Just received two T6400 and thought some people may be interested in a
description of them.
This radio is for those who are generally happy with the range of an FRS
radio, but would like more open channels and features which improve the
ability to both reach someone and have a more private conversation.
This is basically a T6300 with GMRS channels. A primary potential buyer
is a skier.
Motorola has been making incremental improvements to the original
TalkAbouts. Earlier models that I've owned had problems with the Volume
control sticking and generally not working after a period of several
years, the battery cover being very hard to remove, and a flimsy
speaker/mike connector along with limited features to enhance the
ability to actually connect with your party in a crowded air space.
Overall the build quality is good and better than the older TalkAbouts.
Nice looking and fits nicely in one's hand.
The battery cover, while much better design than the older models, seems
flimsy. Not sure yet if this is actually a problem. The battery
contacts are much improved and it easily takes the NiMH pack.
The belt clip is a nice feature, but as it's all plastic, under hard use
I wouldn't be surprised if it broke.
The sound is OK, not bad but nothing special. The digital sound control
is a feature which I don't like. While it eliminates a past problem and
makes the radio more weather resistant, I've found that to have a decent
sound volume for listening I need to put the volume around 14. This
makes all the feature sounds, tone calling, etc. too loud. (they want
to be a 9). It's awkward to lower and raise the volume. Perhaps,
separate volume settings could be incorporated into the software
The speaker/mic. has changed from a double pin to a single pin contact.
While this allows the cable to swing freely and therefore easier to put
in a pocket, it means I need new speaker/mics. There currently are a
limited number of manufacturers to choose from, meaning higher price.
Hopefully this will be changing in the future, although too late for me.
It has no problems interfacing with my Maxon 210+3 GMRS radio on both
the FRS and the GMRS channels. I like the T6400s ability to have
separate sub-codes for each channel. I haven't found the Voice
Compression feature to result in poor audio with the Maxon.
The Call Tone and Call Display are a nice feature. When pressed it
causes all radios (including the sending radio) to receive a telephone
like ring and if used with another of the T6XXX series radio, until you
press the transmit button on the receiving radio the LCD screen shows
CALLRVCD. There are a number of different ring tones available so you
can use this to identify who is calling. My one problem is related to
the digital sound control as the Call Tone on the sending radio gets
The Scramble feature works. It "scrambles" the audio enough that unless
the receiving radio has the same feature and level of scramble (1 to 3),
you can't understand what is being said. I wouldn't get too carried
away with it, as one could still make out the general tone and type of
discussion being held, just not exactly what is being stated.
My short experiments with the range show that it's about the same as any
good FRS radio. I wouldn't expect this to get out another 3 miles (from
2 to 5 miles) over a FRS radio. The antenna/power setup simply isn't
there. My best guess is for this radio to make it with the skiers it
has to last over eight hours on a single charge. With the NiMH the
stated longevity is 10 hours assuming a 5-5-90 use. To keep the small
form factor means it can only use 3 batteries or 3.6 volts. I'm not
sure this amount of power would drive higher power outputs and still
last the minimum 10 hrs. What might be nice is the ability to use either
a 6 inch antenna or a stubby.
The one feature which doesn't work as stated in the manual that I found
is the Battery Type. If you use Alkalines, you have the feature of
Setting the Battery Type to either Alkaline or Recycle. If you put in
the NiMH batteries this feature disappears. I'm assuming/hoping that it
automatically makes the change to the power meter for the NiMH and that
the feature is if you use single NiCd vs Alkalines.
Overall, a very nice radio but I wouldn't get it if your need is to have
the longest range possible. If that's your need I would get one of the
many larger 2 watts or greater with a 6 inch removable antenna.