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n1das's Achievements

  1. LOL, that's me. I am the one who started that thread on RR. I have a couple of T800 Talkabouts and the X-Pand in them appears to be a little less aggressive compared to the older Talkabouts. Motorola probably has tweaked the amount of compression and expansion over the years to make it work better. The older Talkabouts were manufactured for Motorola by Giant International in China. The deal with Giant International ended several years ago and the newer T-series Talkabouts are genuine Motorola manufactured in Malaysia. I noticed the build quality is much better in the newer T-series Talkabouts. I thought Motorola may have tweaked the companding in them based on past (bad) experiences with the older TalkAbouts. My wife (g/f at the time) and I had a pair of Motorola Talkabout 250 FRS radios back in the early days of FRS (14 channels). This was around 1997-1998. The Talkabout 250 aggressively compressed the Tx audio and aggressively expanded the receive audio. When hearing audio from other radios that didn't compand their audio, the expander in the Talkabouts totally blew the audio apart to the point that basic functionality as a 2-way radio was seriously impaired. Even when both Talkabout 250 radios talked to each other and properly compressed the Tx audio and properly expanded the Rx audio, the audio was still BAD. It was square wave audio between the Talkabouts and hearing expanded audio from non-companded radios was even worse. It. Was. THAT. Bad. It is no wonder that Motorola's X-Pand audio companding system is so seriously hated. The Talkabout FRS radios and Motorola's business radios aka business bubble packs as I like to call them could be cleaned up and made a lot better if Motorola would add the option to disable X-Pand. Using X-Pand requires ALL radios talking to each other to be using X-Pand in order for all radios to sound right. Use X-Pand when all radios are using X-Pand and disable X-Pand when one or more radios in a group don't have X-Pand. If a radio has an audio companding feature, the radio needs to have the ability to enable or disable the feature. Unfortunately X-Pand is always enabled in the Talkabouts and in Motorola's analog business radios and there is no option to disable X-Pand. I expected the T600 H2O radios to have X-Pand like the other Talkabouts and was pleasantly surprised to find it is one of a few Talkabout models that don't have X-Pand. The only newer T-series Talkabouts I have experience with to date are the T800, T600, and T460/465. T460/465: Has X-Pand T800: Has X-Pand T600 H2O: NO X-Pand
  2. https://shop.motorolasolutions.com/t600-rechargeable-two-way-radios-dual-pack/product/T6B22201GWRAAW I keep a few FRS radios around for occasional light casual use, especially when my young nephews come for a visit. Even though I have higher end commercial radios for GMRS and ham use, I keep a few FRS radios around to have as disposable radios and for my nephews to play with. One thing about the Motorola Talkabout FRS radios and Motorola's analog business radios is they use companding on narrowband channels. It is an audio enhancement feature to try to improve the audio S/N ratio. Motorola claims it helps the audio sound "clearer" compared to other radios. Motorola calls their companding system "X-Pand" and implemented it across their product lines. With Motorola's top tier radios, the compander can be enabled or disabled per channel. On the Motorola Talkbabout FRS radios and business radios or business bubble packs as I like to call them, the compander is always enabled and there is no option to disable it. Motorola went all in with companding on narrowband channels in their low end radios. Companding - Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org Motorola's X-Pand companding system generally works as advertised but it requires ALL radios talking to each other to be companding their audio for all radios to sound right. It's an all or nothing type deal. Problems arise when some radios talking to each other don't compand their audio. The expander in the Talkabout's receiver expands audio that wasn't compressed originally and blows it apart, resulting in muffled and distorted audio. The Talkabout's receive audio overall sounds like 'expletive' when this happens. It sounds like somebody stuffed a sock in the speaker. This is what Motorola's crappy and much hated X-Pand audio companding system tends to sound like more often than not. Motorola could really clean up the audio on the Talkabouts and business radios if they provided an option to disable the compander. Use the compander if ALL radios talking to each other are companding their audio, otherwise don't use the compander at all. I found a couple of Motorola Talkabouts don't have the companding feature like the others have. The Tx/Rx audio is a world of difference better on these radios. One model is the T600 waterproof radio. I recently picked up a few of these and was pleasantly surprised to find this model DOES NOT compand the audio. Yay!! The Tx/Rx audio sounds pretty good compared to my commercial radios I use on ham and GMRS. The Talkabout model the T600 replaced (MS350R) also did not compand the audio. https://shop.motorolasolutions.com/t600-rechargeable-two-way-radios-dual-pack/product/T6B22201GWRAAW Just thought I would share what I found about the Talkabout T600 waterproof FRS radio. :)
  3. I've thought of doing this but don't have any LTR capable radios. It would be set up as a single channel LTR system and with the pulse turned off. I have heard of exactly this being done to thwart repeater jammers and unauthorized users. I've thwarted a well known jammer in the past by using DCS/DPL instead of CTCSS/PL. The jammer in this case had antiquated radios that only had CTCSS/PL capability and no DCS/DPL capability. He also didn't have a clue about DCS/DPL. I've heard him screaming on the air about being unable to get into my repeater. He was continually p!$$ed about not being able to get into the repeater after trying almost every CTCSS/PL tone. I've heard of DPL also being referred to as "Definitely Prevents Losers" LOL. This won't work today with most modern radios having DCS/DPL in addition to CTCSS/PL.
  4. I would leave them alone and enjoy what you hear. They could be using DLRs instead of DTRs because they are compatible with the DTRs. The local Costco Wholesale store near me uses DLR radios and I can hear them on my DTR650 and DTR700 radios when I'm in range. The local business you are hearing is 100% legit with their radios. It's not your problem, so don't make it your problem. No need to spoil their fun and your ability to listen to them. They probably don't have a clue and are simply using the radios right out of the box at the factory default settings like FRS bubble packs. That's how the local Costco store near me seems to operate. The DLRs will transmit very badly distorted audio if someone shouts into them or talks too close to the mic. You can tell when DLRs are being used by the badly distorted audio. The DTR600/700 models have better transmit audio due to automatic gain control (AGC) in the Tx audio path. The DLRs and legacy DTR410/550/650 models don't have AGC in the transmit audio. The DTR600/700 models have the best Tx audio, the DLRs have the worst audio, and the legacy DTR410/550/650 models are somewhere in between. I wish Motorola would update the firmware in the DLRs to add AGC to the transmit audio. I have custom programming in my DTR fleet and have several private groups set up in them. I mostly use the private groups. I purposely keep the factory default programming in them as part of my custom programming to monitor for local activity in my travels and to be able to talk to defaulted DTRs and DLRs if needed.
  5. WB9VLW DE N1DAS, Congrats! BKmetz of TDIclub? Anyhow congrats! 73, N1DAS
  6. Just turn the roger beep off and be done with it. That's the first thing I always do with an FRS radio. A radio whether it's an FRS bubble pack or a top tier commercial radio sounds way more professional without a roger beep.
  7. Check out the video in the link above. I recommend changing out all of the PL-259 and SO-239 connectors and replacing them with N connectors. On the mobile radio, use an N female to PL-259 adapter screwed right onto the mobile radio's SO-239. This is the next best thing to changing the connector on the radio. Do the same thing at the antenna if the antenna has an SO-239. Then use N connectors for everything from the mobile radio all the way to the antenna. Impedance discontinuities (mismatches) caused by connectors contribute to SWR problems and must be avoided. I will not use a PL-259 (plug) or SO-239 (socket) on anything operating above 30MHz. Not worth the trouble, including SWR problems.
  8. Check out the Retevis RB75 5W IP67 Waterproof long standby GMRS handheld. 4500mAh battery! The standby time is around 300 hours (12.5 days). The battery capacity is more than enough for plenty of talk time too. https://www.retevis.com/RB75-Waterproof-Long-Standby-GMRS-Handheld-Two-way-Radios Also check out the Retevis RB27: https://www.retevis.com/RB27-30-Channel-GMRS-Long-Range-Two-way-Radios-with-NOAA#A9216AX1
  9. D065N and D331N are the DPLs I've found the most often. I'll take a look at the Part 90 cert. I'm skeptical of the Part 90 cert because the one area where it would violate Part 90 is programmability from the keyboard by the end user. Under Part 90, the radio can't be anything more than a channelized radio for the end user. I know some higher end commercial radios have FPP (front panel programmability) but they also include a way in the programming to disable FPP for the end user. The HD1 would be required to have the capability to disable programming from the keyboard in order to be Part 90 compliant. I own an HD1 and so far I have only programmed it from the keyboard. The CPS may have a Part 90 mode for it. I've noticed the deviation in narrow bandwidth mode is a little on the low side compared to other radios I have in narrow mode. The deviation in wide bandwidth mode is OK. As for receive performance, the carrier squelch level in wide bandwidth mode is so tight even when set at the threshold that it's practically unusable. Received signals have to be near DFQ to unsquelch the receiver in wide mode. Narrow mode works good and reliably unsquelches on weak signals. The HD1 is a CCR (Cheap Chinese Radio) and works OK for ham use and unfortunately that's about where it ends. I already knew that when I got the HD1. The HD1 is one of my throwaway radios.
  10. This system sounds exactly like what (The) Home Depot uses. The portables I've seen at (The) Home Depot in my area are from Advanced Wireless and have a bridge from the conventional analog portables to the smart devices. There is nothing unique about the Advanced Wireless portables. They are conventional UHF portables. They are low end UHF business band portables. They are really low end, like the Motorola CLS series UHF analog portables. (The) Home Depot near me uses 467.7625MHz D331N. "(Musical bleeps) Attention associates! New order!" The OP should know that the HD1 is a ham radio portable and is not FCC certified for Part 90 use. The HD1 is not legal for transmitting outside the ham bands in the USA, even if Part 90 licensed and the boss says it's OK. The OP should check that the radio is exactly on the correct frequency. DPL is sensitive to frequency errors in the transmitter and receiver. A signal received a couple of kHz off-frequency will cause DPL decoding problems because this introduces a DC offset in the FM discriminator output in the receiver. The decoder sees a step function instead of the DPL data for a few seconds and causes slow decoding or failure to decode.
  11. I too have noticed an uptick of business use over the past couple of years since the rewrite of the Part 95 rules in 2017. I'm not complaining since business use of FRS is 100% legal. We have to coexist as best we can. Going with the flow of Part 90 by narrowbanding my commercial gear on GMRS solved all of my adjacent channel splatter problems.
  12. FRS is narrowband only (11k2f3e). Commercial users can't be using FRS radios if they can be programmed for wideband (16k0f3e or 20k0f3e) operation. Just sayin'. I have experienced adjacent channel splatter from the 12.5kHz interstitials on the GMRS primary channels. It's happened when I'm listening to a GMRS primary channel (wideband) and kids in my neighborhood are playing around with FRS bubble packs on an FRS channel 12.5kHz away from the GMRS primary channel I'm listening to. I was experiencing adjacent channel splatter even though the FRS users were operating narrow band with legal FRS radios. I have also had one of my GMRS repeaters which was operating wideband at the time get hit by FRS traffic on the 467MHz FRS channels adjacent to the repeater input. The FRS users were local to the repeater and on a 467MHz FRS channel 12.5kHz away from the repeater input. The CTCSS tone they were using happened to match one of the CTCSS tones in the repeater. The repeater would get keyed up and scraps of badly distorted audio would be heard through the repeater. I've witnessed the same thing happening to GMRS repeaters in other areas of the country in my travels and have even heard GMRS users on the repeater yelling at the FRS users to stop and of course the FRS users won't hear them LOL. Since I'm using good quality Part 90 commercial gear, I went with the flow of Part 90 narrowbanding and switched all of my commercial radios and the repeater to narrow (11k2f3e) mode on all GMRS channels. Narrowing the transmit deviation and tightening up the receiver solved all of my adjacent channel splatter from the interstitials and also solved it in the repeater. All of my adjacent channel splatter problems went away completely as soon as I made the switch to narrow mode on all GMRS channels.
  13. Motorola CB300-D DLR based retail call box: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/en_us/products/two-way-radio-accessories/call-boxes/retail-call-boxes/cb300-digital-retail-call-box.html#taboverview I haven't seen any of these yet in my travels.
  14. Cane Wireless DB-1020/1060 DLR based desktop 2-way radio / wireless intercom: http://www.canewirelesspro.com/db-100-digital-desktop-radio.html A little pricey for what it is but would work for businesses wanting the convenience of a desktop radio with a larger speaker than a DLR radio.
  15. I have played around with the companding option in my commercial radios I use on GMRS. I end up turning the compander off after a while because of the issues it causes. The companding feature does work as advertised to help clean up the audio SNR. The companded audio has a "processed" quality to it and I don't mind that. The problem is it requires ALL radios talking to each other to also be using companding in order to sound right. It's an all or nothing type deal. Radios that don't compress their transmitted audio will sound muffled and distorted when heard out of companded radios. The expander in the receiver expands audio that wasn't compressed originally and blows it apart and sounds like 'expletive'. The compander is best left disabled when you have a mix of radios that do and don't compand their audio. Motorola includes a low level expander (LLE) option in their top tier radios. When using LLE, the transmit audio is not compressed, only the received audio is expanded by a small amount. It gives the audio a very slightly "fuzzy" quality to it under some conditions. Overall if a radio has companding capability, the radio needs to include the option to disable the compander. The compander feature should be OFF by default. The Motorola Talkabout FRS bubble packs use companding. Motorola calls this feature "X-Pand". The compander is always enabled and with no option to disable it. With Motorola's VHF and UHF business radios, the Business Bubble Packs as I like to call them also compand audio on narrow bandwidth channels with no option to disable the compander. People who have complained about bad receive audio quality out of the Motorola Talkabout FRS bubble packs are really complaining about the effects of the compander on the received audio, especially when hearing radios that don't compress their transmit audio because they don't have companding. Motorola could greatly improve the Talkabout FRS bubble packs by simply adding the option to disable the compander. My wife (g/f at the time) and I had a pair of Motorola Talkabout 250 FRS bubble packs in the early days of FRS. The Talkabout 250 was one of the early 14-channel FRS bubble packs from Motorola. It was one of the first models to push their "X-Pand" audio companding feature. Motorola added X-Pand to all of their analog radios back then. Motorola's top tier radios have the ability to enable or disable companding on a per channel basis. With Motorola's FRS bubble packs and their business bubble packs, the compander is always enabled. The Talkabout 250 had LOUD audio for hearing them in noisy environments which I liked but the companded audio sounded like 'expletive'. The radios aggressively companded the audio by over-compressing the transmitted audio and over-expanding the received audio. The companded audio quality was so bad and to the point that basic functionality of the radio was impaired. The radio was almost unusable with radios that don't compand their audio. It was THAT bad. Reducing the expansion ratio in the expander part of the companding system would have helped a lot. Wikipedia article on companding: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Companding
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