Over The Air Programming (OTAP) Part 3

This is the third part in a five part series of posts on Radio Management. This allows system managers to remotely configure radio units without the need of physically touching the radio. Via the Radio Management CPS, configuration updates can simply and quickly pushed to radio units.

In this post I talk about the term: Configuration Switchover.

There is an option in Radio Management (RM) to simply deliver the updated configuration without applying it, or to apply it immediately after delivery. Applying the configuration is known as a switchover. When changing critical communication parameters, it is recommended that the new configuration is delivered to all the radios first, and then a separate switchover is delivered to the same set of radios. This minimizes the downtime by applying all configurations at the same time.

If making minor changes to the configuration, for example address book entries or button configurations, it is acceptable for each radio to apply the changes immediately as they are delivered. Although the first radio may end up receiving the address book before the last radio, there would be little impact on the system operation. In contrast, if updating a critical communication parameter like transmit or receive frequency, the first radio is out of communication with the last radio until the last radio receives its programming.

A configuration switchover has the option for a maximum delay timer, also known as the switchover timer. The switchover timer is the maximum duration the radio will wait, after receiving the switchover message, before performing the switchover. The switchover timer is set in the radio management settings and affects all scheduled switchovers.

If the switchover timer is set to zero, there is no prompt on the radio, and the switchover occurs immediately upon receiving the switchover message. If the value is greater than zero, the radio user receives a prompt to accept or delay the switchover. If accept is selected, the radio immediately resets and applies the changes. If there is no selection or a delay is set, the radio continues to operate on the old configuration until the switchover timer expires, at which time the radio resets and applies the changes.

The reset is necessary as this forces the radio to start using the new configuration. In any case, the radio would reset if being programmed via a wired connection to the CPS PC.

If the switchover timer expires while the radio is in an emergency call or in a voice call, it will delay the switchover until the emergency is cleared or the voice call is over. If at any time the radio user cycles power (switch off, switch on) while the switchover timer is counting, the updated configuration is applied on power up.

Because radio users have the option to accept or delay, it is not recommended to have a large switchover timer when changing critical communication parameters. Otherwise the first radio applies its changes well before the last radio and this may result in a disruption to communications.

If switching over many radios independent of the delivery and utilizing a zero value switchover timer, the radios may be reset within a short duration of each other. This may result in them sending ARS within a short duration of each other, which may result in a data storm condition. The RM client (CPS) is able instruct the radio to not send a presence registration immediately after a switchover. If making changes to the radio configuration that does not affect the channel assignments, like address book entries or button layout, it is not necessary to re-register with ARS. Therefore presence registration can be suppressed after a switchover.

The radio user can access the radio menu to see the date and time the configuration was modified. This represents the date and time the codeplug package was compiled by the device programmer prior to delivery.

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