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RS232 TCP/IP data transfer on XTL5000 radios

This forum is dedicated to discussions pertaining specifically to the Motorola ASTRO line of radios (those that use VSELP/IMBE/AMBE), including using digital modulation, digital programming, FlashPort upgrades, etc. If you have general questions please use the General or Programming forums.

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HA5BRG
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Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:32 am

RS232 TCP/IP data transfer on XTL5000 radios

Postby HA5BRG » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:34 am

Hi Guys,

I know that similar topics were opened from time to time in the past, but none of them provided a useful solution to connect t2o XTL5000 / Spectra PLUS radios using TCP-IP, over the air with computer attached to each radios.

Here is the list of the formerly opened topics of other users. All of them are unfinished, without a solution to the problem:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=97888&p=430382&hilit=data+link+manager#p430382
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=86029
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=65727&p=304054&hilit=astro+RS232+data#p304054
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=54095&p=253648&hilit=astro+RS232+data#p253648


I have been playing with ASTRO25 radios for a while and I managed to figure out some things, so I won't hesitate to tell everyone what I have achieved so far. Maybe some of you can help me to finalize this plan and establish a good connection between these radios. I am using Spectra PLUS units with the latest host firmware and DSP. These radios are identical to the XTL5000 units. Same functions, same control heads (early XTL5000s used W-series heads) and same CPS.

What is needed to establish a TCP-IP connection?

- two PCs with RS232 ports
- two ASTRO25 units with W947 Packet Data option enabled in the Flashcode
- two serial data cables for these mobile radios
- Windows XP (32 bit) operating system on both computers with Motorola Data Link Manager application installed
- the radios and the computers must be in the same IP subnet, like 192.168.0.xxx
- in the CPS you must assign IP addresses to the radio and the mobile computer
- don't forget to set the data communication method from FNE to Direct in the CPS

Important note: Data Link Manager application will only work with 32 bit operating systems. It will not install the modem drivers on a 64bit Windows! Sometimes Data Link Manager fails to work with virtual operating systems like Windows installed in VMWare or VirtualPC.


Checklist to properly install Data Link Manager application on your computers

- connect the radio to the PC's serial port using the data cable
- turn the radio on and switch to an astro channel
- make sure that the selected astro channel has IP options already set up in the CPS!
- make sure that the radios and the PCs are in the same IP subnet (192.168.0.xxx or anything you want)
- make sure that the system is a 32 bit version OS
- make sure that you have at least Windows XP
- check if there are any modems installed under Control Panel / Modems
- install Data Link Manager application
- after installation is finished, don't restart the PC
- go to Control Panel / Modems and set up a new modem. From the list you must select "Motorola / Motorola radio"
- assign the COM port you want to this modem
- restart PC
- after restart: right click the "IP" icon from the taskbar and click on options
- select COM port what you have assigned to the modem (COM option is only visible when you selected "Motorola radio" as modem. If you have selected XTL5000 or other, you won't see any COM options)
- click on Connect
- Data Link Manager will create a new network connection, named ConnMotXTSCOM1 as a direct cable connection
- if you did extactly what I told you, the "IP" icon will change from grey to yellow and from yellow to green

Now the connection is established and from windows command line (cmd) you can ping the radio's IP address and the PPP connection's address (its IP is automatically provided by the radio's CPS or can be set up manually).

When you set up a PC like this on the other side (at a friend's house or somwehere), of course with different IP addresses but staying in the same IP subnet, you will be able to ping the radios and the PCs connected to the radios. This connection will be very slow, only 9600bps but remains stable.

I have downloaded the freeware VNC application from the internet and established a VNC remote desktop connection between the two PCs, using the radios only, when all internet cables were unplugged from the PC!

So, I can say that was success. But I have faced several issues when I tried to route data traffic through my NIC (network card) in the PC to access my other PCs on the network and to access the outer world, the Internet. What were those issues? Let's see them one by one!

- Data Link Manager takes full control of Windows XP's routing table, therefore you can not make manual routings with the ROUTE command, No matter what you do, Data Link Manager will override that and set back everything the way it wants, routing all network traffic through the newly created ConMotCTSCOM1 connection.

- When I tried to get rid of Motorola Data Link, and set up a regular 9600 bps modem at Control Panel / Modems, everything failed. It didn't even connect to the radio, Modem Diagnostics failed, the Windows PC could not "see" that there is a modem device connected to the serial port.

- I also tried to select "Motorola XTL5000 radio" or "XTL5000" from the Modems list at Control Panel / Modems. Same issue, no connection between radio and PC.

- As my last hope, I tried to use Windows' built in feature: Internet sharing. I tried to share my NIC's net access (what was connected to my router that goes out to the Internet) but Data Link Manager forces every traffic to go via ConMotXTSCOM1 connection, no matter what I set and how I set.

So I have successfully set up a working, pingable connection between the radios and the PCs but Data Link Manager is acting like a dictator. Forcing every data traffic to act as it wants.

I have read in several internet threads that someone has managed to solve this problem and establish a working internet connection using two radios....

...but how?

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