Motorola is in the process of updating the RDX two way radio series to be fully compliant with the FCC's 2013 narrowband changes, and today we received our first updated model: the Motorola RDU2080d. By June 1st, we expect the entire line to be fully updated to "narrowband ready".
What's New In The Narrowband Ready Version
The most noticeable change with this new version is the packaging. The box has gotten a little smaller, and is now green and white with a bold "NARROWBAND READY" stamp. As far as the radio itself, the only obvious change is that the model number on the front is now printed in green instead of white.
The actual radio hardware didn't change. Like practically all radios made in the last decade, the RDX series radios have been technically narrowband compliant since they were first released. What's new is that the certain frequencies built into the radio were previously being defaulted to 25 KHz channel spacing (wideband), and now all built-in frequencies will be defaulted to 12.5 KHz spacing (narrowband).
How This Update Will Affect Your Radios
If you are buying Motorola RDX series radios for the first time, all of your radios will be "Narrowband Ready" and will work great. If you have existing RDX series radios and will be mixing them with the new "Narrowband Ready" models, we recommend that you make a settings change on the older two way radios. The new models will talk to the old models right out of the box (unless you've changed the default settings), and most likely you won't notice any difference. To get the most optimal clarity when communicating between the new and older radios, however, the settings on the older radios need to be changed to default to narrowband.
Updating Your Existing Radios For Narrowband
The following channels were setup for wideband by default and will need to be changed for optimal audio quality with the new "Narrowband Ready" radios. This only applies if you are using your radios on default frequencies/channels.
RDU2020 - Both channels 1 and 2 are wideband by default.
RDU2080d - Channels 1, 2, 3, and 4 are wideband by default.
RDU4100 - All 10 channels are wideband by default.
RDU4160d - All 16 channels are wideband by default.
RDV2020 - Both channels 1 and 2 are wideband by default.
RDV2080d - Channels 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 are wideband by default (all channels except 5).
RDV5100 - All 10 channels are wideband by default.
The easiest way to update your existing radios is to download the RDX series programming software and purchase an RDX series programming cable. This cable will allow you to connect the radio to your PC and easily change the bandwidth options.
Another option is to clone the settings from the new radio to your older radios. If you already have a 6 radio multi-charger then you have everything you need to do this. If you do not have a multi-charger, you will need an RDX series cloning cable to connect the charger bases of the radios.
If your RDX series radio has a display (RDU2080d, RDV2080d, and RDU4160d) then you can adjust bandwidth directly through the radio using the following steps:
1. With the radio OFF, hold down the PTT and SB1 buttons while turning the radio on. (SB1 is the round button just below the PTT button on the side.) Continue to hold down the buttons until the radio beeps. A "PROG" icon on the display confirms you are in programming mode.
2. Use the + / - keys to select the channel you need to adjust.
3. Press MENU until the display shows "Rx BW HI" (HI will be flashing.)
4. Press the - (minus) key and the flashing HI will change to a flashing "LO"
5. Press and hold the PTT button until you hear a short beep. This returns you to the channel selection prompt of programming mode.
6. To make the same change for a different channel, return to step 2.
7. To save settings and exit programming mode, press and hold the PTT button again until you hear a short beep.
To see a demonstration of these steps, check out the following video:
For an in-depth discussion on the FCC's new narrowbanding requirement, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Ep. 12 - The Migration to Narrowband.
As always, if you have any questions about this update or need help updating your radios do not hesitate to contact us.