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!
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.