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MTR2000 Setup Voting / Remote RX?

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askdaniel1

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Does anyone have any experience in what controller hardware could be used to get voting/remote receive setup and working with an MTR2000 repeater? I have tried reaching out to my local Motorola dealer, but sadly they are just interested in pushing new hardware and solutions and all the old generation that could have given me a quick answer have retired or left the radio business.

In the ideal solution, I will be making the link with a phone line circuit, which is already in place. I just am not sure what hardware/controller I need to get started in handling this myself or at least steering a vendor in making it happen.

At the remote site, I obviously also need some hardware to connect to the phone circuit as well, which can compatibly talk to the voting hardware at my prime/transmit site.

I've assisted/observed this type config with old GE hardware but am not finding any resources for making it happen with this dated yet fairly modern motorola repeater.
 

mmckenna

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When you say "phone line" are you meaning a dial tone circuit?
I've got a number of these set up and we use 2 wire conditioned circuits, either within our own cable plant, or from the local carrier.

Not sure how or if you can do it with a dial tone circuit.
 

jjimenez01

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I just installed a system for a customer using a MTR2000 as the main site receiver/transmitter, CDM-750 as the remote receiver and a Raytheon JPS SNV-12 voter/comparator. The remote is linked to the voter via a 2 wire conditioned circuit provided by Verizon. Send me a private message and I can help you out with your project.

JJ
 

askdaniel1

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No, not a dial line. Local telco provided point to point 2 wire circuit.

When you say "phone line" are you meaning a dial tone circuit?
I've got a number of these set up and we use 2 wire conditioned circuits, either within our own cable plant, or from the local carrier.

Not sure how or if you can do it with a dial tone circuit.
 

mmckenna

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We are currently using the old Motorola units, however we have the JPS units on the way. I haven't set those up yet, so I can't guide you there. The older Motorola voter/comparators are easy, just the two wire in and the 4 wire out to the repeater. Set up is pretty much limited to setting levels, which you can do in the MTR.
 

askdaniel1

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motorola units?

Do the "old motorola units" have model numbers or anything I can use to search for details?

The JPS unit would be a first choice but the cost for the hardware will be a big limit, and the option for used Motorola hardware would be tempting.
 

RKG

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The "older" units are probably Motorola SpectraTac comparators. These were state of the art for many years, but are being replaced in droves (largely by JPS voters). The SpectraTac is an analog device. It is also a device largely modified by folks (using a razor blade and soldering iron), so you run the risk of picking up one in the second hand market that won't perform the way the book says. Also, SpectraTacs used components that have passed their design useful life. Replacement parts can be hard to find, and Motorola no longer repairs them.

The basic SpectraTac comparator consists of a card cage and a power supply. You will also need one receiver card (a/k/a SQM, for "Signal Quality Module") for each receiver (including the one at the main site). You will need a Tone Keying Module to connect the comparator to the transmitter at the main site, and your transmitter must either be one that responds to EIA tone signalling or one that is connected a "tone remote adapter" (converts EIA tones to relay outputs). Likewise, your receivers must either be capable of sending the 2175 Hz "idle tone" over the wireline when squelched or must be connected up to a module that will do that for you. (JPS sells those modules.)

If your comparator is to be connected also to a console by wireline, you will also need a Tone Priority Module. The Tone Priority Module keys the transmitter in response to console commands, while the Tone Keying Module keys the transmitter in response to receiver unsquelching (via the "voted" bus line).

Two things to bear in mind:

One: as previously adverted to, the key to having a voted system work as it should is level setting. This is a two-man job and it requires some knowledge of the backhaul system you are using and the radio equipment at either end. And some equipment. The bottom line is that each receiver wants to output to the wireline at a level such that at the comparator end (after all line losses) all receivers have the same level. Back in the day when phone lines were the norm, one standard rule of thumb was -13 dBm for average voice and -3 dBm for peak. (Phone lines typically are intolerant of signals that stray above 0 dBm.)

Two: a box like the MTR2000 actually contains three elements: a receiver, a transmitter, and an internal controller. When used as a stand-alone repeater (a/k/a an "in-cabinet repeater"), the MTR's internal controller handles transmitter keying and audio routing. However, when you go to a voted system, these functions are handled by the comparator, and you have to disable the MTR's internal controller. You do this under system configuration (or the like; I don't have my radio computer with me where I am now) and set the unit for "Station" or "Base," vs. "Repeater."

Not to preach, but setting up and then maintaining voted systems (particularly those that use Ma Bell lines for backhaul) is a bit of an art. You will save yourself some heartache if you can latch onto a professional to help you out.

Finally, a note for those engaging with the JPS Voter for the first time: The JPS Voter is a superb device. It will do all that a SpectraTac will do, and a lot more. However and for that reason, the JPS Voter is a complex instrument to set up. It is accompanied by one of the finest manuals I have ever seen, which is in one sense unfortunate because too many techs don't take the time to read it! Ignore the manual and you'll triple the time it takes you to get your JPS up and running.

The "repeater disable" function: there are two ways to do this with a JPS Voter. You can disable the repeater via a console EIA command, or you can use a pin (just like on the back of the SpectraTac). Because so many JPS Voters are installed as replacements for aged-out SpectraTacs, using the pin is more common. However: the polarity of the JPS "repeater disable" pin is the reverse of the SpectraTac. If your existing system uses a Form C relay for the repeat/disable function, just move the line to the pin from the NO terminal to the NC terminal. If you're wiring directly to a console Aux Output that pulls to ground, you'll have to insert a polarity inverting relay. And, finally, note that the repeat/disable pin on the back of the JPS Voter has to be enabled by DIP switches.

Likewise re: main/standby switching. On the SpectraTac, you could only install one Tone Priority Module, so the norm was the handle main/standby transmitter steering via an Aux Output and a 2 Form C relay. The JPS Voter allows you to hook up one transmitter to each receiver card, with Card #1 being the Main and Card #2 being the standby, and then switching between them via an EIA command. Most of us, however, have found it simpler to leave our old main/standby relays in place, and simply wire the common terminals of the relay to the transmitter terminals of Card #1.

End of sermon. Good luck.
 
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RKG

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Well, not quite the end of the sermon, I guess: one additional thought:

The JPS Voter manual advises to use a level-and-peak LED on the front plane to set receiver levels. If you are old fashioned (like me), you'll say to yourself that this sounds like an imprecise way and "We Don't Need No Stinking LEDs!" And you'll try to set levels using your standard TIMS or Lineman tapped into the test pins on the front.

Trust me: for reasons too complicated to set forth (assuming I still remember the details), this won't work! Stick with the manual; use the LED.

Perhaps now the end.
 

gtriever

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Well, not quite the end of the sermon, I guess: one additional thought:

The JPS Voter manual advises to use a level-and-peak LED on the front plane to set receiver levels. If you are old fashioned (like me), you'll say to yourself that this sounds like an imprecise way and "We Don't Need No Stinking LEDs!" And you'll try to set levels using your standard TIMS or Lineman tapped into the test pins on the front.

Trust me: for reasons too complicated to set forth (assuming I still remember the details), this won't work! Stick with the manual; use the LED.

Perhaps now the end.

Actually, you can do an alignment with a TIMS, but it's very time-consuming. The LED method works well enough for most applications.
 
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