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Monthly Archives: December 2015

  • Hytera HYT TC-518 OBR unboxing video

    Hytera recently introduced the new OBR series of onsite business radios. This series features two models, the TC-310 OBR and the TC-518 OBR. Their compatibility with the popular Motorola RDX, RM and Kenwood ProTalk Series is an indication HYT intends their OBR radios to compete directly with these models.

    Watch as Danny Feemster introduces the TC-518 OBR and provides a brief overview of the OBR series in this video from Buy Two Way Radios.

  • Icom F1000D and F2000D IDAS Digital Radios

    IC-F2000D.jpgDigital radios are becoming more commonplace in the business radio arena. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is price. As these radios become more economical to purchase, the move to digital becomes more practical. To move things along, Icom recently released a digital version of its F1000/F2000 series. Called the F1000D/F2000D Series, they start well below the price point of the other digital radios in the company's product line.

    Icom touts their new F1000D/F2000D series as slim, compact and lightweight, and they are. Although slightly thicker and wider and, depending on the battery pack, about 20g heavier than the F1000/F2000, they still weigh in considerably lighter than many other radios.

    Like the analog models, the F1000D/F2000D has a large 36mm, 800mW speaker. It also has the built-in motion sensor with Man Down and Lone Worker emergency functions. The two series of radios also share other features, such as the channel announcement function and IP67 water and dust protection.

    The real difference between the F1000/F2000 and F1000D/F2000D is, of course, digital functionality. The "D" series supports IDAS™ digital conventional and Type-D single-site trunking. The digital and analog modes can be programmed per channel. According to Icom, IDAS™ mode utilizes 4-level FSK modulation and the NXDN™ common air interface for true 6.25kHz spectrum efficiency. Programmable IDAS features include:

    • PTT ID (TX)
    • Individual/group calls
    • Radio check (RX)
    • Stun/Kill/Revive (RX)
    • Remote monitor (RX)
    • Emergency (TX)
    • Call alert (RX)
    • Digital voice scrambler (15-bit)
    • Status Call (Power ON/OFF status and GPS request)
    • Voting scan for multi-site conventional operation

    At the time of this article only the base models are available. The F1000D is the 136-174MHz VHF version and the F2000D operates on 400-470MHz UHF.


    The F1000D/F2000D will accept almost all of the same accessories as the standard F1000/F2000 series radios, including earpieces, headsets, speaker microphones, antennas, the belt clip, power supply cable, multi-charger, and even the battery packs. The F1000D/F2000D will take the BP-278 and BP-279 as well as its own BP-280 battery pack.

    One of the advantages of digital radios over their analog counterparts is their considerably lower rate of power consumption, and the F1000D/F2000D is no exception. the chart below instantly puts it all into perspective. Note: Data is based on 5:5:90 operation (TX:RX:Standy) with the power save function on.

    Battery Pack F1000/F2000 Series F1000D/F2000D Series
    BP-278 10 hours 9 hours
    BP-279 14 hours 12 hours
    BP-280 -- 18 hours

    As for what comes in the package, the Icom IC-F1000D / IC-F2000D has the basic essentials, including a Li-ion battery pack, belt clip and a removable antenna. It also comes with a two year warranty from Icom. The F1000D/F2000D are available from Buy Two Way Radios.

  • TWRS-100 - It's All About the Two Way Radios

    Two Way Radio Show
    We celebrate our 100th episode. We also hear what some of your favorite episodes are and conduct a special prize drawing for our 100th episode celebration.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:14

    Discussion Topic 1:33
    we celebrate our 100th episode of The Two Way Radios Show. We talk about the history of show, how two way radios have changed during the past five years, and List our top ten most popular episodes.

    Commercial Break 17:07
    buytwowayradios.com 1:00

    Review 18:02
    This week it's your turn to review, as we hear about some of your favorite episodes for a chance to win a Motorola MWR839 AM/FM Weather Alert Radio or a swag bag from Buy Two Way Radios.

    Prize Drawing Winner 22:40
    We announce the winner of our 100th episode celebration prize drawing.

    Wrap up and Close 24:05
    Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at]buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. Read our Two Way Radio Blog and visit our Two Way Radio Forum. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2015 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • Year end promos on Hytera, Kenwood, and Motorola Business Radios!

    Note: This promotion expired December 31, 2015 and is no longer available.

    Attention Business owners! Kenwood, Motorola and Hytera are currently offering some nice promotions on their business two way radios. This is a perfect opportunity to enhance communications, improve operations and do it all under budget. If you want to take advantage of these offers, you may want to hurry, as these promos expire December, 31, 2015.

    Kenwood Rebate Promotion - Select Kenwood models qualify for rebates from $20 to $35 per radio back on every 6 radios of the same model purchased PLUS a free multi-charger! Offer valid for up to 60 radios.

    Motorola Rebate Promotion - Buy 6 Motorola business radios and get a rebate - $199 on CLS Series, $263 on RM Series, $279 on CLP Series, $320 on DTR Series and $355 on RD Series radios - up to $3,550 in total savings on a maximum 60 Motorola radios purchased!

    Hytera Year End Promotion - Buy 6 or more Hytera OBR business radios and save $40 per radio instantly! save on Hytera HYT TC-310, TC-518-U1-LP, TC-518-U1-HP, TC-518-V-LP and TC-518-V-HP radios!

    These radios are in stock and ready to ship from Buy Two Way Radios. If you have questions or need assistance with an order, please call 1-800-584-1445 weekdays.

  • New Tytera TYT TH-7800 Mobile Radio

    Tytera-TYT-TH-7800.jpgWe've been impressed with the Tytera TYT product line ever since the introduction of their digital DMR handheld radios, the MD-380 and the MD-280. So, When Tytera came to us with the announcement of a new dual band mobile radio, jumped right on it, ordered one in and tested it out. The result is the Tytera TYT TH-7800.

    So far, the TH-7800 hasn't disappointed us, and based on the majority of reviews from our customers who have purchased this mobile, they seem to feel the same way.

    Compared to other dual band amateur mobiles such as the Wouxun KG-UV920P-A, the TYT TH-7800 appears to be a simple radio. In some ways it seems oddly reminiscent of a mobile Yaesu, and when we showed it at several local hamfests, hams who give it a first look agreed. This may be due, at least in part, to a chassis with rounded edges and the orange backlit detachable display. While it isn't outwardly flashy, there seems to be a lot of functionality packed inside.

    The TH-7800 is, indeed, a dual band mobile two way radio. Like many other amateur mobiles in its class, it transmits on the 2 meter VHF (136-174MHz) and 70cm UHF (400-480MHz) bands. With 40 watts on UHF and 50 watts on VHF, the 7800 seems to have the TX on these two bands adequately covered.

    Reception is a bit broader. it receives wide band AM and FM on 108-180MHz, 134-174MHz and 350-520MHz. It supports 800 memory channels (809 to be more precise, according to the manual) and allows settings to be configured independently for each individual channel.

    As a dual bander with separate A and B sides, The TH-7800 is capable of V+U full duplex operation and V+U simultaneous reception, with independent controls for each (left and right) band. Not surprisingly, it can function as a cross-band repeater.

    Tytera TYT TH-7800 Key features

    • Dual Band UHF/VHF transmit and receive
    • 108-180/134-174MHz/350-520MHz (Receive Only)
    • 5/10/20/40W Transmit Power (UHF)
    • 5/10/20/50W Transmit Power (VHF)
    • 809 Memory Channels
    • 8 Group Voice Scrambler
    • Repeater Capable
    • V+U Full Duplex Operation
    • Cross-Band Repeater
    • Power Selectable
    • Companding
    • Busy Channel Lockout
    • CTCSS/DCS Encode/Decode
    • CTCSS/DCS Tone Scan
    • 2-Tone and 5-Tone
    • Backlit LCD Display
    • Backlit Keypad
    • Channel Name Edit and Display
    • Channel Scan
    • Priority Scan
    • Skip Channel
    • Dual Watch
    • Talk Around
    • Auto Power Off
    • Timeout Timer
    • Keypad Lock
    • Audible Button Beeps
    • 3.5mm Speaker Port
    • Cloning Capable
    • PC Programmable (Requires Optional Cable)
    • Programmable Buttons
    • Built-in Internal Speaker
    • Backlit DTMF Hand Microphone
    • Cooling Fan
    • DTMF Encoding and Decoding
    • Remote Front Panel Installation Option
    • Reset

    One interesting feature to note is the inclusion of the Auto Range Transponder System, or ARTS. When another radio equipped with ARTS is within communications range, it notifies both radios. This allows everyone within a group to maintain contact. When the radios move out of range, for more than one minute the radio will sense it and inform you that one or more stations are out of range. This is particularly useful in case of an emergency or Man Down situation, such as a search and rescue operation. ARTS is commonly found on Vertex Standard business radios.

    As for the quality of transmission, we tested the TH-7800 quite a bit on a local repeater and everyone who heard it seemed to really like how it came through. When we first began to transmit, we received reports about over modulation, however, this was quickly remedied by moving the hand microphone a little farther back from the mouth. It seems the pickup of this mic is a bit more sensitive than the hand mics on some other radios, so, if you traditionally hold the mic up close to you during transmit, you will need to back it off a few inches when using this one. Then it sounds great.

    Speaking of audio, one advantage the Tytera TYT TH-7800 has over the Wouxun KG-UV920P-A is the volume control for the speaker. As great and popular as the Wouxun is, the one drawback is the volume adjustment. It isn't very gradual. It is a series of level "steps", and there are fifteen levels. When set to the first level, the audio is so low you can barely hear it. However, when set to the second level, the loudness is increased significantly, much more than one would expect at a second level, and about where one would expect it to be at a level 4 of 5. The volume control on the TH-7800 is more like a real potentiometer, a volume control you would find on just about any other audio device that allows you to adjust the volume very, very gradually, fading the audio in and out. Simply put, you have more control over the volume.

    Like the Wouxun mobiles, the Tytera TH-7800 has a detachable front face plate. This allows you to put the main unit in the trunk, under a seat or in another location, and mount the display in your dash or somewhere else in the interior of your vehicle.

    Programming the TH-7800
    The TH-7800 can be programmed direct from the radio or through a computer via programming software. Although it really is simple to program through the unit itself, If you have more than a few frequencies to program into it or if you are adding more than one repeater, it is highly advisable to get the programming the cable and software. It will make life a lot simpler for you.

    If you really want to program the radio directly on the fly, the chart below will help you navigate and understand the menu. It consists of 42 items. Default settings are bold.

    Menu # Name Menu Item Description Option
    01 (APO) Auto Power Off Turns off radio after set time OFF/0.5H/1H/2H
    02 ARS Auto Repeater Shift Enables/disables the ARS feature ON/OFF
    03 ARTS Auto Range Transponder System Selects the ARTS beep mode IN RING/ALWAYS
    04 BEEP Beep when key is pressed Enable/Disable Beep BEP.ON/BEP.OFF
    05 CLK.SFT Clock Frequency Shift Shifting of CPU clock frequency SFT.ON/SFT.OFF
    06 DIMMER Display Dimmer Set display brightness level DIM.OFF/1/2/3/4
    07 DCS.COD Set DCS Code Sets the 104 DCS code 023
    08 DCS.N/R Set DCS Code Selects Normal or Inverted
    DCS coding
    09 DSP.MOD Memory Channel Display Mode Selects memory channel display mode DSP.FRQ/DSP.NAM
    10 DTMF D DTMF Autodialer
    Delay Time
    Sets DTMF Autodialer
    Delay Time
    50/250450/750/1000 MS
    11 DTMF S DTMF Autodialer
    Sending Speed
    Sets DTMF autodialer
    sending speed
    50/75/100 MS
    12 DTMF W DTMF Autodialer
    Loading of DTMF
    autodialer memories
    16 autodialer memories
    13 HYPER Hyper Memory Enable/disable automatic writing
    feature of Hyper Memory
    14 KEY.MOD Key Functions Selects key functions for
    "right" band function switches
    15 LOCK Key/Button Lock Feature Enable/disable Key/Button lock feature MANUAL/AUTO
    16 LOCKT PTT Lock Feature Enable/disable the PTT lock feature OFF/BAND R/BAND L/BOTH
    17 MUTE Mute Audio Select the audio mute mode OFF/TX/RX/TX and RX
    18 NAME Channel Name Stores name for memory channel Enter name
    19 PG P1 Set P1 Button Program the mic P1 button BAND
    20 PG P2 Set P2 Button Program the mic P2 button VFO/MR
    21 PG P3 Set P3 Button Program the mic P3 button TONE
    22 PG P4 Set P4 Button Program the mic P4 button LOW
    23 RF SQL RF SQL Level Adjust RF SQL threshold level OFF/S-2/S-5/S-9/S-FULL
    24 RPT.MOD Repeater Shift Direction Set repeater shift direction RPT.OFF/RPT.-/RPT.+
    25 SCAN Scan-Resume Mode Sets scan-resume mode TIME/BUSY
    26 SCAN M Scan Mode Sets memory scan mode MEM/MSM
    27 SHIFT Offset Repeater Shift Sets offset frequency of
    the repeater shift
    0.00~99.5 MHz
    600 KHz (UHF), 600 Hz (VHF)
    Shift can be set independently
    for each band
    28 STEP Synthesizer Steps Sets synthesizer steps 2.5-100 KHz
    12.5 KHz
    29 SPK Squelch Mode Sets squelch mode SQ/CTC/TON/C+T and C/T
    30 TONE F CTCSS Tone Frequency Sets CTCSS tone frequency 50 standard CTCSS tones
    31 TONE M CTCSS/DCS Encode/Decode Mode Sets the encode/decode mode OFF/ENC/ENC.DEC/DCS
    32 TOT Time-Out Timer Sets the time-out timer OFF/1~30 min.
    6 min.
    33 TALKAR Talk Around Swaps RX/TX frequencies
    to toggle simplex
    and repeater operation
    34-35 WID.NAR Mic Gain and Deviation Select bandwidth to reduce
    mic gain (and deviation)
    35 X-RPT Cross-Band Repeater Enable/disable cross-band repeater OFF
    36 AM AM Mode Enable/disable AM Mode ON/OFF
    37 AUT.AM Automatic AM Mode Enable/disable automatic AM mode ON/OFF
    38 2TONE 2-Tone memory channel Assign 2-Tone autodialer
    memory channel
    39 5TONE 5-Tone memory channel Assign 5-Tone autodialer
    memory channel
    40 SCR Scramble Enable/disable scramble feature ON/OFF
    41 COMP Compander Enable/disable voice compander ON/OFF
    42 HSD.TYP Tone Squelch Enable/disable tone squelch OFF/2 Tone/5 Tone/DTMF

    The TH-7800 matches up very well to the Wouxun KG-UV920P-A in price. At only $199, this radio seems like a great value compared to $259 for the Wouxun.

    For $199.99 you get the radio, the mic, the mounting brackets and hardware, power cords, extension cord, and owner's manual. The TH-7800 is available from Buy Two Way Radios.

  • Wouxun KG-UV9D and KG-UV9D Plus menu options

    KG-UV9D and KG-UV9D Plus comparison 2.pngThe Wouxun KG-UV9D and KG-UV9D Plus are very similar in operation, except the Plus has the added functionality of cross band repeat. To accommodate this new feature, the 9D Plus has an additional 6 items listed in its menu for a total of 61 items, in contrast to the 55 menu items in the regular 9D.

    There is one catch. The KG-UV9D Plus does not currently ship with its own user manual. Instead, Wouxun put the regular 9D manual in the box. This means the six new menu items included with the 9D Plus are not listed or explained in the manual included with the radio.

    When we first received the KG-UV9D Plus at Buy Two Way Radios, it threw us off a bit, and we knew this could be confusing for our customers as well. So, we contacted Wouxun and requested instructions for these additional items. They are listed in the chart below. Default values are bold.

    New menu options added to the Wouxun KG-UV9D Plus

    Menu # Name Option Values Description
    41 BLCDSW Backlight
    ON/OFF Controls the backlight when in
    standby (default is only little
    backlight for viewing the
    display screen)
    42 BLEDSW Backlight
    ON/OFF Indicates the radio is on when
    the backlight is off in standby
    (green LED light flashes every
    5 seconds when the backlight
    is completely off)
    43 TYPE-SET Repeat
    Selects whether the radio
    is in Transceiver Mode,
    Directional Cross-Band Repeat,
    or Two-way Cross-Band Repeat
    44 RPT-SPK Repeat
    ON/OFF Select whether to open the speaker
    when there is audio received on
    the repeating receiver.
    45 RPT-PTT Repeat PTT ON/OFF Select whether using PTT to transmit
    out when repeating. The repeating
    signal is interrupted while
    PTT transmits.
    46 RPT-KPT Repeat
    Hold Time
    When the signal disappears from the
    receiver, the user continues
    transmitting for a while when
    waiting for response within the
    valid hold time. If there is no more
    signal detected, it stops
    transmitting within the valid hold time.

    The chart below lists the menu items of the KG-UV9D and the KG-UV9D Plus in order. To access the menu in each radio, press the MENU button nd use the UP and DOWN buttons to navigate to the desired menu option or enter the number of the corresponding menu item into the keypad.

    Wouxun KG-UV9D and KG-UV9D Plus Menu Items

    Menu # KG-UV9D Description KG-UV9D Plus Description
    01 ABR:s ABR:s Auto Backlight Time
    02 SAVE SAVE Power Save Mode
    03 STEP STEP Step Frequency
    04 W/N W/N Bandwidth Selection
    05 TXP TXP Transmit Power Selection
    06 SFT-D SFT-D Frequency Shift Direction
    07 VOX VOX VOX
    08 SQL-LE SQL-LE Squelch Level
    09 ROGER ROGER Begin/End Transmit Prompt
    10 TOT:s TOT:s Timeout Timer
    11 TOA:s TOA:s Transmit Overtime Alarm
    12 VOICE-SW VOICE-SW Voice Switch
    13 BEEP BEEP Beep Prompt
    14 MENULANGE MENULANGE Menu Language
    15 BCL BCL Busy Channel Lockout
    16 Rx-CTC Rx-CTC Receiving CTCSS
    17 Tx-CTC Tx-CTC Transmitting CTCSS
    18 Rx-DCS Rx-DCS Receiving DCS
    19 Tx-DCS Tx-DCS Transmitting DCS
    20 SC-REV SC-REV Scan Mode
    21 SP-MUTE SP-MUTE Mute Settings
    22 DTMF-ST DTMF-ST DTMF Sidetone Settings
    23 PTT_ID PTT_ID Caller ID Transmission Mode
    24 ID-EDIT ID-EDIT Editing Caller ID
    25 ID-DLY:ms ID-DLY:ms Caller ID TX Delay
    26 RING:s RING:s Ring Time
    27 ABR-LV ABR-LV Backlight Selection
    28 OFFSET OFFSET Offset Frequency
    29 CH-NAME CH-NAME Channel Name Edit
    30 MEM-CH MEM-CH Channel Memory
    31 DEL-CH DEL-CH Channel Delete
    32 PRI-CH PRI-CH Priority Channel
    33 PRI-SCN PRI-SCN Priority Channel Scan
    34 AUTOLOCK AUTOLOCK Keypad Auto Lock
    35 LOCKMODE LOCKMODE Keypad Lock Mode
    36 S-TONE S-TONE Single Tone
    37 VOX-DLY:s VOX-DLY:s VOX Delay
    38 SC-QT SC-QT Saving Scan Mode
    39 APO-TMR APO-TMR Auto Power Off
    40 PONMSG PONMSG Power On Message
    41 RPT-RCT Repeater Receipt Tone BLCDSW Backlight Standby Switch
    42 SCN-ADD Scan Add BLEDSW Backlight Prompt Switch
    43 SCN-GP Scan Channel Group NO. TYPE-SET Repeat Setting
    44 SCN-MODE Scan Mode RPT-SPK Repeat Speaker
    45 SCN-CD CTCSS/DCS Scanning RPT-PTT Repeat PTT
    46 CALL-ID Call Group ID RPT-KPT Repeat Hold Time
    47 AUTO-AM Auto AM RPT-RCT Repeater Receipt Tone
    48 AM-SW AM Switch SCAN-ADD Scan Add
    49 PF1-DEF PF1 Function Program SCN-GP Scan Channel Group NO.
    50 PF2-DEF PF2 Function Program SCN-MODE Scan Mode
    51 PF3-DEF PF3 Function Program SCAN-CD Repeat PTT
    52 VOLTAGE Voltage Check CALL-ID Call Group ID
    53 QT-SW CTCSS/DCS Scan
    Determine Switch
    AUTO-AM Auto AM
    54 S-MUTE Sub-Frequency Mute AM-SW AM Switch
    55 RESET Reset Setting PF1-DEF PF1 Function Program
    56 - - PF2-DEF PF2 Function Program
    57 - - PF3-DEF PF3 Function Program
    58 - - VOLTAGE Voltage Check
    59 - - QT-SW CTCSS/DCS Scan
    Determine Switch
    60 - - S-MUTE Sub-Frequency Mute
    61 - - RESET Reset Setting

    Additional resources:
    Announcing the new Wouxun KG-UV9D (Plus) Limited Edition!
    TWRS-89 - The New Wouxun KG-UV9D Multi-Band Radio
    Wouxun KG-UV9D Plus Limited Edition unboxing video
    How to set up cross band repeat on the Wouxun KG-UV9D Plus

  • The Icom IC-F1000 and IC-F2000 Series business radios

    IC-F2000.jpgIt's no big secret that the Icom F4011 has been a top selling business radio the last couple of years. Users seem to love the 4011 and its VHF counterpart, the F3011. Well, apparently Icom stepped up its game with the IC-F1000 (VHF) and the IC-F2000 (UHF) radios. As with the 4011, The F2000 could be another best selling Icom business radio, perhaps, at least in part, because it's priced very close to the 4011 and adds another level to its feature set.

    This radio is rated IP67 waterproof and dust tight, which means it can be submersed in up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. In other words, it's completely waterproof. this is an improved rating over its predecessors. The F3011 and F4011 were rated IP54, so the increased IP67 rating on the F2000 is definitely a step up.

    The F2000 is a smaller, thinner radio. It is also lightweight. The F2000 is definitely slimmer and lighter in weight than some of the other portable handheld Icom radios. In comparison to the F4011, which weighs in with battery at about 10.6 oz., the F2000 weighs only 8.47oz. with its battery.This is due in large part to the battery itself.

    The battery is probably the only negative for this radio, but not by much. The F4011 has a BP-232N 2000mAh battery that's rated for about 16 hours of operation. In contrast, the F1000/F2000 uses the BP-279 1485 mAh battery pack, a smaller battery but still rated at about 14 hours of operation. So in order to lose a lot of size and a lot of weight, you're giving up two hours of operation, but fourteen hours is still plenty of operating time for many businesses.

    Another item that factors into the overall weight of the radio is the built-in speaker. As a general rule, a more powerful speaker typically adds a little more weight to the radio. The F2000 has a large 36mm, 800mw speaker, compared to a 500mw speaker on the 4011. It's a lighter radio with a louder speaker. Now that's an interesting twist.

    A louder radio is probably always better, anyway. After all, you do have a volume control. If you don't want to use maximum volume you don't have to, but the option to go with an extremely loud radio is usually a good thing, because there may be a time or place when you may actually need the added volume.

    IC-F2000-2.jpgThe F2000 looks slim and feels light, but is it really that durable? It's an interesting question, because for many radio operators it's often difficult to equate the idea of small size and light weight with durability at the same time. When one thinks of durability and ruggedness, it is easy to assume the radio has to be heavy, feel solid and have the general consistency of a brick. The term heavy duty tends to create an image of something that is large and heavy. Perhaps it's psychological, but it is a common conception, or to be more accurate, a misconception, because it isn't necessarily true.

    Take the the older radios from the late 90's and early 2000's that were bricks (please, take them). They were heavy as can be, but as the years passed and technologies changed and advanced, new materials were developed and new components were invented that are smaller, lighter in weight, yet just as robust as the materials and components found in older radios. So, it's no stretch at all to think a newer radio such as the F2000 could be just as rugged and durable, and even more so, then an older, larger and heavier Icom, Kenwood or Motorola radio. In fact, it makes sense.

    So the chassis quality of the Icom F1000/F2000 is pretty good, overall. What about some of the other specs on this radio? What kind of features are we looking at here?

    For starters, there are several versions of this radio. The IC-F1000/S/T operates on 136-174 VHF frequencies at up to 5 watts. The IC-F2000/S/T is the UHF version, with 400-470MHz frequencies at up to 4 watts output power. The IC-F1000 and IC-F2000 models have 16 channels. The F1000S/T and F2000S/T models feature 128 channels.

    The F1000 and F2000 are the base models. These are most similar to the F3011 and F4011, respectively. The F1000S and F2000S have a display and a simple keypad consisting of four programmable function keys on the front of the radio. F1000T and F2000T include the display, four programmable function keys and full DTMF numeric keypad.

    IC-F2000-3.jpgThe F1000/F2000 features built-in 2-Tone and 5-Tone, CTCSS and DCS signaling for group communications and selective calling. It has voice channel announcement, so you don't have to look down at the radio when you're switching channels. You can hear what channel you're on. You don't have to take your eyes off of whatever you're doing.

    In addition, the F1000/F2000 radio has quiet stand-by and a built-in inversion voice scrambler. It's MDC 1200 compatible, providing for programmable features such as PTT ID, RX radio check and Stun/Revive. It also has a surveillance function, escalating alarm, and eight DTMF memories.

    New to the F1000/F2000 is the built-in motion sensor. This is a very interesting feature with a lot of potential uses. With the built-in motion sensor, the F1000/F2000 series can detect its position, state of motion and non-motion, and can send an emergency signal. For example, the motion function detects if the transceiver is moving or shaking during a chase.

    This radio has an integrated a Man Down or emergency button on top. The lone worker and Man Down functions are programmable. When the button is pressed during an emergency situation, it basically puts the radio in VOX mode so the radio can communicate to the other radios within range. The F4011 and F3011 series did not have that option.

    Icom claims the F1000/F2000 is easy to hear in noisy areas. The combined Man Down feature, the emergency button and ability to hear the radio above louder noises could make this radio a good choice for use in warehouses or construction areas where potential hazardous situations could arise. This may also be useful in schools, particularly these days when there are heightened concerns about school security. Considering the fact that schools are kind of noisy places anyway, such emergency features may be needed on a two way radio.

    When you're talking about 2 watt radios and less, most of the time they are not fully programmable. You're kind of stuck with the 50 to 100 frequencies that are already pre-programmed into them. This Icom is a fully programmable radio. If you have a business operation that needs a smaller, lighter radio but may need to expand in the future and go through a repeater, in many cases you would have to throw all those lower powered radios away and move to something else. But going with something like the F1000 or F2000, if you ever need a repeater, if you ever need to expand your system, this radio will support it. You can just program you radios instead of getting rid of them.

    So it's not just a small, light radio, it's packed with some features, as well. But what about accessories?

    The Icom F1000 and F2000 uses the same, standard two-pin Icom S6 connector, so if you have the F4011 or F3011 radios and want to add or upgrade to the F1000 or F2000 models, all of the audio accessories for your old radios will work with your new ones. Since the F1000/f2000 is also waterproof, there's a waterproof speaker mic available for it.

    There is one thing to keep in mind with the accessories. When you're using an accessory with this radio, the F1000/F2000 may not be waterproof if your using a non-waterproof accessory. You're going to need a specific waterproof type connector to keep that seal over the connector port watertight. Most accessories, particularly aftermarket accessories built for non-waterproof radios, are probably not going to create a water tight seal when used with this model.

    If you don't use an accessory with the F1000 or F2000, you must keep that port cover on the side. You need to have the cover on the side to make it waterproof. It requires two screws to hold it on and it has some sort of grommet on the inside of that side plate cover to keep the water out. A lot of folks don't want to have to put that thing on. If you don't do it, water will get into the radio if it gets very wet or submerged. If you are going to be using the radio without an accessory, it is highly recommended to have the port cover on there just to ensure that you have the full waterproof capabilities.

    The F1000/F2000 series starts at $179, compared to $169 for the 4011, and for an extra $10 you get a lot more functionality. You also get waterproofing. When it comes to the price, the Icom F1000 and F2000 radios are a great value for the waterproof capability alone.

    There is a lot to like about the Icom F1000 and F2000 radios. It's smaller, thinner, lighter, yet durable and fully waterproof. It's a 4 watt UHF/5 watt VHF radio that's fully programmable, can work with repeaters, compatible with a lot of radio systems using MDC1200, and will fit into many different environments and business types, including manufacturing facilities, warehouses, schools, restaurants, retail stores, casinos and hospitality.

    With such flexibility, the F1000/F2000 Series radio has a lot to offer any business or industry. Icom seems to have stepped up their game and taken their radios to another level.

  • Hytera HYT TC-310 OBR unboxing video

    Hytera is the second largest manufacturer of two way radios in the world, and they seemed to have upped the game with their new OBR series of onsite business radios. There are two models currently available, the TC-310 OBR and the TC-518 OBR. These radios are compatible with the Motorola CLP, CLS, RDX and RM series radios, as well as the Kenwood ProTalk Series.

    This unboxing video featuring Danny Feemster is a quick overview at the TC-310 OBR and some of its basic characteristics. It is available from Buy Two Way Radios.

  • Hytera HYT OBR Series Onsite Business Radios

    Hytera just released a new series of analog business radios that are compact, durable, and very price competitive. The Hytera HYT OBR Series Onsite Business Radios are specifically designed to compete with popular Motorola and Kenwood radios in its class. There are two basic models, the TC-310 and the TC-518.


    TC-310-OBR.jpgHYT TC-310 - This is the lower end model with 16 channels. It operates on UHF business frequencies with 1 watt of output power and can cover up to up to 200,000 square feet or 15 floors.

    Features include channel scan, priority channel scan, scrambler, Voice-operated Transmit (VOX),compander, battery save feature, timeout timer, talk back, busy channel lockout and a mini-USB interface. It's also PC programmable with an optional programming cable and software for even greater versatility. The first 7 UHF Frequencies on HYT TC-310 will match the UHF radio factory default frequencies of the Motorola CLS, CLP and RMU series analog business radios. Price: $129.99.

    TC-518-OBR.jpgHYT TC518 - This is the higher end model with 16 channels. There are four variations of this model. These include the 2 watt TC-518-U1-LP (UHF) and the TC-518V-LP (VHF), the 4 watt UHF TC-518-U1-HP and 5 watt VHF TC-518V-HP.

    Features include channel scan, priority channel scan, Voice-operated Transmit (VOX),compander, battery save feature, timeout timer, talk back, scrambler, and busy channel lockout. It's also PC programmable with an optional programming cable and software. The 4 and 5 watt TC-518 models match well with the 4 watt Motorola RDU Series and Kenwood ProTalk radios. Price: $149.99 (2W), $169.99 (4W/5W).


    The TC-310 uses the Motorola single pin M6 connector and is compatible with Motorola audio accessories that use this connector.

    The TC518 uses the two pin M1 connector and uses the same standard audio accessories as the Motorola CLS and RM Series radios., so there is an instant plethora of audio accessories to choose from.

    Each model uses a different Hytera Lithium-Ion battery pack, charger, belt clip, and case specifically designed for that model.

    This chart lists the radios in the Hytera OBR Series and highlights some of their key features. Click on the name or image of each model for details and more specifications on each radio. All models listed in the chart are available from Buy Two Way Radios.

    Hytera HYT OBR Series Onsite Business Radio Comparison Chart

    Model Output FRS/GMRS
    Band Frequency USB VOX
    HYT TC-310 16 1W UHF 400-470 MHz
    HYT TC-518-U1-LP 16 2W UHF 400-470 MHz
    HYT TC-518-V-LP 16 2W VHF 136-174 MHz
    HYT TC-518-U1-HP 16 4W UHF 400-470 MHz
    HYT TC-518-V-HP 16 5W VHF 136-174 MHz

    Additional resources:

    TWRS-98 - New Hytera Business Radios

  • Important VHF marine radio DSC upgrade deadline reminder

    OCEANUS-D-UM415.jpgIf you own or operate a fishing or small passenger marine vessel, the FCC wants to remind you to upgrade your craft with VHF radiotelephone equipment with Digital Select Calling (DSC) capability by January 20, 2016.

    DSC is a system designed to automatically contact other marine vessels and instantly send a formatted distress, safety or emergency alert for rescue. The system is approved for use internationally and is capable of ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore operation anywhere in the world.

    According to the FCC, all fishing and small passenger marine vessels operating in "Sea Area A1 within twenty nautical miles seaward of the territorial baseline along the East, West, and Gulf coasts of the United States, excluding Alaska, and including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota... must upgrade to VHF-DSC equipment no later than January 20, 2016".

    For details, read the official FCC public notice (pdf).

    Fixed Mount VHF marine radios with Class-D (DSC) Digital Select Calling capability are in stock and available from Buy Two Way Radios.

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