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Analog and Digital Combination

150206722

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Hi all,

New to the forum. I searched through the threads but didn't find exactly what I was looking for. My department is exploring the digital avenue in the near future, and I am looking for insight on the process of creating codeplugs with both analog and digital frequencies. We currently utilize XPR5550e mobiles and APX6000 portables. All of our surrounding communities are still analog, so my question is what does it involve to adapt a codeplug to both analog and digital? Any help would be much appreciated.
 

KC4YIN

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Which digital mode is your department considering? The XPR 5550 is a DMR radio and the APX 6000 is P25. These are different modes altogether.
P25 is the preferred mode for public safety. As for analog channels on a digital radio when you are setting up new channels in your code plug, you are simply given a choice of whether you want the channel to be analog or digital. It's a good idea to become familiar with the cps before you start programming but the selection between analog and digital channels is fairly straight forward.
 

mmckenna

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Yeah, you have a DMR mobile and a P25 portable. The two digital modes are not compatible in any way.
I suspect they are currently running in analog only mode, or maybe one or the other programmed for different agencies.

Your department will decide which way it's going to go based on their needs and the requirements for interoperability with surrounding agencies. That may mean you'll need to replace your portables with DMR capable portables, replace your mobiles with P25 capable mobiles, or switch out entirely to the Kenwood product line that will allow DMR and P25 in the same radio.

Programming will depend on how you want to set things up. You can set up channels individually for analog, DMR, P25 or Mixed Mode.

Laying out your zones will be a department preference.
 

APX8000

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I’m assuming since they bought APX portables, the digital avenue they are exploring is P25. Otherwise, they would not have allocated that amount of funds just to have them become paperweights since they are incapable of DMR as others have pointed out.
 

mmckenna

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I’m assuming since they bought APX portables, the digital avenue they are exploring is P25. Otherwise, they would not have allocated that amount of funds just to have them become paperweights since they are incapable of DMR as others have pointed out.
I've seen some agencies do some silly things. I won't count on it making sense.
 

150206722

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Which digital mode is your department considering? The XPR 5550 is a DMR radio and the APX 6000 is P25. These are different modes altogether.
P25 is the preferred mode for public safety. As for analog channels on a digital radio when you are setting up new channels in your code plug, you are simply given a choice of whether you want the channel to be analog or digital. It's a good idea to become familiar with the cps before you start programming but the selection between analog and digital channels is fairly straight forward.
Thank you so much for the information. So I’m assuming the two modes are not compatible? I’ll definitely have to start going through the CPS.

Yeah, you have a DMR mobile and a P25 portable. The two digital modes are not compatible in any way.
I suspect they are currently running in analog only mode, or maybe one or the other programmed for different agencies.

Your department will decide which way it's going to go based on their needs and the requirements for interoperability with surrounding agencies. That may mean you'll need to replace your portables with DMR capable portables, replace your mobiles with P25 capable mobiles, or switch out entirely to the Kenwood product line that will allow DMR and P25 in the same radio.

Programming will depend on how you want to set things up. You can set up channels individually for analog, DMR, P25 or Mixed Mode.

Laying out your zones will be a department preference.
This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

Why isn't your radio shop doing this for you?
Unfortunately the department doesn’t utilize a radio shop, although I will strongly suggest we do when the switch is made.

I’m assuming since they bought APX portables, the digital avenue they are exploring is P25. Otherwise, they would not have allocated that amount of funds just to have them become paperweights since they are incapable of DMR as others have pointed out.
I believe P25 is what we are seeking.
 

APX8000

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I'm not a big fan of Public Safety using DMR. Go P25 and don't look back. But you need to think interoperability, expansion, mutual aid, etc. Obviously cost can be a factor, but since you already invested in APX portables it only makes sense to go that direction.
 

K2NEC

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That's the issue with some of the towns where I live, they need wide area coverage but dont want to spend a fortune so the moto shops go "hey, how about IPSC?". Once one or 2 of the towns here went dmr and IPSC, it caused a domino effect and almost all of the towns around me use XPR's because of interoperability. In the upcoming future I expect most of my local area to be DMR and I strongly believe cost has a big play in that decision.
 

mmckenna

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Fact is, it's taxpayers money.
It's easy to sit on a computer and say "They should be using P25", but the reality is it's not an option for a lot of small agencies. Small agencies/towns do not have their own radio guys, so they have to rely on the local radio shop to do the design work. That puts them at the whim of whatever the shop wants to sell. Add that in with low budgets, and you get all kinds of systems. Probably why there is a mix of P25 and DMR radios. The P25 radios may have been purchased with grant money.

What matters is the ability to interoperate. Analog does that just fine, and all the radios will do analog.

Agencies either need to stay on analog, or have an easy way to switch to analog to work with others.

Getting the Chiefs together to talk about this stuff and decide on a common solution is probably the best plan. Everyone doing their own thing and relying on technology to fix it isn't the best plan.
 

MTS2000des

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IPSC/CapMax...how do "school bus" radio users know when a site becomes disconnected from wide area trunking and reverts to site trunking? They don't. That's a dangerous game for a law user who's on a traffic stop, calls out, the site link takes a dump, and the site is disconnected from the dispatch center/other sites. They have no indication on their subscriber that there is a problem. They're calling "I'm being shot" and others who are affiliated with the particular site may hear him/her, but if their "offline" then no one else does.

A municipality near me bought these low rent school bus radios rather than joining a nearby regional P25 system. After 6 years and learning some valuable lessons are thing such as site trunking, talkgroup/console priority, fail soft (or lack thereof), glitchy audio due to buggy firmware, interference, and lack of interoperability with everyone around them (who are either on that regional 700/800 system or soon will be). Guess what time it is? Time to shell out for what was should have purchased before.

DMR is great for school buses, mall security (if the malls are still around), amusement parks, tax cabs, hotels, resorts, and SMR use and it works well. But a Hyundai Accent (DMR) can't do the job of a F350 SuperDuty. Just not in the same league.
 

TampaTyron

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MTS2000des..... you clearly are not familiar with modern DMR Tier 3 systems. I concede that I am ignorant of many p25 systems, but please state when items are opinions vs. facts. You may have had a poorly installed system that you are referring to (fairly common) , but after hundreds of public safety DMR systems including dozens of Tier 3....... I can say for a fact that a properly operating system does not exhibit the behaviors that you say all systems experience. TT
 

MTS2000des

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MTS2000des..... you clearly are not familiar with modern DMR Tier 3 systems. I concede that I am ignorant of many p25 systems, but please state when items are opinions vs. facts. You may have had a poorly installed system that you are referring to (fairly common) , but after hundreds of public safety DMR systems including dozens of Tier 3....... I can say for a fact that a properly operating system does not exhibit the behaviors that you say all systems experience. TT
As you are more experienced with DMR, please tell me the following:

Does MotoTRBO LCP support the following features:

Failsoft by talkgroup

Talkgroup priority levels

Site trunking (users alerted to degraded network conditions on their subscriber)

Console priority (where dispatcher can ovverride outbound audio but still allow users to talk to dispatch console user simultaneously)

Particularly interested in site trunking behavior. My personal experience is with our LCP system is unless one is monitoring the network from an NM client or GenWatch, the end users have no idea of a backhaul failire/site trunking.

All of the above features are standard fare with P25 trunking.
 

MTS2000des

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No disagreement, but often times the sales force at many shops sell DMR as a "drop in" replacement for P25 trunking. Bottom line is it isn't. When the rubber meets the road, the limitations of a radio system designed and intended for mall security guard operations and school bus fleets isn't cookie cutter replacement for the real deal.

and yes, my agency has both for both purposes. I'd NEVER offload IDLH traffic to our LCP system. Great for school buses though once we worked all the bugs out.

won't even discuss how running encryption results in degradation in audio quality, whereas P25 encryption doesn't.
 

GTR8000

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I'd NEVER offload IDLH traffic to our LCP system.
I don't mean to pick nits, but the term IDLH has a very specific meaning, and isn't a blanket term to refer to all public safety operations. I'm sure you misspoke and meant to say something like "mission critical public safety" instead. Bottom line is that any sort of IDLH or interior firefighting operations performed over any sort of trunked system make the firefighter in me cringe. KISS...analog simplex, drastically reduces the chances of technology failing you when you can least afford it to.
 

alcahuete

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won't even discuss how running encryption results in degradation in audio quality, whereas P25 encryption doesn't.
Are you comparing AES-256 to AES-256? I assure you, there is no noticeable degradation when using 256 on Mototrbo. Enhanced Encryption is barely noticeable. I can hear it a little bit, but most people cannot.
 
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