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Centracom II Plus CRT Reference Guide

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:55 am
by d119
Centracom II Plus CRT was release in the late 1980's by Motorola as the "Centracom II Plus CRT Video Display Console". Essentially, using a CIE which interfaces the CEB to a computer, the system emulates a Buttons & LED's console on the computer screen.

The CIE provides two speakers for select & unselect audio, a built-in microphone, volume controls for Select, Radio, Telephone and Unselect audio, and a VU meter.

It also supports additional audio speakers attached to ports on the rear, as well as headset/handset, footswitch and external microphone connections as well as an interface for an instant recall recorder on the bottom.

The software is DOS-based and comes on one diskette.

[b:079e7e5215][u:079e7e5215]Like many versions of Motorola Radio Service Software of the era, Centracom II Plus CRT [i:079e7e5215]requires[/i:079e7e5215] an old, slow PC to run.[/u:079e7e5215][/b:079e7e5215]

I had VERY limited success getting II+ CRT to operate on a 266MHz Pentium I PC usng MoSlo in the following configuration:

moslo /0.01 /m prog_mng.exe

However, using that configuration II+ CRT was very unstable.

I had excellent success using a 486DX-66 PC with the bios configured for NO CPU cache, and the speed setting to "slow", most likely 33MHz. It is my guess that this software would run just fine on an XT or 286/386 computer.

My recommendation would be to run this software on a 25MHz i386 PC with at least 640K of RAM.

Compared to Centracom Gold Elite, II+ CRT is *VERY* basic and rudimentary. It's more or less a PC-based video representation of a Buttons & LED's console, but with a little more flair.

You have MUCH more space to work with in a II+ CRT OP than you do in a Compact OP. Standard (Rack Mount) OP's are quite capable, but when you expand them to the capability of a II+ CRT OP, you're taking up a lot of physical real estate.

The single diskette includes the console and all configuration software. It's very easy to operate and configure and makes use of the mouse. You click a window to select the resource, and right click in the window to transmit on it.

Alert tones, patches, multiselects, etc. are all brought up in submenus along the bottom of the screen.

The software is graphical, but mostly text-based. It is color, and Channel Control Window border colors can be customized.

Remember if setting up a II+ CRT OP, you need to specify the OP as a CRT in the Series2 CEB programming software, and specify the OP capabilities just like a Buttons & LED's console.

II+ CRT allows you to name channel control windows with alphanumerics up to 8 characters, and the same for multifrequency selections within multifrequency base stations in a channel control window (i.e. "VHF Base" can show "Primary" "Tactical" "Records", etc. as selectable frequencies on that channel control window instead of just Freq1/Freq2/Freq3, etc.)

More to follow.