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GMRS / FRS - Discussions related to GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS (Family Radio Service) communications

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2017, 5:11 PM
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Originally Posted by KA9JYO View Post
Crew member radio was probably analog.
It was...HYT analog 450 MHz or so, which is weird since they had DMR on board. Either way, the DTRs outperformed my 70cm DMR radios hands down as well. 900 MHz is a wonderful thing on ships.
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Old 12-22-2017, 6:43 PM
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I've had a Phillips cassette outperform a digital DAT on a critical orchestra recording....
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And cassette tapes are always better than CDs!
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:22 PM
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It's the combination of 900MHz, VSELP digital (8-level FSK), and FHSS that is amazing and enables them to work so well. Motorola has a real gem of a product IMHO of which the technology has been very under-utilized and under-appreciated. They work amazingly well for their intended use.

With the addition of the DLR models (DLR1020 and DLR1060), Motorola appears to be committed to keeping the DTRs and DLRs on the market. The DTRs have been on the market for 10 years now and have hardly changed at all and still are current product and don't really need to change. The DTRs were ahead of their time 10 years ago. Amazing.
Here it is close to a year after getting my DTR650 radios. They are working EXCELLENT. My wife and I and a friend have used them more than our 4W commercial gear on GMRS for local on-site type simplex use. If we go on another cruise someday, we will most definitely be using the DTR radios. My wife and I use them around the house and when we are out shopping and doing other stuff. We use them more than GMRS/FRS for local on-site simplex type use.

I purposely kept my DTRs programmed close to the factory default settings so I can listen for other DTR and DLR traffic. DTRs and DLRs will work with each other when both are at their factory default settings. I suspect most users simply turn them on and use them as they come out of the box just like with GMRS/FRS bubble packs. No programming is required to use DTRs or DLRs as they come out of the box. I have monitored a little bit of traffic on a few public groups once in a while in my travels.

I set up a private talkgroup for my DTRs to operate in and also made it the home group. The home group feature causes the radio to automatically revert back to the home group after 30 seconds of inactivity if a radio was changed to a different talkgroup or private contact. I have talkgroup scan enabled so that my DTRs scan my private (home) group and the public groups I have enabled.

I have DTR public groups 1-6 enabled. Public groups 1-5 are enabled by default on frequency hop set #1 and I added a group with ID=6 to have Public groups 1-6. These groups map directly to channels 1-6 on frequency hop set #1 in the DLRs at their factory default programming.

Motorola has a gem of a product with the DTRs and DLRs.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:34 AM
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With Summer approaching, I'm sure this conversation will get started back up. Wanted to give it a little kick start.

I've also read people having good luck with old Nextel Phones using the off-network DirectTalk feature. As I understand it, they use the same technology as the DTR / DLR radios but they will not communicate with each other. These can be bought on eBay for about $20/each. May be good for those who don't use radios but once or twice a year and don't want to invest in the DTR / DLRs. Also if you have kids, you don't have to worry as much about them leaving them laying around to be stolen, or dropping them in the pool. For $20 you buy a couple extra just in case. :-)

Just another possible suggestion.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by lwenzel View Post
With Summer approaching, I'm sure this conversation will get started back up. Wanted to give it a little kick start.

I've also read people having good luck with old Nextel Phones using the off-network DirectTalk feature. As I understand it, they use the same technology as the DTR / DLR radios but they will not communicate with each other. These can be bought on eBay for about $20/each. May be good for those who don't use radios but once or twice a year and don't want to invest in the DTR / DLRs. Also if you have kids, you don't have to worry as much about them leaving them laying around to be stolen, or dropping them in the pool. For $20 you buy a couple extra just in case. :-)

Just another possible suggestion.
The old NEXTEL phones with off-network DirectTalk (DT) capability are a good way to go on a budget. My wife (g/f back then) and I had a pair of i355 NEXTEL phones back in the day. We used the DT feature a few times. I learned about the first generation DTRs while digging around for more information on the DT feature.

The DT feature uses the same technology as the DTR and (new) DLR series radios. It is the exact same system except the phones were purposely coded differently so they will not work with the DTRs (and DLRs). I don't know why but I suspect it may have been a marketing decision. It would have been wicked cool and wicked useful if they were compatible. The DTRs and DLRs have more features than DT mode has in the phones. The DT feature in the phones needed to be kept as simple as possible. I think adding more features to the DTRs (and DLRs) was what made them incompatible with DT mode. Transmit power in DT mode is the same as the DTRs and DLRs at 890mW (+29.5 dBm). The FCC Part 15 legal limit is 1W (+30.0 dBm).

With DT mode in a old NEXTEL phones, a SIM card is required in order to use the DT feature. The SIM card has to have been previously activated on an iDEN network (i.e., NEXTEL, BOOST Mobile, etc.) to enable the DT feature. This is because the DT feature like the DTRs and DLRs use an ID-based system and each radio has its own 11-digit Private ID. In DT capable phones, the 11-digit Private ID is formed from 1 plus the area code and phone number in the SIM card. The DT feature will not work at all without an ID from a previously activated SIM card. So watch out when buying old DT-capable NEXTEL phones because they need a previously activated SIM card to work. I don't know if anybody has cloned or hacked an old SIM card to create an ID and enable the DT feature.

I own a fleet of DTRs and a fleet of DLRs and they work excellent. Old DT capable NEXTEL phones will work just as well in DT mode.

Good luck.
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Last edited by n1das; 04-05-2018 at 12:28 AM..
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Old 04-05-2018, 8:58 AM
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NO! 8-Track is the best!
You guys are both crazy. Four track is the way to go.
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Old 04-05-2018, 9:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DennisKink View Post
You guys are both crazy. Four track is the way to go.
LOL. 2-track monaural (side 1 / side 2) 7 inch open reel to reel 1/4" tape is the way to go.

I've been wanting to get away from conventional analog radios and operate all digital. I would love to be able to use DMR and/or P25 legally on GMRS/FRS for my non-ham stuff but that probably will never happen. I want an all digital solution that's higher quality and more professional than FRS. My wife loves using the DTRs and DLRs with me when we are out shopping or doing whatever. She likes the DLRs the best because they are so small and so easy to use. DLR = Digital Lightweight Radio, according to Motorola. For my local on-site simplex type use with family and friends, the DTRs and DLRs have been working out very well and is what made it worth owning a fleet of them.



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Last edited by n1das; 04-05-2018 at 10:58 AM..
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