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  #101 (permalink)  
Old 10-03-2018, 7:03 PM
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Yeah, thatís what I thought as well. The only reason (and hardly valid) that occurred to me was that, since the R30 isnít a trunk tracker, RT Systems didnít think those freq.ís would apply. Even though the AOR AR-8200 and AR-8600 could be modified to receive P25, the Butel software would not download the P25 freq.ís to program them either.
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  #102 (permalink)  
Old 10-03-2018, 8:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit_Factor View Post
I would rank them
Icom, RT Systems, then ARC30

Once RT Systems wrings out the last of the bugs, like the Icom CS-r30, it is a comprehensive solution. Icom wins on speed alone, but 3x the cost. ARC30 requires import/export to SD card then mount the card on the PC then import, make changes, export to SD and then import from SD. Really slow and it doesn't allow changes to radio settings.

Both RT Systems and ARC30 failed to import the statewide P25 Public Safety network from RR. I reported the problem to both vendors. Icom doesn't play with RR at all.
You sold me on the Icom software and I should have it by this weekend. I like the idea of it being quick & seamless when programming. RT Systems and ARC30 still have a ways to go before they have a polished product. I'm glad that we have options.
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  #103 (permalink)  
Old 10-04-2018, 8:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tumegpc View Post
You sold me on the Icom software and I should have it by this weekend. I like the idea of it being quick & seamless when programming. RT Systems and ARC30 still have a ways to go before they have a polished product. I'm glad that we have options.
I agree with Hit_Factor's analogy regarding which software is best at this time for the R30.

I think the letters ARC in the name of Butel's software stands for "Advanced Radio Control" so they are kind of getting away from their purpose with ARC30 as it does not do remote control. Maybe some day they will improve upon their R30 software as I know there are many out there that love Butel's programs.

I don't think you can go wrong with Icom's software. As HF said, it is just fast period. You will see this immediately when you first use it to read or write your R30! The R30s settings are not all in a separate box or window like they are in RT's software. Icom mixes them in with the memory channels down the left side of their software. I've not found anything missing in Icom's program plus due to its speed, it makes it easy to make changes to not just memories but also, radio settings.

As HF had mentioned, you can't use Icom's software to make bulk edits to your memories. Say you import or create a bunch of frequencies and you later want to say change the mode from FM to NXDN on a bunch of the memory channels, you can only do this one channel at a time with Icom's program. RT's software makes changing most things ease if you must change more than a couple memories. RT's allows for bulk edits.

One thing I noticed and like about Icom software over RT's is Icom's software displays any additional settings right on the frequency or memory grid that show things like the RAN value or the NAC and if it is used, right in that main editor screen. In RT's version, one must click a little mode indicator for each channel to access these additional settings. As a result, you cannot perform a bulk edit using RT's software to bulk changes things like a memories NAC value for example.
I still use RT's software when I need to do bulk edits.

I wanted to create a group in the R30 for railroad channels. I already had a group that contained all the standard AAR analog rail channels but I wanted one that would only decode NXDN.
So I copied and pasted those memories to an empty group. In order to change the mode from NFM to NXDN using Icom's software, I'd have needed to change this for each of the 90 or so channels! Using RT's software, I just needed to change one channel and then copy that setting and select all the other memories columns that needed this field changed and paste in the new value. Piece of cake and my new NXDN group was created! Not knowing if railroads will use 48 or 9600 NXDN radios, I had to create two of these groups until I figure out if RR's will use NXDN narrow or very narrow systems. I guess Uniden scanners must figure out the proper NXDN mode automatically as they don't have NXDN-N or VN settings to my knowledge.

Anyway, I don't think you will be disappointed with Icom's software. Hopefully RT Systems as well as Butel will continue to work out things with their packages. I think RT's software is still worth it just for the fact it can do bulk edits. If you use RT's program, you just need to remember to go back into your R30 and correct any of the menu items RT's software may set to default or incorrect values.

That's my two cents!
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  #104 (permalink)  
Old 10-04-2018, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kruser View Post
I agree with Hit_Factor's analogy regarding which software is best at this time for the R30.

I think the letters ARC in the name of Butel's software stands for "Advanced Radio Control" so they are kind of getting away from their purpose with ARC30 as it does not do remote control. Maybe some day they will improve upon their R30 software as I know there are many out there that love Butel's programs.

I don't think you can go wrong with Icom's software. As HF said, it is just fast period. You will see this immediately when you first use it to read or write your R30! The R30s settings are not all in a separate box or window like they are in RT's software. Icom mixes them in with the memory channels down the left side of their software. I've not found anything missing in Icom's program plus due to its speed, it makes it easy to make changes to not just memories but also, radio settings.

As HF had mentioned, you can't use Icom's software to make bulk edits to your memories. Say you import or create a bunch of frequencies and you later want to say change the mode from FM to NXDN on a bunch of the memory channels, you can only do this one channel at a time with Icom's program. RT's software makes changing most things ease if you must change more than a couple memories. RT's allows for bulk edits.

One thing I noticed and like about Icom software over RT's is Icom's software displays any additional settings right on the frequency or memory grid that show things like the RAN value or the NAC and if it is used, right in that main editor screen. In RT's version, one must click a little mode indicator for each channel to access these additional settings. As a result, you cannot perform a bulk edit using RT's software to bulk changes things like a memories NAC value for example.
I still use RT's software when I need to do bulk edits.

I wanted to create a group in the R30 for railroad channels. I already had a group that contained all the standard AAR analog rail channels but I wanted one that would only decode NXDN.
So I copied and pasted those memories to an empty group. In order to change the mode from NFM to NXDN using Icom's software, I'd have needed to change this for each of the 90 or so channels! Using RT's software, I just needed to change one channel and then copy that setting and select all the other memories columns that needed this field changed and paste in the new value. Piece of cake and my new NXDN group was created! Not knowing if railroads will use 48 or 9600 NXDN radios, I had to create two of these groups until I figure out if RR's will use NXDN narrow or very narrow systems. I guess Uniden scanners must figure out the proper NXDN mode automatically as they don't have NXDN-N or VN settings to my knowledge.

Anyway, I don't think you will be disappointed with Icom's software. Hopefully RT Systems as well as Butel will continue to work out things with their packages. I think RT's software is still worth it just for the fact it can do bulk edits. If you use RT's program, you just need to remember to go back into your R30 and correct any of the menu items RT's software may set to default or incorrect values.

That's my two cents!
kruser, thanks for in-depth review and comparisons.
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  #105 (permalink)  
Old 10-19-2018, 11:56 AM
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RT Systems release ver 5.00.25. After updating I ran an import. Some digital was imported, but not the Statewide P25 MPSCS.

Not sure what other changes they made.
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  #106 (permalink)  
Old 10-19-2018, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit_Factor View Post
RT Systems release ver 5.00.25. After updating I ran an import. Some digital was imported, but not the Statewide P25 MPSCS.

Not sure what other changes they made.
They actually sent me an email notifying my about this release.

Is the ability to import "some digital" new with this version for you?
I still wish RT would supply release notes when they have a new version so we know what was fixed or added. Figuring this out can be near impossible at times.
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  #107 (permalink)  
Old 10-19-2018, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kruser View Post
Is the ability to import "some digital" new with this version for you?
I still wish RT would supply release notes when they have a new version so we know what was fixed or added. Figuring this out can be near impossible at times.
I couldn't import the P25 system before the update. So that's what I reported to tech support and subsequently tested. I really don't remember if "some digital" was imported from RR before.

Agreed, at this point it is hard to know what is fixed. I think it's a toss up now between Icom and RT systems as far as usability. Icom faster, more expensive, RT Systems has easier editing, especially when make bulk changes.
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  #108 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2018, 12:47 AM
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I have a problem. I have just purchased a license of the ARC30 beta for the IC-R30, but when I enter both keys, the software doesn't give any confirmation, and after restart it keeps saying that it's running in demo mode when I try to write to the SD card. It looks like it's impossible to register.

Any idea?
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  #109 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2018, 8:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfermons View Post
I have a problem. I have just purchased a license of the ARC30 beta for the IC-R30, but when I enter both keys, the software doesn't give any confirmation, and after restart it keeps saying that it's running in demo mode when I try to write to the SD card. It looks like it's impossible to register.

Any idea?
Possibly typing the keys in correctly, Ohs and Zeros mixed up, extra spaces, ect.

Try running the program as administrator. If that works, somehow permissions got munged on your computer.
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit_Factor View Post
Possibly typing the keys in correctly, Ohs and Zeros mixed up, extra spaces, ect.

Try running the program as administrator. If that works, somehow permissions got munged on your computer.
Hit_Factor, thanks, I was entering the password correctly and it didn't work until I ran the program as administrator. It is not documented, though. Thanks for your help.
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  #111 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2018, 2:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfermons View Post
Hit_Factor, thanks, I was entering the password correctly and it didn't work until I ran the program as administrator. It is not documented, though. Thanks for your help.
Glad it worked for you.

I know running as administrator seems like a solution. It isn't, it is a symptom of corrupt security settings on your computer. There is no way I can tell you if it's a severe problem or not, that's up to you to decide how much you have at risk.
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  #112 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2018, 3:13 PM
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Just to point this out, for those that might not know - the R30, along with their other wideband cousins, will not trunktrack anything. In fact, the ad at Universal Radio states this;

https://www.universal-radio.com/cata...rxvr/1030.html

So if the software doesn't import a particular trunk system - well, that's because the radio doesn't trunk. That's understandable. Following a trunk system with a conventional radio would be annoying because you can't follow a conversation. But that's just me.

Things like Project 25, NXDN and DMR are modulation schemes and have nothing to do with trunking. It's easy to mix these facts together...Mike
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  #113 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2018, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post
Just to point this out, for those that might not know - the R30, along with their other wideband cousins, will not trunktrack anything. In fact, the ad at Universal Radio states this;

https://www.universal-radio.com/cata...rxvr/1030.html

So if the software doesn't import a particular trunk system - well, that's because the radio doesn't trunk. That's understandable. Following a trunk system with a conventional radio would be annoying because you can't follow a conversation. But that's just me.

Things like Project 25, NXDN and DMR are modulation schemes and have nothing to do with trunking. It's easy to mix these facts together...Mike
Very true Mike, although it would be nice for software to have the option to import all the frequencies used by the trunk even if the radio itself is not capable of trunk tracking--- many of the folks here on RR forums know that it is still advantageous to be able to monitor said frequencies, and to pick up bits and pieces of conversations, without necessarily following any one particular group.
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  #114 (permalink)  
Old 11-11-2018, 9:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MStep View Post
Very true Mike, although it would be nice for software to have the option to import all the frequencies used by the trunk even if the radio itself is not capable of trunk tracking--- many of the folks here on RR forums know that it is still advantageous to be able to monitor said frequencies, and to pick up bits and pieces of conversations, without necessarily following any one particular group.
I agree with this. On all Icom receivers capable of digital modes, the ability to use software to import data for "Trunked Systems" or sites has always been a problem.
I find myself doing a lot of old fashioned copying and pasting to get this info into the various Icom receivers I own. This does work of course but being able to do it via software would be much preferred.
Luckily most Icom receivers have a lot of Groups available so one can keep these trunked systems in a dedicated group for those times you may want to actually try to scan a trunked system conventionally. I know there are a lot of people out there that don't get the fact that the Icom's (and most others not made by Uniden or Whistler/GRE) are not scanners and wonder why they don't behave like a scanner but I think that most that discover and purchase a communications receiver do probably understand this simple fact.
I have a Harris P25 system here that does not always work well in the Icom's. As many probably know, Harris P25 systems often rotate the control channel at least once each 24 hours. So the user of an Icom must go in and skip the CC frequencies and remember to un-skip those that are now voice channels. Still not a big deal. The Harris site I monitor is one of many that our electric utility uses. It is very monitorable in a conventional mode with an Icom during most times. If a storm occurs though, you will miss traffic as several TGs will be in use at the same time.
Even with that limitation, I still use one of the Icom's to monitor this utilities site as it can be valuable during storms.

I'd guess most software packages available for the various Icom receivers simply don't know what to do with the extra data that a trunked site would contain so they don't offer to import them. It seems like it would be easy to overcome though.

Uniden's Sentinel is not much better really. If there is a new site on the air that does not have any talkgroups submitted yet, Sentinel will not show that site for import to a favorites list or just to scan conventionally.
Same goes for site types that require LCN info, Sentinel will ignore those sites each Sunday night when they pull the RRDB for Monday's updates. Until at least one TG is listed, Sentinel will ignore a site or system. For frequencies needing an LCN, Sentinel will ignore those frequencies without LCN or Channel ID info but will import those with that info. This could have changed now with the addition of more and more DMR and NXDN trunked sites that are still being discovered but I've not checked in a long time.
I think for the missing LCN data, the DB Admins can just set a value of zero and Sentinel will then import the frequency data. It's too bad they can't set a dummy placeholder talkgroup as well so these systems can be imported. I would think this would be a benefit to all as more users may monitor and submit new data as it is found. If you can't import the system, how many will add it manually so they can catch new TGs?
Dedicated users will but those that rely upon the ease of just plugging in a zip code would probably not manually add a trunked systems frequencies. How many even know how with today's complicated radio's! If it's not 'plug an play', it probably won't be monitored by many other than those truly dedicated to the hobby. That's my thoughts anyway.

Hopefully some will add the ability to add trunked info into an import for models that cannot trunk track. It may confuse some but would probably be more of a benefit than any confusion it may cause for the casual or simple user.
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  #115 (permalink)  
Old 11-11-2018, 10:09 AM
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Importing trunk frequencies from trunk system in the RR database was already added in ARC30 0.91 build3.

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  #116 (permalink)  
Old 11-11-2018, 11:21 AM
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Importing trunk frequencies from trunk system in the RR database was already added in ARC30 0.91 build3.

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Thanks for this info Gommert! I've not checked in some time.
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