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Retevis 900MHz


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The MOQ is 200 units.  MOQ = Minimum Order Quantity.  I don't think many people are willing to spend $12k for 200 of them.

 

From studying the Retevis specs and given that I own a small fleet of Motorola DTR650 and a small fleet of DTR700 radios and are very familiar with them including their specs, I can only conclude that the Retevis 900MHz model is VAPORWARE.  Many of Retevis' specs are for conventional analog and DMR radios and are N/A for a 900MHz FHSS digital radio.  The specs appear to be a copy/paste from multiple sources, including from some of Motorola's marketing literature for the DTRs.  I have yet to find an FCC ID for the Retevis model.  Epic FAIL, IMHO.

 

Motorola is very tight lipped about the DTRs and I highly doubt Motorola has opened the protocol up to the world.  Maybe Retevis has one in the works as a reverse engineered version of Motorola's DTR radios or maybe Retevis has done their own thing to try to compete with the DTRs.

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There's also a DMR 900MHz they claim falls under ISM @ 1W, but we all know you need FHSS to operate at 1W license-free in the 900 MHz ISM band. Your move, Retevis.  :)

 

Here's the link, no MOQ. No FCC ID yet, either.

 

https://www.retevis.com/RT10-900MHz-ISM-band-frequency-digital-radio#A9212AX1

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Interesting.  This link shows a different radio, with the 200 MOQ:

https://www.retevis.com/Retevis-900MHz-License-Free-Two-Way-Radio/

 

This radio caught my attention given that I'm a DTR radio owner and use them a LOT.  The DTRs are my professional quality digital replacement for GMRS/FRS and MURS for local on-site simplex type use with family and friends.  My wife loves using them too when we are out shopping or doing whatever.  The Motorola DTRs work amazingly well and are capable of outperforming conventional UHF Part 90/95 portables on simplex.  They totally blow FRS away.  Being all digital and completely scanner proof comes as a bonus.

 

Rich, as a side note, is this 900MHz ISM forum a new forum just created on the site?  If so, GREAT!

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Used DTR's seem pretty tough to come by at a cheap price. At least, in the Ebay world. They certainly do seem to have a following. I've traded in a few from Construction and Quarry sites where guys bought them without realizing that they couldn't talk to existing conventional VHF/UHF Digital radios they already had. Similar to Retevis' advertising people, they had confused DMR Digital with FHSS 900 MHz Digital.

 

FHSS is neat stuff when they're picking out usable signals from low, low down into the weeds of the noise floor - all while hopping around at 100+ times per second, and avoiding interference on the fly.

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Thank scorpion1200, he asked me to add it. It's a great idea, I love the DTR/DLR radios and interested in anything fresh in the 900 MHz realm.

 

It IS a great idea!  The Retevis 900MHz models caught my attention because I'm a DTR owner and have also owned DLRs too.

 

The DTRs spend 90ms on each frequency in the hopset, or about 11 hops per second.

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Question to owners, out of curiosity, how do you program DTR? And DLR? Do you even program them? Or is there a feature when you "pair" them somehow? Or any DTR/DLR will work with any other?

 

No programming is needed to use the DTRs and DLRs with each other right out of the box at the factory default settings.   Customization of features and settings requires the Motorola Business Radio CPS and is a free download from Motorola.  Some features and settings on each model can be changed without requiring the CPS.  The CPS cable is around $35 on Amazon.  The same CPS and cable programs all of Motorola's business radios (RDV/RDU series, RM series, RMM series, etc.).  The one exception is the legacy DTR410/550/650 models use a different CPS cable.  You can download and install the CPS and play around with it and explore the DTR/DLR features and settings.  The latest version of the CPS is R08.02 and programs all of the older models.  You don't need a particular version of the CPS to program an older radio.  Just use the latest CPS version.

 

The Motorola Business Radio CPS can be downloaded from here:

https://www.motorolasolutions.com/en_us/products/two-way-radios/commercial-business-two-way-radio-systems/on-site-business-radios/dtr-series/dtr700.html#tabresource

 

There is no "pairing" of DTRs/DLRs like there is with Bluetooth devices.  They pair up with each other on the fly with each PTT press.  They do have to first be on the same frequency hopset and talkgroup ID in order to work with each other.  A transmitting DTR/DLR listens for an acknowledgement from a receiving DTR/DLR radio during the NEXTEL-like PTT "chirp" talk permit tone to sync up to allow transmission to continue.  When in range, transmission simply continues.  When out of range, transmission stops after the PTT chirp and emits a warning beep indicating the call failed.  The beep is a soft "do-do-doot" sound on the DLRs and DTR600/700.  A DTR600/700 will also display a Call Failed message.  The legacy DTR410/550/650 models will scream at you like an old NEXTEL phone and display a User not Available message.  The end result is you will always know that you are in range and your transmission was heard and acknowledged by another radio.  This makes it easy for range testing because you don't need two people for "Can you hear me now?" testing.  You can leave one radio on the dining room table at home and then take the other radio with you and go for a drive and press PTT to see where you get connect hits.

 

I have found people tend to use these radios right out of the box at the factory default settings, like FRS bubble packs.  I have customized the programming in my DTRs but I purposely kept the factory default public talkgroups in my programming to listen to and talk to defaulted radios.  I have private groups in my programming to keep my DTRs private when I want that.  I have monitored activity on the default public groups in my travels when passing through major retail areas.  The local Costco Wholesale near me uses DLR radios at the factory defaults and I can hear them when I'm in range.

 

They are amazing radios.

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Thanks! That helps. So, the frequency hopset and talkgroup ID is similar to the tone squelch on analog FM, do I understand that correctly? And any DTR and DLR radio that programmed to the same hopset and talkgroup can talk to each other? And when I see something like "DLR1060 6-channel" it means that it is possible to program 6 talkgroups and chose between them?

 

If the communications need is very simple: two or three radios that can talk to each other, without the need to talk to strangers on default talkgroups, then 2-channel should suffice. Do I read everything correctly?

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Sounds like another CCR, dubious if they are even legal to operate, or even if they are true FHSS... If anything, I can already tell you range will be really crappy compared to the real DTR700 radios. Most people who I've spoken to in regards to these Motorola DTR, they claim to be the best H/Ts they own... for a bit more get a Motorola and pass on the CCR garbage.

G.

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  • 6 months later...
On 7/4/2021 at 11:31 PM, Lscott said:

Does anybody own one of the 900MHz Retevis radios yet to give a first hand opinion on them?

Yes I own one.  And honestly at 1W power I would save your money and buy another radio.  Initially I was buying it to use on 900 MHz ham frequencies since it covers the whole spectrum without any modifications like Motorola 900 radios do.  However with 1W of power and 900 MHz repeaters not common in my area it just wasn't making the distance I needed to.  So for about the same price I got a Motorola XPR6580 and software-modified it to use on 900 MHz bands and with the 3W power for the Motorola it does the job quite well.  Bottom line, the Retevis 900 MHz radio is junk if you need it for repeater-type access, but for local on-site comms it works just fine within reasonable distance.  Hope this helps...

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On 2/10/2021 at 1:02 PM, n1das said:

The Motorola DTRs work amazingly well and are capable of outperforming conventional UHF Part 90/95 portables on simplex.  They totally blow FRS away.  Being all digital and completely scanner proof comes as a bonus.

I run several sites on DTR series Motorola radios as well. They do work great within their specifications. Many schools wanted something that could not be heard via Radio Shack/Realistic scanner, and then I find out their license for UHF expired. DTR series radios in ISM band were the perfect fit.

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On 2/11/2021 at 12:15 PM, n1das said:

The legacy DTR410/550/650 models will scream at you like an old NEXTEL phone and display a User not Available message.  The end result is you will always know that you are in range and your transmission was heard and acknowledged by another radio.

This thread made me look up how long some of my DTR410's have held up. Looks like 2012 was when I put the first batch into service with a school. They only needed coverage on campus, and liked the fixed antenna as it would be harder to break, and the radio was cheaper than the DTR550/650's. I doubt a Retevis would hold up to ten years and counting of use/abuse by school personnel. The Retevis reminds me of the eXRS radios that also tried 900 MHz ISM band frequency hopping, at a lower price (about $100 per pair) that made me go big and buy Motorola instead. I still have those eXRS radios, I will not even give them away to anyone, they are that bad.

The only issue I ever had was a user that tried to plug the charging connector into the cradle (single cup) upside down. I then took a silver Sharpie to the Batwings and instructed users that the connector needs to show the Motorola symbol for the charger to work. There was enough slop in the spring contacts that the cable did connect, but was not making proper electrical connection. 

DTR410s2012.jpg

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1 hour ago, WRAX515 said:

Yes I own one.  And honestly at 1W power I would save your money and buy another radio.  Initially I was buying it to use on 900 MHz ham frequencies since it covers the whole spectrum without any modifications like Motorola 900 radios do.  However with 1W of power and 900 MHz repeaters not common in my area it just wasn't making the distance I needed to.  So for about the same price I got a Motorola XPR6580 and software-modified it to use on 900 MHz bands and with the 3W power for the Motorola it does the job quite well.  Bottom line, the Retevis 900 MHz radio is junk if you need it for repeater-type access, but for local on-site comms it works just fine within reasonable distance.  Hope this helps...

I picked up a nice clean XPR-6580 too for 900MHz. The guy selling it already has a code plug built for the Ham band. I did get a second one but for various reasons the calibration got screwed when I tried to revert it to analog/DMR from the trunking version of the software. That radio is sort of a junk one I’ll use to experiment on before mucking around with the good one.

The in memory software hack to get the CPS to accept frequencies down to 902MHz does work well. You just have to remember to do the hack each time you load the CPS and then the code plug you hopefully saved to disk. You can’t read the one in the radio out. The CPS will trash the out of range frequencies.

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17 hours ago, Lscott said:

The CPS will trash the out of range frequencies.

That sounds like the same method to open up UHF1/UHF2 to full UHF range on the XPR6550.....I have made that mistake a few times, going to fast as well, then see the error that freqs are out of range for the specific model of radio. I kick myself, when doing that, as it is always when my clean (hex edited) copy is on another computer, across town or the other side of the state. I need to make my own 6550 look different form the many company ones around that do not have that mod done to them. Good to know it works on the XPR6580 as well.

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