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Complete amateur now responsible for over 600 radios HELP

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clueless9293

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Hey,

Long story short, I'm in I.T. and I was made solely responsible for all the radios in my organization. There is no one here who can help me because they were outsourcing all the work before they decided to throw it in my lap and decided I should be able to figure out how all this works.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how to clone a Motorola SL300 with CPS 2.0 for one of our sites; I figured that would be a good place to start figuring this out. I read an existing radio and cloned it to another one but it will not work. I assume there are settings that I need to change but I can't figure out what they are. I can't send or receive anything.

Any help wold be greatly appreciated

Im sorry if this is in the wrong place; I'm desperate and freaking out.
 

Firebuff880

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Aug 28, 2006
Messages
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Location
Boynton Beach, FL
Find out who the radio shop is that sold you the system and work with them..

But the new Radio need it's own system unique ID and preferably Alias at a minimum. Then depending on what the infrastructure is you may need registrations / authorizations and access credentials to be set in the subscriber to match the core.
 

mmckenna

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I run a couple of large radio systems, and I can agree with the above. Contact your local Motorola radio shop and get help.

It's not impossible to learn this, but it's far different than traditional IT type work. My group is under our larger IT infrastructure, but there are very few parallels between radio work and IT work. I've worked hard over the years to keep the traditional IT guys out of our stuff.

Your local Motorola shop can help get you started. Have them do the work on site, and watch over their shoulders. If you get a good tech, they'll show you the basics and you can eventually clone radios on your own. Asking questions on a hobby website is going to get you a real mixed bag of advice. There's a lot of questions you'd need to answer to get a accurate response. Unless you have all the details on the system and are willing to share them in an open/public forum, you'd want to get in person help from a shop. Your IT organization should understand that and fund some professional services to get things moving. They should also provide you with proper training on this stuff.
 

N1GTL

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I read an existing radio and cloned it to another one but it will not work. I assume there are settings that I need to change but I can't figure out what they are. I can't send or receive anything.
Digital system? The radio ID's must be different.
 

GlobalNorth

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Good luck. It sounds like someone is trying to play MBA and cut costs everywhere, believing that IT and comms are nearly identical.

If your company/corporation is not willing to fund a transition or bring in someone who can be a paid qualified consultant, tell them upfront and soon.
 

n5ims

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How true, since IT handles everything that's computerized we'll save money by putting everything with a computer under IT. Worked out great too. Tried it with the phone system and the one guy they kept from the telephone operation group trained some other IT folks on the basic stuff like adding/removing a phone from the system, programming features, etc. He then left since he hated to the typical IT work of installing/repairing servers or desktop support tasks. Then they changed our company's area code and management refused to allow a consultant to come do the needed changes during the change-over period. When the day came that the old area code no longer worked at our location the whole system turned into an expensive intercom with incoming and outgoing calls failing. Everyone in IT had to drop their tasks and work on getting the phone system working and they kept trying things that just made things worse and worse. Management finally authorized the consultant that came in and fixed the problem and the many caused by the IT folks making changes in the attempt to get things running again. At least management learned their lesson. They fired 2 IT folks over the phone issue and RIFed 2 others to pay the consultant's bill. Several other IT guys quit in protest and more left due to them being forced to work even longer hours to make up for those that left. The "critical" IT projects had nearly zero progress for 6 months after that. I feel certain that the manager got a fat bonus for all the money he saved on salaries in the IT department.
 

mmckenna

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If your company/corporation is not willing to fund a transition or bring in someone who can be a paid qualified consultant, tell them upfront and soon.
Yeah, "manage expectations" would be the wise thing to do.
Not saying you are not capable of taking this on, but it's an entirely different technology and an entirely different skill set. Be careful that you make sure they understand that, that you'll need additional training, and you will need outside assistance. If you get some wanna-bee MBA that starts basing your performance evaluations off this without understanding it's different technology, it can cause you problems down the road. Make sure you voice your concerns and document them fully.

Good luck.
 

kb4mdz

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.
Good luck. It sounds like someone is trying to play MBA and cut costs everywhere, believing that IT and comms are nearly identical.

If your company/corporation is not willing to fund a transition or bring in someone who can be a paid qualified consultant, tell them upfront and soon.
Oh, and BTW: Update your resume and start looking around. Outsourcing essential services is a race to the bottom, and the winners are the mid and upper level managers who think it up and make it happen.

P.S.: Real professional radio folks have been seeing this coming for over 20 years. And we're just as terrified of it now as we were back then, for just the reasons you're experiencing. High technology, steep learning curve to figure out what needs to be done & how to do it.
 

kb4mdz

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..........
Then they changed our company's area code and management refused to allow a consultant to come do the needed changes during the change-over period. When the day came that the old area code no longer worked at our location the whole system turned into an expensive intercom with incoming and outgoing calls failing. Everyone in IT had to drop their tasks and work on getting the phone system working and they kept trying things that just made things worse and worse. Management finally authorized the consultant that came in and fixed the problem and the many caused by the IT folks making changes in the attempt to get things running again. At least management learned their lesson. .........

Getting pedantic here, but if management only fired some of the IT people who were just barely able to do the minimum, but didn't hire a consultant to walk them thru a huge area code change; then management didn't learn their lesson, esp. with respect to giving a fat bonus to an upper manager.

Remember this line I learned from a couple years in Quality: Management gets what it wants. Even if it doesn't like what it gets.
 

n5ims

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Since you'll be doing the conversion, talk to your manager (or his manager) about the needed training to properly accomplish this task. That training will allow you to do the needed tasks properly and it will also assign a cost to adding those tasks into the IT department. These costs will help the MBA understand that moving communications into the IT department is not without costs (they most likely think it'll be free) and may provide you with leverage for getting consultants in to do some of the work and train folks on those tasks.
 

RadioGuy7268

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Mar 11, 2006
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If they had the money to buy 600 radios, but can't see the value in paying someone from the outside to program the radio (so that an employee can actually use said radio to do their job) - then I'd seriously question the ongoing viability of the company.

There's probably 50 different ways that a "simple" radio programming task can go wrong, and 5 or 10 of them will drive you nuts if you don't know all the ins and outs of a particular radio platform or programming software.
 

K4EET

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clueless9293, welcome to Radio Reference! So sorry that this responsibility landed in your lap without being first sent to Motorola's training class(es) on how to maintain your radio system and its subscribers (the radios themselves). If you can, let us know what type of radio system you have there. Tell us as much about it as you can so that we can suggest what direction you need to head in. Terminology and acronyms alone within a Motorola radio system is enough to confuse anyone that has never been around radio systems before. Heck, even us radio guys get confused at times over all of the terminology and acronyms that Motorola throws around. LOL! :ROFLMAO: You need to find a life preserver (help) and put it on (call them) now...
 

motorcoachdoug

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Hey Clueless
First of all welcome to the net here and why not do a short intro and tell us about yourself as well. Next question would be in what part of the country are you located in? Their has been a lot of good info given to you about contacting Mother Moto or one of the other large public safety radio suppliers for help. While I have found that moto does know how to help in situations like this they will charge you an arm and leg plus 5 toes as well. It all depends on how much management wants to spend to get the radios up, running and keeping the network in good health as well. I would put in my $.02 in and make sure you document everything with giving HR a copy because sad to say sometimes you have to cya as well. Good luck to you and please keep us up to date as well.
 

scanphreak

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Well, the SL300 is either a 2 channel, or 99 channel MOTOTRBO hand held solution. It's primary user is commercial industry. 600 radios is a lot. My guess is he works for a Casino. I can't think of a single location like hotel, resort, well maybe Disney World, that would utilize that many radios. It's not a trunked system, so the most he's going to deal with is a repeater. It could all be simplex. Contacting the shop that sold them the equipment would be the best bet. Also searching online on how to program a motorola SL300 should produce some videos or pages. Just in case you don't have it. here is the owners manual http://www.streammktg.com/stream/images/specs/Moto User Manuals/SL300 Display Users Manual.pdf

Programming Software
In order to fully realize the potential of this radio, one must have access to the MOTOTRBO CPS (Customer Programming Software) v10.8 or higher and a micro USB programming cable to configure it to your particular requirements and usage preferences. The MOTOTRBO CPS software allows many configuration options for the radio and almost every attribute of the radios operation can be controlled using it.
Of course, with so many configuration options available, programming the radio can become very time consuming and difficult. Fortunately, the Help menus within the MOTOTRBO CPS help a great deal in explaining what the various options are used for. It is highly recommended that if you want to program one of these radios for ham radio use that you first consult with a professional who is familiar with the radio and the MOTOTRBO CPS programming software. For more information about programming this and other MOTOTRBO radios, check out some of the DMR-MARC website.
 

TampaTyron

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Disney World uses almost 20,000 radios. I have hundreds of customers who use 1000+, mostly industrial and hospitality. A local shop will have a hard time training a customer how to become self maintained. If the local shop won't train, then the manufacturer will usually step in (at a cost). This is one of the things that I do (train new radio system admins). Good luck and let us know how it goes. Hopefully, you have original codeplugs with the RAS keys in place. If you just read it out of the radios and are trying to clone you will have issues and it will likely never work. TT
 

clueless9293

Newbie
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Jul 2, 2020
Messages
2
Thank you all for your suggestions. I work for a school district; I'm a computer technician for a high school and I also do physical security work for the entire district (security cameras, electric door locks, and now radios). I'm going to have to let them know that if I'm going to do this they need to fund the training for it; otherwise they'll need to let the shop handle it. My plate is already very full and I have less than a year of full time experience in the field.
 

MTS2000des

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Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
The best advice is not to take on anything that one isn't provided the appropriate resources for. Contrary to popular belief, there is more to maintaining a radio system than just banging codeplugs into subscribers. You already have quite a bit of workload, and this is an FTE in most other places. If they aren't going to invest in creating an FTE for someone who is qualified and provide them the resources they need (like vendor training, software, test gear, etc) than it should be contracted out to a local shop and let them deal with it.
 

K4EET

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Thank you all for your suggestions. <snip> I'm going to have to let them know that if I'm going to do this they need to fund the training for it; otherwise they'll need to let the shop handle it. My plate is already very full and I have less than a year of full time experience in the field.
Good morning clueless9293. You are certainly welcome for the suggestions. This is what Radio Reference is all about. People helping people. Please let us know what your management decides. And if you have any more questions, anything related to radio in general and not necessarily work-related, feel free to ask away. No question is a dumb question around here.

Perhaps in your after-work life you enjoy CB radio, listening to foreign radio station broadcasts on a shortwave receiver, have an interest in scanners that receive local fire incidents, etc.; you have found a new home. We would really like for you to hang around and enjoy the site if anything interests you. There is a wealth of information here not only within the members but also within the website.

Cheers and have a great day! Dave K4EET
 
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