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Railfan Technology > Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable


Date: 11/05/09 18:13
Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: 251F

There has been some chatter on other radio groups about the upcoming narrowband (25khz to 12.5khz) conversion deadline. 1 January 2013 is the deadline for all land mobile users, which includes the railroads, to convert their existing licenses and have converted all their radio systems for 12.5khz bandwidth channels.

People are noticing the drop in price of many Motorola radios that are still in common use. Be careful what you buy as you may run into problems after the above date.


Here is a list of Motorola radios that may still be in service that are not narrowband (12.5khz) capable:

Portables: CP100, GP300, GP350, HT50, HT600, HT90, MT1000, P100, P110, P200, P50, P50+, SP50, Saber

Mobiles: GM300, M100, M120, M206, M214, M216, Maratrac, Maxtrac, Mostar, SM120, SM50, Spectra Conventional

Bases & Repeaters: Flexar, Micor, Mocom 70, Motrac, MSF 5000

I found this list here: http://www.commdirect.com/fcc_licensing.htm (scroll down toward the bottom of this page-but there is plenty of timely information on this page about narrowband and the reasons for the switch)

Daniel



Date: 11/06/09 15:56
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: NI030

Ah those models listed are far from being current models and built long before the FCC announced the move to narrow band.



Date: 11/06/09 19:35
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: 251F

silagi Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ah those models listed are far from being current
> models and built long before the FCC announced the
> move to narrow band.

Quite true, but there are LOTS of these radios around and selling on E-Bay and other places.

The point is, the potential buyer should be aware these radios are not compatible with narrow channel spacing coming in the not so distant future.

Translation, you'll be out of luck once the transition happens.

Other radios besides Motorola are affected by this as well, scanners too.

The key is to make sure the radio you are using is capable of operating at a 12.5khz bandwidth instead of the current 25khz bandwidth.

And, the FCC has mandated an even finer split to 6.25khz bandwidth for digital transmission.

Here is a document that outlines the new "narrow bandwidth" AAR channels that will be mandatory by 1 January 2013. http://www.fl9.com/files/Frequencies/AAR_Channel_Assignments.pdf

Daniel



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/09 19:37 by 251F.



Date: 11/06/09 21:32
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: X4449

>And, the FCC has mandated an even finer split to
> 6.25khz bandwidth for digital transmission.


Where does the FCC show that they have mandated this? Yes there is talk, but nothing in writing as far as a set date. But that does not mean that will not come on it's own ether, the UP is installing Kenwood NXDN units in a lot of their service trucks, and I know there is a company that produces a Clean Cab chassis that will take the Kenwood units (as well as Icom's NXDN units). I took a Kenwood class last year where they had the NXDN units there with CSX logos on the screen when powered on. Motorola has forgot about the RR market, and Kenwood is showing up in a lot of places. The 844 has a TK-790 for it's cab radio, the portable most used by the UP is the TK-2180(Kenwood has custom firmware for the UP for the TK2180's, try to get Moto to write custom firmware). Although I must admit that I still carry a Moto XTS5000, and most of my mobiles are XTL5000's but if I need to scan more than 16 channels it's a Kenwood TK5210 with me.

Also a wideband radio will still RECEIVE a narrow band signal just fine as long as you can program in that frequency step. Yes the audio will be down a few Db, but for RX only you would not be "out of luck". If you check the bandwidth of most scanners you will find most are a lot wider than 25KHz. The problem would be if a signal comes up on and adjacent channel still in the receiver's IF bandwidth, or as stated above if you can't program the correct frequency. Now for TX that is a different story. Of course if everyone just goes out and buys a nice new Kenwood Nextedge unit then they will be set. :)



Jim



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/09 21:39 by X4449.



Date: 11/07/09 08:39
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: 251F

X4449 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> >And, the FCC has mandated an even finer split to
> > 6.25khz bandwidth for digital transmission.
>
>
> Where does the FCC show that they have mandated
> this? Yes there is talk, but nothing in writing as
> far as a set date.

Perhaps no set usage date, but radios must be capable to gain FCC type acceptance.

"New equipment submitted for FCC type-acceptance must be 6.25/6.25 kHz"

Quoted from the Commdirect link, maybe I read it wrong?

Daniel



Date: 11/07/09 11:07
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: X4449

251F Wrote:

>
> Perhaps no set usage date, but radios must be
> capable to gain FCC type acceptance.
>
> "New equipment submitted for FCC type-acceptance
> must be 6.25/6.25 kHz"
>
> Quoted from the Commdirect link, maybe I read it
> wrong?
>
> Daniel

You are reading the document in the link correctly, but it is wrong. It is not an FCC document. There is a lot of miss-information out there on re-farming. One of the popular RR antenna websites had bandwidth and channel spacing confused for some time. They have now corrected it but it did lead to a lot of wrong conclusions.

If the FCC set the 2011 date saying that we (I work for a Kenwood LMR dealer/authorized warranty center)) could only sell radios that can do 6.25 Kenwood, and Icom would love that as NXDN is the only true player on that field. Motorola would never allow that to happen. MotoTurbo is TDMA and requires two time slots at 6.25KHz each so you are back to 12.5KHz

The FCC has NO SET DATES regarding 6.25KHz migration. The 2011 date applies to 25Khz radios. The below is from the FCC FOURTH MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER Adopted: May 12, 2008 Released: May 13, 2008.

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-127A1.pdf (this is right from the FCC)

"(3) prohibited the manufacture and importation of any 150-174 MHz or 421-512 MHz band equipment capable of operating
with only one voice path per 25 kHz of spectrum, i.e., equipment that includes a 25 kHz mode, beginning
January 1, 2011; and (4) prohibited the certification of any equipment that includes a 25 kHz mode
beginning January 1, 2011

In the Third Report and Order, however, the Commission declined to establish a fixed
date for users to transition to 6.25 kHz technology, because it agreed with the majority of commenters
“that adopting such a measure would be premature, and . . . more time is warranted to allow further
development and field testing of the 6.25 kHz [interoperability] standard.”6 The Commission nonetheless
reiterated that 12.5 kHz technology is a transitional step in the eventual migration of PLMR systems to
6.25 kHz technology, and it stated, When that technology matures to the point that sufficient equipment is available for testing, we will expeditiously establish a transition date for users to convert to that more
spectrum-efficient technology. . . . Given that the Commission will adopt a date by which
users must migrate to 6.25 kHz technology, we strongly urge licensees to consider the
feasibility of migrating directly from 25 kHz technology to 6.25 kHz technology prior to
January 1, 2013. Such a course could be more efficient and economical than first
migrating to 12.5 kHz technology by 2013, then further migrating to 6.25 kHz technology
thereafter."

Jim



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/09 22:22 by X4449.



Date: 11/07/09 12:40
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: grahamline

Thanks for the help, Jim. But I won't be needing a radio in 20011. ;-)



Date: 11/07/09 13:30
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: RFandPFan

Thanks for posting this info. I'm glad my HT-1250 is capable of reprogramming. I assume this means that all the AAR channels will have to be reprogrammed when the change takes effect?



Date: 11/07/09 18:17
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: kg6nlw

Mostly the radio's will only get 107-197 programmed in for the first change. and my MTS2k VHF (same as a Pacset) hold and work fine on the "original" AAR plan and the next plan to take effect. The bleedover is horrible though!

Regards,

-Frank C.

Frank Christ
Cloverdale, CA
FranksRails.com Photography



Date: 11/07/09 19:29
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: sou2601

With all this in mind, and seeing the MT1000 on the list, is the HT1000 narrow band capable?

-Eric

kg6nlw Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mostly the radio's will only get 107-197
> programmed in for the first change. and my MTS2k
> VHF (same as a Pacset) hold and work fine on the
> "original" AAR plan and the next plan to take
> effect. The bleedover is horrible though!
>
> Regards,
>
> -Frank C.



Date: 11/07/09 22:19
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: X4449

kg6nlw Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mostly the radio's will only get 107-197
> programmed in for the first change. and my MTS2k
> VHF (same as a Pacset) hold and work fine on the
> "original" AAR plan and the next plan to take
> effect. The bleedover is horrible though!
>
> Regards,
>
> -Frank C.

Your MTS2000 will be just fine for some time. They will do the narrow band channels just fine, and as long as you have a 512K controller you can do the 2.5KHz channel steps with the correct firmware rev. I still have a 250 channel MTS2000. They are great radios.


Jim



Date: 11/07/09 22:22
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: kg6nlw

The time it goes "extinct" is when they go digital...

Regards,

-Frank C.

*covert Motorola lover*

Frank Christ
Cloverdale, CA
FranksRails.com Photography



Date: 11/07/09 22:32
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: X4449

sou2601 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> With all this in mind, and seeing the MT1000 on
> the list, is the HT1000 narrow band capable?
>
> -Eric
>


Yes they are, but only the "DN" (the last digits in the model number) models will do the 2.5KHz steps. I would personally not get an HT1000 unless it was a DN model, and newer than 10 years old.

Jim



Date: 11/07/09 22:34
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: X4449

kg6nlw Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The time it goes "extinct" is when they go
> digital...
>
> Regards,
>
> -Frank C.
>
> *covert Motorola lover*

It will make a good two meter rig then.

Jim



Date: 11/08/09 05:44
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: sou2601

Excellent! Thanks! I double-checked mine, and it is a DN.

-Eric

X4449 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> sou2601 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > With all this in mind, and seeing the MT1000 on
> > the list, is the HT1000 narrow band capable?
> >
> > -Eric
> >
>
>
> Yes they are, but only the "DN" (the last digits
> in the model number) models will do the 2.5KHz
> steps. I would personally not get an HT1000 unless
> it was a DN model, and newer than 10 years old.
>
> Jim



Date: 11/09/09 10:06
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: WW

"Re-farming" of the RR band frequencies has been talked about since the 1990's. The original date was to be something like 2002. Needless to say, it didn't happen. This time, though, I think the 2013 date may be more realistic. One of the main challenges facing most other radio users has been a) trying to make more frequency spectrum available, and b) making radio communications more "private" or "encrypted." Both goals were part of what re-farming was designed to address. Railroads are somewhat unique, however, in that inter-operability--that is, one railroad's radios being able to operate on another's (think of run-through powers operating on multiple railroads)--is important. Adopting all kinds of digital encryption actually works counter to that need. So, the inter-operability problem likely will mean that conversion of the railroad radios to the new standard will become sort of an all-or-nothing exercise. My suspicion is that conversion of yard areas, MOW functions, and the like will likely be the first converted, and train operations will be the last. Still, I think conversion will be irresistable. Better radio operation and the opportunity to use the frequency for non-verbal digital communications will be persuasive. With today's security concerns, the new digital radios will also render most current scanners useless for monitoring railroad communications. I can not imagine that the scanner (and amateur) radio manufacturers would not bring out radios capable of deciphering the new digital communications, but they likely will be costly--at least initially--and more cumbersome to use than the older technology.

In the meantime, I would not be investing a lot of money in the current technology available from the scanner and amateur manufacturers. Those radios will likely follow a lot of other electronics in the last few years--becoming fancy doorstops when new technology replaces them.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/09 10:08 by WW.



Date: 11/11/09 15:04
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: QU25C

X4449 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> >And, the FCC has mandated an even finer split to
> > 6.25khz bandwidth for digital transmission.
>
>
If you check the bandwidth of most scanners
> you will find most are a lot wider than 25KHz.

>
>
> Jim

Are they not 15 KHz not 25 KHz as in #7 160.215 next one is #8 160.230



Date: 11/11/09 21:32
Re: Motorola radios that are NOT narrowband capable
Author: X4449

QU25C Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> X4449 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > >And, the FCC has mandated an even finer split
> to
> > > 6.25khz bandwidth for digital transmission.
> >
> >
> If you check the bandwidth of most scanners
> > you will find most are a lot wider than 25KHz.
>
> >
> >
> > Jim
>
> Are they not 15 KHz not 25 KHz as in #7 160.215
> next one is #8 160.230

Richard,

The 25KHz is the bandwidth and the 15Khz is the channel steps/spacing.

Jim



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