Best programmable radio 2017

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shane_saintsfc
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Best programmable radio 2017

Post by shane_saintsfc » 12 Oct 2017, 12:32

Hi Guys

Been a long time posting. I'm looking for 20+ UHF programmable radios for a hire market. I used to have Puxing 777 and 888k and these were ok albeit not as hard wearing as some others.

What is currently the best radio for your cash these days? Must be able to tune to 446 if needed and be programmable with software.

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Admiral
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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by Admiral » 12 Oct 2017, 15:06

These are one of the best programmable analogue radios, they also do them in black.

https://www.apexradio.co.uk/product/motorola-gp340-ex/
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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by shane_saintsfc » 13 Oct 2017, 08:21

Ok i'll rephrase.

Any good one's for under £100

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thelad
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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by thelad » 13 Oct 2017, 09:20

Good and under £100 for hire? Nothing that price would last very long on hire!
Uniden UBC120XLT
Uniden USC230E
Uniden UBC3500XLT
Binatone PMR MR500 x2
Magiksun TM-490 (BF-888) x3
Baofeng BF-888
TTI TSC 100R
Baofeng UVB5
Zastone D900
Icom IC-R6

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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by shane_saintsfc » 13 Oct 2017, 10:12

If they're cheap though easy to replace broken ones :)

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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by shane_saintsfc » 13 Oct 2017, 10:56

In all seriousness the Puxing 888 I had only broke because a car drove over it. Other than that is did last a good 2 years. Not bad for a cheap chinese import.

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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by Scott_93 » 17 Oct 2017, 02:32

Seriously?!

First of all- Get a suppliers license and get them programmed onto suppliers frequencies.
Secondly- Don't even bother using chinese radios. They won't last long.

My suggestion is something like Icom F4002's or Motorola DP3400/GP340.

If you carry on down the 446 chinese radio path for hire you WILL get caught out and you WILL have an enforcement chat with an OfCom rep. Having spoken to many of the them over the last few years on events, they don't mess about. Nearly every big event has an OfCom rep with enforcement powers on site to sought out issues, when there's no issues, they have their AOR scanners running on 446/Baofeng channels and a keen eye for non-EMC compliant radios.

Scott.

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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by shane_saintsfc » 17 Oct 2017, 08:05

I have a suppliers licence. I only mentioned 446 for my own playing around at home.

Thanks for the recommendation. I'm only thinking some cheap ones will be fine for a small carnival etc. icom/motorolla better for more hard wearing events.

For example I've tested the baofeng 888 against the icom and no real major difference apart from the feel of the unit obviously feels cheaply made.

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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by mattltm » 30 Oct 2017, 19:23

Scott_93 wrote:Nearly every big event has an OfCom rep with enforcement powers on site to sought out issues, when there's no issues, they have their AOR scanners running on 446/Baofeng channels and a keen eye for non-EMC compliant radios.
Really?
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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by Metradio » 30 Oct 2017, 19:32

Wishful thinking..

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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by mattltm » 30 Oct 2017, 19:35

I've not seen an Ofcom field engineer in the flesh for over a decade!
"Spooky action at a distance."

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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by Scott_93 » 30 Oct 2017, 23:40

mattltm wrote:
Scott_93 wrote:Nearly every big event has an OfCom rep with enforcement powers on site to sought out issues, when there's no issues, they have their AOR scanners running on 446/Baofeng channels and a keen eye for non-EMC compliant radios.
Really?
Yes, whenever there is a "major" event on that requires heavy PMSE use, OfCom send down a team of engineers that provide a full frequency management service including an onsite presence throughout the duration.

Like I say, I've had worked with them.

It's one thing for them not to follow up radio amateur complaints, but interfering with a live show is another. I have had a specific chat about Baofeng etc stuff with them and they're policy is if they find it they fine it.

Scott.

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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by Scott_93 » 30 Oct 2017, 23:41

mattltm wrote:I've not seen an Ofcom field engineer in the flesh for over a decade!
I have, they are out there ;) :ugeek:

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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by Metradio » 31 Oct 2017, 11:22

I think you dreamed it.. :-)

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Re: Best programmable radio 2017

Post by Radiotronics » 04 Nov 2017, 13:14

shane_saintsfc wrote:
12 Oct 2017, 12:32
... I'm looking for 20+ UHF programmable radios for a hire market. I used to have Puxing 777 and 888k and these were ok albeit not as hard wearing as some others. What is currently the best radio for your cash these days? Must be able to tune to 446 if needed and be programmable with software.
Under the letter of current radio communications regulation in the UK, you're not allowed to program a non-PMR446 compliant to operate on PMR446 frequencies. If you do, you could land yourself in some very deep water with Ofcom. Therefore, you can't use any of the cheap Baofeng, Puxing, Retevis etc. radios on the PM446 band. This is because PMR446 radios must be restricted to 0.5W and very few business band radios can be restricted to less than 1w - including the models you mentioned, and all mainstream business radios from Motorola, Hyetra, Kenwood and Icom. So the best advice is to not do that and look into becoming a licensed radio supplier.
Scott_93 wrote:
17 Oct 2017, 02:32
Seriously?!
First of all- Get a suppliers license and get them programmed onto suppliers frequencies.

If you carry on down the 446 chinese radio path for hire you WILL get caught out and you WILL have an enforcement chat with an OfCom rep. Having spoken to many of the them over the last few years on events, they don't mess about. Nearly every big event has an OfCom rep with enforcement powers on site to sought out issues, when there's no issues, they have their AOR scanners running on 446/Baofeng channels and a keen eye for non-EMC compliant radios.
Indeed. Couldn't agree more. By getting a Ofcom Suppliers Light Licence you'll be fully licensed to hire out full power business radios to your clients - and your client will not need to worry about licensing as your licence will cover them completely. This licence currently costs just £75 for a 5 year term which is just £15 per year. With this licence you can use any portable business radio including digital versions and you can own and rent out as many as you like. That's a no-brainer really. Why use PMR446 when you can stay compliant and use Ofcom Suppliers Light Licence.
shane_saintsfc wrote:
17 Oct 2017, 08:05
I have a suppliers licence...
That's great. You get a ton of channels to use. Here's a list of the Ofcom Suppliers Light Licence channels (or frequencies):

suppliers-light.png
Scott_93 wrote:
30 Oct 2017, 23:40
mattltm wrote:
Scott_93 wrote:Nearly every big event has an OfCom rep with enforcement powers on site to sought out issues, when there's no issues, they have their AOR scanners running on 446/Baofeng channels and a keen eye for non-EMC compliant radios.
Really?
Yes, whenever there is a "major" event on that requires heavy PMSE use, OfCom send down a team of engineers that provide a full frequency management service including an onsite presence throughout the duration.

Like I say, I've had worked with them.

It's one thing for them not to follow up radio amateur complaints, but interfering with a live show is another. I have had a specific chat about Baofeng etc stuff with them and they're policy is if they find it they fine it.

Scott.
This is true as they manage the whole spectrum at major events for everything including radio microphones, two way radios, satellite uplinks etc. etc.

The fact is: does it matter whether you'll get caught or not? Surely what matters the most is that you are compliant, and as a professional rental business, you can demonstrate that to your client.
Admiral wrote:
12 Oct 2017, 15:06
These are one of the best programmable analogue radios, they also do them in black.

.. motorola-gp340-ex ...
That's an ATEX-rated radio. But it's good advice. However, look for the non-EX version. You can usually pick up some good working Motorola GP340 radios on eBay for around £60-£80 each. They're rock solid and stand the test of time. Furthermore, you can usually buy replacement housings to keep them in good condition long term. Also look for the Motorola CP040 as it's a little cheaper than the Motorola GP340 and takes the cheaper 2-pin Motorola accessory connector, so earpieces are cheaper.
shane_saintsfc wrote:
13 Oct 2017, 08:21
Ok i'll rephrase. Any good one's for under £100
You could stick with the Baofeng BF-888S (and it's derivatives). But they don't last long on hire and the overhead of always buying more and replenishing your fleet can sometimes be false economy. Also consider that some events you might tender for may specify Motorola, Kenwood, Hytera or Icom, for example, on the tech rider.

If you're looking for a cheap radio then up your budget to just over £100 and take a serious look at the Vertex Standard VX-261. It's a serious bit of kit and made by Motorola. In the USA, Vertex Standard is one of the most popular brands in the rental market. If you have the extra budget, there's it's sibling the Vertex Standard EVX-261.

Back to the original title of this post "Best programmable radio 2017", there is no best programmable two way radios. Do your research before you make a purchase and weigh up the pro's and con's of buying cheap or used vs. buying quality and new. Find out what your customers, or potential customers want you to have. It's pointless buying Kenwood if your client requires Motorola.

The best advice in 2017, and as we move into 2018, is probably to always look at two way radios that support both analogue and digital DMR mode. This is to future-proof your fleet. By having only analogue radios you will find that you might slowly start to loose out on contracts due to clients becoming more tech-savvy and demanding digital radios.

One of the the best investments at the moment is the Motorola DP1400 (digital version) or the Hytera PD405. They're both analogue and digital hybrid radios, are both DMR digital compliant and are both very cost effective and durable.
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