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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2011, 10:41 PM
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Default XPR6550. Up to Public Safety Standard

After hearing a recent sales pitch on the XPR6550, I was almost convinced that this radio may fit our Police/Fire needs. However, I am listening to a salesman, so any additional thoughts would be appreciated. We're in the 480 range and we're looking for some replacement radios for our MT2000's that are breaking down. In comparison to the MT2000, would this radio be a good alternative to the "Public Safety" rating that the MT2000 has as opposed to the XPR6550? Any pros or cons?

Thanks
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Old 01-07-2011, 1:08 AM
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Originally Posted by scterran View Post
After hearing a recent sales pitch on the XPR6550, I was almost convinced that this radio may fit our Police/Fire needs. However, I am listening to a salesman, so any additional thoughts would be appreciated. We're in the 480 range and we're looking for some replacement radios for our MT2000's that are breaking down. In comparison to the MT2000, would this radio be a good alternative to the "Public Safety" rating that the MT2000 has as opposed to the XPR6550? Any pros or cons?

Thanks
Hi scterran,

One of the main concerns of using the MotoTrbo in public safety is the interoperability issues. Since it doesn't run on standard P25 digital, it may be difficult to introduce agency interoperability into your radio system. Personally, I believe you can of course program your local mutual aid channels (analog) into the radios and have your public safety personnel switch to this if interoperability is needed but I'm not sure how practical this will be.

I'm sure others can chime in on other pros and cons of using MotoTrbo for public safety.
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Old 01-07-2011, 6:22 AM
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Couldn't interoperability be addressed with a mobile to mobile "home brew cross band link" with a couple of XPR 4550 mobiles. Radio A is tuned to your TRBO digital system and radio B is tuned to whatever you need to link to. You could even use the TRBO telemetry to remotely turn the link radio on and off. Of course if you are going to use the new XPR's in analog only then interoperability is not an issue. And yes the XPR series handhelds are more durable than an old MT2000 (you do mean MT2000 and not MTS2000 correct?). I have two XPR radios (XPR 6550 and XPR 6300) that I had clipped on my pocket when I went running across a large parking lot in a very heavy downpour. Both radios jumped off and proceeded to skid about ten feet face down across the wet asphalt. They were both scratched, but they both still work fine. I should have had them clipped to my belt and not my pocket.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by k4sgt View Post
And yes the XPR series handhelds are more durable than an old MT2000 (you do mean MT2000 and not MTS2000 correct?). I have two XPR radios (XPR 6550 and XPR 6300) that I had clipped on my pocket when I went running across a large parking lot in a very heavy downpour. Both radios jumped off and proceeded to skid about ten feet face down across the wet asphalt. They were both scratched, but they both still work fine. I should have had them clipped to my belt and not my pocket.
Do that a couple hundred of times
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:09 AM
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Hi scterran,
Personally, I believe you can of course program your local mutual aid channels (analog) into the radios and have your public safety personnel switch to this if interoperability is needed but I'm not sure how practical this will be.
.
Actually happens quite a bit so its very practical.
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Old 01-07-2011, 1:32 PM
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Actually happens quite a bit so its very practical.
I know in California we have CLEMARS but don't use it very often as this area has a regional communications system and the dispatchers just patch the P25 talk groups to an analog "North Tac" or "South Tac".
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Old 01-07-2011, 3:19 PM
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I've had some pretty extensive exposure to the XPR series radios. They are a very good line but I don't know that I'd trust them in a "Mission Critical" situation.

The portables are very good. They biggest thing I don't like is the fact that the speaker is located at the bottom of the radio. They also just have that 'light weight" feel & not the feel of the real public safety radios.

Just my two cents
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Old 01-07-2011, 3:25 PM
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I wonder why the speaker is at the bottom. My hand covers the speaker when I hold it.
I guess its not made so that right handed people can use their thumb to use PTT
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Old 01-07-2011, 3:29 PM
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Originally Posted by chrismol1 View Post
I wonder why the speaker is at the bottom. My hand covers the speaker when I hold it.
I guess its not made so that right handed people can use their thumb to use PTT

I've also wondered the same thing. I don't think Motorola ever intended this radio to be used in public safety. Though I've not ever seen very many radios with the speaker mounted all the way at the bottom of the radio. Kinda kills the option of carrying the radio in a back pants pocket, or in a shirt pocket (such as like the sweat shirt type pullovers we have at the FD).
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Old 01-07-2011, 3:38 PM
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Getting back to the original question, I don't quite understand why the sales person is pushing a TRBO radio on you when use a strictly analog system. There are any number of field-proven, good radios available these days in analog only that would do the job you need done...unless you plan to upgrade to some kind of digital system in the fairly near future, in which case you'd probably be almost forced to go to P25 and not TRBO. Don't get me wrong, because I love TRBO, own a 6500 HT, and participate in the nationwide ham net which uses IP/TRBO. Fact is that if you intend to stick to analog radio then you could be looking at the products from several manufacturers, most or all of whom would have sales contracts with your state, and could compete for your business. There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not the TRBO radios can/should be used for public safety agencies, but a lot of the opinions and criticisms I've read are pretty subjective, so in the end you're going to have to do some digging and studying and decide on your own. Overall the fact is that some radios, regardless of the system they work on, are tough and can take a beating, and others can't.
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Old 01-07-2011, 4:38 PM
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Originally Posted by W2NJS View Post
Getting back to the original question, I don't quite understand why the sales person is pushing a TRBO radio on you when use a strictly analog system. There are any number of field-proven, good radios available these days in analog only that would do the job you need done...unless you plan to upgrade to some kind of digital system in the fairly near future, in which case you'd probably be almost forced to go to P25 and not TRBO. Don't get me wrong, because I love TRBO, own a 6500 HT, and participate in the nationwide ham net which uses IP/TRBO. Fact is that if you intend to stick to analog radio then you could be looking at the products from several manufacturers, most or all of whom would have sales contracts with your state, and could compete for your business. There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not the TRBO radios can/should be used for public safety agencies, but a lot of the opinions and criticisms I've read are pretty subjective, so in the end you're going to have to do some digging and studying and decide on your own. Overall the fact is that some radios, regardless of the system they work on, are tough and can take a beating, and others can't.

I'll second that. If it's not a requirement that you have to have something digital then I'd be looking into other options as well.

Talk to the salesman and see if he will let your department demo a couple of the TRBO radios just to see if they will fit you needs. I've been a firefighter for almost 17 years, and have worked in radio service for 12 of those. As with anyone else, what radios you choose to use in your day to day is up to you. Anyone you ask is going to have a different opinion on what to use. Best thing to do is your own evaluation and go from there.
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Old 01-07-2011, 7:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2NJS View Post
Getting back to the original question, I don't quite understand why the sales person is pushing a TRBO radio on you when use a strictly analog system. There are any number of field-proven, good radios available these days in analog only that would do the job you need done...unless you plan to upgrade to some kind of digital system in the fairly near future, in which case you'd probably be almost forced to go to P25 and not TRBO. Don't get me wrong, because I love TRBO, own a 6500 HT, and participate in the nationwide ham net which uses IP/TRBO. Fact is that if you intend to stick to analog radio then you could be looking at the products from several manufacturers, most or all of whom would have sales contracts with your state, and could compete for your business. There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not the TRBO radios can/should be used for public safety agencies, but a lot of the opinions and criticisms I've read are pretty subjective, so in the end you're going to have to do some digging and studying and decide on your own. Overall the fact is that some radios, regardless of the system they work on, are tough and can take a beating, and others can't.
Why not look at TRBO it is the newest system on the block with the most technology being thrown at it. All of the legacy analog radio systems like the HT Series are nearing end of life. I wouldn't want to invest a bunch of money on HT's only to find out that it was soon to be a discontinued product with limited support down the road.

TRBO also adds a great deal of flexibility for interconnecting equipment because it has a data bus not just and audio I/O.

This place is like chicken little when it comes to TRBO, just because a guy mentions they are looking at TRBO doesn't mean they are going digital. In fact you can buy analog only TRBO radios at a lower price than ones with digital capability.
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Old 01-07-2011, 7:39 PM
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You know, it's hard to argue if MotoTrbo is "interoperable" if you are comparing your definition of "interoperable" to P25. P25 is the defined interoperability standard and recognized by all Federal agencies, especially DHS which provides a substantial amount of funding to the first response community. However, if you were to purchase P25 radios for your entire fleet, there is a chance you may have to work with some sort of interoperability device to achieve interoperability. You may not be able to coordinate P25 modulation on your existing frequency.

Here is the bigger problem for public safety; funding. Some agencies have adequate funding for their communications while most do not. If you could not afford P25 radios for the narrowband transition, why not purchase MotoTrbo radios when the cost is comparable to what we used to pay for HT1000? Just because you purchase MotoTrbo does not exclude you from narrow-band analog. But it does give you the ability of access to the DMR Open Standard TDMA modulation. HYT and Tait are also manufacturing DMR radios that are interoperable with MotoTrbo radios.

The real question should be, "What level of interoperability does your department wish to achieve?" Exchanging radios IS a form of interoperability, just not one that I prefer. You should also consider the fact that NFPA 1221 requires the use of a simplex analog channel for fire ground operation. So for the fireground, no digital be it P25 or MotoTrbo. It's also hard to argue Mission Critical when many agencies purchase the CP200 and similar radios.

There is a lot of information on the DMR Open Standard out there. Simply do a google search for MotoTrbo and DMR and you'll find a tremendous amount of info on the subject. Hope this helps!
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Old 01-07-2011, 8:28 PM
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There is a sheriff dept. here in TN went to the trbo radio and several of the deputies said they are very dangerous radios to use in Law Enforcement because sometimes the transmissions are garbled and sometimes do not here the transmission.
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Old 01-07-2011, 8:37 PM
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I've spoken with several sheriff's departments and police departments, including at least on in Tennessee. They all were 100% satified with their MOTOTRBO systems and equipment.

I would like to know who has this system to which you're referring. They obviously have some problems in the system and I can probably help them with that. Can you please send me a private email with that information?

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There is a sheriff dept. here in TN went to the trbo radio and several of the deputies said they are very dangerous radios to use in Law Enforcement because sometimes the transmissions are garbled and sometimes do not here the transmission.
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Old 01-07-2011, 8:54 PM
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As to the XPR series of radios for public safety use....

The radios meet the same military specs that the HT1250's meet, plus they're waterproof (submersible). There are many many thousands of HT1250's in use for public safety (mission critical) use and I've never heard anyone 'complain' that the HT1250 isn't good, or designed, for mission critical use. So I find it very interesting that people make this claim against the XPR series.

Someone commented on it's 'lightweight' feel. Part of that is due to using a lithium-ion battery. These batteries are MUCH lighter weight than the old ni-cad or nickel-metal-hydride batteries that radios like the HT1000 and MT2000 (and even the HT1250, in most cases) used.

The XPR series of radios is an excellent analog radio. It has great audio and performs very well. I would suggest that you get a couple of demo units from the salesman and try them for several days (a week would be good). If the salesman doesn't want to let you try them, then find another Motorola dealer that will. I enjoy letting people try the MOTOTRBO radios, even just for analog. The 'satisfaction rate' that I've personally seen is 100%. And they are available in an analog-only model (which can be field upgrade to add digital).

If you're talking about using the XPR series of radios in digital mode, then you'll find that the MOTOTRBO digital system performs MUCH better than analog systems (especially narrowband analog systems). The usable range is consistently better than what analog can provide, using the same site locations and power levels. As to interoperability, someone suggested that even with P25, an agency may have to use some kind of 'bridging system' for interoperability. This is very true. Most people don't realize that a P25 conventional radio is completely 'non-interoperable' with a P25 trunked repeater system, unless some kind of 'bridge' is used (which can be in the VERY expensive 'switch' that controls the P25 trunked system). An IP-based bridging system is now available that can bridge a MOTOTRBO digital system into just about any other kind of system, including analog base stations, analog conventional repeaters, analog trunked system, P25 conventional base stations, P25 trunked repeater systems, and even IDEN. Interoperability between MOTOTRBO and other systems is VERY easy and works VERY well.

By the way, while I do handle some sales, I'm really a technician "through and through". I don't look at products from a technical standpoint. And I think, technically, the XPR series of radios are outstanding.

John Rayfield, Jr. - CETma
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Old 01-08-2011, 5:25 PM
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I got a question:

Why oh why is the speaker located at the bottom when my hand covers it? It reminds me of a kids FRS radio
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Old 01-09-2011, 1:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismol1 View Post
I got a question:

Why oh why is the speaker located at the bottom when my hand covers it? It reminds me of a kids FRS radio
Regarding the comments about the speaker being on the bottom radio...when was the last time you saw a law enforcement officer on patrol without a microphone or some sort of ear gadget attached to the radio?
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Old 01-09-2011, 2:04 PM
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then there shouldn't be a speaker on the radio at all if all there going to use is speaker mic. that would free up space for more components
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:55 PM
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Cool TRBO radio

Who holds the bottom of the radio anyway???

I operate in fire and firepolice operations all the time with the XPR6550 (500 Band) the radio fits into the pocket in my turn out gear jacket, i can reach the orange "emergency button" and i can hear with no problem. This radio has been soaked and still worked with no problem. I've seen HT1250,s get wet and not work. I trust my mototrbo anyday!!
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