• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.
  • Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Mototrbo Trunked good for Fire or Bad

Status
Not open for further replies.

BamaScan

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 27, 2008
Messages
733
Location
15 miles from Florida Line in Alabama
My county is building a huge VHF Trunked MotoTrbo System for All of the Fire Departments in the county. It will also include All City aand county Fire departments as well as the Rescue Squad. Is this system proven for Fire Departments ?? Or is it a mistake ?? if so Why ?? What about fire pages do they work on Mototrbo ??
 

phillydjdan

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
1,640
No pagers, and most importantly, no interopability! pagers have to be on an analog conventional channel. And if bordering departments want to come into your county on a mutual aid assignment, they would have to juggle radios like a circus freak, not that a million departments don't already do that, just saying it certainly doesn't help matters...
 

mmckenna

Well Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,447
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
A couple things to keep in mind….

MotoTrbo radios will do analog just fine. While dispatch may be through a pure MotoTrbo channel, fire ground channels and interoperability channels can still be analog and compatible with other agency radios.

Going MotoTrbo is considerably cheaper than going P25. P25 might be the de facto standard for most public safety, but that's mainly due to market share. P25 (phase 1) has been around for a very long time and it's not built off the best codecs. MotoTrbo will sound as good as, if not better than, P25. As a taxpayer in your county, this might be something to be thankful for. It's probably saving your county a huge amount over a P25 system.

Not sure if MotoTrbo radios will do 2 tone paging on the analog side. I wouldn't at all be surprised if they did. There are certainly other options for station alerting using the digital side. With so many other options available, and analog pagers being pretty expensive compared to the other choices, traditional fire pagers may eventually go away.

As for proven, sure. There are plenty of public safety agencies using MotoTrbo and NXDN with successful results. There really isn't anything magical about P25 that makes it any better for public safety other than market share. The price savings alone mean more radios in the hands of the people that really need them. That's a huge benefit right there.
 

firefive76

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
399
Location
Kansas
A few departments in my county use XPR6550 on analog. They will do QCII paging. They have quite a few MDC, QCII, & DTMF signaling options.
 

krokus

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
3,775
Location
Southeastern Michigan
As already mentioned, mutual aid situations with bordering agencies can be a problem. What do they use?

Sent from Tapatalk
 

DisasterGuy

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
1,175
Location
Maryland Shore
P25 has"market share" because it is the APCO standard for public safety. If anything P25 has lowered the cost for public safety grade radios. When comparing the price of a P25 radio (APX6000, XG-75) to a DMR radio the cost difference has little to do with the protocol and everything to do with the radio being built to public safety specs.

As someone responsible for a public safety radio system, I can't imagine anyone building a digital or trunked public safety system that is anything but P25.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Napsterbater

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
56
Location
Milledgeville, GA
As someone who managed our MotoTRBO System for our Dept and now we have been forced to a P25 "regional" system.

We have taken a step back in Mutual Aid, Most surrounding Depts are VHF and we are now 700Mhz of which no one is, Our Tubo had VHF Mutual Aid Channels (Analog) which allowed us to talk to them, now none of our surrounding counties can talk to us nor us them.

Also the MotoTRBO portables cost about $700, now we are using portables that are costing $2700-$3000, we could have built out our TRBO network for far less then our portion of the P25.

Also in the 2.5 years we had our Trbo system and radios not one ever broke out of about 60 portables most seeing at least some firefighting some seeing a lot, one was stolen one was lost and one was run over by a firetruck but not a single one ever has issues or needed to be repaired for any other reason.

MotoTRBO use the AMBE vocoder, P25 Phase 1 uses the crappy IMBE vocoder and our voice quality has gone down not up especially on Mobiles that don't have noise cancelling, note the TRBO didn't have any and they still sounded better.

Also MotoTRBO has some nice easy to use features, Private Calling, TX Interrupt (Remote De-Key), Emergency (Which can De-Key a radio on the channel so it can transmit the Emergency), even texting with presets, and the Fact it is TDMA for double the channel capacity.

Note we do stay analog and simplex on the fire ground both on the 700mhz and the VHF Trbos.

Overall we took a step back but the SO wanted this and we got forced to it.
 

cdknapp

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Messages
115
Location
Rochester, NY
No pagers, and most importantly, no interopability! pagers have to be on an analog conventional channel. And if bordering departments want to come into your county on a mutual aid assignment, they would have to juggle radios like a circus freak, not that a million departments don't already do that, just saying it certainly doesn't help matters...
On the voice pager side, Unication is currently working on 2 new pagers; the G3 will be analog/P25/Mototrbo conventional capable, and the G4 will a be analog/digital trunking systems capable. This is going to be a big deal, as there are no other voice pagers that can do these systems. I think we'll be hearing/seeing more about these pagers in early 2014.
 

DisasterGuy

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
1,175
Location
Maryland Shore
As someone who managed our MotoTRBO System for our Dept and now we have been forced to a P25 "regional" system.

We have taken a step back in Mutual Aid, Most surrounding Depts are VHF and we are now 700Mhz of which no one is, Our Tubo had VHF Mutual Aid Channels (Analog) which allowed us to talk to them, now none of our surrounding counties can talk to us nor us them.

Also the MotoTRBO portables cost about $700, now we are using portables that are costing $2700-$3000, we could have built out our TRBO network for far less then our portion of the P25.

Also in the 2.5 years we had our Trbo system and radios not one ever broke out of about 60 portables most seeing at least some firefighting some seeing a lot, one was stolen one was lost and one was run over by a firetruck but not a single one ever has issues or needed to be repaired for any other reason.

MotoTRBO use the AMBE vocoder, P25 Phase 1 uses the crappy IMBE vocoder and our voice quality has gone down not up especially on Mobiles that don't have noise cancelling, note the TRBO didn't have any and they still sounded better.

Also MotoTRBO has some nice easy to use features, Private Calling, TX Interrupt (Remote De-Key), Emergency (Which can De-Key a radio on the channel so it can transmit the Emergency), even texting with presets, and the Fact it is TDMA for double the channel capacity.

Note we do stay analog and simplex on the fire ground both on the 700mhz and the VHF Trbos.

Overall we took a step back but the SO wanted this and we got forced to it.
The issues that you point out are more a factor of system design and equipment spec than they are of either DMR or P25 technology. The P25 standard provides for the features that you describe in DMR assuming the system is implemented in that way. The interoperability problems that you describe are a function of band rather than modulation and are easily overcome today with both Motorola, Harris, Thales and others offering multi-band P25 radios.
 

SteveC0625

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
2,562
Location
Northville, NY (Fulton County)
On the voice pager side, Unication is currently working on 2 new pagers; the G3 will be analog/P25/Mototrbo conventional capable, and the G4 will a be analog/digital trunking systems capable. This is going to be a big deal, as there are no other voice pagers that can do these systems. I think we'll be hearing/seeing more about these pagers in early 2014.
David,

We're eagerly awaiting the next Unications and also the Minitor 6 which is anticipated to be released for sale in 2014 as well. Nobody seems to know exactly what new features the 6 will a offer but speculation centers around improved SV playback and more function switch choices. My personal guess is that it'll also parallel the G3 and G4 in system capability, but that is just a WAG.

Regardless, 2014 will likely be a banner year for advancement of alerting systems.

Spiderman sends.
 

mmckenna

Well Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,447
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
As already mentioned, mutual aid situations with bordering agencies can be a problem. What do they use?

Sent from Tapatalk
Analog. I haven't seen a MotoTrbo, NXDN or P25 radio yet that won't do it. Absolutely no reason to force all public safety to use the highest common denominator system when it's not needed.
 

phillydjdan

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
1,640
Consider this. In my area, most of the counties use P25 trunking systems. Some are in the 700/800 band, while others are in the UHF band. Right now, Bucks and Montgomery Counties run P25 trunking on different bands. So when a company on the border wants to announce that they are responding or on location, they have to use one of two radios. Even simplex fireground communications are on different bands. However, both counties are in the process of upgrading their systems. Montgomery is staying on 800, just upgrading the system to Phase 2. Bucks is moving from UHF to 700 Phase 2. They are in talks with each other so that when both systems are complete, bordering agencies will be able to use the same radio. This is something your county should consider. How much longer is the next county over staying on the system they use, and can your county make it possible to respond across the border with 1 radio? Even with separate bands in play, I believe there are more than one vendor that makes dual band P25 radios, where as I have not seen any dual band TRBO radios.

As for paging, yes, most radios will decode the 2 tone. That's not what we are talking about. We are talking about pagers. As of right now I know of NO pagers that track TRBO or any other trunking system. There may be in the future, but none right now. So as of right now you can deploy a trunking system all you want, but (like every county near me), you will have to maintain an analog conventional channel for paging.

I'm not saying P25 is better than TRBO, just that you should make sure that TRBO radio is going to work with other counties if you go that route. If all the counties in your area are TRBO or going TRBO, than great, get TRBO. If not, then you need to give it some serious thought. Just my 2 pennies worth!
 

mmckenna

Well Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,447
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
One issue this raises is the lack of forethought that goes into many public safety radio systems. This can happen with -any- type of system, not just Trbo or p25. local agencies being on different bands creates the same issue.

There really isn't an easy and cheap solution to all this, all counties border others and having common systems between all counties is not feasible.

This pretty much narrows it down to a couple of no-so-cheap solutions:
Multiple radios
Multi-band radios
patching
"radio trading"
etc.

In the end, the taxpayer ends up covering the costs, one way or another. The solution isn't something that can be hacked out on a hobbyist website, it something that takes a lot of knowledge and communications with surrounding agencies, something that many are not good at.

Looking for that perfect common ground isn't going to happen. Even if all agencies in the country were P25, there are still the different bands that have to be addressed.

Even if everyone was on the same band, getting each others frequencies programmed into their equipment is a very difficult task. Lack of communications between neighboring agencies usually stands in the way. "Silos", or groups that refuse to work with other, is another issue. Sometimes the issue can be as simple as a PL tone being changed in one area and someone forgetting to tell everyone else. This has likely blocked interoperable communications more times than the Trbo/NXDN/P25 issue ever will.

Thinking that there is one off the shelf solution that is going to address all these issues isn't realistic. Even purchasing multi band P25 capable radios isn't going to work if they are not programmed correctly.

The solution isn't to keep throwing money at equipment budgets. Constantly having to buy new radios for hundreds of users isn't sustainable.

The only thing that will work to solve these issues is cooperation and communications between agencies. No matter how hard we try, there will always be departments that will refuse to talk to others, refuse to communicate, or just plain not care.

Technology isn't the big roadblock, it's money and basic human cooperation.
 

Forts

Mentor
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
5,537
Location
Ontario, Canada
One key thing to consider as well is coverage. The PD in my municipality are using a 3 site MotoTRBO IPSite Connect system and they have a lot of in building coverage issues on the portables. Either calls just don't go thru or, even worse, you will get the call grant tone and make your transmission... but the call actually didn't go anywhere and nobody heard it. In their case the mobiles seem to work very well, it's just the coverage while on portables. There are also several FD's in my area that are either switching to TRBO or have been for a while. They all had some growing pains (in one case they installed mobile analog VR's on all the trucks) but for the most part it seems to be working pretty well. As mentioned above the price is very attractive vs P25 and Motorola has had some great incentives when you trade in old gear towards new TRBO gear. From some informal testing that I did myself, intelligibility while wearing an SCBA is about the same between P25 and TRBO. In most cases it was vastly superior to analog, but of course you get the odd spot where crackly analog is much better than broken digital.
 

Napsterbater

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
56
Location
Milledgeville, GA
The issues that you point out are more a factor of system design and equipment spec than they are of either DMR or P25 technology. The P25 standard provides for the features that you describe in DMR assuming the system is implemented in that way. The interoperability problems that you describe are a function of band rather than modulation and are easily overcome today with both Motorola, Harris, Thales and others offering multi-band P25 radios.

Sure. But implementing all of that just becomes that much more expensive as well.
 

Jay911

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
9,132
Location
Bragg Creek, Alberta
Fire standards associations have recommended fireground/"tactical" channels be clear analog simplex as a safety measure. This stems from, among other incidents and possibilities, a situation in NYC (or surrounding area, I forget which) a number of years ago where a FF in distress on a digital and/or trunk system could not be heard by people directly outside the fire structure but was picked up by scanner enthusiasts and/or dispatch miles away.

Interoperability (interagency communication) channels in the 700 MHz chunk of spectrum allocated for public safety have been mandated to clear APCO Project 25 conventional, either simplex or repeated. This is for purposes of spectrum efficiency and choosing a common standard which it is likely most agencies will support.

In this region, we have some agencies on 800 MHz trunked (with some simplex fireground channels); some VHF conventional analog repeater/simplex; some UHF conventional analog repeater/simplex; some VHF NXDN repeater; some VHF TRBO repeater (two separate systems of that, to boot). In order to communicate on a joint incident, users have to swap radios (or make a policy of carrying each others' radios on a regular basis). This is far from ideal and goes against the recommendations of CITIG and NPSTC.

Yes, analog simplex is interoperable. But doesn't that negate the whole point of switching out your entire radio system for whatever the salesman said is the latest and greatest?

As for "going MotoTRBO is cheaper than going P25", that may be true, but I view that kind of thinking as being identical to the guy who asks "what's the cheapest oil I can get for my car?". If you get the cheapest thing available, you will suffer for it down the road.

Put it this way. If it was such a great deal to get a DMR system, and yet in order to talk to anyone else in the region, you have to switch off of that DMR system to analog, where is the benefit?

I can concede for some agencies that realize some benefit by using a TDMA DMR system to allow fire, bylaw, and public works to share the same frequencies simultaneously - something that has happened with both the TRBO systems in my area, far as I know. They can maximize their system by repurposing the tower sites that used to be for each of the three separate agencies, as nodes in the DMR "trunk" system, for all three to use together.

DMR, in my opinion, is fine for an agency that does not do any communication beyond its own realm. That is, the power company that only talks to "itself"; the public works department that never needs to talk to anyone else; and so on. But for public safety agencies, which by their nature have to interoperate on a daily basis, IMO buying DMR paints them into a corner in which there are only two ways out - forcing the neighbors they need to interoperate with into spending money buying equipment to work on the agency's preferred flavor of DMR, or switching to analog to talk to one another, thus forsaking all the features that supposedly make DMR better than everything else on the market.
 

box23

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
471
Location
State of Superior
Overall we took a step back but the SO wanted this and we got forced to it.
The fact that the Sheriff's Office is "forcing" a non-affiliated fire department to abandon a system that they ran themselves and use a regional system that the region apparently doesn't use should be seen as more of a problem than the fact that there are some differences between the two digital formats.
 

Napsterbater

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
56
Location
Milledgeville, GA
Interoperability (interagency communication) channels in the 700 MHz chunk of spectrum allocated for public safety have been mandated to clear APCO Project 25 conventional, either simplex or repeated. This is for purposes of spectrum efficiency and choosing a common standard which it is likely most agencies will support.
Not really spectrum efficiency when the p25 is using the same amount as narrow band analog.

In this region, we have some agencies on 800 MHz trunked (with some simplex fireground channels); some VHF conventional analog repeater/simplex; some UHF conventional analog repeater/simplex; some VHF NXDN repeater; some VHF TRBO repeater (two separate systems of that, to boot). In order to communicate on a joint incident, users have to swap radios (or make a policy of carrying each others' radios on a regular basis). This is far from ideal and goes against the recommendations of CITIG and NPSTC.
Again analog for interop will at least solve some of the issues.

Yes, analog simplex is interoperable. But doesn't that negate the whole point of switching out your entire radio system for whatever the salesman said is the latest and greatest?
Put it this way. If it was such a great deal to get a DMR system, and yet in order to talk to anyone else in the region, you have to switch off of that DMR system to analog, where is the benefit?
Nope, We had all of the benefits and features that Trbo provided for our own use, and analog simplex for interoperability when needed. interoperability wasnt the reason for upgrading. Plus we are still in the same boat. even if our P25 was VHF.
As for "going MotoTRBO is cheaper than going P25", that may be true, but I view that kind of thinking as being identical to the guy who asks "what's the cheapest oil I can get for my car?". If you get the cheapest thing available, you will suffer for it down the road.
We "suffered" with being able to buy portables for more firefighters with very little funds.


DMR, in my opinion, is fine for an agency that does not do any communication beyond its own realm. That is, the power company that only talks to "itself"; the public works department that never needs to talk to anyone else; and so on. But for public safety agencies, which by their nature have to interoperate on a daily basis, IMO buying DMR paints them into a corner in which there are only two ways out - forcing the neighbors they need to interoperate with into spending money buying equipment to work on the agency's preferred flavor of DMR, or switching to analog to talk to one another, thus forsaking all the features that supposedly make DMR better than everything else on the market.
But again what is so bad about simplex analog for interop? Ill take the features of the Trbo for all the day to day benefits and yet still have an interop plan.

And we would still be doing the same exact thing with this very expensive p25 system even if it was VHF.
 

Napsterbater

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
56
Location
Milledgeville, GA
The fact that the Sheriff's Office is "forcing" a non-affiliated fire department to abandon a system that they ran themselves and use a regional system that the region apparently doesn't use should be seen as more of a problem than the fact that there are some differences between the two digital formats.
They run the 911 center for the county, and we are part of the same County Government.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top