Motorola Introduces P25 Portable Radio For Extreme Conditions

Motorola's APX 7000XE portable radio
Motorola’s APX 7000XE portable radio.

The kinetic display in the Motorola booth at the Fire-Rescue International trade show was a testament to the toughness and reliability of the company’s newest portable P25 radio – the APX 7000XE, designed for use by firefighters in extreme conditions.

Visitors watched as four of the radios – mounted on the arms of a rotating mechanism behind a clear plastic barrier – were sequentially smashed by a heavy flat-faced hammer; plunged into near-freezing water; subjected to heat of more than 180°F; and peppered with fan-blasted grit and sand.

Periodically, Motorola representatives demonstrated that the radios remained operable. They continued working for the two-day run of the exhibition.

In addition to its ability to endure plenty of punishment, the new APX 7000XE portable expands on its predecessor’s T-shaped top, offering a larger, more visible display, bigger control knobs and greatly-enhanced noise reduction capabilities.

“This portable is a very gripable and a very gloveable solution for firefighters,” said Bruce Claxton, Motorola’s director of design integration. “It has a very large push-to-talk surface that is attuned for a gloved hand, as are the channel and volume knobs.”

Steve Gorecki, senior manager of media relations, said the radio “is sensitive to a firefighter’s needs,” because it was designed with assistance from firefighters in Cincinnati, Ohio; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Elgin, Ill.

Claxton noted that Motorola bumped up the audio performance of the APX 7000XE, making it 50 percent louder than its predecessor.

“The unit also has great noise suppression capabilities,” he said. “It can cut out the sounds of the fire ground, PASS alarms, sirens, even other radios blaring.”

The APX 7000XE features real-time data capabilities; secure end-to-end encrypted communications; an AMBE (advanced multiband excitation) digital voice vocoder; and audio profiles for different environments.

Motorola provided demonstrations of the portable’s noise reduction capabilities, showing how it enhanced the volume of speech while muffling noise by using two microphones located on opposite sides of the unit.

Claxton said the portable, which incorporates Project 25 standards, delivers seamless interoperable communications with multiple frequency bands, Motorola legacy systems, and P25 Phase 1 and 2 systems. The APX 7000XE is the smallest P25 Phase 2 and multiband portable radio in the industry, he said, and it meets or exceeds stringent military MIL-STD specifications.

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