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Converting to Digital

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redrock2002

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Hey guys, I don't post much here but I try to soak in all the knowledge from here. Joined so I could get the frequencies for my scanner at home so thanks for the databases!! I have been tasked with converting our existing analog system over to digital. I am not the one who started this project at work but I intend on doing as best as I can to plan ahead. We're going Capacity Plus Single Site. We've been purchasing XPR3500e's and XPR7550e's for the different departments over the last couple years to absorb the big hit on radio purchasing. That decision was made before me so I'm not sure why these particular models but I'm working with them regardless. We've contracted a vendor to purchase and install our new digital system. I am trying to prepare as best as I can for the day we flip the switch so to speak. My question to the fine folks on this forum is can I deploy the remote management server on one of our servers and start to document all the existing radios we have now that have been upgraded over time to the digital capable 3500e's and 7550e's? As I touch all our radios prior to go
go-live, I would program the radios to access wifi. The ultimate end goal if its possible is to program all of our radios to access a wifi access point and send out the digital configuration to all our radios at once and not have to touch each and every radio the day of switch over. I havent found any documentation yet on if this is possible or not. Time is money and I'm trying to avoid shutting down the plant for any length of time the day we switch over. Has anybody gone through this conversion? I'll take all the help I can get. Thanks!!
 

NavyBOFH

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There’s a Motorola manual that comes with the RM software but the quick answer is “yes”, you should be able to configure your radios to talk to the RM now and push configurations once they’re all on your WLAN and management server. Doesn’t matter what infrastructure you have in place on the repeater side.

That being said - be ULTRA careful when using RM to push codeplug changes. There’s a known “quirk” where if you enter an invalid frequency into RM and push it to the radio - the RM WILL push it and then you end up with a “bricked” radio with a VCO unlock error until you can fix the codeplug issue. I mention that since that’s a quick way especially with all radios on a single server to “kill em all”.
 

NavyBOFH

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Forgot to add, since you’re going to a Cap+ system you need to “plan ahead”. Radios are all the “e” model so you’re set there. Firmware must be 2.7.0 or higher to support WiFi programming on a Cap+ network scheme, and you need to have RM 2.0 or higher.

Typically with RM you do it over RF which is where you need the infrastructure set up first - but with the WiFi programming capability you shouldn’t need that to be there. I haven’t spoken to Motorola directly but haven’t been told otherwise via documentation or field bulletin.
 

N1GTL

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You can definitely stage everything without the infrastructure being in place if you are using WiFi. To use RM, you are going to need to READ every single radio, not just enter a serial number. RM needs this so it knows which version of firmware is in each radio. Once you create your code plug, you can only put that into a radio with the same firmware. If you bought these radios "over time" as you put it, chances are they are not going to all have the same firmware versions.

The first thing I'd do is update the firmware in all radios. If you don't want to do this, you are going to need a code plug (template) for each version of firmware your radios have. Since you have time, I'd recommend firmware upgrading all radios. It'll be easier to manage once it's deployed. I did a similar deployment with about 170 subscribers over WiFi. It worked well but it does require good planning.
 

redrock2002

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My plan was once I deployed the RM, I would start getting with everybody on-site now and apply the latest fw update, activate the wifi and cap+ (3500e's), connect to wifi. Then either enter or "read" each radio into the RM. I've tried briefly to do a mock setup in the office to test if I could get RM to talk with one of my 7550e's but didn't have any luck. I believe I have to have the MNIS service running in order for that to work? The MNIS has settings for repeaters which I would not be using yet. Trying to wrap my head around the full RM server deployment so I can begin getting all our radios entered and setup.
 

romanr

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"e" Capable vs. Enabled

Forgot to add, since you’re going to a Cap+ system you need to “plan ahead”. Radios are all the “e” model so you’re set there. Firmware must be 2.7.0 or higher to support WiFi programming on a Cap+ network scheme, and you need to have RM 2.0 or higher.

Typically with RM you do it over RF which is where you need the infrastructure set up first - but with the WiFi programming capability you shouldn’t need that to be there. I haven’t spoken to Motorola directly but haven’t been told otherwise via documentation or field bulletin.
I would suggest you contact the shop that sold the radios to check that the 'e' series units you have are "Enabled" and not simply "Capable". As an example, you mentioned a desire to use WiFi - all of the units CAN uses WiFi but it may not be enabled on them. If someone in purchasing decided to save a few bucks by getting the CAPABLE option, then you'll have to purchase the EIDs to enable this feature (and possible other features that you need/want).

It should not be a big deal, but you can do the work now to avoid a surprise and a delay later. Good Luck.

EDIT: you could also find out through CPS, too, but a quick call to your Moto rep might save you from having to check them all if you end up having a mix of Capable and Enabled subscriber units.
 
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NavyBOFH

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I would suggest you contact the shop that sold the radios to check that the 'e' series units you have are "Enabled" and not simply "Capable". As an example, you mentioned a desire to use WiFi - all of the units CAN uses WiFi but it may not be enabled on them. If someone in purchasing decided to save a few bucks by getting the CAPABLE option, then you'll have to purchase the EIDs to enable this feature (and possible other features that you need/want).





It should not be a big deal, but you can do the work now to avoid a surprise and a delay later. Good Luck.


That’s true... forgot to add that part to my requirements list assuming they were already enabled.

And for the IT/networking type a VLAN on your wireless infrastructure to give the radios your own IP numbering scheme and keep things secure would be a consideration as well. Each radio will need its own IP and you don’t want to have them fighting for addresses in the pool of computers/printers/phones
 

N1GTL

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MNIS has nothing to do with programming over WiFi.

Are you trying to program them leaving the default SSID and password or are you changing them to match an existing WiFi network?
 

redrock2002

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MNIS has nothing to do with programming over WiFi.

Are you trying to program them leaving the default SSID and password or are you changing them to match an existing WiFi network?
We have a "guest_access" access point here in the office. I'm using a laptop connected to the same access point. I gave the test radio same ip block as the laptop. Laptop is 192.168.50.250 and I checked for available ip's and gave the radio 192.168.50.160. gateway matches and subnet matches the laptop. I have the RM server utilty, RM Client config, RM Device Monitor, RM Job processor all on the laptop. Am I missing anything?
 

N1GTL

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Can you ping the radio from your laptop? And WiFi is on?
 

N1GTL

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Side note: I recall an issue with a specific firmware version, maybe 2.50.xx, where connections would fail. Also I would have to stop and restart the RM service every now and then. I have not worked with RM with the newest versions so I can't say if that was addressed by Motorola.
 

redrock2002

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I get a ping reply as Destination host unreachable when pinging radio ip.There is a green wifi icon on the radio.
 

N1GTL

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Can you let the radio use DHCP? At that point, you can use the menus and see what the IP of the radio is and try pinging. Depending on your network, your IT people may be blocking ports needed for programming. I have had varied successes and failures depending on the routers and/or access points used.
 

redrock2002

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I uninstalled the MNIS. Is the DDMS or MCDD needed? I wonder if i'm missing something in the codeplug. I'm only enabling the wifi. I haven't messed with any other network setting.
 

N1GTL

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It sounds like you are running all RM related services on a single computer?

If you have one, I would recommend taking something as simple as a home access point/router and use that. I left the radios at the default SSID and password. I set the AP/router to match that and the radio connects up within 20 seconds of power up. At that point, I am able to ping and read the radio with RM.

Doing this eliminates the possibility that your company is blocking ports over WiFi that RM needs to program the radios. It's very straight forward.

Another thing you might want to try is connect the radio to the computer with a cable instead of WiFi. This will confirm that RM is at least up and running. RM works with a programming cable as well as WiFi. I don't recommend OTAP as it is brutally slow. WiFi will write a radio in 30 seconds.

Every time you read a radio it will create a new template with the name being the serial number. You can then assign a template to that radio as long as it was written with the same firmware version.
 

redrock2002

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Ok. I'm gonna try the home office test setup. Without the corporate firewalls and filters and see if it works then. If it does then I know i have to work with our network admin. THanks for all the help!!!
 

redrock2002

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Installed the RM software on my test server last night at home. I installed the RM Server Utility, RM Device Monitor, RM Job Processor and then put the RM Config client on a secondary computer. Pointed the RM Config to the IP of my RM Server and all hooked up flawlessly!! USB programmed the correct wifi settings into the radio then disconnected the usb. Went into the RM Config Client and add the radio serial number. Scheduled a read job and it found and downloaded the config. Changed a setting on the config and scheduled a write job and it worked also. So in the end, I can confirm that its something with our access point setup or firewall or something. I will work with our network admin to get this all good to go. I appreciate all the feedback guys!! Happy 4th!
 

Firebuff880

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In the distribution zip is a documentation folder an the port requirements for deploying and managing RM on a network.

Like someone else mentioned you can setup a standalone AP with the default SSID an DHCP to use the WiFi programming option with out the USB first step you mentioned.
 
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