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XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

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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W2GLD
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XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby W2GLD » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:45 pm

Does anyone know what the latest ECM firmware revision is for the XTS3000 series DES-XL & DES-OFB modules???

I currently have two identical XTS3000 radios with the DES-XL/DES-OFB modules installed. The radios are running what I beleive to be the latest firmware HOST/DSP, but I think that the ECM firmware is rather old.

Here is what my radios are currently running:

Host - R07.71.07
DSP - N08.03.05
ECM - R03.43.00

Is there a later revision of the ECM firmware and can it be updated without visiting the depot for service??? If so, what is the process?

Thanks,

Jerry - W2GLD

akardam
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby akardam » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:18 pm

ECM R03.xx isn't really that old. Are you having a specific issue, or just curious?

ECM firmware cannot be updated. Only UCM firmware can be updated, and that requires a KVL3000/KVL3000+ and a pretty costly kit plus per-module firmware refresh price.

Hightower
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby Hightower » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:21 pm

EMC 3.43 is not that old and should work no problems with the lastest firmware your running. I think they are up to EMC 3.47 or something close to that.

W2GLD
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby W2GLD » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:36 pm

Actually I am having an issue with the DES-XL portion. All transmissions appear to sound off frequency or distored.

On the DES-OFB side of the house, it appears to work flawlessly.

Anyone have any suggestions on this???

Also, I wasn't aware that the ECM modules could not be firmware flashed, so if this is true, units with ECM firmware R02.00 are virtually useless??? Can anyone confirm the none upgrading of the ECM firmware???

Thanks,

Jerry - W2GLD

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txshooter
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby txshooter » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:23 pm

W2GLD wrote:... units with ECM firmware R02.00 are virtually useless??? ...

Wow, that seems to be carrying it a bit far. I have run 2.xx modules and 3.xx. modules side by side in different radios with good results. In fact many large agencies have such a mix of ECM/UCM firmware revisions and HOST/DSP revisions in radio you would not believe it! While it is not ideal, it does work. Remember all updates are backwards compatible. DES-XL on a XTS3000 should be able to communicate fine with DES-XL in a Analog Spectra or the like.
Scott B.
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Hightower
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby Hightower » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:42 pm

Encryption modules for the 3K / Astro Saber / Spectra are not upgradable unfortunally, but the Encryption modules in the Astro25 radios can be upgraded during a firmware refresh.

akardam
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby akardam » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:52 pm

Hightower wrote:Encryption modules for the 3K / Astro Saber / Spectra are not upgradable unfortunally, but the Encryption modules in the Astro25 radios can be upgraded during a firmware refresh.

That's not quite true. As mentioned above, UCM's are upgradeable. However, most of the Astro Saber/Astro Spectra modules on the used market (the ubiquitous NTN1153 DES-XL module comes to mind) are not UCM's. I *think* the 3k V67 generic modules are UCM's.

Basically, if it's 3.xx, don't worry about it.

tvsjr
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby tvsjr » Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:43 pm

All the V67s I've seen are indeed UCMs... most have been R03.46 or so.

MattSR
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby MattSR » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:44 am

akardam and terry are, as usual, on the money.

I've got an XTS3000 with a V67 in it that is EMC ver 3.58 - and has DES-XL/OFB and AES256 - thats the highest revision i've seen.

Cheers,
Matt

Hightower
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby Hightower » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:55 pm

akardam wrote:
Hightower wrote:Encryption modules for the 3K / Astro Saber / Spectra are not upgradable unfortunally, but the Encryption modules in the Astro25 radios can be upgraded during a firmware refresh.

That's not quite true. As mentioned above, UCM's are upgradeable. However, most of the Astro Saber/Astro Spectra modules on the used market (the ubiquitous NTN1153 DES-XL module comes to mind) are not UCM's. I *think* the 3k V67 generic modules are UCM's.

Basically, if it's 3.xx, don't worry about it.


So some of the Astro Saber / XTS3K UCM's are field or depot upgradeable?

akardam
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby akardam » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:49 am

Hightower wrote:So some of the Astro Saber / XTS3K UCM's are field or depot upgradeable?

Correct. If it's a UCM, you can refresh the firmware and add algos (within certain limits) in the field with a KVL3000/3000+ and the appropriate kit ($$$) from Motorola.

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Pj
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby Pj » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:29 pm

I think I have some of those V0.60 modules in service and working just fine.

Can't say that I have seen a revision list on what was changed/added publically released or complied for encyption modules yet. Don't remember if Doug's list had something or not.
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W2GLD
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby W2GLD » Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:44 pm

Thank you all who have replied and as for my issues, or what I thought were issues with the DES-XL, I am told that this is normal operation and the radios have been tested and appear to be working fine. I do however have one more question regarding this though. What is the purpose for the firmware revisions then??? For example, if I have one radio with R03.43 and let's say R03.57 ECM modules, will it make any difference one way or the other???

Thanks,

Jerry - W2GLD

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Pj
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby Pj » Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:21 am

Nope. It will talk to the oldest chip out there.

Basically Motorola went from an algo specific hardware, to hardware that just needed to be flashed to support whatever encryption that needed to be in it. In short, why carry 20 different boards, when you can just carry one and zap it with a computer on the way out the door.

As with any sort of software, a tweak here or there never hurts.
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akardam
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby akardam » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:10 am

The caveat being that you can pretty much always use a newer Host firmware with an older module, but not the other way around. The Host firmware needs to be at a certian level to support UCM's and newer EMC firmware. As long as your Host is recent (R07 for portables and R11 for mobiles) you shouldn't have a problem using any EMC/UCM out there.

W2GLD
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Re: XTS3000 ECM Firmware Question?

Postby W2GLD » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:29 am

Gotcha, thanks guys, sounds like I'm all set with what I have...

Host: R07.71.07
DSP: N08.03.05
ECM: R03.43.00

Always a pleasure...

Regards,

Jerry - W2GLD


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