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APX firmware

N0BDW

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Dec 1, 2010
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463
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Livingston Co., NY
How often do you update your APX firmware? I'm finding this to be an incredibly time intensive process. I manage a fleet of less than 50 portable radios and 20 mobiles and find that I could spend at least two full days doing firmware updates and cloning out codeplugs whenever I decide to do so. And inevitably at least a couple radios miss the update each round. How do you track which radios have which firmware? Just keep a spreadsheet?

Seems there should be a quicker / easier way? I know over-the-air programming is a thing, but you still have to touch each radio for firmware, don't you? I usually wait until there is an important enough programming change and then go through and do the codeplug and firmware on all of them.
 

n3obl

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I usually let other people beta test the firmware. I prefer to stay at an older stable release.
 

ResQguy

Meh
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Maybe once a year at most. My development radios get hit as soon as a new release comes out for evaluation though, that way we know going in which version to stick with. If you only have a fleet of 70 radios, why not use the free 100 license version of radio management?
 

snoopyII

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Personally, I'm not a huge proponent of updating firmware unless you have a problem that is corrected by updating it, or would like to take advantage of a new feature that requires a update to support it. I have a APX6000 subscriber that's still on R13, and it works just fine.
 

Tech21

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Oct 16, 2018
Messages
121
Personally, I'm not a huge proponent of updating firmware unless you have a problem that is corrected by updating it, or would like to take advantage of a new feature that requires a update to support it. I have a APX6000 subscriber that's still on R13, and it works just fine.
Personally, I'm not a huge proponent of updating firmware unless you have a problem that is corrected by updating it, or would like to take advantage of a new feature that requires a update to support it. I have a APX6000 subscriber that's still on R13, and it works just fine.
You can't even update now seeing as motorola no longer has firmware versions that old posted in MOL and there has been a lot of improvements and capabilities added since version 13.
 

Tech21

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
121
How often do you update your APX firmware? I'm finding this to be an incredibly time intensive process. I manage a fleet of less than 50 portable radios and 20 mobiles and find that I could spend at least two full days doing firmware updates and cloning out codeplugs whenever I decide to do so. And inevitably at least a couple radios miss the update each round. How do you track which radios have which firmware? Just keep a spreadsheet?

Seems there should be a quicker / easier way? I know over-the-air programming is a thing, but you still have to touch each radio for firmware, don't you? I usually wait until there is an important enough programming change and then go through and do the codeplug and firmware on all of them.
If you only have 50 radios, how does it take two days? That's really only a half days worth of work, if that if you aren't doing a PM on the radio.
 

N0BDW

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Dec 1, 2010
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Livingston Co., NY
Gathering everything does account for some of the time as about 20 of the radios are take-home. But it feels like especially the mobiles take forever to update. I also tend to update the codeplugs at the same time, and we have 7 different models of radios, so each of the 7 require their own codeplug.
 

N0BDW

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Evidently! I just watched the video on Radio Management. I'm going to install it next time I update CPS.

I wish WiFi were an option. None of the radios in the fleet support it. The portables do have Bluetooth, but the mobiles don't.
 

snoopyII

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You can't even update now seeing as motorola no longer has firmware versions that old posted in MOL and there has been a lot of improvements and capabilities added since version 13.
I completely disagree, you can always update them. My dealer would be more than happy to bring them up to 21, if I'd let him. I could do it myself If I really wanted to.
 

MTS2000des

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RM requires a server, licensing, and all the fun of giving MSI more money. It's not just a simple as installing the client. Firmware should be updated whenever a radio comes in for PM or once a year, provided the release is stable. We don't push the latest to all subscribers. I vet it on my radios and wait for others to report back on bugs before deploying it to the field. FWIW, we have just over 2500 something APX series radios of various flavors, AN rev 6000s, BN 6000s, 6000Lis (BN), 6000XEs (AN), 7000s, APX8000/8000XE (all AN), APX4500, 7500 and a couple 8500s.
 

mikewazowski

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We don't push the latest to all subscribers. I vet it on my radios and wait for others to report back on bugs before deploying it to the field.
This!

We test new firmware on any product in the lab using a standard set of scenarios first before being rolled out to a few sites. Once we’re happy that it’s working well, then it gets deployed.

With Motorola especially, I’d be hesitant to deploy any new firmware to the field without any sort of in-house testing. Motorola has made its customers the beta testers.
 

N0BDW

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Dec 1, 2010
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Location
Livingston Co., NY
That's terrifying.

The reason for my question is that often when I speak with my sys admin he asks if I've been keeping up with the firmware updates and I usually have to reluctantly admit that I have not. It sounds like that isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world, though. I do tend to get to them about once a year, but at that point I put in whatever is the latest.
 

MTS2000des

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Like anything, there are risks to running out of date ancient firmware like R13, but not necessarily prudent to jump to 21.44 (most current as of this writing). 19.12 was fairly stable. But one must read ALL relevant MTNs and F/W release notes on prior and later versions to determine if any noted issues are relevant to your particular system release.
 

NVAGVUP

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Feed Provider
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Jun 13, 2007
Messages
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In the old days (30+ years ago), Motorola used to extensively vet radios/platforms internally before release. This process may have taken years. Their is a reason these products were the "gold standard" of the era. The stuff worked and it was rare to have major issues. But as technology evolved more quickly, this routine no longer worked. Competition would release innovative/flashy offerings which surpassed the stagnant but reliable Moto radios. Motorola eventually followed suit, but at the expense of added bugs/quirks which were never experienced before in Moto product releases. We are now in the age of "hot fixes", whether it be radio firmware, cell phones, software or PC operating systems.
 

MTS2000des

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RM is free for the first 100 radios. For that kind of number of radios, a regular PC is enough to host the server.
True, but the O/P may have a fun time spinning it up, getting their agency I.T. to open ports, firewall rules, etc. Been there, done that. My point is, it's not just a simple as downloading the CPS with RM. Much more to it.
 

hitechRadio

Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
472
Just deploy a laptop, set it up with RM and a programming cable. And let the users do it. Need to pull all the radio's into RM first.
Bring laptop back to shop, make changes and redeploy laptop.
Only 50 radio's.
That would work fine ,,wouldn't it??
 

jthorpe

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
285
I manage a fleet of 4000 or so about to be 8000 and for me, unless there is a feature I need, I don't bother. The one time I did a firmware update was to enable the system revert for emergency and that was it. Otherwise, nah... thank god for RM though when I do have to do it.
 
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