Racing radios, Kenwood 3101 vs 3202

Hello all,

Just read the other racing radio related post and didnt want to hijack that thread with a bunch of other but related questions.

So we are currently using 4 Kenwood 3101 radios and are happy with the performance to date, battery life and range are not an issue at this point, but could be if we race on larger tracks. Currently we race on a small oval so line of sight is good right now. We are considering adding 1-2 radios for additional crew members and have come here seeking advice.

The 3101 is now discontinued and the 3202 is the recommended replacement. So we need some help as there seems to be a few used but not abused 3101 radios around for about $100 or so and the 3202 is $225 new. Yeah we pay the bills ourselves too so cost is always an issue, but sometimes cost/benefits are not obvious.

So now some questions…

  1. how long would you anticpate 3101 parts and repairs being available?

  2. can the 3101 and 3202 share chargers/batteries?

  3. how much real world difference is there between the range of the 2W 3101 vs the 4W 3202?

  4. can you compare the estimated battery life 3101 vs 3202

  5. If you consider that the propsed FCC changes for GMRS radios would permit additional unlicensed frequencies on either set would there be any advantage to the 3202?

Please feel free to comment regarding any other issues that I might have overlooked too.

We have sent off an email seeing how long parts will be available for the 3101. They can not share batteries or chargers. You will get a bit more range and clarity, but in you case it might not be that much of a difference. Battery life is about the same unless you have one with Li-ion batteries, then it will last much longer.

One thing though, the 3202 is a discontinued model as well. The 3302 is the new one:

The 3302 has Li-ion batteries standard so you get much more talk time with it.