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Motorola Forum For general discussion of Motorola land mobile radio equipment and their trunking technologies.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-04-2008, 4:02 PM
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Default Motorola Scanner

Why wouldn't motorola make a scanner? I am not talking about a cheap $500 dollar scanner, I am talking about something with the same level of tech that radios have in P25 trunking simulcast systems. Something that could handle simulcast as well as one of their ht's.

Would there just not be enough demand? I always here of police and fire people wanting a good scanner to listen to other departments / agencies, and there is nothing of this level out there that I know of. What do people like the CIA and FCC use to monitor everything?

I'll bet there are plenty of people who would lay down a few thousand for a high end scanner that works well on all motorola systems.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-04-2008, 4:21 PM
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I am not totally certain but I presume for the same reason that Uniden and RadioShack dont make the quality radios that Motorola does?
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Old 06-04-2008, 4:48 PM
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Such items do exist, at least on the "deadly serious" level of monitoring, but they're hardly marketed to
the masses. Look for top tier communications electronics companies to be making them, like General
Dynamics, Marconi, Rohde & Schwarz, etc...

The companies will all have CAGE codes and the radios in question will probably have NSNs.


Elroy
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Old 06-04-2008, 5:17 PM
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http://www.tessco.com/products/displ...37&eventPage=1

http://www.scannermaster.com/AR_ONE_.../01-500815.htm

This is the service monitor I use on a pretty daily basis. You can store freqs and dial them up at any time so you can use it to monitor. Never even looked for a scan function i doubt that it does it. These unit's are used by multiple federal agencies involved in monitoring and tracking activity in just about any band. The demand for something like this for the average person is VERY low you probably would not use over half of what this machine does. The FCC has an extensive collection of equipment it depends on what they are trying to do. The national radio quiet zone has extensive monitoring equipment you may want to do a search for it. The government does not really use "scanners" unless your talking about their vehicles issued to the average government employee. I could go on forever but the short answer is there is no true scanner for the government unless you consider the AOR unrestricted units other than them I have never come across a truly commercial scanner. For a scanner to truly handle a trunking system and automatically change sites (not using GPS) it would really have to talk to the system and try to affiliate as it moves through the system which would not be possible. Scanner quality in general is poor. I own one scanner which is an AOR (I added the second link to the government version at the top of the page so you could see what I was talking about) and even that has its limits on quality. You will never beat using a conventional Motorola radio to monitor those systems. Monitoring a (Edit: Motorola) trunking system however thats best left to your trunk tracker Uniden or GRE scanner with a GPS attached anything beyond that is just asking for trouble.

Last edited by EncryptionMan; 06-04-2008 at 10:50 PM..
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Old 06-04-2008, 9:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElroyJetson View Post
Such items do exist, at least on the "deadly serious" level of monitoring, but they're hardly marketed to
the masses. Look for top tier communications electronics companies to be making them, like General
Dynamics, Marconi, Rohde & Schwarz, etc...

The companies will all have CAGE codes and the radios in question will probably have NSNs.


Elroy

I have a CAGE code
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHOENIX_SCANNER View Post
Why wouldn't motorola make a scanner?
I would imagine that if they thought there'd be enough money in it, it would be at least considered. But what may make sense to you isn't necessarily make sense to a corporate bean counter.

The FCC seems to use readily available off the shelf gear, at least that's what I've seen them use. If they want to listen to a Type II trunked talk group, they're perfectly capable of programming up a radio to listen.

I once owned a piece of gear allegedly used by the CIA at a listening post. It was a nice 12 GHz spectrum analyzer with a 21.7 MHz IF output for demodulating what was seen on the screen. It was a well known brand name, although I doubt more than a very small handful here would recognize it.

When they're done using it, the non-classified stuff goes to surplus. The classified stuff probably gets crushed. Check eBay. There's occasionally VERY interesting receivers put up for auction. But even used, they're not cheap. And a lot of what they use would fall under the category of 'test equipment'.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Monitoring a trunking system however thats best left to your trunk tracker Uniden or GRE scanner with a GPS attached anything beyond that is just asking for trouble.
That depends on the system.

EDACS systems are easy to monitor in perfect safety. Turn off auto-login and turn off TX on every
talkgroup in the radio, and turn off calls, and it's a radio that will never be seen by the system. It's
just an expensive (and very good) scanner at that point. This works on every radio that's newer than
the M-PD. M-PDs don't have a true NO TX option. You have to block or disable the PTT, and THEN
they're safe for use as scanners.

Elroy
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElroyJetson View Post
That depends on the system.

EDACS systems are easy to monitor in perfect safety. Turn off auto-login and turn off TX on every
talkgroup in the radio, and turn off calls, and it's a radio that will never be seen by the system. It's
just an expensive (and very good) scanner at that point. This works on every radio that's newer than
the M-PD. M-PDs don't have a true NO TX option. You have to block or disable the PTT, and THEN
they're safe for use as scanners.

Elroy
My post was referring to Motorola systems in response to the posters comment "I'll bet there are plenty of people who would lay down a few thousand for a high end scanner that works well on all Motorola systems." Sorry I did not make that clear. I can not comment on any other from of trunking or conventional operation other than Motorola as I have no training or involvement in those other systems.

I have edited my post to correct my error in clarity.

Last edited by EncryptionMan; 06-04-2008 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 06-05-2008, 2:23 AM
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The only real difference between your low cost (comparatively) scanner and the commercial radio is in selectivity. That is, how well does it deal with adjacent channel interference?

Since those who coordinate these systems work to avoid the problem coming up in the first place, most of the time, and especially in smaller cities, there won't be any detectable difference.

Get into the radio hell of a major urban area, and yes, you end up getting a little more interference, and probably lose some sensetivity from front end overload. Now; You're listening to a REPEATER. If you're listening at home, you either do, or do not, receive it. Very rarely does that super expensive commercial radio matter, as long as you can pick a good 'hot spot' for your antenna.

Portable, moving use is where the commercial gear will help the most. But, you'll pay. In cash, in troubles getting them programmed, in fines and jail time if you get them programmed WRONG, and in the fact that the commercial gear is not designed to be a 'scanner', it usually offers very limited numbers of scannable channels at any one time, etc. It's for officers, whose commanders want them listening to THIER channels, not everything else and getting distracted. So your cheapie scanner has worlds of features for selecting talk groups, etc, that your Stud-Ego-Motorola HT doesn't have, or ever will.

You decide what you need, you pays your money.

In fact, regarding the original question, Motorola does (at times) make 'scanners'. Desktop receive only radios. They very rarely show up in any catalog, and are almost never sold. You will sometimes spot one in a disposal sale of stuff, a friend heard of several P25 Motorola Desktop Scanners showing up recently in a sale. (Snapped up). They're not cheap, and in general, Moto just figures if you need to hear, you might as well have a regular HT or mobile unit there anyway.
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Last edited by SkipSanders; 06-05-2008 at 2:27 AM..
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Old 06-05-2008, 6:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkipSanders View Post
In fact, regarding the original question, Motorola does (at times) make 'scanners'. Desktop receive only radios. They very rarely show up in any catalog, and are almost never sold. You will sometimes spot one in a disposal sale of stuff, a friend heard of several P25 Motorola Desktop Scanners showing up recently in a sale. (Snapped up). They're not cheap, and in general, Moto just figures if you need to hear, you might as well have a regular HT or mobile unit there anyway.

Pure and simple... Motorola does not produce scanners. I'm sorry, they just don't. I don't know what you saw it could have been a million things but it was not a receive only unit designed to ONLY listen. It was probably some type of service device or radio that had the mic port plugged (Motorola actually has a cap for mic jacks when they are not intended to be used) but Motorola does not produce scanners pure and simple. They make and have their name slapped on dozens upon dozens of products a device purely for RX only scanning does not exist.
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Old 06-05-2008, 8:52 AM
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Let's put this in context. Motorola products are pretty much directed to working professionals in public safety fields. In general, any form of scan can be an issue, and if scan is used, the list should be very short (to avoid missing critical traffic). This is one of the reasons why, for instance, a $4,000 XTS5000 does not make a good "scanner." Since 99% of the customers who pay Motorola's rent wouldn't be interested in the device you describe, Motorola has no interest in engineering, prototyping, and manufacturing it.

If you want to build a tech-level "scanner" and cost is no object, acquire two ICOM R-7000 receivers. Rx#1 is tuned to the data channel and feeds a PC running OSW-parser software (e.g., Trunker), which, in turn, can be used to tune Rx#2 to a selected TG VC. For about $10K (I'm guessing; don't really know what good condition R-7000s go for these days), and assuming a decent site and a couple of good antennas, you will have achieved scanner state of the art.

However, I can tell you (from experience) that you won't substantially increase the amount of traffic you can monitor (at least in most cases).
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Old 06-05-2008, 7:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EncryptionMan View Post
Pure and simple... Motorola does not produce scanners. I'm sorry, they just don't. I don't know what you saw it could have been a million things but it was not a receive only unit designed to ONLY listen. It was probably some type of service device or radio that had the mic port plugged (Motorola actually has a cap for mic jacks when they are not intended to be used) but Motorola does not produce scanners pure and simple. They make and have their name slapped on dozens upon dozens of products a device purely for RX only scanning does not exist.
Uh... yeah, they've been known to make SP versions of radios with no transmitter. I don't know about anything recent, but there's a version of a Syntor X out there that was sold with rx capability only. The same could probably done with an XTL, or some other current production radio.
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:00 AM
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The e-peen with some new folks on here is funny.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:21 AM
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Ge / Macom / Erricson made them too.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:54 AM
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After spending about an hour searching the web the only definite answer I could find is the followng

Low Band, High Band, UHF or 800MHz Maxtrac mobile and VHF or UHF M120 or GM300 mobiles were both produced with minimal if any output power. While they still had the capability to transmit the power output was extremely low, Below 1 watt. I could find no portables with that specification. HOWEVER I did find that ANB in relation to Motorola suffixes stands for "receive-only rack-mount or desktop monitor receiver" however I could find no data detailing if that meant just low to no transmit power nor could I find a list of radios produced as ANB units. I read up on multiple websites about Syntors and not one mentioned an ANB or low power unit or one no ability to transmit. Very interesting topic actually im going to continue to see what I can find out about it.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by EncryptionMan View Post
After spending about an hour searching the web the only definite answer I could find is the followng...
I'll make things easy for you. Try a google search on this: T34KEJ7J04AKSP99.

That's just one easily documented item, because they made enough of them to be relatively widely distributed. Other models would have been special mods (SP models) built for a specific purpose, and a specific customer.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:10 AM
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What is a CAGE number?
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Old 06-24-2008, 2:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog View Post
The e-peen with some new folks on here is funny.
My E-Peen is bigger than yours, and you know it.
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Old 06-24-2008, 4:10 PM
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Exclamation Cage code

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Originally Posted by JFDoering View Post
What is a CAGE number?
Its actually called a cage code. I could try and explain it but I don't think I would be very clear. This is the best definition I could find for you.

http://www.dlis.dla.mil/CAGEserv.asp
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