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Recent Radio Purchase and Information

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Fox McCloud
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Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby Fox McCloud » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:23 pm

Ok, first off, I must say I'm totally new to this, so please bear with me.

In any event I recently have obtained a Motorola Saber II and two Motorola Saber III radios, all secure-net capable.

I also had the chance to purchase, for cheap, a number of NTN5835A DES-XL securenet modules, and one NTN5835B securenet module.

also, recently I had the chance to purchase a keyloader...the guy that I purchase it from seemed very knowledgeable, so I asked him a number of questions...he said that this particular keyloader could program DES and DES-XL chips.

Anyway, I got it [keyloader] today (cable will arrive tomorrow), and I looked up the model number...to my dismay, I find out that it is a a T3020BX, which I find out can only do DES.

That said, he told me (and I have read) that DES-XL modules can be forced to act like DES modules....how can I go about doing this?

Also, I read that DES-XL is better because it allows for better range, but it sacrifices voice quality--true, or not? I was also told that the DES range limitation doesn't really affect transmissions with Saber radios because of the limited range.

I just hope I haven't been scammed here--the keyloader wasn't the cheapest thing in the world.
Last edited by txshooter on Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: corrected spelling in title

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Tom in D.C.
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Re: Recent Radio Prucahse and Information

Postby Tom in D.C. » Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:18 pm

This should get you started and fill in the gaps for you:

http://batlabs.com/encrypt.html

This site (www.batlabs.com) also has extensive information
about Sabers under the Model Specific section.

Regards,
Tom in D.C.
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Fox McCloud
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Re: Recent Radio Prucahse and Information

Postby Fox McCloud » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm

Thanks, for the information, but it really doesn't answer my questions.

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Re: Recent Radio Prucahse and Information

Postby akardam » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:32 am

Fox McCloud wrote:Thanks, for the information, but it really doesn't answer my questions.

Not entirely sure why...

Fox McCloud wrote:also, recently I had the chance to purchase a keyloader...the guy that I purchase it from seemed very knowledgeable, so I asked him a number of questions...he said that this particular keyloader could program DES and DES-XL chips.

Anyway, I got it [keyloader] today (cable will arrive tomorrow), and I looked up the model number...to my dismay, I find out that it is a a T3020BX, which I find out can only do DES.

Seems you answered your own question there.

Fox McCloud wrote:That said, he told me (and I have read) that DES-XL modules can be forced to act like DES modules....how can I go about doing this?

Just about every secure-capable radio has an option in the programming software to disable the XL feature of an XL module. What this means is that you can take a radio with DES only capability and have it talk to a radio with DES-XL capability. It does not, as far as I know, mean you can load a DES-XL module with a DES only KVL.

Fox McCloud wrote:Also, I read that DES-XL is better because it allows for better range, but it sacrifices voice quality--true, or not? I was also told that the DES range limitation doesn't really affect transmissions with Saber radios because of the limited range.

From http://batlabs.com/encrypt.html:
When the systems first came, there was some serious limitation to the distance coded transmissions would travel. Motorola redesigned the algorithm modes, and produced the XL security format. This provided range equivelent to clear transmissions.

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Fox McCloud
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Re: Recent Radio Prucahse and Information

Postby Fox McCloud » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:05 am

Just about every secure-capable radio has an option in the programming software to disable the XL feature of an XL module. What this means is that you can take a radio with DES only capability and have it talk to a radio with DES-XL capability. It does not, as far as I know, mean you can load a DES-XL module with a DES only KVL.


ok, so its the radio that must be programmed to force the DES-XL modules to act like DES modules then, correct? Could this be done when I took my radio in to be reprogrammed to add additional channels?

akardam wrote:From http://batlabs.com/encrypt.html:
When the systems first came, there was some serious limitation to the distance coded transmissions would travel. Motorola redesigned the algorithm modes, and produced the XL security format. This provided range equivelent to clear transmissions.


I read that, but the description is unclear--is it in reference to OTA programming or the actual transmission of the radio itself? I suspect the latter.

Also, are there any statistics on just how much the range is limited with a 6W Saber when using DES as opposed to DES-XL?

I might also ask, what is the voice-quality difference between DES and DES-XL? I've heard there's differences, but it's just been so-and-so, here and there, so I can't 100% confirm it.


Also, I had one question regarding a recent quirk of my Motorola Saber II radio. When I received it 2 months ago, the unit functioned fine--it was fully programmed and everything worked. Last night, I decided to take my unit apart and take the dummy securenet module out of it--after doing this, I replaced it with a real securenet module (more specifically an NTN5835A). After seating it in place (I made sure to press down firmly), I put the radio back together and turned it on to make sure everything was ok. At first, it appeared that way, then all of a sudden the radio produced a very rapid series of beeps (5-6). After it did this, it remained quiet for 10-15 seconds, then did the same sequence of beeps as before.

Anyone else experience this or know what it's doing? Did I do something wrong, or is it doing this because the securenet module does not have a key--or is it something else?

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Re: Recent Radio Prucahse and Information

Postby RadioSouth » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:01 am

Far as your last question, correct. Until you load a valid key into the module or turn the secure switch off you'll get that beeping.
Don't think you'll get that KVL to recognize a 5835 chip. If it was the other way around (a 3011 KVL and straight DES chip) it would work.

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Re: Recent Radio Prucahse and Information

Postby Fox McCloud » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:07 pm

RadioSouth wrote:Far as your last question, correct. Until you load a valid key into the module or turn the secure switch off you'll get that beeping.
Don't think you'll get that KVL to recognize a 5835 chip. If it was the other way around (a 3011 KVL and straight DES chip) it would work.


thanks for the information then...I may have to take it back out, if that's the case, as I don't want to put up with that beeping.

Would the KVL recognize it if someone forced/programmed it to act like a DES chip, as mentioned earlier, or would I still need a DES-XL capable KVL to load the key?

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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby txshooter » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:38 pm

Fox McCloud wrote:
RadioSouth wrote:Far as your last question, correct. Until you load a valid key into the module or turn the secure switch off you'll get that beeping.
Don't think you'll get that KVL to recognize a 5835 chip. If it was the other way around (a 3011 KVL and straight DES chip) it would work.


thanks for the information then...I may have to take it back out, if that's the case, as I don't want to put up with that beeping.

Would the KVL recognize it if someone forced/programmed it to act like a DES chip, as mentioned earlier, or would I still need a DES-XL capable KVL to load the key?


As just stated and quoted from the previous poster by you...the answer in short is no, the keyloader you have will not program the DES-XL module you have as the keyloader is older technology than the module itself. A newer keyloader capable of programing a DES-XL module could most likely program the older DES only module. This was done for backwards compatibility.

Solve your issue and either remove the module if you don't need it (Most people don't), buy a keyloader capable of working with the modules you have, or buy some modules that will work with that keyloader (Most likely your cheapest option out there.)

As i stated earlier, most individuals have no reason to really use encryption except for the novelty.
Scott B.
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Fox McCloud
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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby Fox McCloud » Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:26 pm

txshooter wrote:
Fox McCloud wrote:
RadioSouth wrote:Far as your last question, correct. Until you load a valid key into the module or turn the secure switch off you'll get that beeping.
Don't think you'll get that KVL to recognize a 5835 chip. If it was the other way around (a 3011 KVL and straight DES chip) it would work.


thanks for the information then...I may have to take it back out, if that's the case, as I don't want to put up with that beeping.

Would the KVL recognize it if someone forced/programmed it to act like a DES chip, as mentioned earlier, or would I still need a DES-XL capable KVL to load the key?


As just stated and quoted from the previous poster by you...the answer in short is no, the keyloader you have will not program the DES-XL module you have as the keyloader is older technology than the module itself. A newer keyloader capable of programing a DES-XL module could most likely program the older DES only module. This was done for backwards compatibility.

Solve your issue and either remove the module if you don't need it (Most people don't), buy a keyloader capable of working with the modules you have, or buy some modules that will work with that keyloader (Most likely your cheapest option out there.)

As i stated earlier, most individuals have no reason to really use encryption except for the novelty.


*sigh* sounds like I was scammed then--I was assured that the keyloader I purchased would work with DES-XL modules. Unlike most people I need these modules, and I can't just go out and purchase straight DES modules. (it was hard enough finding the current DES-XL modules). Buying a new keyloader? I'll probably have to do that...*sigh* hopefully I can get my money back out of this one...don't really need this right now...

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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby Fox McCloud » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:51 pm

sorry for the double-post, but I had a few more questions.

What is the frequency spacing of the Saber radios?

Are MURS and the Amateur bands the only ones I can legally speak on (assuming I had an amateur radio license, of course)?

If those two are truly the only two bands I can talk on legally, which antenna would you guys recommend for my Saber radios?

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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby Tom in D.C. » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:50 pm

Most of what you need to know about Sabers is here:

http://www.repeater-builder.com/motorol ... index.html

Saber channel spacing is officially listed as 30 kHz on the receive side
with 16F3 deviation on the transmit side.

MURS frequencies (five of them) are the only ones you can use without a license.

Sabers commonly use constantly-loaded helical antennas that are about six or
seven inches long. Easily available on eBay as well as from sources such as Tessco.
These antennas are made in specific bandsplits, so the one you would want for MURS
would cover 151 to 155 mHz or something close to that range.
Tom in D.C.
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Fox McCloud
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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby Fox McCloud » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:47 pm

with a license though, I could use 2 meter also, correct?

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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby Tom in D.C. » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:21 am

Yes, but no encryption and no commercial/business usage.
You can look up everything you need to know at www.ARRL.org.
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Fox McCloud
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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby Fox McCloud » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:08 am

Tom in D.C. wrote:Yes, but no encryption and no commercial/business usage.
You can look up everything you need to know at http://www.ARRL.org.


I'm more than aware of that---I'm fairly ignorant of radio equipment, but not totally ignorant of radio theory or Amateur radio :P

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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby com501 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:02 pm

I would also actually wait until I had the keyloader cable and SEE if the KVL you have will load your radios.

It is quite possible that the previous owner upgraded the firmware (an easy task and the chips are available occasionally on eBay) and just never bothered to change or modify the label.

Are you sure you can use encryption on MURS?

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Fox McCloud
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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby Fox McCloud » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:17 pm

com501 wrote:I would also actually wait until I had the keyloader cable and SEE if the KVL you have will load your radios.

It is quite possible that the previous owner upgraded the firmware (an easy task and the chips are available occasionally on eBay) and just never bothered to change or modify the label.

Are you sure you can use encryption on MURS?


yeah, that's what I'm waiting on, right now.

In any event, I thought that T3020BX's couldn't be upgraded to support DES-XL?

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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby txshooter » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:16 pm

I am 99% sure that 3020's can not be changed to des-xl. Different key format entirely
Scott B.

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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby tvsjr » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:14 pm

You may be able to upgrade it by replacing the hybrid, but it's certainly not a common upgrade, if it would even work.

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Fox McCloud
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Re: Recent Radio Purchase and Information

Postby Fox McCloud » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:37 pm

tvsjr wrote:You may be able to upgrade it by replacing the hybrid, but it's certainly not a common upgrade, if it would even work.


well, either way, hopefully my cable will arrive tomorrow (if not, then hopefully Monday) and I'll be able to test it out...though I'm fairly sure the T3020BX will give me a "FAIL" on the screen. In any event, I'll keep you guys posted.

Thanks again for all the information.


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