The new DTR600 radios use the same programming software and programming methods as the Motorola DLR radios. They will work with the older DTR410 and DTR550 radios, but it takes a bit more work because they program differently. In short, Integrating the older DTR and newer DTR radios can be done if you change the settings in how they “look” for another radio within range.
The older DTR radio sends out a handshake signal on a channel, which is not really a “channel” in the traditional analog sense; it is a programmed frequency-hopping algorithm (called a talkgroup or hopset) that will change frequencies many times in a second, staying on any one frequency for only 90 milliseconds. For convenience, we simply refer to these digital talkgroups as “channels.” If the radio detects another radio within range on that channel, it checks to see if it has a matching Group ID number. If so, it opens the channel for communication. The DTR has channels 1 to 10, and Group ID numbers 1 to 100. Each ID can only be used once so there are about 950 unique combinations that can be used.
The new DTR uses a different system. It has the same channels (and same preprogrammed hopsets) as the older DTRs, but to detect if another radio is in range on the channel it is broadcasting on, it checks to see if the radio’s Profile ID number matches. Each individual DTR radio has a Profile ID number, versus the older DTR that has each Public or Private group has a Group ID number. The newer DTR600 has up to 30 “channel” hopsets and Profile ID numbers from 0000 to 9999. This gives it almost 300,000 unique combinations.
If you want to keep the programming on the older DTR radios, and program the new ones to match, you cannot simply copy and paste the settings and channel assignments. This is when you need to change some settings on the new DTR radios to start looking for Group ID numbers instead of Profile ID numbers.
You will also need the programming cable and the Customer Programming Software. (CPS.)
More detail can be found in my review of the DLR radios, plus the folks at buytwowayradios are familiar with how to integrate the older series with the newer series.
But here’s a trick that also works, and can be done from the keypad. You can return the older DTR radios back to factory default settings and start the newer DTR from the factory default settings. (Instructions are in the manuals.) The default channels all use the same hopsets, and simply change the Public Group ID numbers (on the older DTRs) or the Profile ID numbers (on the new DTRs.) If you can live with erasing all your programming and just getting them to talk to each other, the first five channels in the new DTRs correspond to the first five channels in the new DTRs.
But if you want to stick with the programming of the older DTR radios, the trick is to change the settings of the new DTRs to look for Group ID numbers instead of Profile ID numbers. This can be done in the CPS software. Your choices of channel hopsets will be much more limited because you are confined by the 950 or so choices of the older DTRs. (Still plenty of choices of course.) Interesting enough, I have used DTR and DLR radios for years, and even on the factory default channel 1, have never heard another DTR radio.
Note that I am going with the programming of the DTR410, 550 and 650 and how I integrated that into the new DLR radios, so there may be slight differences in how the DTR600 is programmed. (They use the same software as the DLR though.)
Another alternative of course is to reset your older DTRs to factory default settings, sell them as used ones and just buy more DTR600 radios. There is still a strong market for these popular, licence-free and very secure digital radios.