The Motorola SL300 review

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Man with a Walkie Talkie or Portable radio transceiver for communication at event

The Motorola SL300 range is a reliable, sturdy, and compact walkie talkie. It is built from the ground up to ensure that you do not go a second without breaking contact when in use. It utilizes a patented technology that dramatically increases its range without altering the actual profile of the radio too. If you’re looking for something that’s slim with a reasonable amount of range – this handheld radio set may be your best bet. It can transmit on UHF to better deal with obstructions (ideal for working indoors).

The Motorola two way radio can also transmit on VHF should the need arise.  It can also be operated as both analogue radio and digital radio. So you can easily communicate with older analogue models but still retain the benefits of digital communication — benefits such as better audio quality, optimized range, and more reliable battery life. The splash-proof and dustproof features can also prove invaluable for industry workers.

SL300 Motorola Review

Key Features

Small and compact

The SL300 Motorola is built in a small and lightweight design. Built-in an ergonomic design, the device is comfortable for every hand and will fit perfectly in the shirt pocket. The scanner is robust and easy to fit with accessories. The radio boasts of the IP57 rating, which means it is protected from dust and splashes. This makes it preferable for outdoor activities.

Buttons & Switches orientation

Many DMR scanners have knobs, but SL300 Motorola is different. It contains a power button, volume control buttons, PTT (push to talk), and a programmable button on the side. The radio has a firm grip, but its size makes it hard for use when wearing gloves. The buttons are not backlit, and it may be hard for use in the dark. Lack of a DTMF pad makes it hard for users who want to use repeaters.

Audio Output Quality

This radio is a leader when it comes to audio quality. Its quality beats that of many other small-sized radios. With the 500-MW speaker, the radio is audible even in noisy environments where other radios cannot work well. The speaker quality is one of the prime features that make the radio great. The microphone audio level is adjustable in CPS to fit the environment. However, it is not compatible with Bluetooth devices since SL300 radio has no Bluetooth capability

Screen Display

SL300 radio has an innovative display, which shows such features as battery status, audio level, and the current channel. Since the screen is small, it does not include many features. It only shows the active talk group. When you need to change channels, the radio shows the channel number then displays the name of the channel. This makes it tiresome to navigate through the channels to find the channel you are looking for. The LED indicator shows various colours with different meanings. Flashing Green light indicates a received signal and radio transmitting while orange shows the radio is scanning. The tuner features a voice alert that indicates the battery status among other notices.

Digital/ Analogue transmission

Ham radios are known to be in existence for ages. The transition takes place now and then, and requires time. Changing from analogue to digital is not a one-time event. It requires investing in time and money. If your business is already established with an analogue communication setting, it may take time to shift to digital. SL 300 Motorola works well with both analogue and digital systems. Hence, it is easy to integrate it with analogue systems and change it later. This saves you the cost and stress of having to change all your systems to digital.

MicroUSB dual function

The Mototrbo SL 300 radio comes with a MicroUSB port used for charging and programming. This is an addition to the original charging point so you can insert the programming cable and a charger simultaneously. If you need to add more capabilities to the radio, you will require a standard cable and the Motorola sl300 programming software.

Motorola sl300 accessories

The radio comes with a micro USB, a 2300MAH LI-ION battery, and a belt clip plus an antenna. The USB port on the radio can be used for charging or programming connections. The standard USB cable can be used for programming. If you prefer a fast-charging service, you can use the desktop charger (PMLN7109) The battery lasts for 14 to 15 hours when using with digital operations, but it takes lesser time on analogue transmission

Programming software

You can program the radio using the MOTOTRBO CPS to extend its capabilities. There are various configurations available to meet your usage preferences. When programming, you can use the user menus in the MOTOTRBO CPS to understand the multiple options available. If you want to program 25 kHz channels, you need the entitlement key to unlock the feature. DMR-MARC website provides you with ample information on programming.

Pros

  • Audio Quality: This radio has strong audio with an output of 500 MW, which offers the best sound quality for a small radio. It also works well, even at low frequencies. The mic is robust while the CPS helps regulate the level to suit the surrounding.
  • Ultra-slim design; the radio’s compact and lightweight design makes it portable and hence ideal for outdoor expeditions.
  • Interrupting Ability: This allows the team leaders to disrupt the members’ conversation when the need arises. This is critical when passing vital or sensitive information.
  • The voice confirmation feature allows the user to operate the radio even without looking at the screen. This makes it easy to use the radio even when doing other stuff
  • Simple operations. The radio is small and has very few buttons making it easy to operate it with one hand
  • Digital and Analog transmission makes the SL 300 Motorola radio seamless. The device integrates easily with the system that is in use, no need to spend money changing the system.

Cons

  • You need the entitlement ID to access the standard kHz. This ID requires the company to subscribe to the MOTOTRBO, which comes at a fee.
  • High price: The Motorola sl300 price is high compared to similar radios of the same class. The radio sells at $400, which is not affordable for many low-income earners. You can get other functional devices at a considerably lower price
  • A small Display: The screen display is tiny, which makes it a bit cumbersome. It could be better if it can display more features on the screen
  • No Bluetooth. Nowadays, almost every communication device is Bluetooth enabled, while Motorola radio does not have it. This means that you cannot install programs that require a Bluetooth connection.
  • You need MOTOTRBO to use all the programming features fully. If you are not conversant with the MOTOTRBO, you have to get a professional to do it for you which may come at a fee
  • The screen offers a limited character length- You cannot save contacts using their full names. It, therefore, becomes hard to memorize all the talk group ID numbers for access when you need to call.

Conclusion

In summary, the SL300 Motorola is a solid purchase. Granting you the freedom to not only differentiate between frequencies – but also differentiate on whether you utilise a digital/analogue signal. Little QOL improvements scattered throughout the design are likely to inspire a bit of confidence in any user. There are many features, such as the supervisor’s powers, that allow a designated supervisor to interrupt all communications to relay critical info. The portable radio stands out among other scanners available in the market. Its ultra-thin and rugged design stand out while its micro USB doubles as for charging and programming functions.

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