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smartnet vs smartzone

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nhfdcadet

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what is the difference between motorola smartzone vs motorola smart net trunking? or is it same thing different name? i have a motorola astro spectra i am looking to use as a scanner, but does it support both these types of trunking?
 

sfd119

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I'm going to give you a piece of advice: Don't use a commercial radio as a scanner.

Yes, there are ups and downs with it vs a scanner, but I would recommend you sticking to a scanner.
 

PhillyPhoto

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Smartnet came first. Basically you have a tower or site (I believe you can link a couple together for coverage) and that's your system. SmartZone came next, and that allows you to create zones (hense the name). With that, you can assign certain talkgroups to only be on certain zones (East vs West for example). You can also keep talkgroups to certain zones, but allow roaming for frequency load balancing. So if you're from the West zone, but the East has a better signal, you'll be talking on both. If you ever watch the CSP system on a scanner, you'll see troops from neighboring counties talking on sites for other troops (Troop H on Troop F's site for instance).
 

ElroyJetson

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DO NOT ASK ME FOR HELP PROGRAMMING YOUR RADIO. NO.
The great new feature added by SmartZone trunking was the ability of the system to deliver the talkgroup to you where you need it, wherever you are in the geographical area covered by the system. Say you work for the PD on the far western side of the system but you're visiting another department far out of range of the western site, but you are in range of the eastern site. Simply by turning your radio to your west PD talkgroup, which causes the radio to affiliate on that talkgroup, west PD talkgroup activity will be routed to the east site so that you are never out of coverage even if you're well away from your own home system.

I will also echo the comment, do not attempt to use your Motorola radio to monitor a Motorola trunked system. Buy a scanner.

While it IS possible to use such a radio to monitor such a system, it is something that should not be done by a newbie. Definitely not. They require some fairly sophisticated programming tricks in order for that to work and it can't be done at all without obtaining system keys, and that alone is a significant issue as far as the law is concerned. To use your radio to monitor a Motorola trunked system without authorization, you WILL be, at BEST, operating in a grey area as far as the law is concerned.

So seriously, don't do it. The potential for harm is greater than the potential rewards.

The biggest issue is that SmartZone is built from the ground up to require every radio that listens to log into the system. If they don't log in, they won't even hear any traffic. (There are ways around this but they require you to be an advanced programmer with considerable system knowledge and even more CPS knowledge.)

Buy a scanner. PLEASE. People who mess around with trunking systems are the main reason why a lot of departments are looking to go to full time encryption. And it only takes ONE mistake for your local PD to realize that there are people with unauthorized radios out there, trying to listen in on them.
 

mmckenna

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Please, listen to what they are saying, this is important.

Trunked radio systems have a limited amount of resources. Setting up your radio incorrectly and tying up some of that limited resource can be problematic on many levels. As a cadet fire fighter, you don't want to get caught doing this. The radio systems are the property of the agency. That licensee is the -only- one that can grant permission to access the system. Being a cadet doesn't give you authorization to access the system. Well meaning individuals have lost their jobs over things like this.

It is possible to set up a radio to not affiliate, but it's not something for the unexperienced to do. The risk involved, as well as the time and equipment needed to program these radios really enforces the "get a scanner" suggestion.

If you really need to do this, and you have a legitimate reason, talk to the person in charge of the system. Talk to them about what you want to do. Worst they can tell you is "no". It doesn't hurt to ask.
 
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nhfdcadet

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My question isnt about whether its ok to use the radio or not, i know its a sticky area, my question is will an astro spectra that does smartzone trunking also be able to do smartnet trunking. thats all i am asking.
 
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The downside of Smartzone was mentioned in an after action report of the trunked system performance after the I35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

They determined that some users in remote areas with a limited number of channels were monitoring traffic from the rescue and recovery operation which caused problems for the sheriff's dept and other local users who needed access.
 

mikewazowski

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That's a programming issue not a system issue.

Local talkgroups should be restricted to the local area. The system admins need to fix that.

But, this subject has nothing to do with the OP's original request.
 

SCPD

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The downside of Smartzone was mentioned in an after action report of the trunked system performance after the I35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

They determined that some users in remote areas with a limited number of channels were monitoring traffic from the rescue and recovery operation which caused problems for the sheriff's dept and other local users who needed access.

The OP is correct. They were using statewide TAC channels that can be brought up on any tower in the state. Now to Mike's credit, local mutual aid talkgroups were created later on, but when the bridge collapsed ARMER was still pretty new. Several officers did not even know how to call up the interop channels on their radios. I remember the various dispatchers telling them how to do that.

Due to the use of the statewide interop talkgroups, agencies 300 miles away that had nothing to do with the collapse were able to call up and send traffic to their towers, some of which only had a few channels available and causing many busies or system resources. Since there are now metro interop TG's, a big event like the 35W bridge collapse would most likely use those localized interop TG's and out state users are unable to access them.

The radio board has specific procedures so if that happens to somehow become another problem, those radios affiliated bringing traffic to areas that have nothing to do with it, the offending person's radio will be contacted and directed them to get off that TG and if that is not successful the next steps are doing a dynamic re-group of the offenders or worse kick them off the system.

The areas that did it probably new that as it was a huge event and curiosity set in after they realized that the radio traffic from the scene could be monitored from that distance.

Things are much better now with local tacs and statewide tacs created so this should not be an issue anymore (we hope). The ARMER system is doing very well with a few minor issues but has shown it's glory when it had to. And yes this has nothing to do with the original OP's question but some information needed to be written for those who saw it. I apologize if responding was a no-no.
 

SCPD

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Please, listen to what they are saying, this is important.

Trunked radio systems have a limited amount of resources. Setting up your radio incorrectly and tying up some of that limited resource can be problematic on many levels. As a cadet fire fighter, you don't want to get caught doing this. The radio systems are the property of the agency. That licensee is the -only- one that can grant permission to access the system. Being a cadet doesn't give you authorization to access the system. Well meaning individuals have lost their jobs over things like this.

It is possible to set up a radio to not affiliate, but it's not something for the unexperienced to do. The risk involved, as well as the time and equipment needed to program these radios really enforces the "get a scanner" suggestion.

If you really need to do this, and you have a legitimate reason, talk to the person in charge of the system. Talk to them about what you want to do. Worst they can tell you is "no". It doesn't hurt to ask.
Here is my .02¢ on the subject....

I realize getting a scanner is the best, but if a person that knows what they are doing and has the technical experience to setup a professional radio to monitor a system and to make DAMN sure it does not even attempt to access it. I use Motorola XTS's radios programmed to do that using the conventional scan trick without having to setup any trunking personalities since there is a system key involved and that's a criminal offense here in MN to be in possession of it without authorization. My radios have been so protected that it can't ever transmit and no RF can be emitted what so ever period. Where I live the simulcast problem is so bad scanners are useless, even the Motorola's suffer from it from time to time since it's so bad. All radios were programmed with genuine Motorola CPS paid out of my pocket to Motorola (MOL) so I know the CPS is 100% legitimate. I have an MOL account.

The moral of the story, if you even have slightest doubt of doing it on your own or having someone with lack of experience, don't do it and get a scanner!. This is something that can't be taken lightly.
 

sfd119

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Here is my .02¢ on the subject....

I realize getting a scanner is the best, but if a person that knows what they are doing and has the technical experience to setup a professional radio
If they had the experience they wouldn't be posting here wondering the difference between smartzone and smartnet.
 

kayn1n32008

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Is it possible for an xts5000 to have both Smartzone and Smartnet systems capabilities installed or is it strictly one or the other?
Please read post #9. Your question is answerd there my Mike Oxlong.

If the radio has smartzone in its flashcode, it will do both. If you only have smartnet, it will NOT do smartzone. You do not need both.
 
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