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Thread: xts2500 flashing red LED Q?

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    Default xts2500 flashing red LED Q?

    I flipped a coin, I could have asked this in the No Affiliate Scan sticky thread, but I figured most people hanging in here might have a better chance of knowing.

    Backgound: I have an XTS2500 programmed for no affiliate trunked scan on a 9600 P25 system.

    My question is about the LED. When parked on my rx only conventional channel it is flashing red about once per second, but only when scan is activated.

    Is that normal?

    Everything I've ever read about the red LED says a flashing LED means busy channel. Solid red means it's tx'ing. So I just want to double check that it's not trying to affiliate or anything (It's TX inhibited also). Like I said, it's an RX only conventional channel/personality on an absolutely dead frequency (It's not even licensed in this state) and my trunking talkgroups are above channel 17 and then put in a scan list for the conventional channel.

    When RX'audio from any of my trunked talkgroups, it actually stops flashing.

    Thoughts, or am I just a newbie and that's normal?

    Thanks.


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    You are probably picking up natural noise on the conventional channel you have selected, possibly from a local source like a computer, set top box, etc. where you are. To test this try unscrewing the antenna and see if it goes away. If not you might be experiencing a "birdie" or the same effect but from an internal source inside the radio. These used to be common but in the newer designs it's pretty rare and usually due to outside sources.

    If it's local noise, try a different frequency. You probably have a PL or DPL on the channel so it's stopping the scan from signal detected and waiting for proper PL, and indicating channel busy, but since there is never a PL match, the trunk traffic will take the scan traffic when it occurs.

    You might be able to increase the squelch level on that channel if it's on a frequency that's actually important and not just a scan anchor.

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    Thanks, Alpha. I took the antenna off and the LED stopped flashing, so at least it's inbound to the radio and not outbound from the radio, which was making me nervous.

    I also noticed that once I drove out of my neighborhood, it also stopped flashing, so something is definitely pingning it. I thought that freq was dead, but it looks like maybe not. I had a scanner parked on it and wasn't getting any carrier on it when the red light was flashing, so I don't know what's going on.

    I do have it set up as astro with a NAC, so it's never going to unmute and it's only a scan anchor, so I don't really care. I guess I could turn off the RX busy LED check box also and be done with it.

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    Open the main breaker on your electrical panel. The power to your entire house will go out. Is the light still blinking? If no, problem solved. It's something in your house doing it.

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    Hehe, OK, sounds like you have some RF Detective work to do. I once had a VCR that would emit crapola on my favorite Ham repeater channel ONLY when it was tuned to the History Channel! Fortunately, it too is now history.

    I'm sure you will be amused to find your particular noise source. What Mars said is mostly true, but also remember there are a host of battery backed-up or operated devices (i.e. smoke alarms, clocks, etc.) still running in the house even with the mains cut. (I have done this before, you might be able to tell...)

    Finally, when trying to localize the source wrap your hand and fingers around the antenna to try to attenuate it or take off the antenna and touch the center stud with your finger to make a high-loss antenna if the signal is strong.

    Happy Hunting!
    Last edited by Alpha; Dec 06, 2012 at 01:05 AM.

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    I've used my NetTek with spec-an module and a collapsible whip antenna before as a sort of contact probe... find the noise and start searching the house. When you touch whatever is the offender, you'll see it pretty quickly.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jettaman View Post
    Thanks, Alpha. I took the antenna off and the LED stopped flashing, so at least it's inbound to the radio and not outbound from the radio, which was making me nervous.
    Same here! I have my 2500 (380-470+++) that's OOB to be able to listen to my Citys P25 Trunked system and was getting nervouse that it may trying to TX to it. I do have TX Inhibited set in the CPS but you never know.
    Last edited by W2WP; Dec 20, 2012 at 03:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by W2WP View Post
    Same here! I have my 2500 (380-470+++) that's OOB to be able to listen to my Citys P25 Trunked system and was getting nervouse that it may trying to TX to it. I do have TX Inhibited set in the CPS but you never know.
    It won't try to affiliate if you use the scan hack.

  9. #9
    Chrome69 No Longer Registered

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    I would suggest making sure you have TX inhibited turned on...

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    Enabling TX Inhibit really screws things up. Since the radio can't affiliate with it enabled, the stupid firmware thinks the tower is out of range. The radio will keep cycling through control channels, rendering reception almost useless.

    Best to use the conventional scanlist trick, and leave tx inhibit disabled.

    The TX Inhibit feature is only useful when using an older XTS3000 or Digital Saber/Spectra with 3600/conventional firmware, to monitor a "Coverage Type: Disabled" system, as auto-affiliation is not required with those types of systems, and locking out the PTT ability works and is also beneficial. SmartZone and ASTRO25 trunking require affiliation, and no "TX Inhibit" options enabled.

    So confusing sometimes. Sure would be nice if Motorola made a provision for RX-only trunking. It'll never happen. That would make too much sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    Best to use the conventional scanlist trick, and leave tx inhibit disabled.
    Hey Mars... Is the "TX Inhibit" problem unique to XTS5000s? On my XTS2500, I have the first position of my concentric programmed for TX Inhbit and leave it in that position. I haven't experienced any adverse effect of doing so when using the conventional scanlist approach, whether monitoring Smartnet, Smartzone, or Astro25 systems.

    Also, for those who don't use TX Inhibit, they need to make sure that their scanlist has the Designated Voice Tx Member set to "selected chan" and not "talkback". Otherwise, pressing the PTT is going to cause the radio to transmit on the talkgroup.
    "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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    Squeaky: I found that enabling TX Inhibit (even on conventional scan/hack method) causes audio holes, because the stupid radio thinks it's out of range. I'm not sure why, as it's not trying to transmit in that configuration, but I guess the firmware still sees it as being TX Inhibited, and it gets fussy. I've tried every method possible and always found TX Inhibit is _BAD_ for any type of auto-affiliation type system, regardless of what sneaky method is used to monitor.

    Your advice about "Selected Channel" is bang on.

    The 2500/5000 use the same firmware, byte-for-byte. So yes, the behavior would be the same.

    Mileage may vary, but these have been my findings.

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    Noted with thanks. I'm going to turn off TX Inhibit and see if I can notice any difference in performance. One benefit of TX Inhibit is that pressing the PTT has no effect on scanning; when turned off, pressing the PTT will stop the scan.

    Cheers.
    "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

  14. #14
    moto462575 No Longer Registered

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    Mars is right on. I had my XTS5000 miss transmissions with the scan only trick. Could not figure out why this was happening. I turned off the TX Inhibit and the radio scans perfectly!. After reading from this board to turn off TX Inhibit trick from this board, I have all my XTS radios this way and they all work perfectly. Mars knows his stuff!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeaky View Post
    Also, for those who don't use TX Inhibit, they need to make sure that their scanlist has the Designated Voice Tx Member set to "selected chan" and not "talkback". Otherwise, pressing the PTT is going to cause the radio to transmit on the talkgroup.
    I have always had my 5k on talkback so yes the led would flash when it landed on a talkgroup, never had any problems missing a transmission, i would always have tx-inhibit on though as it is still possible to affiliate if you PTT whilst on a talkgroup, this is even with the wrong TX frequencies programmed in the trunking system.

    Thought i would experiment and change it to selected channel and still works well, i may leave it this way as its probably the safest, now the led dont blink (sort of miss it) also noticed that i cant select Secure when on a talkgroup with this method.

  16. #16
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    This is very interesting. I know I' was missing some transmissions on the cities trunked p25 system. I also have TX Inhibit enabled.

    I'm not sure i feel safe turning it off though. At least now if an issue came up with an officer I can show that I can't TX and radio is used as a listening device, like a scanner on their frequencies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by W2WP View Post
    I'm not sure i feel safe turning it off though. At least now if an issue came up with an officer I can show that I can't TX and radio is used as a listening device, like a scanner on their frequencies.
    If you need the ability to "fool" the officer, trying programming your concentric for TX Inhibit in only one of the positions. Operate the radio normally with the concentric in a position where TX Inhibit is turned off, and then flip the concentric to the TX Inhibit position when the officer approaches. You can do it blindfolded.
    "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeaky View Post

    If you need the ability to "fool" the officer, trying programming your concentric for TX Inhibit in only one of the positions. Operate the radio normally with the concentric in a position where TX Inhibit is turned off, and then flip the concentric to the TX Inhibit position when the officer approaches. You can do it blindfolded.
    The words "fool an officer" doesn't play well here in Bayonne.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    Enabling TX Inhibit really screws things up. Since the radio can't affiliate with it enabled, the stupid firmware thinks the tower is out of range. The radio will keep cycling through control channels, rendering reception almost useless.

    Best to use the conventional scanlist trick, and leave tx inhibit disabled.

    The TX Inhibit feature is only useful when using an older XTS3000 or Digital Saber/Spectra with 3600/conventional firmware, to monitor a "Coverage Type: Disabled" system, as auto-affiliation is not required with those types of systems, and locking out the PTT ability works and is also beneficial. SmartZone and ASTRO25 trunking require affiliation, and no "TX Inhibit" options enabled.

    So confusing sometimes. Sure would be nice if Motorola made a provision for RX-only trunking. It'll never happen. That would make too much sense.
    Actually the last part. Motorola does have RX only trunking at least on 9600 p25 systems, but it is done through the infrastructure. The radio still must have its own individual valid ID on the system. Because on Astro25 systems the radio must register and affiliate to listen to traffic. But the admin basically sets it in the data base to not allow the radio the ability of voice. Of course you have to be a member of the system for this to work. This feature could be used say for an agency such as news or tow trucks that have a need to listen, but no need to transmit voice. And the added feature if the radio is lost or stolen it can still be bricked or dynamically regrouped. I guess i provided some info but was not helpful in this conversation,Sorry!
    Radio Referenced...Those who think they know it all are very annoying to those of use who do.

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    The new APX firmware R09 also has "RX only" configurable through CPS on the subscriber. The radio still affiliates. It's a good option for, for example, giving an FD radio listen-only access to PD.

    So, on A25/APX radios, is directly selecting a talkgroup on a type 2/3600 non-smartzone system contraindicated due to the "out of range" perception? I've never witnessed that behavior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by W2WP View Post
    The words "fool an officer" doesn't play well here in Bayonne.
    Darn - and all this time I just thought "it's not nice to fool Mother Nature".
    "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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    Update:

    So I programmed the trunking system I was scanning for a different site. Changed nothing in the entire radio except the control channel frequency, everything else is the same... No flashing LED. Hmm.

    This is starting to feel like I should have posted in the NATS thread.

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    I also had the same problem missing transmissions with my 2500 when the red light was blinking. I followed what squeaky said about changing "talkback" to "selected chan" and fixed the problem right away (no more blinking and missing transmissions!). Im also going to set the concentric switch option b to enable tx inhibit and see if the results are the same. It got kind of annoying experiencing the radio trying to figure out what to do and missing audio. Thanks Guys!!
    Last edited by Magnus; Jan 17, 2013 at 11:51 PM.