Motorola Type I, Type IIi Hybrid, and Type II Trunk Systems

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Motorola Trunking comes in several flavors, Type I, Type IIi Hybrid, Type II Smart Net, Type II Smart Zone, Type II Omni Link, and Type II VOC (Voice on Control).   Scanner School Session 10 outlines the first generation trunking, Type I and the path to Type II via Type IIi Hybrid.   We discuss how a Smart Net builds into a Smart Zone, and large Omni Link networks.   We also quickly discuss how Voice on Control systems operate.

Motorola Trunking comes in several flavors.

Motorola Type I

Just like a LTR and EDACS, Motorola Type I systems use Fleet/Subfleet talk groups.   An example talk group on Motorola Type I would be 100-20.   However, this is really where the similarities end.  If you want to learn more about LTR and EDACS trunking on Session 8 and Session 9 of the Scanner School Podcast.

Motorola Type I required you to program in a Fleet Map in your scanner to properly track the system.  Type I systems had limitations on the number of ID's that could be populated and this led the way for Motorola's 2nd Generation trunk system, the Motorola Trunk II system.

Motorola Trunking Type II Smart Net

Motorola Trunking Type II Smart Net systems were APCO 16 compliant.  They allowed for priority talk groups, dynamic grouping, and radio monitoring.   A Type II Smart Net system could support up to 28 channels.   The great thing about Motorola Type II systems is you only need to program in the control channel and alternate control channels into your radio.   If you are using a VHF or UHF system, you will need to program in the band plan, which we will cover later.

Motorola Type II Smart Net systems supported 65534 Radio ID's and 4095 Talk groups.

Type II systems also supported a status bit.   Each talk group on a Type II system is divisible by 16, and there are 16 status bits that can be used.   A status bit of 0 is a normal talk group.   If a unit had an emergency, then a status bit of 2 would be added to the talk group to indicate there was an emergency.  So since 16 + 2 = 18, talk group 18 would indicate there was an emergency on Talk Group 16.


Status Bit Usage   Status Bit Usage
0 Normal Talkgroup 8 DES Encryption talkgroup
1 All Talkgroup 9 DES All Talkgroup
2 Emergency 10 DES Emergency
3 Talkgroup patch to another 11 DES Talkgroup patch
4 Emergency Patch 12 DES Emergency Patch
5 Emergency multi-group 13 DES Emergency multi-group
6 Not assigned 14 Not assigned
7 Multi-select (initiated by dispatcher) 15 Multi-select DES TG

Motorola Trunking Type II Smart Zone

A Motorola Type II Smart Zone is a network of Smart Net Sites.   This allows a larger footprint for the system, and this is the most common type of Motorola Type II Trunking system.  Up to 64 Smart Net sites can be linked together into a Smart Zone network.   Both Analog and Digital talk groups can be supported on a Smart Zone System.

In a Simulcast System, all of the sites in a Smart Zone will transmit the same information one the same frequencies at the same time.   However, on a Smart Net system, each Smart Zone can be it's own trunking site, carrying just the radios that are affiliated with that local system.

A Smart Zone system can be split into separate zones.  For example, a set of sites on the north part of the system may carry departments only covering the north area, but not departments that are located on the south sites.  However, if a north zone radio would show up on the south end system, then the talk group for the north zone would also be transmitted on the south zone.  Because the zones can be slit, you may not hear every transmission on the system if there are no radios on the talk group you want to listen to on your local Smart Net Site in the Smart Zone.   This also requires you to program in all the sites in the Smart Zone that you need to monitor.

Motorola Type II Omni Link

Motorola Trunking Type II Omni Links are a group of up to 4 Smart Zone systems that are tied together.  This is a perfect solution for an extremely large geographical area.

Each Smart Net Zone in the Omni Link network would have it's own System ID and its own Smart Zone Controller.  Radios can be allowed to roam across the Omni Link network or can restricted to set zones.

Motorola Type II VOC (Voice on Command)

Type II VOC or Voice on Command systems are a great way to fill in a small coverage gap left by a larger system.

VOC systems are basically, in simplest forms, a repeater running special software.  This “IntelliRepeater” (IR) has no local database of talk group or radios and receives all of it's information from another zone controller.

The neat thing about the VOC is that the control channel can be used as a voice channel, so a VOC could be setup with as little as a single channel.    The system will broadcast over the CC (Control Channel) that the frequency is going to go into VC (Voice Channel) mode and will stop broadcasting all CC information.   Once the voice transmission is done, the CC comes back.   If a user talks for too long, the radios on the network may lose their CC time out and begin to show an out of range indicator.

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Show Notes:

Motorola Trunking on the Radio Reference Wiki:

Motorola Type I

Motorola Type IIi Hybrid

Motorola Type II Smart Net

Motorola Type II Smart Zone

Motorola Type II Omni Link

Motorola Type II VOC

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