MOTOTRBO Applications

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Whether you want ultra-thin portables or extra-tough mobiles, integrated Bluetooth or industry-leading data applications, Motorola has the right radio that fits your needs today and evolves with new features to address your requirements tomorrow.


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8 July 2014

New MOTOTRBO firmware

On 10 June, Motorola released new firmware for the current generation of MOTOTRBO radios. Included in this release are a number of enhancements which make MOTOTRBO an even more compelling choice for customers on the move.

Some of the highlights from firmware release R02.30.10 include:

  • Enhanced audio and data routing to the option board interface. This provides application developers with a generic interface for routing audio and data to a radio option board.
  • Hospitality  focused Job Ticket enhancements which make the radio even more useful for customers in this market. This includes the ability to sign in or out capability in the Hotel Management System from the radio menu. 
  • Radio users can now generate new job tickets from the radio and send them to the Hotel Management System. The ticket template and codes can be configured in CPS, rather than being fixed in radio firmware. 
  • When searching for a contact in the contact list, results are now displayed by matching the first character instead of any character in the name. The user can also delete user defined entries from Contact List via radio keypad (note: the radio user is still not able to delete CPS defined entries from the Contacts List). 
  • Data added to the radio by the user via Front Panel Programming or radio operations will be stored in a separate partition from the rest of CPS programmable data when writing or updating the radio. This will be limited to Call Log, Contacts, Job Tickets and Sent/Received Text messages, and does not include programmable button, power level, scan list states etc. 
  • NAI based applications (such as SmartPTT Plus and TRBONET Plus) are now able to support phone calls from a phone to an individual radio user, from radio to phone and from phone to talk groups. Before this was only possible via an analogue phone patch or via a control station radio (and an individual call setup). 
  • NAI based applications can now also receive RSSI values (i.e. the RSSI seen by the radio unit) with location data and this information can be recorded and mapped on a map.
  • The new firmware also provides better mobility and presence data in NAI by checking if the subscriber is online at any time. The update also supports ARS query based radio presence check through DDMS. 
  • There is now a base station option in the CPS which allows DM1000/2000 series 25W mobiles, using compatible accessories, to be deployed as part of a fixed installations in R&TTE countries. 
  • R02.03.10 allows non-display radios to receive (and optionally acknowledge) Emergency Alarms. Previously, this was not possible.  
  • The ring tone for incoming telephone calls has been improved allowing it to be heard in noisier environments. 
  • Satellite Receivers in Capacity Plus / Linked Capacity Plus systems employing Digital Voting no-longer require Capacity Plus / Linked Capacity Plus licenses. 
  • CSBK features have been implemented equally across the DP/DM2000 series radios. This means that a DM2600 can now encode Radio Check, Remote Monitor, Radio Disable and Radio Enable as well as encode capability supported for MDC Radio Check and MDC Remote Monitor. Digital Telephone Patch supported as a CfS feature. 
  • Hungarian has been added as a user interface language.
  • R02.30.10 and R01.12.10 addresses the security issue that allowed the codeplug password to be easily discovered and provides three configurable codeplug password policies. A read-write codeplug password protection option is now possible - it is not possible to packet grab this password and there is no backdoor password for EMEA. It is therefore highly recommended that the read-only password option is chosen because if read-write password protection is selected and the password forgotten, then the radio will have to be returned to the Motorola ERSC for recovery.
This firmware also requires the latest CPS: Version 10.5 (Build 551) or Radio Management Version 1.5. A new version of Tuner and RDAC are also available. All of these*, together with the latest System Planner, can be found on Motorola Online (or ask your local Motorola representative).

* Except RDAC

Хотите работать в Мотороле?

I am currently looking for a Technical Support Specialist, based in Kiev - though I am more than willing to consider applicants in neighboring countries. If you are fluent in Russian; have some background in two-way radio communications and/or amateur radio, then I'd like to hear from you. Read the job description and apply here.

If you are on LinkedIn, the job posting can be viewed here. More information about working at Motorola Solutions can be found at

10 June 2014

MOTOTRBO Application: Simple Telemetry

What is it?

Most MOTOTRBO radios* support telemetry functionality in digital mode. Both the MOTOTRBO portable and mobile, have General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) lines on the radio accessory connector which can be connected** to external equipment.
With this telemetry functionality, the originating radio can send a telemetry command to another
radio. Sending the telemetry command can be triggered either by GPIO pins or a programmable

Telemetry commands instruct GPIO pins on the target radio to be set, cleared, toggled or pulsed. The
telemetry commands can also be used to query the status of GPIO pins at the target radio. It also enables the target radio to display a programmed Text Status Message or act on a telemetry command received from the originating radio responding to an event at the originating radio's GPIO pins.

Portables have three GPIOs and mobiles have five. In addition, any of the programmable buttons can be set to trigger a telemetry command. In the case of the portable, a telemetry cable (PMKN4040A) is required which informs the radio that a special cable is connected.

An application

A popular example of how MOTOTRBO can be used for telemetry is a reservoir control system. In this application, the reservoir is fitted with two float switches: one switch closes when the reservoir is full and the other switch closes when the reservoir is empty.
Figure 1 : MOTOTRBO radios control an irrigation reservoir system.

These switches are connected to a MOTOTRBO radio. Since there is no AC power at the reservoir, a DP4400 can be used, which is powered from a lead-acid battery and small solar panel. The radio will have minimal current drain, as it will not be party to any calls and will only transmit when either of the switches change state.
The portable is programmed as follows:

At the other end is another MOTOTRBO radio - it could be a mobile or a portable. This radio is connected to a pump**. The pump draws water from the river and fills the reservoir. This radio is powered from the AC supply to this location (solar could be used here too).
This radio is programmed as follows:

Between the pump and radio is a simple control circuit. This circuit provides soft start and power factor correction for the electric motor inside the pump. The control circuit also provides a low level input for starting and stopping the motor. When the input is high, the motor will run and as soon as the input goes low, the motor will stop.

So as the reservoir empties, float switch A closes and causes radio 1 to send a telemetry command to radio 2. Radio 2 reacts to this command by toggling the pin connected to the motor controller. The pump starts and the reservoir fills. As soon as the reservoir gets to a certain level, switch B closes and radio 1 sends a telemetry command to radio 2, which turns the pump off.

Radio 3 (not shown) also has the option to manually start the pump by pressing a pre-programmed button. Pressing the button has the same effect as closing float switch A or B. This radio would be in the hands of the farm workers allowing them to switch the pump on for whatever reason. This third radio is optional!
Radio 3 is set up as follows:

Need more?

For more sophisticated systems, where exact levels and flow rates need to be monitored and controlled, I highly recommend looking at one of Motorola's SCADA products. From a simple a system like this, to a entire plant, Motorola SCADA is able to do this, and MOTOTRBO can be used to link remote stations.

* Note that the DM1400; DM1600; DP1400; DP2400 DP2600 and SL4000 do not have any telemetry functionality.

** Although the radios support standard TTL levels, it is strongly advised to make provision for electrical isolation when longer cable lengths and/or AC mains are involved. 

30 April 2014

How good is your MOTOTRBO knowledge?

Take this short (20 question) quiz and find out? If you get more than 80%, well done!

20 April 2014

RF noise measurements using an isolated-tee bridge

A method exists for measuring the noise level on an antenna system using a communications analyser (signal generator and SINAD meter*); an isolated-tee bridge (or simply called an iso-tee) and a small dummy load.
An iso-tee is basically a three way coaxial device with an input; output and a third, loosely coupled, connection – the input and output are connected directly to one another whereas the third (generator) port is air (capacitively) coupled to the input-output line.
Once can be built quite easily, instructions and ideas can be found on the internet.

Figure 1 - the iso-tee


To measure the noise level, firstly ensure that the antenna is correctly matched. This can be done by measuring the VSWR. If the SWR is too high, the noise level measurement will be out due to the difference in the antenna and dummy load impedances.

If testing the noise level on a repeater, the transmitter must be connected to the antenna or to a high power dummy load.  Remember that disconnecting the receiver from the duplexer may affect the duplexer’s internal impedance so be sure to terminate the open leg of the duplexer during these tests.
Now connect the iso-tee as shown in figure 2, and generate a 1 kHz tone modulated signal (at 60% of RSD)** on the repeater receive frequency at -50dBm, and slowly turn the RF level down until 12dB SINAD* is seen on the communications analyser. Note this level as A. Remember that the RF level will not be a true reflection of the receive sensitivity due to the iso-tee.
Figure 2 - the reference level setup (A)

Now connect the iso-tee as shown in figure 3, and again generate a 1 kHz tone modulated signal; (at 60% of RSD)** on the repeater receive frequency at -50dBm, and slowly turn the RF level down until 12dB SINAD* is seen on the communications analyser. Note this level as B. Once again, the RF level will not be a true reflection of receiver sensitivity due to the iso-tee coupling losses.
Figure 3 - measuring with the antenna connected (B)

The difference between B and A is the noise level. Anything less than 6dB is acceptable. Anything higher indicates a RF noise problem on the site. It will be necessary to make the measurement for B over several minutes, you may notice that this level jumps around a lot – this indicates that the source of the noise is not always present (i.e. another repeater is keying up and generating the noise in question).

What next?

The next – obvious – question is how does one solve RF noise problems on a site? The first step is to locate the source of the noise. In my experience, the source of the noise has usually has inadequate filtering on the transmitter. More information on how to improve filtering can be found here.

* If testing a MOTOTRBO repeater, a 1011Hz voice test stream would be generated and instead looking for a 12dB SINAD level, a 3% BER would be the reference target.
** It is assumed tests are made in analogue mode. If no digital communications analyzer is available, the repeater would need to be set for analogue operation.

19 February 2014

Service manuals for the new MOTOTRBO radios, where are they?

I've had a few questions lately regarding the availability of certain parts and Detailed Service Manuals for the new(er) MOTOTRBO radios via the contact me link; Google+Facebook and email.

The majority of the electronic components listed in the DP3000 and DM3000 series Detailed Service Manuals cannot be ordered by customers. The part numbers are correct but are listed for reference purposes only.

A number of low cost radios on the market now are reportedly partial knock-offs of the MOTOTRBO DP3000 and DM3000 series. If this is indeed true, the manufacturers of these radios were able to save themselves a lot of R&D work by copying the schematics out of Motorola's Detailed Service Manuals. I have not seen this for myself but was told this via a number of sources.

Motorola has decided not to publish the Detailed Service Manuals for the second generation MOTOTRBO radios. The Basic Service Manuals are however available for download from Motorola Online.

The second generation MOTOTRBO radios (which includes the DM/DP1000; 2000 and 4000 series as well as the SL4000 series) use compact, static sensitive and hydroscopic components which require special handling and storage procedures. For example, the Dual Core SoC processor used in some of these radios is a 361 PBGA with 0,8mm between each ball (there are no pins) and the chip itself only measures 16x16mm. A typical capacitor here measures only 0,6x0,3mm. This true for all other two-way radios manufactured this century.

In my 20+ year career, I have had the opportunity to view at the repair facilities at a number of radio dealerships (not only Motorola) and self-maintaining customers. Although some are sufficiently equipped to carry out the majority of repairs, all of them are definitely not equipped carry out component level repairs on any modern two-way radio equipment. Those who say they can do these repairs, are either damaging the printed circuit boards, or are perhaps being less than honest.

A number of  Motorola resellers have realized that the return on investment for such an up-to-date repair facility is simply not feasible (i.e. investing huge amounts of money to keep up with, low volume; low margin; complex repairs) and are instead offering their customers Motorola Service from the Start as part of their total solution. Service from the Start is available in a number of countries, in addition to several other post-sale support offerings from Motorola.

18 February 2014

Routers; Routers and (yes) Routers

The Mikrotik RB2011IL-RM Router 
I have recently had a few questions about this subject and was asked to recommend a suitable Router for MOTOTRBO.

To my knowledge, the only Router to undergo formal testing by Motorola's engineering team was the MSR20-20 from HP. The trouble with this specific model is that it only has two RJ45 ports and although the MSR20-21 could be used, it is still in the €800 price range. Also the HP MSR20-20 and MSR 20-21 have have a EAR9900NR ECCN which means certain export control regulations may apply (see and The HP MSR20 range remains my (and Motorola's) recommendation as far as Routers for MOTOTRBO are concerned.

For some unknown reason, the Netgear WNR1000, several of my colleagues and I, have used for training purposes, has become generally accepted as the "Motorola recommended Router". This is definitely not the case! The Netgear WNR1000 was chosen purely because it was cheap and the (very simple web-based) user interface was easy enough to explain how things like NAT and port numbers worked. And, at the time, it supported NAT loop-back (which we don't need anymore). I have subsequently uncovered a few flaws in this model and have confined mine to the box-of-tricks cupboard.

Upon hearing the above, the typical question is what Router can one use, which is in the same price range and the Netgear and has the same level of functionality of the HP? In the last few weeks, I have been working with the RB2011IL-RM from Mikrotik. For it's ca. €80 price tag, this is quite an impressive piece of hardware with many features. The configuration is quite daunting (to say the least) at first and I would suggest taking one of the training courses on offer before tackling what lies behind the Webfig/Winbox login.
What I also like (though I have not tested this) is that the RB2011IL can operate on 12Vdc (it is supplied with a 24V PSU) which makes it extremely useful for sites which only have DC power.

I would be interested to know which model Router you use and what system topology (i.e. IPSC; C+ or LC+ and no. of sites) it is being used on? Was it reliable and how easy was it to set up?