FHSS options – TriSquare eXRS is Gone, but Motorola’s DTR650 is here

I have good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news.  You’ll have a very difficult time finding eXRS radios because TriSquare has apparently decided to stop manufacturing them.  Here’s one reference to that effect (even though as of publication, their website is still up). Apparently my recommendation didn’t go viral and significantly boost their revenue  .

Motorola DTR650 FHSS handheld radio, image from www.motorola.com

Motorola DTR650 FHSS handheld radio, image from www.motorola.com

Now for the good news.  Frequency-hopping spread-spectrum (FHSS) radios are still available for general, unlicensed use! (Reminder: FHSS radios switch frequencies multiple times per second and only transmit for a fraction of a second at a time, making it impossible to intercept without very expensive, specialized equipment, which I assume that only three-letter agencies and military units have.)

A Better FHSS Option?

Motorola is producing the DTR650, the latest in its line of FHSS radios (including the DTR410 and DTR550). This is a good thing. Motorola generally makes solid radio equipment, and the DTR650 meets various military specifications (810 C, 810 D, 810 E, 810 F) for blowing rain, salt fog, vibration, blowing dust, shock and temperature.  They appear to be much more durable than the TriSquare radios. You can see the DTR650 specifications here.

Additionally, they have many accessories available, including various earpieces, antennas, chargers, etc. And since this appears to be the latest in a line of radios, there will presumably be improvements to the product line and warranty or technical support available long into the future.

It isn’t all roses, however. I’m finding these radios for sale in the $200-250 range, per radio. That’s quite a bit more than the eXRS models, but depending on your budget and communication needs, these may fit the bill.

I haven’t used these radios yet, but I’m definitely interested in doing a hands-on evaluation. Now if I could convince Motorola to ship me a pair to evaluate…

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