• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.

Best digital format for business use?

Status
Not open for further replies.

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
10,019
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
I’m helping some friends with an upgrade to an aging multi-site repeater system. They are not affected by the narrowbanding mandate but do want to go digital to be ready in case the rules for them change. I have a lot of experience in mountain top analog repeater systems but very little digital except for personal amateur use of P25 and DMR and P25 would not be allowed with this system.

My question for professional users and installers of this equipment is, what is the best digital format for business use? One advantage of most formats is one repeater can carry two conversations simultaneously which is a plus. I don’t see any need for data communications beyond texting in this system, only voice.

This is also a fairly high end system with some of the best Morotola and GE repeaters available in the 1980s when the system was built. I would want to see them continue with very high quality repeaters and hand helds. I am also concerned the users might be disappointed with the change in audio with digital, so any comments on audio quality between formats would be appreciated.

I’m assuming the digital choices would be MOTOTRBO, DMR, and NXDN but am open to hear of any others that would be a standard going forward. Thanks in advance for any insight on the best format and even a recommendation on the best mfr to go with. This information should help them prepare when they finally listen to all the lies and fluff from the various radio peddlers.
prcguy
 

clbsquared

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 13, 2015
Messages
572
Location
Isle of Wight County
DMR is going to be your best choice. MotoTRBO is Motorola's DMR. And contrary to popular belief, it is very affordable.

Sent from my HTC One A9 using Tapatalk
 

kayn1n32008

ØÆS, I put that shØt on everything.
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
6,173
Location
Sector 001
There is not a 'best digotal format'. That said your choices are: NXDN, DMR and P25. Mototrbo is simply Motorola's trade name for their implementation of DMR.

If you want to stay with high end infrastruture your options are pretty limited to Codan, Tait, Harris, Motorola, Hytera and Kenwood. I would steer clear of Icom and Vertex.

DMR and NXDN sound very similar, with a slight edge to NXDN.

Codan, hands down, make the best repeaters you can buy.
 

N2AL

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
416
Location
Tennessee
I’m helping some friends with an upgrade to an aging multi-site repeater system. They are not affected by the narrowbanding mandate but do want to go digital to be ready in case the rules for them change. I have a lot of experience in mountain top analog repeater systems but very little digital except for personal amateur use of P25 and DMR and P25 would not be allowed with this system.



My question for professional users and installers of this equipment is, what is the best digital format for business use? One advantage of most formats is one repeater can carry two conversations simultaneously which is a plus. I don’t see any need for data communications beyond texting in this system, only voice.



This is also a fairly high end system with some of the best Morotola and GE repeaters available in the 1980s when the system was built. I would want to see them continue with very high quality repeaters and hand helds. I am also concerned the users might be disappointed with the change in audio with digital, so any comments on audio quality between formats would be appreciated.



I’m assuming the digital choices would be MOTOTRBO, DMR, and NXDN but am open to hear of any others that would be a standard going forward. Thanks in advance for any insight on the best format and even a recommendation on the best mfr to go with. This information should help them prepare when they finally listen to all the lies and fluff from the various radio peddlers.

prcguy


What type of implementation will the new repeaters be used for? Also what are the geographic areas it will be used, and any structures involved?
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
10,019
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
Good info, thanks. I was thinking the contenders might narrow down to Motorola, Kenwood and Icom from some local conversations I've had but the more some of the vendors get bashed, the smaller my list gets.

Since this is in the US the final company should also have a large presence here for warranty and possible future service. I've seen a few Tait repeaters at swap meets but have never seen one at a mountain top site around here. I have not seen a Codan repeater in my travels yet.

If NXDN has an audio quality advantage I hope the vendors for that format have repeaters you can count on for 20+ years of trouble free service.
prcguy


There is not a 'best digotal format'. That said your choices are: NXDN, DMR and P25. Mototrbo is simply Motorola's trade name for their implementation of DMR.

If you want to stay with high end infrastruture your options are pretty limited to Codan, Tait, Harris, Motorola, Hytera and Kenwood. I would steer clear of Icom and Vertex.

DMR and NXDN sound very similar, with a slight edge to NXDN.

Codan, hands down, make the best repeaters you can buy.
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
10,019
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
These repeaters are to replace an aging analog FM system, same sites, frequencies and antennas, just new repeaters and associated radios. All are high mountain top repeaters by the way in some of the worst RF hell areas on the planet. Some of the existing repeaters are Motorola MSF5000 and GE Master II to give you an idea of the expected performance level.
prcguy

What type of implementation will the new repeaters be used for? Also what are the geographic areas it will be used, and any structures involved?
 

kayn1n32008

ØÆS, I put that shØt on everything.
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
6,173
Location
Sector 001
These repeaters are to replace an aging analog FM system, same sites, frequencies and antennas, just new repeaters and associated radios. All are high mountain top repeaters by the way in some of the worst RF hell areas on the planet. Some of the existing repeaters are Motorola MSF5000 and GE Master II to give you an idea of the expected performance level.

prcguy


Is it a business, Public Safety, hammy?

Sadly Motorola, Harris, Tait, Kenwood and Codan are your only real choices for infrastructure for RF hell sites. Stay far away from Icom.

Using MSF repeaters, I am safe to assume there is mains power?

All for of those manufacturers build P25 gear, but only Tait and Motorola buIld DMR repeaters. I have no idea how Hytera does in high RF sites.
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
10,019
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
Business. Some sites are AC power only, some have 12v DC with battery backup. Since this is for business use in the US, I would assume P25 is not a contender.
prcguy

Is it a business, Public Safety, hammy?

Sadly Motorola, Harris, Tait, Kenwood and Codan are your only real choices for infrastructure for RF hell sites. Stay far away from Icom.

Using MSF repeaters, I am safe to assume there is mains power?

All for of those manufacturers build P25 gear, but only Tait and Motorola buIld DMR repeaters. I have no idea how Hytera does in high RF sites.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,838
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
I faced this decision back about 8 years ago.
We looked at P25, Trbo and NXDN.

P25 was out due to costs. Expecting users to purchase $1800 radios was a deal breaker.

Trbo was a contender, but at the time, Motorola wouldn't allow their Trbo radios to do NPSPAC frequencies on 800MHz. Since that was the pairs I had, they were out. Also, after 16+ years of dealing with the local MRSS shop and Motorola sales guys in general, I wasn't eager to go down that road again.

NXDN was the one we chose. Since we're 800MHz, Icom was out and Kenwood was chosen. Audio quality was noticeably better than Trbo.

Here's what I've discovered about Kenwood over the last couple of years, you can make up your own mind:
- Kenwood is infinitely easier to deal with than Kenwood. If I have a technical question, I get an answer from someone with the correct level of knowledge, not a salesman call like I'd get from Motorola.

- The Kenwood audio was better, hands down, when compared side by side with Trbo. Could have been that the guy who set up the Trbo radio did a poor job, but it was noticeable.

- Accessories seem cheaper on the Kenwood side.

- I was able to buy the NXR-900 repeaters that put out 0.325 watts and size the amplifier to meet my needs, compared to (at the time) 50 watt repeaters or nothing.

- I knew that we tend to run our systems until the wheels fall off, so we wanted to play the long game. 6.25 "compliant" isn't the same as 6.25. Didn't want to buy into Motorola's "opinion". Since we knew that 6.25KHz might eventually be a requirement, I didn't feel comfortable buying into a system that couldn't -really- do it knowing that it just might be an issue we'd face down the road.

- Two time slots per repeater is nice in a lot of ways, but I already had 5 channel combiners at my main site, so that wasn't a concern. What was a concern, knowing we run the wheels off things, is that losing one repeater on a DMR/Trbo system would have impacted a 5 channel trunked system a whole lot more than if one NXDN repeater goes down.

- So tired of dealing with the Motorola BS.

- Several of the Kenwood NexEdge models can be sent in to be reflashed for P25 if needs change. Not just the NX-5000/NX-3000 radios, but also the lower end ones like the NX-x00 radios.

- Although not an option that the time I was looking at the systems, options like the NX-5000 or NX-3000 line of radios that allow more than one type of digital mode in them at a time is an attractive option. Knowing that I can buy a radio today that will do Analog and NexEdge right now, but also add DMR or P25 in the future if I need to makes a lot of sense.

- I've got about 400 radios on my system and very few issues. I had one radio with a bad LCD out of the box. Other than that, the other 399 radios have been going several years now without issue. Haven't had to replace any or send any in for repair other than for the usual "stupid user tricks" scenarios.


Either way, DMR or NXDN, you'll end up with a good product. I'm happy with the choice I made and I have zero regrets. If I was going to replace the system I have now, I'd without a doubt go NXDN again.
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
10,019
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
All very good info, thanks! Not sure how many radios are in the system but there are a lot of repeaters and sites, some may be fed from microwave links but I need to get more info on that. If so, some repeaters would have to operate more as a remote base with connections to the microwave links. There is a lot about the existing system I need to learn more about.
prcguy

I faced this decision back about 8 years ago.
We looked at P25, Trbo and NXDN.

P25 was out due to costs. Expecting users to purchase $1800 radios was a deal breaker.

Trbo was a contender, but at the time, Motorola wouldn't allow their Trbo radios to do NPSPAC frequencies on 800MHz. Since that was the pairs I had, they were out. Also, after 16+ years of dealing with the local MRSS shop and Motorola sales guys in general, I wasn't eager to go down that road again.

NXDN was the one we chose. Since we're 800MHz, Icom was out and Kenwood was chosen. Audio quality was noticeably better than Trbo.

Here's what I've discovered about Kenwood over the last couple of years, you can make up your own mind:
- Kenwood is infinitely easier to deal with than Kenwood. If I have a technical question, I get an answer from someone with the correct level of knowledge, not a salesman call like I'd get from Motorola.

- The Kenwood audio was better, hands down, when compared side by side with Trbo. Could have been that the guy who set up the Trbo radio did a poor job, but it was noticeable.

- Accessories seem cheaper on the Kenwood side.

- I was able to buy the NXR-900 repeaters that put out 0.325 watts and size the amplifier to meet my needs, compared to (at the time) 50 watt repeaters or nothing.

- I knew that we tend to run our systems until the wheels fall off, so we wanted to play the long game. 6.25 "compliant" isn't the same as 6.25. Didn't want to buy into Motorola's "opinion". Since we knew that 6.25KHz might eventually be a requirement, I didn't feel comfortable buying into a system that couldn't -really- do it knowing that it just might be an issue we'd face down the road.

- Two time slots per repeater is nice in a lot of ways, but I already had 5 channel combiners at my main site, so that wasn't a concern. What was a concern, knowing we run the wheels off things, is that losing one repeater on a DMR/Trbo system would have impacted a 5 channel trunked system a whole lot more than if one NXDN repeater goes down.

- So tired of dealing with the Motorola BS.

- Several of the Kenwood NexEdge models can be sent in to be reflashed for P25 if needs change. Not just the NX-5000/NX-3000 radios, but also the lower end ones like the NX-x00 radios.

- Although not an option that the time I was looking at the systems, options like the NX-5000 or NX-3000 line of radios that allow more than one type of digital mode in them at a time is an attractive option. Knowing that I can buy a radio today that will do Analog and NexEdge right now, but also add DMR or P25 in the future if I need to makes a lot of sense.

- I've got about 400 radios on my system and very few issues. I had one radio with a bad LCD out of the box. Other than that, the other 399 radios have been going several years now without issue. Haven't had to replace any or send any in for repair other than for the usual "stupid user tricks" scenarios.


Either way, DMR or NXDN, you'll end up with a good product. I'm happy with the choice I made and I have zero regrets. If I was going to replace the system I have now, I'd without a doubt go NXDN again.
 

tampabaynews

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
1,223
Location
Tampa, FL
"Best" is subjective.

We don't have our own infrastructure but we're subscribers. We chose NXDN over DMR and it wasn't even close. I have found the voice quality in NXDN to be better. The NX-5000 series radios also gives you a ton of interop options. My shop runs both NXDN and DMR systems was pushing NXDN.
 

kayn1n32008

ØÆS, I put that shØt on everything.
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
6,173
Location
Sector 001
Business. Some sites are AC power only, some have 12v DC with battery backup. Since this is for business use in the US, I would assume P25 is not a contender.

prcguy


I'm missing the connection. Your buddy is a business user, but exempt from 2.5KHz deviation? Are they above 470MHz or at 800/900MHz?

P25 can absolutely be a contender, if you want to pay 3-4x the cost of DMR or NXDN. There is nothing saying you can not use P25 for business. There is a refinery where I live that went to a 800MHz phase 2 system.
 

kayn1n32008

ØÆS, I put that shØt on everything.
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
6,173
Location
Sector 001
Mmkenna has sound advice. I have played with NXDN on simplex and it works well. Kenwood is light years ahead of Icom when it comes to NXDN. Better radios, better repeaters.
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
10,019
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
They are business users in the UHF spectrum and exempt from narrow band. That's all I can say.
prcguy

I'm missing the connection. Your buddy is a business user, but exempt from 2.5KHz deviation? Are they above 470MHz or at 800/900MHz?

P25 can absolutely be a contender, if you want to pay 3-4x the cost of DMR or NXDN. There is nothing saying you can not use P25 for business. There is a refinery where I live that went to a 800MHz phase 2 system.
 

toastycookies

Member
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
726
Location
the far east
Is it a business, Public Safety, hammy?

Sadly Motorola, Harris, Tait, Kenwood and Codan are your only real choices for infrastructure for RF hell sites. Stay far away from Icom.

Using MSF repeaters, I am safe to assume there is mains power?

All for of those manufacturers build P25 gear, but only Tait and Motorola buIld DMR repeaters. I have no idea how Hytera does in high RF sites.

Eh?

 

kayn1n32008

ØÆS, I put that shØt on everything.
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
6,173
Location
Sector 001
Good info, thanks. I was thinking the contenders might narrow down to Motorola, Kenwood and Icom from some local conversations I've had but the more some of the vendors get bashed, the smaller my list gets.

Since this is in the US the final company should also have a large presence here for warranty and possible future service. I've seen a few Tait repeaters at swap meets but have never seen one at a mountain top site around here. I have not seen a Codan repeater in my travels yet.

If NXDN has an audio quality advantage I hope the vendors for that format have repeaters you can count on for 20+ years of trouble free service.
prcguy
if all else is equal, a Codan repeater will outlast anything else. If you are stuck on battery power/solar or on a site that power consumption is a factor, Codan is the best you can get. they can be purchased at power output from 4w to 100+ watts.
 

kayn1n32008

ØÆS, I put that shØt on everything.
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
6,173
Location
Sector 001
Eh?

Is that Type approved for Part 90? I just looked briefly and only see P25 and NXDN infrastructure on the US website.

If it is not approved for the 'K' market it is not relevant to this thread, and pointless to bring up in this thread. Maybe I should have been more specific to say that only Motorola, Tait and Hytera make DMR repeaters for the North American market.

Edit: from the picture you posted, I would guess that is a European market repeater from Kenwood. notice that 'colour' is spelled correctly, not 'color', how the US mangles the English language
 

toastycookies

Member
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
726
Location
the far east
Eh?

Is that Type approved for Part 90? I just looked briefly and only see P25 and NXDN infrastructure on the US website.

If it is not approved for the 'K' market it is not relevant to this thread, and pointless to bring up in this thread. Maybe I should have been more specific to say that only Motorola, Tait and Hytera make DMR repeaters for the North American market.

Edit: from the picture you posted, I would guess that is a European market repeater from Kenwood. notice that 'colour' is spelled correctly, not 'color', how the US mangles the English language
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,838
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Forgot about that. Yes, Kenwood sells DMR products here in the USA, portables, mobiles and repeaters.

TK-D240V VHF Portable. TKD340U UHF portable
TK-D740HV VHF mobile. TK-D840HU UHF mobile

The repeaters are available in the USA TXR-D710 and TXR-D810. They were released recently and it doesn't appears they've made it on to the website yet.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top