Fast and easy radio programming over Wi-Fi
Written by: Mike Weaver | Published:
Radios can be programmed much more quickly over Wi-Fi than with USB or OTAP

(Advertisement feature) Programming over Wi-Fi has made managing Mike Weaver Communications’ fleet of two-way radios faster and easier

Motorola Solutions’ RM2 programming software now enables MOTOTRBO radios to be programmed via Wi-Fi and its speed and convenience has made Mike Weaver, of Mike Weaver Communications (MWC), a recent convert as he explains.

“We do a lot of bespoke programming on our hires, we don’t just send out radios on short-term hire...” MWC has to reprogram its radios every time they are sent out to a client or are returned. Previously this involved attached a programming cable, hitting ‘program’ and then removing the cable afterwards. “There’s quite a time overhead on that – at least a minute per radio.”

“With the DP3661e, you create a master programming file, assign it to the radios in RM2 then it’s just a case of turning the radios on, they find the Wi-Fi network and program themselves, then you just have to turn them off and put them in the box.”

Weaver says that over-the-air-programming (OTAP) can take minutes per radio if it involves a lot of changes to the code-plugs, but Wi-Fi programming is faster than both OTAP and a USB connection, “and you get quite a lot of bandwidth over a Wi-Fi connection that you don’t get with OTAP – you can see the difference it makes when reprogramming a large code-plug.”

He has reprogrammed 15 radios at once over Wi-Fi and has also used this feature on a couple of his clients’ sites. “They have device programmers on their premises, so we can change radio settings and radio code-plugs for them from the comfort of our office. It saves them time and money and saves us travelling.”

Weaver explains that one of the other benefits of the MOTOTRBO“e” Series radios’ Wi-Fi functionality is that since the release of Firmware version 2.8, those with screens have been compatible with WAVE 5000 servers, allowing the radios to use Wi-Fi networks as range extenders. “If you have a very large building and there are certain plant rooms that don’t have radio coverage or it would cost a lot of money to get that, if you put Wi-Fi access points in there and connect them to the WAVE server, you’ll get coverage to and from the radio system via Wi-Fi.”

Speaking of firmware, Weaver says that with RM2 and programming over Wi-Fi, firmware updates can be done while programming the radios and they “don’t add that much of an overhead to the radio programming time, whereas before on the CPS, you’d have to hit the update device button and it would take quite a few seconds for it to find the appropriate firmware and offer it to you. RM2 automatically presents the latest firmware, you just click and accept it, then it modifies the programming file. Firmware updates aren’t viable with OTAP but they certainly are with Wi-Fi. It’s a really good system.”

Programming MOTOTRBO radios over Wi-Fi requires the RM2 programming system rather than the conventional Customer Programming Software (CPS). Weaver says that “...It’s a fantastic way [to program and manage radios], because you can import and move data between different types of Motorola Solutions radios without having to manually re-enter it.”

“You can copy a set across which might have all the channel information in from incompatible types of radios, so there’s time savings there. You also know from the database [RM2 has] exactly what’s in every radio you’ve got, so you can instantly look and verify what you’ve done.

“In terms of the speed of programming you need a little bit of thought, because to get the absolute speed, you need a number of device programming PCs all talking to different sets of radios on Wi-Fi.

“The time savings in our workshop [from programming over Wi-Fi] has justified us investing in a very large fleet of Motorola Solutions’ new DP3661e radio with subscriber Wi-Fi licences,” Weaver adds. “We’re not going to buy any radios now that don’t come equipped with Wi-Fi – it’s worth paying the extra money at the outset.”

Contact Information
For more information, please contact Mike Weaver on: 024 7660 2605,or via email at: mike@mwc.co.uk



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