If you are a little confused on how to plan for your future communications needs, you are not alone! To add chaos to confusion, many users are being told to move up to digital, even though direct range comparisons between digital and analog show NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN RANGE! Don’t take our word for it. Get a pair of digital radios and compare them to analog and make your own decision.
So if range is not the benefit, what IS the benefit of going digital Trucking, Privacy, Interoperability Not so! Any good quality analog radio such as the ICOM F3161 can do trucking, has built in voice encryption, and NOTHING is more interoperable than ANALOG!
There Must Be Some Advantage Of Digital Radio
So, what is it Maybe it is in the area of enhanced features, like text messaging, User ID, the ability to stun or kill a missing radio. Then it could be emergency calling, radio check, and remote listen in capability. Nah, it’s not any of those things. The ICOM F3161 analog radio can do all that! Maybe it’s because digital radios have superior audio We don’t think so, even low-cost radios such as the ICOM F3001 have one full watt of audio output while the MotoTRBO digital radio has only a half watt. Seems to us like that means the analog radio has TWICE the audio output of a digital radio.
Besides that, have you ever heard a digital radio when it loses sync It’s the same thing you see on a digital TV when the signal fades – Instant NOTHING! What is it that we are missing It must be that we need the ability to talk to people that have already converted, or plan to convert to digital? No, that couldn’t be the reason for going digital since ANY digital radio whether TDMA (MotoTRBO), FDMA (ICOM), or P25 can function in mixed mode. That means the digital user can communicate in BOTH analog and digital modes! That means MotoTRBO radios CAN communicate in the analog mode.
What have we missed Could it be cost After all; it is often claimed that digital has a longer life cycle and lower operating cost than analog? So, if that is true, why does MotoTRBO only have a two-year warranty and the F3161 has a THREE-year warranty And, if you purchase a five-year extended warranty, the cost is roughly twice as much for MotoTRBO as it is for a SIX-year warranty on the F3161. Looks to us like the operating cost for MotoTRBO is more than twice the cost of analog!
As to equipment purchase cost, you can get two good analog radios for less than the cost of one MotoTRBO! Still, it would be nice to be able to UPGRADE from analog to digital at some point in the future. That’s what the American Association of Railroads did. They purchase analog radios today that can be upgraded to digital tomorrow. Now guess what radio can do that If you guessed the ICOM F3161, you guessed correctly.
Now, let us share some information with you that your sales representative may have forgotten to mention. Was it pointed out that the effective radiated power (that’s the maximum power output allowed including the gain of the antenna) for VHF repeater stations has been limited to 10 watts for the better part of this year.
Did they tell you about the NEW pending restrictions that prohibit the use of ANY data function (that includes text messaging, GPS, and all those other features that are available on analog radios) if there is another baserepeater station assigned on your VHF baserepeater station within 155 miles.
It should be pointed out that these limitations apply only to TDMA digital VHF baserepeater operation (which is used by MotoTRBO and Hytera). These limitations do NOT apply to analog, FDMA digital (used by ICOM and Kenwood), P25, or UHF TDMA (MotoTRBO) digital systems. For a more detailed report on these limitations.
So, what about FDMA digital It is simply the best of the bunch – period! So, wouldn’t it be nice if you could purchase a full featured analog radio like the F3161T RC that could be upgraded to digital Well you can! And the price of the radio with a full keypad for text messaging and a rapid desk charger is only $399 – roughly half the cost of a MotoTRBO portable with comparable features. $399 is only a little more than the popular F3001 and the F3061T gives you the features and functions you want at the price you want to pay. For additional product information, click here, and if you want more information on the ICOM digital solution (we call it IDAS).