Sunday, November 23, 2014

Motorola Genesis Series | HT600E & HT800 UHF Handhelds

I have developed a bit of a soft spot for the Motorola HT600E and HT800 radios lately and have managed to collect a few over recent months. They are a great quality, heavy duty radio and there are plenty of accessories out there to collect. Some are rare, some less rare. I'll show you what I have below.



The Motorola Genesis line of hand-held radios includes the HT600, HT600E, HT800, the MT1000, the MTX, the MTX "Classic", the MTX800 (800 MHz), the MTX810, the MTX900 (900 MHz) and the P200 radios plus the matching accessories. The HT600E radio is the European version of the MT1000.  The HT600 was the first radio in the Genesis series and was sold only in the USA. It did not come in a low band model and are not to be confused with the UK / European HT600E radios which I'll feature in this post.

As said above the HT600E radio is basically a re-labeled MT1000 with some variations in the RSS. It features a total internal upgrade and is different than the USA HT600 radio. The control board is different but some of the RF boards are the same. The HT600 and MT1000 accessories, including batteries are the same.



The HT600E was in use for a number of years with a number of United Kingdom Police forces and Home Office departments. The HT600E is a 25KHz specification variant of the Motorola MT1000.

Around mid 2006 a large number of HT600E UHF radios were surplused by the UK national police forces. These were a special version built by Motorola GMBH for the UK Home Office and were 2 watt UHF 99 channel radios. Some of them had an encryption board designed by Marconi Secure Communications division installed inside the radio (MSC was pronounced "mask" and the option board became known as "the MASC board").

The first radio in my collection was a HT600E which I bought off eBay for about £18. It came with a fully functioning battery, battery charger and antenna. It is programmed to most UHF UK 70cm repeaters over its 99 channels which is handy. The radio is in great condition and is an ex UK Home Office variant as it has a Home Office label on the back. It works great and I can access a couple of my local repeaters on 2 watts.



The next batch of radios I acquired was again from eBay. They were part of a lot which included an old Realistic scanner, an XM2000 marine handheld and the Tait 3000 handhelds I spoke about previously. There was 4 HT800's and 3 HT600E's in the lot and 4 battery packs. I didn't expect the battereis to work but when I put them into my charger I was pleasantly surprised to see that all 4 charged and held their charge too! All the radios were in fair condition and cleaned up nicely, more importantly they all function as they should. This lot were ex North East Ambulance Service which I assume were acquired from the Police after the Tetra switch over as they were last electrically tested in 2007/2008.



The only frequencies I can find for the North East Ambulance Service is RX 166.750 TX 171.550 listed as North East Ambulance Trust Emergency in County Durham. It has been heard at least up until June 2005. The radios are all UHF though so I'll keep searching for the frequencies my radios used with the service.

The HT800 is an 8 channel variant of the Genesis family. It was available over 146-174 MHz, 403-433 MHz and 438-470 MHz but not all 3. No matter what any manual says, these radios were only available for one band. The accessories for the HT600E and HT800 are all compatible and are interchangeable between the two.

Audio quality on all of my Genesis radios is excellent and very clear despite the age of the radios. I do have 3 of the radios without batteries, two are working and one is faulty. The faulty one just won't power on at all so I need to try and figure out what is wrong with it. I opened it up and it all looks pretty clean inside and the battery contacts are clean and connected but I'll get to the bottom of it. New batteries range from about £15-£25 on eBay so I'll have to invest in a pair to get the two working radios going. That'll enable me to run the 4 HT800's back to back and two HT600E's back to back. A friend of mine has all the programming hardware and software and has offered to give programming of my radios a try. I hope to programme them to 70cm amateur band and PMR frequencies.



Last week I managed to get hold of four brand new factory sealed microphones for the radios. They are the type that feature a stubby antenna on the top. They were an absolute bargain at £10 on eBay so as soon as I got them I put them on two HT800's and two HT600E's and they work an absolute treat. The microphones are the same great quality you'd expect with any Motorola product and they sound great too.

The fitting that screws onto the radio is die cast so won't break easily and there is an ear piece jack, clip, PTT and hi/lo audio switch on the top. I'm keeping an eye out for the version without the aerial on top to give that a go.



All in all I'm really pleased with these radios and at around £45 spent on all eight, 4 mics and a charger that all work apart from one they're a bargain. Not to mention a nice addition to my collection! Do you have any of these radios? Let me know what you think of them.

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.
Manchester, UK.