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Dual Radio Astro Spectra W3

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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medic1827
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Dual Radio Astro Spectra W3

Postby medic1827 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:57 pm

Okay.....I believe I already have the answer for this, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway.

I'm looking for a source for the equipment, at the request of a local law enforcement agency, that will allow me to connect two different banded Astro Spectra W3's together and control them with the W3 control head.

These are popular with three letter agencies so they're most likely impossible for civilians to get their hands on. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Postby jmr061 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:04 pm

I don't believe anyone has ever 100 percent confirmed the existence of dual radio w3 astro spectras. They do have dual radio w3's in the XTL5000.

Jason

medic1827
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Postby medic1827 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:48 pm

Okay then....is the equipment for the dual radio w3's in the XTL5000 flavor available in the civilian market?

I've been told by a reliable source that the dual astro sabers do exist and are primarily utilized by DEA......apparantely saw one first hand.

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Postby medic1827 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:14 pm

Just answered my own question. I looked at the brochure for the XTL and they even market it as a dual radio platform.

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Pj
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Postby Pj » Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:36 pm

The Astro Spectra's were available in a dual radio format via a SIU and the HHCH. Many gov't law enforcement radios were used this way (DEA, IRS, USMS, etc).

(SIU and HHCH)
Image

Which is not to be confused with the W3 which looks like this:
Image

There is indirect evidence that the Astro Spectra was available in the dual radio W3 and W9 varieties, but concrete proof hasn't surfaced. Don't bother wasting your time on that. The W7 and W9 radios could be setup as a dual reciever but the 2nd radio can only RX. A few of us have tried to get around that, but no go. It will not TX, even with MDC1200 or trunked commands sent to the radio. Nada, zilch. Only nice thing (for us) about that, is that you can take a 800MHz Astro Spectra on a trunked system, and it will NEVER TX, so you can monitor one safety with it. Other than that, its an expensive 16 channel scanner. In addition, no hardware changes are needed. You need need to buy the dual radio cable and it runs about $150 or so.

The XTL5000 is available as a true dual radio or dual reciever setup. The catch is, you need to order BOTH radios with that option. According to the Moto catalogs, it is NOT field upgradable to dual radio.

According to my sales sheet, this is what it has to say (Pre O Series heads):

MULTI RADIO
The Multi Radio Feature offers the capability to control TWO (2) XTL 5000 mobile radios from ONE (1) W3 style control head.
The Multi Radio Feature is NOT compatible with W4, W5, W7, or W9 control heads.

• The Multi Radio System consists of two XTL 5000 mobile radios in different bands configured for operation with a W3 Control Head,
two speakers, one W3 Control Head, and associated cabling.

• This configuration is NOT compatible with W4, W5, W7, or W9 control heads.

• Typically, the primary radio is ordered with the necessary Multi Radio software option, the necessary Multi Radio hardware option,
a speaker, an antenna, a mounting option, any additional radio software features and the W3 control head. The secondary radio is
ordered with the necessary Multi Radio software option, a speaker, an antenna, a mounting option, any additional radio software
features and the no control head option.

• The options below are orderable from the Multi Radio Section.

o Must select the Multi Radio Software (G474) on each mobile radio used in the Multi Radio System.

o Must select the W3 Control Head Software (G92) on each mobile radio used in the Multi Radio System.

o Must select the W3 Control Head Hardware (G72) on the Primary mobile radio used in the Multi Radio System.

o Must select the Multi Radio HHCH W3 Hardware (W845)on the Primary mobile radio used in the Multi Radio System.

o Must select the No Control Head option (G88) on the Auxiliary mobile radio used in the Multi Radio System.


The price at the time (discounted I believe):

ENH: MULTI RADIO SW G474 $600.00
Requires G92.
ADD: MULTI RADIO HDW INTFACE W3 W845 $1,400.00
Requires G72

G92 is: G92 ADD: CONTROL HEAD SOFTWARE, W3 $0.00
G72 is: G72 ADD: W3 CONTROL HEAD HANDHELD $804.10

Also see: kb.php?mode=article&k=28

As you can tell, its not cheap. Now, if anything has changed with the new style heads, if you can use the O5 or the such, I don't know off hand. I would hope that you could.
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radioinstl
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Postby radioinstl » Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:02 pm


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Pj
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Postby Pj » Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:11 pm

.....which is what I wrote above
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jmr061
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Postby jmr061 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:15 pm

Yes that is proof of the W3 dual XTL5000, which I think has been already covered pretty well that it exists.

Jason

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Bruce1807
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Postby Bruce1807 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:37 pm

you can quad head it now.

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matt_tjaden
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Postby matt_tjaden » Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:16 pm

Our shop has done a few removal and installs of the VHF/UHF astro radios for DEA. In the model numbers I have seen both W3 and W9 listed in the model number for both radios. All the setups I've seen had the Syntor/Spectra A3 looking mic.

Matt Tjaden

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alex
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Postby alex » Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:26 pm

The interconnect cable doesn't seem too pricey... (of course keeping in mind the fact that you did just drop 6-8K on 2 XTLS (depending of course... on where you got 'em))

3064426H01 $206.00 List.

-Alex

medic1827
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Postby medic1827 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:19 am

Yeah....government pricing is a wonderful thing!! Thanks for all the help.

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Postby ka8ypy » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:54 pm

matt_tjaden wrote:Our shop has done a few removal and installs of the VHF/UHF astro radios for DEA. In the model numbers I have seen both W3 and W9 listed in the model number for both radios. All the setups I've seen had the Syntor/Spectra A3 looking mic.

Matt Tjaden


The HHCH is an A3 look alike...Controlled by the SIU, from what I have been able to find out about the dual radio spectra, Motorola never made a cable for the W3, W5/W7, or W9 control heads. And this is not just a cable from the SIU to the control head, but from the control cable that the hhch plugs in to to the respective control head.

As far as programming, the drawers program using regular AstroM software, nothing needed for the SIU unless you want to programm a channel ID to the respective channel on the HHCH. Max channels is 100 per radio (limited by HHCH).

So as PJ stated, best bet for a W3 or W9 head is the XTL5000.

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Postby fogster » Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:54 am

radioinstl wrote:here is your proof

http://members.aol.com/radioinstl/dualW3.pdf


Not to get too far off-topic, but in that document, it makes a passing reference to the second radio not being able to be set up as a "Hot Red Receiver," despite the option in software for it. I can't find anything, anywhere using the term (aside from describing a color :lol: ): what is a "hot red receiver"?

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Postby alex » Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:29 am

The idea is that if you buy the dual radio cable, the second radio acts as a RX only radio. This was setup so that if you needed to monitor one channel, you could always monitor that channel, while having another radio that you can talk and switch channels on. There are a few agencies in the US that require you listen to that channel 100% of the time, so this is their way of ensuring the ability to do so.

-Alex

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Pj
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Postby Pj » Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:55 am

The HRR receiver is just that. Another ASpectra that sits and listens all day long. Do a search this forum, as I have explained it in great detail already (don't feel like typing again).
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Monitor142
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Postby Monitor142 » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:52 am

The HRR or "Hot Red Receiver" is used here in Orange County, CA. It was a secondary Astro Spectra with the RX portion only that sits idle monitoring the countywide "Red Talkgroup" for law enforcement.

It was an SP done by Moto at Orange County's request when they built out their SmartZone 3.1 system. Now that the Astro Spectra is no longer built, Moto's product group is trying to figure out how, if possible, to move this capability to the XTL series. Has not been easy to say the least, but it's in the contract that Moto has to offer this SP option for OC.

Looks like they might consider two real radios now with a muting feature in the firmware...however has not been confirmed as of yet.

Brian

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4n6inv
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Postby 4n6inv » Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:28 pm

That would be my question. Why not offer a TRUE dual radio system? Am I understanding this right? The XTL HRR is recieve ONLY, also??? Sounds like those X9000's that were dumped from Washington State not too long ago that were RX only... Damn, Motorola; let's get with it! I'd LOVE to have a V&U on an O3 HHCH in my vehicle with a Sti-Co antenna. I'd feel like a fully cooked weenie, then.

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Pj
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Postby Pj » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:43 pm

The "w3" XTL5000 IS a true dual radio system, and I am sure the O3 do/will support it.

However, since the Syntor x9000, there hasn't been a true dual radio with a "normal" control head.

The 2nd radio on the HRR will operate like any other astro spectra, but will not TX at ALL. You can have 255 channels, scan in each zone, etc etc etc, but it WILL NOT tx. No affilations, no MDC responses, nothing.

In the OC setup (the TRUE HRR), the radios are modified to the point where there is an antenna switch and passthru so you only need one antenna. There are also some other minor differences to help with standby current draw, and the such but ANY astro spectra (w7 or w9) will support the HRR. All you need to do is turn the option on in the codeplug and buy the dual radio cable and your done.

As an interesting note, if you have a 512k spectra, the 2nd radio (by itself) will TX and RX. When its hooked up with the primary radio, it will not TX. If you have a 1meg radio, it will not TX at all when its the only radio plugged in. A few people have tried to get the 512k radio to work in the dual radio mode, but so far no go.

Another interesting note, the 2nd radio...is suppose to have its own radio ID on the trunked system (if its on one). I am not 100% sure why if its never going to TX.
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Postby cbus » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:51 pm

Pj wrote:Another interesting note, the 2nd radio...is suppose to have its own radio ID on the trunked system (if its on one). I am not 100% sure why if its never going to TX.


how else would the radio affiliate with the tower to allow their talkgroup to pass through if no other unit is affiliated with that trunked tower ?.

unless the "must listen to" talkgroup is sent to every tower, it would have to have an id.

kinda crazy. you would be paying for 2 x subscriptions to the network for each vehicle!.

It would be cheaper to buy some FM radio freq and make the vehicles normal am/fm radio force tune to that radio station.

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Pj
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Postby Pj » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:25 am

In the OC setup, the red talkgroup is at each site, so there isn't a problem. Again, thats a county site and the county isn't paying itself a user fee, so thats not an issue.

There are a couple of programming tidbits that are interesting, but I don't have the manual with me here.
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cbus
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Postby cbus » Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:39 am

Pj wrote:In the OC setup, the red talkgroup is at each site, so there isn't a problem. Again, thats a county site and the county isn't paying itself a user fee, so thats not an issue.

There are a couple of programming tidbits that are interesting, but I don't have the manual with me here.


Fair enough. The whole red hot receiver just seems very strange to me. if the calls over this channel are so important, why not just broadcast them on the main working channels ??

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Postby mr.syntrx » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:47 pm

cbus wrote:
Pj wrote:In the OC setup, the red talkgroup is at each site, so there isn't a problem. Again, thats a county site and the county isn't paying itself a user fee, so thats not an issue.

There are a couple of programming tidbits that are interesting, but I don't have the manual with me here.


Fair enough. The whole red hot receiver just seems very strange to me. if the calls over this channel are so important, why not just broadcast them on the main working channels ??


The red hot receiver may well be on the working channel, while the main radio is off somewhere else.

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Pj
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Postby Pj » Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:22 am

On the OC setup, the radio is not programmed to scan, or anything else. Only the RED talkgroup is programmed into it..

Their "red" channel is their "hot" channel for critial incident notification and the such.
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Re: Dual Radio Astro Spectra W3

Postby mhodgson » Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:49 pm

Smoking over some of the discussion on here and I have two different and very diverse dual radio questions:

1) I currently have two Syntor X9000's in my state vehicle (1) VHF High and (1) VHF Low, a special YKN dual radio cable and one HCN1036 control head. I can switch from radio A to radio B with the ALT button on the head. This all started life as a DEA UHF LO and VHF HI setup that I converted the UHF LO to low band. It has worked flawlessly for ten plus years. I have several extra heads but cannot find any more Y cables...anyone have a source or schematic?

2) Rather stupidly I have changed my VHF and 800 XTL5000's to and O3 and O5 respectively. I would like to add a UHF radio to my O3 setup and a second 800 radio to my O5 setup. I see some references made to the Dual radio option and recall being told by Motorola that it would be an option soon (a year ago) but they now say that they do NOT know when it will come out....any ideas?

Thanks

Mike


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