question about mot radios and starnet system

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wa1emt

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Mabey this has been answered. I have looked and didnt find anything. So here it goes.
What would the model number have to be to use a motorola spectra with a w9 or w5 remote head to listen to the harris county starnet system?.
I looked on the batlabs site and it lists on the 9th letter on the model breakdown what does what. it lists starnet but not smartnet.
Does it matter?
I have limited space and want a remote head and this looks the way to go.
Now before anyone jumps on the bandwagon..I know it can be done.
Wrecker drivers are using motorola spectra's that DO NOT TRANSMIT. Thats what I want to do.
I do not care for pd or law enforcement just EOC and CMOC stuff during disasters since I work EMS.
And also, I keep reading that your allowed only 10 talkgroups. is this true.
I have about 14 id's that I want to listen to.
not an entire talk group but a few things in the talkgroup.
So..what do i need to make it possible.
 

davidbond21

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I looked on the batlabs site and it lists on the 9th letter on the model breakdown what does what. it lists starnet but not smartnet.
Does it matter?
I think you may be confusing the Smartnet(which I think was succeeded by Smartzone) trunking protocol with STARNet, which was the old name for what is now called TxWARN. I think I have a pretty good idea with where you are going in trying to obtain a smartnet vs a smartzone flashed radio.

Now before anyone jumps on the bandwagon..I know it can be done.
Wrecker drivers are using motorola spectra's that DO NOT TRANSMIT. Thats what I want to do.
I do not care for pd or law enforcement just EOC and CMOC stuff during disasters since I work EMS.
If you really only need the radio during disasters(in which you might help assist in the relief being in EMS), how is having a public safety radio with the transmit disabled going to be more useful than a scanner(which in addition to working almost as well as the radio, doesn't have the 10 talkgroup limit which I will explain below)

And also, I keep reading that your allowed only 10 talkgroups. is this true.
I have about 14 id's that I want to listen to.
I think the deal is with Smartnet radios, you are limited to scanning 10 talkgroups at a time; you can program many more into the radio but it's just that when you want to be scanning the talkgroups you are only able to select 10 to scan. Also note that with a modern scanner, you can program in every known talkgroup there is, still only listen to your selected 14 talkgroups out of maybe hundreds programmed, and simultaneously have the scanner searching for new unknown talkgroups which you can save with the press of a button.

not an entire talk group but a few things in the talkgroup.
So..what do i need to make it possible.
First you'll have to explain what you mean by "not an entire talkgroup" because that doesn't make much sense. I would say that if you have not purchased a radio yet, you should go ahead and hold on to your money and look in to getting a digital scanner. If you are needing a receive only device, a scanner will go infinitely farther in saving you in both costs and space, and it will let you listen to more on your intended system than an actual authorized radio ever could. And all this is in addition to letting you listen to many different types of trunking and conventional systems in every band that are in your area as well.

That's a nice vanity(I'm assuming) call by the way, given your profession. :wink:
 
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wa1emt

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Becuse I work for a private company we do not have access to the starnet system. I however am also an amatuer radio operator and i also want to hear what is going on during the major incidents. As I said I dont care to listen to PD or that stuff.

The scanner idea is not cheaper or saves more space no matter how you slice it. Also, the receive and audio quality on motorola radios is fantastic.
Im wanting to remote mount a w5 or w9 head ( which is smaller then a scanner ) in the truck and remote mount the rest. So a scanner is out as their is no cost or space savings.

There are more positives then negatives. Im just wondering why a person who is asking a very simple law abiding question ( since there is no difference between a radio on receive or a scanner ) but wrecker drivers have 12 of these in their trucks and no one complains about that.
If it was so illegal, they would all be arrested....so since it isnt illegal, why is getting the answer such a pain in the butt.
 

davidbond21

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Becuse I work for a private company we do not have access to the starnet system. I however am also an amatuer radio operator and i also want to hear what is going on during the major incidents. As I said I dont care to listen to PD or that stuff.
That's understandable wanting to be clued in during emergencies, but I'm really not concerned with what you want to listen to. PD or EMS or EOC, it's all the same in regards to being given advice on radio programming.

The scanner idea is not cheaper or saves more space no matter how you slice it.
...
Im wanting to remote mount a w5 or w9 head ( which is smaller then a scanner ) in the truck and remote mount the rest. So a scanner is out as their is no cost or space savings.
Cheaper, maybe...maybe not. Saving space? My PSR-500 portable, when flattened out is not quite the size of a W9, but I'm not about to get in an argument over size or finances. You know what is right for you, but if you haven't bought anything yet, it's worth making a comparison.

Also, the receive and audio quality on motorola radios is fantastic.
No argument here.

There are more positives then negatives. Im just wondering why a person who is asking a very simple law abiding question ( since there is no difference between a radio on receive or a scanner ) but wrecker drivers have 12 of these in their trucks and no one complains about that.
If it was so illegal, they would all be arrested....so since it isnt illegal, why is getting the answer such a pain in the butt.
Whoa, calm down. I was making the argument that a scanner might better suit your purposes(and in an emergency/disaster being able to hear all agencies is a strong positive). I was never insinuating you were trying to engage in illegal activities. But if after one post from me you are complaining that getting your answer is a pain in the butt, that is pretty telling in itself.

I'm not a SAP and I believe in the free exchange of information, so I will tell you that all the information you need to get the setup you described working is here spread throughout the various forums as I've looked into doing exactly what you are before, out of intellectual curiosity and it's pretty much all here. You're just going to have to go back and find it.
 

texasemt13

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... why is getting the answer such a pain in the butt.
The pain might be that it wasn't the answer you wanted, though it was still a perfectly acceptable answer.

Do you have the radio service software (RSS)? That alone could put you well over your budget for a trunking, digital system. This isn't something you can just pick up and program in your hands (like a scanner). It requires a lot of know how... and someone confusing STARNet with Smartzone probably should look in to this quite a bit more. Not flaming, just stating.
 

texasemt13

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Im just wondering why a person who is asking a very simple law abiding question ( since there is no difference between a radio on receive or a scanner )
Now you as an ARO should know better than that... Maybe a scanner is no different than a "receiver" but to say a radio (transceiver) is no different than a scanner is false.

If it was so illegal, they would all be arrested....
so since it isnt illegal, why is getting the answer such a pain in the butt.
And I'd like to talk to your attorney about this. As far as I know, no precedent has been set to declare this a legal activity. You can also argue that no one has been arrested for it yet (that we know of). But simply programming up a working transceiver, disabling all the transmit options by software (and even physically removing the transmit capabilities), and using their trunking system (blind to the TRS or not), isn't cut and dry "legal." Even if other people do it (and the law knows they are) doesn't mean it is legal (or they might have specific permission).

Again wa1emt, from one EMT and Ham to another, don't take this as a flame. But be very aware of what you're trying to accomplish.
 

Skypilot007

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For all the work required to accomplish what you want to do I would at least get an mcs2000 or something somewhat more modern than a spectra, maybe an astro spectra. Yeah I know there is a trick to make a spectra scan more than 10+1 talk groups but its a total PITA to accomplish. With the newer radio's you can use CPS, makes life a lot easier. And there seems to be a virtual flood of smartzone and smartnet flashed mcs2000's hitting ebay lately. You will also need to read up over on batboard, everything you need to know about what you want to do is over there. Find it and read it all at least twice.
 
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