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Xts 5000

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pumpercaptain

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My vendor is telling me that the XTS 5000 and 2500 can only transmit at 3 watts. In other words, the FCC limits this radio when operating on 800mhz to 3 watts max transmit power.

Is this true? If it is, any way to increase the power after we have the radios in our posession?

Have been testing the XTS 2500 inside buildings and having some trouble getting out of the building and into the system.

We are considering the state wide 800mhz system and the XTS 5000 portable for our dept.

Was thinking if the power could be increased this may help...

Thanks.
 

zz0468

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pumpercaptain said:
My vendor is telling me that the XTS 5000 and 2500 can only transmit at 3 watts. In other words, the FCC limits this radio when operating on 800mhz to 3 watts max transmit power.
That wouldn't be an FCC limitation so much as it would be a manufacturing limitation. If that's what it's designed to do, that's what it will do. There ARE legal limits as to the power output of a portable radio, but there are practical limits too. Heat dissapation is one, so is battery capacity. It's not practical to pack a huge amount of power in such a small package, and it wouldn't be safe.

pumpercaptain said:
Is this true? If it is, any way to increase the power after we have the radios in our posession?
Did your vendor give you a spec sheet? If not, ask him for one. It is what it is. There is no way to modify it for more power.

pumpercaptain said:
Have been testing the XTS 2500 inside buildings and having some trouble getting out of the building and into the system.
This is a very common complaint about 800 MHz systems. It reflects a design deficiency in the system, not the portable.

pumpercaptain said:
We are considering the state wide 800mhz system and the XTS 5000 portable for our dept.

Was thinking if the power could be increased this may help...
Even doubling the power output of the portables wouldn't have much impact. Getting coverage inside buildings can be difficult and expensive. It requires more sites in the system, not more power from the portables.
 
C

comsec1

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don't do it

fire depts should never use any type of "system" for emergency communications nor should PD's for that matter. if your vendor is trying to sell you 800mhz its time to look for another vendor.(NYFD ran into this problem back in 99/2000 when they tried this)
probably the best compromise would be something in the VHF high band for reliable public safty communications, possibly a conventional repeater for your city/county wide and of course simplex for on scene communications.
if you have to you would be better off to seek assistance from a local amatuer radio association than from a company salesperson as they probably have people who are much better RF qualified then a company salesperson whos looking to make a big commision on selling you products and features you will never need.
Don't fall into the trap of being told you need all these bells and whistles, for public safty comms. nothing even comes close to a good old fashioned two-way radio for reliability.
 

N4DES

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pumpercaptain said:
My vendor is telling me that the XTS 5000 and 2500 can only transmit at 3 watts. In other words, the FCC limits this radio when operating on 800mhz to 3 watts max transmit power.

Is this true? If it is, any way to increase the power after we have the radios in our posession?

Have been testing the XTS 2500 inside buildings and having some trouble getting out of the building and into the system.

We are considering the state wide 800mhz system and the XTS 5000 portable for our dept.

Was thinking if the power could be increased this may help...

Thanks.
It would not be pratical to try to increase the power, for one thing you would void any warranty's and decrease battery capacity..

Being you have been trying to use a state owned system, which are almost always designed for mobile coverage, I wouldn't depend on it for in-building coverage. If the agency is set on becoming a participant you need to either get the problem buildings to put in BDA's or use mobile repeater systems that would be the applications of choice. There have been some in-band repeater systems for 800 that are on the market and would fix most, if not all of the coverage issues. I do need to warn you that using a mobile repeater you would loose the signaling features such as Unit ID and Emergency unless another conventional signaling feature is chosen.

It would be best to get a consultant to look at your applications and make recommendations. Coming here to a scanner board to look for concrete answers isn't the right thing for a gov't agency to do especially where employee's lives are at stake.
 

N4DES

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comsec1 said:
fire depts should never use any type of "system" for emergency communications nor should PD's for that matter. if your vendor is trying to sell you 800mhz its time to look for another vendor.(NYFD ran into this problem back in 99/2000 when they tried this)
probably the best compromise would be something in the VHF high band for reliable public safty communications, possibly a conventional repeater for your city/county wide and of course simplex for on scene communications.
if you have to you would be better off to seek assistance from a local amatuer radio association than from a company salesperson as they probably have people who are much better RF qualified then a company salesperson whos looking to make a big commision on selling you products and features you will never need.
Don't fall into the trap of being told you need all these bells and whistles, for public safty comms. nothing even comes close to a good old fashioned two-way radio for reliability.
Oh please, there are many very sucessful 800 systems out there that provide reliable in-building coverage. Don't use NY as the poster child because they have the worst record at having reliable systems and they design there own back-bone networks.

Amateur radio is not the way to go....that is total nonsense. I'll just leave it at that.
 

Grog

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KS4VT said:
Amateur radio is not the way to go....that is total nonsense. I'll just leave it at that.

Yet I bet you've seen trunked systems that look like they were setup by drunken hams, right? For every system that is "perfect" like yours, there will be one that just plain sucks, the others will fall in between.


Like you said, a state system is built for the states needs (mobile coverage) and not for what real cops, fire fighters, and medics need.

Well the meter maid can go to her car to use the radio, she don't count :lol:
 

zz0468

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comsec1 said:
fire depts should never use any type of "system" for emergency communications nor should PD's for that matter. if your vendor is trying to sell you 800mhz its time to look for another vendor.(NYFD ran into this problem back in 99/2000 when they tried this)
probably the best compromise would be something in the VHF high band for reliable public safty communications, possibly a conventional repeater for your city/county wide and of course simplex for on scene communications.
if you have to you would be better off to seek assistance from a local amatuer radio association than from a company salesperson as they probably have people who are much better RF qualified then a company salesperson whos looking to make a big commision on selling you products and features you will never need.
Don't fall into the trap of being told you need all these bells and whistles, for public safty comms. nothing even comes close to a good old fashioned two-way radio for reliability.
Good lord. I hope no one every actually takes advice like this, from a hobby oriented website. It would be complete insanity, and very irresponsible, for a public safety entity to depend on an amateur radio organization to make recommendations for a public safety system. And it would be foolish for any amateur organization to offer such advice.

It was suggested in another thread that the OP try to find a consultant. I would suggest that the OP run, don't walk, away from this site and some of the buffoons that inhabit it, and find someone who can actually help you. Ask your peers in other fire agencies nearby who they use. Go to your local APCO chapter. Anywhere but here.
 
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Grog

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Now it's time for the "hams are stupid and no nothing" group to fight with the "hams know everything about all radios" group :roll:


I can actually think of improvements with my local public safety system that would be a small but useful improvement. Would I suggest it? Of course not since they know everything there is to know about everything :roll:
 

zz0468

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Grog said:
Now it's time for the "hams are stupid and no nothing" group to fight with the "hams know everything about all radios" group :roll:


I can actually think of improvements with my local public safety system that would be a small but useful improvement. Would I suggest it? Of course not since they know everything there is to know about everything :roll:
Give it a rest. I'm a ham, but I'm also employed by a public safety agency as a system engineer. As a ham, I wouldn't dream of offering advice to a non-ham entity, and as a representative of a public safety agency, I wouldn't dream following advice from an amateur organization unless it pertained to a ham radio related project.

This is not intended to denigrate hams, or what they know. When hiring a technician, for example, a ham is going to get bonus points in my evaluation. But a ham is going to be familiar with best amateur practice, and Part 97 of the rules. Where does that make him qualified to make recommendations on a Part 90 system? It doesn't.
 

zz0468

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Just for amusement purposes, i'll share some ham suggestions I've received over the years. These are real suggestions received:

1. Build our own MDT's from scratch because we can get the parts cheaper than we can buy commercially made units.

2. Use amateur packet TNC's for handling MDT data.

3. Shut off trunking and run 20 channels conventional.

4. Our simulcast system is misaligned (from someone listening WELL outside the coverage area).

5. Use smaller dishes on our microwave towers, like the WIFI dishes. They're cheaper!

6. Publish our talk group plan so scanner users can monitor things easier.

7. Use DTMF encoders and decoders so deputies can select sites.

I could go on, but I won't. I'd really rather that non-professionals stay the hell out of our business. We know what we're doing.
 

Grog

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zz0468 said:
Where does that make him qualified to make recommendations on a Part 90 system?

Here's my suggestion, when you issue 128ch radios to the county fire/ems units, why are they only programmed with two zones when stations on the east half have mutual aid frequencies with the counties bordering them, and the west end has mutual aid counties that border them?

You just issued a ton of radios that can have both sets of frequencies, and it's not that large of a county. Why bother setting up one half one way and the other half the other?

Its nonsense, yet I'm only a ham, who cares, right?

Besides, I never said any ham can walk right up and tell a system administrator can run his system, but then again I don't expect a dispatcher to actually talk on a radio on a site either.

Everyone dismisses everyone else, then someone foots the bill for a $100mil system that has coverage gaps bigger then Rosie Os panties.


Oh, yeah, 700/800 saves the day and solves all problems, just like we now have the P25 koolaid drinkers that think it's the best thing ever.


I'm glad I don't have to depend on one of these systems every day, while some work very well (just like to kiss up to Mark :D ) there are also ones that are a disgrace. That's ok, they know how to setup a system, that's what they're paid for :lol:
 

zz0468

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Heh... you're obviously not in the public safety radio business, are you, Grog.

You have some good points... and I agree with most of them, up to and including the comment about 700/800 and P25. I hear you.

What you're probably unaware of, based on your comments, is the level of politics that has gotten in the way. No engineer or technician pushed to force everything onto 800 MHz. That happened purely because of politics, not because that's the ideal piece of spectrum for this. We didn't want trunking. We had to, because of end user demands for capacity, and FCC rules.

Many talk group plans are drawn up by the end user - the cops, or the firemen, who can have some pretty strange ways of doing things. Most radio systems are a mere shadow of what the original engineers dreamed up, and are a result of budget compromises, zoning and environmental restrictions, complaints by the public (nimby's) who don't want a 200' tower in their neighborhood, and surrounding entities who (rightfully) need to reduce co-channel and adjacent channel interference off of THEIR systems.

So, next time you have an urge to call some public safety radio shop to give them some bright ideas, consider that they probably already had the same good idea, and have already lost the war. We really don't want to have to fight it again.
 

Grog

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zz0468 said:
Heh... you're obviously not in the public safety radio business, are you, Grog.


Never claimed to be, but what I see in modern radio systems are usually four groups.


#1 The people who use the system....
#2 The people who pay for the system....
#3 The people who sell the system....
#4 The people who build/maintain the system....


#1 says they want a system to "this"
#3 says they can do it for "X" $$$
#3 says to cut the cost by 30%
#4 looks at #2 with disgust, #3 with contempt, and #1 with pity because they know they are screwed.


How wrong am I? :lol:



My example of the above radios that are programmed that way, I've talked to several who use them and none of them can figure it out. It's not rocket science when you have a county with VHF fire and ems, and they are surrounded with several mutual aid counties with VHF and you have a bloody 128ch radio. There are five counties that could be responded with, and yet there were only two counties programmed, and not even in the same radio.


I've been out there and served my time, very happy to say that all I answer to is myself. If my equipment does not work as needed, I have no one to look at but myself.
 

AES-256

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Ok guys, my 2 cents on the subject..............as mentioned in other posts, get a proper consultant like RCC or CTA, yeah they cost a bundle but they will give you the best solution. Not to be party favorites, but RCC has worked for my county since 1996 when we started to plan a trunking system. Their help has been invaluable in planning changes throughout the years, even today we maintain the same consultant from the firm since 1996 as we design a new P25 7.X moto system.

Now 700/800MHz is not always the best choice and there are many to be had.....it's taken the Washington DC area 35 years to achieve the level of interoperability that I enjoy today. With PG and Stafford getting 700MHz systems, that will complete the area. I have 14 systems and approaching 700 talkgroups in my codeplugs, who would have ever thought of filling the capacity of an XTL/XTS5000 near the 850 channel mark.

What works for us should be a model of interoperability, not to say switching to 700/800MHz, but using similar band assignments to cover a geographical area make the best choice. Establish MOU's with your adjoining jurisdictions, you should have seamless operations, I do. In my Law enforcement codeplugs, I include all Police, Sheriff and Regional Jail talkgroups.....you never know who you might need to talk to or support. Program the national interoperability frequencies in your radios for VHF, UHF, 700/800MHZ........enough can't be said on this one, include dual programming on your command units for Fire and Law Enforcement, the time to write codeplugs on the fly is not on the scene of the Pentagon while it's burning.

On the subject of the XTS500/2500, when purchasing the radios, add 10% of your fleet and carry them as spares, also get a service contract to incude:
Free Fimware updates
A yearly PM on all of yor radios
CPS subscription
 
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