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Thread: New DLR radios - compatible with DTR

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    Default New DLR radios - compatible with DTR

    These new radios don't have the features of the DTR, but they supposedly are compatible in terms of their frequency-hopping algorithms, so they can communicate with each other.

    DLR1060 Product Page

    What's really interesting, is the CPS software for them also supports the DTR. The software is browser-based and seems to work just fine. It's a little simpler to use than the DTR software, but looks to have all the configuration options needed for the DTR.

    Hopefully this is a sign that Moto might come out with a new DTR or a more-capable DLR that updates and improves on the DTR.
    -Andy

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    Default Re: New DLR radios - compatible with DTR

    The CPS software is here.
    -Andy

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    Default Re: New DLR radios - compatible with DTR

    I just got a sample DLR1060 radio in the mail today, and tested it against my DTR radios. I really like this radio, and I think it is an ideal choice for certain users. But it is not a DTR and doesn't have all the DTR features. Plus, it may perform on par with DTRs but it still looks like a bubble-pack FRS radio.

    Now that may not be an important consideration for some people, but for others, it does mean something. (Especially in environments where someone holding an official-looking walkie is seen to belong there.)

    I am sharing some preliminary notes, and will add more as I learn more.

    First, it uses a Motorola BP90 battery, rated at 1800 mah. For comparison, the standard DTR550 battery is 1200 mah, and the extended battery in the DTR650 is 1500 mah. (Any DTR radio can be upgraded to the extended 1500 mah battery.) The DLR1060 does not use an LCD screen with backlight; instead it uses one LED plus voice prompts. Battery life should be slightly better than the DTR but in my early tests, I am finding it a bit shorter than the DTR with the 1500 mah battery. Here are the battery life ratings from Motorola:
    DLR 1800 mah battery = 14 hours
    DTR 1200 mah battery = 14.5 hours
    DTR 1500 mah battery = 19 hours
    I see no reason to doubt these figures.

    The CPS is no better. It is still confusing. Just prettier. (More on that below.)

    The DLR meet military standard 810 C, D, E, F and G. It is protected from heat, cold, humidity, dust, shock and vibration. The DTR meets military standard 810 C, D, E and F. It is protected from all of the above PLUS rain. This means that the DTR is more protected from water splashes and rain than the newer DLR.

    Range, surprisingly, is nearly identical to the DTR. On my usual range test course through a very dense urban neighborhood, I was able to raise a DTR sitting upright inside my car at about 15 city blocks away. The signal must make it through my car, my house, and another 15 blocks full of old homes and dense mature elm trees. That is an AMAZING performance for any two-way UHF radio! (Mind you, my DTR radios have always surprised me with their range capability.) The DLR has a fixed antenna, much like the DTR410. Compared to the DTR with the short quarter-wave replaceable antenna, there was only a few feet difference in range.

    So, my rough city range numbers were as follows:
    DTR410 with fixed stubby antenna = about 13 city blocks
    DLR1060 with fixed stubby antenna = about 15 city blocks
    DTR550 with 3 1/2" quarter-wave antenna = about 15 city blocks
    DTR550 with 7" half-wave antenna = about 16 city blocks

    Now, range estimations will vary widely from user to user, depending on what is between the two radios. Plus, two-way radios are VERY dependant on antenna height, so if one loses a signal while hooked to a belt, they can often regain it just by holding it above their head.

    Now, the big issue for me is readability, clarity and signal strength. If I were to rate the DTRs as among the best in their class at 5 by 5, I would say the DLRs are at least 4 by 5. The DLR has a slightly smaller speaker and audio output of .75W, while the DTR has a more rugged and business-class speaker and 1W audio output. Both radios are 1W RF output. The DLR sounds just slightly more muffled than the DTR.

    So, what's not to like? Well, it took a lot of work to figure out how to program DLR radios to talk to an existing network of DTR radios. The DLR uses a new Profile ID system to check radios within range to ensure they are on the proper network (or "group" as Motorola refers to it as.) To talk to each other, all DTR and DLR radios must be on the same channel and the same ID number. The DTR radios use 10 channels, plus 100 group ID numbers. (Each ID number can only be used once, but that is a possible combination of over 950 "channels" to choose from.) The DLR radios come from the factory with preprogrammed channels, sbut can be reprogrammed with up to 18 channels and 10,000 Profile ID numbers.

    The DTR can have as many as about 950 combinations, while the DLR can have about 200,000 combinations of unique channel/ID number. Out of the box, DLR radios will only communicate with DTR radios if they are both set to their factor defaults. Channel 1 on the DLR corresponds to Public Group 1 on the DTR, and so on.

    To get DLR radios to communicate with an existing net of DTR radios that have already been custom-programmed takes a bit of work, plus the optional programming cable the the free Customer Programming Software from Motorola.

    So, to sum up, if I were to score out of 5:
    RANGE
    DTR = 5
    DLR = 5

    CLARITY
    DTR = 5
    DLR = 4

    BATTERY LIFE
    DTR = 5
    DLR = 4

    RUGGEDNESS
    DTR = 5
    DLR = 4

    COMPACTNESS
    DTR = 4
    DLR = 5

    VALUE FOR MONEY
    DTR = 4
    DLR = 5

    I love these new radios. I am not going to replace my fleet of DTRs with them, but they make a great addition. Plus, if I had no 900MHz frequency-hopping, licence-free radios, I would look closely at both the DTR and DLR line.
    Last edited by Chickenhawk; 09-08-2015 at 07:49 AM.

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    Default Re: New DLR radios - compatible with DTR

    Great write-up and review! Thanks, Chickenhawk!

    I don't think the DLR are a great replacement for the DTR, but it'd be interesting to see if it means Moto might come out with a successor to the DTR.

    The other problem is that the DLR is supposed to integrate with DTR radios, but the DTR uses a two-digit unit ID number, and the DLR uses a four-digit Profile ID number. I know that DTR channel 1, Unit ID 1, corresponds tp the DLR channel 1, Profile ID 0000. (The factory defaults.) But for the life of me, I cannot get a DLR to talk to a DTR anywhere except the factory default channel 1.

    Unless someone here can help, it looks like a long and frustrating phone call to Motorola is in order. Rats.
    From the manual, it says:
    If you have DTR radios with customized
    settings and/or private groups, and need to add
    DLR radios, make sure to use the DLR CPS
    software(*) in order to create a compatible
    configuration in the DLR radios. The same
    applies if DTR radios are to be added to an
    existing DLR radio fleet.
    Do you have the programming cable to give this a try? As you know, the DLR software works with the DTR too.
    -Andy

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    Default Re: New DLR radios - compatible with DTR

    It took a while but I have figured out the programming of the DTR and DLR radios to talk to each other. There are actually two different ways, if one needs to integrate now DLRs into an existing fleet of DTRs. One is simple and requires no cables or software; the other takes more work but is more secure.

    About the only other downside I can see for the DLR is that the size looks a bit like a bubble-pack FRS radio. This may only be important if users are operating in environments where the sight of a "business class" radio may impart some professionalism at a glance.
    Last edited by Chickenhawk; 09-08-2015 at 07:53 AM.

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    Default Re: New DLR radios - compatible with DTR

    Looks like using the CPS is the way to get the radios working with each other.

    I don't have a DLR radio, but I can still create a DLR profile and add the DTR to it.

    -Andy

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    Default Re: New DLR radios - compatible with DTR

    The DTR uses Group ID numbers from 1 to 100, but the DLR uses a four-digit profile ID. One can get them to talk if left on factory default settings, but to program them into an existing fleet of DTR radios, requires getting the DLR radios to listen for Group ID numbers instead of Profile ID numbers. Thankfully, the new DLR can do both.
    Last edited by Chickenhawk; 09-12-2015 at 01:44 PM.

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    Default Re: New DLR radios - compatible with DTR

    Awesome awesome awesome! Thanks for doing all these write ups. I'm going to have to get an order in for some DLRs right away!

    As for moto be dense and not writing manuals, we should just write our own on here. I doubt there is that much we don't collectively know about these radios

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    Default Re: New DLR radios - compatible with DTR

    Mike, I think that is the way it is going. Andy has done a lot to advance our understanding.

    As for the DLR radios, I think they are an ideal radio for many users. If you want a high-quality, licence-free radio that is virtually private, interference-free and has one of the longest ranges of any UHF radio, get your order in!

    I had problems integrating them into my DTR fleet, but that is now solved.

    if you don't have DTRs, then get the DLRs. You will love them. And, as I said, just forget the programming cable and do them manually. All you need to do when you get your radios is set them all to the same four-digit Profile ID number. It is as simple as holding down +, PTT and power buttons, and HOLD them all down until it announces it is in programming mode. Then push the bottom (menu) button and follow the voice prompts to set each digit. Trust me; it is faster to set your own unique code than it is to read this paragraph.

    By the way, the company who provided the test sample DLR is www.buytwowayradios.com. They are great folks, and they got me a test sample radio up to me here in Canada in three days. I have always had great service from them. It shows out of stock on their web site but that only means they are selling as fast as they can get them in. I highly recommend those folks.
    Last edited by Chickenhawk; 09-08-2015 at 07:57 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: New DLR radios - compatible with DTRt

    Thanks for the info Chickenhawk!

    I have a fleet of 90+ DTR radios with a highly customized private group design, and have spent tons of time in the older CPS. I'be got two DLRs on order now (with prog cable) and my goal will be to figure out how to integrate them.

    The manual gives lots of hints but I need to give it a try (I'm guessing they may have scrambled the terminology between the series, like a DLR profile ID might be the DTR channel, and the DLR channel is likely the DTR private group name, etc...)

    Certain the biggest tantalizing nugget in the manual is the blurb:
    If you have DTR radios with customized settings and/or private groups, and need to add DLR radios, make sure to use the DLR CPS software(*) in order to create a compatible configuration in the DLR radios. The same applies if DTR radios are to be added to an existing DLR radio fleet. For more details on DTR and DLR compatibility please contact your Motorola point of sale.

    But all we can do is be on the lookout for any compatibility docs. (Andy in particular because he has access to things not everyone can get to )

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