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XPR 7550e ... just wow...


gman1971
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TM-V7A... wow... that is pushing right there.. .the TH-F6a was produced since 2001 IIRC... it still is a great radio, but all you hear noawadays is MotoTRBO/digital noises anywhere else outside the HF bands...

 

Yeah, it is a real dinosaur alright! I bought it new in 1996 the year it was released. It was retailing for almost $700, which is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1,161.22 in 2020, a difference of $461.22 over 24 years...

 

...and I just bought a virgin one for $100! Actually I bought it more for the display; the radio itself was a bonus. When Kenwood developed the new screen module, they replaced defective one for free, as long as it was within 3 years of original purchase and an original receipt. For everyone else they sold them for $172.

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Well, the CS800 is not much more than a CCR mobile, from what I've heard from other forums, its not a particularly good radio... I think its made in China by CoValue... 

 

I asked them, CS, a while ago for performance figures vs the 5550e and their answer was: "Get the Motorola, you'll be happier." The guy was certainly honest... and I thank him for that. I now have two 5550e, one U one V, and are the best radios I've owned to date in terms of receiver performance for their respective bands, nothing comes close, not even my best aligned EVX-5400 can touch these XPR5550e.... Sometimes I wish that such mesmerizing TFT screen could support some minigames... would be awesome to write a small retro game for it... haha... can you imagine? the police officer playing Tetris on the 5550e while clocking speeders... :)

 

G.

 

I got an email from Jerry about six months ago letting me know that he was clearing out some orphans from their warehouse (new, old stock) and had a single CS800D to sell. I bought it immediately for $199.00. I haven't even taken it out of the box yet! I am planning to program it and replace the CS800 UHF currently in my car with it.

 

Last year around a week before Dayton Hamvention, Jerry ran a discount on the BFD (Big Freaking Display) for the CS800 for $199.00, I snapped that up quickly! I have it mounted on a flexible stalk and angled towards the driver's seat. It has a lot of really cool features, including two memory functions: touching the screen where the Zone is displayed will allow me to select any of up to 16 Zones with a single tap, with the other memory function I can tap on the center of the screen and choose from among 16 Zone+TG presets. The huge 7" diagonal full-color screen is easily readable.

 

Even cooler is that the BFD will support a single 800D, or 800(U) and 800(V), plus an FT-857! I got lucky at eBay about a year ago and got my FT-857D from a fellow ham who'd bought it and then changed his mind before even unboxing it and sold it to me for $650. The darn ATAS120A antenna however is rather expensive so I had to buy one from a dealer. Gigaparts had the best price at $369. Fortunately I already had a diplexer for HF and V/U so saved $70...

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One feature of the TM-V7A that I truly wish they'd carried over to the newer TM-V71A was having the requirement to 'split' the memory into VHF/UHF segments. This way the left side (A) would be all VHF, and the other side (B) would be all UHF frequencies, so when in scan mode one had full control over scan results.

 

The way the TM-V71A does NOT allow this band separation makes scanning practically worthless since one is scanning the entire set of programmed frequencies on both A and B simultaneously!

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  • 1 month later...

I engineer and install commercial 2way radio systems for a large company and I have a fair amount of experience with the XPR7550e.  You should be able to reprogram this radio without a cable, using WiFi.  It is possible that you need to purchase an EID for that feature but all of the XPR7550e radios that I've ever touched could be programmed this way.  You have to jump through some hoops and it is not real intuitive but once you get your PC set up right it will work.  However, if you do have a programming cable it is much easier and faster to do it that way.  I was doing a complete re-program of about 200 radios out in a remote spot in Wyoming and the very last radio would not program with a cable no matter what I tried.  Then I remembered I could do it with WiFi, and was able to return the radio to service with the new programming.   

 

One issue though:  All current Motorola Solutions radios are blocked from doing 25 KHz deviation without taking their on-line training course.  This is a hassle but it is free of charge.  Once you have taken the course, Motorola will email you an EID number that you enter into your CPS programming software  to enable 25 KHz deviation.  That EID number is only good for 1 computer unless you request more.  There's no getting around this because your computer CPS actually goes out on the network to a Motorola Server that logs in your computer name. For that reason you must have your computer on the network to make this work the first time. The last 25 KHz EID I got allows me to enable wide deviation on 9 computers just to cover me in case of computer failures.  

 

I'll just point this out in case you care.  The XPR7550e is not Part 95 certified but it's quality far exceeds any GMRS-only radio I have ever come across.  For that reason, for me using the XPR-7550e for GMRS is an acceptable risk.  This is just my personal opinion and you have to decide for yourself whether or not this is acceptable for you.   That radio can also do ham frequencies with no problem.  The FCC SHOULD be happy about this because there is a greater likelihood that your emissions will conform to the FCC part 95 rules but in reality they probably just don't care unless they come after you for some other abuse and just want to pile on more fines.  I have never heard of anyone fined for using a non-certified radio that conforms to Part 95 emissions where that was the only offense.  The FCC generally only responds to complaints.  

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Yes, the radios can be programmed via BT and WiFi, but you need the cable to set them up at first. With the newer CPS 2.0 I don't think you can use BT to program the radios. 

I have been advised by several people to not to ever use CPS 2.0 on my 7550... :ph34r:

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Correct. Unless you need to be on latest, 2.09 and CPS 16 build 828 work very well.

 

I updated to CPS 16 (build 828). As best as I can recall, /\/\ have removed too many features from CPS 2.x and once installed, there ain't no going back!  :blink:

 

I used CPS 12 (some build #) for my XPR750, but of course the person I bought if from had last used CPS 16 (build 282), so I had to get that or a newer version. Now I need to re-do the code plug on the 7550, but can't find the durn programming cable anywhere now...  :(

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Ironically, when I ordered the cable for the 5550, the vendor sent me a 7550 cable instead. I sent it back and he sent me the 5550 and a billl for the difference in price. Had I known that my 7550 cable was going to go AWOL I'd have kept it.

 

Now I'm considering ordering the 7550 cable, but sure as rain in Seattle, the pesky one I can't find will reappear!  :huh:

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I've got a couple of extra 7550 cables - PM me with your address. Free to a good home. Just pay it forward.

 

PM sent. I need to completely reprogram my XPR7550 because my local DMR repeater owner (W9CTO) switched from DMR-Marc to the Chicagoland Brandmeister system.

 

TIA for the generous gesture!

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  • 9 months later...

gman1971,

Thank you for trying to wake us up. I was able to hold a Motorola APX 6000 the other day and was very impressed. Reading the CCR thread by Doctnj, I have to agree with him that the industry is the one making this unreasonable and almost forcing new comers into buying CCRs.

I want a high quality radio, but how do I get one? Is it practical for my use case?

Would you look at my thread here and make a suggestion? The XPR 7550e is single band, I need dual band and the frequency range unlocked enough to cover 144-154Mhz & 420-470Mhz. Is this possible?

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Your not going to find a CCR/HAM/GMRS radio that does what your looking for. ITs all about certifications. If you want a true dual band V/U radio that is useable in these bands you need a LMR radio. AX7000 is dropping in price but the VHF/UHF1 is a expensive devise being all the hams want them. Personally I think you need a radio for the service you want to use. I dont carry my APX8000 when im in the Jeep on the side of a mountain. No need to. I use my Midland Mobile and Motorola FRS radios. When Im in the woods for SAR I carry my APX. 

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  • 1 month later...

All one can do is try... 

Yes, I totally agree, newcomers are cornered into buying substandard CCRs, which is sad; and especially so when you consider the large amount of high quality equipment being sold for dirt cheap in the used market.

Like kb2ztx said: the APX7000 is probably your best bet if you must have dual band. 

With that said, I always thought I needed 2 bands too, I was coming from 2-bander CCRs, and well, it turns out I really didn't... and I quickly realized that having a single channel with a 99.99% reliability beat having all bands in the world... but again, YMMV... right?

Personally, I don't like buying radios (or any equipment for that matter) that I cannot afford to EDC... (Every Day Carry) as EDC implies the radio can get lost, get damaged, get stolen, scratched, etc...  I also don't understand how, or why someone would have a POS Midland and an APX8000 and at the same time prefer use the POS Midland over the APX... maybe kb2ztx would be so kind to explain it to me... if I owned an APX8k you can be assured I'll EDC that thing and brag like a total Motorolian snob that I am LOLOL.... 

Anyhow, I gave up on ALL CCRs, all of them, no exceptions. I only have a couple of EVX radios left in service, but the rest of the fleet is all been converted to the Motorolian Empire...  life is good and range is long when you are a Motorolian citizen.

G.

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I guess I'll say right tool for the job which really doesn't explain it I know. I run the Midland MTX275 in both my jeeps along with my APX mobiles. My APX does have GMRS in it for my repeaters and the standard repeater channels. It also has tons of public safety (what it is intended for). The reason I have the midlands in the Jeeps are simple. When I went to the last Jeep Jamboree the channels were posted for each trail. It was way easier to turn on the midland and go to Channel 6 on day 1 than to figure out what frequency (Oh and BTW my APX only has the standard repeater channels, none of the FRS/GMRS low power ones). While I can add other channels to the APX if I'm crawling around under the jeep hooking up a winch cable or tow strap I'd much rather loose my $50 Motorola Talk About than my APX portable.

For me 99% of the time if I'm on a repeater I am on my APX in one of my Jeeps or work truck. If I'm on a jeep ride or at a campground the Talk About and Midland does the job just fine. I actually had the Midland MTX400 in my motorhome before the jeeps got radios. With the on board repeater its nice to grab a HT and ride around a campground or race track and not worry about loosing a radio. 

When I do SAR and work stuff I definitely have my APX close by....

 

 

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I ended up picking up one of these XPR7550e Enabled radios for a pretty decent price. Other than the difficulty of Motorola, I actually really like the radio. The wideband entitlement allows you to program the proper 20k bandwidth for GMRS, and full 25k for ham. It also got me looking back into DMR. Actually, I was looking at picking up an inexpensive DMR radio, then came across this for the same price. As for daily use, I've been carrying this for a week now. When in the car, I still use my Yaesu mobile since I use APRS/vhf a lot while out and about. But for the county "emergency" ARES is on UHF, and the Skywarn stuff is linked VHF/UHF, so this will do it all. I also noticed the selectivity is really good, and didn't break squelch from RFI when next to a Vertex VX800. I'm not going to replace the Vertex fleet for GMRS, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy more if the price is right. I am looking for a VHF version just to have and play around with, but the price must be right.

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Ditto re: a used Motorola coming in affordable vs a new dual-band DMR. Picked up an XPR6500 series for surprisingly cheap, and on analog the audio quality blows the Wouxuns out of the water. Heck, on DMR it blows the Anytones out of the water. Luckily we have a large DMR network around here, and while they definitely promote the Anytone 878 for newcomers, most of the long-timers are on Mototrbos and they hooked me up with a club-license copy of CPS.

of course you lose the niceties of FPP and dual-band/dual VFO. It's also huge, and probably overkill for GMRS-only. On the Gen 2 HTs you're stuck with the odd proprietary antenna socket, and the Gen 1s don't seem to want to play nice with my 24J antennas. The 6500 series has one little advantage of an RF connector in the accessory port and can use PSM remote mics, if that floats your boat.

Part of me is tempted to search out an XPR3500 series for the SO (who is not ham licensed), but there's already too many radios in this house and the 905G is 90% of the way there and works well for us. 

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I think @kb2ztx makes a great point. You use the radio that matches the group you are with. I've been doing a lot of research and realize that I don't need all the things I thought I did. Like dual band for example. @gman1971, you are correct, I personally don't need that. However, if I'm going to cover different groups with a radio, then burden falls to me to have that capacity. Hmmm ...

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