The other (better) Mototrbo solution

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hytera full line-up of radio products

DISPELLING THE MYTH OF MOTOTRBO

When considering new digital radios, the field is full of potential options.  If you were to talk to a representative from Motorola they would tell you that the obvious choice in technology is MotoTRBO!   Of course it is, they are selling only Motorola.

The question is, what happens when you look at ALL the facts. First off, we should dispell the theory that Motorola invented a new technology with MotoTRBO.  The fact of the matter is that MotoTRBO is simply the name for Motorola’s product line that adheres to the DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) protocol.  DMR is an open European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) technical protocol backed by MANY radio manufacturers, not just Motorola.

Due to this open architecture, any manufacturer can build products that will work on this protocol. Subsequently, consumers benefit from competition-driven feature development and pricing. The list of manufacturers building products adhering to the DMR protocol include Hytera, ICOM, Kenwood, Motorola, Selex, Tait Radio, and Vertex/Standard (now owned by Motorola).

In the USA, only Hytera and Motorola/Vertex are actively developing products using  DMR technology. You may not have heard of Hytera but this is probably a result of the fact that, unlike Motorola, this company only makes two-way radios.  In fact, it has been manufacturing radios for 20+ years.  Suffice to say, MotoTRBO is not the only DMR product offered in the USA, nor was the technology invented by Motorola, nor was it the first DMR product, nor is it superior to other DMR products, or is it less expensive to purchase or maintain.

This being said, if considering buying MotoTRBO or Vertex/Standard’s eVerge, it would be worth reviewing the Hytera product offering and all that their product lineup brings to the table.

 

TIME SLOT MANAGEMENT AND HYTERA PSEUDOTRUNK

Without getting too technical, the big benefit of DMR is that you can have two simultaneous transmissions on the same frequency.  These transmissions are separated from each other by having each radio “pulse” transmissions, leaving open “slots” in between.   These are termed timeslots.  In traditional DMR, radios are programmed with either time slot A or B.   If one group (A) transmits, the infrastructure leaves timeslots open for the other group (B).  Think of it as a zipper.  If timeslot B transmits, it is interleaved with the transmission of timeslot A.

This is efficient frequency use but comes with an inherent problem.  In traditional DMR (read MotoTRBO/Vertex eVerge), radios are predetermined to be one slot or the other.  If a radio that was programmed for time slot A is transmitting, others programmed for timeslot A cannot transmit at the same time. Even if timeslot B is idle, a radio cannot be rerouted to it.  It is like going to the bank and deciding which line to stand in and, even if the other line opens up, you can’t switch lines.  Frustrating, right?

Enter Hytera’s Pseudotrunk!

Okay, that’s a big word. Let’s break that down.

In traditional radio, users must switch to a different channel when the primary channel is in use by other users. Trunking defines the process of radios automatically selecting the first available channel when the user of a mobile or portable radio wants to talk. Trunking technology performs this by connecting multiple repeaters and channel controllers functioning as a part of a multichannel radio system. Radios are steered to repeaters that are free to make their transmissions.

This, of course, adds tremendous cost.  This is where Hytera’s Pseudotrunk comes in.  With this technology combined with the two timeslot DMR protocol, Hytera radios effectively use the same frequency and manage the timeslots.  All of the radios are able to use both timeslots interchangeably.

When a Hytera radio transmits, it defaults to timeslot A.  If a second user transmits during the time that timeslot A is transmitting, it senses the first transmission and transmits on timeslot B!  Just like switching lines at the bank!

BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE

In traditional DMR (again read MotoTRBO), timeslot technology is performed in environments where a repeater is used.  In an environment where the portables can cover the area needed without infrastructure, you currently cannot benefit from the two timeslots.  A repeater is required to “manage” the timeslots.  Hytera radios also have a feature called DMR true 2 slot. In this feature, the radios actually “handshake” with each other identifying the timeslot utilized.  The other radios in the environment are aware that a timeslot is filled and, if a user transmits, they know to use the other timeslot.  Hello to infrastructure free trunking!

CONCLUSION

With all the enhanced benefits, one would think that Hytera products would come with a premium cost.  In fact, Hytera products are about 20-30% less than the Motorola counterparts.  The fit and finish is superior and the warranty is 3 years.  Plus, if you are looking for small and light portables, Hytera has redefined the market. It makes you think that maybe MotoTRBO might not be the only horse in the race!  If you are upgrading to digital radios, consider Hytera because MotoTRBO is cool, Hytera is cooler.