Kirisun Radios - Quality of the components

Good day,

My company bought the Kirisun PT3600 radios for my site. These radios are frequently broken by means of cracked housings where the batteries clip in. I send this to Head office and the radio tech always just say it is broken due to negligence by dropping the radio.These radios is still in a working condition when it was sent, but he always have to replace $60(converted) worth of components. I do not believe this.

  • How likely is it for the internal components to break with an alleged dropping of the radio from assumingly a height of 1m?
  • Surely if a radio is dropped once then there should be no breakages as this should have been tested for durability?

Hi Jaco, we are based in the US and do not carry that make and model, so I am not familiar with it. According to the specs on this radio, it is rated IP54 for ingress protection from dust and water, but that doesn’t make it resistant to shock or vibration. If the internal components are delicate or of poor quality, they may not take much of a drop at all, no matter the IP rating. I don’t have a Kirisun, and I’ve never opened one, so I couldn’t say if the radio tech is being straight with you about it or not, because I don’t know.

My guess is the $60 cost is not to replace components, but the entire radio. A lot of these lower end radios are not worth the expense of servicing, so if the housing is cracked or damaged beyond a simple repair, it’s more economical to simply replace the entire radio. Since a warranty generally does not cover breakage or damage due to accidental mishandling or negligence, the company or end user has to pay for the repair or replacement. The Kirisun PT3600 is in that general price range, so it is very possible the company is simply buying a new radio to replace it.

I’m very confused. The Kirisun PT3600 is a budget radio, and I can buy them for the price you are spending on repairs? They’re not going to survive drops on solid ground - concrete, for example and the cases crack, especially near the bottom of the battery packs. They are made from hard, quite brittle plastic. Breakages are quite normal. If you want reliability and toughness then your budget needs to increase by around 500% - a serious amount. What you have are disposable radios. There’s a place for these - paint balling in the mud, or other risky environments where losing a $300 radio is a big annoyance to the bean counters. Losing a $60 radio is much more palatable. Technical quality off the radios is fine - but they’re not Motorolas, Icoms or Kenwoods.

The company bought it due to the cheap price @±USD100 each. I work in the security industry with 30 guarding officers under me all sharing the 8 radios on site. I definitely agree with the quality of plastic yet I do understand that if you drop it on concrete etc ,that it could break.

The repaired radio i am referring to, the technician said to me that the volume/switch button, a resistor and a capacitor had to be replaced and the pc board is cracked. These repairs and a new battery is included in the $60.

My main question is, how likely is it for internal components to break,crack etc when dropped? obviously if the radio fell on the volume control, it will show damage to the control, however on this radio there is no visible damage on the volume control.

In general I do not think this radio is appropriate for the security industry especially guarding and these guys have a radio pouch as well. I am searching for a valid reason for these radios to be taken off site. We used to have Motorollas, which I never had as many damage as I have with these radios.

So are we right in guessing you are in the UK?

Are you using public PMR446 radio frequencies or do you have your own dedicated business frequency?

Quite frankly, if this is security and public safety is at risk, using cheap radios because they were cheap is just not going to sound very good when written down in an accident report and read out in court.

Motorola makes some very solid PMR446 radios for the UK market that are double the price but will give you four times the service life.

The other issue is your use of public frequencies that can be monitored by every kid with a radio in a ten block radius. It’s too bad Motorola UK went out of production of the UK version of the DTR radios. They may be almost triple the price, but they will last ten times as long, and will be 100% secure. No one can monitor them … short of maybe the CIA.

Here is North America, we can access 900MHz frequency-hopping radios (that you can’t get in the UK) and can access the Motorola DLR 1060, which would be IDEAL for your purposes. Small, discreet, reliable, military-grade, amazing range, perfect sound clarity and lots of volume in even noisy environments.

On the other hand, the UK does seem to have a lot of high-quality PMR radios that we don’t get here. Our market in the public GMRS/FRS band radios seems to be dominated more by family “bubble-pack” radios you buy at the big box retailers.

I’d guess they using one of the 5 yr licence, VHF for UHF business packages - “Business Light” is the term here. Clusters of channels, shared on a non-interference, but unprotected basis. Loads of security firms, and stopwatch systems use these, and there are people of course who listen in, so digital with encryption is becoming more important. We don’t have our old type approval system - it was quite tough, like the US before we went European and lax, but it does mean that as longs as radios are within their specification nobody is interested in checking them. I’m old enough to remember my first licence where a man from the Government turned up, stuck them own a test set, then handed me the licence. Now you apply on-line, get instant response, then buy a couple of Baofengs and you are legal.

Commercial users wreck radios regularly, so the decision on the radio is usually made on a purely financial perspective. ?300 per radio with warranty and perhaps 3 year lifespan, or ?60 per radio with a 6 month lifespan on some? My son works for the Police in communications and the lifespan of their radios at quite a high cost per radio can be weeks. I suppose somebody should be doing a risk assessment. How critical is comms - to the Police, it is loss of life as the highest risk, to a security guard in a UK shopping centre, it’s usually theft, rarely anything more serious in terms of the radio traffic the system carries. The most common failures are due to batteries - the usual case of somebody grabbing a radio off the charger, when it was the one only put on charge ten minutes before and with only a small charge in it. I was clearing my store out and found a couple of brand new Motorolas still in their boxes. I put them on ebay for ?60 each, a fraction of what they cost. Nobody bought them. I sold a brand new digital Baofeng DM-5R I bought to see what they were like and never got it out of the box after reading the problems with the Tier incapability. Somebody bought it for ?25, and complained and wanted a refund - the postage cost me a quarter of what they paid! The only people who seem to think professional quality radios are worth the money are people who really understand value for money. Sadly, we’re moving to disposable radios.

For what it’s worth - PMR446 here is pretty terrible. the cheapo products rule the roost, kids have them everywhere, and the few business who run them because they don’t know better get quite fed up with how unreliable their comms are. One local restaurant order food with their, and the locals take great pride in mimicking voices and cancelling orders or adding extras - they’ve been doing it for at least two years now, and the restaurant seem totally unaware. We also have a local school who pass details of children’s names and addresses, issues at school and other identifiable stuff over their PMR446 system, against our VERY strict protection laws. I tried to explain to the headteacher, but got dismissed with the statement that their radios were all ‘coded’ and secure. He fell for the marketing blurb on the boxes.

We are radio dealers based in South Africa, and have sold probably well in excess of 2000 Kirisun PT3600 portable radios. The reliability of these radios is absolutely second to none to any other radio in the same price class. We have had a radio brought in for repair after falling from a 30-metre grain silo on to a concrete road and in spite of a damaged case near the antenna, a broken volume control and a replacement battery being required, the radio still worked. No components broke loose from the PCB, no crystals fractured as a result of the fall and the PCB was certainly not fractured.

The same Company who owned that particular PT3600 then brought another one in for repair which had been driven over by a pick-up truck. Again, battery replacement required as well as a new volume control and casing. Both these radios are in use today still and the repair costs were about 60% of the price of a new radio, high price mainly due to the new batteries which were fitted.

We had a third case where a one-week old PT3600 radio was dropped somewhere in the bush during a game drive. That radio was only discovered last year after having spent three years in the bushveld, Summer & Winter, tropical storms and blazingly hot days before one of the farm workers found it. It was brought in for repair. All we did was clean the casing and microphone which were totally encased in mud, charge the old battery and replaced the antenna, which was missing. They surmise a marauding monkey probably chewed it off. There was no charge for the repair as we fitted a second-hand antenna and no other component replacements were required. This all happened last year and the radio is still in use by a very satisfied client.

The story of a PT3600 being so substantially damaged from a simple fall does not really gel and the quality and performance of this product is simply streets ahead of the PMR446, which to my mind is nothing more than a toy.


I tend to agree. Some of the cheaper radios have very strong and solid chassis and because if this seem to survive well. I’ve broken battery cases on a few radios, including Motorolas, where the hard plastic can break off making the batteries difficult to secure, and on one or two there are hairline cracks where the impact was on a corner - but I’ve had no actual failures in the electronics for ages… I’ve got a few Motorlas where the battery packs fall off, the same with a few of my Kenwoods in my hair stock, I have some Icoms that have a crack where the slide on battery has been mated poorly and it cracked the battery pack housing. A single Yaesu that still works has a dry cell pack that regularly falls apart because it got dropped.