I will tell you after using the equipment last month, having real time coast to coast converstations with better than IMBE voice quaility, the stuff sounds and works great. Sounds better than my ASTRO25 gear.
No, its not intended for public safety. However at cheaper prices for everything, you will see some installations just like LTR.
If you talk to the Motorola guys (the ones that are actually paid by Motorola at the industry trade shows, sales managers, etc) they will tell you they DO NOT market to public safety. This does not mean that public safety will not purchase them (again, like LTR). I have not looked to far into it, but I recall when they were introduced they did not meet APCO16 compliance."The next-generation professional two-way radio communications solution is here, with more performance, productivity and value - and more opportunity for you. With better basics and enhanced features, MOTOTRBO is Motorola’s first digital two-way radio system specifically designed to meet the requirements of professional organizations that need a customizable, business-critical communication solution using licensed spectrum. In addition, MOTOTRBO is built to the globally recognized Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) standard; DMR is widely backed by major manufacturers of digital professional two-way radio communication equipment. So with MOTOTRBO, you can be assured that you are getting a robust and future-ready digital radio solution."
Yes their are 10 of thousands HT1250s out there being used for public safety. MOTOTRBO equipment is better than the 1250s. TRBO also has alot of new things like emergency interupt so the dispatcher can stop a conversation to put out emergency traffic...sound like something to really look into
I am currently a Fire Chief in Holmes County (mentioned in Harrison's post above) > It is true that our County Road Dept. went to the TRBO system and had / has issues with coverage in certain areas. Our county is a rural county that has many peaks and valleys. So any system our county installs will have "dead" areas. My Concern is >> Our County Sheriffs office decided to also go with a TRBO system and since all communications and paging is done through the local S.O., it appears that our counties Fire & EMS is going to be pushed into this system.I can tell you it may be hard to find them. If you are talking about the equipment that is one thing, I know of some departments that use the stuff, but as far as the MOTOTRBO TDMA technology, most departments are being steered towards FDMA/TDMA P25 stuff for APCO compliance. Plus if you want federal grant money for radio infastructure, you have to spend it on Project-25 complaint equipment. It makes sense to stay P-25 complaint for the purposes of interoperability as well. I know Holmes County, OH installed it for roads departments, but they have complaints, and from what I have heard they sometimes have to switch to the old conventional system.
On that note, if you search around places like the watch desk and firehouse forums, a lot of people discuss them regularly, and the answer is typically, if you want digital, just stay compliant.
Most importantly, the BIGGEST complaint about the gear is that it is not "public safety grade". It is durable, but just won't hold up the way the public safety equipment Motorola sells will. I haven't really read any NIOSH reports that mention it, but I would not be surprised if substandard radio equipment that isn't rated for firefighting prevents a firefighter from being able to make an important call, whether the call is a "near miss" or something more serious.
Any reason you ask?
I am currently a Fire Chief in Holmes County (mentioned in Harrison's post above) > It is true that our County Road Dept. went to the TRBO system and had / has issues with coverage in certain areas. Our county is a rural county that has many peaks and valleys. So any system our county installs will have "dead" areas. My Concern is >> Our County Sheriffs office decided to also go with a TRBO system and since all communications and paging is done through the local S.O., it appears that our counties Fire & EMS is going to be pushed into this system.
We have been testing for 2 months now and I have been carrying an XPR 6550. I love how the radio operates on BOTH Digital and Analog. My major concern is > > If we adopt this system into the county Fire/EMS we will CUT OFF any possible federal funding we could receive.
I have seen mentioned P-25 Phase II, that may deal with TDMA technology such as the MOTOTRBO system. Can anyone point me in the direction to get "GOOD" information on this or give me some advise?
It appears I am the only chief (out of 7) in the county that thinks this TRBO system is not the way to go and we will have re-percussion's in the future.
Thanks in advance!!
"And many P25 trunking radios (such as the Motorola XTS portables) can NOT scan between trunking systems and conventional channels."
This is untrue. I currently have a XTS5000 and an APX7000 sitting here going back and forth between conventional and trunked operation in a scan mode. Its all about the programming and what the admin wants the end user to be able to do. The tradeoff is scan capacity.
I also know that the Thales Liberty will scan across bands and trunked systems (P25P1).
Last time I looked at DHS grant information (albeit its been a couple of years) part of the requirements is that it had to be P25 capable (did not specify conventional or APCO25 Phase 1 or 2 the the lean was on Phase 1) and that it had to be narrowband capable (which is already a FCC requirement). The first requirement left out (initally) the OpenSky radios but firmware/system enhancements have worked around it, last my PA counterparts have told me.
The radios did not have to talk to any specific system in the state, as it was mostly pointed to the NIFOG type of use (which is 90% analog/narrowband operation) except for some of the law enforcement (aka federal) that does specify P25 conventional operation.
Now for larger systems, I cannot speak of as we have had our P25 trunked system in operation for some time now. Any grants that we are applying for work into the 700 band along with expanding the userbase for interop/system access.
As for the MOTOTRBO radios, last I heard at a confernece is that they are not elligable due to its properitary backend. Its simply not an APCO25 Phase 2 system. Kenwood is trying the same route with its NEXGEN radios, etc etc. This is all similar to how towns went to LTR radios and found out they were not able to secure most grants.
In the end, your going to do what is best for YOUR agency and its needs. It can be as simple as operating simplex or as complex as a multisite trunked system with data. Do what is best for your area and look at ALL makes and MODELS. Don't always listen to the sales guy. TALK to the service guys as well. They tend to know what really works and what doesn't...problems they have had to contend with, etc.
Case in point... We had a cell tower come into town and we put our antennas on it (part of the deal they would pay for everything). Well, sales guys talked to them and set up all the stuff they would need. They never talked to the service guys. Low and behold before we really knew it..the antenna system was installed without any vertical seperation. Finger pointing came later when we noticed a drop in db on transmit while rx'ing on another channel.
To this day the array remains the same with some modifications.
TRBO's can operate in analog, but will not meet the definiation of a P25 capable radio as it will not do IMBE in the convetional mode of operation. Althought it uses AMBE as used in the trbo mode of trunking - is not an APCO25 Phase 2 TDMA accepted mode of operation.In part: FCC DA 09-2589 Released: December 11 said:Can previously certified multimode equipment be manufactured or imported after January 1, 2011?Yes, under certain circumstances. The equipment certification for previously certified multimode equipment containing a wideband 25 kHz mode will continue to be valid, and such equipment may continue to be manufactured and imported, only if the modes of operation are enabled primarily through software rather than firmware or hardware, and users are not provided with the programming software necessary to activate the wideband 25 kHz mode.
I don't know who you have been talking to at Motorola, but you successfully stumped them. Time to find a new contact, I think. There is no trick necessary. We have been using "talkgroup scan" for years to monitor simplex fireground channels in case someone goes out of range, and although it does have limitations- it does work. If your firmware is high enough, you can even enable multi-system scan (which is really really limited).That's very interesting on an XTS portable operating on a P25 trunking system and at the same time scanning conventional channels. NO one at Motorola (technical or sales) has said that this type of operation would work. They've been very specific - that the XTS won't do it and that the APX will do it. I would be very interested in knowing the 'programming trick' that you've found that enables this type of operation. It's always fun to 'stump the engineer' at Motorola.
A point of clairification...
XTS radios can scan multiple systems under the Talkgroup mode of scanning. This allows the mix of trunked and conventional systems together.
25 KHz equipment can no longer be imported or type accepted as of 1/1/2011. Equipment that can do 12.5/25 switchable CAN be until 1/1/2013, but the 25khz mode must be able to be disabled by software and not user selectable after 1/1/2013 (ie, firmware or software upgrade that disables the option to 25khz).
TRBO's can operate in analog, but will not meet the definiation of a P25 capable radio as it will not do IMBE in the convetional mode of operation. Althought it uses AMBE as used in the trbo mode of trunking - is not an APCO25 Phase 2 TDMA accepted mode of operation.
I don't know who you have been talking to at Motorola, but you successfully stumped them. Time to find a new contact, I think. There is no trick necessary. We have been using "talkgroup scan" for years to monitor simplex fireground channels in case someone goes out of range, and although it does have limitations- it does work. If your firmware is high enough, you can even enable multi-system scan (which is really really limited).
From the help file:
(Scan List, General)
Talkgroup: Both Conventional and Trunking Scan List member channels may be selected.
Note: Ten Scan List Members are possible.