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Harris / MA/COM / GE / Ericsson Forum For general discussion of MA/COM EDACS and ProVoice systems, including equipment.

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Old 04-27-2013, 8:42 PM
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Default Vhf,Uhf, & 800Mhz

Hello all,
So I've been wanting a radio stack of 3 different bands, but I want the same radio, to make it easier for programming, and so it looks nice. Ultimately I want:
1 VHF highband, Narrowband radio
1 UHF Band radio
1 800mhz Edacs trunking radio
Currently I'm looking at the GE MDX radio's. I've always used Motorola. So I don't know much about these radio's. I have a few question's about them:
A. I plan on programming the VHF/UHF radio's to transmit as well, as my department is VHF, and the MedEvac service we use is UHF. However, I just want the 800mhz radio to be a receive only radio, I've never programmed Edacs Trunking, so is it possible to program in all the info to make it preform like a trunked radio, just receive only?
B. Is the MDX radio (model number PMH45A) narrowband. I have looked up the model number, i just can't find any info on it.
My department uses VHF highband, Narrowband, Analog. but the Sheriff's office is VHF highband, Narrowband, Digital. I know the MDX isn't digital capable, but i would like to get a radio that could monitor both, if anyone could give me a better suggestion of radio to use please let me know.
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Old 04-27-2013, 9:25 PM
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Without breaking the bank (though this model type can be pricey so shop around), I would suggest looking into the P7100 series as an option. They are offered in all three bands you are looking into, and programmable by ProGrammer Software from M/A Com (now Harris Corp.). Be aware though that the UHF band comes in two different sub-band splits, so keep that in mind as you do your research.

And yes, an 800 MHz EDACS trunking capable radio can be programmed as receive mode only, but it depends if it's ESK (a security key that is loaded into a radio prior to registering on the TRS to thwart unauthorized radios from transmitting and monitoring). If that is the case, then you will need to have that key programmed by the system administrator. If the system uses Extended Addressing (such as the Cecil County, MD TRS), then there is another obstacle to overcome that I am not familiar with. Otherwise, you should be ok for monitor only, as I do everyday on my local County system. You would also have to look at each radio and determine what the specific Features are in the radio (found in the Menu section in the radio itself), which can be defined from this Forum by searching for the Updated Features List by M/A Com (now Harris Corp.)

As far as your VHF digital situation goes, which type of digital are you looking at: Aegis, ProVoice, or P25? You could get all three in one radio, but be prepared to pay a bit of a higher price. Aegis (feature code 12) is the oldest of the three currently offered. ProVoice (feature code 29) is the most common form of digital used on the M/A Com / Harris radio line (though being replaced by P25 gradually in the near future). And P25 (feature code 33 for conventional mode; 39 for trunking mode) can be found in this radio model as well. Narrowband mode for all of the radios will be found if feature/option 23 is installed.

Others that know more than I will contribute to your search (and/or correct any of my statements) for the best possible choice of model types.
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Old 04-28-2013, 3:00 PM
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When it comes to an 800 MHz EDACS radio, it doesn't even matter if the radio is narrowband capable or not. For regular EDACS, you can't select wide or narrowband. That only comes into play if you will have conventional 800 MHz channels in the radio as well. And even then, for a receive only radio, it doesn't matter. A wideband channel will still hear a narrowband transmission, but the audio level will be a bit low.

I like the Orion much better than the MDX. It's not too hard to find Orions in all bands, BUT, the Orion control head is taller than an MDX face. This may have consequences for your planned 3 radio installation. An MDX, though, has an industry standard DIN sized chassis and face and can fit right in the single DIN sized space in the dash that your AM/FM-CD stereo fits in.

VERY few EDACS systems use ESK and not many use extended adddressing. But in any event, EDACS is an obsolescent technology that Harris will stop supporting in a few years. You might want to look into newer radios that will support P25 formats. The problem there is that future systems will probably be P25 Phase II TDMA types, and right now there really aren't ANY of those on the used market to buy, and the security around those systems is considerably tighter than a regular EDACS system, which can be programmed easily by anybody with ProGrammer (any version, really) and a programming cable and an Orion or other ProGrammer compatible mobile radio.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:02 AM
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Orion, hands down, and dirt cheap nowadays.
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:58 PM
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Resurrecting another old one here...sorry guys, just trying to contribute.

I love the MDX. Obviously it doesn't look as cool as an Orion, and Orions (M7100) radios are getting easier to find now.

To answer your questions directly:

A.) Yes you can get an 800 MHz EDACS MDX and program it to receive only. Very easy via ProGrammer, and furthermore, unless you're paying for access to the EDACS system you had better make good and sure you aren't accessing the system with a LID or transmit capability. Look for an MDX model number PM82SN.

B.) The MDX is NOT narrowband compatible in any form, and will absolutely not hear digital frequencies. Your VHF radio is a PMH4SA, not PMH45A. You can use it as a scanner but it is not capable of narrowband transmit or splinter frequencies. Look for model number PMU4SA for your UHF needs. The MDX's are becoming old tech (becoming? already are) but they are solid radio and would make great scanners for you.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:58 PM
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Default Vhf,Uhf, & 800Mhz

Another consideration with the MDX is that it is not officially supported for rebanding.

I'm not sure what your budget is but this would be the perfect application for the XG-100m. They are reliable and can be featured to do whatever you need in all three bands.

As others have mentioned, I wouldn't consider anything older than a M7100/P7100 since most EDACS systems should be replaced with P25 by 2017. A good inexpensive option would be a VHF and UHF Orion along with an M7100 for 800.


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Old 12-24-2013, 6:32 PM
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I run an M5300 as my mobile scanner and a P7300 as my portable scanner,
in addition to having plenty of Orions and P7100s.

If you want to spend some money, you can certainly get modern, P25 trunking capable (and even Phase II TDMA) Harris radios on the used market. Just get the radio first and then contact a Harris dealer that's NOT serving your local area and request feature upgrades.

I don't care for the MDX very much. I recommend Orion/M7100 series radios instead.
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Old 12-24-2013, 6:44 PM
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Default Vhf,Uhf, & 800Mhz

I've never seen or touched an M5300. Are they of the Orion generation (25 pin Control cable) or 7200/7300 generation (3 pin CAN cable with CH-721)?


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Old 12-24-2013, 11:31 PM
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They are 72/7300 generation. Think of the M5300 as the downgraded version of a M7300. Like P5100 vs. P7100.
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