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Brochure Specification comparison...


gman1971
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I posted this on another forum, but I figured it might be helpful to post it here as well. This is a comparison of some of the top of the line radios in the LMR/LEO market. Including the mighty APX8000, and the HT1250 from the 20th century... :D Added the Astro Systems Saber

UPDATED: Feb-22-2022

image.thumb.png.e628bb7b69fdeb5fcf80691a1e9ce6bf.png

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Part of metric is how much performance do you get for the money spent. A lower spec'd radio might be a better deal if the price is right. Of course for some people price is not a consideration. But I did read a few posts where some comments were made about the cost of one or more models.

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4 hours ago, Lscott said:

Can you add in the MSRP value for the base configuration of each?

Some people/organizations may get further discounts, but here is some of my pricing with each radio being a Model 3 full keypad and display version, with antenna, single battery, belt clip, and single unit charger, single zone P25 Phase 1 FDMA with no AES encryption options:

APX900 M3 $3116.00

APX4000 M3 $3392.70

APX6000XE M3 $4065.20 (this price is for P25 Phase 1/2 FDMA and TDMA with AES OTAR options)

Then there is the XPR7550e M3 TDMA at $1006.40 (this org gets screwed on these, I tend to try to get new old stock instead at one third the price from a trusted vendor).

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APX radios, new, are certainly out of my budget and most people's budgets, but that hasn't stopped me from finding many of the XPR7550e/XPR5550e I own, used, for < 300 bucks... 

Also, reliable radios are priceless IMO, yet people sink 1k+ on a phone... but they cheap out on the radio... I still can't wrap my head around that.

G.

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1 hour ago, PACNWComms said:

Some people/organizations may get further discounts, but here is some of my pricing with each radio being a Model 3 full keypad and display version, with antenna, single battery, belt clip, and single unit charger, single zone P25 Phase 1 FDMA with no AES encryption options:

APX900 M3 $3116.00

APX4000 M3 $3392.70

APX6000XE M3 $4065.20 (this price is for P25 Phase 1/2 FDMA and TDMA with AES OTAR options)

Then there is the XPR7550e M3 TDMA at $1006.40 (this org gets screwed on these, I tend to try to get new old stock instead at one third the price from a trusted vendor).

Sad part is government agencies and mega businesses are paying those prices. Then 10 to 20 years later you can buy them used for a small fraction of those prices, and most are perfectly usable.

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2 hours ago, Lscott said:

Part of metric is how much performance do you get for the money spent. A lower spec'd radio might be a better deal if the price is right. Of course for some people price is not a consideration. But I did read a few posts where some comments were made about the cost of one or more models.

Performance is relative to the person's expectations, so things like durability matters to some, others only care about top notch receiver performance (me) others only care about color screen and 500,000 contacts... For example, if you think about it, an APX8000 is basically 4 bands in one radio, effectively its the same as buying x4 XPR7550e radios (new).

But then the APX8000 is a brick, I wouldn't want to wear that to anywhere... its big enough that it could be used as a backpack radio... rather than a belt radio... but that is JMO.

Range depends on altitude, but the thing about an APX radio over an XPR is filtering, that extra filtering allows it to work inside industrial places chockfull of RFI, etc, and still hold reception whereas most other radios in the market will simply blank out, including the XPR7550e.

G.

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Well as I agree radios cost money so does every piece of equipment a FF or police officer wears doing there job. About 10 years ago I got a FEMA grant for radio for our FD. It was the most money the FD spent on radios in decades. In the end the radio cost less than my interior gear, air pack and tools. If I fall thru a basement I want a radio that works in those extreme locations. I have also had friends die in a large fire. OSHA reports show communications was a contributing cause (as most do). As an officer or friend I wouldn't want to be the one to tell there wife, kids, family that we bought a inferior radio to save a $. $10K for a radio is not even worth one life. Same goes for the mobile side. Buy $500,000 ladder truck....Putting a $5000 mobile in it shouldn't break the bank. 

 

@gman1971 thanks for the comparison. 

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2 hours ago, gortex2 said:

$10K for a radio is not even worth one life. Same goes for the mobile side. Buy $500,000 ladder truck....Putting a $5000 mobile in it shouldn't break the bank. 

+1 on this. This is also what convinced my employer (through many arguments and meetings trying to beat this into their heads) to go with APX6000XE and up for fire. NFPA1802 is driving the requirements for firefighter radios to the XE (Exteme Environment) series as they are rated for five minutes at 325 degrees F. The new spec may move that up to 500 degrees F, based upon the death of firefighters in California in 2012, where the remote speaker mic cable melted, but the radio otherwise would have functioned, had that cable not melted. 

My own local corporate fire department just bought million dollar Aircraft Rescue Fire-Fighting (ARFF) trucks, but failed to budget another $20k for comms. I am now getting this as part of the Long Range Budget Plan (LRBP) for the replacement of ARFF trucks across the country. If you buy the truck, you need to include the cost of Icom aviation and Motorola XE series radios in that budget. Plus antennas, intercom headsets, etc. We will not be using XPR7550e handhelds for that type of work, even if the rest of the site is Trbo.

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2 hours ago, gortex2 said:

Well as I agree radios cost money so does every piece of equipment a FF or police officer wears doing there job.

So what really drives the high prices? One could say the engineering, testing certification and so on. Or the manufacture knows the customer will pay it simply because there isn't anything else out there that's competitive. As technology gets better one should be able to buy the same quality equipment at lower prices as time goes by.

How many would continue to buy the older models because they know they work but can't due to the manufacture obsoleting them so they can sell an updated version at higher prices when maybe you don't care about those new features. When the manufacture knows a customer will pay $8K for a radio what stops them from introducing an updated one for $10K?

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Engineering and testing costs go up as everything else does. Add in manufacturing costs, shipping and every other thing involved in communications. It all adds up. Competition does change the price model but for certain items all vendors are in the same ballpark. Its not just radios. Its every piece of gear a FF or LE/EMS unit use. Heart monitors, ambulances, weapons, air packs all cost more every year. Its the price of doing business in some aspect. I dont have the answer but I definitely agree you get what you pay for....in all things.

 

Oh and our SAR team still uses HT1000's that are way obsolete but they do what we need. We do have a mix of APX and XTS also but the HT is the go to radio for a field team.

 

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12 minutes ago, gortex2 said:

Engineering and testing costs go up as everything else does. Add in manufacturing costs, shipping and every other thing involved in communications. It all adds up. Competition does change the price model but for certain items all vendors are in the same ballpark. Its not just radios. Its every piece of gear a FF or LE/EMS unit use. Heart monitors, ambulances, weapons, air packs all cost more every year. Its the price of doing business in some aspect. I dont have the answer but I definitely agree you get what you pay for....in all things.

 

Oh and our SAR team still uses HT1000's that are way obsolete but they do what we need. We do have a mix of APX and XTS also but the HT is the go to radio for a field team.

 

A good radio will always be a good radio. The HT1000 is one of those good radios, rugged and with a decent receiver... obviously no screens nor none of these fancy bells and whistles we have on radios today, but the receiver was very decent. I remember seeing these used all over the place in the 90s.  I still use CDM radios for light duty repeater application. Radios in the past used to be built to last a lifetime... nowadays, everything has been "forced obsolescence..."

G.

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1 hour ago, gman1971 said:

A good radio will always be a good radio.

I agree. Still use CDM series radios, and HT series as well. Great series, well built and still holding up in many cases. Recently, I was contacted by a "secret squirrel" special projects group that wanted to have me check their radio system. Luckily, they were in a shield room, with no public facing aspects, as they were still using HT600's in 2021 (narrowband requirement kicked in in 2013). 

HT600's were fully functional, but they said they could no longer find batteries (IS rated ones) for them. They may get placed into the corporate "radio museum" along with first generation Sabers and HT220's. 

CDM1250.jpg

HT1250.jpg

HT600.jpg

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Exactly, and hot dang, HT600... by today's forced obsolescence standards those would belong in a museum... but those guys still using them is a testament that these radios are indestructible... and that they will, indeed, last a life time. That is the plan for my XPR7000 fleet...

Battery availability, yeah, that is why I am stocking up on batteries for the long haul on my XPR7000 and SL7000 fleet... but I know all things always come to an end... so we'll see....

G.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
I posted this on another forum, but I figured it might be helpful to post it here as well. This is a comparison of some of the top of the line radios in the LMR/LEO market. Including the mighty APX8000, and the HT1250 from the 20th century...
image.thumb.png.d87b834a79c07017b74a157ef05eddc5.png
Can you add the UHF Systems Saber? I know it is a unicorn, but it is probably one of the few with Part 95 certification. If you need a catalog sheet I will send you one.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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8 hours ago, JLeikhim said:

Please see Attached Motorola Systems Saber catalog, specs and FCC Grant for part 95.

Those System Saber radios were awesome. I still see some in use in some parts of the country, especially California law enforcement. I myself still use a VHF Astro Saber Model 3 for some uses as well. Had to eventually upgrade to a Lithium Ion battery, which makes it slightly shorter now, and required a newer multi-chemistry charger. But still a very capable and useful radio. If mine were in UHF, they would be used for GMRS for sure. I gave two away to amateur radio type friends and now only have two myself. They were removed from a maritime environment, spares for use on motorized barges used to transport oil products along the West coast. The Saber radios do have excellent specifications for the time they were manufactured.

Astro Saber 3.jpg

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2 hours ago, PACNWComms said:

Those System Saber radios were awesome. I still see some in use in some parts of the country, especially California law enforcement. I myself still use a VHF Astro Saber Model 3 for some uses as well. Had to eventually upgrade to a Lithium Ion battery, which makes it slightly shorter now, and required a newer multi-chemistry charger. But still a very capable and useful radio. If mine were in UHF, they would be used for GMRS for sure. I gave two away to amateur radio type friends and now only have two myself. They were removed from a maritime environment, spares for use on motorized barges used to transport oil products along the West coast. The Saber radios do have excellent specifications for the time they were manufactured.

Astro Saber 3.jpg

The XPR7550 was heavily inspired by the Astro radios... that is why I like the XPR7550e so much... I used to like those old Astro radios... 

On a different note... Seems like PAC owns at least one of every Motorola radio model built to date... Is there a Motorola radio model you don't own? :D

impressive! 

G.

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