[aprssig] OT: Yaesu to release digital amateur radio gear

Jim Duncan jdbandman at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 27 11:20:41 EST 2011

In the document, the photos of the V-S radios are IDENTICAL to the Motorla
XPR series. Of course, Vertex-Standard IS a part of the Big M family. 


I was introduced to MT this summer at Field Day and had an HT in hand within
a week! I also had the opportunity to show it to Fr. APRS - Bob the first
week of July when I visited him. At that point I was just starting to
scratch the surface of what DMR (digital mobile radio) can do.


We run a worldwide net every Saturday morning at 1700z which is also
available as a live internet feed (see www.trbo.net for connection info) and
get participation from all over the world. There is also an EchoLink
connection to the DCI network which can be accessed by anyone wishing to try
it out. Look for WB0VHB-L in the EchoLink listing and give it a try


Presently the various networks do not allow the use of the full capabilities
of the XPR-series radios as the data load becomes pretty serious quickly
with radios beaconing their status and GPS data. They DO allow the text
messaging, though. I look for this to change as more clubs become involved
with DMR especially in public service event usage.


The downside is that the major software packages out there are incredibly
expensive although you can download and run them for 90 days free of charge,
fully functional. I am working with one of the vendors to encourage them to
off "amateur friendly" pricing but the current commercial prices exceed
$2,000. I have no doubt that somebody will eventually purchase the
development package from Motorola and begin writing an amateur radio
platform which puts the full functionality of the MotoTrbo radios to use!


It's important to remember that APRS has been a watershed moment in amateur
radio whose idea has spread to other services and developers - once again,
amateur radio leading the way!


Prices on MotoTrbo radios are affordable and real bargains can be found on
Ebay. The XPR-8300 repeater my partner and I purchased came to us for $1200.
New price on them is more than double that figure. The 8300 has been
discontinued and replaced by the XPR-8400. The MT-3000 repeater is also
MotoTrbo capable but gets very pricey.


I bought my HT for $300.00 as a refurb. New retail price is around $750.
(Mine is an XPR-6500, no GPS - model also discontinued as the GPS engine
only adds about $50 to the cost of the radio and was very little additional
manufacturing cost so Big M dropped the non-GPS line).


Here are the Motorola models that are DMR (MotoTrbo) ready:


HT's: XPR-6300 (VHF or UHF models, no display, no GPS), XPR-6350 (same as
6300 but WITH GPS),  XPR-6500 (adds display, no GPS), XPR-6550 (display AND
GPS). If the model number ends in 80 then it's a 800-900 MHz model.


MOBILES: See HT's for descriptions but model numbering scheme is identical.
XPR-4300 (see 6300), 4350, 4500, 4550. The 4580 is the 800-900 MHz model.


REPEATERS: XPR-8300 (discontinued but still available through dealers and on
the used market), XPR-8400, MT-3000 (Cadillac model)

All repeaters are capable of IPSC (internet protocol site connect) and can
be linked via the internet. The TrboNet software allows for the use of
multiple repeaters by software connection through itself (as does SmartPTT).


Mike, WB6WUI, out on the west coast - as well as several others - is working
with porting APRS data out from MotoTrbo.


All in all, it's pretty exciting stuff to play with, folks! Give it a try!!!
I'm open for questions. If you live in one of the areas where there is
MotoTrbo activity (Chicagoland is a hotbed!) there are people that have
radios they will loan out for folks to try so don't hesitate to contact the
folks active on MotoTrbo and get a little on-air demo!


73 de Jim, KU0G

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