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Thread: Motorola made me look like a complete idiot to my clients

  1. #1
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    Default Motorola made me look like a complete idiot to my clients

    So the security/surveillance department needed 2 new TG’s added to their TRBO radios. No problem, I have their master codeplug, added the new TG’s and went to their site for what I thought would be a simple “clone 28 radios”. Boy way I wrong! Cloned the first few radios without any problem, then the 3rd one is when the s**t hit the fan. The 3rd radio cloned properly, but when it rebooted, the power up tone literally made me drop a radio in my hand! This radio now has all tones set to max level! Reboot the radio and the alert tones are still at max, reclone the radio didn’t do a thing - all tones are set to max. So I read the radio and wrote back the codeplug, no difference. Now, with a dozen security/surveillance guys giving me the “WTF look” and I’m baffled as to why is the alert tones are being reset to max level, even when the codeplug shows -4.

    A call to Motorola..... asked them what is going on. At first they played dumb saying I’m doing something wrong. Sorry Moto, I know this is not a mistake on my part. After about 5 mins talking to them, they finally admitted they have had complaints of the same issue I’m having and they are “looking into the issue”. So they lied to me at first saying I’m doing something wrong and no solution to the problem.

    So now what to do? Closed the CPS, rebooted the laptop. Cloned the 4th radio, SAME problem! Now I’m really looking like an idiot. I read the radio and changed the “Volume offset (dB)” to 0 and wrote the codeplug back to the radio. No change! Now I’m starting to panic, while all the big wigs are still giving me the “WTF look” and getting inpatient with me. Now do I abort the mission to upgrade their TG’s? I didn’t and continued to solve this problem in panic mode. Finally, and thankfully, figured out how to fix the alert audio problem Motorola CPS was causing (R15.5 build 797). I changed “Min Speaker Volume Level (dB) to MUTED!! Problem solved, and was able to continue upgrading their radios. Every radio from then on, I had to cover the speaker with my hand incase it’s alert tones got “magically” reset to maximum, which about 8 did.

    This audio problem I’ve noted happens in the XPR3300, XPR3300e, XPR3500, XPR3500e, XPR7550, XPR7550e, etc. basically all 2nd gen XPR’s. Don’t deal much with the 1st gen XPR6xxxx series, so not sure if this is a problem with them. Also, it didn’t matter what firmware was in the radios, some of the radios were on the latest firmware, others were 2-4 older revisions. So it’s not a firmware problem, but a CPS problem.


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  3. #2
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    I wonder if they have fixed the issue with XML data values from older (version) codeplug templates overwriting data in newer codeplug (version) templates?

    Example: You are using current codeplug version/firmware, with the fixed XML code, correcting the audio amplitude issues.

    You clone an older codeplug into the radio and it will overwrite the hidden XML values (which you can't see in CPS), completely screwing over your audio.

    There are several other hidden XML data fields which are overwritten during the cloning process, too. I pointed this out to Motorola before they sicked DHS HSI on me in 2016, and they refused to acknowledge or correct the problem. I don't think they even understand the issue.

    There are many data fields within the TRBO codeplug which the end user does not have access to/can see. Those values get "cloned over" when you clone codeplugs. That's why hams should not be circulating "state codeplugs" to each other, as they completely ruin any improvements a firmware/codeplug upgrade package make. The only way to fix it is to do a restore or write the original codeplug back into the radio.

    Also, these hidden XML fields have "preserve" and "clone" flags. If they're set properly, the data in your current codeplug will not be modified during a clone process. But of course, Motorola doesn't set them properly.

    The safest way to work with TRBO radios is:

    - Make sure all firmware/codeplug versions are the EXACT SAME, if you are doing a clone process.

    - Make sure you READ the codeplug from the first radio (all must be same version). Do not use a "saved" codeplug of a different codeplug/firmware versions.

    - DO NOT "drag and drop" fields from one firmware/codeplug version, or model, to another. The hidden XML fields are also cloned.

    - DO NOT "drag and drop" fields from a codeplug coming from a different CPS region, to another. There are hidden XML fields which will be copied/overwritten, and some of those fields don't even exist between regions.

    Until such time as they fix their software, the only safe process is to not work with cloned codeplugs, period.

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  5. #3
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    The high volume was a known issue with the update. The solution is as you found was to reset the volume on each unit individually.

    What Mars said is good advice for every one no matter what the product line of manufacture.

    Make sure all firmware/codeplug versions are the EXACT SAME, if you are doing a clone process.

    Make sure you READ the codeplug from the first radio (all must be same version). Do not use a "saved" codeplug of a different codeplug/firmware versions

    DO NOT "drag and drop" fields from one firmware/codeplug version, or model, to another. The hidden XML fields are also cloned

    The first two points are critical. Doing them will avoid 95% of the issues because you have not introduced "format" variables into the update.

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    I write my own personal codeplug (no firmware change or CPS change) and maybe every 5th write, bam the audio issue pops up. It just sucks when you’ve done everything properly, the CPS decides to FU. Every write to any TRBO radio I have to cover the speaker to avoid getting blasted.

    At least Motorola will call you back or email back when you have problems. So I have to give them credit for that. Try dealing with Kenwood! 10 phone calls and problem not solved, nor will they call or follow up. Kenwood wants around $100 for a wideband “EID”!

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    I have been dealing with this issue for weeks now. We have many clients who buy new radios constantly. We were always able to simply assign IDs and clone the radios from the existing archive file. Now this volume issue pops up almost all the time.

    What I have found that works successfully is this: Clone your first radio from your existing archive. Fix the volume issue by reading the 'whacked' radio and fixing the volume offset by adjusting the level in the field up and down and then setting it as 'muted' or if you are using a minimum level (-30, -25, etc) set it there and write the radio. USE THIS NEW RADIO ARCHIVE as your new 'clone' archive going forward.

    There have been several fields added to the newest firmware (and some that are hidden as Mars has explained), and I suspect that when writing the older archive to a newer radio (or just a different FW version) that those fields are now 'out of order' and are being written to the radio in the wrong locations (poor error - or maybe NO error checking) and are corrupting the setting.

    Trbo software and firmware is now a 'global process'. When talking to MOL about these issues, including the F-ed up 'takes forever to read and write' issue, I have talked to many of their techs who are NOT in the USA, some Hispanic, and some in Poland of all places. As Moto has streamlined their work force we now have a large disparity in 'tech support' people. This downsizing, out-sourcing issue is a thing that will probably get worse before it gets better- if ever. Motorola is becoming the Dell of tech support.
    Retarded Mongoloid on PCP...

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    That’s why we have this forum. Competent people, who can help each other.

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    Thank god for this forum because there are alot of super frustrating radio issues that are easily solved from the threads here.

    Not to toally veer off topic, but I have heard of Kenwoods radios being bad in the early days.
    Their nx series radios though are friggen rock solid. Now it may be that I have a different channel for tech support, but they get back to me damn quick about issues. Motorola really needs to revisit their customer service policies...
    I'm here to learn!

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    I think the problem is that the minimum speaker volume minimum settings changed with the last firmware update. So the old values are no longer valid in the new codeplug, and for whatever reason their idiot engineers decided to have it default on the high side and not the low. But they do have a message in CPS that pops up when you clone about the values not matching and ETC so they would almost certainly just hide behind that and say it's not their fault

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    If moto did due diligence in making the updates this wouldn't happen in the first place.

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