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What was your first /\/\otorola radio?

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!

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What was your first /\/\otorola radio?

Postby K2XM » Sun Apr 21, 2002 4:02 am


OK, so I'll start a new topic.....what was the first Motorola radio you ever had? Here's mine:

First mobile: 80-D 2 channel converted to transistorized power (I'm sure
that if it had still be dynamotor powered my 71 Nova would
have complained BIG TIME!!)

First portable: Not exactly portable, more licke carriable. I don't
remember exactly model it was, but it was the type that
had the little tubes in it, about the size of your pinkie.

OK, I told you you tell me yours!!

Hudson, NH

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Postby Nickdap » Sun Apr 21, 2002 4:18 am

Cool Topic

Mine was and still is an MTX838....I'm a new comer.


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What I started with....

Postby JAYMZ » Sun Apr 21, 2002 4:35 am

An 6 channel HT600 issued by the ambulance corps I belonged to at the time. That radio was used abused and then replaced by an 8 channel GP300 issued by the same squad. When I went to work for a commercial provider I bought brand new my very own HT1000 and GM300(didn't really need anyhting more). Both of which I had up until recently. The HT1000 became eBay fodder and the GM300 is currently residing in one of my co-workers trucks. I currently run a VHF A4 Spectra, Low Band Maxtrac, and VHF Saber III portable.

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Postby RadioSouth » Sun Apr 21, 2002 6:40 am

1st radio was HT220 from work, had passing interest as a SWL. The radio hobby 'bit' me when I went with a friend to the observation deck at the WTC (RIP) in the early 70's. He had a Drake 2mFM (about the size of a
mobile with self contained batteries) he was using 1 watt on .52 simplex
and guys as far as 70 miles away were yelling at him as he was wiping
out their local QSO's. That was it for me- been a radio addict ever since.

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What was your first Motorola radio

Postby bundy125 » Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:05 am

A 2 channel, 100 watt dynamotor set, 36-42 mhz. Yes, it would dim my headlights when transmitting and throw my generator on my VW into conniption fits.

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Old /\/\

Postby fail999 » Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:17 am

30D/16V VHF

Yes, my hair is gray. I still have a working 5V in the shop that I fire up about once a year just for fun.

First portable, let me think. Ah yes, H23 packset, lots of peanut tubes.

Busy Line

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Postby alex » Sun Apr 21, 2002 8:36 am

Mine was a Maxtrac 100 VHF :). Baught it for $40. Given what I know about modifing maxtrac's now, I wish I kept it. It had a 16 pin board :(


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Postby Wes » Sun Apr 21, 2002 9:22 am

I was 16 years old and just getting started in the Junior FD.....It was a MT500 VHF 4 ch. The guy at the service shop told me it was doing close to 9 Watts, and it must have been because it kept blowing fuses (the green one in the battery compartment). I took it back and he turned it down to around 6 Watts... no more probs....MT500's were and still are top of the line in my book!!
Last edited by Wes on Mon Apr 22, 2002 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Paul » Sun Apr 21, 2002 9:22 am

I thought it was my beloved HT220, but now I'm sure that my first Mot
radio is my old faithful SCR-300 (BC-100) aka 'Walkie talkie';
the first (as far as I know) FM radio ever made.
Atr the time I bought it I didn't know that 'Galvin Mfg Co.' was Motorola.
Now I have 2 of them, one with battery case and another with PSU.
Still work great: 40 - 48 Mc, VFO control (with lock!), freq marker, etc
<img src="">

a very clear view of this radio:

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Postby RADIOMAN2002 » Sun Apr 21, 2002 10:34 am

My first mobile was a GE Prog Line Vibrator Ps, Special Product, built for the New York State Police. Had a DFE on Low Band to monitor both Base Frequency and Mobile Talkback, or Car to Car. Had it installed in a 1970 Coronet, and Yes if you left it on for more than 20 min it WOULD kill the battery. My first portable was a Vietnam Special Forces HT-220 with a black frame. VHF 2 channel CS. Pretty neat portable at the time.MY first base station took 3 people to get into my basement. If anybody knows what a Pre-Progress Line base was, thats it. You could use the PS tubes to do an x-ray of yourself.

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re: 1st radio

Postby Ray D. O'Mann #2 » Sun Apr 21, 2002 11:49 am

Well, there was this cocky guy I worked with for a short time, 13 yrs ago who had an HT90 UHF. He said to me in the most demeaning manner possible "hey, maybe you can have one like this someday". HAH. That got the bug going for me, and the first was an 8ch MT500 VHF which I rebuilt with all new case parts, and bought a new charger for it. I sent it in to M and had a ham freq installed, (it already had three) and a telescopic antenna just for fun, and a brand new case and speaker mic. I love the old thing, I still have it, and I even have a converta-com for it. However, it sits unused for years at a time until I pull it out just for fun. Oh, and I have two mint condition HT90's as well, just in case mr attitude shows up again.

The first radio (non-motorola) for me was a 40 channel Fuzzbuster brand CB with a radio shack magnet mount. And I put the magnet mount on a wooden table. Inside my house. (hey, it worked for a 1/4 mile!?!?!) I was only 13 at the time, gimme a break.
Last edited by Ray D. O'Mann #2 on Mon Apr 22, 2002 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby 10-95 » Sun Apr 21, 2002 11:55 am

The HT-90 was a nice radio, I was issued one at my first Job in 1983, 2 channels VHF, I really thought it was the best, my how times and radios change! I am currently trying to get a HT220 4 channel working on 2 meter ham. I just recently got an MX350 up and running on 2 meters, the MX350 is probably my all time favorite old M rig.


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My first radio

Postby 2wayfreq » Sun Apr 21, 2002 12:57 pm

A guy traded me a gp350 he had for some good antennas. It had a crappy battery though. I got a JBRO for it and it works great, just some pitting on the front grill. Now I also have an HT1000 UHF(DN), 3 GP300s: 2 UHF, 1 VHF 2 channel (cant be modified), and a nice A4 Spectra with MLM board.

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Postby mts2000des2 » Sun Apr 21, 2002 3:28 pm

The first real radio I ever had aside from an Icom U-16 which I bought when I was 16, was a Motorola MX-330-S VHF. I bought that radio from a guy who picked it up at a military surplus supplier. It was practically brand new (old stock) and the bandsplit was 136-150.8, after finding someone with an R1801 to program it, I was a happy camper. Though my MX was alow power (H33), it outalked most of my friend's Yaesu and Kenwood ham radios. And with the ultra-high cap batteries, I charged it maybe once a week! It had the cleanest TX and RX audio I ever heard from a portable, and back in the early 90's, it was still somewhat revered though now MX's are a dime a dozen and antiques. I eventually sold it at a hamfest, and it is still out there (somewhere).

That is what got it started for me. Almost two years later, A UHF Saber II came my way and well, the rest is history.
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Postby central150 » Sun Apr 21, 2002 3:41 pm

My first radio was an HT600 UHF. I still have it, and still use it..

Tony :evil:

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Postby apco25 » Sun Apr 21, 2002 5:46 pm

I'm not quite sure what my first was. I have had the following

MX series, both crystal and eprom
MT1000, several models (great radios)
Saber III
Systems Saber III
Astro Saber (EARLY model VSELP years ago)
Saber SI (should have kept it)
MTS2000 in several bands
Spectra in several models
Syntor X9000

What I have now, personally

3 Motorola MTS2000 model III , VHF, UHF, 800 Mhz
2 Motorola Spectra A9 110w UHF and VHF
1 Motorola Spectra C5 800 Mhz
Spectra VRS
Spectra Siren PA

Don't plan on changing anything until I have to go digital, then its Astro Saber and Astro Spectra. Got 2 years before the dept moves to IMBE

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Postby Julian » Sun Apr 21, 2002 5:56 pm

My first M radio wasn't quite as historic as others on this board, but it was still every bit as special to me :D . I recieved 2 VHF 2 ch. SP50's :( .....I'll always have a special place for the SP50.
Julian (KD7QOX)

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Postby Julian » Sun Apr 21, 2002 5:58 pm

Don't know why the second "unhappy" Emoticon appeared in my previous post.......?

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Postby HumHead » Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:19 pm

MT500, and they had to darn near pry it out of my fingers to "upgrade" me to a Visar :x

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Postby Batman » Mon Apr 22, 2002 5:32 am

My first radio was 2 Motorola P-50+ on UHF my very first (non-motorola) radio was a cobra 142gtl (Breaker, Breaker 1-9 er)
Thank You,


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Postby thgiz » Mon Apr 22, 2002 6:50 am

VHF MT500 with a speaker mic...yep i still have it

and a VHF syntor 4 channel mobile.... with Scan!!! wish i still had it...

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Postby craig » Mon Apr 22, 2002 10:50 am

My first Motorola radio was a MT500 slimline, with straight cord non-PS speaker mic. It was issued to me by the PD I worked for, and it is the most durable radio I have ever had since!

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Postby fireradio » Mon Apr 22, 2002 11:31 am

My first Motorola radio was a two-tone keynote voice pager on UHF. My first actual two-way radio was a UHF HT-1000 403-470 with DTMF keypad. My second radio (but first mobile radio) was the MCX1000 VHF / DES.
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First Radio

Postby 1 Adam 12 » Mon Apr 22, 2002 12:02 pm

Not counting the MXs' in the Military, First radio with the Guvment, was a MT500 VHF 8 channel with scan back, and the matching pocketed converta-com, for talking to the locals and VHF MX and dual band syntor package in VHF/UHF for the home office. When you had 64 channels in 1986 that was a lot.

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Postby kyledooley » Mon Apr 22, 2002 12:11 pm

Newbie... MTX8000 B5 (First owned)

MT1000 (first used) as volunteer firefighter.


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Postby Radio_Cowboy » Mon Apr 22, 2002 3:22 pm

:D good topic! :D

My First Moto Radio was a P-200 UHF (which I still have and use)
Now have several more. 8)

My FIRST two-way was an old aerotron single channel VHF-HI Tube rig, converted to a ham repeater...(still got it, too.. :o )


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Postby Bob » Mon Apr 22, 2002 6:42 pm

When I first started with my fire department, I was issued a lowband MT500. They were phased out shortly thereafter, and mine was replaced with an MT1000. My ambulance squad, at the same time graduated from Wilsons to 8 channel VHF GP300s. It was a decent radio because it offered a lot more features than the Wilson, but I soon found that it was a poor choice for Public Safety. When my partner's GP300 failed and she almost got the crap kicked out of her, I went out and purchased a pair of MT1000s. Never again did we have a problem with an unruly patient. :lol: I did my research before getting my first mobile, and went right for a VHF A4 Spectra. I love that radio so much that it recently started another life as a C9.

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Postby Elroy Jetson » Mon Apr 22, 2002 7:01 pm

Mobile: 100 watt VHF Motrac
Portable: Regency HH156-D6 crystal rig, receive only
operation. I lived two blocks from the Regency factory
and I dived in their dumpster practically every day. Most
of their employees were cool with it but there were a
few frustrated and powerless assholes who'd chase
me off or at least try to. But they'd go home at five
and I'd dive at 5:15. I found PILES of radios there,
and parts, too. I remember standing a foot deep
in silver mica capacitors that had been tossed out,
all brand new but not used in any current product of
theirs. If only I'd had a connection to a parts house
that would have bought them...!

My first REAL portable (A Motorola, that is) was an HT220.

My first surplus radio purchase (from the government):
A pair of MX-330's.

I had the BEST time farting with those MX's, trying to get
them working. I was very new to radios at the time and
still in school learning electronics for technicians, so they
became my pet projects. I got a set of manuals for them
and acquired some spare parts and spent so much time
on these little wonders that I almost literally memorized
the ENTIRE schematic for the radios. I got to know them
practically as well as the guy who designed them.

I got to the point where I never needed the manual anymore
and I can still fix them without the manual most of the time.
Certainly spare parts are cheap enough now, with working
radios (great for parts!) going for under 20 bucks.

I say the MX's are the BEST teaching radios ever made.

An MX is also the first radio I ever owned that actually
had a channel I could legally transmit first ham rig.
Thanks to Bomar crystal company.

My best stunt was hand-picking the very best performing
parts for a synthesized four channel MX (Scorpio series...did
you know that was the series name for synthesized MXes?)
in VHF. Mid split, 150.8 to 162, with a maximum rated spread
for the VCO of 12 MHz. When I got done hotrodding that
radio with the very best parts I could pick from a LARGE pile,
the radio was up to 48 channels, hit full quieting at .15 microvolts courtesy of an unusally hot preamp module, and performed to spec or better over the ENTIRE range from 144 MHz to 174 MHz.
To think that the VCO was rated for 12 MHz and I got THIRTY out of it...what an amazing stunt. I just picked the very best parts I could find, that's all.


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Postby Will » Mon Apr 22, 2002 7:11 pm

My first Motorola radio was a T41GGV, low band 40 watt all tube radio in 1969. My first two-way radio was a Heathkit "lunch box" on 11 meters, 1962.

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Postby walt10 » Mon Apr 22, 2002 11:46 pm

My first Motorola radio was a HT-200 crystaled on the 146.82 repeater. Worked great but was hard to bend over if I put it in my back pocket!!

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First radio

Postby Glen W Christen » Tue Apr 23, 2002 8:46 am

Very first radio was a Knight Kit R-55 SW receiver (kit) 1961. Still fire it up occasionally after replacing the filter caps.
When I was first employed I had a T51GGV: dual vibrator, all tube on 35.98. Then graduated to U71HHT Motrac; all tube TX. Then to a T71LHT; solid state exciter.

Have worked on many portables but first was an HT100 (H23DDN)

Most durable radio ever built was the MT500. Repaired one used as a chock under a locomotive (new case) and one fished out of a combine rock trap (Similar forces are generated when hit with a sledge hammer) Only needed new crystals and front cover.

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Postby firemed9 » Tue Apr 23, 2002 1:12 pm

my first radio was a portable, a HT-50, that was quickly upgraded (downgraded in my opinion) to an HT-440 with a convert-a-com. All dept issue. I quickly upgraded to the HT-600, which i still own and use from time to time.

My first mobile was a maxtrac 300 16 ch. with 16 pin connector, i kick myself everyday for giving it up.
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Postby Pj » Tue Apr 23, 2002 1:47 pm

First Motorola radio was a UHF 100 watt X9000. First radio (non-cb) was an ICOM W32A.

I don't know how many times that I have attempted to kill the X9000, but after shocks, smoke shows and learning to wire the proper way, still works like day one.

Between publics saftey and the hobby, my collection has grown to:
X9000 UHF (now part of a dual radio setup)
X9000 VHF See above
X9000 Low Band
1 UHF A5 Spectra
2 900 B5 Spectra's
1 VHF Astro Saber 3 (Saber 3 before that)
1 UHF Astro Saber 3 (Saber 2 before that)
VHF P200
ICOM 2800H
>Had a Kenwood V7A dual bander, but ended up with the ICOM

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Postby mike m » Tue Apr 23, 2002 2:40 pm

First real commercial HT: a GE low band PE with The PSLM (priority search lock monitor AKA scan) I still have it and still use it once in a while. I worked 9 east coast states one December day many years ago on 52.525 from Arizona. Motorola MT500 low band with DTMF front on 6 meters, still a great radio.

First real Ht: A Kenwood tr2200A AKA shoulder pack radio with internal NiCad battery pack, at 2 watts out I worked florida from michigan on 146.52 back in the late 70's with the telescoping whip.

First Moto mobiles: A T powered UHF on 444.3 MHz and 2 Mocom10s, one on 29.6 andthe other one on 52.525, the mocom10s were a major pain with the tuning slugs in the descriminator always backing out on a monthly basis even with the wax in them.

But Now I've moved to synthesized radios such as the Ge MPAs with frequency agile software (AKA the MAH) for VHF,220, UHF and 900 Mhz along MPDs for the same ranges and a maxtrac 900 MHz mobile and 4 GE rangrs for VHF, 220 MHz, 6 meter and 10 meter ham all with the frequency agile S990 control heads. Oh yeah and still my favorite my Saber II VHF.

My least favorites are my work XTS3000s, they just don't fit in the back pocket like the saber or even the MPAs do.

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First Moto HT

Postby Blitzbug2u » Tue Apr 23, 2002 5:50 pm

My first was when I got in ham radio 26 years ago--it was a Moto HT-220 w/ an aftermarket synthesizer board in it--would only do 2 Mhz-146/147. One of the interconnect wires broke, and I couldn't find anyone that knew anything about the aftermarket board in it. C'est la vie--A lot has changed since. Blitz

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Postby RCVMO » Tue Apr 23, 2002 6:23 pm

My first radio was an HT 200 that my father gave me after he re-crystalled the rig. It was one of the first UHF radios purchsed by Detroit PD back in the late 60's when the switch from VHF to UHF was made. I remember the fun my dad had putting that system together. Front ends were not as tight as they are now. I also recieved his "lunch box " base station from the days when they were on Lo-Band VHF. Somewhere up north, lies the old one way station that transmiited on 1.710 MHZ. My father had an old Truetone combo TV, shortwave reciever. Believe it or not, this thing had to before the comercially made home tv was introduced. It's mine now, and it still works, giving somewhat a distorted picture. If dad was around today, he's probably sh!@#$%^ if he saw what i was doing with Satcom, and Wireless data. Things like AVL, GPS, MDC, MDT's, and the like weren't even thjought of back in those days. And about women and radios? My mother knew how to use one. My father scurried us off to our cottage some 70 miles from Motown during the '67 riots. He gave my mother a VHF MH-10 and told her to use it if she ever had trouble out there. I remember hearing Detroit Fire dispatch from that location, where myself and my sisters all gathered around the radio listening to the saga unfold. Such an event, I'll never forget.

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Postby mike m » Wed Apr 24, 2002 1:35 pm

Hey Jimmy

I remember those radios that Detroit PD used to use around the same time period, the officers used to tell the dispatcher that they were going to their PREPs meaning the portable radio. Do you have any idea what PREP stood for in that term ?


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Postby Cat_Herder » Sat Apr 27, 2002 7:05 pm

My first Motorola Portable was an HT220, late 1970's or so...I was working for Motorola USFG and was based out of Rhein Main AFB, in West Germany (back when East was East and West was West..)...later on after coming back to the USA, I was given a MX360S UHF portable...that lasted until 800 trunking came online and I was issued another MX series that was fully trunked, and the mobile was the *GASP* Mostar.
"...No Matter where you go...There you are..."

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Postby DoPpleGAngEr » Sat Apr 27, 2002 7:39 pm

Cat_Herder wrote:My first Motorola Portable was an HT220, late 1970's or so...I was working for Motorola USFG and was based out of Rhein Main AFB, in West Germany (back when East was East and West was West..)...later on after coming back to the USA, I was given a MX360S UHF portable...that lasted until 800 trunking came online and I was issued another MX series that was fully trunked, and the mobile was the *GASP* Mostar.

Hey Cat Herder, did you know the M service managers back
then in the region at the time ? L.C, and B.F. ? (still with USFG
now here in the states), or a girl tech JM ?

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Postby kens » Sat Apr 27, 2002 8:14 pm

My first VHF radio was actually a GE packset. Did about 1/2 watt weighed about 12 lbs. Single channel (on fire simplex). Had 15 D cells for rx and 2 45v batts for tx. I had it on the floor on my 69 Chev truck connected to a Larsen 3db ant. I was surprized when it actually talked over 10 miles to our dispatch center. I later replaced it with a M Dispatcher doing a whopping 12 watts. Only problem was on a cold morning it would be off freq until the xtal heaters started working.

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1st Radio

Postby evoc1998 » Sat Apr 27, 2002 10:26 pm

8) First radio I ever used was a Motorola HT-90 and shortly thereafter HT-220. We got hi - tech and much smaller with the Expo's. Synthesized with HT-600, GP-300, more rugged with Sabers and now Astro Saber III

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HT 90 VHF 5 watt

Postby Susan157 » Sun Apr 28, 2002 4:10 am

My first radio was from my dad's RCC ,the HT90
portable.Best last radio i fell "big M" made that
was quality.The new ones do not match this
old radio.

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Postby vhfr1289 » Sun Apr 28, 2002 8:26 am

My first motorola was an old cb rig Ithink it was only 20 channels but I cant for the life of me remember the modle #.
I guess thats where this nasty habit began :D .
Now I have a mt1000 vhf high band 99ch with dtmf (best radio ever made) and a convertacom for all three vehicals, a gp68,lots of expos, a gp300, an old ge 2 ch lunch box, and a 20ch relme mobile.

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Lunch Box PT200

Postby Ray D. O'Mann #2 » Sun Apr 28, 2002 8:46 am

How about them old lunch box PT's... I bought a near-mint PT200 for $125.00 five yrs ago. It's on 154.46 csq t+r. Works great. What a neat looking old fossil. Lots of D cells, though. I also have the color brochures for lots of old models.

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What radios do you own?: ht1550 XLS,6 MT-1000,

my first moto

Postby KitN1MCC » Sat May 04, 2002 8:22 pm

well mine was a p100 still have it as a back up loved that radio

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Postby wavetar » Sun May 05, 2002 3:42 am

While I've used just about every "M" radio at one time or another, I've never actually owned one...I just fix 'em.


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First Motorola

Postby bernie » Sun May 05, 2002 8:13 pm

The first Motorola radio that I used was a single channel FMTRU/80D
on the RCC in Tucson. In'68. I was a tech for Niles Radio, which was the GE dealer, and RCC.
The van was a Ford Econoline and the dynamotor sounded just like an electrolux vaccuum. It was mounted on the engine cover next to my right elbo. It also had a "Secode"mechanical decoder about twice the size of a modern radio.

It was not too reliable. It occasionally would transmit, allways if you had a meter on it.
The transmission had a lot of "hash"from the dynamotor.
I replaced it with a TPL.
I went to work for Motorola in '71 Here in Hawaii, and as "Customer Service Engineer" I have had very many Motorola radios to play with since.

Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 12:58 pm


Postby Cat_Herder » Tue May 07, 2002 8:14 pm

Wow!! Blast from the past!! The service manager then was Joe R.(that was at the airbase in Frankfurt) and lemme the area office (it was in Wiesbaden..) Rob O. and there was a few others..uh,'re catching me short on this....sheesh...(old age?) one person that went from there to Australia.
The Area FTR was Marinus J., and one guy I worked with on the VII Corps installation was transferred here to the Hanover area office...dang...I think that there was a lady technician, but she *may* have been assigned to the Berlin Shop....Let me see who else I remember...uh..Mark N. and there was Otto B. (at Ramstein AFB) and Jan B., he was the AFEES alarm tech (remember the old Tone alarm system that was the forerunner of Intrac? ) There was one gentleman that I ran into at the Colorado Springs shop, (that was when I was at Denver North Service center...Area KZ) Oh..btw,..Area V is still the best...heh. :D
"...No Matter where you go...There you are..."

R F Burns
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 4:00 pm

Postby R F Burns » Wed May 08, 2002 12:25 am

First radio: Hallicrafters S-38D (still have it.)

First CB: Johnson Messenger 123A (with the "Channel 22A" mod.)

First Mot base: Desktop Consolette

First Mot mobile: T43GGV in a '69 Pontiac Catalina. Big radio, big
car. I just loved thwacking the copper PL TX reed -- it made a cool "BONNNNG" sound (just like when you "gently" tap a keyed-up HT-220.) (No pic available *sigh*)

First Mot portable: H23AAC

-RF Burns

Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 4:00 pm

This hobby is really an illness!

Postby etherking » Fri May 10, 2002 1:18 pm

After reading this thread I arrived at the above opinion. We are all sick, especially those fo us who own more than 10 portables for no apparent reason........

Etherking :roll:

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