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Re: M/A-COM EDACS (Analog/ProVoice/AEGIS/ESK) & P-25 Trunking/Conventional Questions!

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W2GLD

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Re: M/A-COM EDACS (Analog/ProVoice/AEGIS/ESK) & P-25 Trunking/Conventional Questions!

Hey folks, first of let me start off by stating that I am not new to radio in general, just M/A-COM radio and their equipment, formats, etc. I understand the basics of the EDACS trunking, ESK, ProVoice, AEGIS, and P25, etc. The deal is, I am in the process of relocating to Central Florida, where there is a lot of EDACS systems, in fact the county I am relocating to uses EDACS (AEGIS/Analog) at present, however I understand that there are many changes coming...

I have spent many years tinkering, for lack of better terms, with Motorola SmartNet, SmartZone, and P-25 trunking. Having worked in the industry here, I feel that I have a great amount of knowledge with how the systems operate and the programming of the subscriber units. In short, I need to start understanding the M/A-COM side of things as I would like to be able to monitor the systems within the Central Florida area.

First, I am looking for the "BEST" portable to use for monitoring EDACS, including all formats (Analog, ProVoice, AEGIS, ESK, and yes P-25 Trunking as well as analog). Currently I own a fully loaded Motorola XTS5000R for the 700/MHz. band, I can do anything on a Motorola system with this unit, so I am looking for the equivalent on the M/A-COM side of the house as well as the ability to program this myself, yes for receive only!

I have seen some M/A-COM Jaguar 700P radios for sale from time to time, and I know that there is a 7100P, and now one that includes the OpenSky format as well, the 7200IP. I am searching for one portable that can do all of the formats and perhaps allow me to sell off the Motorola XTS5000R portable I have so from what I've seen so far, the 7100 or 7200 looks like the route I need to go. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good dealer offering reasonable pricing on a new or used radio that will support my needs? Does anyone have an idea on what this project may cost $$$ wise???

Also, can someone please send me a complete list of preferred options I would need or should get when ordering one of these radio???

The systems I would like to monitor are as follows:

State of Florida ESK System (Understanding I Need A System Key To Program)
Brevard County, Florida
Indian River County, Florida
Volusia County, Florida
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Florida Power & Light


Okay, I am out of ideas for this message at the moment so we'll start here and any help that can be provided I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,

Jerry - K8GLD
 

ElroyJetson

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Florida, where you wish you were!
Hi.

Starting out simple: FORGET about ESK. You're not going to have access to ESK systems unless you're deep inside the agencies that use it. And even then, they're still encrypted.

So forget listening to the FHP. It's not gonna happen unless you become a state trooper.

To even have access to the system key, you need a key card reader and an assigned
smart card with the appropriate data, issued from the appropriate issuing authority.
The contents of the card are of course heavily encrypted.


There are no OpenSky systems in Florida and I'd bet long odds that there probably never
WILL be. Plus, OpenSky systems are MAD secure. You can't even get the radio to listen
to an OpenSky system without over-the-air password validation!

It's not like you're going to find a P7200 on the used market anyway....7100s are rare enough.

Jaguar 700Ps and 700Pis will not do P25 Phase II trunking or AES. That's a firmware limitation. If you ever expect to listen to a P25 trunking system, a 7100 is the minimum
portable radio that will work. And then you need at LEAST ProGrammer version 19 (I think) to be able to program P25 trunking data. As 19 is the first version which requires
online registration and validation, Houston, you have a problem. You'd have to buy
the software. Hang on to your boots, it's in the 2500 dollar range. IF you can find an
authorized M/A-Com shop that's also authorized to resell the ProGrammer/RPM software,
AND is willing to sell it to you. Which is not necessarily easy to find. The company I
work for has a legitimate need for RPM/Programmer, and we had a tough time finding a
company to sell it to us. And no, you can't buy the programmer direct from M/A-Com.
Unlike Motorola, M/A-Com is extremely supportive of its dealer network, and refers almost
ALL sales inquiries (including parts and software) to their dealers. M/A-Com does not
compete against its own dealers. Motorola DOES.


7100s are available on the used market but they're pricey. I may have one available that
is suitable for scanning use (it has a bad transmitter) but you need to send me a PM about that.

FPL is on 900 MHz. 7100s aren't available in 900 MHz. That leaves the LPE or the M-RK,
both of which are available in 900 MHz.

Brevard, Indian River, Volusia, and Miami-Dade all use fairly conventional versions of
EDACS systems. Any 700p or above should be suitable for them if you have enough
system/group capacity.


I've been a Motorolan for a long time but I've also spent quite a few years learning the
GE side of things, and particularly since M/A-Com has taken over the reins, they've turned
into a very capable competitor with some good products. M/A-Com is in some ways
easier to deal with than Motorola, but in some ways, Motorola is easier to deal with, too.

I can find plenty of nice things to say about both companies and their radio offerings,
and can find a few criticisms of both, too. I've become pretty fair and balanced over the
past few years.

Elroy
 

DonS

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Jun 17, 2003
Messages
4,105
Location
Franktown, CO
ElroyJetson said:
Starting out simple: FORGET about ESK. You're not going to have access to ESK systems unless you're deep inside the agencies that use it.
Maybe if using a "real radio", but there seem to be some scanners that will monitor it.
 

WCRadioGuy

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May 5, 2004
Messages
267
Location
Salisbury, MD
DonS said:
Maybe if using a "real radio", but there seem to be some scanners that will monitor it.
What scanners on the market will scan ESK and/or ProVoice, I have yet to see one and I have been in the EDACS realm for several years now.
 

ElroyJetson

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Messages
2,440
Location
Florida, where you wish you were!
Since the OP wants a "real" radio and not a scanner, I didn't address the fact that it's possible to scan an ESK system with some scanners. But they still won't decrypt the system
encryption.

And no scanner handles ProVoice, which is a proprietary algorithm.


Elroy
 
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