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Thread: ASTRO Saber, XTS3000 and ASTRO Spectra 9600bps (ASTRO25 Trunking) - Support

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    Cool ASTRO Saber, XTS3000 and ASTRO Spectra 9600bps (ASTRO25 Trunking) - Support

    There's not much out there in terms of what is supported by these radios, when flashed with ASTRO25 Trunking (9600bps). I did some research last evening and here's what I came up with:

    The XTS3000 and 1-MEG versions of the ASTRO Saber and ASTRO Spectra will operate on ASTRO25 trunking networks, with the following configurations:

    Firmware:

    - Host firmware in mobiles must be R10.xx.xx (Latest/last firmware version is R10.72.00, paired with DSP N/I08.03.05)
    - Host firmware in portables must be R06.xx.xx (Latest/last firmware version is R06.72.00, paired with DSP N/I08.03.05)


    Flashport:

    - Due to limited physical-space for firmware, many flashport options were stripped from the radio. The following options are confirmed as working:

    Mobile: 548008-0004C0-0

    G806: ASTRO IMBE Digital Operation
    G114: Enhanced Digital ID Display
    W969: Hardware Multikey Encryption
    G683: Trunked One Touch Status Message
    G51: SmartZone Systems Operation
    G173: SmartZone Omnilink MultiZone Operation
    W357: Channel Scan With VRS
    G361: ASTRO 25 9600 Baud Trunking


    Portables: 548008-000480-9

    Q806: ASTRO IMBE Digital Operation
    H14: Enhanced Digital ID Display
    H869: Hardware Multikey Encryption
    H46: Trunked One Touch Status Message
    H38: SmartZone Systems Operation
    Q173: SmartZone Omnilink MultiZone Operation
    Q361: ASTRO 25 9600 Baud Trunking


    Unconfirmed option:
    G/Q387 - Conventional Voting Scan - When this option is added, it will show up in the ASTRO25 codeplug, however it's unknown if the firmware actually supports CVS operation.

    Here's what's limited or NOT supported in a ASTRO25 9600bps Trunking codeplug:

    - No MDC ID support in conventional analog mode;
    - No MDC Over-the-Air-Rekeying (OTAR) operation;
    - Soft ID (User-definable ID) is NOT supported;
    - No Conventional ASTRO paging or selective calling;
    - No Trunking Messages (Statuses are still permitted);
    - One Touch Operation does not permit sending Statuses in Type II trunking;
    - One Touch Operation DOES PERMIT sending Statuses in ASTRO25 trunking;
    - No data operation (ASTRO Packet Data or Enhanced Radio Control Protocol do not populate any fields in CPS);
    - No MODAT operation on Conventional (useless option anyway);
    - Affiliation cannot be "On PTT"; must be "Automatic", even if "Coverage Type" is set to "Disabled" in CPS;
    - AES-256 Encryption is not supported (firmware limitation. Only DES-OFB, DES-XL, DVP-XL and DVI-XL supported);
    - No 700 MHz operation (hardware limitation);
    - CQPSK (LSM) IS supported.

    There may be other limited or non-supported features in ASTRO25 Trunking codeplugs which I did not discover.

    The ASTRO Spectra, ASTRO Saber and XTS3000 will operate on ASTRO25 Trunking networks just fine. It is unfortunate they do not support the trunked Message signalling/packets; many agencies use "Message 1" as a Request-to-Talk (RTT) with their dispatcher(s). The limited One Touch Operation is also a bit of a bummer...

    Bottom line: If your agency upgrades to 800 MHz-only ASTRO25 (9600) trunking, and your group cannot afford big $ radios, the XTS3000, ASTRO Saber and ASTRO Spectra may be a great alternative if all you require is voice dispatch without AES-256. These radios are a GREAT cost-effective alternative if you can find them with ASTRO25 support enabled.

    800 MHz rebanding IS SUPPORTED in late versions of the ASTRO25 firmware.

    Audio quality is very decent as the ASTRO25 firmware supports subscriber Automatic Gain Control (AGC) and DSP8 audio.

    A bonus with the XTS3000 is you gain use of the signal meter icon on the display, along with all 4 lines of the display.


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    IAmSixNIne is offline Inactive CS Forums $upporter
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    Great Post. This is just the info i was looking for.
    I sent you an email so hopefully soon i can send you one of my XTS3000 to have 9600 added to it.

    Thanks

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    moto462575 No Longer Registered

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    Got lucky and have 3 XTS3000's with 9600 trunking in them. The receive audio quality from these radios is fantastic!!.

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    So, if you flash an XTS3000 for Q361 Astro25 9600 baud trunking, the radio will no longer be capable of analog 3600 baud trunking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by squeaky View Post
    So, if you flash an XTS3000 for Q361 Astro25 9600 baud trunking, the radio will no longer be capable of analog 3600 baud trunking?
    No, it works. Featureset is limited.

    Affiliation type is always automatic when using this 9600 firmware. The passive scan trick still works.

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    Thanks. It would sure be nice, not only for an XTS3000 but also for a 2500 and 5000, to be able to disable "automatic" affiliation.

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    Motorola could easily accomplish this, but they chose not to. IMO, Motorola contributes to the unauthorized radio/clones/affiliation problems on many of their customers' TRS by not allowing radios to be programmed for trunking RX-only.

    If radios could do RX-only, there would be a very happy following for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    Motorola could easily accomplish this, but they chose not to. IMO, Motorola contributes to the unauthorized radio/clones/affiliation problems on many of their customers' TRS by not allowing radios to be programmed for trunking RX-only.

    If radios could do RX-only, there would be a very happy following for everyone.
    Yes, I agree. Since you can RX-only on conventional channels, there is no reason why Motorola could not provide that feature for trunking. To their credit they allow scanning a trunking system from a conventional channel, but that's only half the battle. Even if you do use the "no affiliate" scan approach, due to the "automatic" affiliation default, you still can't program the radio for a Smartzone system without the radio trying to affiliate. It will try to affiliate on power up, even if it powers up on a conventional channel.

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    immelmen No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by squeaky View Post
    Even if you do use the "no affiliate" scan approach, due to the "automatic" affiliation default, you still can't program the radio for a Smartzone system without the radio trying to affiliate. It will try to affiliate on power up, even if it powers up on a conventional channel.
    Not true. You can still program for smartzone coverage when using the scan from conventional method(you can allways program for smartzone no matter what method you use actually). If you have done everything right the radio will not affiliate. If you enable smartzone coverage and then scan the system you still have the added benefit of automatic site switching based on site RSSI. I always enable smartzone coverage on multi-site systems, there is no reason not to and I can drive accross the state and the radio does all the site switching for me...works good, last long time.
    Last edited by immelmen; Jun 20, 2012 at 09:28 PM.

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    moto462575 No Longer Registered

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    I use my 3000's in the passive scan, but not in SmartZone mode. Not a big deal since what I monitor can be heard on a specific site in a large area. I guess Mother M wants the zone controller to know every radio that's on the TRS. Even though these radios can hold no where near what a scanner can, they work so much better on a simulcast system I can work around that limitation. Maybe they want the ability to inhibit radios as part of the security of the system. There is allot of thing Moto does that is strange.

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    Quote Originally Posted by immelmen View Post
    Not true. You can still program for smartzone coverage when using the scan from conventional method(you can allways program for smartzone no matter what method you use actually). If you have done everything right the radio will not affiliate. If you enable smartzone coverage and then scan the system you still have the added benefit of automatic site switching based on site RSSI. I always enable smartzone coverage on multi-site systems, there is no reason not to and I can drive accross the state and the radio does all the site switching for me...works good, last long time.
    Please explain how to prevent affiliation when the trunking system is set to smartzone. I don't want to get into a debate, but I can unequivocally state that my XTS2500 will try to affiliate when first powered on if smartzone is selected. All channels in the radio are conventional RX-only channels that scan a trunking scanlist. I am well versed in how to scan from a conventional channel, but cannot stop the radio from trying to affiliate when it is first turned on unless I select "disabled" for smartzone. I think that all of us would appreciate your kind assistance with instructions on how you solved this problem.
    Last edited by Number 6; Jun 20, 2012 at 10:11 PM. Reason: correct dumb typos

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    squeaky: I'm also scanning with a XTS5000 (and MTS2000 and XTS3000) with SZ OL as the "Coverage Type". I do the conventional scan trick. The RSSI-based roaming features of SmartZone work fantastic using the trick, referenced by immelmen. No affiliation problems at all.

    All 16 channels in your zone (accessible with the channel knob) must be conventional. You can't ever park on an actual trunking mode, or it WILL send affiliation/deaffiliation packets.

    Firmware versions of my stuff:

    XTS5000: R17.xx.xx
    XTS3000: R07.71.07
    MTS2000: R08.73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    squeaky: I'm also scanning with a XTS5000 (and MTS2000 and XTS3000) with SZ OL as the "Coverage Type". I do the conventional scan trick. The RSSI-based roaming features of SmartZone work fantastic using the trick, referenced by immelmen. No affiliation problems at all.

    All 16 channels in your zone (accessible with the channel knob) must be conventional. You can't ever park on an actual trunking mode, or it WILL send affiliation/deaffiliation packets.

    Firmware versions of my stuff:

    XTS5000: R17.xx.xx
    XTS3000: R07.71.07
    MTS2000: R08.73
    Thank you. My mistake and I'm baffled. On my XTS2500, I have a zone with 32 channels. 1-16 are conventional and 17-32 are talkgroups. Each conventional channel is linked to a conventional personality which is in turn linked to a scanlist containing trunking talkgroups from 17-32. If I program the radio for smartzone operation, the radio tries to affiliate when it is first turned on - nothing at all can be heard. If I change the channel selector up one and then back down to where it was on power up, the radio will start working. Is this because even though the TG's are in channels 17-32, they are in the same zone as the conventional channels?

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    Quote Originally Posted by squeaky View Post
    Thank you. My mistake and I'm baffled. On my XTS2500, I have a zone with 32 channels. 1-16 are conventional and 17-32 are talkgroups. Each conventional channel is linked to a conventional personality which is in turn linked to a scanlist containing trunking talkgroups from 17-32. If I program the radio for smartzone operation, the radio tries to affiliate when it is first turned on - nothing at all can be heard. If I change the channel selector up one and then back down to where it was on power up, the radio will start working. Is this because even though the TG's are in channels 17-32, they are in the same zone as the conventional channels?
    What type of scan? Selected Channel or "Talkback"? If it's set as Talkback, it's entirely possible to transmit on the active TG, while the radio is receiving traffic or paused (by delay setting) on the talkgroup, after TG activity. Make sure you set it for "Selected Channel". This way, any transmissions will be made on the conventional channel.

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    immelmen No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by squeaky View Post
    Thank you. My mistake and I'm baffled. On my XTS2500, I have a zone with 32 channels. 1-16 are conventional and 17-32 are talkgroups. Each conventional channel is linked to a conventional personality which is in turn linked to a scanlist containing trunking talkgroups from 17-32. If I program the radio for smartzone operation, the radio tries to affiliate when it is first turned on - nothing at all can be heard. If I change the channel selector up one and then back down to where it was on power up, the radio will start working. Is this because even though the TG's are in channels 17-32, they are in the same zone as the conventional channels?
    There are a couple things it could be, but having trunking TGs in the same zone as conventional should not be a problem...Double check the TX channel on the scan list like Mars just pointed out, it defaults to talkback and that will hose you....also, as an aside, if this is an 800 Mhz radio and you dont have any systems your authorized on in the radio, TX inhibit should be enabled to back up any programing mistakes you make...TX inhibit will stop ANY RF leaving the radio under any circumstance and it has no negative effect on monitoring a TRS in the manner your doing it.


    Quote Originally Posted by squeaky View Post
    Please explain how to prevent affiliation when the trunking system is set to smartzone.... I think that all of us would appreciatte your kind assistance with instructions on how you solved this problem.
    Ask and ye shall receive...Its not quite done but when it is, ill post it out there somewhere for anyone who wants it. Its being written to the lowest common denominator based on all the questions I get emailed to me and will have a blow by blow of how to do it including CPS screen shots and how it works including visuals...if anyone has any legit objecting to putting such a document out there, im open to opinions.
    cover page.png

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    Great idea =) If this were on Batboard or RR, we'd all be banned and shunned by now.

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    FYI to all: Squeaky sent me his codeplug. Turns out he had "CAI Data Registration" enabled, in the "ASTRO System 1" profile, which his conventional channels were referencing. This causes the radio to send conventional affiliation packets (not on the trunked system) while it's active on the conventional channel.

    To further compound the problem, he had his Trunking "System Search" time set for 2 seconds, under the Scan Configuration tab. This should be set for 255 if scanning single trunking systems. A setting of 2 seconds causes it to go back to the conventional channel every 2 seconds, to sample it for activity. (And send CAI Data Registration packets every 2 seconds... LOL)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Durchschnitt View Post
    Great idea =) If this were on Batboard or RR, we'd all be banned and shunned by now.
    Which is precisely why no one is banned, nor will anyone be shunned for partaking in perfectly legal and RESPONSIBLE discussion. Any "TRS cops" or "buy a scanner instead" people who show up here will be shown the door.

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    Well said mars! This is a great site! Very informative and has helped me a lot with many questions I have had. Most of my questions get answered just by reading posts...which is why I haven't had to ask many questions. Keep up the great work everyone. I can definitely say I appreciate it very much!

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    Is HRR one of the unsupported options in the Astro Spectra? I have one of these that I'm trying to set as the auxilary/red radio, and while CPS lets me enable Dual Radio and select Primary or Auxiliary the dumb fscking thing flashes ER 21/10 and 22/10 (no primary or auxiliary radio connected, hoo boy) on powerup and takes control of the head, completely locking out the primary radio (a VHF W7 with Host11/DSP8 f/w).

    The only other thing I can think of is that an older-version controller board in the VHF radio might be causing this - on the one HRR setup I built before only the green wire was needed for ignition sense powerup, but with this radio green has to go to 12V+ constant and the orange wire is used for ignition sense.

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    Hey Otaku, nice seeing you here. Welcome.

    Your question is a good one. I emailed _the guy_ when it comes to advanced Spectra installs. Hopefully he might have time to reply to your question.

    I know quite a few of the features are stripped from 9600. Some of them can even be enabled as flash options (and show up in CPS, check-boxes and all) but do not work.

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    Yep, I can positively confirm that HOST 10.72.00 does not support HRR. Blew the rebanded/9600 codeplug into a VOCON with normal 11.10.00 HOST f/w and HRR started working normally.

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    Host firmware in mobiles must be R10.xx.xx (Latest/last firmware version is R10.72.00, paired with DSP N/I08.03.05)
    Will Firmware 11.71.06.00 with DSP N08.03.05 work with the 9600 bd trunking codeplug Do I need the correct "S" record or do I just take the code-plug "MARS" posted and load it up?I just don't want to brick another Astro Spectra, like the last one that NEO is repairing for me Forgot to add flash is D98008-041E40-9
    Last edited by Pezking; Jul 31, 2012 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Fixed quote syntax

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    Quote Originally Posted by radioman2013 View Post
    Will Firmware 11.71.06.00 with DSP N08.03.05 work with the 9600 bd trunking codeplug
    NO. R11.xx.xxx is for conventional + 3600bps trunking ONLY. Absolutely ZERO 9600 support. 9600 trunking MUST be paired with R10.xx.xx host firmware.

    Quote Originally Posted by radioman2013
    Do I need the correct "S" record or do I just take the code-plug "MARS" posted and load it up?
    You need ASTRO25 Digital Trunking (9600bps) as an option in your codeplug. Certain other options (such as whored codeplugs) are USELESS, as the R10.xx.xx 9600bps host firmware is VERY LIMITED in what features it supports. Best to stick with the basics.

    Quote Originally Posted by radioman2013
    I just don't want to brick another Astro Spectra, like the last one that NEO is repairing for me Forgot to add flash is D98008-041E40-9
    You cannot brick a ASTRO Spectra, but you can certainly render it useless unless serviced by a qualified technician :P

    That flashcode of D98008-041E40-9 is kind of retarded. It has at least one invalid option in it, and WILL cause problems when you try to do a legitimate flashport/firmware upgrade at some point (?) in the future. It's easy to fix this bastard flashcode, but I wonder how you ended up with it in the first place?

    If going with ASTRO25 Digital Trunking, this is as whored as you want to go: 548008-0004C0-0

    Decoding Flashcode: 548008-0004C0-0
    Platform: Astro Spectra

    G806: ASTRO IMBE Digital Operation
    G114: Enhanced Digital ID Display
    W969: Hardware Multikey Encryption
    G683: Trunked One Touch Status Message
    G51: SmartZone Systems Operation
    G173: SmartZone Omnilink MultiZone Operation
    W357: Channel Scan With VRS
    G361: ASTRO 25 9600 Baud Trunking

    http://www.akardam.net/moto/tools/decode4.pl

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    I got the radio from another Batlabber who was selling all his radios off. Definitely was whored out as the flash doesn't match the tags, but the serial number does though, so I guess I will have to send it out to you or Neo when the need arises in the future. I was hoping to get the radio to do 9600 since I will be vacationing in RI and their system is a 9600 simulcast. As an alternative what should I set the NAC code in my Astro Spectra to monitor RISCON in conventional. They have a WACN of BEEOO and system ID of 197 I know there was a utility out there that converts SYST ID to NAC, but I can't find it.
    Last edited by radioman2013; Aug 01, 2012 at 08:06 AM. Reason: additional question