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Thread: MOTOTRBO radios, poor audio AGC performance - SOLVED

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    Quote Originally Posted by PSEhub View Post
    Do these values sound good on RSM's too?
    Have to be careful with this one. The IMPRES mics seem to have their own characteristics/gain as well as some processing. I did some testing with a PMMN4046A and wasn't overly IMPRESsed with the overall audio quality. The levels were OK, but the tone seemed kind of flat/muffled/cheap. The mic was purchased new from a MSS, so not a hack job/ham special.


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    These are pmmn4050 so a little nicer than the "small head" ones. I'll post back how it goes after some testing.

    BTW, the big head (including pmmn4069) actually do better in environments over 105db than the INC mic from my experience. Moto even told me that the INC has trouble at anything much above 105. Its dual mic, but not 2 sided (it uses beaming technology).

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    Don't even THINK about the Otto clone.....
    Apparently NOT a radio professional.

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    Mars modified my 7550 and 5550 codeplugs last week, and I finally had time to test this evening. Overall audio quality and 'understandability' is greatly improved using AGC after the tweaks. I highly recommend all Trbo users update their firmware and use these settings. The TMS setting tweaks are also a significant and noticeable improvement. Thanks Mars for the great work and contribution to quality digital audio.

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    For those whom I have sent modified codeplugs to: When programming your radios, simply read the codeplug FROM DISK, then program into your radio.

    If you need to make changes/channel additions, etc.: Read the codeplug from DISK, make the changes, save the codeplug, then program into your radio.

    If you attempt to read your radio (with the modified codeplug inside), CPS will bring up a dialog advising you there are incorrect/corrupt settings in the radio, and you must click "OK" to fix these values. If you click OK, it will change the values back to the normal/default settings.

    Long story short: Use the codeplug on your DISK for now on. If you want to restore your radio back to default audio settings, you can put the original codeplug back in (the one you've emailed me) or simply read the radio and agree to default the settings when prompted.

  8. #31
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    I spoke with Mars about this, and actually tested the situation to be 100% sure, but false alarm - the values are "sticky" and will survive reading the radio once they have been modified. There is no need to keep reading from the modified file. As long as none of the values are outside of a maximum range, the corrupt settings dialog does not come up, and all is well. There is no telling for sure if the values will survive a firmware and codeplug upgrade yet at this time, so the codeplugs may need re-tweaking at that time, we'll see next time there is a firmware/codeplug update.

    If for some reason after writing your modified codeplug to the radio, and on reading it does come up with that "corrupt settings correction" dialog, that is an indication that something in the codeplug file was out of range and was modified back to it's original value or lost.

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    Performing a future firmware upgrade will 100% for sure change the modified values back to defaulted values. There's code in the firmware upgrade packages which specify default values, minimum/maximum ranges and whether or not to PRESERVE any changed values. All of the fields which we've changed have code for NON PRESERVATION. This means they'll be changed to whatever Motorola has specified (in the firmware package) as a default value.

    Obviously it's going to be a little nutty/unreasonable for me to change dozens of codeplugs (for free) every time there's a firmware update. We'll figure something out. Hopefully Motorola seriously considers changing these values to something along the lines of what we've come up with.

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    Mars,

    Quick question -- Reading this I am wondering, instead of doing custom code plugs for everyone, could you do a base / sample for each model. Then we could install that in a radio, to set the values you are tweaking, followed by our normal custom code plug for user xyz.

    TIA --

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    Quote Originally Posted by phonebuff View Post
    Mars,

    Quick question -- Reading this I am wondering, instead of doing custom code plugs for everyone, could you do a base / sample for each model. Then we could install that in a radio, to set the values you are tweaking, followed by our normal custom code plug for user xyz.

    TIA --
    All options will be considered. I'm waiting to see if Motorola implements these/similar settings in the next quarterly firmware release, which I anticipate in the next 4-6 weeks. If they don't include them, then I will figure something out so everyone can benefit.

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    I was finally able to get ahold of a XPR6550 today -- and I did some more tests.

    First, I want everyone to know I have come up with some custom AGC settings to be applied to the first-generation TRBO radios. They are as follows:

    Code:
    RC_MICATCKRATE 6
    RC_MICDECAYRATE 4
    
    RC_AMICREFPL  -29
    RC_DMICREFPL  -29
    
    
    XPR6550 Factory Settings:
    
    RC_MICATCKRATE 4
    RC_MICDECAYRATE 2
    
    RC_AMICREFPL  -24
    RC_DMICREFPL  -22
    These are the same as the custom settings I have applied to the 2.0 series radios. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! The modified AGC settings result in the same transmitted amplitude as the 2.0 radios. So yes, I am able to officially offer the mod for the North American, Latin America, EMEA and any other region I'm forgetting. Please email your codeplug(s) to marsp25 [at] gmail.com. The cost is $20US per radio. Codeplug version/region does not matter.

    Second -- and this is of particular interest to all of you hams who are using XPR6350/6550/6380/6580 and XPR4350/4550/4380/4580 (and other regions) for DMR-MARC: I did some testing with the 6550, and observed how the first-gen radios receive audio from unmodified 2.0 series radios, with TX AGC enabled. It's brutal! No wonder the DMR-MARC group forbids AGC on their system. Check this out:

    MOTO-AGC.jpg

    This is a test using the XPR6550 as a receiver, monitoring transmissions from the XPR7550 and XPR5550. Both 2.0 series radios have firmware 2.40, with default (Moto) AGC settings. The transmitted amplitude is OUT OF THIS WORLD! I have no idea what method Motorola used to come up with and implement these TERRIBLE settings. I feel bad for anyone who has to listen to this on a first-generation radio every day. Here's an audio sample: 6550-rx-tests-FACTORY-SETTINGS.mp3

    The good news is, for those who have the 2.0 series radios, I can fix your AGC settings and your transmitted audio (with AGC enabled) will sound NORMAL without distortion. Here's what it looks like, when received by the same 6550 after modifications have been applied:

    MODIFIED-AGC.jpg

    Be sure to compare the modified AGC sections against MOTO AGC in the first picture.

    An audio sample (as received by a 6550) of modified 2.0 series radios is available here: 6550-rx-tests-mods-applied.mp3

    I have attempted to make contact with Motorola, but no one has responded. Until Motorola wants to take system audio seriously, I will offer this modification for anyone who sees the importance and benefit my research and improvements have made to the TRBO product line.

    In the coming days, I will post TX audio samples from a 6550 with modified settings.

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    No wonder customers are complaining....
    Apparently NOT a radio professional.

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    I am updating this thread to advise Motorola (MOTOTRBO Business Development Manager; MOTOTRBO North America Application Developer Lead) contacted me this morning. Motorola is extremely appreciative of the efforts, as well as to everyone who has provided feedback and helped test the new settings via this thread.

    The changes were passed on to the Development Team this week and are being reviewed.

    If I receive any further updates, I will share.

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    Good stuff Mars. They should offer your modified settings to users as an audio profile choice in the Gen 2 products, giving users the choice without automatically affecting anyone who happens to update their firmware. Not that it would be a bad thing after listening to your samples, but I'm sure is a rightful concern of theirs.

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    Who knows what they'll end up doing, or not doing. I know myself and a few others are really looking forward to the next quarter firmware release to see if they've done anything with RAS functionality, to correct the perceived security issues I reported last December.

    One thing about 2.40 which I really like is the "Loud" Audio Ambiance profile. I find when used with my AGC mods, it really allows for decent, clear RX audio on the XPR7550 and XPR5550. It boosts RX audio without distorting it. Unfortunately, "Loud" doesn't sound good at all on the SL7550 -- but that's because of the tiny speaker.

    In chatting with my buddy this morning, I could not tell the difference between his XPR5550 and XPR7550. The audio mods have completely fixed the distortion and muffled artifacts. One of the guys on our network used to say "It sounds like everyone has marbles in their mouth". He thinks it sounds much better now. So much so, that he's going to get a XPR7550 and rejoin our network. He left two years ago due to the poor audio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    One thing about 2.40 which I really like is the "Loud" Audio Ambiance profile. I find when used with my AGC mods, it really allows for decent, clear RX audio on the XPR7550 and XPR5550. It boosts RX audio without distorting it.
    But isn't this feature the cause of these radios power cycling off, & on while in scan mode? I need scan more than I need loud ambiance, so until a fix is found, I could never use it. I hope the next fw upgrade includes a fix for this, plus your AGC settings. While I wouldn't be willing to bet a weeks pay, one can only hope. LOL. GARY

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    Quote Originally Posted by N4KVE View Post
    But isn't this feature the cause of these radios power cycling off, & on while in scan mode? I need scan more than I need loud ambiance, so until a fix is found, I could never use it. I hope the next fw upgrade includes a fix for this, plus your AGC settings. While I wouldn't be willing to bet a weeks pay, one can only hope. LOL. GARY
    You're spot on; Loud does cause the radio to reboot if scanning. It's sporadic.

    The "Loud" setting is not required when using the AGC mod. I just prefer the louder audio (loud and DISTORTED are two different things!) when I'm mountain-biking on the trails. It's really windy here and sometimes it's a bitch to hear things. I'd use an audio accessory, but the only available one for the SL7550 is a POS and doesn't fit my Canadian ear properly.

    XPR7550 with IMPRES speaker-mic and audio accessory is also an option, but it looks kind of whacker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post

    The "Loud" setting is not required when using the AGC mod. I just prefer the louder audio (loud and DISTORTED are two different things!) when I'm mountain-biking on the trails. It's really windy here and sometimes it's a bitch to hear things. I'd use an audio accessory, but the only available one for the SL7550 is a POS and doesn't fit my Canadian ear properly.
    Go to your local ENT (ear, nose and throat DR) and get fitted for an ear piece. I brought in the surveillance ear piece for the XTS5000 and showed the Dr. what I wanted and he had my ear molded. He made me a custom one that fit and worked perfect. Best part is that my insurance covered it and cost me nothing but a $10 co-pay.

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    (Insert comment about Moose ears here-->)
    Apparently NOT a radio professional.

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    Just spoke to my buddy Marshall, K4MAP. He just downloaded your AGC mod into his 2 radios, & they both sounded great. 1st time he's used AGC. GARY

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    The MARS MOD has infected South Florida! The cure is spreading.

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    Hey Rasta. I'll have to go for it too when I upgrade to 11.0, & 2.40. GARY

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    Motorola
    Advanced
    Research
    Society

    or...

    Making
    Another
    Radio
    Suck

    Motorola's pretty good at the second one

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    Mars did a second mod on my 7550 plug and it is incredible. Tried it out @work and what a difference.
    Too bad there aren't any functional DMR-MARC machines on the air in ATL anymore or I could demonstrate on NA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS2000DES View Post
    Too bad there aren't any functional DMR-MARC machines on the air in ATL anymore or I could demonstrate on NA.
    There's a DMR-MARC repeater up in my city. It's not mine, but I go on NA from time to time. I've been using AGC on there for the last two weeks and no one has said anything about it. If anyone wants to evaluate/chat, email me marsp25 at gmail, and I'll go on there.

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    It's been less than 24 hours since MARS provided patched CP's for my SL300 and XPR7550 but there has already been plenty of positive feedback. The audio quality in AGC is supurb. It's like I am hearing a new technology.

    I can switch radios in mid conversation and no one knows. Some A-B testing with a few good ears confirmed the results.

    Thank you sir. Job well done!

    Now if you could get APX transmitted audio to sound good when Noise Reduction is enabled you would be a superhero!

    Thanks again.

    Marshall

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