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Everything posted by n1das

  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
  16. It IS interesting and I don't know if it repeats on the same frequency hopset or not. I don't know the details of how it works. It would be interesting and cool to try but I don't feel like spending the $,$$$$.$$ for a DRX. I think the cable that comes with the DRX for connecting the two units together is 10 ft or 20 ft long. There is an optional 50 ft cable for it to get the two units further apart. The current DRX based on a pair of DLRs is a refresh of their older DRX unit which was based on a pair of legacy DTRs and with the same price tag. The legacy DTR410/550/650 models were discontinued in November 2018 when the DTR600/700 models were released. Cane Wireless needed to develop a DLR based DRX going forward. The DRX also needs to work with the Profile ID mode channels which the legacy DTRs can't do because they don't have the 4 digit PIN feature. From what I read about the DRX is that the digital audio delay between radios approximately doubles when talking through the DRX. Multiple DRXs on the same channel can be used to further extend coverage on a channel but Cane Wireless recommends against it because the audio delay increases and audio quality may decrease. This makes me wonder if analog audio passes between the two units making up a DRX repeater. The audio quality would decrease due to effects of double vocoding, etc.
  17. Cane Wireless sells a range extender / repeater for Motorola DTR and DLR radios. Cane Wireless DRX Range Extender for Motorola DTR/DLR radios: http://www.canewirelesspro.com/drx-repeater.html The DRX is not a repeater in the conventional sense like a GMRS repeater. The DRX range extender / repeater consists of a pair of DLR radios running custom firmware and connected together to behave as a repeater or range extender. Simply connecting a pair of stock DLRs or DTRs together will not work. The two DRX units that make up the repeater are placed physically apart from each other and connected together with a cable. The DRX (1 pair of units) repeats a single Public group, Private Group, or Profile ID group. IOW, it repeats 1 channel in a DTR or DLR radio. When dealing with multiple channels, one DRX (1 pair of units) is required for each channel to be repeated. Strategic placement of a pair of units making up a DRX is critical. The application for the DRX is to extend coverage inside large buildings or to fill in dead spots in coverage areas. It isn't something you would normally place at a mountaintop site, although it would be interesting to try. Placement of units requires there to be some overlap between the original coverage area and the desired extended coverage area. A typical application is to provide coverage through a firewall in a building blocking coverage and you would place a unit on each side of the wall. In tall buildings, the DRX could be used to extend floors of coverage inside the building. Cane Wireless also sells a weatherproof kit for the DRX: http://www.canewirelesspro.com/wdrx-weatherproof-kit.html
  18. I am curious if your newly bought DLRs are new enough to be expandable to 10 channels with the CPS. The DLR1060 has 6 channels by default but this can be expanded to 10 channels with the CPS as an unadvertised feature. I stumbled upon this like a few other people have when I was tinkering with my DLR programming. Then I checked the model information at the top of the main screen in the CPS and it said 10 channels supported. Duh. Should have checked that first. The 2 channel DLR1020 is not upgradeable. The 1020 and 1060 are identical radios except for the number of channels supported. The 1020 is the entry level DLR model. For anybody in the market for DLR radios, the DLR1060 is the DLR model to get. Early DLR1060s were not expandable to 10 channels and were stuck at 6 channels. Motorola later updated the firmware to add 10 channel capability but still markets the DLR1060 as a 6 channel radio. I'm not sure when the firmware change was made but I recall it was around 2017. The last 2 digits in the firmware version is .01 in the newer DLRs. The firmware in early DLR1060s that were limited to 6 channels ends in .00. 10 channel capability in the DLR1060 is supported in CPS versions R05.01 and newer. The latest CPS version is R08.02.
  19. The deep dive is hard to avoid because there is so much information to unpack. The DLR quick ref guide is a good read. I also recommend downloading the CPS and exploring the the programming there to learn your way around the radio. Pull up a default DLR radio template in the CPS and go from there. The CPS has help available for each feature.
  20. They won't beat range with a 40W mobile and external mobile antenna but they will work surprisingly well. While I never got my DTR/DLR radios to set any range records, my range record stands at 12 miles, from Cocoa Beach Pier in Cocoa Beach FL to the steps leading down to Hightower Beach in Satellite Beach FL. A friend helped me test this. We also had our 4W Part 90 UHF portables on GMRS to compare to. (We are both GMRS licensed.) The 12 mile trip is along the FL coast and there is a bit of coastline in the way so it's not entirely line of sight. It worked on the DTRs and on GMRS. With GMRS, the received signal was noisy and we each had to find a hot spot and stay there in order to communicate. On the DTRs it was clear audio all the time, right up to the limit of coverage. The DTRs occasionally required moving around to find a better spot but this was less critical than on GMRS. We have done this test with DLR radios and results were the same. We also found that when the DTR/DLRs went away when finally out of coverage, GMRS portable coverage was already gone too. Overall the DTRs and DLRs worked a little better.
  21. The 4 digit Profile ID Number (PIN) feature is a new feature which started with the DLRs when they came out in 2015 and was continued with the new DTR600/700 models. The legacy DTRs don't have the PIN feature. The PIN modifies the talkgroup ID for the first 20 public groups so they no longer are public groups when the PIN is a nonzero value. The PIN feature also added Call All Available and Page All Available which are new features related to the PIN feature. The legacy DTRs don't have the PIN features. The 4 digit PIN provided a new way to easily secure your channels without needing the CPS. The default PIN is 0000 (off). The default channels in the DLRs are compatible with the default public groups in the legacy DTRs when the PIN is at the 0000 default. If you are using the PIN feature, you will have to set it back to 0000 to work with the legacy DTRs if all other settings are at their defaults. If you use the CPS, you can set up a mix of channels which use the PIN feature on some channels to secure them and have public groups on other channels identical to the legacy DTRs. Setting up a mix of channel types requires the CPS. The legacy DTR410/550/650 has public groups and private groups. The legacy DTRs call them talkgroups instead of channels. Channels in the legacy DTRs refers to the 10 frequency hopsets available to use. Hopset #1 (channel 1 in legacy DTR-speak) is the default. The DLRs and DTR600/700 refers to channels instead of talkgroups because that's what people are more familiar with (i.e., WTH is a talkgroup?). The end user sees them as channelized radios anyway. I tend to interchange the use of talkgroups and channels. Available channel types in the DLRs and DTR600/700 are Profile ID mode (PIN required), public group (no PIN), private group (no PIN), and 1 to 1 private call (no PIN). The default channel type is Profile ID mode. Available talkgroup types in the legacy DTRs are public group (no PIN), private group (no PIN), and 1 to 1 private call (no PIN). The default in the legacy DTRs is public group. DLRs are capable of private 1 to 1 calling like the DTRs but requires the CPS to set up and a channel has to be dedicated to it. Private 1 to 1 calling wastes a channel in the DLRs and is a PITA to set up. The DLRs have a 1 button Private Reply feature to enter a private 1 to 1 call after hearing a call from another radio. Private Reply is the default for the top button on the DLRs. The legacy DTRs and the DTR600/700 have a display and can dial up an individual radio to initiate a private 1 to 1 call and also have the 1 button Private Reply feature. The MOTOTALK platform that the DTRs and DLRs use is an ID based system where each radio has its own 11 digit private ID in hardware, similar to an electronic serial number (ESN). A radio in a public group will respond to any incoming private ID on that public group ID. With a private group, a radio only responds to incoming Private IDs that are members of the private group. This means that the private ID of every radio in a private group has to be programmed into every radio in the private group. With a private group, a radio only hears and talks to members of the private group. All other DTRs and DLRs in range and using the same frequency hopset are locked out of the group. The PITA with private groups is when adding or replacing radios in a private group, ALL radios in the group have to get reprogrammed to add the new private IDs. The DTRs have Over the Air (OTA) cloning ability to update a fleet of radios with new private IDs. The OTA cloning capability is useful for updating large fleets consisting of hundreds of radios. Private groups make the DTRs and DLRs very secure but they are a PITA from a programming and maintenance standpoint. Programming private groups into the DTRs and DLRs requires the CPS. With the legacy DTRs, programming private groups was the only way to secure them except for 1 to 1 private calling. The PIN feature addressed this issue in the DLRs and DTR600/700. The PIN feature in the DLRs and DTR600/700 made it easy to take DLRs and DTR600/700s at their factory default settings and set the PIN to secure them. The default channel type on all channels is Profile ID mode. When adding or replacing radios in a fleet, just set the PIN in the new radios to match what the fleet uses and you are done. Choose a favorite 4 digit PIN that's easy to remember and hard for others to guess. Don't using anything obvious like 1111 or 1234, etc. This is the easiest way to secure them if all radios are at the factory default settings except for setting the 4 digit PIN. The DLRs have OTA cloning capability to clone the PIN to a fleet of DLRs to secure them instead of having to manually set the PIN in each radio. The DLRs speak the channel name given that the radio doesn't have a channel knob or a display. You can customize the channel names with the CPS to make your own channel names if you want. "Channel One", "Channel Two" etc. are the default channel names. You can set up custom names like "Security", "Maintenance", "Loading Dock", etc. The name of individual radios can also be customized. You can create custom names like "Dave's DLR radio", "Lisa's DLR radio" etc. The custom radio name plays when the radio first powers up. The DLR quick reference guide is a worthwhile read. https://www.motorolasolutions.com/content/dam/msi/docs/products/two-way-radios/on-site-business-radios/dlr-application-briefs/DLR-Quick-Reference-Guide.pdf
  22. Thanks. I just made a few minor edits. Maybe the next thing for me to do is write up a DTR/DLR programming overview and explain a lot of the workings. Programming the DTRs and DLRs is often cryptic and befuddling to new users. No programming is needed to use DTRs and DLRs right out of the box at the factory default settings. Customization of features and settings requires the CPS. Some settings can be changed without requiring the CPS. Programming the legacy DTR410/550/650 is cryptic and the DLR programming cleaned up a lot of things and made it a little less cryptic. The DTR600/700 models program like the DLRs. I suspect the DTR600/700 models use the DLR's code base. I am not surprised Motorola adopted the DLR way of programming going forward. The DTR600/700 models are backward compatible with the legacy DTRs but it requires some understanding of the differences. When I owned DTR650s, DLR1060s, and DTR700s, I had them all working with each other on public and private talkgroups. The DLRs and DTR700s added a 4 digit Profile ID Number (PIN) feature which the legacy DTRs don't have. I had my DLRs and DTR700s working with each other on Profile ID mode channels. The PIN feature allows you to take DLRs right out the box and set a 4 digit PIN to secure all channels in them without requiring the CPS. With the legacy DTRs, the only way to secure them was to use the CPS to program private talkgroups into them. Motorola made it insanely easy for DLR users and DTR600/700 users to secure their channels in radios right out of the box without needing the CPS. A lot can be learned about them by downloading and installing the CPS and exploring the DTR and DLR programming. The CPS has default DTR and DLR templates to work from so you don't need to read a radio first to use the CPS and play around with the programming. The latest CPS version is R08.02 and programs all of the older models too. You don't need an older version of the CPS to program an older radio. Just use the latest version of the CPS.
  23. Below is general information on the Motorola DTR and DLR series 900MHz FHSS digital radios. I am a user of the DTRs and the DLRs and have become a serious fan of them because they are professional quality and work amazingly well. I own a small fleet of legacy DTR650 radios and a small fleet of DTR700 radios. I have also previously owned a small fleet of DLR1060 radios. DTR600/700: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/en_us/products/two-way-radios/commercial-business-two-way-radio-systems/on-site-business-radios/dtr-series.html DLR1020/DLR1060: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/en_us/products/two-way-radios/commercial-business-two-way-radio-systems/on-site-business-radios/dlr-series-digital-radio.html CPS download: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/en_us/products/two-way-radios/commercial-business-two-way-radio-systems/on-site-business-radios/dtr-series/dtr700.html#tabresource The Motorola Business Radio CPS is a free download from Motorola and programs all of their Business Radio models. CPS cable on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Motorola-HKKN4027A-Programming-Cable-Black/dp/B00EC2PV6A/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=motorola+HKKN4027A&qid=1613093281&sr=8-1 The same CPS cable is used for programming all of Motorola's business radios. The one exception is the legacy DTR410/550/650 models because they use a different CPS cable. No programming is needed to use these radios out of the box at the factory default settings. The DTRs and DLRs work with each other right out of the box at the factory default settings. Customization of settings and features requires the CPS. Some settings can be changed without the CPS. The fastest way to get some DTR and DLR radios talking to each other if they don't already do so is to reset all of them to the factory default settings and then go from there. You don't need the CPS or the cable to get started with the DTRs and DLRs. Motorola has made it insanely easy to get started with them. Motorola DTR550 case study: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/content/dam/msi/docs/business/_documents/case_studies/rutland_healthcare_case_study.pdf The Rutland Healthcare case study is a bit dated as the DTR550 was used. The legacy DTR410/550/650 models have been on the market since 2006 and were discontinued in November 2018, marking the end of a 12 year production run. Support for the DTR410/550/650 models end on November 30, 2023. The DTR600 and DTR700 are the replacement models for the legacy DTR410/550/650 models. DTR history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOTO_Talk The DTRs and DLRs are a spinoff from Motorola's MOTOTALK feature in several NEXTEL iDEN phones years ago. NEXTEL called this feature Direct Talk and is not to be confused with the DirectConnect PTT feature which worked through NEXTEL's iDEN network. The DirectTalk feature works PTT simplex phone to phone on 900MHz and uses FHSS. The killer app for this feature is for PTT use between phones when network service is spotty or unavailable and phones are close enough to each other to communicate. NEXTEL phones were popular with contractors and other professionals at jobsites and there was nothing more frustrating than the DirectConnect PTT feature would not work because one or more phones had no network service and phones were still relatively close to each other. The off-network DirectTalk feature provided a solution. The DTRs and DLRs use the same FHSS system but were coded differently from the phones to be incompatible and supposedly was done on purpose. The DTRs and the DLRs are the modern day implementation of the MOTOTALK platform. The legacy DTR410/550/650 models shared a common design with a NEXTEL phone during development and were originally part of the same design project until they spit apart to become separate products. Users of the legacy DTR410/550/650 models will notice that they are very NEXTEL-like in their behavior. The DTRs are commercial radios and loaded with features for business radio users. However, they often are too much "radio" for the average retail business user. Retail users just want a small radio with no keypad and display and minimal features to keep it simple. The DLRs are Motorola's answer to that. DLR = Digital Lightweight Radio, according to Motorola. The DLRs have the features of the DTRs, minus a display and keypad and channel capacity but are compatible with the DTRs. The DLRs were released in the summer of 2015. The DLRs are incredibly easy to use. The DLRs appear to be marketed toward users of the UHF analog CLS series analog business radios that are very popular for retail use. The DLRs seem to make sense for the target market. Some people don't like the large round PTT button on the front of the radio because they are so accustomed to PTT being on the left side of the radio. The DLRs are smaller than most FRS bubble packs and the front button makes sense for the very small size and thin form factor. A DLR radio is comfortable to hold in either hand and a thumb press activates PTT. I found the round front PTT button makes perfect sense for such a small radio. Old retired NEXTEL phones with the off-network DirectTalk feature can be found very cheaply on eBay. The i355 is a good model to look for. There are several videos on YT demoing their use. Factory fresh new batteries are still available for them. I know that because the legacy DTRs use the same battery and I recently re-batteried my DTR650 fleet. The one gotcha with old NEXTEL phones is they need to have a SIM card in them that was previously activated on an iDEN network to activate the DirectTalk feature. The MOTOTALK platform is an ID-based system and each phone or DTR/DLR radio has its own unique 11-digit Private ID, sort of like an Electronic Serial Number (ESN). In the DTRs and DLRs, this is ID loaded by Motorola at the factory and is not changeable by the end user or with the CPS. For private talkgroups and private 1 to 1 calling, individual radios only know each other by their 11 digit Private ID. NEXTEL phones with the DirectTalk feature form the 11-digit Private ID from 1 plus the area code and phone number that was assigned to the phone when it was activated on the network. This is why an old NEXTEL phone must have a previously activated SIM card in it to enable the DirectTalk feature. DTR/DLR FHSS on 900MHz: The DTRs and DLRs use a hopset of 50 frequencies spread across the entire 902-928MHz band and spend no more than 90ms on any given freq in the hopset. The DTRs make about 11 hops per second. The digital modulation on a given freq in the hopset is according to an 8-level modulation scheme. The occupied BW on a given freq in the hopset is around 26 kHz. Motorola's VSELP vocoder is used. VSELP is what NEXTEL phones used. Per FCC 15.247, an FHSS device operating in the 902-928MHz band must use a minimum of 50 frequencies in the hopset and output power is limited to 1W (+30dBm). The legacy DTRs were FCC certified at 890mW (+29.5dBm). The DTR600/700 models were FCC certified at 830 mW (+29.2 dBm). The DLRs were FCC certified at 880mW (+29.4 dBm). The few tenths of a dB under the +30dBm legal limit is to account for measurement uncertainty and slight variation in power output from unit to unit and not exceed the 1W (+30dBm) legal limit. The power numbers in the FCC certs reflect what was measured from the individual sample submitted to the accredited test lab for cert testing. My DTRs: I own a small fleet of legacy DTR650 radios and a small fleet of DTR700 radios. The DTR650 has been around since 2006 and was discontinued in November 2018 when the DTR600/700 models were released. The DTR600 and DTR700 models are the replacement for the legacy DTR 410/550/650 models. The DTR600/700 programs a little differently from the legacy DTRs but are fully backward compatible. I have also owned a small fleet of DLR1060 radios which also work with the DTRs. I later sold my DLRs to a friend for his business as I traded up to the DTR700 and kept my DTR650 fleet. At first he wasn't sure what he was going to use them for except maybe as rental radios for his customers but now he and his employees use them all the time around the office and at jobsites. The DTRs are my professional quality digital replacement for GMRS/FRS for local on-site simplex type use with family and friends. I never got them to set any range records but they work amazingly well and are capable of outperforming conventional Part 90/95 UHF portables on simplex. They totally blow FRS away. Where they beat other radios is when working inside buildings. Where they blow all others away is when aboard cruise ships. People who have used them on cruise ships report having full ship coverage on all decks compared to a pair of 4W UHF commercial portables on GMRS simplex which had trouble penetrating more than about 2 decks. Like when inside buildings, the ship is much more open at 900MHz compared to 462/467MHz (GMRS/FRS) and VHF MURS. The ship represents a compartmentalized metal enclosure with many reflections created. The many reflections inside the ship actually helps at 900MHz and the FHSS operation causes the individual hot spots and dead spots to hop around as the frequency hops. The FHSS operation effectively stirs the modes so to speak as the frequency hops. A coworker once asked me why not just use FRS? My answer was that I have already been doing that since FRS was created in 1996 and longer than that as a GMRS licensee (KAE9013) since 1992 and using good quality commercial gear. I want an all digital solution that is higher quality and more professional than FRS. The fact that they are completely scanner proof and can be made very secure via private talkgroups and private 1 to 1 calling comes as a bonus. While technically not encrypted, they can be made very secure. They are not monitorable on any consumer grade receiver (i.e., scanner) so don't even bother trying. I have also been bit by the digital radio bug as a ham (N1DAS) and want to use digital radios. I still have GMRS/FRS and MURS as a backup and for interoperability with non-DTR/DLR users but they are no longer my default go-to modes local on-site simplex use with family and friends. Aside from occasional light use of FRS with my young nephews when they come to visit, I hardly use GMRS/FRS at all anymore. I love these radios for local on-site simplex type use. My wife loves using them too when we are out shopping or doing whatever. She is not a ham but totally gets it when it comes to having radios to stay in touch. She has told me that she specifically DOES NOT want to use an FRS bubble pack radio. She much prefers using the DTR radios and wants to use only the good stuff (LOL) when we chitchat on the radio.
  24. No programming is needed to use the DTRs and DLRs with each other right out of the box at the factory default settings. Customization of features and settings requires the Motorola Business Radio CPS and is a free download from Motorola. Some features and settings on each model can be changed without requiring the CPS. The CPS cable is around $35 on Amazon. The same CPS and cable programs all of Motorola's business radios (RDV/RDU series, RM series, RMM series, etc.). The one exception is the legacy DTR410/550/650 models use a different CPS cable. You can download and install the CPS and play around with it and explore the DTR/DLR features and settings. The latest version of the CPS is R08.02 and programs all of the older models. You don't need a particular version of the CPS to program an older radio. Just use the latest CPS version. The Motorola Business Radio CPS can be downloaded from here: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/en_us/products/two-way-radios/commercial-business-two-way-radio-systems/on-site-business-radios/dtr-series/dtr700.html#tabresource There is no "pairing" of DTRs/DLRs like there is with Bluetooth devices. They pair up with each other on the fly with each PTT press. They do have to first be on the same frequency hopset and talkgroup ID in order to work with each other. A transmitting DTR/DLR listens for an acknowledgement from a receiving DTR/DLR radio during the NEXTEL-like PTT "chirp" talk permit tone to sync up to allow transmission to continue. When in range, transmission simply continues. When out of range, transmission stops after the PTT chirp and emits a warning beep indicating the call failed. The beep is a soft "do-do-doot" sound on the DLRs and DTR600/700. A DTR600/700 will also display a Call Failed message. The legacy DTR410/550/650 models will scream at you like an old NEXTEL phone and display a User not Available message. The end result is you will always know that you are in range and your transmission was heard and acknowledged by another radio. This makes it easy for range testing because you don't need two people for "Can you hear me now?" testing. You can leave one radio on the dining room table at home and then take the other radio with you and go for a drive and press PTT to see where you get connect hits. I have found people tend to use these radios right out of the box at the factory default settings, like FRS bubble packs. I have customized the programming in my DTRs but I purposely kept the factory default public talkgroups in my programming to listen to and talk to defaulted radios. I have private groups in my programming to keep my DTRs private when I want that. I have monitored activity on the default public groups in my travels when passing through major retail areas. The local Costco Wholesale near me uses DLR radios at the factory defaults and I can hear them when I'm in range. They are amazing radios.
  25. It IS a great idea! The Retevis 900MHz models caught my attention because I'm a DTR owner and have also owned DLRs too. The DTRs spend 90ms on each frequency in the hopset, or about 11 hops per second.
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