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guidance requested: moto/DMR repeater with local talkgroups... need to build.

w6jwz

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All,

I am super new to the Digital stuff... I've got a ranch, where i've got groups of guys working. I'd like to setup a repeater, with some local channels... How do I accomplish this. I've got the request in for the freq pair in... now am looking at hardware and such. need 3 channels or TGs....

any help would be greatly appreciated...

V/R Ben
 

alcahuete

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V/R? Thanks for your service! ;)

Hardware wise, you need a repeater, duplexer, quality coax, and antenna.

Assuming the talkgroups aren't in use constantly, you could get away with one repeater. In the simplest form, you'll run 1 talkgroup on one timeslot, and 2 on the other, just realizing that the talkgroups might occassionally overlap on the one timeslot, and get "bonked."

Or you can run it in Capacity Plus and have very basic trunking, which would help with the overlap, but would potentially require additional licenses, limit you to /\/\oto products, etc. You could even use multiple repeaters, but at that point, it's probably getting a little ridiculous and potentially more money than you want to spend.
 

Floridarailfanning

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A single repeater would probably work fine as @alcahuete said, however, if the 3 channels will all be used frequently I'd recommend using 2 repeaters which would allow 4 "channels" to be used without any interruption from timeslot overlap. Also, I'd go with Capacity Plus as a lot of new TRBO subscribers come with the Cap+ Single Site option.

2 SLR5000 repeaters would probably be around $4,500 new from a decent /\/\ Channel Partner.

Now, if that's too much just for the repeaters, there's a fair number of surplus XPR8300 and XPR8400 repeaters on brokenstolenradios.com (eBay) and Gov Deals which can be had for much less.

If you do go with used repeaters I would find a local shop who can tune and align them for you before using them. The only issue using used XPR8 repeaters is that they are no longer supported and it might not be possible to add certain features to these units if the options you need aren't already listed as Free or Purchased.
 

w6jwz

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Great advice folks.. I know the radio gods peek into our wallets and consume mass quantities of cash in relation to the reputation the deities hold... lol

I am on a budget, but want it done right.. Any particular channel partners you recommend? would I need to get two additional freq pairs.... or will the hardware handle to TG management. I do not plan on using the internet. This is all local... Cell service in parts of the property is shoddy at best.. but i've got line of sight to a good water tower, and their blessing...
 

Floridarailfanning

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w6jwz

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I just don's wanna get raked over the coals... I know... MOTO is a expensive, but Hytera doesn't seem to be any cheaper.
 

alcahuete

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I wish you would have posted this a week sooner. I had two XPR8400s that I let go pretty cheap last week. Would much rather see a fellow ham get them. But oh well. :)

Do you need new? Something like a nice used XPR8400 is around $1000 (some even with duplexers). With a duplxer, antenna, and good coax, you would probably be in for under 2k for the repeater, which isn't terrible. used-radios.com is a good source for quality used radios, if you are looking for radios too, and don't want to go brand new.
 

mmckenna

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I just don's wanna get raked over the coals... I know... MOTO is a expensive, but Hytera doesn't seem to be any cheaper.
Kenwood makes and sell DMR repeaters, portables and mobiles. Often they are less expensive than Motorola.
 

w6jwz

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I wish you would have posted this a week sooner. I had two XPR8400s that I let go pretty cheap last week. Would much rather see a fellow ham get them. But oh well. :)

Do you need new? Something like a nice used XPR8400 is around $1000 (some even with duplexers). With a duplxer, antenna, and good coax, you would probably be in for under 2k for the repeater, which isn't terrible. used-radios.com is a good source for quality used radios, if you are looking for radios too, and don't want to go brand new.
I do not need new... i just need some reliable kit..
 

w6jwz

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Kenwood makes and sell DMR repeaters, portables and mobiles. Often they are less expensive than Motorola.
I am not happy with the kenwood products as of late. My Current LE agency uses an old kenwood system that was marketed at the time as Public Safety... its really poor equip, with even worse customer service. hard to find reliable batteries...
 

mmckenna

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I am not happy with the kenwood products as of late. My Current LE agency uses an old kenwood system that was marketed at the time as Public Safety... its really poor equip, with even worse customer service. hard to find reliable batteries...
That's too bad. I've been running a couple of Kenwood systems for about 10 years now, about 500 radios total. I've had the exact opposite experience. Their support is way above what I got from Motorola on my SmartNet system. Out of those 500 radios, I've had about 3 that actually failed. And I've saved a ton of money over Motorola.
 

K2NEC

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I am not happy with the kenwood products as of late. My Current LE agency uses an old kenwood system that was marketed at the time as Public Safety... its really poor equip, with even worse customer service. hard to find reliable batteries...
Unfortunately I have heard the same with Kenwood. I spoke to a few officers from a town that use NXDN and most of them agreed when one said "Kenwood has no business making radios".
Personally I can't add to this because I haven't had a kenwood radio to play around with nor do I have a kenwood system near me.

It's entirely possible that it's just the system design or maybe just the dealer not meeting their needs...who knows
 

mmckenna

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Unfortunately I have heard the same with Kenwood. I spoke to a few officers from a town that use NXDN and most of them agreed when one said "Kenwood has no business making radios".
Personally I can't add to this because I haven't had a kenwood radio to play around with nor do I have a kenwood system near me.

It's entirely possible that it's just the system design or maybe just the dealer not meeting their needs...who knows
Well, that's not what a lot of other departments think. CalFire is using Kenwood TK-5710's in their engines, as are a lot of other agencies.

Usually when I hear a comment like that, a bit of digging usually shows that either a dealer left a customer high and dry, or someone value engineered the system to the point that it doesn't work or unreliable.

But, everyone has their own opinions. I've got 500+ Kenwood radios and have not experienced any of those issues.
 

w6jwz

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well... That fella that lives in Witchita Falls... i work for one of those agencies....

Second, i am sure the newer Kenwood kit is nice... but still for the job I'm doing... I think Moto is the way to go. I am open to looking at the kenwoods... but i need the online forums and support. It just doesn't appear to be avail for the kenwoods.
 

K2NEC

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Well, that's not what a lot of other departments think. CalFire is using Kenwood TK-5710's in their engines, as are a lot of other agencies.

Usually when I hear a comment like that, a bit of digging usually shows that either a dealer left a customer high and dry, or someone value engineered the system to the point that it doesn't work or unreliable.

But, everyone has their own opinions. I've got 500+ Kenwood radios and have not experienced any of those issues.
And I am sure you are right. They were (and I believe still are) using NX300's which if I'm correct, those are pretty dated radios. Replaced by the NX5300. AFAIK they haven't upgraded anything on their system since last I spoke. I was never a user on the system nor did I ever listen to it so I couldn't tell you the kind of problems they were really experiencing.
 

buddrousa

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It does not matter if it is P25 DMR or NXDN the users have to speak to the mic not at it. Also if the shop did a half hearted setup and walked off never taught the users to use it or fine tune it that is part of the problem even with P25 DMR or NXDN you will get the same outcome.
Digital twoway radio is not plug and play and needs test equipment to set it up proper.
 

mmckenna

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And I am sure you are right. They were (and I believe still are) using NX300's which if I'm correct, those are pretty dated radios. Replaced by the NX5300. AFAIK they haven't upgraded anything on their system since last I spoke. I was never a user on the system nor did I ever listen to it so I couldn't tell you the kind of problems they were really experiencing.
The NX-300 is still available.
A good replacement for it would be the NX-3300, that radio will do analog and NXDN -or- DMR
The NX-5300 radio will do analog, and any two of the following at the same time: P25, DMR, NXDN.

If audio quality was the issue, that's a failing on the shop or whoever programmed the radios. Kenwood has documentation on properly setting up the audio on those radios. I have used their guide and the NXDN radios sound good.
In fact….
When I was trialing the systems, I had a MotoTrbo repeater and an NXDN repeater running. Comparing the two, MotoTrbo sounded crappy compared to the NXDN. Could have been the Motorola shop that didn't set it up correctly.
I run a couple of analog systems and an NXDN trunked system. Same dispatchers, same console, same microphones. In my work truck, I have a NX-700 VHF radio and an NX-900 800MHz radio. Talking with the dispatchers on both, NX-700 on analog VHF and the NX-900 on NXDN 800MHz, the audio quality is better on the NXDN when compared to 12.5KHz analog. That's same everything all the way through, with the exception of the repeaters. NXR-900 800MHz NXDN trunked system, VS. Quantar/MTR-2000 Motorola VHF.
It comes down to the skill of the tech setting up the system.

Unfortunately some radio shops sell the hardware, toss it up and walk away once they have the money in their hand. Getting them to return and fix issues can be impossible. Would be an easy fix.
 

KK6ZTE

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Unfortunately I have heard the same with Kenwood. I spoke to a few officers from a town that use NXDN and most of them agreed when one said "Kenwood has no business making radios".
Personally I can't add to this because I haven't had a kenwood radio to play around with nor do I have a kenwood system near me.

It's entirely possible that it's just the system design or maybe just the dealer not meeting their needs...who knows
The problem is 99.99999% of police officers are not qualified to make any judgment on their radios. The "Motorola is the only real radio" bug is very common in law enforcement and in most cases is incurable. Motorola makes good radios, but they certainly are not the only good option. I know some of the "issues" are created in the head of the user by looking at the label on the radio, not necessarily any actual real issue.

I much prefer dealing with firefighers to cops any day in my job as a radio tech. Cops expect it to work everywhere with a stubby antenna jammed into their love-handles.
 
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