TriSquare TSX300 Review FINAL Update as of 9/14/2007
Power output: 1 Watt ERP
License Requirements: No license required
Frequency/Mode: 900 Mhz ISM band, Digital Frequency Hopping Spread-Spectrum
Introduction and features:
These radios introduce the general public to the latest generation of two-way radios. Consumers now have at their disposal, a radio that can be used without interference from other persons.
These radios introduce the consumer to a whole new level of communications. We can now designate channels with full customization, such as alphanumeric designations.
These radios are attractive, and large enough to operate easily, while remaining attractive and not bulky. While packed with functions and features, I considered most operational functions easy to access with little to no confusion.
These radios feature 10 billion channels, which are actually frequency hopping schemes. Channels can be accessed either by direct entry or by programming channels into “talkgroups”, which can be accessed easily by menu. With 10 billion channels, you can say, switch to “primary” rather than say go to “10 million, 300 thousand, and forty six”. Get your radios, and set up this easy function.
Business users will appreciate this, as you can program a “warehouse” group, and “office” group, and so forth.
You can set up a “private” channel, unique to each radio, for direct one on one communication. This private channel is constantly monitored, regardless of whatever group channel you are on.
For Nextel users, this is very similar, except it is direct point to point, rather than going through a cell site.
You can send text messages across groups, as well as over private channels.
Radios can be cloned over the air to allow for easy transfer of all configurations between radios. Once you program one radio, you simply send the data to all radios.
There is a VOX function to allow for hands free operation.
These radios are compatible with single jack Motorola accessories and I recommend use of the XLT series of microphones sold here.
Detailed Performance Evaluation:
Ease of operation: Basic functions were immediately easy to understand. More advanced functions required some study. I consider this a very easy radio to program and operate in all respects. Menu functions are easy to understand, and are well laid-out.
Sound quality: Quality of sound is excellent. Volume levels are good in all but the noisiest environments.
Use of XLT series microphones and accessories are fully compatible and perform well. I assume all Motorola GMRS accessories will also work. Such accessories can be found at the website here.
Home to vehicle: .68 miles
Person to person outdoors: 1.25 miles
Vehicle to person (person outdoors): 1.25 miles
Vehicle to vehicle: 1/2 mile
Under my test conditions, these radios performed virtually identical to FRS/GMRS radios I have reviewed for this site.
These radios were not tested in any large indoor environment, although they work perfect in a typical family home. Indoor reviews are possible in the future and will be included at a later date.
Once radios got out of range, they would lose track of one another. Communications became
lost. Once in range, the radios re-acquired one another and communications resumed. I found this
process to occur rather quickly.
Text messages are sent “blind” There is no handshaking or error correction to verify the message was received.
When talking on a “private” channel, you must wait a while before re-initiating a private call to the same radio. Switching to a group channel and back can help assist this. Regardless, the radios will re-synch after a few seconds. Typically, this won’t be an issue, and I do not consider it a serious problem.
Sometimes the radios become “confused”. This problem occurred rarely, and only when the radios were either too close to one another, or too far, close to maximum range. After a few seconds they re-synched. This is considered a minor issue and shouldn’t present a problem in most cases.
These radios will interfere with 900 Mhz cordless phones, baby monitors and other 900 Mhz devices at VERY close range. Interference seems to not be a factor at distances of 10 feet or more. This is not a frequency interference issue. Many higher power RF emitting devices can interfere with other devices on the same band.
There is no interference with 802.11 B wireless networks.
Battery life exceeded 5 hours on AA alkalines.
With the supplied battery packs, life exceeded 8 hours. The supplied packs provide 4.8 volts, which exceed 4.5 volts on alkalines and provide a more stable voltage curve.
User Application Recommendations:
In a small business, these radios are ideal. Communications within a small facility should be easy. Each department can be addressed individually, with great flexibility in programming.
These radios are RECOMMENDED for commercial applications.
The average home can use these with great ease. You will have excellent coverage and flexibility within your property, and your neighborhood. These radios are fully comparable with FRS/GMRS radios in range.
These radios are RECOMMENDED for consumer use.
Assests of these radios:
1: Flexible channel programming with plain text channel group assignments.
2: good volume and sound quality.
3: Reliable communications within operational range.
4: Advanced radios, yet very easy to operate.
5: good look and feel with well laid out controls and menus.
6: Text messaging.
7: Programming of several radios immediately via on-air data communication.
8: Zero interference from other radios due to channel combinations.
9: Secure communications, impossible to monitor on a scanner.
Good application of first generation technology. While there were some bugs, I enjoyed my experience with these radios and can see myself using them extensively. A lot of the functions could be considered overkill for consumers. Nonetheless, consumers will appreciate the great flexibility of these radios. Accessory compatibility with easily available Motorola microphones and such add to usefulness.
Understanding digital technology and how it works helps explain some of the delay issues and loss of synch. If you are in range, you will never see this happen. Essentially, it is the same as any other radio going out of range. My tests entailed very rapid switching of functions… something most people will never do, when in a real world environment.
Communications security and freedom from interference are great assets.
I’d buy these radios and recommend them to friends.
I give them a 9 out of 10.
These radios were given a very intense workout at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. All areas of use allowed us to remain in constant contact.
There were some areas when we got close to range limits, where there would be some scratchiness.
We never lost synchronization between units.
We began operation around noon, and the batteries finally gave up around 10 PM. This is the stock pack. We had a low duty cycle, but still not bad.
VERY good “real world” example of the effectiveness of these radios.