- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Motorola HT600 Help

Reviews Summary for Motorola HT600
Motorola HT600 Reviews: 13 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $200.00
Description: VHF/UHF 4/5 watt handheld portable, 2-6 channel
$75 to $200 used street price depending on condition
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Motorola HT600.

Page 1 of 2 —>

KM4JFW Rating: 5/5 Jul 26, 2015 06:25 Send this review to a friend
Indestructible Brick  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
It's cheap as dirt if you buy it from Ebay. I got a full set with radio, battery, antenna, and rapid charger for $25, then bought two more bare radios for $8 apeice. The 146-162MHz split is the most common, but if you program them yourself it's easy to edit frequencies in down to 144MHz. The radio lacks any features whatsoever. You can put 3 different PL tones in it though, so it is usable. It works. It's a big heavy brick, and there's probably no way you could break this thing (I've heard stories where someone used it to make a distress call while the radio was submerged). It's doubtless useless to you if you need a bunch of different frequencies in your radio or need to change frequencies on the fly, but for use around the neighborhood or around town where you only need a couple repeaters, it's ideal! It hits repeaters as well as any amateur HT would, if not better. It would probably also make a good link radio, weather radio, or receiver for a homebrew repeater, because of its reliability, low cost, and excellent performance.
N8PMG Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2013 20:12 Send this review to a friend
Built to last  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The only downside is that it must be programmed with a DOS computer at very low processor speed. There are no bells or whistles, just a solid radio with good audio and talk power. Batteries are cheap, but if you have the original charger, it doesn't have the circuitry to charge Nimh cells, only Nicads.
KA2AYR Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2010 16:00 Send this review to a friend
Solid.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had 3 HT600 portables on VHF for about 20 years now. I've repaired many of these and also used them when I was a volunteer firefighter and now I use them on 2 meters and a business channel. Because of narrowbanding, I won't be able to use the business channel in a couple of years (this radio is not narrowband compliant), but 2 meter operation is still solid. This radio need not be pretty to work like a champ. The audio also blasts in comparison to modern hammie HTs. Since systems will be required to narrowband, many of these will be hitting the streets in the next few years.

A word of caution: the antenna connector and the speaker-mic connector can get undone with abuse. Cold solder joints develop. Reflowing with a CONTROLLED HEAT soldering iron will repair most problems. The top connector should be capped. Corrosion may prevent programming. Water under this cap should be wiped away immediately, as it may conduct between the contacts. The side buttons may fall off and there will be two holes. Use Scotch 33 or 88 cut to fit so splash won't get in. Also, side PTT switch rubber might dry rot. NONE OF THESE COSMETIC ITEMS ARE ENOUGH TO DEADLINE THE RADIO. Even though the HT600 is no longer current production, these parts surface from time to time. Antennas also surface and auction sites are now listing NiMH batteries. You WILL need Motorola RSS for HT600 radios to program this (please don't ask me, I don't have access to RSS anymore, you will have to find someone with duly licensed software). Also, pay attention to bandsplits - particularly on UHF. There were some 406-430 and 470+ radios out there.
VE7AFZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 26, 2009 14:09 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned an HT600 for approximately 15 years and don't plan on parting with it any time soon. It's a simple reliable radio that does what it does very well. I can count on it to run all day on a single battery, it does not get un comfortably warm when transmitting, it almost never suffers from intermod, it has good sensitivity, it has survived a number of drops onto concrete etc.

The advice the other reviewers have given about shopping for one is well founded and if you want one I'd suggest trying to find one that is already programmed with ham frequencies.
K6WHP Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2009 22:23 Send this review to a friend
Takes a licking and still..  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
..well, that's what the other reviews say and who am I to argue.

Mine is a most recent love affair with these and, indeed, other Moto Radius HTs. I saw one of those hanging from the belt of a good friend at a ham swap about 8 saturdays ago and ridiculed him unmercifully for daring to own one of those stone age bricks.

To rebuff me, he allowed me to use it and directed me to select channel six -- a rather remote repeater and almost unreachable from our location. (Most certainly by HT!)

Top my surprise, I not only hit the repater, but worked someone full quieting both ways. The audio was superb; clear and LOUD! And I didn't have to adopt one of those Quasimodo-like poses just to find the "hot spot".

I was hooked.

The best part is these can be found on eBay for around $20 or so if one waits. But, you should be VERY careful about what you're buying and realize several things about a contemplated purchase:

(1) You must get the radio with the appropriate band split. For example, VHF radios for the ham band will require the 136-151 MHz split or the 146-174 MHz split and AVOID the radios with a higher split as the PLL will not lock up. They also must be programmed to your desired frequencies.

(2) You have to find a two-way shop to do this or find someone with the RSS (Radio Service Software).

(3) You can program these yourself but you will need a RIB (Radio Interface Box) and a cable -- or just a RIBless cable (they are around $25 on eBay). Also you will need to license (i.e., rent for three years) the RSS from Motorola (not cheap -- around $275) and you CANNOT sell or give it away to some one else. It's your property for the three years.

(4) The RSS can be found at various locations on the internet (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) but Motorola lawyers have been absolutely vicious in tracking down these sources and squelching them.

(5) The less expensive two-channel HT600s can be turned into six-channel radio by means of either storing a 6-channel "code plug" into one or using a program called 2to6.exe to do it.

..anyway, all of this is a little complicated just for one HT, so maybe you aren't interested. But I had to get a number of cheap radios for come young hams and -- at $20 per copy -- these were an excellent start.

By the way, if you are enticed into getting one of these or its P200 and MT1000 brethren, then you will be entering a different world and I recommend you snoop around the Bat Wings Labs website ( and read up on it. Remember this is the domain of commercial two-way and some guys who are as hooked on old Moto stuff as I have become. They have a forum and will help newbies with questions. They even suffer fools like me. But, for goodness sake, read the warnings about asking for RSS or sources of RSS. It's just not on, old chum.

Good luck and good hunting.
N8EKT Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2006 16:39 Send this review to a friend
BEST MOTOROLA EVER!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This radio was the first of the pc programmables and was built like a tank!
If your tired of radio's that break the first time you drop them or you want a HT that get rid of intermod and out of band signals like no other then this one fills the bill!
I will ALWAYS keep a HT600 around my shack.
KD5ZZK Rating: 5/5 Nov 15, 2006 21:01 Send this review to a friend
Durable and performs  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is one tough HT! Program it and forget it. Other than a channel selector the only user selectable feature is a tone squelch on/off toggle switch. The encode PL tone is set when programmed. You can then select carrier or tone squelch on the top of the radio. The key pad entry programming on typical "Amateur" HTs is nice when travelling from area to area. But for daily local use, is not necessary. I just picked 6 of the most popular two meter repeaters in my area and programmed them in. The HT has 6 channels. If I go out of town and need the flexability of field programming I'll take my Yaesu FT-60R. I paid $300 for 10 of these radios on eBay. The band split on these were 136-152 mHz. The most common band split seems to be 145-165 mHz.
WA3VJB Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2006 19:10 Send this review to a friend
better than new stuff  Time owned: more than 12 months
After finally retiring my 1976 Motorola HT220 Marine VHF 6 channel hi-low power handheld, I upgraded to the HT600 and have never been happier.

My priorities include having a radio that will work in harsh environments (nature and RF), can be quickly brought up and used without having to fiddle with multiple function itty bitty keys, menus, and other clutter.

It's been a bonus (over my crystal controlled predecessor) to be able to program whatever frequency pairs and PL are needed, including digital PL which is quicker and quieter to key and release than subaudible tone.

The old HT220 used mechanical plug in "Vibrasponder" reeds for PL (one tone per radio), a $30/pair of crystals, and some careful bench time to remove and solder in any new channels.

Performance? If you're into numbers, stack your consumer-grade handheld against these commercial specs, obtained the other day from an example of HT600 that's 14 years old according to date codes:

Power Output: 5.50W
Frequency error: 98Hz
Deviation: 4.57KHz
1mV SINAD 33.9dB
Distortion 1.9 pct
12dB SINAD 0.19uV
20dB Quieting 0.21uv

With the battery saving option turned on (a software choice when you programme the radio) you can easily get a two-day hamfest out of it, as I just did at the Hosstraders gathering in New Hampshire.

Market price?
As state and local governments succumb to "trunked" radio systems, they're dumping the HT600 and its fuller featured sister the MT1000 (same battery, charger, speaker/mic, other accessories).

Hamfest vendors are selling a 6-bay charger filled with 6 radios for a few hundred dollars, and clean individual units with single slot chargers are under $100. Government surplus agencies are selling the radio alone for $10-20 if you know where to find them.

Good batteries (non-Chinese Motorola high capacity) are $40-$60, new antennas are $12, speaker mics are $25.

There are some unusual accessories out there to be aware of. I landed a really cool tactical police throat mic and earpiece with hand PTT, like new for $10 at Hosstraders. Meant to go under your riot helmet.

Me? I plan to use it out on the boat, set to marine channels.

KI5DR Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2004 00:15 Send this review to a friend
Dependable performance, best TX/RX audio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought mine on eBay several months ago, programming included. I found a new replacement battery from DC Ace when I was at Dayton 2003, and this little battery is 2700MaH! it literally goes for Days and Days without recharging.

Fantastic TX and RX audio, probably the best I've ever heard from an HT.

Lots of options still available, including quick chargers, speaker mics, and many used items of good quality on the Net.
W2WRX Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2003 16:10 Send this review to a friend
One more great HT!!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
As describe by the rest of the fellows,these HT-600 is really a work house,their made to handle the tough elements nature can throw at it and moresome.The batteries do last a long time and there're still available on e-bay and other stores or dealers.As for programming and hardware stuff,I got some info on building the cables,RIB box,( sorftwares from ( you have now a programmer,to do your frequencies change on the old radio.I did make a decent cable from Batlabs schematic and it work really great using small brass finishing nails for contact and using G-10(peferrated fiberglass board at radio shack)to the RIB box I also build.All in all to say,the least,it's dosen't have all the features like the new ones,but It's built professionally to MILS Specs and etc.And the speaker Mic is really loud and clear,a must when your at noisy places,I did make some mods to the mic to have a 1/8" input, for my earphones,when working with ARES and RACES.
Page 1 of 2 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.