Motorola Roaming

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Ruyton
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Motorola Roaming

Postby Ruyton » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:28 pm

I did a quick search for 'Roam' and 'Roaming and didn't find what I wanted to talk about, so I've started a new discussion. Mods please feel free to move this to another section of the forum if it's more approriate :D

When I started with DMR I was somewhat confused by the use of Roam and Roaming and this wasn't helped by TG8 TS2 being referred to as both 'Regional' and 'Roaming'. As part of my self learning, I have a better understanding of the terms and their use now. TG8 Regional (as I shall call it) is fairly easy to get your head around as essentially it used where a number of geographically close are linked on TG8 - e.g. GB7HM and GB7LP - if you call on TG8 TS2 on GB7HM then your calls will be heard on GB7HM AND GB7LP, so it's an easy way to carry out a local QSO but over a wider area than TG9 Local on just one repeater would allow. This linking of TG8 Regional is happening around the London area with many of the repeaters being linked on TG8. That's the easy bit and I'm happy with that.

By the way, please feel free to jump in an add to this discussion or correct any of my assumptions :lol:

Now on to the difficult bit - at least for me - ROAMING

Having read the various Motorola technical documents and picked the brains of other users, some of who have a significantly better understanding than I do, this is my 'take' on roaming. This is Motorola only as I only have experience on this and the CSI CS700 and I don't think that the CS700 can truly roam yet.

When setting up a digital channel in the Motorola CPS, the channel can be linked to EITHER a 'Scan List' or a 'Roam List' but not both. Scanning is easy, create a Scan List in the CPS, edit the channel to use this scan list and then edit the scan list to make sure that the channel is added as a member. Repeat for other channels as required, adding them to the scan list. Now, when you are on one of those channels and select 'Scan' on the rig, each of the channels is scanned. You can do all sorts of other clever stuff with scan, but that's not what I want to cover here.

I'd suggest that most of us make extensive use of scan, with the rig waiting for traffic on one of the channels.

So how is Roaming different to Scanning? Scanning is fine if you stay in one geographical area and are always tuned to the same repeater, but if you are travelling around you would need to manually change the rig channel and/or Zone to be on the next repeater. Of course, you could have more than one repeater in your Zone (within the 16 channel per zone limit if that applies to your rig) and scan the whole lot, but it's not very elegant!

With roaming, the rig will search all the channels in a 'Roam List' and select the one that is the strongest signal (not quite this simple, but it will do for this example). Rather than 'searching' different Talk groups on one repeater, the rig will 'roam' one talk group on a number of different repeaters and will automatically tune to the strongest repeater. So, you could set say UK Wide TG235 TS1 and happily drive around and chat to your hearts content while the rig switches between repeaters.

How do we set this up? Well, I mentioned earlier that a channel can EITHER be set to a Scan List OR a Roam List. You could just change your existing channels to a Roam list, but then you wouldn't be able to scan, so there is a better way to do this. The good news of course is that you can have as many identical channels as you wish so this is the way ahead.

I'll take a simple example. I want t be able to Roam in the North Wales area on UK Wide TG235 TS2 ant talk to the whole of the UK without manually selecting different repeaters as I travel. I've already got Zones for the repeaters I'm interested in GB7HM and GB7LP (I've actually got 5 repeaters in my roam list, but I'll keep it simple for the example) but I want to leave these as they are so that I've got the option to scan within these zones. So this is what I do:

- Create two new Zones called GB7HM Roam and GB7LP Roam

- I copy my existing UK Wide TG235 TS2 channel from my current GB7HM zone and paste it into the GB7HM Roam zone

- Same thing with UK Wide TG235 TS2 in the GB7LP zone

- Because I don't want to get confused over which channel I'm adding to the Roam list later, I rename these 2 channels to 'HM Roam UKW S2' and L'P Roam UKW S2' (It would be simpler if I didn't want to keep the scanning option with my original zones, but I'm going to need to know which channel is set to scan and which to roam)

- I create a new Roaming list in the CPS Roam folder (down at the bottom of the list) called 'N Wales UKW S2'

- I now add the two new channels 'HM Roam UKW S2 'and L'P Roam UKW S2' as members to the 'N Wales UKW S2' roam list

- Phew, nearly there :o

- I go back to the 2 new channels 'HM Roam UKW S2' and L'P Roam UKW S2' and I need to edit them as they are still set to a scan list and not the new roam list

- Using the Scan/Roam List drop-down box in the channel edit window, I set both channels to the roam list we have just created - look for 'Roam UKW S2' Fortunately, the CPS tells us if it's a scan list or a roam list

Right, we should be good to go now :D Write the code plug to the rig (you did save you existing code plug in case we've hame a total Horlicks of this?)

After the rig has rebooted/restarted, select one of the new zones 'GB7HM Roam or 'GB7LP Roam' - in our example, there's only going to be one channel in each 'HM Roam UKW S2' and 'LP Roam UKW S2'.

I select the nearest repeater so it's zone 'GB7HM Roam' and channel 'HM Roam UKW S2'.

The yellow LED on the rig will now start to flash and there is a new 'magic wand' type antenna symbol on the display. What the radio is doing is looking for the strongest repeater listed in the roam list we created. Once the repeater is found, the LED stops flashing and now you can roam between the 2 repeaters without changing the channel on the rig as this will happen automatically.

Right, now for the acid test. Select the other repeater zone, one that you know is out of range - in my case GB7LP Roam and LP Roam UKW S2 - and watch what happens. The display shows LP Roam UKW S2 and the yellow LED is flashing as the rig searches the Roam list. When the LED stops flashing, the rig has magically retuned to the channel HM Roam UKW S2 - hooray, it works :D

I've only used 2 repeaters in my example, but I have 5 in all, each with 4 talk groups (obviously TG9 Local isn't going to work with roaming as it's only local to that repeater and the signal isn't linked to any other repeater.) It does get a bit more complicated as you add other zones and channels and eventually other Roam lists.

This is the point were all my credibility disappears, as although this SHOULD all work when I hit the road, I will admit that I haven't actually tested it whilst driving around :oops:

Things I don't yet fully understand and I'm happy to be enlightened here:

- Each repeater should 'beacon' i.e. send out a data message periodically so that the roaming radio can find it if there isn't a conversation going on at the time. I understand that not all repeaters are doing this and if they all were, would the timing of the beacon transmissions would have to be deconflicted?

- Although it wouldn't really be practical, could you put ALL repeaters into the Roam list (16 max?) and happily roam the whole UK? Geograhical areas seems to make more sense

- Do the repeater owners have to get together to co-ordinate this whole roaming thing or will it just work?

OK, if you have got to the bottom of this post, I'm sure you have questions, corrections (there must be some typo's in that lot) or will tell me that I'm just plain wrong - fill your boots :lol:
73
Gary
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Re: Motorola Roaming

Postby G7UFJ » Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:18 pm

Thanks for that, it's managed to make roaming far more complicated than I could have imagined. Although I do have a question. Is TG8 not a conventional TG, I had thought it was but was one that was linked to repeaters close to each other in the same way TH235 is UK linked, so my question, without trying any of this for myself yet, is how can you use TG8 for roaming UK wide on TG235? If that makes sense.
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Ruyton
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Re: Motorola Roaming

Postby Ruyton » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:10 am

Not quite sure what the question is Paul, but I'll have a go :D

The first part of my post where I mention TG8 isn't about 'Roaming' as such, it's just an explanation of how TG8 works with a group of repeaters in a region, so perhaps better to think about TG8 as 'Regional' and not 'Roaming'.

I probably wouldn't try and use TG8 TS2 as a roaming channel as you correctly say it's a channel that is used to link adjacent repeaters, but if you moved from the area of one repeater to another, even though they were linked, they are on different frequencies and you would have to manually change channels as you would go out of range of the first repeater and that would be it - out of range.

TG8 and TG 235 are two completely separate talk groups, so you can't use TG8 for roaming UK Wide on TG235. You can use TG8 by itself and you might be in an area where your calls will come out of other repeaters because the keepers have agreed to link them.

You can use TG235 UK Wide anywhere in the UK (within repeater coverage) and talk on ALL the UK repeaters at the same time, but when you drive from the coverage of one repeater, you will need to manually change channels to the next repeater in line otherwise you would just go out of range of the first repeater. TG235 might be UK Wide, but you still have to access one repeater so that your transmissions go out on the others.

If you have 'Roaming' set up for TG235, then the rig will automatically change to the appropriate TG235 channel on the next repeater as you drive out of range of the first.

So, I'm off from Shrewsbury to Blackpool. GB7HM (Flintshire) is the only repeater in range, so I set my rig to the GB7HM Roam zone and select the channel HM Roam UKW S2. I call a friend down in Aldershot who is working on TG235 UK Wide through GB7GF (Gildford).

As I drive north, I'm getting closer to GB7HM so all is good. As I pass Chester, the rig sees GB7LP (Liverpool) which I have in the Roam list and as it becomes stronger than GB7HM, the rig retunes to channel LP Roam UKW S2. I haven't even noticed this and I carry on with my (rather long) QSO.

Passing abeam Liverpool, GB7MB (Morcambe Bay) comes within range and the rig eventually decides to change channels to MB Roam UKW S2. All seamless and happening without any input from me other than selecting the first channel when I left home. Same thing on the way home, although I just leave the rig to do it's own thing as it's already self tuned to GB7MB.

I could have achieved the same result by changing channel twice each way when I noticed that I was loosing the current repeater, but I'm sure you get the idea.

You don't HAVE to use Roaming, but I like to understand how it works and to tackle the challenge of producing a working code plug.

Hope this helps?
73
Gary
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Re: Motorola Roaming

Postby G8NRC » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:53 pm

Great article thanks for that. Dispelled some of the myths for me and I'm sure will have me gazing at the CPS screen for a while while I work out how to program mine to achieve the same.

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Re: Motorola Roaming

Postby G7UFJ » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:21 pm

I'll have another read through when I've got time and cps in front of me.
I did come across this system planner info which whilst not giving programming info does explain what's possible with mototrbo features.
http://files.radioscanner.ru/files/download/file14609/r_1_9_system_planner_emea.pdf
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Ruyton
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Re: Motorola Roaming

Postby Ruyton » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:13 am

Paul, yes that's one of the documents that I read and a glimmer of understanding started to appear :D
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Gary
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Ruyton
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Re: Motorola Roaming

Postby Ruyton » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:49 pm

I've added the DP3600 Roaming code plug to the appropriate section here in the forum.
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Gary
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Re: Motorola Roaming

Postby Paul-2E0SQK » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:11 pm

Thwnks for poating up the codeplug. Am currently working on a custom codeplug for my mobile and have set it up so that each repeater is in its own zone and have a home zone for the ३ logal boxes to me. Think someone else posted they have done that.

As for scan and roam lists iv set up a roam list that has all the repeaters in but only on tg235 that way if im traveling it ahould stay on uk wide as long as a box is in range.

For scan list i have list for each box with all the tgs and slots in and have this set to all the other chs in each zone that way i can scan through or go onto ukwide and let radio auto roam

It seems to work on paper once the rig is in the truck and used out on the road in anger will see if it works in practice

Having smart roaming available would help but till dmr Marc give it the nod ita not available

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Ruyton
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Re: Motorola Roaming

Postby Ruyton » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:29 pm

Thanks Paul, it will be interesting to get some feedback when you get the code plug out on the road.

That's certainly one of the good things about the Motorola CPS, there is an amazing amount of flexibly with regard to setup :D
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Gary
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Re: Motorola Roaming

Postby G7UFJ » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:33 pm

Ruyton wrote:Paul, yes that's one of the documents that I read and a glimmer of understanding started to appear :D



Do you call everyone Paul? :lol:
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