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To P25 or not.

panserv

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
7
Hi everyone, I need some grown up advice.
I live on a tiny island where specialist stuff is scarce and hard to come by. I do have lots of experience with land mobile systems, analog, but none with digital.
I want to set up and install a small UHF system, voice and text capable, that can do both P25 and analog based on UHF ( 415Mhz ish) Quantar repeater. To start with:
One Quantar and qty 3 to qty 5, XTS5000 handies; Phase 2 might include another Quantar for signal fill in purposes and not to accomodate more portable radios.

To keep costs down, I can buy a Quantar used, from one dealer over the phone and thereafter he will do the necessary programming etc.
The same for the XTS5000Vportables, but from a different dealer.
I will then rig up power managment, duplexer and antennas on site.

Am I dreaming the nightmare of the inexperienced digital fool ?
There must be many parameters that go into programming what I need.
I dont even know which firmware, hardware options are needed.

Not being familiar with P25, I dont even know if I should buy the portables first, the Quantar can then authenticate.


I would appreciate some learned common sense.
Thank you !
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
3,337
Location
Texas
Quantar's are "dumb" repeaters in that they only look for a matching NAC (or tone) and then retransmit that NAC (or tone). They physically don't care what the traffic going across them is...whether or not it validated, etc. They just care about the NAC/tone being correct. As far as linking Quantar's goes...easiest way is the same way you'd link analog repeaters, shotgun and hub methodology. Of course, this requires serial interfacing between the site Quantar and it's "link" station but it is actually presented in the Quantar service/installation manual. The next method is via an IP/serial network but takes some know-how to do correctly (communications.support used to have a good write-up on it).

With the XTS line, I'm pretty sure text messages have to be pre-defined and are not SMS like they are with DMR.
 

panserv

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Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
7
Pre defined...you mean you have a set of standard texts ( am out call u later etc.) and thats all you can send or receive ?
 
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Yes. Apparently if you have a Model 3 you can go with direct keypad entry. Also read some issues with repeater firmware being very buggy with the TMS option (have to make sure RD-LAP is enabled on the repeaters).
 

mmckenna

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Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
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Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Hi everyone, I need some grown up advice.
I live on a tiny island where specialist stuff is scarce and hard to come by. I do have lots of experience with land mobile systems, analog, but none with digital.
I want to set up and install a small UHF system, voice and text capable, that can do both P25 and analog based on UHF ( 415Mhz ish) Quantar repeater. To start with:
One Quantar and qty 3 to qty 5, XTS5000 handies; Phase 2 might include another Quantar for signal fill in purposes and not to accomodate more portable radios.

Can I ask why P25?

There are several other digital modes that will do what you want at lower costs. P25 gear is usually at the higher end of the price scale. DMR or NXDN would be a cheaper approach.
 

panserv

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
7
Can I ask why P25?

There are several other digital modes that will do what you want at lower costs. P25 gear is usually at the higher end of the price scale. DMR or NXDN would be a cheaper approach.
Why P25?
The P25 radios I have had the chance to use, Astro saber were robust and , at least it looked to em , that P25 was less likely to dropouts than DMR . Maybe it was the particular DMR equipment was not that well set up, so its just my impression.
I also saw Motorola's XTS5000 and they are robust radios. I am not sure if I can get a better deal with a brand new mid market DMR than a used XTS5000 I can buy for 400 to 500 $.
And there is something else.
Nobody uses P25 here, and this unfamiliarity would tend to put off casual listening and repeater tampering.

I might be wrong on all counts and be better served with Mototrb stuff.
And this is why I posted this thread.
thus far, thank you .
 

MTS2000des

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Jul 12, 2008
Messages
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Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
DMR is much more scalable, affordable, and will do advanced features like SMS, call alert, encryption (including AES-256), easier to network, and tons of MODERN SUPPORTED subscribers from dozens of vendors..TDMA gives you 2 repeaters for the price of one, shall I go on? P-25 is a waste of time and overkill. Not to mention spending money and time configuring and optimizing long discontinued hardware can be an exercise in futility.

The same 400-500 dollars for used, out of warranty, off support XTS radios will buy you NEW IN WARRANTY, FULLY SUPPORTED DMR high tier subscribers from (insert vendor here).

Repeaters? Quality DMR repeaters are the same as some used Quantar with potential problems, nevermind the setup can be a pain. Your networking is a breeze in the DMR world, provided you use the same vendor for your FNE.

P25 is a money sucking vacuum cleaner and time vampire. Used P-25, add a multiplier of 100 for time wasting budget.
 

mmckenna

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I might be wrong on all counts and be better served with Mototrb stuff.
And this is why I posted this thread.
thus far, thank you .
If you walk into this with preconceived notions about brand names and specific technologies, then you're likely off ahead of yourself.

If you know what the finished product needs to be, it's better to approach with an open mind. If you are simply looking at a brand name/technology, then it sounds like you've made your decision.

It's your money, it's up to you.
 

panserv

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
7
[QUOTE

P25 is a money sucking vacuum cleaner and time vampire. Used P-25, add a multiplier of 100 for time wasting budget.
[/QUOTE]

Time vampire, Hmm, Just when I decided to pick up this project again when it was shelved for the last 3 years because of time was never available........
400-500 For high tier portables, any favorites ?, or is this out of line favorism on this forum ? (new guy sorry)
 

MTS2000des

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Jul 12, 2008
Messages
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Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
I'm vendor agnostic.
Motorola, Hytera, L3 Harris, a metric ton of Chinese radios for less.
XPR7550Es are heavily discounted if purchased in volume. Waterproof, pretty bulletproof and receiver sensitivity on them is miles above a 15 year old XTS.

Your biggest challenge will be getting networked Quantars. I'd go DMR. NXDN is good too, but your subscriber and FNE choices are pretty much Kenwood and Icom.

Depends on what your budget is, both money and time. P-25 is designed for big budgets out of the gate. DMR/NXDN is designed for those who don't have other people's money to spend.
 

mmckenna

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Joined
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Messages
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400-500 For high tier portables, any favorites ?, or is this out of line favorism on this forum ? (new guy sorry)
Nothing wrong with favoritism.
We occasionally get newcomers that show up and want to build their own radio system. Usually they have chosen a specific radio brand/model for some unknown reason, and won't budge from that. More often then not, they want to "do it themselves" and have little or no budget. Usually the chosen radio model is a high tier public safety type/tier radio.
It can get expensive really fast.

Unless you have a specific need to use P25 for interoperability with someone else, it's usually a huge waste of money. I spec'd out a new trunked radio system many years ago and we closely looked at P25, DMR and NXDN. Part of the decision was based on the long term cost of portables. A radio system is only good if my customers can afford the radios needed to work on the system.

I went with NXDN based on a number of reasons, mostly because Motorola had locked down DMR too far for our comfort and there was no real competition at the time. If I was making the decision again, it would probably be a close race between DMR and NXDN.

DMR has a lot more options now, more vendors, more radios, etc.

As for security, it's easy to run some level of encryption on DMR as well as NXDN. Even basic encryption will stump the casual listener/hobbyist.

Probably your best bet is to look at what's available where ever you are. Buying someone elses used equipment off e-Bay can be really hit or miss. Lots of posts on this site about deals gone bad. If budget isn't a big deal, you can get new radios for the price you were looking at the XTS5K's for.

XTS-5000's are big radios, too. Sort of OK for a duty belt, but most users prefer a smaller radio.
 

TampaTyron

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Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
675
Location
Tampa, FL
Going to jump into this pile as well, what digital trunking capable radios are available to you locally (DMR, NXDN, etc)? What radio shop support is available to you locally? If you are importing everything in and you are your own support, I get it. But, be aware that in most instances, the local support determines how well the system performs. I would purchase whatever is local/easiest to get support for first, then brand second. This is coming from someone who touches MOTOTRBO systems almost exclusively as a full time job (and I am the guy who cleans up messes made by "professionals". You have hundreds of years worth of knowledge and experience trying to guide you in the forum. TT
 

panserv

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
7
Ok. Well I am not entering in this set on some fixed idea, only to pay for it dearly in the longer run, which is why I came here for advice.
So considering what you all told me used P25 is out; New P25 is way too expensive here, because we have one dealership; i could buy all the bits from elsewhere, but after sales support will then be difficult.
We do have Tetra for public safety here and a few DMR repeaters for private business and one or two for Ham service.

I think my better choice will be DMR.
At least I have some vendor choice. Hytera seem ok and their DMR radios are approved for use in Europe, as mototrbo.
We have a local communications agency here, much like your FCC, and before I can get to "own" my repeater frequencies, I gotta fill out this form with brand, EMC certification and serial number too, plus where I will install the repeater.
I got to talk to them friendly like a few days ago, and the guy said "we dont want to come across as hawkish, but we get all the crap complaints from interference to other services".........Anyway his point is dont install tarsh and you will be fine.
I dont know what the FCC is like over in the US , but for me this was another reason to walk away from second hand P25. Using DMR, which these guys are familiar with will give me less licence probs.

Thank you all for your input guys, you have all been great.
Appreciated.
 

12dbsinad

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
1,046
Bottom line, you're paying top dollar for antiquated equipment and technology by going P25 with quantars and XTS5000's.

Anything with the word "P25" is double or triple the cost of other digital modes that work just as good or better. All you are doing is paying for the ridiculous licensing fee's, and that is passed down to used equipment.
 

N4DES

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
2,156
Like most have said, DMR will give you two for the price of one in throughput. I don't know why you are still entertaining analog and another thing to consider is the Quantar line is quickly going out of support (approximately 2 years left) so unless you stockpile spare parts and have them all tuned so you can do a quick FRU replacement, you might be paying double in about 3 or 4 years.

You never mentioned anything in the OP about what kind of site or height this will go in comparison to the "tiny" island.
 
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