HAMSEXY is the best place for ASTRO newbies

Forum for the promotion and understanding of digital voice on the amateur bands.

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blugu64
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Post by blugu64 » Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:53 pm

Being that this is apparently the best place to ask questions about Motorola and ASTRO radios...and I no nothing about either, What do I need to know about them? What makes them so motosexy? And why should I spend $$ on them rather then hammy stuffs?

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Post by n3jfw » Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:18 pm

anything other than a factual answer locks and poofs this thread


ntw-I think we have alot more assholes here than batlabs, I just restrict my forsale area.
N3JFW 4:29 pm
(4:29:48 PM): so he's gay huh
(nameless ham) 4:30 pm
(4:30:02 PM): haha no, but he is a music major
N3JFW 4:30 pm
(4:30:15 PM): so he's still in the closet

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Post by escomm » Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:11 am

Bullshit. Digital radios do not "sound better" than conventional radios, unless by "sound better" you mean costs more. It's kind of like wine. Most people think that when it's more expensive, it must taste better.

First of all, static means a distorted signal, and digital radios will bonk out with even a relatively low level of data loss. Yes, DSP will remove static to a point, but it's capabilities are way overhyped. And hiss? Stop using a radio or microphone with a shitty mic element.

Second of all, no two-way DSP is capable of reproducing audio quality equal to that of an conventional receiver. Hands down, it ain't possible.

Third of all, find me a current Motorola radio that isn't bubblepack that has desense or intermod problems. Make it "Go Motorola or Go Home" and we are in business.

Lastly, do not give me any bullshit about the coverage footprint being better. Fringe coverage is where analog really outshines over digital, at least with conventional you can hear someone through static and an intermittent signal, whereas with digital there won't even be enough unitelligible data to unmute the receiver.

Can you explain to me why LAPD needs 23 mountaintop sites for their UHF Astro system when LAFD only needs 9 mountaintop sites for their 800MHz conventional (with 800 and its markedly inferior propagation compared to UHF)?

There are many upsides to having a digital radio, to be sure, but what good is a $300 portable when you have to spend 4 grand on a decent repeater (before antenna/feedline/cavities/sitespace)???

:baby:

Disclaimer: I am the proud owner of 2 XTS5000, 3 XTS3000, 3 Astro Saber and an Astro Spectra

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Post by Mong » Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:21 am

Page saved, because I don't think it will be here tomorrow night :baby:

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Post by escomm » Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:42 am

r0f wrote:Sorry we disagree. But perhaps your systems aren't set up properly. A current system with DSP 8 (legacy radios) and DSP 9 (ASTRO25) with AGC enabled, sounds quite good. Much better than analog. My users prefer digital to analog anyday.
Nonsense, and until you have the waveforms to prove it (something DVSI and its licensees are sorely and conspicuously lacking) you won't be able to convince someone who actually knows the electrical theory behind this that it's true.
Not true. Digital will crap out when your analog signal is unreadable. I've done my own tests. Your coverage on digital is solid right up to the point where the signal strength is about to crap out. Again, I've done my own tests.
So did the City of Los Angeles, and they determined they needed 23 repeaters for their digital system to provide comparable coverage to an analog system that has 9 repeaters. If the coverage was equal, as you would have us believe, there would be no need for almost three times as many repeaters to cove.
I don't think you know what I'm talking about when I say DSP removes hiss and static from the received signal. The radio's DSP itself, makes the audio sound much better. My MTS 2000 (analog radio) sounds worse than my XTS 3000, when receiving an analog signal. It's not a matter of one being more sensitive than the other...I'm talking about audio here. The DSP cleans up a lot of the artifacts.
I know exactly what I'm talking about, and DSP does NOT remove the hiss and static from an analog signal. Mikegilbert tried to run this line on batlabs and was laughed off the thread in record time.

In fact, your XTS3000 has much poorer specified sensitivity than your MTS2000 (35 microvolts vs 28 microvolts), so the numbers directly contradict your anecdote.
Third of all, find me a current Motorola radio that isn't bubblepack that has desense or intermod problems. Make it "Go Motorola or Go Home" and we are in business.
I'm not following you on this one.
Your OP implies that most ham radios suffer from intermod and desense, and one should get an Astro to solve that. I lowered the bar, saying one only need have a Motorola radio in order to ensure this problem does not rear its ugly head.
I'm not giving you any bullshit. I'm giving you the facts. A digital system provides solid coverage right up the fringe. I've used/tested analog/digital systems (same systems, different modes) to make my own conclusions. People who complain about digital packet-loss don't understand that if they were to immediately switch to analog, the signal would be practically inaudible.
The fringe of a digital system is much closer to the transmitting point than that of a conventional system. So saying that it's better 'right up to the fringe' is a red herring at best.

And you have got to be kidding me when you imply that a signal that is "practically inaudible" would come out as anything anywhere near intelligent from a radio. No way, no how. The error correcting is nowhere near that good, get real. The vocoder can filter out very minor occurrences of static or choppy signal. And if the signal IS choppy, that means packet loss, and I suppose the vocoder is psychic and knows what is being said even though there is no intelligible data in the signal to process???

DVSI and other two-manufacturer's very plainly concede in their "expected performance comparison" that conventional systems (A) work much better when you have full-quieting [which, by the way, is how a properly designed PS system is supposed to work, hence the need for multiple sites] and (B) work better where the signal is poor.

I disagree. Do some of your own testing and you'll discover P25, with recent DSP firmware releases, works excellent right up into the noise. This "oh my god we can't hear them they might die" analog argument that's been going for years isn't valid.
Nobody is making the dramatic "oh my god" claim that you state. Then again, nobody is experiencing the "works excellent right up into the noise" claim that you make either.
Can you explain to me why LAPD needs 23 mountaintop sites for their UHF Astro system when LAFD only needs 9 mountaintop sites for their 800MHz conventional (with 800 and its markedly inferior propagation compared to UHF)?
I'm not familiar with your system. I would tend to think RF engineers know more about what they're doing than the both of us combined. You must also keep in midn it's a public safety communications system which is probably overspec'd on purpose. It's not a ham radio repeater.
A public safety system that requires 2 1/2 times the infrastructure to cover basically the same area (Ps. LAFD covers MORE of Los Angeles than LAPD does, appx 98% vs 95%).

And to think that the LAPD Quantars run about $30k apiece, whereas the LAFD MSF5000s and MTR2000s run about $5k apiece. $690k in repeaters vs $45k in repeaters. And for a poorer footprint.

There are many upsides to having a digital radio, to be sure, but what good is a $300 portable when you have to spend 4 grand on a decent repeater (before antenna/feedline/cavities/sitespace)???
If it's for amateur radio, consider building a back/back maxtrac hack for ~$500. I put one of these together for a UHF machine, and it outperforms our VHF Quantar. You would not use this in a public-safety setup, but for hammy use it works great.
So an analog radio does better at passing digital audio than a digital radio? Hmmmmmmmm
Jeff, I'm not sure what host/dsp loads the LAPD or other users in your area are using, but it sounds as if you've had some negative experiences with monitoring them, or you've been influenced by stories told by users. I can relate to this as the system here is a POS too, but it has nothing to do with the radios themselves--just the configuration and maintenance of the systems.
Absolutely not, my perspective comes from (A) selling two-way radios for a living, going through product training, going through ongoing theory review and training, and (B) as a taxpayer that sees just how much money is being wasted on these technologies.

There are very few public safety agencies that can actually benefit from a fully digital radio system. Most times the costs vastly outweigh the benefits.
Put a retard in charge of public safety communications and you'll end up with something sub-par. There's no surprise there.
Most agencies have a conventional system now that more than suits their needs. However, most of those systems are poorly maintained and do not receive the attention and preventive servicing they require for optimal results.

Maintaining a digital radio system is infinitely harder, because not only do you have hardware components that can bottleneck performance, you also have software components that can do it. It needlessly introduces extra layers of maintenance and service.

Don't even get me started on how many of these agencies are going to have their dick in their hand in 10 years down the road when it comes time to replace/upgrade their system, and the veritable gusher that is homeland security dollars that has paid for all this crap has long since been shut off.

You don't really think Podunk Arkansas with its population of 5,000 snake farmers has the taxbase to pay for a whole new fleet of $4,000 radios do you?!

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Post by escomm » Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:44 am

Mong wrote:Page saved, because I don't think it will be here tomorrow night :baby:
Unless someone shits this thread up I don't see it going anywhere. r0f obviously didn't take my response personal and I certainly don't take his personally either

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Post by Mong » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:20 pm

escomm wrote:
Mong wrote:Page saved, because I don't think it will be here tomorrow night :baby:
Unless someone shits this thread up I don't see it going anywhere. r0f obviously didn't take my response personal and I certainly don't take his personally either

As I've seen what the two of you can dish out sometimes, I'm surprised of the civility in this thread.


Good job boys :baby:

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Post by escomm » Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:25 pm

r0f wrote:A "good sounding system" has nothing to do with waveforms.
But "good sounding audio" has everything to do with it, and the "good sounding audio" is directly proportional to a "good sounding system."
Regardless of your opinion, it's a fact that ASTRO systems sound GREAT if the subscriber units are running current host/dsp firmware with AGC enabled. There's no disputing that. What are you trying to compare it to? An analog signal?
And they are in full quieting range of the repeater. Then there is no dispute.
Who's to say an analog transmission sounds good in the first place? There are a lot of artifacts and audio frequencies in an analog transmission that don't really do anything to make the transmission sound good. PL tone humming, background noise, etc. The IMBE codec is designed for human speech. It is very pleasant to listen to in my opinion. If you have a different opinion, you're entitled to it. But it has nothing to do with waveforms.
An audiophile, I suppose? I don't really know how to respond to this.
Again, this is a public safety system. They wanted solid coverage, and they got it. The old system probably had deadspots. I don't live in LA, so I will not offer comment on something I'm not familiar with. I'm not an engineer, and neither are you (as far as I know) so please don't try to cash in on this argument.
ASTRO 25 is marketed primarily as a public safety / government system. It is NOT a commercial product. They wanted solid coverage and they did NOT get it. 95% coverage is utter shit for public safety. 100% is ideal but obviously it is cost prohibitive.

This is not an engineering argument. It's a simple comparison of what one ASTRO system requires to get comparable coverage from an analog system, used by agencies with similar demands in the same geographical location. Simply put, you cannot get a better side by side comparison for the sake of this discussion.
DSP does remove some hiss and static. Argue with me all you want on that, but you're wrong on this point. The DSP optimizes the AF response so that hiss and some pops/crackles ARE reduced or eliminated. It's not perfect by any stretch, but the DSP does in fact do this.
Some hiss and static. That is my original point. The capability is overhyped at best. Blame the marketing people?
In fact, your XTS3000 has much poorer specified sensitivity than your MTS2000 (35 microvolts vs 28 microvolts), so the numbers directly contradict your anecdote.
You may want to get your measurements straight. You need a decimal in there. If a radio had 35 microvolts of sensitivity, it would be tossed into a garbage can.
Blame the lack of an edit function
The MTS2000 is in fact more sensitive than a 3000. However, the 2000 suffers from overload and IMD moreso than the 3000. That is a fact. I've done side-by-side tests under a cell tower. 3000 beat it hands down. A radio's performance cannot be measured by comparing sensitivity. And learn to get your numbers right, bud.
OK, so the 2000 is more sensitive, all I'm trying to get at. How many portable radio transmissions are made from under a cell tower (or any other high RF environment) on a regular basis? In those cases I will not argue a high tier product may be better suited for the application.

Your OP implies that most ham radios suffer from intermod and desense, and one should get an Astro to solve that. I lowered the bar, saying one only need have a Motorola radio in order to ensure this problem does not rear its ugly head.
You have a hate-on for ASTRO and digital. I get the impression you'll say/argue anything against someone owning an ASTRO radio, over something else.
No, I have a disdain for people who blindly brag about how great ASTRO is when they really don't understand the theory behind it. There are very few instances in which an ASTRO radio is a better solution for an end-user. There are many misconceptions about the performance of digital radios, and they are not the end-all solution to anyone but a very select few types of end-users.

By and large ASTRO systems are a waste of money.
My point (and it's a damn good one) is ASTRO kit has dropped in price by 10x of what it was going for only 3-4 years ago. For $300, a full-featured/model ASTRO HT is a great deal. Why settle for a $30 GP300?
You're right, it is a good point, and I don't disagree with you on this. When the price of the radio is $300, it's a good deal. But when you're buying the radio new, and you're paying $3000, and you're using someone else's money, then the whole package just isn't as economically appealing.
The fringe of a digital system is much closer to the transmitting point than that of a conventional system. So saying that it's better 'right up to the fringe' is a red herring at best.
Well, it's a fact the coverage is solid right up to the point of it crapping out. (RSSI readings compared to analog). Don't forget, on analog you'll hear hissing and static as you get into the intermediate coverage area, whereas the same signal strength on ASTRO is 99% error-free.
Or it's not even there. ASTRO is black and white. Either there's enough signal to process or there isn't. With analog, your ears are the one that gets to make the selection, not some software based on a codec that was standardized more than 10 years ago. I know there is no dispute that a human ear is better at discerning what's intelligible over the air than some software program.
And you have got to be kidding me when you imply that a signal that is "practically inaudible" would come out as anything anywhere near intelligent from a radio. No way, no how. The error correcting is nowhere near that good, get real.
Now you're twisting my words around, and I don't appreciate that. Keep your hate for digital somewhere else, please. Here's what I said:

"...A digital system provides solid coverage right up the fringe..."

Do you know what a fringe is? It's when you're on the extreme edge of your system/repeater, where if you switched to analog, you would not be able to understand anyone because the static/hiss is practically white noise at this point, and you couldn't make out what they're saying. They'd be "in the mud".
No, the fringe on an analog system is where the audio quality STARTS to deteriorate and covers to the point of unintelligibility, at which point you have reached the END of your coverage footprint. Not where the system ACTUALLY becomes unintelligible.

So, by these two definitions, there are two very distinct outcomes. And no, a DSP can NOT clean up an analog signal that is at the point of unintelligibility at ALL. It won't even unmute the receiver.
I'm not iimplying an ASTRO system would work where there's 99% white noise.
That's certainly what it sounds like, when you say a digital radio will work up to the point where analog
The vocoder can filter out very minor occurrences of static or choppy signal. And if the signal IS choppy, that means packet loss, and I suppose the vocoder is psychic and knows what is being said even though there is no intelligible data in the signal to process???
I didn't say that. You're twisting my words again.
I am asking a question. How can a DSP process a signal with limited intelligible data?
DVSI and other two-manufacturer's very plainly concede in their "expected performance comparison" that conventional systems (A) work much better when you have full-quieting [which, by the way, is how a properly designed PS system is supposed to work, hence the need for multiple sites] and (B) work better where the signal is poor.
DVSI designs speech codecs. They do not design RF systems. I have no idea where you're getting this info from. Please post your facts too (links or other supporting documents).
The ability of the codec is inherently reliant on the RF design, and the RF design is inherently reliant on the codec. I don't have a way of getting you powerpoint slides from product training classes, unfortunately.

A public safety system that requires 2 1/2 times the infrastructure to cover basically the same area (Ps. LAFD covers MORE of Los Angeles than LAPD does, appx 98% vs 95%).

And to think that the LAPD Quantars run about $30k apiece, whereas the LAFD MSF5000s and MTR2000s run about $5k apiece. $690k in repeaters vs $45k in repeaters. And for a poorer footprint.
Again, it's a public safety system. It's overspec'd on purpose. Probably an upgrade from what they had before.

Anyway, you're trying to argue with me using a system I'm not familiar with. Did it not occur to you that perhaps they designed the LAPD system with better coverage than what it had before? Think about in-building coverage, underground tunnels, etc.
I am not asking you to be familiar with it. This is a basic comparison. Slight details to not equate to 250% more infrastructure.

As for in-building and tunnel coverage, LAFD actually has much better coverage because the fire code requires BDAs for fire radios but there is no building or safety code that requires it for LAPD. Also, anecdotally (you will have to take my word for it on this one) the general feeling on the force is that the old radio system had better overall coverage. With less horsepower (and less taxpayer expense)

Again, this is a basic side-by-side comparison, one that is very applicable to the topic at hand.
So an analog radio does better at passing digital audio than a digital radio? Hmmmmmmmm
You have no clue what you're talking about. It has nothing to do with "analog" or "digital". It's a passive repeater. The 0.21uV maxtrac receiver happens to be more sensitive than the Quantar as well--but the RF specs are inferior over the Quantar.
You said the Maxtrac sounds better passing digital than a Quantar does. I am taking your own words at face value. What else am I supposed to respond with when you say, "My $500 maxtrac repeater sounds better than a Quantar"?
You can't compare VHF and UHF propagation either. UHF wins hands down in an urban environment. Our antennas are different, coax losses, etc. Get a clue man. I'm losing faith in you here.
All of a sudden the design engineers are not so important???
Absolutely not, my perspective comes from (A) selling two-way radios for a living, going through product training, going through ongoing theory review and training, and (B) as a taxpayer that sees just how much money is being wasted on these technologies.
Don't take personal offense to this, but taking a course at Motorola doesn't make you an expert. Get out there and use/work on the equipment first-hand. Reading product brochures and listening to some M person talk out his ass for 4 hours doesn't make you a system engineer--nor anyone else for that matter.
You have to be insane for me to not take this (or your next comment) personally. I am not purporting to be an expert (neither are 99% of the people that run their mouth about how great Astro is, either) nor a system engineer. My product training from the product design team is more formal training than you've ever got.
Selling radios for a living doesn't qualify your argument either. Salespeople are often the most clueless folk in the RF industry, but I'm not suggesting that you fit into that category.
Selling (and servicing) radios makes me more than qualified to speak on the subject. Having approached the issue from both sides of the coin (end-user and vendor), and having received feedback from people who actually put their own money on the line to make the decision, I can say without certainty that Astro is a specialized, focused product, and it is not the greatest thing since sliced butter like you incessantly imply that it is.

Most agencies have a conventional system now that more than suits their needs. However, most of those systems are poorly maintained and do not receive the attention and preventive servicing they require for optimal results.
Agreed. But on the same token, keeping up-to-date with current firmware in the subscriber units is the MOST OVERLOOKED issue with digital systems. The radios must also be programmed properly or audio will suffer. This can't be overstated enough.
Of course, I concur 1000%. And it's a fatal flaw of the Astro system-- it's too maintenance and labor intensive.
You don't really think Podunk Arkansas with its population of 5,000 snake farmers has the taxbase to pay for a whole new fleet of $4,000 radios do you?!
If they want new radios, that's their business. It just so happens that the ASTRO/ASTRO25 series radios are public-safety tier products. If the customer wants to run digital, that's their own business. It would be cheaper for a town of 5000 people to go ASTRO, than it would be for LAPD to go ASTRO. It's all to do with ratios. Budgets and resources are weighed when making those decisions.
See, but it's the taxpayer's dollar that's paying for it, so really it isn't just "their business", it's everyone's business. It would not be cheaper for a town of 5000 to go to Astro on a per subscriber basis (only a gross basis) because the infrastructure cost is spread out over a lower number of subscriber units.

I won't bother getting into a debate with you over judicious use of taxpayer money, I think it's safe to say that government is extremely wasteful, but that's a topic for an entirely separate discussion so I'll leave it at that.
I'm going to be blunt here, Jeff. I don't have time to argue with you until we're both blue in the face over the pros/cons of ASTRO. I'm working on a lot of new content that will get posted here in the near future, and this argument is taking up a lot of my time that I could be better investing into putting together useful content.[/qupte]
Nobody is forcing you to fulfill your desire to have the last word :p
If you have a beef with digital systems/audio quality, you're more than entitled to your opinion. But please, don't post in the ASTRO forum if you don't have anything positive/useful to contribute.
To be honest, a contradictory viewpoint to the general circlejerk that is the Astro forum is quite necessary. There is a big difference between being positive and being useful. I am as accurate as I can be and that's what's most important. All too often in this thread you have tried to pass off your opinions as fact. Maybe I am guilty of the same.
The fact is, ASTRO works great for many public safety users and us hammy geeks. I've had great positive experiences with it, and have been fortunate enough to experienced this stuff at a very in-depth level. I've done a lot of real-world experiments, and to date, I've been very impressed.
It is also a nightmare for many other PS users. More than one agency has scrapped their Astro system, once they realized how complicated and difficult it was to maintain. The ends have to justify the means. You will find negative experiences just as you will find positive ones. For all of the systems that work great, there are there systems that don't work great.

To use an example, it's not the mechanic's fault that the car he is working on is a pain in the ass-- it's the car manufacturer's fault.

Bottom line is that my opinion is that Astro is nowhere near what it's being cracked up to be, and it's irresponsible to have inaccurate performance data thrown around on forums like Batlabs. Having it here on Hamsexy is no big deal because Hamsexy is not
If someone else cares to keep this argument going with you, they can bring it on. I'm going back to working on the new content which will soon be posted here--stuff that is a lot more useful and technical than what you see from Motorola at a "product awareness" meeting.
You see, it's bullshit comments like this that get people mad at you. Stop being passive aggressive with your commentary. It's funny that you pass off "product awareness" meetings as less than useful or technical, yet it is this very meetings that heavily influence the very spending decisions that lead to Astro systems.

For what it's worth, just about every talking you point you've touched on in this thread has been covered by product training, and I can't imagine how you'd get access to such a class-- so how are you even in a position to know what it is discussed, let alone know what isn't discussed????

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Post by escomm » Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:20 pm

r0f wrote:
I am asking a question. How can a DSP process a signal with limited intelligible data?
It's called forward error correction. If some of the data is missing, the codec uses algorithms (kind of like a RAID array on a server) to reconstruct the missing data. This is why ASTRO works so great in weak signal conditions.
Oh, I know this, but my point is that it only works to a certain degree. The vocoder can't see what isn't there-- it can guess, but it won't necessarily be right. It isn't a 100% thing is my point.
For what it's worth, just about every talking you point you've touched on in this thread has been covered by product training, and I can't imagine how you'd get access to such a class-- so how are you even in a position to know what it is discussed, let alone know what isn't discussed????
Because I see the end result of what those meetings produce. A large number of clueless sys admins who don't program the radios properly, or neglect firmware upgrades and system infrastructure. (Not suggesting you fit into this category)
That's because those guys are not technically inclined to begin with. And with an Astro system, you not only have to have a solid RF and electrical background, but increasingly an IT background as well. It was bad enough when all they needed was RF and electricity, but now there's a fat dose of software knowledge to keep these things humming, too.
Later this week I will share an extremely large guide with the masses. Until then, please give me some time to get this accomplished.
I look forward to it-- it's been a long time since any useful documentation showed up on the web for these radios.

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Post by exkalibur » Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:05 pm

Great topic - thanks for starting it r0f - there's way too much mis-information floating around with regards to ASTRO and what not.

Here's my observations which are in no way scientific.

I use IMBE (with and without encryption) to talk to a couple of friends around here. When I first got an ASTRO radio, I didn't like the audio at all, I thought it sounded much too robotic. But, after using it for a few weeks I got used to it. Now after having ASTRO radios for several years, I can firmly say that I much prefer the sound of ASTRO voice over that of analog voice. If you have AGC enabled and have the newest (or relativly newest) firmware revisions and have all the settings tweaked, the audio is very easy on the ears. Especially with AGC turned on in all the radios, there's no more ear-piercing like you do with analog.

On top of that, ASTRO is far more efficient with a weak signal than analog is. I've used ASTRO in situations where you can't even tell there's a signal there in analog but yet in ASTRO mode, the audio is very useable.

Then comes ASTRO repeaters. If you have a scratchy-as-hell analog signal coming into a repeater, your repeated audio is going to be scratchy-as-hell. However, on an ASTRO machine, the repeater re-creates the digital data representing your voice so even if you're very weak into the machine, your repeated audio will be 100% so long as a good decode is possible.

Looking at a real-world situation. Durham Regional Police have been using iDEN radios for quite a number of years. While it isn't ASTRO, it's similar in terms of audio. They have nothing but praise for the system. If that wasn't the case, they wouldn't have renewed the contract. Also, the Ontario Provincial Police have been using ASTRO for a number of years now. A lot of engineering went into that system. The system uses a mix of ASTRO (for law-enforcement) and Analog (for ambulance/maintenance, etc..). If they weren't sure digital was a good option, they wouldn't have used digital for the Police.

There are countless other examples of ASTRO systems being in place and the users being quite happy with them. Sure there are a number who aren't happy with the system, but I would imagine a lot of that is based on poor design and training, rather than the downfalls of the technology. Even the best system in the world isn't going to work well if poorly designed.
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Post by exkalibur » Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:26 pm

[quote="escomm]That's because those guys are not technically inclined to begin with.[/quote]

The province-wide ASTRO system up here in Ontario was designed by Bell Mobility Radio. The engineers who were responsible for designing the system (or at least part of it) are some very intelligent guys who have been working on radio systems for years. One technician I know was also on the design team for the original system back in the 60's when they had 2 low-band frequencies for the whole province.

I would say these guys are very technically inclined. But yet, they just echo the marketing bullshit that Motorola feeds them at training. Example? They had told the Provincial Police that it was *impossible* for their radios to be able to monitor Ambulance talkgroups (on the same system, just analog instead of digital). Obviously it isn't impossible, it's just what they were told by the Motorola marketing/sales people. So I don't think it's fair to say that all these people coming out of training sessions aren't technically inclined (while that's probably true for a number of them), Motorola is in the business of making money. They're going to train technicians with that in mind - making money. Why would Motorola want to tell BMR in this case, that they could program up the analog and digital talkgroups in the same radio when they could easily sell two radios and make twice the profit?

It's usually a bad thing when the manufacturer is also the one training people on the products - it's always going to be biased and make the product look superior even when it isn't.
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[01:14] exkalibur: more lube?

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Post by WTF » Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:36 pm

exkalibur wrote: On top of that, ASTRO is far more efficient with a weak signal than analog is. I've used ASTRO in situations where you can't even tell there's a signal there in analog but yet in ASTRO mode, the audio is very useable.
X1

I'm gonna have to agree with the :xls: on that.....

Amen to that, last week I was talking to our county comms coord while he was out fishing on the south part of the lake, he was using a xts 5000 with a rubber duck, and I was using the Johnson 5100 connected to a comet gp-15 at 20 ft. Using p-25, nothing but a solid 100% copy. Switch to analog, couldn't even tell that he was there, changed the antenna to the cx-333 at 55ft, still couldn't tell he was there, tried the TS-2000, still couldn't tell that he was there. The distance between us was between 15-18 miles with a ridge between thats 250 ft higher than my residence between us.

Yes digital does work much better, without a doubt. As for needing mopre repeaters in LA? who knows, anyone who would voluntarily live in LA is a retard anyway. ...
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Post by grinthock » Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:46 pm

RoF know's his stuff from what i've seen.

All technical stuff aside, and because i'm not reading ALL of that.

Astro Radio's sound a 1000 times better on ANALOG than regular analog radios do.

Oh and that's a MEAN OPINION -- which at the end of the day is all that really matters.

In the Radio world we need something similar to MOS in the VoIP world, go look it up on wikipedia
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Post by WTF » Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:50 pm

To add to earlier, tonight 5w on a astro saber hooked up to a 30ft antenna spoke simplex with another ham appx 30 miles away using a similar setup , couldn't hear anything on analog...... Yup, digital is better...
Q: What is red and orange and looks good on a politician?
A: FIRE!!

"Yea we eat grits in South Carolina, so what? You fools here eat that Skyline Chili junk. I'll keep the grits..."

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Post by Credicon » Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:40 am

I didn't like digital when I first used it, thought it was to well... Digital, but after using it for over a year, I've come to love it, and cringe when ever I have to use analog, sure the occasional analog conversation here and there happens on some ham repeaters, but nowadays I try and stay on the digital repeater as much as possible as the audio is soo much nicer.

I'll still say that there are some voices that do not work with IMBE, one being the higher pitched female voices.

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Post by KC8RYW » Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:01 am

Credicon wrote:I'll still say that there are some voices that do not work with IMBE, one being the higher pitched female voices.
Not a problem.

Ham radio is a total sausage-fest anyway.
:baby:

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Post by mr.syntrx » Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:44 am

grinthock wrote:In the Radio world we need something similar to MOS in the VoIP world, go look it up on wikipedia
There already is. There are published MOS figures for IMBE, AMBE, CVSD etc at various bitrates out there on various sites.

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Post by tvsjr » Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:02 pm

OK, I've cleaned up this thread at Shaun's request. Here's the deal:
1. TECHNICAL DISCUSSIONS ONLY. In general, you shouldn't be saying anything about anyone in here. If you want to piss and moan, go to General Bullshit.
2. The moderator is always right.
3. If you believe the moderator is wrong, see rule #2.

Any posts violating these rules will be summarily removed. This thread is for technical discussion on the finer points of ASTRO/P25 ONLY.

I think that should be pretty clear.

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Post by grinthock » Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:16 pm

This is gonna be the best Astro guide since.... Well..

Ok someone make a Mikey joke, I can't think of one.
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Post by WTF » Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:36 pm

Stop posting and get typing..... :baby:
Q: What is red and orange and looks good on a politician?
A: FIRE!!

"Yea we eat grits in South Carolina, so what? You fools here eat that Skyline Chili junk. I'll keep the grits..."

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Post by KC9UZB » Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:12 am

Not to be a bitch or anything, but Calendar is spelt incorrectly ;)

(BTW thanks for that little teaser, I did wonder when my saber was made :baby: )

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Post by KC9UZB » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:53 am

I can't think of anything witty..

so here's my best shot

Welsh git! :baby: :anus:

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Post by Credicon » Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:36 pm

Cool Beans...

Can't wait to read it...


Now get back in your cage and continue typing or do we have to get the monkeys to finish the document up... :P

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Post by Mong » Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:21 pm

Credicon wrote:Cool Beans...

Can't wait to read it...


Now get back in your cage and continue typing or do we have to get the monkeys to finish the document up... :P

I don't remember /\/\ getting involved :baby:

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Post by Credicon » Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:34 pm

Mong wrote:
Credicon wrote:Cool Beans...

Can't wait to read it...


Now get back in your cage and continue typing or do we have to get the monkeys to finish the document up... :P

I don't remember /\/\ getting involved :baby:
The sad thing is, thats what I was thinking when I said that :P...

Watch /\/\ use this doc as reference for their tech support... they already use Batlabs, I've been instructed to go there a couple times...

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Post by mr.syntrx » Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:03 pm

Go through any Motorola dealer workshop in the world, and you'll find pages from Batlabs printed out and stuck to walls, sitting on benches etc all through the place.

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Post by KE7JFF » Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:38 am

mr.syntrx wrote:Go through any Motorola dealer workshop in the world, and you'll find pages from Batlabs printed out and stuck to walls, sitting on benches etc all through the place.
Very True....at Day Wireless which is a big outfit here in town, they have a binder with printouts from BatLabs.

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Post by MattSR » Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:36 pm

r0f wrote:Just a note that the release date for my updated astro guide is being pushed to later this weekend, as I have a medical procedure tomorrow on my eyes where I'll be unable to see for a day or so.
I perform that procedure on myself quite frequently, I also find it causes hairy palms too :baby:


Back on topic though, i'm looking forward to the new ASTRO guide

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Post by Credicon » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:28 am

MattSR wrote:
r0f wrote:Just a note that the release date for my updated astro guide is being pushed to later this weekend, as I have a medical procedure tomorrow on my eyes where I'll be unable to see for a day or so.
I perform that procedure on myself quite frequently, I also find it causes hairy palms too :baby:
you're not supposed to look directly at it, you could put your eye out with that thing.

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Post by n3jfw » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:19 am

ok, back on topic please
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(4:29:48 PM): so he's gay huh
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Post by Credicon » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:36 am

n3jfw wrote:ok, back on topic please
Sorry...


anywho, any update on the documentation, Can't wait to read it..

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Post by tvsjr » Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:10 am

Allrighty then...

I unlocked this thread with specific conditions, at Shaun's request. We're off in the weeds again. Time for a trim...

XTS3000 - Keep your Batlabs hating out of my forum, k? Thxbye.

I'm trying to be nice and keep this one open. Back on topic, guys... otherwise: :shutthefuckup:

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Post by 10-95 » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:31 pm

VERY NICE!! :baby:

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Post by Credicon » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:09 pm

r0f wrote:The XTS 5000™ may be key-loaded (By/With/Via?) a legacy Key-Variable Loader (KVL) such as the T3011DX, the KVL3000™ and the KVL3000 plus™. The XTS 5000™ is capable of holding up to 48 keys (16 of those being type 1 keys).
Just noticed a word MIGHT be missing, wasn't sure if you saw it, it's highlighted in the quote

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Post by WTF » Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:52 am

Shut up and type!!! :baby:
Q: What is red and orange and looks good on a politician?
A: FIRE!!

"Yea we eat grits in South Carolina, so what? You fools here eat that Skyline Chili junk. I'll keep the grits..."

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