Over The Air Programming (OTAP) Part 4

This is the fourth 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 discuss the function of the Control Station in Radio Management. Note that as of system release R2.2A, it is possible to interface directly into the Repeater thereby eliminating the need for a Control Station - this uses the NAI feature (Network Application Interface).

I will talk about NAI in a separate (forthcoming) post.

A Control Station is any MOTOTRBO radio which acts as an interface between the RF Air Interface and Application Cloud. Typically, the Control Station would be connected to a PC or server via a USB cable. In MOTOTRBO conventional systems, there would be at least one Control Station per data channel. In Linked Capacity Plus and Capacity Plus systems, there would be at least one control station per data revert channel as well as one control station for sending requests to radio units. Up to 16 Control Stations are supported per computer/server.

If using multiple Control Stations, the Multi Channel Device Driver (MCDD) must be used. With OTAP, this also means that the Presence Notifier must also be used to update the routing in RM. If the MCDD is not used, a static, persistent route is required in the PC, so that messages are routed out of the control station and not out of any other network interface.

The Control Station(s) must be configured with the appropriate system type parameters for the channel or system being monitored. Additionally, the control stations connected to the CPS Server and Device Programmer must be configured with all the following parameters:

1.       Data Call Confirmed must be enabled in the Personality or Channel.
2.       Compressed UDP Data Header must be disabled in the Personality or Channel.
3.       The radio must be provisioned with all voice Privacy Keys used on the system.
4.       The Control Station must have a unique Radio ID.
5.       Enhanced Channel Access must be enabled in the Personality or Channel.

If these parameters are not properly set, there will be problems relating to system performance. UDP header compression increases the number of lower layer headers, resulting in decreased reliability - this is not worth the benefit of the compression in case of larger messages. Enhanced Channel Access minimizes the impact of voice transmissions colliding with OTAP data. It is recommended that Enhanced Channel Access be enabled on all radios, if OTAP is utilized. In some specific configurations, the Control Stations used by the CPS PC, may have matching radio IDs. However, these must never match that of another radio in the field.

It is recommended to use the second generation MOTOTRBO mobiles (R02.10.00 or later) as CPS Control Stations, since they assure minimal impact to the radio system performance during over- the-air transmissions. When used as control stations, older MOTOTRBO mobiles do not have the same ability to prioritize data traffic and this may affect the overall performance.

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