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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 PackF1000/F2000 SeriesF1000D/F2000D Series
    BP-27810 hours9 hours
    BP-27914 hours12 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 #NameMenu ItemDescriptionOption
    01(APO)Auto Power OffTurns off radio after set timeOFF/0.5H/1H/2H
    02ARSAuto Repeater ShiftEnables/disables the ARS featureON/OFF
    03ARTSAuto Range Transponder SystemSelects the ARTS beep modeIN RING/ALWAYS
    04BEEPBeep when key is pressedEnable/Disable BeepBEP.ON/BEP.OFF
    05CLK.SFTClock Frequency ShiftShifting of CPU clock frequencySFT.ON/SFT.OFF
    06DIMMERDisplay DimmerSet display brightness levelDIM.OFF/1/2/3/4
    07DCS.CODSet DCS CodeSets the 104 DCS code023
    08DCS.N/RSet DCS CodeSelects Normal or Inverted
    DCS coding
    09DSP.MODMemory Channel Display ModeSelects memory channel display modeDSP.FRQ/DSP.NAM
    10DTMF DDTMF Autodialer
    Delay Time
    Sets DTMF Autodialer
    Delay Time
    50/250450/750/1000 MS
    11DTMF SDTMF Autodialer
    Sending Speed
    Sets DTMF autodialer
    sending speed
    50/75/100 MS
    12DTMF WDTMF Autodialer
    Loading of DTMF
    autodialer memories
    16 autodialer memories
    13HYPERHyper MemoryEnable/disable automatic writing
    feature of Hyper Memory
    14KEY.MODKey FunctionsSelects key functions for
    "right" band function switches
    15LOCKKey/Button Lock FeatureEnable/disable Key/Button lock featureMANUAL/AUTO
    16LOCKTPTT Lock FeatureEnable/disable the PTT lock featureOFF/BAND R/BAND L/BOTH
    17MUTEMute AudioSelect the audio mute modeOFF/TX/RX/TX and RX
    18NAMEChannel NameStores name for memory channelEnter name
    19PG P1Set P1 ButtonProgram the mic P1 buttonBAND
    20PG P2Set P2 ButtonProgram the mic P2 buttonVFO/MR
    21PG P3Set P3 ButtonProgram the mic P3 buttonTONE
    22PG P4Set P4 ButtonProgram the mic P4 buttonLOW
    23RF SQLRF SQL LevelAdjust RF SQL threshold levelOFF/S-2/S-5/S-9/S-FULL
    24RPT.MODRepeater Shift DirectionSet repeater shift directionRPT.OFF/RPT.-/RPT.+
    25SCANScan-Resume ModeSets scan-resume modeTIME/BUSY
    26SCAN MScan ModeSets memory scan modeMEM/MSM
    27SHIFTOffset Repeater ShiftSets 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
    28STEPSynthesizer StepsSets synthesizer steps2.5-100 KHz
    12.5 KHz
    29SPKSquelch ModeSets squelch modeSQ/CTC/TON/C+T and C/T
    30TONE FCTCSS Tone FrequencySets CTCSS tone frequency50 standard CTCSS tones
    31TONE MCTCSS/DCS Encode/Decode ModeSets the encode/decode modeOFF/ENC/ENC.DEC/DCS
    32TOTTime-Out TimerSets the time-out timerOFF/1~30 min.
    6 min.
    33TALKARTalk AroundSwaps RX/TX frequencies
    to toggle simplex
    and repeater operation
    34-35WID.NARMic Gain and DeviationSelect bandwidth to reduce
    mic gain (and deviation)
    35X-RPTCross-Band RepeaterEnable/disable cross-band repeaterOFF
    36AMAM ModeEnable/disable AM ModeON/OFF
    37AUT.AMAutomatic AM ModeEnable/disable automatic AM modeON/OFF
    382TONE2-Tone memory channelAssign 2-Tone autodialer
    memory channel
    395TONE5-Tone memory channelAssign 5-Tone autodialer
    memory channel
    40SCRScrambleEnable/disable scramble featureON/OFF
    41COMPCompanderEnable/disable voice companderON/OFF
    42HSD.TYPTone SquelchEnable/disable tone squelchOFF/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 #NameOptionValuesDescription
    ON/OFFControls the backlight when in
    standby (default is only little
    backlight for viewing the
    display screen)
    ON/OFFIndicates the radio is on when
    the backlight is off in standby
    (green LED light flashes every
    5 seconds when the backlight
    is completely off)
    Selects whether the radio
    is in Transceiver Mode,
    Directional Cross-Band Repeat,
    or Two-way Cross-Band Repeat
    ON/OFFSelect whether to open the speaker
    when there is audio received on
    the repeating receiver.
    45RPT-PTTRepeat PTTON/OFFSelect whether using PTT to transmit
    out when repeating. The repeating
    signal is interrupted while
    PTT transmits.
    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-UV9DDescriptionKG-UV9D PlusDescription
    01ABR:sABR:sAuto Backlight Time
    02SAVESAVEPower Save Mode
    03STEPSTEPStep Frequency
    04W/NW/NBandwidth Selection
    05TXPTXPTransmit Power Selection
    06SFT-DSFT-DFrequency Shift Direction
    08SQL-LESQL-LESquelch Level
    09ROGERROGERBegin/End Transmit Prompt
    10TOT:sTOT:sTimeout Timer
    11TOA:sTOA:sTransmit Overtime Alarm
    12VOICE-SWVOICE-SWVoice Switch
    13BEEPBEEPBeep Prompt
    15BCLBCLBusy Channel Lockout
    16Rx-CTCRx-CTCReceiving CTCSS
    17Tx-CTCTx-CTCTransmitting CTCSS
    18Rx-DCSRx-DCSReceiving DCS
    19Tx-DCSTx-DCSTransmitting DCS
    20SC-REVSC-REVScan Mode
    21SP-MUTESP-MUTEMute Settings
    22DTMF-STDTMF-STDTMF Sidetone Settings
    23PTT_IDPTT_IDCaller ID Transmission Mode
    24ID-EDITID-EDITEditing Caller ID
    25ID-DLY:msID-DLY:msCaller ID TX Delay
    26RING:sRING:sRing Time
    27ABR-LVABR-LVBacklight Selection
    28OFFSETOFFSETOffset Frequency
    29CH-NAMECH-NAMEChannel Name Edit
    30MEM-CHMEM-CHChannel Memory
    31DEL-CHDEL-CHChannel Delete
    32PRI-CHPRI-CHPriority Channel
    33PRI-SCNPRI-SCNPriority Channel Scan
    34AUTOLOCKAUTOLOCKKeypad Auto Lock
    35LOCKMODELOCKMODEKeypad Lock Mode
    36S-TONES-TONESingle Tone
    37VOX-DLY:sVOX-DLY:sVOX Delay
    38SC-QTSC-QTSaving Scan Mode
    39APO-TMRAPO-TMRAuto Power Off
    40PONMSGPONMSGPower On Message
    41RPT-RCTRepeater Receipt ToneBLCDSWBacklight Standby Switch
    42SCN-ADDScan AddBLEDSWBacklight Prompt Switch
    43SCN-GPScan Channel Group NO.TYPE-SETRepeat Setting
    44SCN-MODEScan ModeRPT-SPKRepeat Speaker
    46CALL-IDCall Group IDRPT-KPTRepeat Hold Time
    47AUTO-AMAuto AMRPT-RCTRepeater Receipt Tone
    48AM-SWAM SwitchSCAN-ADDScan Add
    49PF1-DEFPF1 Function ProgramSCN-GPScan Channel Group NO.
    50PF2-DEFPF2 Function ProgramSCN-MODEScan Mode
    51PF3-DEFPF3 Function ProgramSCAN-CDRepeat PTT
    52VOLTAGEVoltage CheckCALL-IDCall Group ID
    Determine Switch
    AUTO-AMAuto AM
    54S-MUTESub-Frequency MuteAM-SWAM Switch
    55RESETReset SettingPF1-DEFPF1 Function Program
    56--PF2-DEFPF2 Function Program
    57--PF3-DEFPF3 Function Program
    58--VOLTAGEVoltage Check
    59--QT-SWCTCSS/DCS Scan
    Determine Switch
    60--S-MUTESub-Frequency Mute
    61--RESETReset 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

    HYT TC-310161WUHF400-470 MHz
    HYT TC-518-U1-LP162WUHF400-470 MHz
    HYT TC-518-V-LP162WVHF136-174 MHz
    HYT TC-518-U1-HP164WUHF400-470 MHz
    HYT TC-518-V-HP165WVHF136-174 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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