The long-heralded Motorola Mototrbo R2 handheld transceiver finally arrived mid-summer. But why have we been waiting so excitedly for this industrial radio? Because the R2 is set to replace Motorola's hugely popular handheld transceiver, the DP1400.
Motorola's production has been a bit problemtic lately. Orders were not delivered on time, there were shortages of materials for certain models, and the DP1400 has also become outdated in a few ways. There was a need for a new model that would carry the DP1400 line forward, but also innovate it and that is built from materials available for rapid assembly. There is no need to bury the DP1400 yet, it is an excellent device and Motorola has shipped over 1 million units in Europe in recent years! With the DP1400 no longer available for order, let's look at what makes the R2 different, as it is very likely to become Motorola's new flagship in a few months' time.
What's inside the Motorola R2 transceiver box?
1 pc transceiver (it can be UHF or VHF)
1 pc antenna
1 pc 2300 mAh Li-Ion battery
1 pc dock charger with EU wall adapter
The radio is by default only capable of analogue mode, the DMR function can be enabled with a license which can be purchased separately (HKVN4204A).
How does R2 differ from DP1400?
If it's lighter, it's better! Yes, the first difference is the reduced weight. Because the battery capacity has not been reduced, but the size has, it is not only lighter, but also thinner. Of course, the robust casing and the big PTT button are still there. The ruggedness is still there, as is the IP54 water resistance rating. It may seem a small detail, but the size of the LED indicator at the top of the device has changed, it's much easier to see when it flashes, and it's got more functions. Here you get an indication of the battery level so that you dont have to enter the voice menu, but more on that later...
The size of the battery has changed, but the docking charger is the same! The battery of the R2 is not compatible with the battery of the DP1400, but you can use each other's charger. If someone is running a larger fleet and has group chargers, they don't need to swap them as the group chargers are compatible. The headset connector that was also a standard feature on the DP1400 has been retained, so audio accessories purchased for the older model can be used with the R2.
But the antenna has changed! The DP1400's distinctive pointed-end, short antenna is instantly recognisable, but it's not compatible with the R2’s new antenna because the antenna neck matches the DP4000-res series casing. However, it is now longer but just as flexible as it was on the DP1400. The size of the antenna has also increased the range of the radio, as its sensitivity has been improved compared to the DP1400. In analogue mode it has a sensitivity of 18 microvolts, while in DMR mode 16 microvolts, according to the datasheet. This is an increase of around 600 metres in range compared to the previous model. The edge of the radio's reception range is extended, so that noisier transmissions can be better received within a given range. I have tested this with 4 radios, the R2, DP1400, R7 and ION models.
The memory bank of the R2 has increased to 64 channels, so you can program up to 4x16 channels into the radio. In addition, the R2 has several new features that were previously only available on higher-end radios, such as extra license options:
Automatic volume control
This is a useful innovation that eliminates the need for constant volume adjustments. Most useful in fleets where multiple radios are in operation, but these radios are not all the same, or where users communicate with multiple audio accessories (e.g., car racing). In such cases, some may be louder or quieter than others. The automatic volume control licence helps with this, as it balances the volume so that you don't have to constantly turn the potentiometer (HKVN4497A).
Sinc+ background noise reduction
Originally, this feature was only available for transceivers with multiple microphones, but thanks to software improvements, R2 users with a single microphone can now enjoy the benefit of not having to pick out what was being said on the other side of the radio from the background noise. Besides the paid licenses, there are some new basic features!
Mute is very useful, especially since it can be triggered by a timer and because it can be turned on/off at the touch of a button. It's useful if you're in a quiet environment and don't want to turn the radio off, but need to mute it quickly, in which case the radio will flash red to indicate that it's muted. If set, it will even automatically switch off after 30 minutes. The advantage of this is that you don't forget to mute.
Rental timer function
Rental timer can be useful for those who don't want the transceivers to be used in periods for which radio rental fees have not been paid or outside working hours. It can be set for multiple repetitions of the time intervals during which the radio can be on. Of course, the R2 also has the usual basic encryption features, both in analogue and DMR modes. An additional encryption license can be purchased for DMR mode. And let’s not forget about the convenience features either, because there are plenty of them. Programmable buttons can be used to set multiple functions. Here I would highlight the voice menu function that can be paired with the buttons.
In the case of a voice menu, the radio will announce the currently activated function in the language selected from a list of languages. Two functions can be programmed on one button. Short and long presses of the button will perform different functions. This allows you to check the battery charge or change the zone, taking advantage of the 64 channels of fast switching. But you can also turn encryption on and off in a similar way. So you can program the radio from the 2.0CPS conveniently with a micro USB cable.
To sum up, the Motorola Mototrbo R2 is a modern radio. It follows the line of the R series, but it remains an entry level device. I'm sure it will be an excellent replacement and successor to the hitherto popular and indestructible Motorola DP1400 series.
Róbert Ferenczi, Anico Kft.