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Thread: Are the XTS series out dated

  1. #1
    mpanella33 No Longer Registered

    Default Are the XTS series out dated

    Hello


    I'm interested in possibly purchasing an XTS 2500 for public safety use. I like the ability to program conventional personalities on the go and the enhanced audio versus the HT1250 I have now.


    My question is although the APX series is a bit too pricey for me at this point is it the better way to go versus the XTS. (My area uses analog 12.5 narrow band no trunking). I'm upgrading really just because its a hobby of mine.


    I see that the APX can go up to 6.25 efficiency. Will that be something federally mandated in the near future? I see that motorola considers the XTS P25 ready but only currently goes to 12.5 efficiency. Will this shift make the radio useless like many of the HT1000's


    When will the XTS series be discontinued?
    Thanks.


  2. #2
    syntrx No Longer Registered

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    For public safety use I'd suggest an XTS 5000. They cost not that much more than a 2500, but they're a lot more durable, and there's a good selection of very high cap batteries around that will last you a whole shift and then some.

    There's no reason not to buy an XTS series radio, especially if all you're doing is analog FM. Rumour has it production will stop later this year, but accessories will continue to be available for a long time yet.

    6.25e refers only applies to P25 Phase II trunking systems, which can fit two talk paths into a 12.5KHz channel using 2-slot TDMA. If a Phase II trunking system is deployed in your area, you'd want to be pretty sure that the system managers would even allow your personal radio onto the system before going to the expense of buying equipment for that system.

    To put things in perspective, the 12.5KHz mandate was introduced in 2004, it had been talked about for at least 5-10 years prior, and it came into effect this year. You can expect a similar timeframe for any future 6.25KHz mandate, ie you'll have 15 years to worry about it, by which time you'll probably not be using that XTS or HT1250 anymore anyway and the next generation of digital systems will be in common use.
    Last edited by syntrx; Apr 22, 2013 at 01:07 AM.

  3. #3
    mpanella33 No Longer Registered

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    Thanks for the info

    So if it is a 6.25 efficient trunked system all radios on the network will likely be identified. Basically right now I run with a volunteer department and use my personal radio to scan and use it on scene as well. Most of our portables both agency and personal are not running any identifier so it's no problem.

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    Radio IDs can be accomplished in a number of ways in both analog and digital, conventional or trunking so I don't quite follow your last post and how it relates to 6.25e? And by 6.25e, it's 6.25 kHz equivalent because right now, it can only be accomplished with TDMA which still occupies 12.5 kHz of bandwidth but allows for two talk paths, as syntrx noted.

    I too recommend the 5000, for the same reasons cited.

  5. #5
    mpanella33 No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by foxtrotdelta View Post
    Radio IDs can be accomplished in a number of ways in both analog and digital, conventional or trunking so I don't quite follow your last post and how it relates to 6.25e? And by 6.25e, it's 6.25 kHz equivalent because right now, it can only be accomplished with TDMA which still occupies 12.5 kHz of bandwidth but allows for two talk paths, as syntrx noted.

    I too recommend the 5000, for the same reasons cited.
    Sorry for the confusion I'm still learning more about all this.

    Currently our small community operates on an analog 12.5 kHz. Basically we do not all have identifiers on the system so many officers have their own personal radios for various reasons as the town only issues one which usually stays at the firehouse. Many of us enjoy monitoring as well. And as in my case my personal radio is basically a clone of our service radios with a few extra channels like MURS and some others.

    In a perfect world I don't see our area switching to a more complex trunking type system. Right now we use basic TPL's and a few various digital channels.


    Basically what I'm asking is if we do eventually switch to TDMA or another type of trunking (really not too familiar with this stuff) will identifiers be mandatory (part of the network system) in order for a radio to be able to transmit.

    Do you see this change to be an eventual federal mandate in the near future.

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    The "identifiers" as it were are a built-in feature of any P25/TDMA fashion network. On any given digital mode, the radio transmits it's own ID (ala 7100001 - more digits than the standard 4 that MDC uses).

    So yes, if you do go to digital, whichever mode that may be, the radios will transmit an ID. (It is sent in the data stream along with voice so it's not heard)

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    IDs are required on trunked systems but not necessary with conventional. Again, I wouldn't say any mandate would be coming for quite a long time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpanella33 View Post
    I'm interested in possibly purchasing an XTS 2500 for public safety use.
    No. Go with the XTS5000, instead. The 2500 should not be used for public safety, given it's extreme probability for failure if dropped. The flex cables come out of the sockets. The screen will stop working and/or the keypad/controls will suffer the same fate. Easy fix, but not if in the field at a critical moment.

    This radio should be limited to mall cops.

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    Ya know mall cops may have to call for backup in a critical situation too...hehe.

  10. #10
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Irvine PD, OC Sherrif, SD Sheriff, and SDPD are still using 800 Band XTS-3000 and Astro Saber series radios on DSP 6/7 (Shudders). So I really dont think that the XTS series is "outdated" per say. The only Motorola gear that is outdated is stuff that will not do 12.5KHz spacing, or is "ONLY" capable of Securenet CVSD encryption, vs APCO-25/VSELP. Even then there are waivers being granted by the FCC to public safety and governmental agencies that are not able/ready/willing to comply with the 2013 Narrowbanding mandate "yet." San Bernardino got a temporary extension to continue some limited CVSD traffic due to a strapped budget and high crime rate, and I know that some Volunteer FDs in the Bridgeport, CA area got a pass due to almost complete spectrum vacancy on LMR VHF freqs in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas.

  11. #11
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kj553 View Post
    Ya know mall cops may have to call for backup in a critical situation too...hehe.
    Thats what TRBO, Jedi, Nextel PTTs, and cell phones are for. They could go and get surplus XTS-3000s or ASabers if they wanted to be fancy. However any mall cop that has a XTS-2500 is at a company that seriously's got it's priorities screwed up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by standardmissile View Post
    Thats what TRBO, Jedi, Nextel PTTs, and cell phones are for. They could go and get surplus XTS-3000s or ASabers if they wanted to be fancy. However any mall cop that has a XTS-2500 is at a company that seriously's got it's priorities screwed up.
    hate to tell ya, but all those "mall cops" on Sprint iDEN will have nothing come June 30th:

    http://newsroom.sprint.com/article_d...rticle_id=2579

    The XTS2500's we have at my facility are all original 4 meg AN model 1.5's, all put into service in 1st Q 2006. Out of 125 of them, only 1 has been to the depot- and it was run over by an ambulance. Our are used in a hospital security setting in a five hospital system, and they get dropped, beat up, slammed into walls, and everything that you'd expect a portable and are still going strong, in use 24/7/365 for the last 7 years. There are plans to replace them next year with APX radios. We operate on a county Astro 25 V7.9 simulcast DTRS.

    I prefer the form factor and size, someone mentioned batteries: there is a 2800mah Lithium Ion battery for the 2500's that will go for several days with light use. They aren't what I would carry into a structure fire, but the "I" version was apparently rugged enough for the US Marines to order them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by standardmissile View Post
    Irvine PD, OC Sherrif, SD Sheriff, and SDPD are still using 800 Band XTS-3000 and Astro Saber series radios on DSP 6/7 (Shudders). So I really dont think that the XTS series is "outdated" per say. The only Motorola gear that is outdated is stuff that will not do 12.5KHz spacing, or is "ONLY" capable of Securenet CVSD encryption, vs APCO-25/VSELP. Even then there are waivers being granted by the FCC to public safety and governmental agencies that are not able/ready/willing to comply with the 2013 Narrowbanding mandate "yet." San Bernardino got a temporary extension to continue some limited CVSD traffic due to a strapped budget and high crime rate, and I know that some Volunteer FDs in the Bridgeport, CA area got a pass due to almost complete spectrum vacancy on LMR VHF freqs in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas.
    SDPD now uses XTS 2500 portables and XTL 5000 mobiles, paid for by Sprint (early deployment rebanding). That's from a reliable source. Some OC agencies are SLOWLY moving to the APX series (mostly single-band). ELMR seems to be all XTS 5000's.

  14. #14
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by d119 View Post
    SDPD now uses XTS 2500 portables and XTL 5000 mobiles, paid for by Sprint (early deployment rebanding). That's from a reliable source. Some OC agencies are SLOWLY moving to the APX series (mostly single-band). ELMR seems to be all XTS 5000's.
    SDPD still had some and ASabers/XTS3000s in the RSVP, Irvine PD/OC Sheriff is almost all XTS-3000, SD Sheriff is mostly XTS-3000s and some XTS-5000s,

    Also MTS2000DES the US Marines were using the XTS-2500R (Ruggedized) models. They are MUCH more sturdy than the standard models and were offered with Type 1 CVSD as an option, in addition to the standard AES/DES-OFB/XL/Software ADP crypto. The radios needed to stand up to potentially being able to be used as bludgeoning device, like the Motorola training documents for the Saber series were suggesting back in the 90s. Those Saber series radios were known by quite a few as the "Rodney King Radio" or "The Brick."

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    Quote Originally Posted by standardmissile View Post
    The US Marines were using the XTS-2500R (Ruggedized) models. They are MUCH more sturdy than the standard models and were offered with Type 1 CVSD as an option, in addition to the standard AES/DES-OFB/XL/Software ADP crypto. The radios needed to stand up to potentially being able to be used as bludgeoning device, like the Motorola training documents for the Saber series were suggesting back in the 90s. Those Saber series radios were known by quite a few as the "Rodney King Radio" or "The Brick."
    Do you have any pictures of the "R" 2500? I would love to see them.

    The USMC radios which I purchased about two years ago were standard model IIIs. They had AES-256 crypto boards in them. The LED (TX/RX) on top of the radio was also omitted at the factory, and keypad/display lighting was extremely dim. 0.05/10 for brightness. I was told it was this dim so it would work properly with night vision equipment.

    There were no type 1 crypto boards installed.

    There are several documentaries which have been produced, which show USMC using XTS2500s in digital/ASTRO mode. Many of their transmissions were in "clear" mode, as they had the TX/RX clear alert tones enabled. The USMC flash included ASTRO, Federal FPP/Radio Cloning, conventional, CTOTAR and Encrypted Tactical Inhibit.

  16. #16
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    Do you have any pictures of the "R" 2500? I would love to see them.

    The USMC radios which I purchased about two years ago were standard model IIIs. They had AES-256 crypto boards in them. The LED (TX/RX) on top of the radio was also omitted at the factory, and keypad/display lighting was extremely dim. 0.05/10 for brightness. I was told it was this dim so it would work properly with night vision equipment.

    There were no type 1 crypto boards installed.

    There are several documentaries which have been produced, which show USMC using XTS2500s in digital/ASTRO mode. Many of their transmissions were in "clear" mode, as they had the TX/RX clear alert tones enabled. The USMC flash included ASTRO, Federal FPP/Radio Cloning, conventional, CTOTAR and Encrypted Tactical Inhibit.
    http://unitedsoldiers.org/wp-content...la-PRC-153.jpg

    The De-mil process involves removing those crypto boards, and scrapping the radio if the codeplug is used for Type 1. I have seen them lying around in one of the logistics bays and they are designated AN/PRC-153, which is exactly what you have. However those are not under my purview as they are still supported by Mother M.

    Those VHF radios were used for long range inter platoon/company comms, and the 2.4Ghz Marconi Personal Role Radios were used to communicate at the inter squad level. The Motorola systems are a COTS stand in until the MBITR from Thales (AN/PRC-158) and Harris (AN/PRC-152) can properly fill the gap under the JTRS program, at least at the individual level, which by the way is over budget, overdue, as well as under performing at this point in time for everything but the MBITR.

  17. #17
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    The plastic I am told is a higher grade than the standard XTS-2500 for increased durability, are more water resistant due to better seals for when they are on the tracks, "may" be intrinsically safe for FARP or shipboard duty, and cost buttloads more because they have a 10 cent EGA sticker slapped on the inside from the factory, to make General Amos happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    Do you have any pictures of the "R" 2500? I would love to see them.

    The USMC radios which I purchased about two years ago were standard model IIIs. They had AES-256 crypto boards in them. The LED (TX/RX) on top of the radio was also omitted at the factory, and keypad/display lighting was extremely dim. 0.05/10 for brightness. I was told it was this dim so it would work properly with night vision equipment.

    There were no type 1 crypto boards installed.

    There are several documentaries which have been produced, which show USMC using XTS2500s in digital/ASTRO mode. Many of their transmissions were in "clear" mode, as they had the TX/RX clear alert tones enabled. The USMC flash included ASTRO, Federal FPP/Radio Cloning, conventional, CTOTAR and Encrypted Tactical Inhibit.
    Here are some images of one that I had before it was 'repossessed' by the NCIS.

    It had that super dim backlight and the top label simply said "Motorola" -- no XTS2500 markings on there. I'll try and dig up a codeplug.

    2244800593_dd3743dfc2_b.jpg
    8711309867_9fe5b0afd4_h.jpg
    2245590854_5aa1481bd8_b.jpg
    2244797415_d7ebe7bc38_b.jpg
    2245591556_a023491a98_b.jpg
    2245592614_8b15163821_b.jpg

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    Is that a sombrero?! Pretty awesome unit (or it was).

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    Quote Originally Posted by foxtrotdelta View Post
    Is that a sombrero?! Pretty awesome unit (or it was).
    Yeah, I used it to cover up a channel name I'd programmed in there.

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    Depends on the user.

    I have an AS2R with newest host/dsp that works perfectly, and it's a 15 y/o radio. If it works, use it...

    You also have to keep in mind how 'hacker friendly' the radios are.

    For the longest time, no one wanted XTS5Ks because they were stuck with whatever factory flash they had. It wasn't uncommon to see an xts3k selling for more than its equivalent xts5k.

    Now that you have radios that, are, again 'off limits', until depot or some other software leaks, XTS5k prices have gone up, while APX prices have dropped substantially. 4 or 5 years ago I could get a VHF M3 XTS5k for $400-$500 any day of the week, and as many as I could find. Now you'd be paying that for a model 2, if you're lucky, with most around the $700+ mark. People pay a premium for being able to mess with their own stuff. Same will go for the APX series, the prices will hit bottom, they'll get 'hacked', and the price will go through the roof.

  22. #22
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Hell Civil Air Patrol was using Legacy Sabers in my neck of the woods up until the bleeding edge of the FCC Narrowbanding mandate, and the National Guard was using PRC-77 manpacks in OIF/OEF until 2005. Both those sets are over 20 years old, and date to Vinson and Nestor equipment eras (1980s/1960s). I'd say the Astro25 series equipment is going to be staying in service for at least another 20 years in some way shape or form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by standardmissile View Post
    I'd say the Astro25 series equipment is going to be staying in service for at least another 20 years in some way shape or form.
    I won't.

    There's no way you can compare the xts series to the saber, or MX series, in terns of durability.


    I've done #(&# to sabers that I would cringe just thinking about happening to an XTS5K/3k/2.5k

    Electronics aren't built for life anymore, they're built to last until the new generation comes out.

    It's like comparing a spectra to an MCS.

    I'd honestly be interested to see /\/\'s numbers on percentages of repairs/replacements on all their products over the years.

  24. #24
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by Technoweenie View Post
    I won't.

    There's no way you can compare the xts series to the saber, or MX series, in terns of durability.


    I've done #(&# to sabers that I would cringe just thinking about happening to an XTS5K/3k/2.5k

    Electronics aren't built for life anymore, they're built to last until the new generation comes out.

    It's like comparing a spectra to an MCS.

    I'd honestly be interested to see /\/\'s numbers on percentages of repairs/replacements on all their products over the years.
    I'm well aware of the quality of the ASaber and Saber line, it's why I refer to mine as the "Rodney King radio." I've had to club someone with mine when they went for my sidearm, and it was still operating just fine after the beating.

    That said I'm pretty sure the Astro25 series will be in "some" service 20 years from now. I've seen Tandy computers still running along just fine, and some idiot was using a 100 KHz CB handheld that was made out of chinsey Taiwanese plastic next door. If crap like that can make it this far, an XTS-5000, XTS-2500, or XTL can survive just as long.