Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Cheapest Smallest Console

  1. #1
    Trapa No Longer Registered

    Default Cheapest Smallest Console

    I'm wondering what would be the cheapest smallest dispatch console system available. I'm looking to only control three channels simultaniously, but I would like to do some of the features like patching channels together if needed. I also want this to be fairly portable to be able to bring to different sites. Ideally there could be multiple consoles connected to the system.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 30, 2012
    Posts
    226
    Thanks
    29
    Thanked 59 Times in 29 Posts

    Default

    You didn't specify, so I'll assume you need a tone control remote.

    In the Motorola world, what you're looking for is the MC2500. It can control up to 4 radios, and offers patching and multi-select, amongst other features, all in the size of a standard desktop remote:

    http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-...+Deskset_US-EN

    The Zetron 284 will also fit the bill:

    http://www.zetron.com/en-us/products...ineremote.aspx

    Retails for approx $2500 at Hutton.
    Last edited by Ice-T; Nov 06, 2012 at 05:36 PM.

  3. #3
    Trapa No Longer Registered

    Default

    Okay, this is a cool start, but what back-end equipment do i need to operate this remote? I'm thinking about buying two quantar repeaters, what else would be needed? Can this be connected to mobile radios as oppose to repeaters?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 30, 2012
    Posts
    226
    Thanks
    29
    Thanked 59 Times in 29 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trapa View Post
    Okay, this is a cool start, but what back-end equipment do i need to operate this remote? I'm thinking about buying two quantar repeaters, what else would be needed? Can this be connected to mobile radios as oppose to repeaters?
    The Motorola & Zetron products I mentioned above (edited my original post) are what is known as 'tone control' remotes. Basically, if you're hooking to Quantars or similar infrastructure type equipment, you want them to have the 'tone remote' option card/board so you can control them directly with the console. You can connect these consoles to mobile/base radios, but each radio will require a 'TRA'...tone remote adaptor, which converts the control tones to local control (audio, PTT, ground, channel steering pins if applicable, etc). If you have no current 'end points' for the console to hook to, you are in for some sticker shock unless you can buy it all used on fleaBay.

  5. #5
    Trapa No Longer Registered

    Default

    Well the whole thing is for more non-profit convention side dealies than it is for infrastructure , so my budget is my wallet. I do have some zetron tone remotes which have serviced me well. They use high speed dtmf in order to do their control as oppose to true tones. The advantage there is that they support the changing of channels and groups on the radios they were intended for.

    So one of my ideas was to listen in and record which dtmf signals are used for "Change group" and "Confirm that group has been changed" ... and then to build a arduino project that would allow each user to switch the channel on their tone remote.. Complicated, but could be functional.

    But yeah, just sorta looking around for what's possible.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 30, 2012
    Posts
    226
    Thanks
    29
    Thanked 59 Times in 29 Posts

    Default

    Perhaps if you post in the for sale section here on the board you'll get lucky and find someone who's looking to off-load their current console & related gear.

  7. #7
    Alpha's Avatar
    Alpha is offline T S - Moderator
    CS Forums $upporter
    Join Date
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location
    Directly above the center of the earth.
    Posts
    2,688
    Thanks
    844
    Thanked 1,361 Times in 670 Posts
    Country: Christmas Island

    Default

    If you want to buy older cheaper used stuff, the Command Plus sounds like what you want. They control from 4 to 12 base stations/repeaters. If you only want to control 2, a Comtegra can be had for about $200-300, the Command Plus will probably run you $300-500. Just make sure with the Command Plus it's a Tone Remote model, not a DC remote as they are a bit more arcane and more difficult to interface to other things. There is also a small box called a TNA200 which is a Tone Remote decoder that will interface to a generic radio like a Maxtrac or whatever you like that can be the "other end" of the console's connection.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 29, 2012
    Posts
    65
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 9 Times in 4 Posts

    Default

    Comtegra units do 2 lines.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 22, 2012
    Posts
    685
    Thanks
    306
    Thanked 435 Times in 202 Posts
    Country: United States

    Default

    Command Plus isn't that small, and coupled with the mass of wiring coming off the back of it, yikes. I suggest the OP look into the MC2500 deskset as someone previously mentioned. It's small (the size of a desktop telephone), will support a maximum of 4 resources, and can handle the patch features you want. It'll also do things like MDC encode/decode, multiselect/APB, alert tones, and some other minor things.

    I *think* it also supports E&M keying (90% sure, I know the MC2000 single-line version does), if in fact the MC2500 does, then you don't need any tone remote adapters - the E&M leads function as COR/PTT, and COR is optional as the thing does VOX detection (though you'd really need COR for proper patch operation).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 30, 2012
    Posts
    226
    Thanks
    29
    Thanked 59 Times in 29 Posts

    Default

    According to the spec sheet, the MC2500 can do 4 tone controlled lines, or 3 tone & 1 DC...no mention of local control.

  11. #11
    Trapa No Longer Registered

    Default

    Does anyone know the part number(s) needed to be able to use the MCS2500 on the Quantar Repeater? I see from photo's the quantar repeater also has a few RJ45 jacks on it, but that could be for programming or anything. Does the MCS2500 need a DIU for the quantar?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 22, 2012
    Posts
    685
    Thanks
    306
    Thanked 435 Times in 202 Posts
    Country: United States

    Default

    MC2500 (not MCS2500) will interface directly with Quantar in ANALOG ONLY mode as long as the Quantar has a wireline card in it. There is an orange connector on the back of the Quantar that has the 4-wire analog interface on it. If you want to use the MC2500 with the Quantar in digital mode, you will need a DIU (contact Mars, he has a few for sale).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 04, 2012
    Posts
    41
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 60 Times in 28 Posts

    Default

    CPI has the TRML; Tone Remote Multi-Line; up to 4 lines, can be ordered with multiple function tones per line, too. Check their website. I've put in a couple; pretty good.

    I've also done a Vega C1616 console; it's a little desktop console, 6 channel I think, and multiple functions per line, (also Tone Remote, but IIRC it also does 'local control'; PTT contact to key. Pretty cool little jobber.

    I don't THINK the Zetron 284 can do multi-select, but I could be wrong. I'd love to be wrong about that; I have a 284, and would find that verrrrrry interesting.

    Oh, and the other tone remote guys also do a multi-line desk remote; Gai-tronics, and IDA. Don't know nothing about them.

  14. #14
    ohiodesperado No Longer Registered

    Default

    MZD is correct, I talked to Zetron on the 284 and it will not multiselect or patch from what they told me. The MC2500 will do both.
    Another option is a NCS box if you are wanting to do local control. It's cheaper than a 2500 but not by alot. Interfacing to radios is fairly simple though.

    One thing with the NCS box is that you don't need to have wireline interfacing on the radios. The downfall to it is there is no ability to do channel changes. Additionally ANY local control is going to need to be done within 100 feet of the radios. Tone remote can be run on dry pair telephone lines for miles.

    More information on the NCS box can be found at www.ncsradio.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 04, 2012
    Posts
    41
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 60 Times in 28 Posts

    Default

    Rather curious what Zetron unit you're using that uses high-speed DTMF for control. Can you enlighten me?

    And as another aside, buying 'a couple of Quantar repeaters' is a pretty high-dollar way to go about whatever you're trying to do (and I'm curious about the project in general). You could get away with a lot less $$ in the radio dept. and put more into finding a control box that will do what you want, then you don't have to reverse engineer a wheel that someone else has already made (to mix a metaphor). Just saying.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 29, 2012
    Posts
    65
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 9 Times in 4 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kb4mdz View Post
    Rather curious what Zetron unit you're using that uses high-speed DTMF for control. Can you enlighten me?
    They are marked "230A" and thats about it. They are designed to be connected to... if I remember correctly, the TK-730/830 or some variant like that.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 04, 2012
    Posts
    41
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 60 Times in 28 Posts

    Default

    Hmm, 230A; interesting. I've heard of it, but never seen one. I do have a copy of the software, but it's dated from about 1995 or so; comparatively ancient! If it was my time investing in it, I would think that's a hard uphill battle to rig something to work with it.

    ohiodesperado - thanks for checking that out about multi-select on the 284. Kind of a bummer, too; I really like 284's; having multi-select would be a nice feature for Zetron to add.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 06, 2013
    Location
    West Florida
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I have a NEW MC2500 in the box, I will make you a heck of a deal... Pm me...