the main features that the TK-D240/340 and the PD405 have but there are many other features like busy channel lock out, digital private line, talkaround, audio gain control available. This radio is more advanced than the others which is why it is so popular in many different countries around the world. It is in the middle for price with these three radios but as it has so many features it could easily have been the most expensive. The voice quality and connectivity is very clear and it does not sound robotic like at all. The connectivity is also great because of the DMR signalling. The DP1400 is easy to use in many different ways in many different work environments and can make a huge difference in any work place. Motorola know how to get the public’s appreciation with a great radio that is also affordable. Many accessories are available with this radio including remote speaker microphones, headsets, earpieces and carry cases whereas with the PD405 there are limited accessories available. The best thing about Motorola radios is that they are built to last. The DP1400 is incredibly robust and will last an incredibly long time.

To summarise we have the very technically advanced TK-D240/340 which is a very strong and reliable radio. There is the more affordable Hytera PD405 that has the important features and we have the Motorola DP1400 which is greatly reliable because of how robust it is.

If you wish to see the comprehensive video talking about this topic and actually seeing the radios in hand then click then see below.

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Pick Of The Bunch: Icom Incorporated

This blog post is a part of our recent “Pick of The Bunch” series. You may have seen these blogs on this website or via our weekly newsletter (You can sign up for this here!) and although they are extremely long and factual (Some people may call it boring), we have covered a range of radios from manufacturers such as Motorola, Kenwood and Hytera.

Icom are our chosen brand for this weeks blog, they are a Japanese company that specialises in the manufacturing of radio equipment. A brand that you may very well be aware of, Icom has been a popular choice for many industries within the UK for a number of years. No matter what type of radio you are looking for whether it be a simple black box or a more complex feature rich ATEX two-way radio there is an Icom option for you.

Similarly to Kenwood, Icom’s way of differentiating a radios frequency band is via the product name. Using the IC-F1000 and IC-F2000 as an example, the former is a VHF radio whereas the latter is a UHF radio, this wildly different from let’s say a Motorola radio. Whereby both UHF and VHF is covered under the same name, for example the Motorola DP1400. For clarity, throughout this blog post I will be talking about both radios by using the UHF (Ex. IC-F2000) product name.

Icom IC-F1000/IC-F2000

As I mentioned this radio in the previous paragraph I will begin with the Icom IC-F2000. This is by far the most popular choice that we at Radiotronics supply due to its many variations. In total there are 6 different models of this radio available to choose from including the IC-F2000 black box model, the IC-F2000S full display and 4-key keypad model and finally the most advanced IC-F2000T that has both a full display and full keypad. All radios are available with both UHF and VHF frequencies.

All models in the IC-F2000 series of radios are built tough, this being a key factor as to why they’re so popular, meaning that they can be used in almost every working environment with the exception of industries such as coal mining or nuclear power where an ATEX radio would be required. IP67 protection rating ensures that the IC-F2000 radios not only have a full Ingres against dust intrusion, but are also fully submergible in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. This alongside being put through various tests to ensure it meets military standard (MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G). These military standards ensure that the IC-F2000 range can continue operating in a wide range of environmental conditions, ranging from snow and sleet at -30°C through to extreme heat in sandstorms and such at 50°C. The military protection rating also ensures that the IC-F2000 is protected against shock and vibrations.

There are many features available to be programmed into the IC-F2000 radios, each with their own way of helping to improve both safety and efficiency within the workplace. Starting simple, every IC-F2000 can be programmed to make use of a channel announcement feature. This is ideal should you be working in an environment that has minimal lighting, when the user changes channel the channel number will be announced by the radio to ensure that the user is transmitting on the correct channel at all times. These announcements are heard from, the IC-F2000 has a large forward facing 36mm speaker giving off an impressive 800mW audio power. This comes in alongside a built-in bridged-mono transformer-less BTL amplifier, delivering loud and intelligible audio even in the loudest of working environments ensuring that a transmission is never missed.

The IC-F2000 has a built in motion sensor that is used to detect its current position, state of motion or non-motion and is capable of sending an emergency signal should an operative be in danger. The motion sensor can also be used in collaboration with advanced features that are available to be programed into the radio such as Man Down and Lone Worker. These features are designed with worker safety in mind, the former monitoring the radios orientation and the latter monitoring activity levels of the radio. How both of these work is explained below.

Lone Worker: This feature monitors the activity levels of the radio. Should the radio be inactive for a pre-programmed period of time an alert will be sent to the user, if this alert is still not responded to then a high priority alarm will be sent to the base station notifying them that the radio user may be in trouble, allowing for fast action to be taken.

Man Down
: Working similarly to the previously mentioned Lone Worker, Man Down monitors orientation rather than activity levels. As suggested by the name should the radio be laid on its side for a pre-programmed period of time then an alert will be sent to the user, if unresponsive then an alarm will be sent to the base station notifying them that their colleague may be at risk.

All versions of the IC-F2000 are supplied as standard with a BP-279 1485mAh Li-Ion battery. A waterproof battery, the BP-279 will supply your IC-F2000 with up to 14 hours of operating time when the radio is used with the power save function activated.

Finally we will discuss the dimensions of all three versions of the IC-F2000 and some accessories that can be purchased to help with usability. Standing at 111.8mm in height, 52.2mm and 24.5mm the IC-F2000 range is relatively compact, and although the F2000S and F2000T have aesthetical differences such as screens and keypads they remain the same size as the black box design of the F2000. Weighing in at just 240g even when the BP-279 battery is attached makes the radio lightweight compared to many other radios that are on the market, this ensuring that it will cause minimal strain on the user should they be carrying it via a belt clip, carry case or wrist strap.

There are many accessories that can be used with the IC-F2000 including batteries, antennas, chargers, earpieces and microphones. Although the radio is supplied as standard with the BP-279 1485mAh Li-Ion battery there are many other options available when purchasing. Both genuine and aftermarket Radiotronics batteries can be purchased, ranging from the lower capacity 1180mAh Icom BP-278 battery through to the highest capacity Icom BP-280 2280mAh Li-Ion battery. The only Radiotronics battery that we offer is the 1500mAh Li-Ion BP279LI. With any radio you’re obviously going to need a charger, options available include single pod chargers (BC213) and multi chargers (BC-214, UK6WAY). The single pod chargers can be used in a vehicle when used with the MB130 charger bracket and CP23L cigar lighter power supply.

Icom IC-F29DR

We will now be talking about Icom’s premier licence free radio the IC-F29DR. This radio is digital DMR446 meaning that for a licence free radio the sound quality is exceptional. There is an analogue equivalent of this radio in the IC-F29SR but we will solely be focusing on the DR version in this blog.

Being a digital radio the IC-F29DR is also capable of talking with analogue licence free radios. When programming the radio it is possible to program 8 analogue and 8 digital channels, this meaning that should you have existing PMR446 radios then your new DMR446 can still communicate with them until they have been removed from circulation. Should you be communicating using any of the analogue channels obviously as the distance between radios increases the sound quality will worsen, but the sound projected when using digital channels will be crystal clear until maximum range has been reached, this in part due to the large 36mm 800mW speaker located on the front of the radio.

Usually when looking at licence free radios they commonly have low Ingres protection ratings, due mainly to them being used as toys or for leisure purposes and not in working environments. What makes the IC-F29DR stand out is the fact it has an IP67 rating. This rating not only ensures that the radio is completely protected against the intrusion of dust, but can also be submerged in water that is 1-meter-deep for up to 30 minutes. Although it wouldn’t be recommended to use a licence free radio when working due to a limited distance coverage, should you be adamant that you want one then the IC-F29DR is more than capable enough of dealing with the rigors of working a construction site.

There are many internal features with the IC-F29DR that help with usability for the operator. When using the radio with the optional HS-94LWP or HS-95LWP VOX Voice Activation allows for the radio to be used hands free should it be needed. Being able to simply speak and your message be transmitted, without having to press the PTT button, allows for users in working environments or partaking in leisure activities where both hands are required to still have adequate communications. This feature also works in louder environments, so should there be a lot of noise where you are then there is no need to worry as the microphone will only pick up on your voice and not the environment around you, this due to the technology within the headsets.

With the IC-F29DR being licence free you would presume that it would be easy to use, and you would be right. For a radio so rugged the operation is extremely simple, this because there are just three main controls… Transmit, volume and channel selection. The simplicity of this radio means that it is ideal for use in working environments where a high turnover of staff is expected or less advanced safety features are required.

Icom IP501H

On the Radiotronics blog website we have often ranted and raved about the introduction of cellular technologies to the two way radio market. Icom released their cellular radio in 2017 named the IP501H, and for a device so small in stature it certainly packs a punch.

As I mentioned it in the opening paragraph of this section let’s get right into the dimensions of the IP501H. The radio stands at just 95mm in height, 59mm in width, 32mm in depth and has a weight of just 240g* means that the IP501H is relatively tiny in size compared to some competing radios in the marketplace. Usually at this point I would say at this point that the low weight means that the radio can be carried stress free to the user via a belt clip or wrist strap, but due to the dimensions and weight mentioned that’s a fairly obvious point to make.

*When standard BP-272 battery is attached.

A running theme with the previously mentioned Icom radios and the IP501H is the IP67 Ingres protection rating. Although it has been mentioned twice before this rating not only ensures that the radio has a full resistance to dust intrusion, but it also confirms that the radio can be full submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. With this IP rating and the radios industrial look and feel, the IP501H would look like it belonged in a variety of working environments. Although commonly used in transportation companies due to the radios unlimited range, the IP501H could be used on constructions sites whether that be for a single site or to connect sites cross country.

Due to the IP501H operating using cellular signals to transmit, this also brings the added bonus of GPS capabilities. Location tracking can be activated when your system uses the Icom UK RMS-Net dispatch solution with this software also providing benefits such as IP Repeater Connection, Radio Recording and Complex Call Routing. Location tracking is a great feature to have should you be using features such as Man Down and Lone Worker with your radios, allowing for the potentially injured worker to be found quickly. If you want to see the full description of how MD and LW work then you can see this in the IC-F2000 section of this blog post.

There are many features that the user of the IP501H will benefit from. Starting with calling features the radio has the ability to perform individual, group and all calls. Fairly simple to gather from the names an individual call allows for a private call to be made from one radio to another, group allows for multiple radios to be contacted and all calls are used to contact every radio within the network. Priority interrupt is classed as an all call, this allowing for a transmission of high priority to interrupt any ongoing conversations to relay an important message, usually used in emergency situations. The IP501H can also make use of a vibrate alert function, this ideal should your work need to remain covert.

A 500 memory address book allows for you to quickly find the person or persons you are wishing to contact, the IP501H is able to store individual and groups whilst also having the ability to store telephones. Not only can you contact the user you need via PTT, you can also send and receive pre-programmed text messages with the IP501H. Common messages that Radiotronics have previously programmed include “Arrived at Location” and “Job Complete”.

Finally a note on an accessory feature, although there are many accessories available to use with the IP501H to help with usability for the operator there is one, technically two, that stand out. Should you purchase the BC-218 charger cradle and the HM-215 Remote Speaker Microphone, due to the IP501H Bluetooth abilities this allows for the radio to be used even when charging due to the RSM being wireless. As long as you are within Bluetooth connectivity distance you can still use your radio as though it was at your side, this can even be done when the radio isn’t in its charger.

Icom IC-F3202DEX/IC-F4202DEX

Because of their appearance ATEX models are usually one of the radios a first time customer will ask about, but ATEX radios are actually only needed in highly dangerous working environments. Before we get into talking about the IC-F4202DEX’s features and functions, I previously mentioned that these radios are for use in dangerous environments. In order for the radio to be used in these environments they need to pass certain specifications and certifications, the codes of which can be found bellow.

ATEX Certifications
Mining : I M2 Ex ib I Mb
Gas : II 2G Ex ib IIC T4 Gb
Dust : II 2D Ex ib IIIC T110°C Db –20°C≤Ta≤+55°C
EN 60079-0 (2012), EN 60079-11 (2012)

IEC Certifications
Mining : Ex ib I Mb
Gas : Ex ib IIC T4 Gb
Dust : Ex ib IIIC T110°C Db –20°C≤Ta≤+55°C
IEC 60079-0 (2011), IEC 60079-11 (2011)

The IC-F4202DEX is Icoms flagship ATEX radio. Commonly with other brands I would be typing now about how this ATEX radio has a much higher IP rating than the others mentioned in the blog, but due to this being Icom this radio has the already high IP67. We don’t need to go over this in too much detail as It has been mentioned 3 times previously, but what this means is that the radio has a full Ingres protection against dust whilst also being submergible in water.

Due to the fact that the IC-F4202DEX is designed for dangerous working environments there are many safety features present. The previously mentioned Man Down and Lone Worker are a possibility, this alongside an emergency button to instantly alert other members of the workforce that you could potentially be in trouble. The Icom IC-F4202DEX also has VOX capabilities, this will allow for the radio to be used hands free when used with compatible accessories. VOX stands for Voice activation allowing for the user to simply speak and their message will be transmitted, this is a feature that is most effectively used in environments where use of the hands is an absolutely necessity, and not in workplaces where the feature would be seen as a novelty as it decreases the sound quality of transmissions.

These radios are very complex and are only required in dangerous working environments. Should you want to learn more about the IC-F4202DEX then you can check out our product page for this and the VHF IC-F3202DEX.

All radios mentioned in this blog post are available to view on the Radiotronics website, should you wish to learn more about any of them you can check out the website here or give our sales team a call on the following number to discuss any queries – 01425 533 533.

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Pick Of The Bunch: Kenwood Communications

Our “Pick of The Bunch” blog series are written to help you get a better understanding of the two way radios available from the world’s leading manufacturers. In this week’s blog we will be talking about the options available from Kenwood, although you may be used to hearing the name Kenwood when talking about car stereo equipment, they also supply some of the best two way radios currently available on the market.

A vast array of radios are available from the Japanese manufacturers, no matter the environment that you are working in Kenwood will have an option for you. Unlike other manufacturers Kenwood’s radio’s aren’t a single product with the option for UHF or VHF, how Kenwood works is the attribute an odd or even number at the start of the product name with odd being UHF and even being VHF. An example of this would be the Kenwood TK-D340 is UHF and TK-D240 is VHF.

Kenwood TK-3401D

The first radio that we are going to be taking a look into is the licence free TK-3401D. Using DMR446 frequencies the TK-3401D is ideal for a variety of working environments these including businesses that offer services such as hospitality, leisure activities and education. With the radio being licence free the TK-3401D as suggested doesn’t require a licence, this saving cost but with a downside to this being that the radios will not transmit as far as many of the other radios that we will be talking about in this blog post due to power limitations.

Exceptional sound quality is both transmitted and received due to both an AMBE+2TE vocoder for audio input whilst a BTL audio amplifier provides 1.5W output both with minimal delay. The TK-3401D also has VOX capabilities, this allowing for hands free usage of the radio should it be required within your working environment. When used with compatible VOX accessories should the user be completing work that requires both hands or be unable to reach for their radio, voice activation will allow for the user to simply speak and their message will be transmitted on their current channel. Something to keep in mind though is that this function needs to be activated when programming the radio, it won’t just work right out of the box unless stated to your supplier you require this feature.

The TK-3401D comes as standard with a 2000mAh Li-Ion battery. With the battery being high capacity it allows for the radio to work for up to 18 hours, thus meaning that no matter the work or activity you are partaking in the battery should be more than sufficient to last. Should the radio begin to run low on charge though, a low battery warning notifies the user that their communications may be about to cut short, allowing ample time for the user to get the radio back on charge or to replace the battery with a spare. Should this not be an option, there is also a battery saver mode that reduces transmitting power and allows for the radio to continue operating for a brief period of time.

Built to IP55 standards means that the TK-3401D has a limited protection against dust intrusion whilst also being safeguarded against splashes of water. Tied in with its black box design not only does the TK-3401D look rugged it backs it up with its IP rating. Operation of the radio remains simple in line with all models available from Kenwood. The face of the radio has both the speaker and microphone whilst the top of the radio is home to the antenna, tri-colour LED for status updates, channel selector knob and also a volume/power knob.

Kenwood TK-D240/TK-D340

The TK-D240 and TK-D340 are digital two way radios from Kenwood, with the latter being UHF and former VHF, these are the most popular current Kenwood two way radios on the market. Depending on the environment you will be working in, this will decide what frequency band is best for you. Should you be working in built up areas such as a city then UHF will be the best choice, but should you be working in wide open lands such as farm sites then VHF is what we would recommend. To avoid confusion, throughout this section of the blog I will be referring to both radios as the TK-D340.

This is yet another radio that takes on the common black box design, the TK-D340 is rugged yet simple to use making it an ideal choice no matter what environment you are working in. Built to IP55 protection standards ensures that the radio not only has a limited Ingres against dust intrusion, but also is protected against high pressure jets of water from all angles. Alongside its Ingres protection rating the TK-D340 is also built to MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G, this ensuring its continuous operation in a variety of weather and environmental conditions, allowing the TK-D340 to operate in temperatures as low as -30°C through to 50°C.

There are many accessories that are available for the TK-D340 that make it an ideal choice of radio. Audio accessories such as remote speaker microphones allow for the radio to be kept at the waist whilst transmitting a message, similarly earpieces allow for any incoming transmissions to be heard directly into the ear meaning that every message received is heard with crystal clear quality first time. Single or multi chargers are available to purchase for use with the TK-D340, your choice will obviously depend on both quantity and the distribution of radios around your workplace.

The TK-D340 despite its ruggedness is a fairly compact radio, standing at 121.4mm in height, 54mm in width and 33.8mm in depth whilst also weighing in at 285g*. Weights and dimensions may differ depending on the battery that you have attached to the radio, but even with heavier batteries the TK-D340 is still capable of being carried via the use of a wrist strap or belt clip.

*Accurate when used with the Kenwood KNB-45L 2000mAh Li-Ion Battery

With 32 channels this allows for sufficient communications between a medium to large workforce. The TK-D340 has the ability to perform channel scanning. With the 16th of 32nd channel programmed to channel scan, when selected the radio will continuously skip through programmed channels until an ongoing transmission is found, once complete the radio will then continue scanning. Key lock can also be used on the TK-D340 to ensure that accidental operation of the radio doesn’t happen.

If you would like to learn more about the TK-D340 then you can check out our comprehensive video review by Jacob below.

Kenwood TK-2000/TK-3000

The next radio I will be talking about in this blog post are the only analogue ones featured, the Kenwood TK-2000 and TK-3000. Yet again the differing names refer to the two bands with the TK-2000 being VHF and the TK-3000 being UHF, for sake of simplicity during this section of the blog I will be referring to both radios as the TK-2000.

An extremely simple radio the TK-2000 is the best value for money device featured within this blog post. A very much “No Thrills” communication device the TK-2000 does exactly what it says on the tin, provides instantaneous crystal clear transmissions whilst remaining rugged and reliable no matter the environment that it is used in. The TK-2000 stands at 113mm in height, 54mm in width and 24.9mm in depth whilst weighing at 203g with the KNB-63L 1130mAh Li-Ion battery attached. Relatively lightweight in comparison to other radios available at this price point, the TK-2000 can be carried via the use of a belt clip or wrist strap with ease.

Features available to use on the TK-2000 include VOX voice activation, this allows for the radio to be used hands free if required when used with compatible accessories. Busy channel lock out ensures that should a channel currently have a transmission ongoing then you will not be able to transmit until the other user has finished, this ensures efficiency with communications as it doesn’t allow for cross communications.

Kenwood NX-3220/NX-3320 Range

The Kenwood NX-3220 and 3320 range of two way radios are an advanced set of two way radios each with their own characteristics. A black box, partial keypad with screen and full keypad with screen models are available for both UHF and VHF bands. Similarly to the Kenwood TK-D240 and TK-D340 the NX-3220 is the VHF model and the NX-3320 is the UHF model, the only difference in naming being that the second number is the indicator. To make the reading of this part of the blog easier I will be referring to both UHF and VHF versions of the radio as the NX-3220.

Due to the three different models of NX-3220 radios having relatively similar features I will be talking about those features here, should you want to learn more about the aesthetics of these radios they will be discussed further down in the blog.

The main talking point of the NX-3220 range of radios is the fact that it is GPS compatible. Ideal should you be working in environments where workers have potential for their security or safety be at risk. When used in collaboration with a dispatch solution, radios can be monitored to their exact location whether that be city wide or within a working site. GPS is ideal for working alongside such features as Man Down and Lone Worker (Explained Below), this will allow for fast response to ensure that risk of fatality or injury is minimised.

Lone Worker: This feature monitors the activity levels of the radio. Should the radio be inactive for a pre-programmed period of time an alert will be sent to the user, if this alert is still not responded to then a high priority alarm will be sent to the base station notifying them that the radio user may be in trouble, allowing for fast action to be taken.*

Man Down: Working similarly to the previously mentioned Lone Worker, Man Down monitors orientation rather than activity levels. As suggested by the name should the radio be laid on its side for a pre-programmed period of time then an alert will be sent to the user, if unresponsive then an alarm will be sent to the base station notifying them that their colleague may be at risk.*

*Does not require dispatch solution but effectiveness greatly improved when used with GPS.

The NX-3220 range has an amass of features that can help with usability of the radios for operators. Busy channel lockout ensures that transmissions do not cross to help conversations flow, should someone already be transmitting on your selected channel then you will not be able to interject until they have finished talking, cutting out the chance of potentially irritating repeats of instructions. Another feature to make use of with the NX-3220 is “Key Lock”, by the press of a button all functionality of your radio will be locked to ensure that no accidental transmissions are made when carrying the radio, this ensures that channels are kept free for people who actually need to be using them. Alternatively a time out function will automatically cut out an ongoing transmission should it go on for too long, this could be through accidently press of the PTT button or just a colleague rambling.

Designed for use in harsher working environments these radios are built to IP67 rating. This rating ensures that the radio has a full Ingres protection against dust intrusion whilst also being protected against submersion in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

A final note being on the large collection of accessories available for use with the NX-3220 range of radios. Towards the bottom of each product page on our website you can see accessories that fit each radio specifically including such items as chargers, batteries, antennas, belt clips, carry cases, earpieces, microphones and much more. The only differing factor is with antennas you obviously need to purchase one for your selected frequency band (UHF/VHF) whilst also, should your radio have a screen and keypad a case that would still allow for use of this would need to be purchased.

An additional note on accessories for this radio is that Bluetooth comes readily installed to this radio, meaning that it can be used with selected wireless accessories.

NX-3220E3 & NX-3320E3

The most basic of the three styling choices of the NX-3220, the E3 takes on a black box design allowing for grab and go use of the radio with minimal training required. Aesthetically the face plate of the radio has both a speaker and microphone for incoming and outgoing transmissions. On the top of the device next to the antenna is both a channel selector knob and volume control knob, the latter of the two doubling up to power on the radio. There is also both a 7-colour light bar on the top panel of the NX-3220E3 whilst also having a status LED indicator.

For sending transmissions with the NX-3220E3 there is a large textured push to talk button on the left hand side of the radio, this alongside an emergency button that can be programmed to send out an alert should a radio user have an issue with safety or security. The NX-3220E3 also has two programmable buttons, these allowing for such features as “Talk Around” to be quickly accessed should the system you are using’s repeater to be out of action, bypassing the repeater and sending transmissions straight to other radios within the fleet.

NX-3220E2 & NX-3320E2

This model is the midway point of the NX-3220 range of two way radios. The E2’s only aesthetical difference to the E3 is the faceplate, with it having both a partial keypad and screen allowing for the user to easily manoeuvre around various menus and options available with the radio. As mentioned the partial keypad various functions including a menu access button to the top left, a back button to the top right, a home button bottom right and an enter key to the bottom left. These buttons are all placed to the side of a large 4 direction arrow key. The screen that is on the faceplate of the NX-3220 allows the user to navigate previously mentioned menus, this whilst also allowing the user to see signal strength, channel number and various call signs allowing for you to see whatever information you are looking for at a glance.

NX-3220E & NX-3320E

Finally is the most advanced radio of the three the NX-3220E. A full numerical keypad opens up the possibilities when using the radio, allowing for text messages to be sent to other radios alongside the ability to talk via voice with the push to talk button. Not much more can be said about the NX-3220E but should you be looking for a radio from Kenwood that supplies top of the range communications whilst being packed full of features then look no further than the NX-3220E.

Kenwood TK-D740/TK-D840

The final radio from Kenwood that we will be talking about today is the mobile TK-D740 and TK-D840, the latter being UHF and the former VHF these are the most popular mobile radio available from Kenwood. As has previously been said in this blog post due to the two different names for frequency bands, I will be referring to both radios as the TK-D840.

Ideal for use in a variety of working environments the TK-D840 is most commonly found within a vehicle. Mountable on a dashboard or within a DIN mount, the simple design makes it a great choice because it is less distracting to drivers. Aesthetically the TK-D840 has a two-digit numerical display showing the current transmitting channel, with an up and down arrow to the left allowing for the user to easily change channels when required. The radio in question is supplied with a remote speaker microphone, this allowing for the operator to send transmissions without having to fiddle with the radio itself providing they are on their desired channel. The TK-D840 is also great for use as a base station for supervisors, if the user isn’t required to move whilst using the radio then having a powerful mobile radio such as the TK-D840 makes logistical sense.

32 channels are split over 2 zones with the TK-D840, this allowing for it to be used by a larger workforce. A channel scan function can be programmed to one of your channels allowing for the radio to quickly cycle through channels looking for transmissions, once a transmission is found the radio will stop, listen to the transmission, and then continue with its scan until the next is found.

One final feature to talk about with the TK-D840 is Lone Worker. Although this is a fairly basic radio one feature that is of great benefit to both the user and the workforce is lone worker. I have previously explained this feature within the blog post, but briefly how this works is that should the radio be inactive for a pre-set period of time then an alert will be sent to the radio, if not responded to then an alarm will be sent to a base station with high priority, this ideal should it be mounted in the cab of a vehicle as it will allow for the base to know should the driver be left in danger.

All radios mentioned in this blog post are available to view on the Radiotronics website, should you wish to learn more about any of them you can check out the website here or give our sales team a call on the following number to discuss any queries – 01425 533 533.

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