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Repeater for Motorola DTR/DLR radios


n1das
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Cane Wireless sells a range extender / repeater for Motorola DTR and DLR radios.

 

Cane Wireless DRX Range Extender for Motorola DTR/DLR radios:


 

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:


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That's something I had lingering in my mind after reading your links and studying DTR/DLR thing. I'll leave hacking for some time later.

 

The first thing (ok, second) is of course, to plug in simplex repeater and bring the whole contraption high up on a makeshift mast. That's could be a lot of fun, I already see it.

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That's something I had lingering in my mind after reading your links and studying DTR/DLR thing. I'll leave hacking for some time later.

 

The first thing (ok, second) is of course, to plug in simplex repeater and bring the whole contraption high up on a makeshift mast. That's could be a lot of fun, I already see it.

 

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.

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  • 8 months later...

I'd been reading about this system and I'm having a hard time understanding how this would work.

From the brochure linked on this page: "The DRX Range Extender uses separate Receive (RX) and Transmit (TX) units to relay the signals to your DTR and DLR series radios that are out-of range of the transmitting radio."

If you have a tall building with a RX unit in the ground floor and TX unit in the top floor, it seems like it would be really good for helping users on the lower floor reach the users on the top floor but what about the other way around?  Maybe I'm misreading this but it seems like it only extends coverage in one direction.

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My understanding is that the DRX units use cabling between the two units for TX/RX isolation - not for coverage. They supply you with a 20 ft. cable - not a 200 ft. cable. They offer an optional 50 ft. cable if the 20 ft. cable doesn't allow enough separation.

From the installation instructions:

Quote

The DRX Range Extender kits should be installed in a dry location where you can receive reliable coverage from all desired locations (this will not necessarily be the central location on your site). For example, in a 15 floor hotel, if you have coverage only from the lobby to the sixth floor but can communicate from the third floor to the 15th floor, the DRX Range Extender kit should be placed on the fourth or fifth floor to cover from the lobby to the 15th floor.

Theoretically, you could probably find a spot where the receiver location of the DRX would allow you to "get in" - but the TX back might not reach you. I'd think that those instances would be very rare in the real world.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Using many DTR series radios in large warehouse style buildings, I also looked into this. The deal breaker for my use case was the one TalkGroup/Channel per "repeater" which would just become too expensive. Even older DTR410's manage to hit about 90% of the warehouse areas, cluttered with metal structures and machine hardware. 900 MHz ISM band radios have their place, but also limitations. If anyone does figure out how the range extender works, it may be worth re-visiting. I have yet to find anyone that has implemented one of these in the real world yet.

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