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Thread: These guys are nuts!

  1. #1
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    bang These guys are nuts!

    So we had talks with a local Kenwood dealer with left me with a persistant taste of . I can't understand how they're in business.


    Search and Rescue volunteer (this will get relevant) group, in Canada.
    Currently running P25 on UHF, 2 frequencies are our own, two P25 interop with one local PD/FD, two analog interop with another. Third PD we usually work with going NXDN DES. We have a mix of XTS5000s, EFJ 5100ES, APX6K and APX7K, plus 4 XTL mobiles. Some are getting pretty long in the tooth and we figured we could look into the Kenwood P25/NXDN radios, with some partners pitching in some additional money to fund them.

    So we talk to the PD's Kenwood dealer, and here's the jist of it: no discounts under 100 radios, we need ~20, so list price only. No possibility of owning the programming software, changes are $119 CAD per radio plus tax. Keyloading must be done by the dealer (one local PD rekeys AES every 3 months, used to rekey ours with their KVL3000+ but now send me the keys and I rekey with KFDTool - we have written permission of course), so it's $59 per radio every 3 months. They own the PD's repeater so they charge airtime to us whenever we have to talk to them. 4 mobiles need to be installed by the dealer with a $499 install fee for each of them, as they don't sell the radios to be installed by anyone else. All new radios have an "initial setup charge" of $249. We can't shop around as we are within that dealer's "exclusive territory".

    Dude, what the hell?! How can they justify any of this? I get that no one has to give a "volunteer discount" but they're quoting us over $6500 of "setup fees" and ongoing fees of about $6k/year with a straight face on top of around $65k worth of radios, are these guys nuts?!

    PD going NXDN was horrified and offered to buy us the radios on their discount but with all the other fees (that would have needed to be out of pocket to us, remember we're volunteers) we said f*** that. They bought a new old stock XTL5000 they've installed at dispatch and patched it to their system so it's transparent to everyone.

    Heck, the local Moto dealer had approached us last year to set us up with TRBO with a mobile repeater patched into a P25 radio for P25 PD/FD interop for significantly less money, without restrictions, with a significant discount and full programming control... and that's Motorola. Why would anyone in Canada deal with Kenwood?!
    I need units, I need units NOW! -J. Dewitte


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  3. #2
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    Kenwoods problem is they have tried to avoid the software hack/mod issues that Moto and a few others ran into. Kenwood missed the mark and have gone too far in the opposite direction and have created a very user unfriendly product and a matching supply chain. Everything costs money, you cannot use the product across your own infrastructure since you have to buy a licence for every install and worse for any computer hardware upgrade. The same for adding features, you cannot buy a 'fleet' upgrade you have to buy individually and match kewnoods restrictions (encryption keyloading etc). The dealer network is very limited in size and market place coverage and again you have to pay for anything you want to use or add to the products. This is a nightmare when as you have stated your interfacing with existing systems or users.

    Much as Moto is messing up things on softweare/ firmware updates. Once you have the software you can maintain and even upgrade your fleet win a minimum of headaches.

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    That just sounds like a scummy dealer. I don't know any practical reason you would be forbidden from owning KPG-D1N unless there's some specific dealer clauses from Kenwood saying so.

    I'm just an individual and haven't had to deal with any dealer other than the one I got my NX5k setup from, but what you've said really just sounds like a dealer that wants to nickel and dime every cent they can from their clients.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    That just sounds like a scummy dealer. I don't know any practical reason you would be forbidden from owning KPG-D1N unless there's some specific dealer clauses from Kenwood saying so.
    Everything I'm reading supports the fact that Kenwood will not allow anyone to own programming software (any of them) in Canada.
    I need units, I need units NOW! -J. Dewitte

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    There are list prices for the programming software right next to dealer price in Kenwood price book for a reason, meaning its "listed" and meant to be sold. Some dealers are just lazy. Similar goes for Motorola CPS subscription, the issue is lazy dealer. While it often requires some follow-up and correspondence its not that hard to get it done for customer.

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    I do not have a number for Kenwood Canada, but you CAN go to another dealer for help. Registering the software is the biggest hurdle, but once registered and set up, there are no problems. Even AES.
    "God as my witness" - Jeremy Dewitte - Felon

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    Jesus, this company sounds like Motorola’s Department of Sales prevention with their bullshit.

    I know of Atleast one fire department here in Alberta that is doing all their own programming of NX-5x00 series radios, portable and mobile. I know of at least one ham in BC that is key loading UHF NX58/5300 radios with the KDF.

    I would tell this company to go pound sand and reach out to Kenwood yourself.

    In Canada, reach out to Wilfred Mulder. You can find him on linked in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viper1-6 View Post
    Jesus, this company sounds like Motorola’s Department of Sales prevention with their bullshit.
    Hahaha, love it. I'll look into it, thanks for your advice. I doubt that project will come to fruition though since the dealer won't sell the PD radios without the setup fees (the taxpayer is the loser here) and they already got the P25 radio to interop with us. I might reach out only to let them know how Kenwood missed out on a sale because of one dealer...
    I need units, I need units NOW! -J. Dewitte

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    I wonder if this is the dealer that Mars has a love affair with... LOL

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    I'd agree that it's a dealer who is not motivated to help you. I can atest that Kenwood Canada is willing to sell to SAR groups, and will honor gov/public safety pricing deals (if the dealer will champion for you). As for owning KPG-D1 it's possible but does need some additional special signoff to make happen. Kenwood basicly does not want to be in a position to support someone who has not undergone the dealer training. Given the complexity of the software, and the system/radio features this is not at all surprising.

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    I agree Wilf will help put you in contact with the correct dealer/people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarola View Post
    Kenwoods problem is they have tried to avoid the software hack/mod issues that Moto and a few others ran into. Kenwood missed the mark and have gone too far in the opposite direction and have created a very user unfriendly product and a matching supply chain.
    I strongly recommend Armada based products (Viking) IF you are P25. I am duly impressed with Armada, perpetual licensing means one can transfer costly features like Phase 2, trunking, crypto to new products when you retire old ones. Armada is the complete opposite of the technical abortion that is KPG-xxN.

    Hey JVC Kenwood, I applaud you for protecting your IP. But KPG-xxx is garbage as is the practice of nickel and diming a customer to death. That's what keeps people sticking with "the usual suspects" under the "it's cheaper to keep her" and "dance with the devil you know".

    A good move to buy EFJ. Now take what they did and grow it, not sunset it and push customers away.
    Your streaming makes me AES-256. Keep it up and you'll soon have nothing to listen to.

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    FYI you can move D1N licenses to a new PC. You can go into the License Management Client and cancel the license on the currently installed PC, export and save the license file and transfer it to a new one and authenticate it.
    And IDK why they wouldnt sell you the D1N. We've sold to Individuals along with plenty of Public Safety organizations that want to manage their own equipment. Kenwood doesnt ask for documentation of where a Key is going. We just fill out a form with what keys we want, and how many. In a day or two they send them over.
    Also, NX-5k radios come with 4-key software DES. Can be used for NXDN or P25. You just have to enable it in the "Product Information" window in D1N. The keys are entered into D1N and loaded that way. If you need AES or more than 4 DES keys then you'll need an SCM and load it with a KVL.

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