Motorola Type II SmartZone

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Trunked Radio SystemsMotorola Type II → Motorola Type II SmartZone

SmartZone systems are comprised of Type II Smartnet systems that are networked together via microwave or land-line data circuits to provide multi-site wide-area communications. Many large public safety and state agencies use SmartZone systems, and is among the most common trunked system. Each individual trunked system is considered a site, or sub-system if you a considering a Simulcast system, and is controlled by the Zone Controller, which is the master controller for all activity and is where all network links are terminated at. Your primary type of sites are 6809 (single or Simulcast configurations), MTC-3600 (introduced to take the place of the 6809), and IntelliRepeaters (single-site only). A feature unique to SmartZone and allows efficient use of channels at each site is called "Dynamic Site assignment." Its simple purpose is to determine whether a site needs to broadcast a call or not. In order to make this feature work subscriber radios are required to affiliate, or send in their radio id and talkgroup, whenever they power-up, change channels, or change sites. These affiliations are compiled into a table which the Zone Controller maintains. When a call is requested at a site the Zone Controller determines which site that talkgroup is registered at and routes that audio via a switch, commonly called the Ambassador Electronics Bank, to the appropriate channel at the site. Many large public safety and state agencies use SmartZone systems for wide-area communications. Up to four SmartZone systems can be linked together into one Motorola Type II SmartZone OmniLink network.

The characteristics of a Motorola SmartZone system are similar to Smartnet systems with the following changes:

  • Up to 28 channels per site
  • Up to 64 sites (older ZC versions were limited to 48)
  • Analog and/or digital voice

Monitoring a SmartZone system with a trunktracking scanner is the same process as monitoring any other Type II Smartnet system, except that you can only monitor one site at a time. For you to monitor a specific talkgroup on a SmartZone site, someone's radio must be affiliated to that specific site. Therefore, if you are monitoring talkgroup "POLICE-NORTH" on a site with no affiliated radios on that talkgroup, then you will not hear any communications on that talkgroup on that site.

The new MZC3000 SmartZone Zone Controller introduced an ethernet based connection point for sites, consoles, data broadcast boxes, and C/DIUs. A Release 3.x system will support up to 48 sites and Release 4.1 system will support 64 sites, and eliminates pieces of hardware that previously limited the number of sites because the connection ports were shared.