Monday, March 9, 2009

Tactical Reviews: TriSquare’s eXRS TSX 300 Two Way Radios

© 2009 The Range Reviews: Tactical

I have been looking forward to this review of the TriSquare eXRS TSX 300 radio. Two-way and license free communication radios, they are innovative and modestly priced for the technology and privacy received.

TriSquare’s eXRS (Extreme Radio Service) two way radio products are "new technology," hand-held, portable, and two-way radios. eXRS utilizes advanced digital frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) techniques originally developed to provide stealth radio communications for the military. By constantly switching between many frequencies,rather than broadcasting on a single one, the FHSS techniques prevent eavesdropping and interference from other radios and scanners, including other eXRS two way radios if not tuned to the same channel. Furthermore they operate in the 900MHz range as opposed to the more common 400MHz, thereby staying out of that very crowded frequency range. And if that isn't enough, the transmissions are digital which gives a bit more privacy and clarity of signal.

All the pieces and ready to go!

Size comparison to a 30rd CMMG Immortal Magazine

Starting Out:

First thing I did was install the two 4.8V NiMH batteries into their respective radios. The Value Pac comes with a dual desk top charger and the AC adapter. I dropped them in for a daylong charging session. The Desktop Charger does have built in overcharge protection circuitry to prevent overcharging and damaging the batteries. When I picked them up, the radios battery level indicator read full. Note: To prolong the life of the rechargeable battery pack, the radio should be removed from the charger regularly and the batteries should be allowed to discharge. The full discharge and charge cycle keeps the battery in good condition.

Reasonably sized.

There are also two ear pieces that connect to the radios via standard Motorola connections. The wrap around earpiece molds to the shape of your ear and holds it in place securely but comfortably. The wire is long enough to be routed in whatever way you deem suitable.

Set up for unobtrusive Push-to-Talk.

I wrapped it around my belt, and then in my shirt and out the collar (While using the VOX setting.) to keep it unobtrusive and snag free. On PTT (Push to Talk) I routed it out between buttons and back in again.

Left Voice Actuated, Right Push-to-Talk.

Earpiece is light and stays in place.


It puts out the signal at one watt. That is enough that the Mrs and I, traveling in different vehicles, were able to communicate across several lanes of traffic and at varying distances of up to about one mile. That was the outside limit on the road. Possibly the metal car bodies affected the signal strength.

Another operator and I tested them in thick, subtropical brush and woods, and found that we had several hundred yards of range with no problem. We actually never reached a signal loss point. This would be great item for hunters working an area together, or checking in with each others before approaching a blind or stand. I can think of many applications for this when out in the field!

The Mrs and I also tried them in a "big box" store with plenty of aisles between us, and again had no problems.

On bicycles though, we never were able to get far enough to degrade the signal. I estimate we were 3.5 miles apart and still getting crystal clear signals. This of course is Florida near the coast with flat land and few obstacles.

Though they are not waterproof, we where caught in a rain squall which soaked us thoroughly. The radios were somewhat protected by our shirts, and I was pleased to see that they suffered no ill effects from the dampness.

The model TSX300 is available in a single pack and in a value-pack which includes 2 TSX300 radios, a dual port drop-in charger with AC wall adapter, 2 NiMH rechargeable battery packs and 2 VOX/PTT headsets.

I think this is a great value for the money. Clear communications, rugged, programmable, private, and once again reasonably priced. The only thing I did was add clear packing tape over the screen to protect it from the rough use I knew the kids and I would put it through. I was impressed with the package as a whole. If you need more headsets and units, they are available in single units, and as I mentioned earlier they are programmable so they synchronize to a single net.

eXRS TSX 300
MSRP: $99.00
Street: $79.99 to $99.00