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Am I FCC compliant?

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DuneDevil

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Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Kingman, AZ
I'm the new admin for our company's MOTOtrbo system running 4 repeaters. We're running capacity plus - 3 voice and 1 data. I'm an EE, but never been a HAM and new to MOTOtrbo...

So I pulled the code plug out of one of our mobile radios and saw something odd. Within the "channels" folder our talk groups reference a frequency that we're not registered for (403.025MHz). The "repeaters" portion of the code plug does align with our FCC lease.

Please see attached images. Our FCC call sign is WQKZ729.

Is the reference to 403.025MHz irrelevant as we're on a capacity plus system utilizing the repeaters frequency? I'm hesitant to go in changing things while everything is working...

Thanks!
 

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JRayfield

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Messages
791
Location
Springfield, MO
I can't tell much by your screen shots. If you want to send me a private message, I'll give you my email address. You can then email me a codeplug and I'll take a look at it for you.

John Rayfield, Jr. CETma
Rayfield Communications
 

CommJunkie

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Premium Subscriber
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Feb 22, 2008
Messages
901
Location
FM19xr
Pretty sure 403.025 is the default "blank" channel for 403-470 radios. How and why it's programmed there I can't answer. It's possible someone forgot to edit those frequencies and they were left original.
 

TampaTyron

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Feb 1, 2010
Messages
703
Location
Tampa, FL
First, I hear your anachoic chamber is a work of art!! Your license is good through 2019. It also has the proper emission designators for Mototrbo. Do not worry about the 403.XXX freqs as they are default and not referenced in the "CHANNELS" section of the codeplug in Capacity Plus mode. This is why they are greyed out. Rayfield is a good guy to have looking at your codeplug. Also, I setup and maintain hundreds of Mototrbo systems across the US for a large Motorola radio shop, so I can be a reference if needed. My take on your codeplug is that it was probably setup properly based on the use of data revert repeaters, proper licensing, and system loading (15 talkgroups on a 6 talkpath/slot system). Are you having any issues? TT
 

DuneDevil

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Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Kingman, AZ
Thanks Tampa! Yeah, they're greyed out... it just made me nervous. I can't change it since it's grey, I just wanted to make sure that they're not a default rest channel or something goofy like that.

So the real story is this:
We share a test facility and radio system with one of the "big three". I am the admin of the radio system here at the AZ test facility. Recently I got a complaint that the auto company had a 20 minute inability to establish communication on one of the talk groups. I started sniffing around and trying to learn this stuff and stumbled across the screen shots above... Not related to our comm issue, but spooky none the less. Anything federal... I'd rather not deal with 'em.

Since the complaints, I've been in meetings with the old admin and the car guys... maybe someone here can comment:

In studying the motoTRBO system planner guide this is what I think our system is capable of:
With 3 voice repeaters and one data repeater - in capacity plus (all digital) I can support exactly 6 simultaneous voice transmissions. Is my understanding correct?

The other part of the equation is that apparently the auto guys are fond of "private call" sessions. My understanding is that these private calls don't consume more bandwidth than a standard call, but the fact that it's "private" doesn't encourage brevity.

At the end of the day, 3 voice repeaters = 6 voice sessions (private or group calls). Correct?
 

WA0CBW

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1,256
Location
Shawnee Kansas (Kansas City)
With 3 repeaters you have 6 time slots for voice and/or data. When all 6 time slots are busy with voice and/or data you are out of communication no matter what the type (private call, GPS, text, etc.)
 

JRayfield

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Messages
791
Location
Springfield, MO
In this Capacity Plus system, if you have 3 repeaters for voice and 1 repeater for data, then you have 6 'virtual channels' for voice communications (group calls or private calls). These calls would not affect GPS data, nor should the GPS data affect the voice calls, since the GPS data should be 'offloaded' onto the data-only channel. With that said, I've been working on a MOTOTRBO system in our area (installed by another Motorola dealer) and I found that mobiles/portables were not programmed correctly (among other problems) and were attempting to send GPS data on the 'voice slot' (this is an IP Site Connect system, rather than a trunking system, and they're using 'slot 1' for the 'voice slot'. The mobiles/portables should have been programmed to send GPS data on 'slot 2'. I also found that the GPS/AVL application had been shut down (on the GPS/AVL server) and this caused all of the subscribers to attempt to register, over and over and over again (indefinitely), with the GPS/AVL server that was offline. This is done on the 'voice slot', so this would cause excessive 'channel use' by that 'system', causing more 'busies' on the system for voice traffic.

Another factor that needs to be considered is the 'hang time' of the repeaters in your system. That can be set from 0 seconds to 7 seconds. All repeaters should be programmed the same. There are actually several such 'timers', one for 'overall hangtime', one for Group Calls, one for Private Calls, and one for Emergency Calls. None of those timers can be any longer than the 'overall timer'. So, for example if the Private Call Timer is set to 7 seconds, then the 'overall timer' will be 7 seconds. This means that there will be a 7 second period, after someone unkeys their radio while in a Private Call, during which no one else can access that channel (only those two people in that Private Call). If you have quite a few people doing Private Calls, and that timer is set long, then that could eat up a log of 'air time' on the system, resulting in more 'busies' for others waiting to use the system.

The MOTOTRBO systems are really very different from 'clunky old analog' systems. The only thing common, for the most part, is "RF". MOTOTRBO systems are much more like networked computer systems, with many functions that often interact with each other. So setting up a MOTOTRBO system to operate properly is not really 'simple'. And the System Planner does not cover everything that a person may run into, in working with a MOTOTRBO system. When you add a third-party application (such as GPS/AVL software) to a MOTOTRBO system, then it gets even more complicated to make it work 'right'. But, when they've been set up properly, and they're working 'right', they work great and nothing can beat them, in my opinion.

John Rayfield, Jr. CETma
Rayfield Communications

Thanks Tampa! Yeah, they're greyed out... it just made me nervous. I can't change it since it's grey, I just wanted to make sure that they're not a default rest channel or something goofy like that.

So the real story is this:
We share a test facility and radio system with one of the "big three". I am the admin of the radio system here at the AZ test facility. Recently I got a complaint that the auto company had a 20 minute inability to establish communication on one of the talk groups. I started sniffing around and trying to learn this stuff and stumbled across the screen shots above... Not related to our comm issue, but spooky none the less. Anything federal... I'd rather not deal with 'em.

Since the complaints, I've been in meetings with the old admin and the car guys... maybe someone here can comment:

In studying the motoTRBO system planner guide this is what I think our system is capable of:
With 3 voice repeaters and one data repeater - in capacity plus (all digital) I can support exactly 6 simultaneous voice transmissions. Is my understanding correct?

The other part of the equation is that apparently the auto guys are fond of "private call" sessions. My understanding is that these private calls don't consume more bandwidth than a standard call, but the fact that it's "private" doesn't encourage brevity.

At the end of the day, 3 voice repeaters = 6 voice sessions (private or group calls). Correct?
 

TampaTyron

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
703
Location
Tampa, FL
Another step to take would be to monitor all of the repeater outputs in carrier squelch mode, with several different radios at the same time. You want to know if all of your channel resources are being tied up. A good indication of this is that all repeaters are transmitting at the same time for an extended duration. If, the repeaters are busy, you may want to consider reducing the group hangtime, private call hang time, disabling private call, reducing the number of talkgroups, adding to the number of voice repeaters in the pool.

If there is a signal problem, like the customer is too far away from the tower OR there is interference on the inputs or outputs of the repeaters, then that is a separate issue that you need to address. This would be done with several radios in scan on carrier squelch or a spectrum analyzer if you have one. Keep in mind that when the customer is in an RF anachoic chamber with the door closed, then they will have issues (where you perform EMI compliance). Also, if the signal generator for the EMI testing is running, then it will destroy your radio coverage in proximity to the testing. I know you are an EE, but many people think the audio and RF chambers are the same thing............... TT
 

com501

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Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Messages
1,281
Location
127.0.0.1
You should probably license GenWatch for Trbo, and use it, also. This will tell you instantly who your big offenders are for air time usage.

Remember that tweaking timing on the repeaters also requires tweaking subscriber radios. Refer to the system planner for guidance. You can free up a ton of air time if things were installed with the default timers, not to mention making your repeaters a lot happier.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
150
Location
Arizona
So the real story is this:
We share a test facility and radio system with one of the "big three". I am the admin of the radio system here at the AZ test facility. Recently I got a complaint that the auto company had a 20 minute inability to establish communication on one of the talk groups.
I would send you a PM on here but you have that feature turned off. I am a user of your radio system from time to time. So here is a couple possibilities as well.

One of the trip guys or group of trip guys, playing around with the radios and only doing private calling to each other. Therefore tying up the voice time slots.

HD radios with the man down feature laying down the radios while in the shop or meetings.

When a man down alert goes off security, HD, medical, and Chrysler all checking with employees to find out who and or what is going on.
 

TampaTyron

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
703
Location
Tampa, FL
.....Wow. You never know what kind of response you will get when posting here. For an end user to publish a request for assistance with Callsign and codeplug snapshots, then technical people respond, and then some of the end user's served customers respond with input. What an incredible time we live in. TT
 
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