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Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:05 pm
by MotoFAN
I am interested in compatibility of P25 radios from Kenwood, Icom and Vertex with Motorola Astro radios (XTS/XTL series, Astro Saber and Astro Spectra).

While I do not ask about Astro Trunking - now I am interests only in APCO-25 (aka P25) Conventional mode.

My primary goal - listening APCO-25 transmutations from Motorola radios and repeaters using radios from other manufacturers.

I have tried Uniden BCD996T, but isn't happy with demodulation stability, range on which decreases a stability of digital demodulation & etc.

Kenwood radios are the most interest: TK-5210/TK-5310 and TK-5710/TK-5810. Icom and Vertex radios interest less.

How much well it is compatible to equipment Motorola Astro listed above?

- Whether stability of digital demodulation worsens?
- Whether range on which decreases a stability of digital demodulation?
- How quality/legibility of a speech changes?
- Any other worsening.

I wish to hear responses of people having practical experience.

Thanks!

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:36 pm
by Tom in D.C.
In theory, all P25 radios of all the manufacturers talk to each other just fine.
Problems sometimes arise with individual radios whose alignment is not correct.
I've personally compared Motorola Astro Sabers with Vertex 929s and they sound
for all practical purposes exactly the same. The only things different from analog FM are the total absence
of noise and the digital ringing/delay that sometimes, but not always, occurs.

The Apco25/P25 system is an industry standard, not a Motorola standard so again,
at least in theory, one radio should sound like any other, but to use the old disclaimer,
YMMV.

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:19 am
by KB2ZTX
Unfortanetly I have not been ableto get my hands on a Motorola P25 radio, however have extensive use of the ICOM P25 Mobile and Portable and the Vertex P25 Portable. I'm actually partial to the ICOM but think they are all about the same. I have used the ICOM on P25 Motorola systems with no issues. As long as everything is programmed correctly they seem to work very good.

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:38 pm
by MotoFAN
Tom in D.C. wrote:In theory, all P25 radios of all the manufacturers talk to each other just fine.

The Apco25/P25 system is an industry standard, not a Motorola standard so again, at least in theory, one radio should sound like any other, but to use the old disclaimer, YMMV.

Thank you, Tom, but I am asking not about theory, I asking about practice :)

And also, Motorola doesn't do P25 radios, it does ASTRO radios. Who gives guarantees that realization ASTRO on 100 % will be compatible with APCO Project 25 standards?
I've personally compared Motorola Astro Sabers with Vertex 929s and they sound for all practical purposes exactly the same.

You tried Vertex in P25 mode with Motorola Astro mode? And they perfectly speak with each other? If yes, as about weak levels of signals?

jsikora wrote:Unfortanetly I have not been ableto get my hands on a Motorola P25 radio, however have extensive use of the ICOM P25 Mobile and Portable and the Vertex P25 Portable. I'm actually partial to the ICOM but think they are all about the same. I have used the ICOM on P25 Motorola systems with no issues. As long as everything is programmed correctly they seem to work very good.

Thank you very much! Really helpful info!

2 ALL

But what about Kenwood???

Somebody tried TK-5210/TK-5310 in a network using Motorola radios (for e.g. Astro Saber/XTS3000/XTS2500) and repeaters (like is Quantar)?

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:44 pm
by txshooter
MotoFAN wrote:
Tom in D.C. wrote:In theory, all P25 radios of all the manufacturers talk to each other just fine.

The Apco25/P25 system is an industry standard, not a Motorola standard so again, at least in theory, one radio should sound like any other, but to use the old disclaimer, YMMV.

Thank you, Tom, but I am asking not about theory, I asking about practice :)

And also, Motorola doesn't do P25 radios, it does ASTRO radios. Who gives guarantees that realization ASTRO on 100 % will be compatible with APCO Project 25 standards?

I am not sure where you are getting your information from. Current production Motorola XTS and XTL Series radios are P25. It is an industry standard. "Astro" is nothing more than a marketing term used by Motorola.

As far as Kenwoods, you may want to try http://www.radioinfoboard.com for questions concerning how well they work. I have numerous Motorola products in use on P25 systems with no issues whatsoever for many years they have been the industry standard!

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:03 pm
by MotoFAN
txshooter wrote:I am not sure where you are getting your information from. Current production Motorola XTS and XTL Series radios are P25.

Whether you can prompt to me where I can find documentary acknowledgement of conformity Motorola radios with P25 standard? Where itself Motorola promised such conformity?
As far as Kenwoods, you may want to try http://www.radioinfoboard.com for questions concerning how well they work.

I know Radioinfoboard, but Batboard has much stronger Moto community, therefore I ask here.

Besides, due the new forum rules, this subforum is ok for discussions about compatability of Moto radios & radios from other manufactures:

akardam wrote (quotation from Board Forum Changes):
and an area where you can discuss compatability between Motorola and other manufacturer's digital radios.

Correct me if I am mistaken!

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:26 pm
by wavetar
You are not mistaken, this forum is indeed to talk about other P25 radios as well as Motorola's offerings. This link should help you determine Motorola P25 radios are indeed truly P25, and compatible in conventional mode to other manufacturers:

http://www.motorola.com/governmentanden ... ect_25.pdf

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:29 pm
by Nexrad16
/\/\otorola does do P25 no question about that! Like posted above "Astro" is a /\/\ term.

That being said, P25 is an industry standard and radios that meet that standard will communicate with each other, apples to apples (no encryption). One could argue clearly that one radio sounds better than another. That's more to due with different design features and not the P25.

I have tested other brands that are P25 and they communicate fine (with other radios on our system during testing) on our P25 /\/\ 700Mhz trunked system here in Boise. Additionally, I have been directly involved with testing at NIST in Boulder CO. and I have yet to identify a radio that is P25 compliant not com with another P25 compliant radio.

Soon we will test the Thales Liberty.

Good luck!

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:51 pm
by Wowbagger
MotoFAN wrote:And also, Motorola doesn't do P25 radios, it does ASTRO radios. Who gives guarantees that realization ASTRO on 100 % will be compatible with APCO Project 25 standards?


/me raises his hand.

That would be me - or rather, who I work for.

Yes, Motorola radios are fully APCO-25 - at least, the ones intended to be APCO-25 (XTS3000, XTS5000, etc.). The MotoTRBO radios aren't APCO-25, but then again, Motorola never claimed they were. Ditto for Motorola's TDMA extension to APCO-25.

APCO-25 is a standard. You claim to support it, you'd damn well better support it to the letter of the standard - or else the TIA will crack your walnuts for you.

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:23 am
by ai4ui
I have used a BK DPH-CMD radio with a Quantar in the digital mode & have talked with Motorola Astro radios with no issues. I was able to use the select call function as well, although it is fairly clunky with the BK. Interesting to note that the DPH-CMD displays the ID's of all the radios it hears. I do not know of a way to alias them.

Robert

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:41 am
by MotoFAN
wavetar wrote:This link should help you determine Motorola P25 radios are indeed truly P25, and compatible in conventional mode to other manufacturers: http://www.motorola.com/governmentanden ... ect_25.pdf

It already something! Thanks!
Nexrad16 wrote:That being said, P25 is an industry standard and radios that meet that standard will communicate with each other, apples to apples (no encryption). One could argue clearly that one radio sounds better than another. That's more to due with different design features and not the P25.

Your theory to me it is certainly clear. But there is a theory, and there is a practice. Whether you know such standard, how UPnP? And whether you know what many UPnP the certificated devices are incompatible with each other? Nevertheless, business is so. It is called practice :)

Then, various radios use various vocoders. Motorola uses DVSI vocoder. What vocoder uses Kenwood, ICOM and Vertex - I do not know. But if to trust Motorola service bulletins, cases insufficiently good demodulation of speech and demodulation threshold decrease were even between Motorola radios with various firmware versions (which various vocoder versions had). If it was valid, from radios other manufacturers it is possible to wait even more for the worst results, whether not so?
I have tested other brands that are P25 and they communicate fine (with other radios on our system during testing) on our P25 /\/\ 700Mhz trunked system here in Boise. Additionally, I have been directly involved with testing at NIST in Boulder CO. and I have yet to identify a radio that is P25 compliant not com with another P25 compliant radio.

Whether you tried Kenwood?
Soon we will test the Thales Liberty.

Thales independently makes a P25 hardware/software platform or uses someone's groundwork?
ai4ui wrote:I have used a BK DPH-CMD radio with a Quantar in the digital mode & have talked with Motorola Astro radios with no issues. I was able to use the select call function as well, although it is fairly clunky with the BK. Interesting to note that the DPH-CMD displays the ID's of all the radios it hears. I do not know of a way to alias them.

Helpful info, thank you!

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:36 am
by akardam
MotoFAN wrote:Then, various radios use various vocoders. Motorola uses DVSI vocoder. What vocoder uses Kenwood, ICOM and Vertex

All APCO Project 25 Phase 1 compliant radios must use the DVSI IMBE codec, period. It's part of the spec.

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:53 am
by cablemonkey
akardam wrote:All APCO Project 25 Phase 1 compliant radios must use the DVSI IMBE codec, period. It's part of the spec.


I've often wondered who got paid and how much to ensure that a proprietary codec got included in an open spec. :lol:

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:16 pm
by Wowbagger
cablemonkey wrote:I've often wondered who got paid and how much to ensure that a proprietary codec got included in an open spec. :lol:


This is one of the things I've griped about, both in reference to APCO-25 and even more so in reference to D-Star and the AOR Digital voice over HF protocol (the name of which escapes me at the moment).

I've tried to get our reps in the TR8 committee to raise that issue, and see if they would at least CONSIDER Speex before swallowing the latest DVSI creation, but....

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:35 pm
by Nexrad16
DVSI period. Kenwood, Macom, /\/\, Thales, if it's P25 it's DVSI. There is an "enhanced vocoder" (DVSI) out there as well that at least one manufacturer is using.

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:25 pm
by cablemonkey
Wowbagger wrote:I've tried to get our reps in the TR8 committee to raise that issue, and see if they would at least CONSIDER Speex before swallowing the latest DVSI creation, but....


It's more than that though, there's big money at stake. I was told at the Daniels factory that they have to pay a $250 licensing fee to DVSI for each and every MT4E module that runs the DVSI code in the DSP.

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:19 pm
by mancow
Is it DVSI's AMBE vocoder that you are thinking of?


Wowbagger wrote:
cablemonkey wrote:I've often wondered who got paid and how much to ensure that a proprietary codec got included in an open spec. :lol:


This is one of the things I've griped about, both in reference to APCO-25 and even more so in reference to D-Star and the AOR Digital voice over HF protocol (the name of which escapes me at the moment).

I've tried to get our reps in the TR8 committee to raise that issue, and see if they would at least CONSIDER Speex before swallowing the latest DVSI creation, but....

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:40 pm
by Wowbagger
mancow wrote:Is it DVSI's AMBE vocoder that you are thinking of?


Yes, in reference to the new TDMA standards being proposed for APCO and the 2 ham standards.

I've done some testing with Speex vs. AMBE and I think that Speex could have done the job just as well at the bit rates involved, and been truly a Free and Open standard.

But, as has been said - there is BIG money in this, and while DVSI has the cash to lobby the TR8 committee, xiph.org does not.

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:57 pm
by mancow
You just know those MIT DVSI guys are laughing their asses all the way to the bank every time a P-25 system gets put on the air. They reall did hit a gold mine. They have everything from P-25, AOR amateur, Icom amateur, Inmarsat and even Iridium locked down.

crazy

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:01 am
by com501
I personally own, and operate the following in P25 mode:

Astro Spectra
Astro Spectra+
XTS2500
XTS3000
XTS5000
XTL2500
XTL5000 (the boss owns this one)
BK-DPH
Vertex VX-P820
Kenwood TK5210
Kenwood TK5710

Some of the above in several bands.

There is no discernable difference to the person on the other end, nor on the service monitor between them. User experience suggests differences in recovered audio quality for the operator, features, and of course, encryption, although my BK with AES works just fine with the Motorolas or Kenwoods with AES.

P25 is a 'Standard' and our esteemed colleague from Aeroflex is correct. It had BETTER work interchangeably.....

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:01 am
by MattSR
cablemonkey wrote:
akardam wrote:All APCO Project 25 Phase 1 compliant radios must use the DVSI IMBE codec, period. It's part of the spec.


I've often wondered who got paid and how much to ensure that a proprietary codec got included in an open spec. :lol:


The specs of IMBE are open and in the public domain too.

You just require a license to use it, thats all :)

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:36 am
by Wowbagger
MattSR wrote:
cablemonkey wrote:The specs of IMBE are open and in the public domain too.

You just require a license to use it, thats all :)


The specs are NOT "in the public domain" by the VERY FACT YOU NEED A LICENSE TO USE THEM.

Please, if you don't know what a term means (like "public domain") DON'T USE IT.

The specs for IMBE are publicly available - they are, after all, patented, and to be patented they must be described in the patent.

That does NOT mean they are "in the public domain" which has a very specific legal meaning - that they are freely available to be used by anybody, for any purpose.

Publicly available != public domain.

Re: Compatibility of P25 radios with Motorola Astro radios

Posted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:52 pm
by com501
mancow wrote:You just know those MIT DVSI guys are laughing their asses all the way to the bank every time a P-25 system gets put on the air. They reall did hit a gold mine. They have everything from P-25, AOR amateur, Icom amateur, Inmarsat and even Iridium locked down.

crazy


You are completely free to develop a method and system, design the hardware and software and pursue the licensing, patents and market share as they did.

Perhaps your new 'standard' will be more popular.

This is, after all, a free country.