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XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

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g8tzl2004
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XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:12 am

Is there any real difference between the XPR4550 and the newer XPR5550 except the color LCD display?

RFguy
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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby RFguy » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:30 am

A few items that the 5550 has over the 4550:

Bluetooth built in
Dual talk-paths on simplex
Over the air programming capable
Mobile shutoff timer
Auto Range Transponder System (ARTS)

g8tzl2004
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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:13 am

Thanks

I read a posting by Bill_G who reported that the portable "sister" radio to the XPR5550, the XPR7550, has a super hot RX side compared to the older XPR6550 portable....a 10dBm improvement which is enormous. Translated to the TX side, you could lower the TX power of the XPR7550 from 5w to 0.5w for identical coverage to the XPR6550.

Do you know how the XPR5550 compares to the XPR4550 with regard to RX sensitivity. ..using real world analysis rather than the usual pessimistic manufacturers specs!!

Thanks

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escomm
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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby escomm » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:27 pm

g8tzl2004 wrote:. Translated to the TX side, you could lower the TX power of the XPR7550 from 5w to 0.5w for identical coverage to the XPR6550.


Oh no

N4KVE
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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby N4KVE » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:23 am

To me they sound different on rx. Earlier this year I picked up a XPR7550, after having a few 6550's. To me, the 7550 sounded more "processed" on rx. I was at a friend's house one day, & heard a few calls come in on his radio which I thought was a 7550, because it sounded just like my 7550. W/o seeing the radio until later, I was right. It was a 7550. A few weeks later, I was in his work truck, & again, it sounded just like my 7550, but it was a 5550. The point is to me the 7550, & 5550 sound the same as each other on rx. Also the 6550, & 4550 sound the same as each other. Also I prefer the 6550/4550 audio over the 7550/5550 audio of the newer radios. GARY

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:11 am

OK on the XPR4550 and XPR5550 sounding different.

To my ears, the RX audio on all my P25 digital and DSP analog radios sound "processed" compared to my traditional analog stuff such as my MCS2000. I think the analog only FM stuff always sounds better but maybe there is more hiss on weak signals compared to the digital and DSP analog stuff. I think you also might eventually become accustomed to the digital sound..so it sort of starts to sound better as you get more familiar with it...a bit like SSB. When you hear SSB for the 1st time it sounds poor compared to FM but after a while you become familiar with SSB and it sort of sounds OK!!

Gary - did you compare the analog RX sensitivity between your XPR6550 portable and XPR7550 portable? ...using simple real world testing ie. open SQ and listen to a very very weak constant signal repeater and see which radio hears the best? I know the problem with the XPR7550 is that your need a special patch lead if you want to use an external antenna as there is no ground on the antenna socket...very poor and a real step backwards. You wonder who decides that its a good idea to change a well established antenna socket arrangement!!! It must be driven my profit rather than commen sense!! Anyway, I guess any XPR6550 and XPR7550 RX sensitivity shoot out will be limited by having to use the helical antenna..so its not a true comparison due to each radios antenna efficiency and radio chassis counterpoise effect. Bill_G reports that the XPR7550 has a super hot RX.

Have you also done any testing between your XPR4550 and your friends XRP5550?

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby N4KVE » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:53 am

No I haven't. And while I have used my 1st generation radios in DMR, & analog, I have never used my 7550 in Analog as a comparison. However, I can tell you that my 7550 in digital is more sensitive than any 6550, or 6300 I have tested. On the system I use here in Florida, I can only hear 1 repeater at a time due to the distance they are apart from each other while in scan mode. So 1 day I'm listening to the Miami repeater in Palm beach, 2 repeaters south. I couldn't understand why the Palm Beach repeater had a poor signal reading only a few miles away. Turn's out my radio was scanning the Miami repeater, so I turned scan off, & immediately was receiving the stronger signal. Previously in scan mode, with a 1st gen radio I could only hear the local repeater, but with the 7550, I was able to scan 3 repeaters at the same time. I figured with the wider spread of the 7550 rx wouldn't be as sensitive across the band, but it turns out rx was better on the 7550, even with over 100 mhz of coverage. GARY

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:38 am

Gary - I've been reading the P25 Forum posts and came across various firmware Release Notes.

One note said that if you originally had early XPR6550 firmware and updated that firmware past V1.06 (I think) or later then you needed to realign the front end filters to optimise RX sensitivity.

Maybe this is why XPR6550 radios are deafer than XPR7550 radios...because you need to realign the front end filters following a firmware update. I have seen no mention in any forum posting about having to realign the front end following a firmware update of an early firmware XPR6550.

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby N4KVE » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:32 pm

My 6550 was built with 1.08.00 fw, & has the newest fw now, so that wouldn't apply to me. I don't feel my 6550 is deaf. It's just that the 7550 is so sensitive. GARY

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:02 am

I have found that RX sensitivity of VHF Motorola radios is generally excellent - better than much of my ham stuff. My UHF Motorola stuff all tend to be slightly down. Some of my ham stuff outperform my UHF Motorola's on RX sensitivity but the ham stuff is useless when you start measuring intermod etc.

So maybe the UHF XPR7550 now has equivalent RX sensitivity as VHF Motorola radios?

Of course, the official spec is meaningless and just represents a worse case situation so that radios with below average specs can be passed as "within spec"!!

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:01 pm

Gary - Do you know what the RSSI Threshold setting is for both your XPR6550 and XPR7550?

I've been reading up and the RSSI Threshold in digital mode is a bit like the squelch setting in analog radios - it can range from -80 ("high SQ") to -124 dBm ("low SQ").

In commercial trunked systems, the RSSI Threshold is deliberately set high, say 95dBm, so that the radio is "forced" to roam to a stronger repeater. Otherwise, if the RSSI Threshold is set too low (ie -120dBm), the radio will continue to hold onto the weak signal rather than jumping to a stronger repeater. As a result, there could be issues with a low powered handheld working the weaker repeater.

Maybe your XPR7550 is set to -120dBm (for roaming) so it hears weaker repeaters while your XPR6550 is set to, say, 108dBm , in order to force it to only hear stronger repeaters??

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby N4KVE » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:26 pm

Don't know what the settings are on my radios. They are whatever the factory set them to when they built them. GARY

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:37 am

I think the default setting is -108 dbm buts its set in CPS rather than Tuner software so the actual values will be dependant on whoever programmed the codeplug.

I'm still learning the CPS but there is a Basic and Expert Mode.

The Basic Mode just includes the key values which you can change whereas the Expert Mode includes everything!!! Its probably a good idea to initially start with Basic Mode and then progress on to Expert Mode when you have figured out what everything means!!!

I still not sure how you adjust the actual SQ value for analog mode. The user can toggle between Normal and Tight SQ but there does not appear to be any SQ softpot adjustment in the Tuner Software. Hopefully its not a fixed factory set value?

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby overhere » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:27 pm

I have XPR6350/6550 and 7550 radios, and agree that the 7550's seem to have better sensitivity and performance, at least anecdotally, although with the large LCD the battery seems to drain quicker.

I just got a couple of 6100's to test also. Does anyone know if these are "new generation" (i.e. performance like the 7550/5550) or "old generation"? If not, I'll see if I can do some testing myself.

g8tzl2004
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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:10 am

UPDATE: I've just acquired a UHF XPR7350 and analog RX performance is excellent.

I have yet to program the XPR7350 so I carried out some tests using one of the frequencies already installed in the radio.

As the XPR7350 requires a special adapter for an external antenna, I just used the set top antenna and a very simple test procedure. I used a ham HT set to 50mW into a dummy load - held in the PTT with an elastic band and placed the HT next to a radio tuned to a "talk radio" station. This provided a completely in the noise signal about 20 yards away.

I used my most sensitive UHF HT (not a Motorola) to compare the XPR7350. This test radio outperforms all my other UHF Motorola radios including my XTS5000 and HT1250 by a wide margin ie. a completely in the noise signal on the UHF XTS5000 is copyable on the "test" radio.

Well the XPR7350 is slightly more sensitive than the test radio which is a fantastic result. Clearly its difficult to get a true comparison as different set top antenna were being used - but both radios were using 1/4 wave's so I believe it was a fair comparison.

The squelch on the XPR7350 is also excellent. I think there are only 2 SQ settings - normal and tight. I'm not sure whether its possible to adjust the "normal" SQ level...but I found that on my radio it was already set so that it opens on the weakest of signals. I've never owned a Motorola where the "default" setting is set so low - usually the default level is way too high so weak but copyable signal are missed. But with the XPR7350, the SQ opens as soon as a weak but only just copyable signal is received - great for DX.

My experience with Motorola radios is that all my VHF Motorola's are generally fantastic performers - no other manufacturer (commercial or ham) equals Motorola's VHF radios for RX sensitivity. However, with my UHF Motorola's, I've found that RX sensitivity is good but NOT the absolute best and variable from radio to radio. I now think that nothing beats the UHF XPR7000 series for analog RX senstivity!!!

It would be interesting to find out whether the 1st generation UHF XPR6550 is less sensitive because the SQ is set higher so weak signals are missed or whether the front end is less sensitive so the weak signals are just not heard.

Likewise, I have read different reports about the XPR4550 vs XPR5550 mobiles. Some say that the RX performance is identical but I've not yet read about anybody doing a careful side by side test on a weak analog signal with the SQ open.

n1irl
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What radios do you own?: XPR4550, XPR6550, XTS 2500

Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby n1irl » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:33 pm

I recently purchased the Motorola extended range Bluetooth mic kit (RLN6551) for my XPR 4550. While it works on this radio, there doesn't seem to be a way to control the Bluetooth audio from the remote mic in the CPS. I have the newest version CPS 10.8 and have upgraded the radio to the newest firmware, but I do not get any controls for Bluetooth audio with the XPR 4550.

The XPR 5550 has Bluetooth mic audio controls (digital & analog) that show up in the CPS because it is a Bluetooth enabled radio. So it appears there is no way to adjust the Bluetooth audio level on the XPR 4550 without lowering the radio's mic levels. But then when you go back to a regular mic your audio is too low!!!! (The remote Bluetooth mic's audio is way hotter than the other mics).

Does anyone know if there is a way to adjust the Bluetooth audio physically on this Bluetooth accessory? Is there a pot in the mic to adjust...., or if I adjust the audio level of it on a XPR 5550, will it retain that audio setting when hooked back up to my XPR 4550?

Thanks
Rick
N1IRL

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby N4KVE » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:21 pm

For the last 2 years I have been using XPR4550's, & 6550's. They work well, but a few weeks ago, a friend lost his job & needed fast cash until he got another job. I purchased his 7550, & 5550 for $950. While the 7550 is superior to the 6550 [killer rx on the 7550] I found no similar comparison with the 5550 vs the 4550. Matter of fact, I prefer the 4550, & even though I didn't have to, I offered the 5550 back to my friend when he did get a new job, which he took. So basically I played with a 5550 for free, & sold it because I preferred the 4550. Now if the rx was better, & the radio did the whole 403-520 split like the 7550, I'd have kept the 5550. GARY

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby MTS2000des » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:21 pm

Gary you got the deal of the century.
The views here are my own and do not represent those of anyone else or the company, the boss, his wife, his dog or distant relatives.

N4KVE
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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby N4KVE » Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:03 pm

MTS2000des wrote:Gary you got the deal of the century.
Thanks Erik. Although he didn't specify that he might want his radio back when his money starts to roll in, he's helped me in the past, so instead of trying to sell the radio for profit, I let him have it for what I gave him. I try not to profit from my friend's bad luck, & I sleep great at night. GARY

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:32 am

Gary - did the XPR4550 have a more sensitive RX than the XPR5550 or was it about the same? Did you compare radios by listening to a real weak in the noise analog signal?

You might have seen my other recent posting but I had to add the link wire to make my XPR6550 prog cable work with my XPR7550 - I'm still wondering why you and 2 other people I've spoken too were able to use the A cable!! Mind you, I'm still slowly working out how to prog the XPR7550...I've uploaded and saved the originally codeplug but not yet reprogrammed it !!!

N4KVE
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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby N4KVE » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:47 am

I was not able to compare the 4550 to the 5550 like I was able to compare the 6550 to the 7550. Neither the 4550, or 5550 was able to hear the weak station the 7550 heard. And now, a week after selling the 5550 back to the guy I got it from, I don't miss it one bit. I still prefer the 4550. GARY

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:22 am

UPDATE: I have now done a very brief analog comparison of the UHF XPR4550 vs XPR5550. Overall I am a bit disappointed with the XPR5550!!!

- the UHF XPR4550 has a slightly better RX front end for weak signal working compared to the XPR5550 - while the XPR7550 portable has a fantastic front end, the XPR5550 is only average compared to my other stuff.

- both the XPR4550 and XPR5550 squelch does not open on a weak but copyable signal. The XPR5550 opens on a weaker signal and has better hysteresis ie once the SQ is open, it holds a weaker signal for longer. The XPR4550 has only a limited hysteresis range.

- the XPR4550 enables the easy display of dBm signal strength while the XPR5550 requires the expensive keypad mic to enable the dBm reading.

- I like the audio better with the XPR4550 - its sounds rounder and fully.

I hope somebody can figure out how to adjust the XPR4550 and XPR5550 SQ threshold.

I am running later firmware with the XPR4550 and early firmware with the XPR5550 so maybe firmware updates could change things.

I can't understand why Motorola did not just use the same RX front end in the XPR5550 as the XPR7550 portable???

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby N4KVE » Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:43 am

g8tzl2004 wrote:I can't understand why Motorola did not just use the same RX front end in the XPR5550 as the XPR7550 portable???
Same here. The 7550 rocks, & has full 403-512 coverage in 1 radio. I figured because of this, it would be slightly deaf, but that isn't the case. At 1 point I had 2 4550's, & a 5550. But I got rid of the 5550, as I preferred the 4550's. While there will be no further fw upgrades to the 4550, mine have the most recent available. 1.12.13. I also have a XPR3500, which also does 403-512, so I think it shares the same main board with the 7550. Just a smaller b&w screen, & no keypad. Both these portables have a much better receiver than the Hytera PD782 I compared them to. Even my Quantun QP-2100 [CS700 clone] has a better receiver than the Hytera. LOL. GARY

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Re: XPR4550 vs XPR5550 - any real difference?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:01 pm

I noticed that the official Motorola specs quotes the same identical RX sensitivity figures for both the XPR7750 and XPR5550 of 0.22uV (typical) for 12dB SINAD...when in the real world the XPR7550 is 5-6dB more sensitive.

It shows how useless the official Motorola specs are!!!

Interesting comments on the Hytera - I read somewhere that locating the antenna in the middle of the radio gives better RX sensitivity??

Any idea how the SL300 compares to the XPR7550?


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