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Thread: MODAT Signalling on XTS 3000

  1. #1
    aqua9ted No Longer Registered

    Default MODAT Signalling on XTS 3000

    Hello,

    I'm more or less just curious if it's still a possibility to add MODAT to an XTS 3000. I have one that does it now, I'd like to add it to my other. They are both model threes if that makes any difference. Is this a hex editing thing to be done in the lab software like MDC on an MTS 2000 or would this require a flash no longer supported by Motorola. Also I'm not sure, but is there "tool proofing" on 3ks?

    Just curious if anyone knows or has done this!

    Thanks much


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    cyrus's Avatar
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    All I can ask is why?
    Cyrus

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  3. #3
    aqua9ted No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    All I can ask is why?
    A couple of us guys were talking about running Modat just for fun. Pretty much the same reason anyone uses MDC for ham use.

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    I find MDC has a lot more use than Modat. At least with MDC you can alias call ID's and page/call alert people.

    To answer your question, yes your radio can do Modat. It involves changing the flashcode to add the feature.
    Cyrus

    Bubbles: I'd like to see that Red Blue Green c***sucker put one of those together, duct-tapin' it.

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    unless you run old firmware the audio quality with MODAT enable channels is quite poor

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    Here's the story with MODAT:

    1: MODAT was incorporated into the ASTRO Saber portables specifically to support the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) when they made their big switch from MX 350 portables that natively supported MODAT to the early versions of the ASTRO Saber (512k/VSELP). In order to make the switch graceful, Motorola incorporated MODAT into the ASTRO Saber firmware for 512k radios. LAPD's first foray into the use of ASTRO Sabers was in analog mode. Since LAPD's dispatch equipment at the time contained hardware ID decoders for MODAT, in addition to the dispatch equipment itself being extremely proprietary (Rockwell), carrying this format over to the ASTRO Saber was important to LAPD.

    2: As the firmware for the ASTRO Saber progressed, and the XTS 3000 came about, MODAT was carried over going forward as it is a FLASH option, not a firmware option. Unfortunately somewhere along the line, presumably after R5, a bug was introduced into the firmware that causes the transmit audio to become noticeably bassy, almost as if the personality is lacking pre-emphasis on transmit, or de-emphasis on receive. I was recently given a pair of VSELP ASTRO Saber portables (512k) with R04 firmware, and MODAT works fine on them. What likely happened is that as LAPD made their switch to IMBE digital (which involved replacing the VOCON in EVERY ASTRO Saber they had with a 1MEG unit), and the firmware evolved, the bug was introduced but never noticed, as you have to have a decent ear to hear the problem, and coupled with that, no other legitimate customer was using MODAT anywhere.

    3: Other than the interesting sound it makes (which I admit I too have a hard-on for), it serves no real purpose. If I recall correctly, the last company that actually produced a decoder for it in this century was Midian (ADD-series). MODAT only supports two modes of operation - ANI and ANI with Emergency. There isn't any private calling, paging, etc.

    4: I've kept track of the agencies I know for a fact used MODAT, and besides LAPD with the MX 350 portable, I know that the City of Denver, Colorado used it with MT 500 portables on UHF, as well as an unknown agency in the state of New Jersey (where my MX 350 came from) on UHF 450/460MHz.
    Last edited by d119; Sep 02, 2013 at 05:57 AM. Reason: Added additional information.

  7. #7
    aqua9ted No Longer Registered

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    I appreciate all of the info d119! Very interesting. I run MDC all of the time for ham use. It's nice to have the ability to see who is talking by being able to see an ID. (Comes in handy when the lady is in the car because of course the radios get turned down ) It was just for fun, bring back the 80's and 90's a bit with some digital garble!

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    I just revently got an XTS3000 with MODAT and was considering playing around with it a little bit, as its my first radio with it. I still may, but from the sounds of it, its not good for much except sounding cool.
    Ill probably just stick to MDC, although i may set up one personality to use it just to annoy the heck out of my friends.

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    If one likes making noises to entertain themselves, perhaps a baby rattle would be less expensive. That's my thought on MODAT.

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    Thats pretty funny. I didnt go out of my way to get it, it just happened to be in the flashcode, so i figured i would play around with it a little and try to learn some more about it.

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    I've got several portables with MODAT in them - MT 500, MX 350, ASTRO Saber, XTS 3000... The MX 350 and MT 500's have no option to turn it off besides pulling hardware out of the radio. So I just let them run on my repeater with the MODAT on, screw 'em if they bitch about it.

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    Some of us have added Quindar tones to our repeaters to be ultra geeky..... (and annoying)
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    Quote Originally Posted by com501 View Post
    Some of us have added Quindar tones to our repeaters to be ultra geeky..... (and annoying)
    WTF is a Quindar? And why does it beep?

    The thing that's annoying with Modat is there is no DOS Mute for it. The radios will mute the MDC bursts so that's not annoying if you have a real Moto radio that will do DOS Muting.

    Motorola DID make a decoder for it, but it was an entire rack-cabinet of PLL tone decoder boards. A friend used to have one of them but it got thrown out, unfortunately.

    I used to have a boner for Modat too. My first job in a radio shop I asked the owner if I could assemble a radio from the junk in the back room. He said fine if I didn't have anything else to do. I made up a nice UHF MX350 and retuned it for the Ham bands. Then I removed the Modat board from an old T-Band MX with the flex and everything and transplanted it into my radio. I had no idea what code it was sending, but man, did it sound cool.
    Last edited by Alpha; Sep 03, 2013 at 11:54 AM.

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  15. #15
    aqua9ted No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by d119 View Post
    I've got several portables with MODAT in them - MT 500, MX 350, ASTRO Saber, XTS 3000... The MX 350 and MT 500's have no option to turn it off besides pulling hardware out of the radio. So I just let them run on my repeater with the MODAT on, screw 'em if they bitch about it.
    Would it be safe to assume that those are most of the models Moto made MODAT capable?

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    As far as portables go, yes. MT 500, MX 350 (possibly 360 as well, 340 and below didn't have sufficient room for the hardware AFAIK. I've only ever seen/heard of MX350's having MODAT.), ASTRO Saber and ASTRO XTS 3000 were the only units that supported MODAT.

    For the mobiles, MODAT was a Systems-90 option, so it could be used with MICOR, MITREK, SYNTOR, etc.

  17. #17
    aqua9ted No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by d119 View Post
    As far as portables go, yes. MT 500, MX 350 (possibly 360 as well, 340 and below didn't have sufficient room for the hardware AFAIK. I've only ever seen/heard of MX350's having MODAT.), ASTRO Saber and ASTRO XTS 3000 were the only units that supported MODAT.

    For the mobiles, MODAT was a Systems-90 option, so it could be used with MICOR, MITREK, SYNTOR, etc.
    I was entirely unaware they did MODAT on mobiles. I have it on one of my 3ks. It's nice, I don't use that particular radio often, but the sound I think just for anyone is the main reason. Something similar to like 5 tone, which my SM 50 is capable of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aqua9ted View Post
    I was entirely unaware they did MODAT on mobiles. I have it on one of my 3ks. It's nice, I don't use that particular radio often, but the sound I think just for anyone is the main reason. Something similar to like 5 tone, which my SM 50 is capable of.
    Baltimore City, MD FD used a MODAT system for status messaging. It was insane to listen to back in the day.

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    The MX360S was capable, I had one with that once, as was the MX300R. Both rare birds with MODAT, I still have the damn plugin for the EEPROM for the R1801a, but no R1801 to plug it into.
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  20. #20
    iamjason No Longer Registered

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    If I'm not mistaken, I recall seeing somewhere that older VSELP Astro Spectras could be flashed for MODAT.

    MODAT is a bit like a catchy song on the radio. Its great when you hear it, but once you've acquired it for yourself the novelty wears off pretty quickly.

    That being said, once upon a time in college I was bored enough to program and record a large chunk of MODAT tones and compose a song with them (unfortunately that was all lost when I got a new laptop). Try that on for geeky.