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Deep Dive: Motorola SL4010e Product Breakdown

When working in a customer facing environment where appearance is key, it is important to have a radio that is in keeping with staff members’ uniforms. The SL4010e from Motorola is designed for these forward facing workplaces, yet the radio isn’t just a pretty face as it offers a vast array of functionality to help with the daily running of your business.

The replacement for the hugely popular SL4000e which was discontinued in 2019, the SL4010e similarly to its predecessor has the look and feel of a mobile phone. Standing at 121mm in height, 55mm in width and 23mm in depth whilst weighing just 174g means that this is one of the smallest radios available on the market currently. Its small stature doesn’t affect its ability to perform in adverse conditions as it has been tested to MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G, this alongside having an Ingress protection rating of IP54 which ensures a degree of protection against dust whilst also being safeguarded against splashes of water.

Basic Functionality

Before we take a deep dive into the more advanced features of the radio it is important to let you know the basics of the SL4010e. There are 1000 channel slots available on the radio, it is highly unlikely that you would need to use this many as usually a business would only have a maximum of 16 channels programmed, this to make it easier for workers to find the correct frequency without scanning endlessly.

Should you have a larger workforce that is within various teams or operational areas, your channels can be split into groups to allow individual sectors of your business to have their own private channels so that communications do not become crossed. Only available as  a UHF model, due to the SL4010e being digital only this ensures that the quality of communications remains high and offers crystal clear transmissions over extended distances.

The SL4010e radio can also be used in a communications system concurrently with other types of radios. Although this radio is great for customer facing users, it wouldn’t be as ideal in a kitchen or for a member of the door team as they would commonly require a more robust radio.

Carrying Solutions

As mentioned many times previously this radio is designed for hospitality environments, there are multiple carrying solutions that can be used to either keep the radio hidden or make it look as part of the operators uniform which have been listed below.

  • Motorola PMLN6074: Wrist Strap that allows for the user to operate their SL4010e in an instant, although only useful when both hands aren’t required.
  • Motorola PMLN5956: Radio Holster that attaches to a belt or trousers, allows for quick release of the radio when needed or for accessories to be used for hands free use.
  • Motorola PMLN7040: Leather Case that has clear cover over the keyboard and display which ensures the radio stays clean whilst still being able to be used. Accessories can still be used with the radio for hand free use whilst attached to a belt or trousers.

In order for your radio to stay out of sight, the PMLN5956 holster or PMLN7040 case would be the ideal solution for your workers. Pairing this with an earpiece will allow for the user to operate and communicate without having to touch their radio. There are many different options that are available where it comes to earpieces therefore it’s best to choose one that suits your environment. When there are high levels of noise an acoustic earpiece would be best suited as this feeds the sound directly into the ear canal, whereas in a quiet environment an ear hook or D-shape earpiece would be sufficient.

Advanced Features

Moving onto the advanced features of the radio. The SL4010e is Bluetooth capable meaning that it can be used with compatible Bluetooth accessories. The PMLN7851 is the most commonly purchased BT accessory, the style of the earpiece is an ear hook earpiece with microphone and PTT button that not only improves efficiency of communications but looks professional in appearance. Alongside the wireless connection of accessories, the SL4010e’s Bluetooth can also be used to send audio, data and used to track the indoor location of a radio*.  The radio also has the benefit of integrated WiFi which allows for the radios to be updated wirelessly, meaning that communications can continue without having to take a radio out of circulation. *Additional software purchase.

The faceplate of the radio is home to both a full alphanumeric keypad and a high definition 5-line colour display. The screen has a built-in photo sensor that adjusts the screen’s brightness depending on the lighting conditions that the radio is being used in, ensuring that the operator experiences as little eye strain as possible whilst using the radio. When working in a darkened room or outside at night, with the adjusting screen brightness this ensures that the user won’t be disorientated when first activating the screen.

Alongside the adjusting screen brightness, the SL4010e also has a vibrate alert function. This allows for the user to set their radio to vibrate rather than ring when receiving calls or messages, this paired with previously mentioned screen sensor allows for the radio to be used in covert operations or situations whereby you may not want people to be aware that you are in communication with another person.

The full alphanumeric keypad allows for the operator to easily navigate the menus of their device, alongside allowing for custom 280 character texts to be sent to other radios within the network. These texts are commonly used where the message being delivered is less urgent, pre-programmed texts can also be added to the radio to make text messaging even easier with your SL4010e. As the SL4010e is a digital radio alongside the ability to text message, it is also a possibility for users to make both individual and group calls with contacts. Individual calls can be used where a conversation between workers needs to remain private, whereas a group conversation can be used to relay new information or new instructions to an entire team.

Safety Features

Although the SL4010e is marketed as a radio for non dangerous working environments it still has numerous safety features as standard as well as upgrades. An emergency button can be added to the radio so that when pressed an alert will be sent to other radios within the network notifying other workers that the radio user could have a security or safety issue.

Lone worker which does not require an upgrade is a feature that monitors the activity levels of the radio, should the radio be unused for a pre-programmed period of time then a beep will sound on the device. If this beep remains un-responded to then an alert will be sent to other radios within the fleet to notify them that the user of said radio may be in danger. Man down works in a similar way to Lone Worker, although rather than monitoring activity levels will monitor the orientation of the device, therefore if the radio is laid on its side for a pre-programmed amount of time a beep will sound and the same sequence will be followed. Although Lone Worker is a feature that can be added to your radio for free, Man Down is an optional software upgrade that comes with a charge.


In this blog we have already spoken about a few accessories that are available for use with the SL4010e including carrying solutions and the Bluetooth PMLN7851 earpiece.

When choosing a charger there are two different options that are available to purchase. There is the option of purchasing a single charger (PMLN6704), which also has an extra battery slot behind the radio charger for an additional battery to be charged simultaneously. The second option is the PMLN6686 6-way charger, this allows for all of your radios to be kept in a single location whilst charging. Depending on the environment that your radios will be used in it may be worth mixing and matching the chargers you chose, in a restaurant you may want a multi-charger for the majority of radios, but a single charger at the front of house or in the managers office.

Having previously touched on the available Bluetooth earpiece there is also the option of having wired accessories, the environment and levels of noise within it will factor into your decision when purchasing. For workplaces where there are high levels of noise the acoustic PMLN7158 earpiece is inserted directly into the ear canal, this ensuring that all messages will be heard no matter the level of noise. This earpiece also has an in-line microphone and PTT button, allowing for you to communicate with colleagues without having to touch the radio body. For environments where the levels of noise are generally lower, the smart looking PMLN7159 D-Shape earpiece sits comfortably over the ear rather than in it, this earpiece also has an in-line microphone and PTT.

SL4010e Round Up

In conclusion to the SL4010e, as has been mentioned quite often within this blog post the radio is an ideal choice should you be working in hospitality although retail could also be thrown into the mix alongside. An extremely compact yet feature rich radio, the SL4010e is one that wouldn’t look out of place even in high end establishments due to its design. Safety features such as man down and lone worker can be programmed to the radio, although these aren’t entirely necessary as they are more commonly found on devices whereby there is a risk of injury at work. Bluetooth can be used on the radio for a number of reasons including the connection of compatible accessories whilst also allowing for indoor location tracking with the required software.



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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.


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.


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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What Is The Alternative To The Motorola GP340?

In this blog post I will be talking about one of the two way radios that has been leading the market for nearly a decade… the Motorola GP340. If you would prefer, scroll to the bottom of the Blog post for a video summary made by Radiotronics!

What Is The Alternative To The Motorola GP340?

When looking at the dimensions and physical attributes to the GP340 we know that it stands at 137mm tall with a width of 57.5mm. The GP340 has been designed for a comfortable feel in your hand to minimize stretching or discomfort when reaching for the side buttons. Next, on the top of the radio is the antenna, the GP340 can have many different types of antennas but on the video, it showcases the whip and the stubby antenna. A cool fact about the GP340 and the DP1400 is that they have interchangeable antennas, something that isn’t seen on any other Motorola radio pairings. People are likely to use a certain type of antenna for practical reasons, or in a vain way to improve the aesthetics of the radio. The only benefit that can be seen is the whip antenna can offer a slight increase in range, other than this, there is no major difference between the whip and stubby antenna choice.


The GP340 has the possibility of 16 programmable channels, the Switch itself is marked very clearly with bright white numbers and marks which can be useful and easily seen in the dark. Next to this is the power switch which again has the white line across the switch to show clearly the volume level for your radio, when the switch is turned all the way left it is off, but when moved clockwise, you’ll hear a little click which means the radio is on. In order to select volume level, you just rotate the switch up and then back down to your preferred sound output. Another thing that featured on the top of the radio is the emergency button which can be programmed with other features, but this is most likely used for emergency situations as its easily accessible, also because it is red. 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. Further, if one of the radio’s in the fleet has a display, like the Motorola GP680, it can be programmed to display the name of the radio in distress.

Moving on to the right side of the GP340 there is an accessory connector, This can be used with compatible headsets or earpieces. Having an earpiece with an integrated microphone connected means you won’t have to keep touching the radio itself to say something, or if you have to listen closely when there is a lot of background noise being made. If at any time there is not an accessory connected the radio, then a cover is attached protecting it from dirt, dust and water.

On the left side there are 4 buttons. To start off you will be able to see from the photo that there is a large button, this is known as the Push to Talk paddle or PTT for short, this is likely to be the most used button on the radio. The three other smaller buttons are programmable buttons which allow you to add features that best suit your needs. The GP340 was available with a choice of batteries ranging from a basic Li-Ion battery which would last around 8 hours, to larger batteries that can last up to 24 hours.

The next part of this blog post will be comparing analogue to digital two way radios, with our next choice being the Motorola DP4400e. This is the digital replacement for the GP340, similar in style but the only difference being the DP4400e possessing far more modern features to its older counterpart.


There are similar qualities between both radios like the emergency button. Again, this can be programmed with different features. On the DP4400e the switches are a little taller and thinner and they have deeper grooves around the edge which creates easier grip when holding them. The GP340 can be programmed with 16 channels whereas the DP4400e can programme 32 channels which will be accessed through two separate zones. So already, an improvement has been made with the DP4400e when compared to the GP340. Both radios feature 5 tone signalling. This allows you to either talk to the whole fleet or to personally talk one on one with a colleague. This feature is found on most two way radios but if you were going to switch to digital then you have reassurance that you’re not losing important features from the GP340. The GP340 and the DP4400e both have channel scanning, the same channel spacing and VOX (Voice Activation Capability). Both radios have a voice compressor which makes huge differences in the audio quality. The compression creates the whisper feature for the GP340 and the DP4400e, this means you are able to whisper through your microphone quietly but the audio is projected loud on the other side. This is an incredibly useful tool when working in covert and sensitive environments.

Lone Worker is a feature available on both radios. The lone worker feature requires you interact with the radio at intervals; and if you don’t – a call will be sent out to all radios within your fleet to notify colleagues that you may be in danger or even away from your radio at a dangerous or important time. This can be handy when on construction sites or when working as security. Moving on to the left side of both radio’s there are three small programmable buttons which means that they both have the same amount of potential when it comes to the features. The DP4400e has a remote monitor, a transmit interrupt feature and an optional extra, the Man Down feature – however most of these additional features are only available in digital mode – so once you’ve upgraded all of your GP340s to DP4400e’s – these additional features can be activated by simply reprogramming the radio. This shows how much more potential a digital radio has.

If you are using most or even all the features available for the GP340 and you wish to upgrade to digital then we would definitely recommend the DP4400e. Although, if you’re reading this and you’re realising that you don’t use half of the features or even any but still wish to switch to digital then we would recommend the cheaper and much more simple Motorola DP1400. This is from the same DP family as the 4400e, but it is much more simple. The DP1400 is pretty much a talk and receive radio, not a lot more goes into it, which is why it’s cheaper. There are less features that come with the DP1400 and this is why people see it as a cost effective version of the DP4400e.


To conclude, if you are wanting to switch from the analogue GP340 to digital then the DP4400e is the radio for you. But if you’re looking for a more simple digital radio because you don’t need the features then definitely go for the DP1400. It all just depends on your needs and your budget.

Below you can find my comprehensive video on the Motorola GP340, DP4400e and DP1400.

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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…

We have started a Facebook group to hopefully support owners of the now discontinued Motorola Radius GP300 series radios:

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…

We have started a Facebook group to hopefully support owners of the now discontinued Motorola GP340/HT750 series radios:

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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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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Hytera BD305LF – The Best Compact Digital Licence Free Two Way Radio?

Hytera has launched what’s possibly the most compact licence free digital DMR (yes, DMR, not dPMR) business-grade two way radio. Take a look the Hytera BD305LF in the image below.

Great Looking Compact Two Way Radio

Hytera BD305LF

Hytera BD305LF is supplied pre-programmed on 16 DMR446 channels  – that’s DMR446 tier-I, not dPMR like other digital two way radios. That basically means that the BD305LF is ready to be used right out of the box with no configuration needed.

Hytera BD305LF Features

Hytera BD305LF Features

Modelled on some of Hytera’s higher-tier two way radios, the Hytera BD305LF is well designed with all the features you would expect from a professional-grade two way radio. It even has a dealer-programmable button below the PTT on the left side. Front facing speaker and microphone, as you’d expect and a robust channel selector. Check out the feature image above.

Good Range of Accessories

There is a great selection of Hytera BD305LF accessories. From spare batteries to earpieces and an amazing optional extra drop-in charger* – is seems Hytera has thought of everything.

* You get a USB charger with the Hytera BD305LF – the drop-in charger is an optional extra.

Drop In Charger Option

Hytera BD305LF Drop In Charger

When buying the Hytera BD305LF you usually get a USB plug-in type charger included free in the box. However, that’s not always the best solution. A much better solution is the optional extra Hytera BD305LF drop-in charger. This works by plugging the included USB charger into the back. You can then simply slot the radio into the drop-in charger.

And that’s not all! The drop in charger also has an additional battery slot at the back – that means you can charge not only your Hytera BD305LF radio with the battery inside but also charge a Hytera BD305LF spare battery.

Innovative BD305LF Earpiece System

The Hytera BD305LF has an innovative earpiece system is made up from several parts. This is exceptionally handy as you can choose whatever earpiece you want. You start with the Hytera ACS-01 PTT module which plugs into the radio. Then you just choose any of the Hytera ES-02 covert tube earpiece, Hytera EH-01 C-Style Earpiece, Hytera ES-01 Earbud Earpiece or the Hytera EH-01 Swivel-Type Earpiece.

However, if you just want a no-frills basic earpieces, you can go for the cost-effective Hytera EHS-16 earpiece.

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