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The Best Motorola Radios For Different Work Environments

In this blog I will be comparing different radios which provide the best benefits in different working environments. Teaching, construction sites and hospitality will be some of the environments that are mentioned in this blog. If you are wanting to know which radio to use that would fit best in your work place, then this should help you in your decision making.

Schools And Colleges

In schools and colleges, the teachers are responsible to keep all the students safe as well as teaching them, meaning a reliable radio is essential to keep in touch with your colleagues for all health and safety reasons. There are many variations when it comes to two way radios so buying or renting the right one for your needs is important. Different situations can require a radio when in a school atmosphere. School trips, fire drills and lunch are all very important times to have a two-way radio to keep constant communication with your colleagues.

The first two-way radio that is useful in all these situations is the Motorola XT420. This two-way radio is licence free which means it would be more useful for small schools or colleges because they have smaller distance requirements. The XT420 is a very simple and easy to use radio with only the essential features that employees require. Channel spacing and VOX (voice activation) comes programmed with the radio which means you can include or exclude channels from the scan and you can activate the audio just by using your voice making the radio itself very easy to operate. The XT420 is affordable and licence free, so it is very cost effective if you require a large amount of the radios. Licence free radios can only reach around 800 yards which could be most useful when the students are having their lunch or break. The limited range on the licence free XT420 is one of the reasons why the price is so low compared to a licence radio where the frequency can range around a mile long.

For larger schools and colleges, a two-way radio with a longer range may be needed therefore requiring a licence. So we recommend the Motorola SL1600 compact digital radio which is more expensive but for good reason, this because it comes with Lone Worker potential whilst also having the same channel scanning and VOX that comes with the XT420. The SL1600 can reach much further in range which is around a mile long, this could be very useful when on school trips. On a school trip, teachers and the students may split up into different groups when walking around meaning constant communication is essential to keep everyone safe, the SL1600 allows that but on a much larger scale. And because the SL1600 is a compact and small radio means that practically, it is a great radio because a teacher is not going to want a huge ‘construction site’ type radio on their waist when that sort of size is not needed.

Security

Moving on to security, more requirements and features need to be met when it comes to the radio you wish to use and many of these features are available on the Motorola DP1400 which is an analogue/digital two-way radio. 16 channels are available on the DP1400 which is a reasonable amount for a security team. Being in security, a lot of situations can arise which can be dealt with quick when using some of the features on the DP1400, like the emergency button. The way in which an emergency button works is that once pressed, a signal will go to all of your colleague’s radios, this indicating that you are in need of assistance. This is not found on other radios like the ones previously spoken about on the schools and colleges section. The DP1400 has features that improve the audio quality and the connectivity like channel scanning, VOX and an accessory connector. This allows you to connect an ear piece with an integrated microphone meaning you can hear the audio directly to your ear and speak through the attached microphone minimising movement. The accessory allows your surveillance to be as discrete as possible which ultimately protects you as the security. There is not much more that goes into the DP1400 as it is a very simple two-way radio.

Although the Motorola DP2400e is more expensive it has many more features compared to the DP1400 which are available to be programmed into the radio. In analogue mode the DP2400e has 5 tone signalling which allows you to talk to the whole fleet or to one personal members, this can be essential if confidential information needs to be passed to another colleague. The DP2400e has an accessory connector that can be used the same way as the DP1400 which is great for discretion, but the DP2400e has a compact design which means it is smaller and even more discrete compared to the DP1400. Depending on the environment you may be working in, means you need to choose the type of band your radio operates on. If working in an open environment a VHF (very high frequency) radio is suffice, whereas if you may be working in a city or a built up area then a UHF (ultra high frequency) radio is what you need to breach the structures for a good audio connection. Both the DP1400 and the DP2400e is available with both of these frequency types.

Building And Construction

On a construction site a robust and reliable two-way radio is needed in case of any accidents when working at heights or dangerous environments and the Motorola DP4400e is the radio we recommend. The DP4400e comes with 32 channels which is accessible through two zones but along with that, comes many features that are useful when working on construction sites. This includes, Bluetooth, VHF or UHF, lone worker, 5 tone signalling, emergency button, transmit interrupt and much more that are listed on our Motorola DP4400e page. Some of these features are very helpful for your personal safety when working alone or at heights or if you have an accident like the previously mentioned emergency button which becomes useful to notify your fleet quickly. The radio itself is very strong and durable and has a great grip which prevents yourself dropping the radio.

If you are wanting a smaller compact two-way radio then we recommend the Motorola VX-261. Because of its size the VX-261 can be easier to hold and practically easier to use but it comes with a lot less features compared to the DP4400e. The connection and audio quality is very similar as both radios have channel scanning and VOX but if you’re not needing all the features available on the DP4400e then choose the more affordable and simple VX-261. Probably one of the most important features available on two way radios is the lone worker and this is available on the VX-261. The lone worker feature is able to send a pre-determined signal, for example a distress call or alarm, to other radios in range, and it requires some type of interaction from the radio user after a period of radio inactivity. This is useful when working and you need to know your colleagues are with their radio. Finally, both the DP4400e and the VX-261 are only acceptable to use with a licence.

Hospitality

When it comes to working in a hotel, restaurant or private events you may need less features like the emergency button and more features that require quick and simple connectivity. The Motorola SL4000e brings a great amount to the table when we talk about easy communication. As you can see on the picture that it has a keyboard and a large screen which allows you to send text messages from radio to radio. This can be very useful when you are part taking in any covert, sensitive environments because it means you won’t have to talk during a convention or a workshop when a guest is appearing and presenting to a large crowd. This ultimately allows your customers or guests to have the best service without any interruptions. As well as this the SL4000e has a lot of other features that come in handy when working. Integrated Bluetooth 4.0 LE for wireless and data, up to 1000 channels, UHF, covert mode, man down and enhanced privacy are just a few of the features that are available for the sleek and slim designed SL4000e.

Although the Motorola SL1600 has already been spoken about in the ‘Teaching and Colleges’ section, it does need to be mentioned now as it is a great cost effective alternative to the SL4000e. As it is so compact and small it can come in very handy when working in a hotel or restaurant because it wont get in the way when you are working. It has a few similar qualities to the SL4000e but it doesn’t have a screen. It has channel scanning and VOX which is available on most two way radios and it does have very clear audio. As we already know it is available with the Lone worker feature that could be useful when checking everyone in your fleet is with their radio and available to talk which is good for organisation. The SL1600 is much more affordable compared to the SL4000e but again, you will be loosing the screen and keypad feature.

 

If you are wanting any more information about the two way radios that have been mentioned, then see the links below to each of the radios specific page. To see pages specifically on each of these environments then go to our information page and click sectors.

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Hytera PD3 & PD4 Programming Software Versions 1 & 2 – What?

If you’ve reached this article the chances are that you’re wondering what is going on with Hytera’s lastest, non backwards compatible programming software release. Hytera, in their wisdom has decided to create a whole new version of their programming software for the PD3 and PD4 series. They’ve done the same for their PD5/6/7/9 series too, but this article concentrates only on the PD3 & PD4 programming software.

Watch this youtube video for an explanation about what they heck is going on!

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SOLVED / SOLUTION – Prolific USB to Serial Issue – This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)

Over the last few years, mainly since the launch of MS Windows 8.1 and then MS Windows 10, some people have been having an issue with their Prolific USB to Serial programming cables. We’ve thoroughly investigated this issue and found that the solution on this page is the best solution that works in almost all circumstances when dealing with the This Device Cannot Start (Code 10) issue. By The way, there’s a video at the bottom of this page…

How To Identify The “This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)” Issue?

As seen in this screenshot, to identify your issue with your Prolific cable is the “This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)” Issue, you simply need to open device manager, look in the Ports (COM & LPT) category and look for the orange or yellow triangle next to your Prolific device. See the screenshot below.

SOLVED: Prolific USB to Serial - This Device Cannot Start (Code 10) Issue Solution

What Causes The Prolific Code 10 Issue?

The Prolific USB to Serial cable Code 10 (This Device Cannot Start) Issue is caused when the wrong driver is installed automatically by Microsoft Windows. As you can see in our video (see below), when we first plugged in our Prolific cable, Windows installed the latest driver version. However, the cable hardware pre-dates the latest driver. That means you have to backdate the driver to a previous version.

How Do I Backdate The Driver?

We have created a YouTube video showing exactly how to backdate your driver and solve the Code 10 (This Device Cannot Start) Issue. Take a look at the Youtube video.

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An (Almost) Complete Guide to Motorola Two Way Radios

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.

 

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Base Station Two Way Radios, Power Supplies, Base Microphones & Antenna Solutions

A question that gets asked very frequently is “Do you sell base station two way radios?”. The fact is that, other than talk through radio repeaters and some HAM radios, there are no actual business type base station two way radios – certainly not on the market right now.

Question: But how come I’ve seen base station two way radios in control rooms and taxi offices? Like this one?

Base Station Two Way Radio

If you look closely, you’ll see that this is actually a mobile radio (like one you see in a taxi or lorry) sat on top of a base stand that has a built-in power supply. So when we say there are no base station two way radios, that’s not strictly true – but it does mean that you can build your own (or we can build it for you). Then you simply select a base station microphone instead of a handheld microphone.

We sometimes call this setup a “fixed mobile”, “base station mobile”, a “dispatch radio” amongst many more names. But they all mean a mobile radio with a mains power supply and microphone. Do you have some more names for base station two way radios – let us know in the comments.

So what’s needed to make a base station two way radio?

Here’s a handy list of what you need for a two way radio base station. The principles of this guide can also be applied to CB radios and Amateur (HAM) radios.

1) Mobile Vehicular Type Radio

Motorola Vehicle Type Mobile Radio

Almost all manufacturers of two way radios make a vehicle type mobile radio, as well as portables. All mobile vehicle type two way radios operate on a 12-13.8v D.C. power supply. In order to use this with a mains supply you’ll need a power supply unit (or PSU).

2) Mains to 13.8v Regulated Power Supplies

There are three different types of power supply see below.

2.1) Power Supply Unit (PSU)

Alfatronix makes a very innovative power supply called the Alfatronix AD power supply. The AD is a two way radio stand, power supply and backup battery charger. The model in the picture below is the Alfatronix AD “universal” version. But they make a specific version for the most popular Motorola, Hytera, Kenwood and Icom radios.

Alfatronix AD Universal Power Supply

The main benefit of the Alfatronix AD series power supplies is that they also have a backup battery connection where you can hook up a lead-acid battery. The battery will stay charged whilst the mains is connected. If the mains fails, the backup battery will kick in and power the radio.

2.2) Alternative – Encased Type PSU

There are many encased type power supplies. But the most notable are made by Samlex – see here on our website.

Samlex Two Way Radio PSU

The Samlex Encased style power supplies are fantastic as they position the radio around 1cm (approx. 1/2 inch) above the PSU which reduces the chance of noise from the PSU affecting the radio. You can also position a hand held microphone clip to mount a handheld microphone on the side; or you can choose a base station microphone (as shown below).

3) Selection of Microphone

You can choose one of two different types of microphone. Handheld microphones and Base station microphones. Almost all of the most popular vehicle based two way radios can be purchased without a microphone. That means you can choose the microphone you’d prefer rather than settle for the microphone you’re given.

Base Station Two Way Radio Base Microphone

Here at Radiotronics, we strongly recommend a Base Station type microphone. This is because base station microphones can help reduce fatigue, but also typically develop less faults over time and work out cheaper in the long run.

4) Antenna

The last, and most arguably most important, piece of the puzzle is the Antenna. When using a base station radio, you have two options for antenna.

Short range: If you want only short range; for example, you’re operating via a repeater or you’re operating without a repeater but your other radios are within a few hundred yards, you could consider a short rubber type antenna (shown on the base station unit above). We offer some great “right-angle” type rubber duck stubby and whip antennas from as little as £10+VAT. It’s worth noting that you’re unlikely to get much of a signal and these type of antennas only really work up to a few hundred yards at the most. But they’re ideal for repeater-based radio systems.

Medium to Long Range: If you need long range, then the only real option is a large high-gain outdoor antenna. The cost purely depends on the height and quality of antenna. We can advise further if you provide us a few details when contacting us.

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Hytera Digital Radio Programming Guide

Hytera Logo

Programming radios can be a minefield. So we’ve put together this useful guide to Hytera programming cable and software guide.

Hytera’s DMR digital radios are split into two types, entry tier and mid to high tier. The entry tier is made up of the PD3xx and PD4xx series. The mid to high tier consists of PD500, PD600, PD700, PD900 portable radios, DM615/625 and DM785 series mobile radios and finally RD625 and RD985 repeaters.

Hytera Programming Guide

Radio Name Cable Software Driver
Entry-tier Series Portable Radios
PD355, PD365, PD375 PC69 PD3 / PD4 Software PD3 / PD4 Driver
PD405, PD485 PC76
Mid to High Tier Series Portable Radios
PD505, PD565 PC63 DMR Software DMR Driver
PD605, PD665, PD685, X1p, X1e PC45
PD705, PD755, PD785, PD985 PC38
Mobile Radios
MD615, MD625 PC109
MD665, MD785 PC47
Repeaters
RD625 PC75
RD985 PC47

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New Universal Motorola Analogue Radio Programming Cable

Radiotronics has developed this amazing multi-radio analogue programming cable for almost all analogue Motorola two way radios that removes the need for a Radio Interface Box (RIB) and hence is considered a “RIB-Less Cable”.

> You can buy the Universal Motorola Analogue Programming Cable here

Compatible Radios Include

  • GP-Professional Series: GP340 & GP640
  • GP-Professional Compact Series: GP344 & GP388
  • GM-Professional Series: GM340 & GM640
  • CP-Commercial Series: CP040
  • CM-Commercial Series: CM140, CM340

Programming Software

This cable does not usually include the programming software. The correct software is as follows, which can be purchased from our website separately.

What Else Do I Need?

USB to Serial Adapter? You will need a computer with a serial RS232 port that looks like the image below. If you don’t have an RS232 port on your computer, you will need a USB to Serial cable which we also sell (click here).

> You can buy the Universal Motorola Analogue Programming Cable here

Note: For analogue radios only.

Note 2: Only suitable for programming. Not suitable for upgrading radio firmware.

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Motorola Housing Front Cover Guide

Motorola offer housing (front cover) kits for almost all of their portable and mobile two way radios. But it is an absolute minefield of part codes. For this guide we’ll concentrate on rehousing kits, that’s complete kits, not the components themselves.

This article is work in progress. If you have a radio not listed, email spares@radiotronics.co.uk wth your model of radio.

What’s the difference?

A two way radio housing kit from Motorola usually contains quite a few parts that makes changing the housing relatively simple.

GP Professional Series

Model(s) Part Code RRP Comments
GP320 PMLN4253A £16.80 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
1364279B02 £1.60 GP320 Name Badge
GP330 PMLN5135A £24.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
3380660Z12 £1.00 GP330 Name Badge
GP340
GP640
PMLN4216G £39.50 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
1364279B03 £1.00 GP340 Name Badge
1364279B06 £1.20 GP640 Name Badge
GP360 PMLN4302F £59.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
1364279B04 £1.00 GP360 Name Badge
GP380
GP680
PMLN4304G £122.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
1364279B05 £1.00 GP380 Name Badge
1364279B07 £1.00 GP680 Name Badge
Other Spare Parts
All Models 3680529Z01 £2.10 Volume Knob
3680530Z02 £2.10 Channel Knob
HLN9820A £4.00 Dust cover (also known as 1586059A01)

GP Professional Series (Compact)

Model(s) Part Code RRP Comments
GP344 PMHD4004C £106.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included (There’s also a rare 4-channel version, part code PMHE4024)
3385959Z07 £1.40 GP344 Name Badge
GP644 PMHE4006D £106.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
3385959Z09 £1.40 GP644 Name Badge
GP388 PMHD4005 £77.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included (There’s also a rare 4-channel version, part code PMHD4004)
3386098Z05 £1.40 GP388 Name Badge
GP688 PMHE4007 £230.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
3386098Z09 £1.40 GP688 Name Badge
Other Spare Parts
All Models 3680529Z01 £2.10 Volume Knob
3680530Z02 £2.10 Channel Knob
JMLN4638A £4.00 Dust cover

DP4000 (non-E) Series

The DP4000 (non-E) series has 6 models and does not have a front name badge. The model badge is on the rear of the radio on the top Back Panel above the battery.

As an example, to fully refurbish a DP4400 you would need 1x PMLN5691 housing, 1x 15012092001 back panel, 1x 36012004001 volume knob, 1x 36012005001 channel knob and finally, 1x 15012157001 accessory socket dust cover.

Model(s) Part Code RRP Comments
Housing Kits
DP4400 PMLN5691 £27.00 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015013 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4401 PMLN6111 £23.00 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015016 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4600 PMLN5690 £91.00 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015014 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4601 PMLN6112 £94.00 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015017 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4800 PMLN5961 £90.00 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015015 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4801 PMLN6116 £94.00 Name Badge Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015018 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
Other Spare Parts
All Models 15012092001 £1.50 DP4000 Name Badge Back Panel (Above Battery)
36012004001 £1.40 Volume Knob
36012005001 £1.80 Channel Knob
15012157001 £6.00 Dust cover

DP4000-E (Enhanced) Series

The DP4000-E (Enhanced) series has 6 models and, similar to the non-E series, does not have a front name badge. The model badge is on the rear of the radio on the top Back Panel above the battery.

As an example, to fully refurbish a DP4400e you would need 1x PMLN7323 housing, 1x 15012092001 back panel, 1x 36012004001 volume knob, 1x 36012005001 channel knob and finally, 1x 15012157001 accessory socket dust cover.

Model(s) Part Code RRP Comments
Housing Kits
DP4400e PMLN7323 £19.80 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015052 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4401e PMLN7361 £21.50 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015053 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4600e PMLN7453 £43.00 (UHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
PMLN7420 £42.50 (VHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015054 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4601e PMLN7452 £44.00 (UHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
PMLN7419 £43.50 (VHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015055 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4800e PMLN7426 £56.14 (UHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
PMLN7322 £42.50 (VHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015056 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4801e PMLN7427 £42.50 (UHF) Name Badge Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
PMLN7360 £43.50 (VHF) Name Badge Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015057 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
Other Spare Parts
All Models 15012092001 £1.50 DP4000 Name Badge Back Panel (Above Battery)
36012004001 £1.40 Volume Knob
36012005001 £1.80 Channel Knob
15012157001 £6.00 Dust cover

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