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Thread: MOTOTRBO vs. ASTRO 25

  1. #1
    picard No Longer Registered

    Default MOTOTRBO vs. ASTRO 25

    what are the differences between ASTRO and TRBO? I understand that TRBO does not support Simulcast, and the XPR 6550's aren't as durable as the ASTRO portables, but what else should i know if i'm going to have a new system installed at our site with a few hundred users? Reliability is key, and there must be 3 systems on site (within range of each other) that can operate together but also independently if a data link fails.


  2. #2
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    The XPR6550's are very frail in the channel selector and volume control area's. We have them in hotels, casino's and PD's. If the guys are careful with them its not a issue but if they break they often destroy the board and require a depot trip.

    The XPR8300's had big PA problems, the 8400's should have cured this and the MTR3k would be the best choice.

    Trbo stations cannot be base stations in digital, only repeaters.

    IP site connect works well as long as its programmed correctly.

  3. #3
    picard No Longer Registered

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    thanks magnus,

    i understand that the site connect doesn't have real trunking though. i think we will be looking for that added ability. but then the question becomes, can i get linked capacity plus (logical trunking) to still work if the sites are disconnected from each other?

    i heard the exact same problem from another company about the 6550's.. i think we have some of the 8300's right now -- what kind of PA issue do you mean, does that mean power amp?

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    Yes, when they are ran at full power the power amplifiers do not hold up. Linked capacity plus I'm not to familiar with, I don't know how it will act in the event of a link failure.

  5. #5
    picard No Longer Registered

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    you can't really program talk groups on ip site connect can you? if so, the talk groups are locked to one channel, correct?

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    Yeah they are programmed to a timeslot and the portable roams between freqs based on rssi. If you are going to have multiple channels and wide are i think linked capacity plus is the way to go.

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    Linked Capacity Plus sites work just fine as stand alone sites if the link happens to go down, doesn't matter if it's a 'master' site or 'peer' site. The only real caveat is you can't add 'new' sites to the system if the link to the master site is down...same as IPSC.

  8. #8
    picard No Longer Registered

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    with 3 sides all in RF range of each other, how will the roaming work? i was reading that they can take 10 minutes in some cases to switch sites but would that mean that the radio is dead for 10 minutes?

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    I'm sure it's just RSSI based. You can set the threshold in the CPS and the radio will just pick the strongest site... And I really don't think there would be any situations where the radio would be dead for that long... that would be a MAJOR issue if that was the case.

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    It may take some time to switch to a higher rssi site, but if it loses the beacon it will search for another site and find one quickly.

  11. #11
    SimpleSkye No Longer Registered

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    Wow, didn't know that about the knobs on the top. I was debating on changing my business radios from P25 to TRBO just for somthing new to mess with (in addition to considering I can get new TRBO equipment for the price of used P25 stuff typically), I think I will stay where I am at right now.

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    I have tried both types of radios. I found that the P25 generally sounded better and had no issues when going from the trunked system to conventional modes. I also use the non P25 conventional ability to talk to other services and use on 2 meters.

  13. #13
    RM1 No Longer Registered

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    WE use mototrbo in Sheriff dept. Ouickly seeing that P25 would have been better. GSP can't talk to us in digital side with their Radios.

  14. #14
    nfl123 No Longer Registered

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    The XPR6xxx Series on/off/volume control and channel select switches are poorly designed. The actual Channel select switch is anchored to the mother board by three solder pins. It is merely sheer force and compresssion that depends how well the contacts for the binary channel select switch mate to the main board. I am constantly sending back radios to the depot because of this issue. Motorola is aware of some problems with this issue. It does not appear to happen in new radios from the factory but from radios being repaired. I personally believe it is a flawed design. If I had known years ago what I know now, I would be very concerned about the design of the radio just for that purpose. The IP Site connect is an inexpensive feature compared to an Astro Simulcast Site. The Vocoder in the TRBO radio is (so I am told) of better or equal quality as the ASTRO. The length of the data bits is what really determines the difference between a TRBO Signal and a Motorola Astro Transmission(ASTRO of course using a higher number of data bits). I am anxious to examie the SL Series portables to see if it's design is the same for the channel select switch.
    We have a number of systems using TRBO Mobiles and they seem to work fine for all practical purposes. We have one large Capacity Plus Single Site system with GPS and that works GREAT but all subscribers are mobiles. I have not had enough data to see how the system works with portables and GPS. If you are going to use this for public safety, it seems the better route would be to definately utilize some sort of actual Trunking wether it is ASTRO or TRBO. Trunking Data for GPS seems to be handled better with a Capacity Plus and Connect Plus TRBO Systems. Linked Capacity Plus and Connect Plus Systems for TRBO do allow for multiple sites. Linked Capacity Plus initially had a limited number of sites and physical hardware but just recently Motorola has expanded that to allow for more equipment and sites. TRBO Connect Plus (trunking) uses a traditional control channel and all data goes ghrough the control channel, radio id's, text messaging, gps info and so forth.

  15. #15
    nfl123 No Longer Registered

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    What I would like to see is an APX radio that can do BOTH ASTRO and TRBO. Motorola has indicated they will never put that capability into this series radio. I think that is a mistake because the APX Radio, I believe, is one of the best designed radios Motorola has ever manufactured. It certainly has the technology to accomodate either protocal but for some reason it comes down to a Marketing decision by Motorola.

  16. #16
    nfl123 No Longer Registered

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    Roaming works based in the RSSI settings in the subscriber radios. If the sites are close to each other you need to have different frequencies in each site to avoid any co channel interference. We had installed a system initially with IP Site Connect and Kept the frequencies the same for each site. The sites were 25 miles away from each other and we quickly discovered they were too close to have the same frequency based on the terrain. Once we put in a new repeater frequency for the other site, the co channel "muffled" audio issue went away. You have to do a little trial and error setting the right settings in the radio. You have to keep in mind whatever the RSSI setting is in the radio and it decides to stay on that site, you need to make sure the output power of the subscriber radio is strong enough to reach the site it is connected to. I have a customer with two sites 1.8 miles from each other and they can very well be connected to the site that is farthest away because the radio is still receiving a good signal and has no need to begin searching for another site.

  17. #17
    MrMixx No Longer Registered

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    The infrastructure on a TRBO system isn't redundant like the public safety grade stuff.

    MrMixx

    Quote Originally Posted by picard View Post
    what are the differences between ASTRO and TRBO? I understand that TRBO does not support Simulcast, and the XPR 6550's aren't as durable as the ASTRO portables, but what else should i know if i'm going to have a new system installed at our site with a few hundred users? Reliability is key, and there must be 3 systems on site (within range of each other) that can operate together but also independently if a data link fails.

  18. #18
    nfl123 No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMixx View Post
    The infrastructure on a TRBO system isn't redundant like the public safety grade stuff.

    MrMixx
    Granted,
    There are distinct differences, but the Connect Plus TRBO Stuff (Trunking) does allow for a similar type of redundancy as some ASTRO Systems.
    If you are going to involve Thousands of Radios the proven model for Public Safety is hands down ASTRO Systems.

    I have heard talk that the ASTRO Conventional using The New GTR8000 "Gators" P25 will have their version of an IP Site Connect System, but I don't think it has been officially announced by Motorola yet. If that happens, it will be a lot easier to provide better coverage for a number of Conventional ASTRO Customers including some of the Federal Government Users.