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Author Topic: Which brand?? ICOM,Kenwood or Vertex?  (Read 7364 times)
2ND2NONE
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Posts: 4




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« on: April 09, 2004, 10:18:31 PM »

 Hello,
 I am a Law Enforcement Officer and I am looking for a good portable radio, I'm looking at the ICOM F50, the Kenwood TK2140 or the TK270, and the Vertex VX180.  I don't know which one to get. Which one performs the best? I hear the Vertex takes awhile to get replacement parts(what my dealer said). He told me the Kenwood and ICOM are about the same.  I don't know what to get, Please Help me guys/gals. I'm open for sugestions.
Thank You
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K5LXP
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2004, 11:51:59 AM »

If the application is public service/commercial, I am highly biased towards motorola equipment.  After spending a few years on the bench fixing 2-way equipment, they're still the best made in my opinion.  Even now that radios are a commodity product, I think there's still a distinction between the motorola and metric radio design philosophies.  If you don't mind throwing your Yaecomwood radio away when it fails and is "beyond economical repair" (which is just about any failure) then buying another one, maybe they're OK.  But time and again the moto's seem to handle the day-to-day abuse a lot better than anything else.  You may find a local dealer that will support your metric radio very well, but I'd prefer to have a radio that didn't need that much service.  I'm the kind of person that doesn't look at price tags, just value.  I own a lot of metric ham radios, they are well suited to that kind of service but for my livelihood or safety, I rely on the tool better suited to that purpose.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KC8AXJ
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Posts: 303




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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2004, 12:44:44 PM »

Now that's like asking someone what the best handgun is, but I'm sure you already have an opinion on that !!

I did some digging anyway:

I myself have had good luck with ICOM products.

http://iwce-mrt.com/ar/radio_icom_rolls_submersible/

http://www.icomamerica.com/brochures/IC-F50_F60.pdf

Kenwood (wouldn't be around if they made junk):

http://www.prestigecomms.com/radio/kenwood/tk2140.htm

http://www.radioactivecomms.com/TWO-WAY-RADIO/KENWOOD/TK2140.htm

Vertex :
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/1899

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2ND2NONE
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2004, 12:16:05 AM »

Any other oppinions???
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K7IHC
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2004, 05:56:48 AM »

I *love* most Kenwood radio products, both amateur and public safety.  I am a FF/medic, and we use quite a few Kenwood mobile radios in the apparatus and vehicles.  We have very good results from the equipment.  Our primary portables are Motorolas, but a few other fire users in the area use Kenwood H/Ts.  We will be changing to a county-wide digital trunked system by year's end, and it's a Motorola system.  That means... you guessed it: all Motorola radios.  We will still retain the VHF Kenwoods in the units for regional/statewide mutual aid.

I really like the Kenwood radios because of the ease of programming/reprogramming.  Cables and software are inexpensive and easy to obtain.  Can't say the same for Motorola.
For a VHF portable (H/T), I would recommend the Kenwood TK-290.  The 90-series portables are designed for public safety users.
 
I have several (7) Kenwood radios for amateur/GMRS use.
Wouldn't mind a few more...
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KL7IPV
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Posts: 984




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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2004, 02:51:17 AM »

I'd say to take your pick. None of them are "junk" and any may fit your need. Just find the one that you think gives you the most bang for the buck. Each has a strong point and has a weak point. Everyone has an opinion that someone else will counter. Spend your money and hope you got it right. More than likely, any one you buy will be okay. Good luck.
Frank
KL7IPV
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2004, 01:20:39 PM »

No one else has asked this question:

What does your department use? My first choice would be to match what everyone else is using.

Just out of curiosity, doesn't your department issue radios to it's personnel?

Lon
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2ND2NONE
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2004, 02:18:30 PM »

My department uses Motorola Sabres that are old, they don't work the greatest, We are suppossed to be getting ICOM F3's soon(because there low cost probably). It's a pain in the butt, we have to sign in and out the radios every time. Some guys have there own poratables, some have Vertex VX180's some have Kenwood TK270's(I think. My radio dealer said to stay away from Vertex because they take a long time to get parts in if it fails.  He gave me prices as follows:ICOM F50-$325,Keenwood TK2140-$460, Motorola EX600-$675.  So it looks like I'll be geting the ICOM.  I just want to make sure it's a great all around performer before I get it thou.
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N3ZKP
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2004, 04:04:16 PM »

Interesting mix there.

If the dept is going ICOM, then I would, too. At least the shop servicing the dept. radios would (hopefully) know what you were talking about if you have a problem. Smiley

The couple of departments I was associated with (mid 70's) issued radios to each officer - if he lost it, he replaced it. In those days HT220s were NOT cheap. <g>

Lon
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WA4MJF
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Posts: 1003




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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2004, 08:37:52 PM »

When I could not get to my Convoy,*
I always liked the portable to the
clavical.  Me thinks you ought to
get a US made metal one, rather
than a Japanese plastic one.
Motorola makes nice heavy ones,
GEs are ok.  Like the watch,
they give a beatin' and keep on tickin'  :-)


73 de Ronnie

*For non LEO types that is the
springy leather thing with a
nice ball of lead in the end.
NEVER to be used to the head,
always to the clavical.
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K7IHC
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2004, 03:43:27 AM »

If your dept is buying Icom F3s, then I'd recommend buying a personal F3, then.  Battery and belt holder compatibility would be good reasons, as well as a common familiarity of radio functions among other officers. My (fire) dept has Bendix King EPH H/Ts for mutual aid use, so I bought a personal B-K EPH that I can use on fire VHF freqs AND 2m ham.

About that *Convoy*: around here, we call that a *sap*.
And I don't advocate using an H/T as a weapon: too valuable.  There are many other things like OC spray, ASP batons, Streamlights, and Saunders clipboards that are cheaper than portable radios.

I have also noticed that many Motorola land-mobile products are made overseas.  U.S-made radios are getting scarce.
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2ND2NONE
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2004, 11:57:55 AM »

Well thanks for the replys guys/gals.  
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