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Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

This forum is dedicated to discussions pertaining specifically to the Motorola ASTRO line of radios (those that use VSELP/IMBE/AMBE), including using digital modulation, digital programming, FlashPort upgrades, etc. If you have general questions please use the General or Programming forums.

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MT2000 man
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Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby MT2000 man » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:54 pm

I know, it's been discontinued for the last 7+ years, but just wondering if any agencies out there still actually have some Astro Sabers still in service ? I know most of them have already switched to the XTS5K's (and some are still moving over form the XTS3K's) but is anyone still using the "old" astro sabers ???

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby Jim202 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:59 pm

Some of the DEA offices are still using them as their main portable.

Jim




MT2000 man wrote:I know, it's been discontinued for the last 7+ years, but just wondering if any agencies out there still actually have some Astro Sabers still in service ? I know most of them have already switched to the XTS5K's (and some are still moving over form the XTS3K's) but is anyone still using the "old" astro sabers ???

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby N4KVE » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:31 pm

I just finished watching the TV show "Bait Car" where the LA County Sherrif's Dept leaves a Caddy Escalade in bad neighborhoods waiting for someone to steal it. The car has TV cameras inside the vehicle & it is tracked a short distance recording all audio & video in the car. After a few blocks the "team" kills the engine by remote control & the marked units move in for the arrest. It clearly showed the lead detective killing the engine by pressing the "0" twice on the keypad of an Astro Saber. The show was filmed this year. GARY N4KVE

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby FireCpt809 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:39 pm

My neighboring FD is using AS's VHF model I's and a few II's. They even have a few analog Saber I's as spares.

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby Josh » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:15 am

Cleveland Police Department.

I haven't seen anything but astro sabers.

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escomm
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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby escomm » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:23 am

LAPD still has some floating around as does LA County Sheriff. From what I understand LAPD still has many of their old Astro Sabers, apparently they elected not to take Motorola up on their trade-in offer. I also believe a few can be found within LA County EMS as well.

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby MT2000 man » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:28 am

escomm wrote:LAPD still has some floating around as does LA County Sheriff. From what I understand LAPD still has many of their old Astro Sabers, apparently they elected not to take Motorola up on their trade-in offer. I also believe a few can be found within LA County EMS as well.


That's interesting to know. I was wondering if the LAPD still was using thier Astro sabers. Cool to know that they still have them. Departments that don't need the newer Astro25 equipment I guess would still either have the old Astro Sabers or the XTS3000's. Heck my local PD is still using thier 12+ year old MTS2000 Model I UHF's and have no future plans on upgrading. It's just interesting to know what departments in the digital world still have the AS's. Interesting responses thus far for sure !

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby FireCpt809 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:40 am

My FD has mostly VHF HT1000's we even have a few AN's mostly DN's and the new rigs are delivered with HT1250's at last count we had over 50 portable radio's It torks off my Batt chief who does the commmunications that he thought he had the primo radio a HT1250.. Til i started using my FPP XTS5K.. Now he is trying to get the FD to buy him one.

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby N4DES » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:35 pm

I have one agency here that uses them exclusively in 800 MHz. My group maintains them under a service agreement and have a 100 or so in service, but about 50% of those are going away with rebanding.

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby mtr12222 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:55 pm

Not local but a lot of feds still have AS II's and III's. A lot of USSS guy prefer that radio because it was so thin; they are all out of service with the USSS though. Cleveland PD still has them. I've seen them in NYC with the DEP and FDNY EMS.

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby KI4RGV » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:10 pm

DEA Task Force Agents in the Broward County area of South Florida are still using 403-433 MHz System Saber III's in this area.

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby tvsjr » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:48 pm

Watch COPS sometime... pay close attention to the radios vs. the copyright date of the particular episode. I've seen 2009 episodes showing departments still using STX821s!

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby txshooter » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:03 pm

Houston PD is still using Astros and regular Sabers
DEA Astro Sabers and a few regular sabers in some offices still
FBI a few Astro Sabers running Around
US Marshall's Office, I have seen a few local guys with them but they have mostly switched over the the XTS5000
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MTS2000des
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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby MTS2000des » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:25 pm

tvsjr wrote:Watch COPS sometime... pay close attention to the radios vs. the copyright date of the particular episode. I've seen 2009 episodes showing departments still using STX821s!


Back in 2007, I picked up a lot of STX821's from KS4VT, I kept a pair for nostalgia, sold one on here and donated the rest to a guy from the San Bernardino County, CA SO who said they are still using them and needed parts to keep the ones at his station (Rancho Cucamonga) up until they could get grant money to replace them. I've seen episodes of COPS shot since then and some SBCSO still have STX821's though I saw some deputies carrying XTS5000's. Not surprised Astro Sabers are still in service. Some agencies just outside Atlanta in North Georgia are still using HT600/MT1000's (White county FD).
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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby motorola_otaku » Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:47 am

Houston PD's using them until the 700 Astro25 system gets rolled-out. UHF range 2, model 2. Every one I've seen so far come up as surplus was 512K with VSELP firmware. Agency engraving is on the battery plate, of all places.
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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby FireCpt809 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:49 pm

My neighboring department's radio guy just loves astro sabers so much he got the department to buy 20 ex-RCMP VHF model II's off some Ebay seller. They run them with the high cap battery, wideband antenna and otto speaker mic's the radios have to be 3 feet tall.

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Re: Any local agency's still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby GlennD » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:39 pm

We had some task force officers issued LASO Astro sabers with bad batteries. Since the city XTS5000s had more than enough room for the LA city and LA Sheriff channels, i just added them to the city issued radios so they would not have to carry two radios.

Based on this, the LA Sheriff dept is still using at least some Astro Sabers. The interesting thing is that the radios had the old LA City channel alignments. I suppose they never use the LA City channels.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby d119 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:29 am

The City of Pasadena Police Department still uses a few Astro Sabers, but not many.

I'm quite sure San Diego Police Department still has a few in service (along with the Saber SI).

I think LAX (Los Angeles World Airports) officers still carry a few of them.

They are still out there in Southern California.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby n3obl » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:14 am

Here interesting about cleveland astro sabers.

They are using vselp radios.. and in digital mode.

Frank

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby MTS2000des » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:18 am

Cleveland is STILL using VSELP? Why don't they move to the MARCS system?
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby n3obl » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:25 am

per marcs guidelines. big metro agencies will not be brought onto marcs.
would overload system.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby kyledooley » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:36 am

Thread's a little old, but I saw on last Saturday's COPS that Houston is still using Astro Saber IIs.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby KE7JFF » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:29 am

When I was at the US Border at Blaine, WA, the customs officer noticed my ASTRO Saber sitting on my dashboard and well the conversation turned to radios. He mentioned that US CBP still uses them at some border stations, typically where they need to talk with other agencies. Blaine wasn't one of them as they have IWN there.
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby 007 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:20 pm

I'm currently using my VHF AS3 with a hi-cap pack and dipole as my carry radio for any interop or P25 needs. I had a XTS3000 for a while but "downgraded" back to an AS3 several years ago.

It's got a fairly new AS firmware and it got a flashcode overhaul last year, so it's good to go for awhile even though it will be retired soon to a hammy/screw-around radio because it's not P25 trunking compatible.
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby motorola_otaku » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:32 am

kyledooley wrote:Thread's a little old, but I saw on last Saturday's COPS that Houston is still using Astro Saber IIs.

Heh, they've still got analog Saber IIs on the street. The lucky ones get Astros at the start of their shift.

Again, fair warning when they start hitting the auction block in a few years after the 700 system gets built out: the vast majority of them are 512K and VSELP or analog-only.
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby kyledooley » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:57 am

motorola_otaku wrote:Again, fair warning when they start hitting the auction block in a few years after the 700 system gets built out: the vast majority of them are 512K and VSELP or analog-only.


Saw that too. Another episode in Houston last week and the guy had a beat-to-sh!t, analog Saber II. Great radios, but I'm not sure I'd be comfy with a 20 year old piece of gear that has lived within an inch of its life between me and my back-up.

Definitely a testament to the Saber series though. Find yourself a desk queen and for guys like me just hamming or something you've got something that will never die.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby DC615 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:36 pm

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) still use them (VHF P25, IMBE), but I think that I have saw a few XTS series floating around with them.

I use one as well, although its not issued. Works like a champ.
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby mikegilbert » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:26 pm

Seattle Police still has plenty of Astro Saber 2/3s running around on 800mhz.
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby banks » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:35 pm

Los Angeles Port Police is all P25 UHF Saber and XTL5's.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby recyeco » Thu May 06, 2010 11:00 pm

Ive seen LAPD Motors Still using the Astro Saber III as recent as (05/10), Probly because of the radio setup they have to their helmets (mic.etc).
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby banks » Sat May 08, 2010 2:46 am

All LA City agencies (LAPD, LAXWA, PortPD, GS) are Astro Saber.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby recyeco » Sun May 09, 2010 10:31 am

banks wrote:All LA City agencies (LAPD, LAXWA, PortPD, GS) are Astro Saber.



LAPD Officers were issued theirown XTS500, But like i mentioned the motor officers are still using astro sabers.
Oh, and also Some units in Metro division aswell like k-9. Why?? i dont know.
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby colby4601 » Fri May 14, 2010 1:06 pm

recyeco wrote:
banks wrote:All LA City agencies (LAPD, LAXWA, PortPD, GS) are Astro Saber.



LAPD Officers were issued theirown XTS500, But like i mentioned the motor officers are still using astro sabers.
Oh, and also Some units in Metro division aswell like k-9. Why?? i dont know.

They were issued their own take home portable? Or they were issued a portable that only they use?
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby FireCpt809 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:48 am

I spent a few days in LA the middle of last month.. Every motor cop I saw had an Astro saber with the headset adapter. Patrol officers had XTS5k II's and III's. LAX police had all Astro saber II's The LAFD at LAX had 5K II's

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby MarkHam2B » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:43 pm

Corrections Officers of the New York City Department of Corrections can still be seen using Astro Saber 1's.
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby 4n6inv » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:55 pm

As far as style and "cool factor" it's hard to beat any Saber model - analog or Astro. I had one when I worked just outside Atlanta on 800, but opted for the MTS2000 because of the backlit keypad. Ditto for the XTS5000. I'm currently living in Hell (West Texas) and alomost everyone out here- at least in the sticks - are on VHF, except Abiline. Bwaa Haa Haa! Suckers! Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face? They went with MA/COM (MA/NOT COM) on 800 and digital Provoice. Talk about making yourself an island! Boy; they sure showed Motorola! they've been scratching their asses so long now, over four years, that they're developing carpel tunnel syndrome. Although; I guess anything beats the Motorola shop that they used to use. Hell; smoke signals would work better; but, I digress...

I've always owned several different flavors of Sabers, and still have one of the old conventional Sabers M III with DVP - NO I don't use the DVP. My coolest one - in my opinion - go ahead and laugh - is my Astro Saber R. The gigantic brick with the $124.00 battery in case I ever can't live without being a weinie whill I'm floting in the pool... Oh; wait! My XTS5000R might just survive a little moisture. Well; at least I could club a midget to death with it.

If Sabers weren't so big, and if they had backlighting; there'd be no contest. But, those little bitty assed keys suck when you're in the wood or the dark at night. You know how often you have to make phone patch calls in the middle of the night in the pitch black.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby Splat » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:15 am

I was down in south NJ a while back and I can't remember where exactly I saw it but I know I saw MX300 series radios still in use by a few LEO's. I know they're bricks but ..... wow! :o ..... and yes the Saber series is still the sexiest radios ever. :D
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby MT2000 man » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:22 pm

Wow, good to see this topic still alive :)

Yes, upon my travels (countless airports, cities, etc.). I've noticed many if not most of the airport police/security have gone with the XTS5000's. I remember before when I used to travel (in the early 2000's, 01, 02, etc.) MOST of the customs agents, airport security, would be carrying around Astro Saber II's.

It's cool to see that these older radios are still alive and ticking !!

I've unfortunately got rid of my last Astro Saber (an Astro Saber IIR, that was one radio that I was truly sad to let go of, but being SOOOO SUPER large, it just sat on my desk most of the time getting no actual use).

We currently use MTS's out here, and I think in the future I hear we will soon be upgrading to XTS2500's.

Oh well, APX in another lifetime I guess haha.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby ssd » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:22 am

I had a mts2000 mod 2 800. And well we are now rebanding so I did not want my mts rebanded so I got a as3 with p25 and rebanding. So I have a astro saber and I love it.the p25 is nice on my as too

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby fchrist16 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:30 am

Oakland PD in Oakland California still has Astro Sabers. I was talking with a captain today and he actually likes the radio, hates the system though. 800Mhz trunked in a building-rich city...

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby akardam » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:21 am

fchrist16 wrote:Oakland PD in Oakland California still has Astro Sabers.

And an Astro Saber does EDACS... how?

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby fchrist16 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:29 am

No clue but they somehow got them to do it...

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby akardam » Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:23 pm

fchrist16 wrote:No clue but they somehow got them to do it...

I'm gonna have to go with "nope" on that one.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby ssd » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:50 pm

T.p.s security company in Sacramento ca ues astro saber 3. Uhf for county wide dispatching. We have 2 channels in p25 and des-xl ofb if we need to ues it. I love my as3 and it's works grate in Sacramento.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby kyledooley » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:02 pm

This weekend on COPS, it appears that the US Marshals' Atlanta fugitive task force is still using them.

The guy they were riding along with had one laid out on the table in front of him for the roll call and was using an Astro HHCH in his expedition. Don't know if it was a famous-yet-elusive A3 head on an Astro Saber convertacom.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby chrismoll12 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:49 pm

They had a bunch of XTL and XTS series in that last episode. All different kinds of models

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby FireCpt809 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:08 pm

Ive worked on USMS cars for the last 12 yrs. I have never seen a Astro saber AVA in their cars. All the HHCH W3's have been High power Astro spectras and now XTL5000's. DHS ICE had some SVA, AVA's and now XTVA's

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby escomm » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:26 am

Just had an LAPD detective drop by this week to get a stubby antenna ... for his Astro Saber ... guess LAPD still has a few of the oldies floating around and hasn't completely issued out the 5k's quite yet.

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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby MTS2000des » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:56 am

kyledooley wrote:This weekend on COPS, it appears that the US Marshals' Atlanta fugitive task force is still using them.

The guy they were riding along with had one laid out on the table in front of him for the roll call and was using an Astro HHCH in his expedition. Don't know if it was a famous-yet-elusive A3 head on an Astro Saber convertacom.


Tons of them down here. GEMA also has a large cache of ASIII VHF portables in their MCV's.
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Re: Any local agencies still using the Astro Saber ??

Postby N4KVE » Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:31 pm

I was in LA a few weeks ago, & the cops in the Airport were using them on 460.525. GARY N4KVE


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