Users may not create topics, posts, or private messages containing or relating to the following material (especially pertaining to Motorola copyrighted software, unless you want Motorola to come along and shut this site down):

  • Listing for sale or trade of, or links to sites offering for sale or trade of, or giving away, Radio
    Service Software (RSS) or Customer Programming Software (CPS)
  • Profanity, pornography, defamation, or slanderous remarks directed towards any individual or entity
  • Commercial advertising (except in the Batboard Vendors forum, as approved by the Admin/Mod Staff)
  • Any other items which may be deemed as offensive

If any topics, posts, or private messages containing or relating to the aforementioned material are brought to the attention of the Admin/Mod Staff, they will be deleted.

Additional FAQ items appear here in Forum Rules. Please review them for posting guidelines and further clarification.

Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

The General forum is where users can discuss any topic regarding Motorola communications equipment - hardware, software, etc. There are also several focused forums on this board, so please take the time to ensure that your questions doesn't fall into one of those categories before posting here!

Moderator: Queue Moderator

g8tzl2004
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:13 am

Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby g8tzl2004 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:19 pm

I have previously read comments about the excellent performance of the top end Kenwood TK2180/3180 series.

I have just tested 2 identical UHF TK3180's and the RF front end performance was very poor..basically as per the manufacturers spec of 0.3uV for 12dB SINAD (-117dBm). I'm very disappointed with them. My Motorola XTS and Waris radios are about 5-6dB more sensitive (0.16 - 0.20uV). An uncopyable signal on the Kenwood is fully Q5 on the Motorola's...so the Kenwood is useless for weak signal DX.

Maybe Kenwood need to build their radios deaf so that they can achieve the stated intermod spec..whereas Motorola has good intermod performance with great RX sensitivity.

Any body have any other views on the Kenwood radios?

One good feature is that the Kenwood radios can scan all channels and have multi zone scan...but I'd rather have a sensitive RX so I can hear weak signals!! But Motorola should start to implement more than 16 channel scanning.

User avatar
ces911
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:41 pm
What radios do you own?: APX8000,NX5210

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby ces911 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:06 pm

Kenwood is a great product, I believe the kenwood is better then motorola, except there APX series.. I prefer kenwood for there audio RX and TX, I have the NX Series which is the NX210 and 200, Great audio and RX and TX
I monitor my PM's, So I should reply fairly quick...

User avatar
MTS2000des
Posts: 3347
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 4:59 pm
What radios do you own?: XTS2500, XTS5000, and MTS2000

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby MTS2000des » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:44 pm

Have your Kenwood's aligned. In my experience, the TK-2180 and 3180 blow away any of my Moto stuff (XTS2500, 5000, MTS2000) for receive sensitivity. The exception are my XPR6550's, which are neck to neck. The TK-2180 can hear distant systems with decent quieting that require an open monitor press to even hear down in the noise on my XTS radios. And yes, all my Moto gear is operating to spec. All of them are factory radios, no ALT (ABC1234) B.S. radios.
The views here are my own and do not represent those of anyone else or the company, the boss, his wife, his dog or distant relatives.

tvsjr
Posts: 4113
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 9:46 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby tvsjr » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:25 am

MTS2000des wrote:Have your Kenwood's aligned. In my experience, the TK-2180 and 3180 blow away any of my Moto stuff (XTS2500, 5000, MTS2000) for receive sensitivity. The exception are my XPR6550's, which are neck to neck. The TK-2180 can hear distant systems with decent quieting that require an open monitor press to even hear down in the noise on my XTS radios. And yes, all my Moto gear is operating to spec. All of them are factory radios, no ALT (ABC1234) B.S. radios.


Exactly. The Kenwood radios are only roughly aligned from the factory, unless you supply frequencies and add the L code for a complete alignment.

CircleBat
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:11 pm

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby CircleBat » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:05 am

Kenwood is a great product, I believe the kenwood is better then motorola, except there APX series.. I prefer kenwood for there audio RX and TX, I have the NX Series which is the NX210 and 200, Great audio and RX and TX

This is quite true.. Motorola Fan here, but kenwood sure puts out a great durable product.. Find the Kenwood DMR sounds better than the icoms.. anything beats an Icom.. Kenwood has really improved their products from 10 years ago..

CircleBat

CircleBat
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:11 pm

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby CircleBat » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:05 am

Kenwood is a great product, I believe the kenwood is better then motorola, except there APX series.. I prefer kenwood for there audio RX and TX, I have the NX Series which is the NX210 and 200, Great audio and RX and TX

This is quite true.. Motorola Fan here, but kenwood sure puts out a great durable product.. Find the Kenwood DMR sounds better than the icoms.. anything beats an Icom.. Kenwood has really improved their products from 10 years ago..

CircleBat

g8tzl2004
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:13 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby g8tzl2004 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:32 am

Interesting comments that the Kenwoods are only roughly aligned in the factory.

What's the L code?

I have also recently acquired 2 Kenwood VHF TK270's but found that both radios were deafer than my VHF MT2000...again about a 6dB difference in sensitivity which is very noticeable on weak signals. I carried out real world tests using the same identical external antenna..on a weak signal the MT2000 was far better than the TK270

I also carefully realigned both TK270's but found that front end alignment was very broad with no obvious peak...but I tried lots of different "linear interpolation" options to see if I could get any improvement but it was not noticeable.

All the Kenwoods are "in spec" but the front end spec (0.28uV for 12 dB SINAD) is very poor. Motorola also have a similar "official" spec but Motorola radios usually significantly outperform the spec by 6-8dB.

I have a few Motoroal radios which are just "in spec" and I think they suck...but most of my Motorola stuff significantly outperforms the spec. In fact, Motorola now often quote a "typical" spec of 0.22uV as well as an "official" spec of 0.30uV. It seems that my Kenwood radios just met the official Kenwood spec.

Has anybody realigned the front end of a TK3180 and noticed any improvement? Is the Tk3180 front end tuning very broad?

I really wanted my TK3180's to be good RX performers so I am very disappointed. In a medium/strong signal commercial environment, I guess they are great radios..but for weak signal DX my TK3180's are poor...lets hope realigning the front ends will help...but past experience with both Motorola and Kenwood front end realignment suggest that any tweaking will not make much difference?

g8tzl2004
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:13 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby g8tzl2004 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:44 pm

I've looked at the sevice manual and it looks like the TK3180 UHF 400-470 MHz alignment is very odd!!!

There are 2 band pass filters and 5 test frequencies which are label L , L', C , H' and H ie low, low mid, center, high mid and high test freqs.

You input fixed default values on 2 of the 5 test freq for BPF 1 ie H' and H (100, 256)

You input fixed default values on 3 of the 5 test freqs for BPF 2 ie L , L' and C (1,20,40)

You then tune the other test freqs ie. BPF2 H and H' and BPF1 L, L' and C for 12dB SINAD or better!!!!!

Is this something to do with the L code?

Is it best to ignore the default values and tune for best sensitivity on all test freqs??

Any other comments?

User avatar
wavetar
Administrator
Posts: 7311
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 4:00 pm

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby wavetar » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:55 pm

g8tzl2004 wrote:Is this something to do with the L code?


The 'L code' is simply an option line on the order, indicating you want factory tuning at your requested frequency(s). Someone else will have to help you with the specific alignment questions, I haven't seen any xx80 series stuff.
No trees were harmed in the posting of this message...however an extraordinarily large number of electrons were horribly inconvenienced.

Welcome to the /\/\achine.

g8tzl2004
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:13 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby g8tzl2004 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:36 pm

Thanks Wavetar.

Motorola stuff uses "linear interpolation" where you align on 7 test frequencies - so performance is the same on all frequencies across the band.

You would think that Kenwood does the same - ie. factory aligned on 5 (not 7) test frequencies across the band to provide identical performance from 400-470Mhz?

I can understand that old radios might have needed to be retune if you move the operating frequency by, say, more than 10 MHz, but I would have thought that the modern stuff is completely wideband?

But I am hopeful that my TK3180 is out of alignment which explains its poor RX performance...although carefully realigning my VHF TK270 did not improve the RX.

g8tzl2004
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:13 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby g8tzl2004 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:11 pm

UPDATE: SUCCESS!!! I've realigned my TK3180 and got a good improvement in front end sensitivity - maybe slightly down on my best Motorola stuff but way better than the previous 6dB lower sensitivity...why does Kenwood not align for optimal sensitivity in the factory???

There a 2 band pass filters with 5 test frequency alignment points spread across the band. I could get no improvement in the recommended FIXED default settings for BPF 2 on the 3 lowest test freqs - L, L', and C (1,20,40). Likewise for the 2 highest FIXED test freqs for BPF 1 - H', H (100, 256)

BUT for the test freqs which are meant to be aligned, there was a good improvement.

For BPF2, the alignment seemed to be way off (H' and H settings were originally 124 and 135 and are now 70 and 70 ....alignment was actually very flat between 1-70..maybe I need to lower H' to less than 70...in order to maintain a linear increasing sequence???

For BPF1, L , L' and C were originally 34, 83 and 100 and are now 25, 50 and 65. The original values seem to be where the SINAD just started to improve (starting from 256)...the Service Manual stated that you inject a 119dBm signal and look for 12dB SINAD...maybe the factory alignment just stops when 12dB SINAD is achieved rather than seeing if you can get anything better!!!!

g8tzl2004
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:13 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby g8tzl2004 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:25 pm

The Service Manual RX alignment proceedure states that you inject a 119dBm signal and tune to obtain 12dB SINAD.......NOT 12dB or BETTER!!!!!!!!

I'm sure that the Kenwood factory follows the service manual and just aligns to give 0.25uV (119dBm) for 12dB SINAD...there is NO attempt to improve on 12dB...when the meter reads 12dB the alignment stops...even though the radios can perform better than 0.25uV for 12dB SINAD.

Any views?

Maybe its done in order to achieve intermod specs...if the radio is aligned to be too sensitive, it might result in a decrease in intermod performance?

Anyway, it seems poor that Kenwood radios don't seem to be aligned for maximum RX sensitivity in the factory.

KG4LHQ
Posts: 642
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:50 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby KG4LHQ » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:23 pm

PM SENT

g8tzl2004
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:13 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby g8tzl2004 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:19 am

I've just programmed a Kenwood UHF TK3140. When I checked out the service manual, the front end alignment instructions state that you align for the "start" of the peak and then lower sensitivity by 1dB. So again, maximum sensitivity is not achieved..although its only down by 1dB.....why is this????

The TK3140 front end alignment is very similar to the TK3180 where you seem to align the radio to a fixed sensitivity of 119dBm for 12dB SINAD...and the factory does not try to improve on this. On both radios, front end alignemnt is set at just below the start of the "peak plateau".....as with Motorola radios, there is not a well defined sharp peak but a flat plateau where the sensitivity stays about the same. Because of this, small changes in the front end softpot values don't seem to make much difference..as long as you are approximately in the middle of the peak plateau.

When I have tried to realign the front end of my Motorola radios, I have found that the best way to find the middle of the peak is to look for the softpot values where the peak just starts to dip on both sides and then take the average value ie. if sensitivity starts to drop at softpot values 25 and 75, then use 50.

I was reading the XTS5000 serice manual and front end alignment states exactly as highlighted above - tune for either side of the peak plateau and then "manually" calculate the mid point!!!

But why does Kenwood align radios in the factory just below the start of the peak plateau rather than in the middle of the peak plateau..if you know what I mean!!!

User avatar
escomm
Queue Moderator
Posts: 5118
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:24 pm

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby escomm » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:51 pm

If you are that interested in your Kenwood radio, you should probably head over to a Kenwood board. This is a Motorola forum. Please keep your posts and threads on topic.

g8tzl2004
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:13 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby g8tzl2004 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:06 am

UPDATE: I have recently acquired a VHF Kenwood TK2180.

As with the UHF TK3180, the radio' has been aligned in the factory to give a very poor -118db (0.28uv) for 12dB SINAD whereas all my Motorola stuff have been factory aligned for maximum sensitivity...which is the right thing to do...surely??

There is a significant 5-6dB improvement in the TK2180 when its aligned for maximum sensitivity....and its very obvious when you align the BPF's...the TK2180 is aligned below the "edge of the peak plateau"...as per the service manual instructions!!

The TK2180/TK3180 are the only radios where I have seen a significant improvement when you tweak the front end. With most of my Motorola stuff, front end alignment is generally very broad with no sharp peak. There is also no sharp peak with the TK2180 with the radio being aligned below the "peak plateau" to give the required "deafness" of -118dBm for 12dB SINAD!!

I can only think that the TK2180 is deliberately "misaligned" in order to balance a 5w HT with a 50-100w base?? If the radio is too sensitive, then you will hear a 50/100w base but not have sufficient TX power to be heard??

The original TK2180 BPF1 (SENS1) values were 41, 78, 112, 149 and 185. The new values are 67, 102, 146, 180, 251.

My TK2180 now has more or less equal sensitivity as my Jedi MTS2000 and 1st generation HT1250 (2nd generation HT1250's are deafer!! and full of birdies on VHF)). The one big advantage of the TK2180 is that you can scan more than 16 channels and can scan multi zones. One downside is that the TK2180 cannot handle over deviated signals as well as my analog Motorola stuff - 5KHz dev on a 12.5 KHz narrow channel rattles the filters...whereas my Motorola stuff has no problem. My VHF XPR7550 in analog mode outperforms the TK2180 and most of my Motorola analog/digital stuff (MTS2000, HT1250, XTS5000) although I can only test using the set top antennas - so its not a true comparison...but the UHF XPR7550 has a fantastic front end so I guess the VHF XPR7550 will also have a hot front end!!

g8tzl2004
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:13 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby g8tzl2004 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:43 pm

UPDATE : Using a VHF "long" wideband Motorola antenna (red colour code) with the TK2180 gave better sensitivity than using the XPR7550 with its original "in band" VHF long antenna!!...although the XPR7550 antenna is not as long as the wideband Motorola antenna so I guess it will have less gain?

The VHF wideband long antenna is what I nornmally use on the MTS2000 but it fits the TK2180 although the official Kenwood antenna has an extra ridge on the SMA plug so its not a perfect fit. The Kenwood VHF antennas (both stubby and red dot helical) gave poor results...nothing heard vs XPR7550 at signal margin...although the Kenwood stubby is only half the length of the wideband Motorola antenna.

kb3awq
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:17 am
What radios do you own?: Kenwood and Motorola and Icom

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby kb3awq » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:52 pm

Nice improvement on my 3180 and 2180. Now just need to find the values for my 7180 and 8180
John W. Springman III - KB3AWQ.com
GMRS - WQGU515

User avatar
W5KVV
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:00 pm
What radios do you own?: Motorola, Midland, Kenwood etc

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby W5KVV » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:38 am

Well I'm a little late to the party but I'll throw my 2 cents in.

I own a full keypad 2180 and a fleet of Waris portables. Honestly I like them both but my Kenwood will out hear the HT's bar none. It has a much hotter RX than the HT750's and the HT 1250's I own. Mind you this is all VHF equipment. I have a HT1250 in the UHF flavor, but nothing else in UHF to compare it to. The Kenwood wins on RX.

Here's where the Motorola wins:

Up until last year I used a HT 750 at work. Issued to me brand new out of the box in 2002. I work in a RR switch yard. I literally beat that radio to death. Dropped from 20 feet off the ground on to ballast. Soaking wet. Frozen. Left out in the blazing sun on 100 degree summer days. You get the picture. IT WOULD NOT DIE. I used the same HT 750 for 14 years and it just kept on going. In 14 years I went thru 3 batteries, 2 speaker mics and numerous belt clips, but the radio was all original. Now, I'm told the Waris line has the reputation for being "weak" when compared to its predecessor and successor, but you could have fooled me. Mine was bullet proof.

In contrast, my Kenwood just will not take the same kind of abuse. Minuscule problems that shouldn't be happening are happening. Including but not limited to: Both plastic knobs broke within a year of use. The channel encoder has been replaced, the display went nuts the first time the radio got good and wet. Yes, I work in the rain. It's on its third base charger and I've lost count of what battery it's on.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Kenwood. But the Waris line gets my popular vote.
Matt
W5KVV

g8tzl2004
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:13 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby g8tzl2004 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:37 am

Interesting comments. I found my official Kenwood stubby antenna was useless!! To get a true RX comparison I guess its important to use the same antenna..or maybe the same external antenna using an SMA to BNC adapter or whatever.

radio9881
New User
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:02 pm

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby radio9881 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:12 pm

For BPF2 (SENS2) is there any settings that help or is this left alone?

g8tzl2004
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:13 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby g8tzl2004 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:37 am

The TK2180 VHF service manual says that you skip SENS2 alignment.

The TK3180 UHF radio does involve adjusting some (not all) of the SENS2 settings...as described in an above earlier posting.

I think I was going to check to see if the VHF SENS2 settings had any affect on RX sensitivity...but have not yet tried. If you are aligning your TK2180, it might be worthwhile just checking to see if you can improve on the SENS2 settings?

radio9881
New User
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:02 pm

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby radio9881 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:53 am

Ok, i just wanted to check see if SENS2 was aligned as well if not, ill leave it alone. the settings you posted for BPF1 (SENS1), worked well. It woke up my radio RX sensitivity.

User avatar
Bill_G
Posts: 3036
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:00 am

Re: Kenwood TK2180/3180 vs Motorola XTS, Waris and Jedi

Postby Bill_G » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:01 am

Reading through this, I have to chuckle that -118dbm is very poor. There was a time when that would have been considered excellent, and to some extent still is, especially for conventional single and dual conversion receiver designs. But, thanks to the digital cellular revolution, there have been significant semiconductor and receiver design improvements that have pushed the direct sensitivity down another 10db. That, in turn, has prompted an imperative to reduce site noise down towards -140dbm.


Return to “General Motorola Solutions & Legacy Radio Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot] and 6 guests