NEW - Motorola DLR series - rugged, licence-free, high-quality digital radios

For two-way radio users looking for top-quality business-class radios that transmit on licence-free bands and are secure from eavesdropping or interference from every kid or drive-through within a five mile radius. Motorola has just introduced the new DLR1020 and DLR1060.

They use the same licence-free 900MHz band as the Motorola DTR410, 550 and 650 digital radios (and can be programmed to work with an existing fleet of DTR radios.)

I have been a big fan of the top-quality DTR radio and these two new models add a slightly more compact option. DTR and DLR radios will appeal to a lot of professional users who appreciate the best in clarity, ruggedness and range. In day-to-day use, DTR and DLR radios outperform nearly every VHF and UHF radio on the market, especially inside buildings and dense urban areas.

The DTR and DLR radios use a unique digital algorithm to rapidly hop across hundreds of frequencies in the licence-free 900MHz band, staying on one frequency only 90 milliseconds. The DTR and DLR have preprogrammed talkgroups, or “channels,” which are not really fixed channels but rather hopping algorithms. There has been no documented case of anyone able to monitor a conversation using any consumer-level equipment. Short of perhaps the military, the only way to monitor a DTR radio was another DTR radio - and even then, it had to be on the same channel PLUS the same ID number. With the older DTR radios with 10 channels and 100 unique ID numbers, there are almost 1000 combinations available. In 10 years of owning a fleet of DTR radios, I have never heard a peep from another user.

With the new DLR1020 (two channels) and DLR1060 (six channels; soon to be ten channels using the latest customer programming software,) Motorola has come up with a more compact form factor and a simpler design that uses the same technology. Now, with the choice of 18 possible talkgroups plus a four-digit ID number, there are almost 200,000 possible combinations to choose from.

But how do the new DLR radios compare to the existing top-quality DTR radios? Well, thanks to the folks at I just received a sample of the DLR1060 in the mail yesterday. I wanted to put it up in a head-to-head test against my DTR radios and report on the results.

Based on my results, I am predicting Motorola is going to sell a lot of these radios to users who can appreciate their compactness, quality of sound, range, privacy, ability to transmit on licence-free frequencies, and a lower price in relation to the DTR radios. The following are my evaluations, based on a score of 1 to 5, in comparison to the existing DTR410, DTR550 and DTR650.

The DLR radios use the Motorola BP90 battery rated at 1800 mAh. This should be good for 14 hours of life, at a standard test environment of 10% transmit time and 90% standby time.

But the DTRs were known for long battery life, and the standard battery that comes in the 410 and 550 was good for 14.5 hours, even though it is smaller at 1200 mAh. The extended battery in the 650 (and can be fitted to any DTR radio) is 1500 mAh, and is rated at 19 hours.

The DLR1060 does not use an LCD screen with backlight like the DTR; it uses an LED light plus voice prompts. In my informal tests, I found the DLR battery life to be only slightly shorter than a DTR. Here are the battery life ratings from Motorola:
DLR = 14 hours
DTR (standard battery) = 14.5 hours
DTR (extended battery) = 19 hours
DTR = 5
DLR = 4

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.
DTR = 5
DLR = 4

Surprisingly, my testing found the range of the DLR with the fixed stubby antenna to be nearly identical to the DTR with the removable 1/4 wave rubber antenna.

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 made it through my car, house, and 15 blocks of old homes and mature elm trees. That is an AMAZING performance for any line-of-sight two-way radio! I found only a few feet difference in range between the DTR and the DLR.

Range estimations will always vary from user to user, depending on the height of the antenna and what is between the two radios. But my rough city range results are:
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
DTR = 5
DLR = 5

The DTR has always had among the best clarity of any two-way radio. Being digital, it will not even transmit unless another radio is in range, and sound is always clear even out to the limits of reception. The nature of digital is that the voice always comes across as 100% or nothing; there are no fuzzy, barely-readable transmissions from the fringes of range.

The DLR has a slightly smaller speaker and an audio output of .75W compared to the 1W audio output of the DTR, which causes it to sound slightly more muffled. While the new DLR seems similar to the popular CLS series, its audio is much more clear and natural. Listen to the audio sample of the DTR, and with only slightly less depth, that is pretty much how the DLR sounds.
DTR = 5
DLR = 4

This is no contest. The DLR is easily half the size and weight of the DTR (which were known for their compact size.) The only issue is that the DLR looks a bit like an FRS radio, which may be important in situations where the more business-class size of the DTR may imply more professionalism, but slip the easily detached belt clip off the DLR and it fits in a small pocket.
DTR = 4
DLR = 5

The DLR1060 retails for about $60 less than a DTR550. For that, you don’t get a backlit screen where you can read the name of each channel and the name of the radio calling you. You can also send simple text messages on the DTR, and any radio in your group can be configured to call up any other DTR radio individually - all while still keeping the channel free for other users.

On the DLR, you can’t call another user privately without advanced programming, but when a group call comes in, the person in question can reply privately, using the top ‘private reply’ button. Users can also switch to another channel for a conversation that won’t interfere with the main channel.
DTR = 3
DLR = 5

Motorola is famous for poorly-written manuals and completely non-intuitive customer programming software (CPS). The new CPS is much better but instructions are a bit too simplified.

The DLR radios can be programmed to integrate into a existing DTR fleet, but it is not intuitive and there are no detailed instructions on how to do this.

Out of the box, the DLR will communicate with a DTR if both are left at their factory default settings. The five Public Groups in the DTR when left at (or returned to) factory defaults, correspond to the first five channels of the DLR radios. To talk to a DLR on channel 1, switch to Public Group 1 on the DTR; to talk to a DLR on channel 2, switch to Public Group 2 on the DTR, etc.
DTR = 1
DLR = 3

I love these DLR radios! If I didn’t already have a fleet of DTRs, I would forego the customer programming software and cable, and just program them right from the radio. All the average user will need to do is change the Profile ID numbers on all radios to the same four-digit number. To get into programming mode, you press the + button, the PTT button and the power button simultaneously, and HOLD THEM DOWN until it beeps and announces it is in programming mode. You then press the menu button and follow the voice prompts to change the ID number. It literally takes less time to program than it does to read this paragraph.

I predict these radios will be hard to keep in stock. Thanks again to for the sample. They don’t replace my DTR radios, and the DTR series has features not duplicated in the DLR. The DLR radios are their own unique design, and if I didn’t already have a fleet of top-quality, licence-free business radios, i would look seriously at the DLR1020 and DLR1060.

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Integrating DTR and DLR radios can be done but there is poor documentation on how to do this and it was up to certain dedicated enthusiasts to learn on how to do it.

Integrating DLR radios with existing DTR410, DTR550 or DTR650 radios
The key is to understand the differences in how these radios communicate with each other. 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 DLR uses a different system. It has the same channels (and same preprogrammed hopsets) as the older DTRs, but they don’t communicate with programmed Public and Private groups. If it detects another radio in range on the channel it is broadcasting on, it checks to see if the radio’s Profile ID number matches. Each individual DLR radio has a Profile ID number, versus the DTR that has each Public or Private group has a Group ID number. The DLR can use channels 1 to 18, and Profile ID numbers from 0000 to 9999. This gives it almost 200,000 unique combinations.

The DLR radios can use BOTH Profile ID numbers or Public Group ID numbers on the factory default settings. On DLR channel 1. it corresponds to a DTR set on channel 1, Group ID 1; on DLR channel 2, it corresponds to a DTR set on channel 1, Group ID 2; on DLR channel 3, it corresponds to a DTR set on channel 1, Group ID 3, etc. “Channels” as announced by the voice prompt in the DLR from the factory, are not the actual channel hopset numbers. They are simply the channel placements from one to two (on the DLR1020) and one to six (on the DLR1060) From the factory, all six channels are set to hopset channel 1, and ID numbers go from 1 2 or 1 to 6.

The key to getting them working together is to use a programming cable and the CPS to convert the DLR radios so they don’t look for Profile ID numbers; they look for Public Group ID numbers. You do this by turning off the Profile ID Number Lock, and then by adding new Public Groups into the radios instead of the existing channel assignments.

This means that you lower the channel choices on the DLR from 1 to 18 down to 1 to 10, and the Profile ID numbers from 0000 to 9999 down to Group ID numbers 1 to 100. But in practical terms, one will never need 200,000 combinations no matter how crowded the airways get; 950 is more than sufficient, even in the most densely used area.

To change the DLR from a Profile ID system to a Public Group ID system, you need the optional DLR programming cable plus the free Customer Programming Software (CPS) from Motorola. You do NOT need the CPS and programming cable (plus a USB-to-serial port adapter) for the DTR.

The first step is to program new Group ID numbers into your DTR radios. It is easier of course to do this in the CPS, but it can be done manually by using the programming menu from the keyboard.

Step 1 - Reprogramming the DTR to be ready for DLR integration
First thing to remember is that the DTR can send private transmissions and messages to individual radios (the DLR can’t) BUT only on a “home” channel. Plus, you need to read each radio’s ID into every other radio. Once you do that, you add each radio from the contact list into the scroll list, using the keypad. So, assuming you have already done all this on your whole fleet of DTRs, here is what you have to change:

  1. You can use any channel you wish (from 1 to 10) but change each Public Group ID using only numbers 21 to 100. The DLR takes up IDs from 1 to 20 by default, and these cannot be changed or deleted.

I programmed my existing DTR fleet to:

  • Public group 1 (named “Main” on the LCD screen): channel 2, group ID 21
  • Public group 2 (named “Channel 2” on the LCD screen): channel 2, group ID 22
  • Public group 3 (named “Channel 3” on the LCD screen): channel 2, group ID 23
  • Public group 4 (named “Channel 4” on the LCD screen): channel 2, group ID 24
  • Public group 5 (named “Channel 5” on the LCD screen): channel 2, group ID 25
  • Public group 6 (named “Channel 5” on the LCD screen): channel 2, group ID 26

I listed each contact as channel 2 in the programming software. Note that ALL my channels were programmed the same channel number. I did this so they all became a “home” channel, and I could send a private message to any other radio on my contact list or scroll list, no matter what channel they were on. I also programmed them so that they would go back to a home channel of my choosing (“Main”) after no activity for 30 seconds.

Step 2- Programming the DLRs to integrate with your existing fleet of DTR radios

  1. This is the part that took lots of trial and error. First, you need the software and a programming cable. Hook them up, turn the radio on and open the CPS. Click the “RADIO” button at the top to take it from HOME, and then click the tiny reload button just to the right of the Auto Detect drop-down box. This refreshes your com port (USB port). Then click the drop-down box and select the Com port that now appears just under the Auto-detect line. Now click “Read radio.”

  2. When the profile appears, look at the top of the profile on the far right side. Click “Switch to ADVANCED.” Now uncheck the box marked “Profile ID Number Lock.” By unclicking this box, this will let you manually enter channel numbers into new Public Group profiles.

  3. Scroll to the bottom and under Public Groups (Advanced) click Add. Change the name of the new Public Group that appears so that it matches your first DTR group name. (“Main” in my example above.) Then change the Frequency Hopset number from the default 1 to the channel that matches your DTRs. (“2” in my example above.) As long as you unchecked the Profile ID Number Lock, you can change the channel to anywhere from 1 to 10. Then go to the ID column, and using the drop-down box, change the ID number to match the Group ID numbers for the corresponding Group on your DTR. (“21” in my example above.)

You need to add at least one new Public Group from the Advanced menu to talk to a DTR, and you can add as many as two (DLR1020) or six (DLR1060.)

  1. Add as many Public Groups from the DTR to the DLR as you like. The DLR1060 can take those Public Groups and use them for up to six of its channels. Simply add each new Public Group, and change the name, channel number and ID number to match the corresponding list on your DTRs.

  2. Now, here comes the tricky part. The DLR still has the six defaults loaded in for its channels. Switch back to the BASIC profile. Under Channels (Basic) click “Edit More” beside each channel. Now enter a new name if you want. Under Mode, change from “Profile ID” to “Public.” Then change Channel Mapping into the appropriate channel name that you created back in step 3. Do this for each channel you wish to match to the DTRs.

  3. Now click Write to Radio. Disconnect and test. If everything works well, reconnect, read the radio again and then click Save to Profile. Name it anything you like. (“DLR to DTR settings Channel 2.wp9” is what I called mine.)

  4. Now, if you have multiple DLR radios, just connect each one in turn and click Write to Radio. The software will recognize each radio by its unique ID number.

What you CAN’T do
The DTR can transmit to all radios in a public group, a smaller subset of radios in a private group or call individual radios. To call individual radios, they must be loaded as contacts into every other radio. (It also helps to move each radio, especially the ones you use a lot, from the Contacts to the Scroll List.

But the DTR cannot add a DLR radio into its contact list, and the DLR radio cannot be renamed. It will show up on your DTR radio screen only by its 11-digit unit ID number.

Stay tuned tomorrow for another interesting trick in programming DLR radios to integrate into a DTR fleet.

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Here’s an interesting new trick with the DLR radios. You don’t even need to integrate them into a fleet of DTR radios to try this.

The DLR has voice prompts that announce the channel numbers as you scroll through them using the menu button and the plus/minus keys. You can change the Channel Name into anything you want (maximum 26 characters) AND if you check off the Enable Voice, it will announce the names you gave it in a voice.

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To continue this review, let’s continue looking at various scenarios for owners of DLR radios.

Integrating new DLR radios into an existing fleet of DTR radios that have NOT been custom programmed
To integrate new DLR radios into an existing fleet of DTR radios that have NOT been custom programmed, and still have factory defaults:
Step #1 - Turn them on.
Step #2 - Leave all radios at that factory default settings.
Step #3 - Enjoy.

No cables or software is needed. “Channel 1” on the DLR corresponds with “Public Group 1” on the DTR; “Channel 2” on the DLR corresponds with “Public Group 2” on the DTR; etc.

Integrating new DLR radios into an existing fleet of custom-programmed DTR radios WITHOUT the need for cables or software.
If a user wants to integrate new DLR radios into an existing fleet of DTR radios without the need for programming cables or software, they can simply return all radios to factory defaults. This is not as secure as the method detailed in the previous post, as any user who has left their DTR or DLR on the factory default settings can monitor your transmissions within range.

Returning DLR to factory default
On the DLR, hold down the -, +, PTT and power button at the same time, and continue to hold them all down until the radio beeps. It has now been reset to factory defaults.

Returning DTR to factory default
On the DTR, enter programming mode by holding down the Home key while pressing PTT 3 times, then push the Right Select key, the Down Scroll key, the Left Select key, and then holding down the Home key while pressing PTT 3 times. Then go to Settings>Advanced>Reset to default.

Integrating new DTR600 and DTR700 radios with DLR radios
The (new for 2019) DTR600 and DTR700 use the same CPS as the DLR radios, so integrating them to work together will be much simpler. Because the new DTR600 and DTR700 radios (that replace the DTR410, DTR550 and DTR650) have LCD screens, it is not necessary for programming but may be useful to invest in a programming cable and get the free CPS from Motorola. Users can then name their channels and have the names show up on the screen. The DTR600 can have as many as 30 channels, and the DTR700 can have 50 channels.

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Thanks for this review and the information about how the DLR works.

One point of clarification: I’m pretty sure that each Profile ID defines a separate hopset, and not a separate group. The help section of the CPS software explains Profile ID as follows:

“Allows the user to assign different profile ID, which will define the ID and frequency hopset of the first 20 Public Group IDs. The valid Profile ID is from 0000 to 9999. The default is 0000 which is compatible with Motorola DTR radios” (emphasis added with **).

So, in essence, the DLR Radios support the 10 hopsets that the DTR radios do, but only if you set the Profile ID to 0000 and you unlock the Profile ID Lock. However, if you change the Profile ID to something else, you essentially have 10,000 hopsets that are available, but when you do that, the DLR radios can no longer communicate with the DTR Radios, at least not on DTR Hopset 1 and Groups 1 through 20 (and probably page all and call all). My theory is that the DLR radios use a few frequencies from all 10 DTR hopsets when you set a Profile ID. So, Profile ID 0000 matches DTR Hopset 1 precisely, but Profile ID 2222 may use the first two frequencies from DTR Hopset 1, the third and fourth from DTR Hopset 2, and so on. In order to achieve 10,000 hopsets, there is obviously going to be some overlap as well. So Profile ID 2222 and 2223 may share some hopset frequencies, but obviously not all of them. They might even share all the hopset frequencies, but use a different signalling frequency.

It should be pretty easy to test my theory:

  1. Set up Radio A so that it is on Profile 1111, with Ch. 1 set to a private call to radio B using its radio ID.
  2. Set up Radio B so that it is on Profile 2222, which Ch. 2 set to a private call to Radio A using its radio ID.

Now, try to make a call from Radio A to Radio B (or vice versa). If the Profile ID is a Group, it won’t matter since the radios will be talking to one another using their Radio IDs and not the groups (profile ID). If the Profile ID is a hopset, then the radios won’t communicate with one another at all since they’ll be using different frequencies.

What I’m not clear on is whether the Profile ID continues to impact the hopsets when you unlock the Profile ID Lock, and whether it impacts all 10 of the available DTR hopsets, or just DTR hopset number 1. It may also be that the Profile ID only affects the hopset when you use the predefined groups, i.e. groups numbered 1 through 20 (which are fixed to hopset 1). The CPS that I quoted above suggests that it only affects groups 1 to 20. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Interesting questions. One problem is that the DLR cannot do a private one-to-one call. It can only do a private reply, once the first user has initiated a public one-to-all call.

Channels are not a single frequency channel in traditional terms. They are pre-programmed “hopsets” or “talkgroups” that consist of preprogrammed sequences of frequencies that the radio will jump around on within a spectrum of frequencies in the 900 MHz band. ID numbers are a digital signature, that allow the radios to communicate with each other. With the older DTR radios, it looks for a matching “Public Group” ID number, and with the DLR it looks for the matching “Profile” ID number.

Because the DLR can have any four digits from 0000 to 9999, plus it has 18 talkgroup hopsets to choose from, there are hundreds of thousands of combinations. But that only applies, as you say, when communicating from DLR to DLR. If you need to integrate DLRs into a fleet of older DTRs, you must reduce the choices, because the older model DTR410, 550 and 650 only have 10 hopsets to choose from, and Public Group IDs only from 1 to 100. But at almost 1000 unique combinations of 10 channels and 100 ID numbers, you will never interfere with any other user.

So what you say is correct, except that if the DLR could do one-to-one calling, it wouldn’t work if one was on 1111 and the other on 2222. But you also raise a good point, that unless the DLR is changed from looking for Profile ID numbers (with 200,000 combinations) to looking for Public Group ID numbers (with “only” 1000 combinations) the only ID number it can be set on to communicate with a DTR is 0000.

This is also why I suggested the cheapest and easiest way to get them talking to each other is to reset to factory defaults. You don’t need software or a cable for this, and you now have choices of five channels. (Six, if you add one more to the DTR to match the DLR on channel 1, ID number 6.) Just remember the NAMES of the channels on the DLR “Channel One,” “Channel Two,” etc., are just the positions of the programmed hopsets on the radio itself, not the names of the hopsets. (Which are also called “channels” just to add to the confusion.) At factory defaults, all radios are on hopset channel 1 for all “channels” and simply vary ID numbers to give the various “channel” options.

But for users who only have DLR radios, it is as simple as turning them on and talking. One doesn’t need to do any more than that. If you don’t have any DTR radios, I wouldn’t even suggest buying the cable or downloading the software unless you wanted to do more fancy stuff like getting a voice announcement of the channel names. If anyone is worried about interference or eavesdropping, just change all your radios from ID number 0000 to any four-number combination you like. Just make sure all match and you are good to go. That still gives users 10,000 combinations.

Motorola appears to have a new DTR700 model in the works. Available Q4/2018. Price = ???

I suspect the DTR700 is the start of a new model series of DTR radios to eventually replace the aging 10+ year old DTR 410/550/650 model series. I’m wondering how Motorola is dealing with parts end of life issues in the 410/550/650 models because you can still buy factory new DTRs and batteries for them. Motorola may be finally dealing with parts EOL issues with the 410/550/650 models and the new DTR700 model is the answer to that along with a lot of other updates. Hopefully the DTR700 incorporates the best features of the DTRs and the DLRs together.

I’ve been watching the DTRs on Motorola’s site for updates. The DTR700 appears to be exactly what I’ve been wanting Motorola to do for the DTR series. Motorola appears to be committed to keeping 900MHz digital on-site business radios on the market.

The new DTR600 and DTR700 are now available. We just completed a video on the DTR600.

Woohoo! Nice!

Too bad you don’t take trades. Five DTR550s? All with the 1/2-wave longer antenna and newer larger capacity batteries? All upgraded to the latest firmware?

I will even include a rare programming cable and an even rarer keyboard accessory.

Sorry, we don’t take trade-ins. I can say that I spent some time with the DTR600 while shooting the video and was rather impressed. Aside from the fact that you don’t need a license to operate it, IMHO it isn’t all that difficult to figure out and use. Obviously it’s aimed at businesses, but I think it really could be used by practically anyone for a lot of different applications, business, personal or other.

Nice! I was joking about the trades of course.

As you know, I am a huge fan of the DTR/DLR series, and hopefully helped people understand them better. I was very happy to see Motorola continue technology that is unmatched by any other make, and I still think they are perfect for people who want unlicenced radios that are also private, excellent quality and have very good range.

The software for the DTR/DLR radios is free and is web-based, so this will be a HUGE improvement over the very early days of the first DTR radios.

If you remember those days, there was myself and one or two other enthusiasts who basically had to write the book as we went along and ended up teaching Motorola about the radio instead of the other way round. One of the reasons why I always buy from and recommend buytwowayradios is that you folks were among the few dealers who actually understood those radios and could sell their capabilities.

I just received my first DTR700. I love the smaller size and bright screen. However, I am disappointed to see that the programming is very different than the DTR650, requiring a whole new setup (and learning curve) in the programming software.

Is there really no over-the-air contacts re-programming with the DTR700? That is one of the best parts of the DTR radios.

Just BUMPing an old thread back to life to share some learning. :slight_smile:

I currently own a fleet of DTR650 radios and a fleet of DTR700 radios and have them all working together on public and private groups. I also owned a fleet of DLR1060 radios but later sold them to a friend for his business. At first he wasn’t sure what he was going to use them for except for rentals to customers since he is a commercial radio dealer and owns a radio shop. Now he and his employees use the DLR radios ALL the time around the office and at job sites. Given that I have owned all 3 model families, I have become VERY familiar with programming them. I have had all of them working together on public and private groups. I also have Profile ID groups working between the DLRs and the DTR700s. My DTR700 fleet has a mix of Profile ID channels, Public groups identical to the legacy DTRs with IDs starting at 1 instead of 21, and Private groups identical to the legacy DTRs.

The DTR600/700 and DLR1020/1060 program a little differently from the legacy DTR410/550/650 radios but are 100% backward compatible with the legacy DTRs and added Profile ID features. And YES, you can do private 1 to 1 calling with the DLRs and public group IDs can start at 1 instead of 21. More on this below. Firmware updates are now available for the DTR600/700 which added scan capability, OTA contact updating, fixed a few bugs, and added Manager Mode features and canned text messaging capabilities. The DLR1060 channel capacity was increased to 10 channels starting with R05.01 CPS. The DLR1060 is marketed as 6 channel radio but is expandable to 10 channels with the CPS as an unadvertised feature. The latest CPS version is R07.02 which added new features enabled by the DTR600/700 firmware updates. These are the “Phase 2” features that Motorola hinted at earlier.

The DTR600/700 adopted the DLR way of programming and programs more like a conventional radio. I am not surprised Motorola adopted the DLR way of programming going forward. The programming is easier and more straightforward and less cryptic after you un-learn a few things about programming the legacy DTRs. The end user sees channels instead of talkgroups since they are the same thing anyway. To an end user, the concept of a channel is more familiar and easier to grasp than a talkgroup. (WTH is a talkgroup??) The 10 channels in the legacy DTR410/550/650 programming refers to the 10 frequency hopsets available and talkgroups are set up on a hopset. This is TMI for the average end user and cryptic to whoever does the programming. In the DLRs and DTR600/700, the same 10 hopsets are simply referred to as hopsets in the programming because that’s what they are and the end user sees channels like in a conventional radio. Motorola cleaned up the nomenclature for the end user going forward.

Private calling with the DLRs is done by programming a channel as Private and the private contact to be called is programmed in the channel. While this can be done, it wastes an available channel that could otherwise be used for a Profile ID group, public group, or private group. I suspect this is why Motorola doesn’t advertise the feature in the DLRs. It is more efficient in the DLRs to use the Private Reply feature instead of wasting available channels for private 1 to 1 calling.

Programming public groups creates frustration due to the Profile ID features taking up the first 20 public group IDs and forces public groups to start at ID 21. The restriction is due to the requirement that a group ID can be used only once in the radio. When the 4 digit Profile ID Number (PIN) is at the 0000 default, the Profile ID feature is OFF except for Call All Available and Page All Available. When the PIN is at the 0000 default, Profile ID groups ARE public groups identical to public groups in the legacy DTR410/550/650 models. Any additional public groups programmed start at ID 21. Setting the 4 digit PIN is set to a non-zero value makes Profile ID groups no longer public groups. Any public groups programmed then start at ID = 1, identical to public groups in the legacy DTRs.

There are 2 ways to program public groups identical to the legacy DTRs and with the group ID starting at ID = 1:

  1. Method #1: Leave the PIN set at the 0000 default. Profile ID groups 1-18 are public groups in this case. IDs 19 and 20 are reserved for Page All Available and Call All Available features. This is the easiest if everything else is at the defaults. Hopset 1 (default) will be used.

  2. Method #2: Set the PIN to a non-zero value, even if you are not going to program any Profile ID channels. Take note of how the PIN affects the hopset used as described below. Public group IDs now start at ID = 1, identical to the legacy DTRs. This is the way to program public groups when you have a mix of Profile ID channels and public group channels.

Private groups program and function identical to the legacy DTRs, independent of the PIN setting, except for a few caveats noted below.

I learned from experimentation that the last digits of the PIN affect the hopset the radio uses and affects the whole radio. The Profile ID Number Lock is ON by default (on the ADVANCED page in the CPS). The CPS warns that disabling the lock to change the hopset used on a channel may cause some features to not work and is recommended only for experienced users. I recommend leaving the PIN Lock ON (default) and choose a PIN carefully if all channels will be using the same hopset.

The PIN mapping to the hopset used is as follows:
PIN = 0000 --> Default, Profile ID features are OFF except for Call/Page All Available features. Hopset 1 will be used.
PIN = XXX1 --> Hopset 1 will be used.
PIN = XXX2 --> Hopset 2 will be used.
PIN = XXX3 --> Hopset 3 will be used.
PIN = XXX4 --> Hopset 4 will be used.
PIN = XXX5 --> Hopset 5 will be used.
PIN = XXX6 --> Hopset 6 will be used.
PIN = XXX7 --> Hopset 7 will be used.
PIN = XXX8 --> Hopset 8 will be used.
PIN = XXX9 --> Hopset 9 will be used.
PIN = XX10 (or XXX0 ?) --> Hopset 10 will be used.

The PIN also governs the behavior of the Page All Available (ID = 19) and Call All Available (ID = 20) features since these are Profile ID features. These are all-call features for calling multiple groups of users regardless of channel and channel type, except for private 1 to 1 callling. This is convenient for calling multiple groups of users who may be spread out on multiple channels and eliminates the need to try each individual channel to find users. Call All Available causes all radios not currently busy in a call to be put into a temporary super group with a 4 second hang time. Users can chit chat back and forth on this group provided they don’t let the 4 second hang time expire. After the hang time expires, all responding radios revert back to the channel they were previously using. Page All Available is similar to Call All Available except that PTT in responding radios is disabled and a user can only respond with the Private Reply feature so only a single user can respond.

A legacy DTR can trigger Call/Page All Available response DLR1020/1060 and DTR600/700 radios when using public group IDs 19 and 20 when the PIN is at the 0000 default. DLRs and DTR600/700s are vulnerable to being trolled by these features by leaving the PIN at 0000. I recommend setting the PIN to a non-zero value as described above to prevent your radios from being trolled by others outside your group. A matching PIN is required in order for another radio to trigger Cal/Page All Available on your radios. I have used Call All Available to test for defaulted DLRs and DTRs in my area. When I get connect hits with Call All Available or Page All Available, that tells me there are defaulted DLRs and DTR600/700s in the area and in range. Since I use a non-zero PIN XXX1 in my DTR700 fleet, I test for defaulted DLRs and DTR600/700 radios using a public group with ID = 20 to trigger Call All Available in defaulted radios. Defaulted DLRs and DTR600/700 radios cannot trigger Call All Available and Page All Available in my radios because it requires the correct 4 digit PIN to be used.

I updated the firmware in my DTR700 fleet and confirmed that the scan features work. I also played with the Manager Mode features and can confirm that they work as advertised and also work with the legacy DTRs. I haven’t played with the canned text messages yet and I probably won’t bother since it’s a feature that I probably will never use.

After owning these radios for a couple of years, I’m still tinkering with them in the programming and keep learning more things about them. :slight_smile:

@Chickenhawk or @n1das have either of you guys been able to actually write 10 channels to a DLR1060? I just picked a couple up and tried with CPS 7.02. I could create a profile with 10 but when I tried writing it to the radio it said the radio needed an update from the DLR Update Tool.

That tool isn’t on the regular public Motorola website or MOL. Called moto business support and she didn’t even know about the change until she read the CPS release notes. She couldn’t find the update tool either, so she sent an email to the DLR product team.

Got an email back from the business radio team. According to them the tool to increase to 10 channels was never released:

"It doesn't look like a DLR1060 upgrade tool was ever released. There are only 6 channels available for it.

Sorry for any confusion,

I had no problem writing 10 channels to my DLR1060 fleet. The 10 channel capability started with R05.01 CPS. The release notes for R05.01 mentions increasing the channel capacity for the DLR1060. The latest CPS version is R07.02. I used R06.00 CPS when I added more channels.

The DLR1020 is still stuck at only 2 channels. I suspect the DLR1020 is the entry level model to never be upgraded and the DLR1060 is designed to be upgradable.

It sounds like the FW in your DLR1060 may be earlier than what I had. I sold my fleet to a friend for his business a year ago and with the fleet of 6 DLR1060s operating on 10 channels. My DLR1060 fleet was around a year old at the time.

I was unaware that there ever was a DLR Update tool because it was never released.

I definitely want to talk to the DLR product team. The DLRs need a FW update to add AGC to the transmit audio like what the DTR600/700 models have. The DLRs don’t have AGC in the transmit audio and they can transmit VERY badly distorted audio when a user talks loudly or up too close to the mic. The legacy DTRs don’t have AGC either but process the transmit audio better than the DLRs do. The DTR600/700 have the best transmit audio thanks to AGC in the tx audio. The DLRs have the worst audio and the legacy DTRs fall somewhere in between.

@n1das any chance you still have a DLR1060 or a saved profile from one of your radios? I’d be interested to know the firmware version. Mine have a date code of 2017.

I opened my saved Profile for my DLR1060 fleet that I sold and operating on 10 channels.

Firmware version: R01.01
Codeplug version: R01.01
Max number of channels supported: 10

The DLR1060 fleet was last programmed with R07.02 CPS.

I recall I had to start with a factory default DLR1060 profile that comes with a new enough version CPS. I used R06.00 CPS at the time. 10 channel capability started with R05.01 CPS. Prior to my fleet of DLR1060s, I owned a pair of DLR1060s back in 2015 right after they first came out and used R05.00 CPS and it supported only 6 channels. I later sold that pair of DLR1060s to a coworker and he loves them. I sold them after getting a fleet of legacy DTR650 radios in early 2017. In late 2017, I added the fleet of 6 DLR1060s. I kept my DTR650 fleet and sold the DLR1060 fleet after getting my DTR700 fleet in January 2019. So today I have a fleet of legacy DTR650s and a fleet of DTR700s.

CPS R07.00 was the first CPS version to provide support for the DTR600/700 models when they were released a little over a year ago. The latest CPS is R07.02 which added support for Phase 2 features in the DTR600/700 models. R07.02 definitely supports 10 channel capability with the DLR1060.

That’s so weird! Same firmware and codeplug version here. Tried factory resetting the radios then reading…that says 6 channels. Tried creating a new profile that said 10 channels and tried writing that. Got this message:

Tried with R07.02 and R06.00 just in case it needs an older CPS to do the firmware uplift. I also browsed through all of the files in CPS and I don’t see a .ftf which appears to be the firmware file for the DTR700 series.


This IS strange! I was unaware that a DLR Update Tool ever existed.

I had no problem adding 10 channels in the CPS and each radio in the fleet of 6 DLR1060s took it. Fortunately I recorded the model and serial number and other information by taking a picture of the label inside the battery compartment on each radio. I’m too lazy to write stuff down so I worked smarter instead of harder by taking a cell phone pic of the label under the battery inside each radio.

Below is information from one of the DLR1060 radios in the fleet.

Model: DLR1060BHLAA
FCC ID: AZ489FT5870
IC Model: DLR1060
IC ID: 109U - 89FT5870
S/N: 550PTSB072
TANAPA: HKUF4007A Dec. 22, 2017

All 6 radios show a build date in December, 2017. The full model is DLR1060BHLAA. I assume the date after the TANAPA number is the build date.

I don’t own the radios anymore and don’t have access to them right now. My friend I sold them to has them all operating on 10 channels. I am the only one who has programmed them since new.

Would Motorola update them for you if they were sent to the depot?