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Everything posted by gman1971

  1. Digital radios work basically like a phone, except that YOU are the person in charge of managing the logistical/technical aspects of it as well. You have to manage contacts, talk groups, frequencies, etc... much the same way that when you sign up for T-Mobile or ATT cellphone, etc, they add your info to their database, thus effectively adding your "contact" to the database, and then handing you a phone with a number (same as handing you a radio with an ID ) that is programmed to work on their towers (frequencies/channels) G.
  2. TETRA is another option available, but is not very popular in the US. Its basically the big brother of DMR... 4 slot TDMA... Prepping and SHTF, you should probably use AM/SSB to establish contact, then use digital encrypted for trusted intercom. I think FM still has issues due to PL/DCS codes potentially preventing interoperability like AM/SSB would. Digital has other advantages over analog, that I use extensively, text messages and call alerts, along with radio checks and if you have a dispatch console or something like that you can do real time tracking of assets etc, OTAP... etc. G.
  3. Dang this thread is picking up! Way to go LScott... G.
  4. MH-700D --- DTMF Back-lit Microphone MH-25 A8J --- Microphone BTW, I couldn't find that particular radio on the MOL site, so it must be prior to the Moto/Vertex merger. G.
  5. Yep, the pot issue was fixed after certain serial #, or TANAPA, don't remember when... but two of my three remaining 6550 have a pretty solid volume pot, but the other one is a bit on the flimsy side... Agree with Radioguy, just get another radio, unless you have mad soldering skills... so : G.
  6. I got mine setup here: https://www.motorolasolutions.com On the right upper corner, click -> Sign In, there is a popup, at the bottom of the popup it says "Don't have an account?" click -> Register and follow the instructions there. That is how I opened mine.
  7. @Lscott Still, admitting these things in public forums could get you in trouble, just saying. I personally decided to purchase the software, 169, considering the amount of radio equipment I've purchased over the years, I figured it wasn't too bad. @tweiss3 I think Moto is been split into two companies for a while now, Motorola Solutions is supposedly the same as the original Moto from back then. Wonder if its browser related? I remember Motorola preferred IE back when I opened mine... maybe that's changed. Or perhaps if you are using a VPN its throwing it off. All I know is that aside from the 1-2 weeks wait time until my MOL account was approved, the application was pretty straightforward. If you like Vertex, all the software is freely available for download at MOL, again: free of charge!!, and the EVX line of radios in particular is pretty nice... and quite affordable too. G.
  8. Sadly... and it doesn't have to be that way, you know it... Yep, that page you provided is awesome, and I've exchanged emails with Jason about a few things... guy is a walking encyclopedia.... but a man should know his limitations, and soldering something like that is not something I am willing to risk ruining the radio... heh. Not when I can get some more XPR 5550e radios to boot (darn Motorola fanboy) G.
  9. We shouldn't be posting publicly how to break the password of a TRBO radio. Motorola might not like that... just a word of caution. It promotes people potentially stealing radios. G.
  10. Yep, I didn't like when the Vertex lineup went away either, I own several of these EVX radios which have served me well... but I am not partial to Yaesu, the thing was that these EVX radios had pretty decent receivers, on par with the XPR7550 (non e model) but lacked some of the bells and whistles their XPR counterparts had, and some of the stuff isn't quite compatible with XPR radios... but they work.Those can be had for cheap on eBay, and the CPS is free, as it is available in MOL resource center, free of charge. Well, yes, good antenna is certainly important, no doubt, but it needs to be mated to a receiver capable of handling it and taking advantage of the antenna gain, otherwise, using a poor receiver means worse performance. This performance degradation shows in two forms: Desense or intermod. Most low end direct conversion receivers will desense, really bad in some cases, and superhets with piss poor front ends (or no front end) will intermod like its going out of style. For example, mating the AT-578 to the 2-bay dipole kills the radio due to intermod, I get massive intermod from the NOAA station blasting <1 mile from base, this intermod breaks in every single frequency on that 578 radio, but that intermod doesn't happen with none the EVX radios nor the XPR radios, nor the CDM radios I have. When performing ISO-tee tests on direct conversion receivers, which work "reasonably well" with a rubber duck, will desense several dB when mated to the 2-bay dipole, or a high gainer vertical. So, while the antenna might offer a hefty 4.15 dBd gain, the 10 dB desense on the receiver will yield a net gain of -6 dB, thus mating a good antenna to a poor receiver will result in lower range than if you were using a rubber duck. Again, quality of the receiver is paramount if you expect your range measured in tens of miles as opposed to tenths of a mile. A good antenna depends on the receiver as much as the radio depends on a good antenna, both go hand in hand. Now, the one thing that is above having a good receiver, and a good antenna, is elevation, period. If you want range, you need height, but if you can't get height, then you must resort to better receivers and better antennas (which is what I had to do) I understand your concerns about Motorola, but let me tell you, I had no idea about Motorola radios 1 1/2 years ago, total noob. In fact I was somewhat worried about going Motorola, all those old wives tales about Motorola lawyers, Motorola hating hams, hating individuals, MOL account denials... etc... etc... plus I was a total noob, too... (still am, b/c those radios have so many options (LScott can vouch for that) and some of the more advanced stuff like CapMax, etc, I've never even used.) Anyhow, I persevered and got the hang of it (for the most part). Documentation is aplenty on Motorola equipment, and you can download service manuals for pretty much everything, there are training videos all over the internet for their stuff, and the software is just 169 bucks. I know, its not CCR free, but the thing works, and the guys who wrote it deserve being paid, they do make a salary, as opposed to the forced labor who wrote the CCR CPS, probably made 10 dollar per week, at best ... The point is that a single purchase gets you all the radios you can buy, forever. I did it, and never looked back. While I understand the software might be accessible via non-legal ways, I will NOT advocate doing that. The CPS 16 can also be download from MyView, along with the latest CPS (which personally I don't recommend using unless you don't have a choice) Then there are forums of people who all they use is Motorola gear, you can always ask around. G.
  11. You are luckier than I am then... I rarely get 10% off buy it nows, etc... the only way to get a deal is by snipping stuff and being lucky... G.
  12. @Radioguy7268 I totally agree. IMO, there are a lot more to those Motorolas than just a darn good receiver, which is, IMO, the utmost important component in a radio, of course, followed closely by a good transmitter; but then there is the whole management aspect on those Motorolas: Like OTAP via WiFi or BT, programming with no cables, on the go, and the whole battery management stuff that is pretty darn useful (and cool) too. @Lscott Yep, that going around testing batteries is no longer an issue with the IMPRES stuff. You can see every bit of relevant information over the life of a battery... and b/c the charger knows the status of the battery, it helps the batteries last longer too. The calibration cycles (or yellow) discharges the battery help keep the batteries cycled and simulate a full duty cycle every once in a while. Lithium packs don't usually like to be left on the charger fully charged for long periods of time... so on the IMPRES 2 stuff you get a flashing green-yellow indicating you should let it run the calibration cycle... or swap the pack and set the calibration on that one... It gives you a snapshot of the state of the battery fleet, and like radioguy7268 said, you can also report that info via WiFi too... so pretty darn cool. Welcome to the Motorola country club! G
  13. Yep, I know that well... With that said, I believe that something like a CDM 1250 will be a far better radio for GMRS, or some of the older Kenwood/Icom/Vertex LMR mobiles, plus those won't get blitzed under heavy RF traffic (as in: no desense, and little to no intermod) The CDM Professional radios can be aligned manually at home with a simple signal generator and a SINADder. The software can be found on the web and the the programming cable+jumper pin can be made at home for the cost of a CAT5 adapter. Maybe having a tiny 2" inch color screen is more important than having a decent receiver... ? G.
  14. sniping sometimes works on eBay, but it might not work if the other person is determined to have it. G.
  15. @tweiss3 Well, owning radios with inferior receivers seems silly to me too, so? your point? Also, its all good while you have a car, or have a place to run those 3 deckers behemoths, and 110 watts is just hair over 3dBm more than 50 watts: which means that if you can't reach with 50w, 110w is probably not going to do it either. Also, those 110watts are going to suck the battery dry and potentially shorten the MTBF of the device due to heat, if you have an unmatched antenna, etc. Then there is the fact that XPR7550e has a 4-5 dBm advantage over the NX radios in terms of digital receiver performance, so I can run 50watt and b/c my radios have superior receivers I don't need to run 110watts to achieve the same performance. Having a 3 decks, 2 faceplate radio in a real SHTF, where cars might not be an option, and bugging in might not be possible either, you are only left with carrying what you can hold/fit on your backpack, and a 3 decker 2 faceplate leadsled behemoth, along with a battery pack capable of churning those 110 watts for any amount of time that is not measured in milliseconds, plus the solar panel array to recharge it in a timely manner; well, maybe you are Hercules and can haul all that stuff around just fine, but I am certainly not going to pretend, and as someone who does long hikes with his backpack radio equipment almost on a daily basis, it seems like there might be some extra weight and space problems in there for your all mode-all-band-all mighty utopia. If you need that much all-mode all-band juice, then just buy a good scanner, bud. I did, works great, and it fits on my pocket!! Having three decks on 2 faceplates is no different than me owning two 5550e and an APX8500 with all bands enabled. Yeah, I have one extra faceplate... so? Last, but not least, as for vehicular repeaters; bud, I've been operating multiple DMR vehicular repeaters for about a year now. How many do you say you personally own and operate, again? G.
  16. Well, I see what you are saying, but truthfully, it wasn't a problem for me (and I used to have only dual band radios before, at least dual), but then I don't use my radios to do hammy stuff, my radios are primarily for business, and then for extremely reliable comms within the family. So I don't particularly care about the number of bands or modulations available: I have all I need already. There is also a logistical nightmare associated with dealing with 4 decks, and all the power those decks require, etc. How do I know? b/c I have a digital repeater on each vehicle, built from 2 EVX-5300 decks + the XPR 5550e, and trust me, its a major pain in the rear, dealing with triplexers, multiple antennas, cables, etc... I can't imagine dealing with one more extra deck, no thanks. I much rather pay for a P25 APX8500 than deal with these pains. Also, I don't think the NXDN radios can do all three modulations at once. You have to pick 2 out of the three. To me, this is a tactic used b/c you can't compete in the receiver performance, so they have to make up for it somewhere else. To me, the reason why Kenwood is doing this multi-mode stuff is b/c their receivers are inferior to the ones in the XPR and APX radios, so in order to offer something Moto doesn't have, they do that. The same gimmick as the CCRs with fancy screens and gazillion contacts. The TRBO radios and APX radios currently have the best receivers money can buy, which for me was pretty much the whole point of having a radio, a radio that isn't deaf or has an inferior receiver. Again, I much rather have one, or two 99.9% reliable channels than all the bands and modulations in the world. IMO, FM is the only modulation I wouldn't mind having multi band support, but for digital, without knowing all the parameters, TGs, etc, its kinda useless for interop purposes. That is been my experience with digital modes at least. G.
  17. TRBO radios do not have dual deck option, the 5550e is single deck, so is the 5550 and the 4550. All TRBO XPR radios are single band. The top end APX radios have multiband built in, so you don't need any multideck. The APX8500 mobile will do VHF, UHF1+2 and 800-900 mhz, in all modulations, FM, P25 and I think there are other digital modes, but again, I don't own one so I don't know the details. Now, the 8500 is a 4000+ dollar radio, so not sure how rich is your blood, but its certainly not within what I am willing to spend just to have two bands that I don't use. To me, it would've been more valuable with 6m, 2m, 70cm and 23cm, but... If you need info on the XPR lineup, just post here, or send me PM directly, I'll be glad to help. G.
  18. I usually return radios that are password protected, no matter what. Even if I can open them in CPS. To me a password protected radio seems fishy, and potentially stolen, so IMO its better to pass on such radios. There are people who keep track of these stolen radios in the different radio forums... G.
  19. Yep, about a 10dB advantage in free space vs UHF. Obviously UHF has some advantages since it can fit over smaller openings, but to me, I think a 900MHz FHSS radio is a better alternative to UHF 462mhz, especially for operating inside buildings, or metal structures, b/c the smaller 900mhz wavelength allows it to literally get through a lot better, (about half the size of GMRS) but for open terrain raw range I believe VHF is the only way to go... IMO. And those XPR7550e on VHF have receivers that are out of this world good... G.
  20. Yes, IMPRES batteries do have a chip that has a lot of info on them. I purchased the battery fleet management program, along with a 6-bay IMPRES 2 charger with an LCD and USB to hook up to the computer, so you can see all the data on the computer (or the LCD display) about the batteries, and you know if you are being scammed, or not. With the program you can assign names to each battery, and place them in groups, etc. You can also do WiFi battery fleet management too, there is a whole lot of stuff you can do in that regard... pretty cool IMO. Now, be aware that Motorola has batteries that are still genuine Motorola but are not IMPRES capable. Those will show on the charger as Motorola, but not IMPRES, so you don't see the number of cycles, the service life, etc.. G.
  21. You're probably right, but VHF also reaches a lot further than UHF; and under most circumstances I can get a lot further in VHF business itinerants on 25w than I can on GMRS on 50w... as in, a LOT further. G.
  22. Thanks Scott. VHF 6550 for 75 is a good deal. That would make it about 100 with charger. So that is good! I really think you should get an XPR7550e. The audio on the XPR7550e is much better than the 6550... but again, I started with a bunch of 6550 before I decided to "upgrade" G.
  23. Nothing wrong with looking for bargains. I got some radios for dirt cheap, they needed some cleanup, or a new housing, after a housing transplant the radio is pretty much brand new. The XPR radios are a breeze to work on. They literally slide out of the housing, everything is modular. While the XPR 6550 has two torx screws on the chassis, the XPR7550 series do not, and they just slide out with a small pry-bar. I've replaced a dozen or so housings on those, super easy, and several SL7550 radios too, those SL7550 are a little bit more involved, but not really that much. You can strip a XPR7550 down to bare housing in less than 10 minutes. G.
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