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Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

The General forum is where users can discuss any topic regarding Motorola communications equipment - hardware, software, etc. There are also several focused forums on this board, so please take the time to ensure that your questions doesn't fall into one of those categories before posting here!

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g8tzl2004
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Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby g8tzl2004 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:35 pm

I find that most of my Motorola radios out perform just about every other commercial radio - but there is one BIG disappointment which has existed for years!!!!

You can only scan 16 channels at a time with most Motorola radios....although my modded Maxtrac will do 32.

With my 10 year old Vertex handheld, I can scan every channel (200?). I can also scan across all groups/zones..and I can temporarily delete any nuisance channels. I can do all this just using 1 key !!!! Press once for scan, press twice for group/zone scan and press+hold for temp nuisance delete.

Come on Motorola - you own Vertex so learn from them and get modding that firmware for multi channel scan !!!

Does anybody agree?

Jim1348
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Motorola - Its Time To Learn From Vertex!!!

Postby Jim1348 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:35 pm

I did not know that, but I do agree. I had a GE Delta a few years back and I had it configured for four banks of 32 channels each. I was able to scan all 32 channels in a bank and that was quite handy. I haven't paid close attention to the Vertex radios just lately, can they be set up as Front Panel Programmable, too?

MT2000 man
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby MT2000 man » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:40 pm

I was just thinking about this the other day actually. Kinda shameful when my $5000 XTS5000 cannot scan more than 16 channels at once. I have no idea what the max amount of channels an APX can scan, but you get the point.

RFguy
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby RFguy » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:26 pm

Sounds more like a hobbyist requirement than a commercial/public safety requirement.

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MTS2000des
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby MTS2000des » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:09 am

RFguy wrote:Sounds more like a hobbyist requirement than a commercial/public safety requirement.


Exactly.

Large scan list=you're gonna miss something important.

Public safety and business users don't NEED to scan more than maybe 4-5 channels/talkgroups. It has been tested that scanning more than that usually results in missed traffic. Scan is usually discouraged to be used in public safety applications, except priority monitor.

I use the example of my Kenwood NX-700, it allows you to do multi-group scan and scan virtually everything in the radio. Even with the hold time set to "0" seconds, it misses ALOT of traffic.
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Jim1348
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby Jim1348 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:35 am

MTS2000des wrote:.....Large scan list=you're gonna miss something important.....Public safety and business users don't NEED to scan more than maybe 4-5 channels/talkgroups. It has been tested that scanning more than that usually results in missed traffic. Scan is usually discouraged to be used in public safety applications, except priority monitor.


I will respectfully disagree with you on part of the above. I started cop work in 1980 and we scanned 4 channels on a Motorola Micor. Most recently we are participants in an 800 mHz statewide trunked system. While I will certainly agree that you can miss traffic on a certain channel if the receiver is on another channel, dual level priority can help. Also, I really think it depends on how busy the channels/talkgroups are. Another helpful feature is the nuisance channel delete. If somebody is giving out a big dissertation on the radio, temporarily lock them out.

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escomm
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby escomm » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:04 am

Jim1348 wrote:
MTS2000des wrote:.....Large scan list=you're gonna miss something important.....Public safety and business users don't NEED to scan more than maybe 4-5 channels/talkgroups. It has been tested that scanning more than that usually results in missed traffic. Scan is usually discouraged to be used in public safety applications, except priority monitor.


I will respectfully disagree with you on part of the above. I started cop work in 1980 and we scanned 4 channels on a Motorola Micor. Most recently we are participants in an 800 mHz statewide trunked system. While I will certainly agree that you can miss traffic on a certain channel if the receiver is on another channel, dual level priority can help. Also, I really think it depends on how busy the channels/talkgroups are. Another helpful feature is the nuisance channel delete. If somebody is giving out a big dissertation on the radio, temporarily lock them out.

Priority scan is an even worse idea with a large number of members in your scan list. Since the radio will check the priority channel on every other attempt, you're significantly increasing the likelihood of a missed call on the non-priority members.

g8tzl2004
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby g8tzl2004 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:20 am

Public Safety and Business users might only need 16 scan channels but why does Motorola not at least provide an OPTION to have more scan channels if you want?....like most of the other commercial radio manufacturers.

After all, Motorola provides the option to have variable TX power eg. 1w or 5w TX output. Presumably Public Safety users will only ever use 5w as using 1w might mean that an emergency call does not get thru. You might therefore expect Motorola to only manufacture 5W radios but instead they provide an option to use low power if required!!! So why don't they provide the option to have 250 scan channels?

Modifying the firmware for multi-channel scan should be a very easy task for Motorola - they just need to ask Vertex how to do it!!!!

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FMROB
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby FMROB » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:10 pm

I have to agree with the original poster. The ability to scan more than 16 channels should be left up to the user and thier radio persons. It is more than handy and is certainly not just a "hobbyist" feature.

Where I work we have 20 something fire departments on UHF and we genrally like to monitor the depts for traffic. We wind up having to use the mobile and portable to cover all the bases, which is a pain. It would be nice to be able to scan all of my 20 depts in the hunk of junk xtl mounted in the console, that by the way has been back to M for 3 factory service trips.

Using a scanner or installing a sewcond radio is more hobby style to me than scanning lets say even 32 channels.

My simple answer, use another quality vendors radio that will perfom the function.

rob

g8tzl2004
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby g8tzl2004 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:15 pm

Jim1348 - yes you can field program Vertex radios.

With the VX10 you need to short 2 pads hidden behind the battery. You don't actually need to open the radio.

With the VX800 you need to short 2 pins on the side accessory.

Full details are floating around the internet.

I've done it with my VX10 but not with my VX800 - using the PC programmer is much easier but if you just wanted to change a few frequencies, then field programming is very useful.

Jim1348
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Motorola - Its Time To Learn From Vertex!!!

Postby Jim1348 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:02 pm

g8tzl2004 wrote:.....With the VX10 you need to short 2 pads hidden behind the battery. You don't actually need to open the radio.....With the VX800 you need to short 2 pins on the side accessory.....


Thank you for the reply. That reminds me of back in the day when I was carrying a Bendix-King portable for work. I always carried a small paper clip in my coin purse. A small paper clip was just right for putting the radio in the programming mode!

jhooten
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby jhooten » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:29 pm

Back in the dark ages it was an 8 channel crystal controlled scanner mounted next to the control head for the 2 channel Micor.

Garyf629
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby Garyf629 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:19 am

This is why we tell people to buy a scanner!

olderookie
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby olderookie » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:09 am

Garyf629 wrote:This is why we tell people to buy a scanner!



Scanners don't transmit.........

resqguy911
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby resqguy911 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:55 am

g8tzl2004 wrote:Public Safety and Business users might only need 16 scan channels but why does Motorola not at least provide an OPTION to have more scan channels if you want?....like most of the other commercial radio manufacturers.

After all, Motorola provides the option to have variable TX power eg. 1w or 5w TX output. Presumably Public Safety users will only ever use 5w as using 1w might mean that an emergency call does not get thru. You might therefore expect Motorola to only manufacture 5W radios but instead they provide an option to use low power if required!!! So why don't they provide the option to have 250 scan channels?

Modifying the firmware for multi-channel scan should be a very easy task for Motorola - they just need to ask Vertex how to do it!!!!


1. Name the other manufacturers other than Vertex that do this. EFJ, Harris, Thales & Relm/BK sure don't. Motorola has on multiple occasions (in voice of customer meetings and such) explained their position on why they restrict the scanlist to so few. If you give users the option: They will enable a huge scanlist, then they WILL miss traffic, and then they WILL blame the manufacturer and programmer for causing an important message to go unheard.
2. Public safety will only ever use 5W? FDNY (one of the largest customers on the planet) uses 1W on ALL fireground channels UNTIL you hit the EA button, then it goes to 5W until rest.
"TDMA = digital and same great taste, half the bits"

g8tzl2004
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby g8tzl2004 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:51 am

Kenwood, Icom, Tait, Maxon, Midland, Hytera, Simoco, Sepura, Sagem, Bosch....etc

As I said, Motorola give the OPTION to have 1W or 5W....what happens if the user programs the radio to 1W to save battery power but then an emergency call fails to get thru because the user is in a basement. If he had used 5W, the call would have got thru and many lives would have been saved???

The logic of the above is that Motorola should NOT provide a low power option BUT they do...so why do they NOT provide a "100" channel scan option? They can provide warnings that emergency users should NOT use more than 16 channels but the final decision should be with the user..like with deciding whether to "risk" just using 1W??

resqguy911
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby resqguy911 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:13 am

How many of those manufacturers are used in significant quantity by the government today? In our entire region, Kenwoods are only used for UHF MED radios; Icom for maybe 2 AIR or Marine VHF radios per jurisdiction. The rest aren't even serious. Motorola probably sells more FRS radios than other manufacturers entire lines.
The major manufacturers even see no money to be made by engineering DMR into their high tier radios, they sure aren't going to increase scanlist members for a specialty market.

The reason they provide an option for low power is because a more robust radio system can compensate for it by having more receivers. You can't compensate for a missed call because a radio was scanning unless you incorporate a 2nd receiver (Ham style dual-watch). I would bet you'll see Motorola do just that before you see a larger scanlist.

Don't get me wrong, I would like more channels in MY radio- but I would never want it in my employees' radios. As a matter of fact, we do not even allow scan to be used by non-supervisory personnel. It's not enabled in their codeplug.
"TDMA = digital and same great taste, half the bits"

g8tzl2004
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby g8tzl2004 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:38 pm

All I'm saying is that 100 channel scan and cross zone scan should be an OPTION. You could have a "basic" codeplug restricted to 16 channel scan but, if the user wanted it, you could enable multi-channel cross zone scanning....it would cost very little to implement.....a bit like all the numerous features I could enable on my XTS5000 if I had a use for them but I don't!!!

The other companies I have listed are Motorola's biggest competitors on a global basis - in certain markets some are bigger than Motorola!!

You would also think that with all the DSP developments that Motorola could scan 250 channels every second???? In fact , you would think that 250 channels could be monitored at the same time so there would be no delay at all!!!

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escomm
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby escomm » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:03 pm

Buy 25000 APX7000s and Motorola will write you firmware to do whatever you want them to do.

g8tzl2004
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby g8tzl2004 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:02 pm

OK

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Pj
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby Pj » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:46 pm

The target market is public safety and commercial users. They did increase channel scanning capacity with the APX line, and it works VERY well between trunked and conventional.

However, in the addition to scanned channels, they way large wide area systems are setup, the users pretty much stay on a single talkgroup or channel. Its curiosity factor of users who want to hear what other people are doing, the typically they don't need to know. Reason being is that many SOP's/SOG's have important information go through the dispatcher/communications center and/or users who need to know or be involved will switch to the active talkgroup or a common incident channel.

Sure we are all nosey, but in the reality world, does a FD, EMS, EMA, garbage man need to listen to 40 different agencies just in case something might be happening across town/city/county/state? The answer is typically no.

Like Rescue was saying, sure it would be nice to have to keep the ears in tuned, but modern day operations - your on a need to know basis.

In my county, we operate conventional and trunked and the APX does a very nice (practically instant) talkgroup scan between the two.. but no priority. If the analog dispatching is going on, and talkgroup is on a law enforcement channel, I will miss the initial dispatch and I'll be no good to anyone. We are not going to install a separate radio or scanner just so we do not miss something - its not cost effective and unnecessary.
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escomm
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby escomm » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:03 am

Yes, but the hobbyist still primarily using JEDI radios needs to listen to fortyleven PDs at once and that's a critical market to serve ! ! !

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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby N9LLO » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:16 am

My old Thales 25 will scan across zones but is rather slow. One radio that scans very well is the old GE/MaCom M-RK handheld. You can put 64 channels in a zone and scan them all and it does it very well. I keep one around on VHF for that reason, I think the Orion mobile would do the same. Motorolas only decent scanner is the X9000 but you have to do some extra programming to scan the selected channel, that was screwy but I still have a dual drawer U-V stack installed in my truck.

Chris
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gatekeep
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby gatekeep » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:26 pm

I'd like to interject that ... my EF Johnson 5100 scan's about 32 or so conventional channels relatively quick (with room for a plenty more channels in the scanlist). The primary difference here is I think with the speed of the embedded CPU in the radios themselves. It is quite possible that the proprietary /\/\ CPU can't handle scanning through a large scan list quickly. If you guys remember, there was a change in the XTS early on that changed the CPU type from the RAM22 to BRAVO, and that there was an issue with sluggish operation and specifically a serious stutter with indication tones.

So it's possible it was, nothing more then decision on the behalf of /\/\ engineering to not have scanlists larger then 15 members for performance reasons.

Of course ... I could just be blowing smoke.
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MTS2000des
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Re: Motorola - its time to learn from Vertex!!!

Postby MTS2000des » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:40 pm

I have an XTS5000 with an early Bravo 112 CPU circa early 2004 and HOST V20/DSP19 and there is no problem with any "stuttering", this was fixed in a HOST update a few back. The radio has about 700 trunked/conventional modes, three large SZOL Astro 25 systems, dozens of call lists, 18 different scan lists, and doesn't feel sluggish at all.

I can switch zones instantly. No lag at all when I press keys.

XTS3000's/Astro Sabers are another story. I have an Astro Spectra setup for 9600 baud SZ and it does have a slight lag when switching zones- but then this is mid 1990s technology that was maxed out and stretched as thin as possible in the mid 2000s to support Astro 25. 1 MEG of RAM is amazing considering all that is going on under the hood. Amazing that it works at all.
The views here are my own and do not represent those of anyone else or the company, the boss, his wife, his dog or distant relatives.


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