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Unication Voice Pager Receivers

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Revision as of 15:52, 13 June 2022 by Jabbeaux (talk | contribs) (add embed youtube programming tutorial)
G-Series Family
Click to Enlarge

The G-Series voice pagers are a line of receive-only, P25 capable voice pagers carried by fire, rescue, and EMS personnel to alert to emergencies. The pagers are manufactured by Unication Co., Ltd and sold worldwide, though the primary market has been the US. Sales, support, and repairs are handled through their online store and Authorized Dealers. Dealers can and do sell below MSRP and compete with each other on price and quality of support, though Unication enforces a Minimum Sales Price which if violated will result in loss of the dealer's license. Since the G1's release in 2014, Unication has aggressively targeted Motorola's paging market share in the US. Motorola's Minitor VI Two-Tone Voice Pager has not been updated since its release in early 2014. In 2015, Unication released the single-band G2 and G4 models, and dual-band G3 and G5 models. From 1991 to 2014, Unication designed and manufactured Motorola's popular Minitor III, IV, V, and VI model voice pagers.

Links for Newcomers

If you're just starting out, these links are recommended reading:


G1 Pager
Current PPS R030703(R02)
PPS Updated 19 Feb 2020
Current Firmware RVV0114EN
Firmware Updated 22 Mar 2019
G2-G5 Pagers
Current PPS V03.16.24
PPS Updated 24 May 2021
Current Firmware V1.31
Firmware Updated 1 Dec 2020


Purpose and Audience

The primary audience of the G-Series pagers is public safety users, so the pagers have an I/Q demodulator and narrow filters for band-specific needs. The units are Software Defined Radios and can be programmed and firmware upgraded, at no cost, via free Pre-Programming Software ("PPS"). Due to the sub-$1,000 price point, broad feature-set, reception, durability, and portability they have become popular with amateur radio enthusiasts. While the units require little to few adjustments common with more sensitive desktop-based scanners, they lack ability to scan multiple trunked systems within a single knob position. Firmware V1.40, to add scanning of multiple trunked systems, has been in closed-beta testing since 2020/21. With the news that Unication started developing a separate scanner model, users on RadioReference within the beta testing grouping report Unication has gone increasingly quiet since early 2021, giving the appearance the scanning feature stagnated in development.

Unication directs sales and first-line support through it's US authorized dealer network. The company provides software ("Uni Maintain Tool") and PC driver to its dealers for specialized updating/troubleshooting. The company's business plan relies on customers to self-update firmware, which is provided by dealers. Prior to 2022, customers could download the most recent firmware directly from Unication's website. In January 2019, the G5 received an update for Conventional DMR tier 1 and 2 only; no trunking. Per Unication rep, "No hardware change is needed. DMR is enabled by the G5 model number "67". If your model is a 64 or 66, DMR will not work no matter what firmware version you have. The current firmware V1.1 supports DMR if your G5 is a "67". We have a utility to change the model number of any G5 to a "67". Dealers will be getting the utility and instructions some time next week. After that it will be on our web site for all current G5 owners."[source] The update utility, named "FunctionUpdater(DMR Conventional)_V00-00-01_Beta01.exe", was only available via web for a few weeks. Since then the company charges $25 per unit to add DMR, requiring it be mailed back to their Dallas, TX facility to perform the model number change.


Features

Layout of G2-5 Voice Pagers
Click to Enlarge
G2-G5 programming tutorial

The G-Series pagers are the industry's first P25 voice pagers supporting Analog 2-Tone Conventional, P25 Conventional, and P25 Trunking Phase I & Phase II. Each pager has an external antenna; rechargeable battery; micro-USB port for charging and programming; 8 knob positions which correspond to a Zone (64 zones maximum); can monitor a mixture of up to 256 control channels or 512 analog channels; supports up to 999 radio ID's/aliases; can alert based on TGID, QCII (2-Tone Over P25) or Call Alert; supports the AES 256-bit, DES, and ARC4 encryption standards; offers multiple scan modes (Normal, Priority, Selective, Silent, Monitor, Free Scan); offers 32 minutes of voice storage with a button on knob for quick playback; Bluetooth 2.0 for audio and Bluetooth 4.0 for data connection to phone app for PS & DRT call Ack.

The pagers are all commercial-grade IP67 rated for driving rain/dust and water submersion up to 3 feet for 30 minutes. Each pager features a 2-inch, 320x240 pixels, LCD color display with a four-direction joystick, four soft-keys, home key, and back key for navigating the pager's menus. The pager's display allows the user to change zones, scan modes, and variety of features on-the-go without connecting to a PC. For full programming of frequencies, alerting types, and customization a Windows PC running the PPS software is required. Codeplugs can be shared and downloaded for free on Unication's Codeplug Sharing webpage.

One key drawback, not immediately apparent, is the G-Series pagers are designed to monitor a single trunked site at a time or a small set of conventional VHF / UHF frequencies. Within a single knob position it cannot monitor a trunked site and conventional channels, or multiple trunked sites/systems. A knob position, scanning a single trunked system, can scan a maximum of 64 Talkgroups in that knob position. The only workaround is designating a wildcard.


Comparison to a Digital Scanner

Similarities

  • Excellent P25 Simulcast reception
  • Two-tone paging
  • Color display
  • Compact size/weight
  • Battery lasts a long time
  • Harsh environment design

Differences

  • No "on the fly" programming
  • Can only monitor a single control channel at a time (no multi-site or multiple system scanning)
  • Cannot mix scanning of P25 control channel and conventional frequencies.
  • G4 is only 700/800
  • G5 adds a band but you have to choose which one (VHF, 380, 400, 450) conventional analog or P25 and/or P25 Phase 1&2 Trunking. DMR Conventional is a $25 mail-in upgrade.
  • Doesn't support Motorola Smartnet/SmartZone Analog, EDACS, LTR, NXDN, DMR Trunking
  • Programming software (PPS) design isn't intuitive

Comparison

Features G1 G2 G3 G4 G5
Pics
Unication G1.png
Unication G2.png
Unication G3.png
Unication G4.png
Unication G5.png
Bands Single Single Dual Single Dual
Releae Date Mar 4, 2014 Dec. 10, 2015 Dec. 10, 2015 Dec. 10, 2015 Dec. 10, 2015
Models • Lowband 33-39 MHz
• Lowband 43-49 MHz
• VHF 136-148 MHz
• VHF 148-164 MHz
• UHF 450-470 MHz
• UHF 465-485 MHz
• UHF 495-512 MHz
• VHF (136-174 MHz) or
• UHF-C (400-470 MHz) or
• UHF-D (450-520 MHz)
• VHF & UHF-C (400-470 MHz) or
• VHF & UHF-D (450-520 MHz)
763-776 Mhz & 851-870 Mhz • VHF (136-174 MHz), 763-776 Mhz & 851-870 Mhz or
• UHF-A (330-400 MHz), 763-776 Mhz & 851-870 Mhz or
• UHF-B (380-430 MHz), 763-776 Mhz & 851-870 Mhz or
• UHF-C (400-470 MHz), 763-776 Mhz & 851-870 Mhz or
• UHF-D (450-520 MHz), 763-776 Mhz & 851-870 Mhz
MSRP $395 $645 $745 $645 $745
Antenna (external) for GSM only • VHF: 136-174 MHz or
• UHF: 330-512 MHz
• V+U: 330-512 MHz
• U+V: 136-174 MHz
764-870 MHz 764-870 MHz
Antenna (internal) yes no • V+U: 136-174 MHz
• U+V: 330-512 MHz
no • VHF: 136-174 MHz
• UHF: 330-512 MHz
P25 no Conventional, Trunked Conventional, Trunked Conventional, Trunked Conventional, Trunked
DMR Upgradeable? no yes, $25 mail-in yes, $25 mail-in yes, $25 mail-in yes, $25 mail-in
Channel Spacing / Band Width (unique to each freq) 12.5kHz / 25kHz / 20kHz 12.5kHz / 25kHz / 20kHz 12.5kHz / 25kHz / 20kHz 12.5kHz / 25kHz / 20kHz 12.5kHz / 25kHz / 20kHz
Message Types (receive) Analog: voice, text, image via MDC only • Analog: voice, text, image via MDC or DVOA only.
• Digital: voice, text, image via DMR, P25C, or P25T
• Analog: voice, text, image via MDC or DVOA only.
• Digital: voice, text, image via DMR, P25C, or P25T
• Analog: voice, text, image via MDC or DVOA only.
• Digital: voice, text, image via DMR, P25C, or P25T
• Analog: voice, text, image via MDC or DVOA only.
• Digital: voice, text, image via DMR, P25C, or P25T
Battery Size (mAh) 680 mAh: two AAA Ni-MH 2800 mAH Lithium Ion 2800 mAH Lithium Ion 2800 mAH Lithium Ion 2800 mAH Lithium Ion
Battery Max Voltage N/A 4.35 Volts 4.35 Volts 4.35 Volts 4.35 Volts
Normal Voltage Supply 2.4 Vdc 3.80 Vdc 3.80 Vdc 3.80 Vdc 3.80 Vdc
Weight (including antenna, battery, belt clip) n/a 290 grams / 10.2 oz 290 grams / 10.2 oz 290 grams / 10.2 oz 290 grams / 10.2 oz
Weight, excluding battery & antenna 220 grams / 7.76 oz 215 grams / 7.58 oz 224 grams / 7.9 oz 221 grams / 7.8 oz 223 grams / 7.87 oz
Size (height x width x thickness) 100.5 x 65.2 x 26.45 mm 102 x 61 x 31.5 mm 102 x 61 x 31.5 mm 102 x 61 x 31.5 mm 102 x 61 x 31.5 mm
Operating Temp Range -10°C to 50°C
-14°F to 122°F
-30°C to 60°C
-22°F to 140°F
-30°C to 60°C
-22°F to 140°F
-30°C to 60°C
-22°F to 140°F
-30°C to 60°C
-22°F to 140°F
Material PPC14312 plastic & TDV rubber PPC14312 plastic & TDV rubber PPC14312 plastic & TDV rubber PPC14312 plastic & TDV rubber PPC14312 plastic & TDV rubber
Water Submersion 3ft/30mins 3ft/30mins 3ft/30mins 3ft/30mins 3ft/30mins
Alert Types N/A Tone (standard or custom file), vibrate, silent, or tone+vibrate Tone (standard or custom file), vibrate, silent, or tone+vibrate Tone (standard or custom file), vibrate, silent, or tone+vibrate Tone (standard or custom file), vibrate, silent, or tone+vibrate
Customized Alerts via .wav/.mp3 files yes yes yes yes yes
Bluetooth (Audio) N/A 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
Bluetooth (data, for app connection) N/A 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Minutes of Voice Storage 16 minutes 100 minutes 100 minutes 32 minutes 32 minutes
Protocols (analog) • CTCSS / CDCSS
• 2 tone / 5 tone
• MDC 1200
• CTCSS / CDCSS
• 2 tone / 5 tone
• MDC 1200
• Uni DVOA
• CTCSS / CDCSS
• 2 tone / 5 tone
• MDC 1200
• Uni DVOA
• CTCSS / CDCSS
• 2 tone / 5 tone
• MDC 1200
• Uni DVOA
• CTCSS / CDCSS
• 2 tone / 5 tone
• MDC 1200
• Uni DVOA
Protocols (digital) - • P25C
• DMR
• P25C
• DMR
• P25C
• DMR
• P25C
• DMR
Protocols (trunking) - • P25T Phase I
• P25T Phase II
• P25T Phase I
• P25T Phase II
• P25T Phase I
• P25T Phase II
• P25T Phase I
• P25T Phase II
2-Tone Function Modes Selective Call, Monitor, Scan Selective Call, Monitor, Scan Selective Call, Monitor, Scan Selective Call, Monitor, Scan Selective Call, Monitor, Scan
Encryption key - yes, per frequency yes, per frequency yes, per frequency yes, per frequency
Encryption type not supported AES 256 AES 256 AES 256 AES 256
Full Spectrum Scan no yes yes yes yes
Monitor & Alert on Multiple Talkgroups? - yes yes yes yes
Priority TGID Scan - yes yes yes yes
No. of Channels 64 analog 516 analog / 256 control 516 analog / 256 control 516 analog / 256 control 516 analog / 256 control
Talkgroup Hold feature no yes yes yes yes
Talkgroup Block/Lockout feature no yes yes yes yes
Out of Range Alert no yes yes yes yes
Display N/A LCD, full color LCD, full color LCD, full color LCD, full color
Display Size (inches) N/A 2.0 inches (30.6x40.8/mm) 2.0 inches (30.6x40.8/mm) 2.0 inches (30.6x40.8/mm) 2.0 inches (30.6x40.8/mm)
Display Size (pixels) N/A 320 x 240 320 x 240 320 x 240 320 x 240
Display Color Space N/A 65535 (uncalibrated) 65535 (uncalibrated) 65535 (uncalibrated) 65535 (uncalibrated)
Display text N/A 9 lines x 22 characters 9 lines x 22 characters 9 lines x 22 characters 9 lines x 22 characters
Backlight yes yes yes yes yes
Warranty 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years
Extended Warranty Addt'l 3 years Addt'l 3 years Addt'l 3 years Addt'l 3 years Addt'l 3 years
Sensitivity • Low Band model: 3.5 µV/M
• VHF model: 2 µV/M
• UHF model: 3 µV/M
-122 dBm -122 dBm -122 dBm -122 dBm
Radiated Sensitivity / 12dB SINAD / 5% BER • Low Band or UHF models: 9 µV/M
• VHF model: 8 µV/M
• VHF model: 7.98 µV/M
• UHF-C model: 6.4 µV/M
• UHF-D model: 4.3 µV/M
• VHF model: 14.2 µV/M
• UHF-C model: 6.4 µV/M
• UHF-D model: 4.3 µV/M
4.02 µV/M 6 µV/M
Image Rejection (Analog/Digital) >70dB • VHF model: >65dB / >60dB
• UHF models: >60dB / >55dB
• VHF model: >65dB / >60dB
• UHF models: >60dB / >55dB
>65dB / >60dB >65dB / >60dB
Intermodulation Rejection (Analog/Digital) >70dB • VHF model: >65dB / >60dB
• UHF models: >55dB / >50dB
• VHF model: >65dB / >60dB
• UHF models: >55dB / >50dB
>65dB / >60dB • VHF model: >65dB / >60dB
• UHF models: >55dB / >50dB
Frequency Stability • Low Band: +/- 10 ppm
• VHF and UHF models: +/- 3 ppm
+/- 1 ppm +/- 1 ppm +/- 1 ppm +/- 1 ppm
Adjacent Channel Selectivity 70/65 dB 760 dB 760 dB 760 dB 760 dB
Blocking - >80 dB >80 dB >80 dB >80 dB
Spurious >70 dB >70 dB >70 dB >70 dB >70 dB
Audio Output Linear >300 mW >300 mW >300 mW >300 mW >300 mW
Audio Distortion <3% <2% <2% <2% <2%
Speech SPL @ 12in 94dB 96dB +3dB/-2dB 96dB +3dB/-2dB 96dB +3dB/-2dB 96dB +3dB/-2dB
Alert SPL @ 12in 96dB 96dB +3dB/-2dB 96dB +3dB/-2dB 96dB +3dB/-2dB 96dB +3dB/-2dB
Ingress Protection Rating IP67 Water/Dust IP67 Water/Dust IP67 Water/Dust IP67 Water/Dust IP67 Water/Dust
UL Class I, Div. II Class I, Div. II Class I, Div. II Class I, Div. II Class I, Div. II
FCC FCC Part 15 FCC Part 15 FCC Part 15 FCC Part 15 FCC Part 15
MIL-STD 810E, Proc1 for Driving Rain 810E, Proc1 for Driving Rain 810E, Proc1 for Driving Rain 810E, Proc1 for Driving Rain 810E, Proc1 for Driving Rain

Issues


Accessories

Unication sells a few accessories and a variety of third-party accessories are available from dealers or third-party websites. Official accessories include a desktop charger, amplified charger, nylon and leather cases, swivel belt clip, bluetooth headset, and screen protector. Note the Amplified Charger is the only charging product that boosts the pager's antenna strength. The amp charger has a BNC connector and boosts both internal and external antennas1. The standard desktop charger does not have an external BNC connector, does not boost antenna strength, and cannot program the pager (G2-5 series). Additional accessories for the G2-5 are discussed in the thread 3rd Party Accessories Recommendations/Reviews - Unication G2/G3/G4/G5.

Antennas
Bluetooth and Related
Chargers
Charger brand + model​ Purchase link​ Pics​ Price Charges? Charge Error? Programs/Data Transfer? Sticks out from pager's body? Notes​
NetDot magnetic micro-USB amazon pics $18.90 yes no yes 2mm 3 cables @ 6.6ft/ea + 2 tips per cable (USB Micro-B + USB-C).
Kuulaa magnetic micro-USB amazon pics $15.99 yes no yes 2mm 2 cables @ 3.3ft/ea + 3 tips per cable (USB Micro-B, USB-C, Apple Lightning).
Cafele magnetic micro-USB amazon pics $13.59 yes no no 5mm 2 cables @ 4ft/ea + 1 tip per cable (USB Micro-B).
Terasako magnetic micro-USB amazon pics $15.99 yes yes no 5mm 4 cables (1ft + 3ft + 6ft + 6ft) + 3 tips per cable (USB Micro-B, USB-C, Apple Lightning).
Stand/Cradle
Brand/model​ Purchase link​ Pics​ Price​ Angled or Straight Material​ Charges?​ Programs?​ Amplified Antenna Notes​
bartsscannerparts eBay pics $17.99/ea Angled​ Plastic. 3D Printed. Accommodates charge cable​ Accommodates program cable​ no​ 4 rubber feet on bottom. Belt clip snaps into base.
bioluminous eBay see purch link $29.99 Angled​ Plastic. 3D Printed. Accommodates charge cable Accommodates program cable no​ Belt clip fits in base, but does not attach.
bartsscannerparts eBay see purch link $23.99 Angled​ Plastic. 3D Printed. Accommodates charge cable Accommodates program cable no​ Only for car's cup holder
Replacement Parts
Accessory Type​ Brand/model​ Purchase link​ Pics​ Price​ Notes​
Amplified Charger Terminal Connector Block 277-1163-ND eBay see purch link $7.99 identical to OEM part
Amplified Charger DIN Connector CP-1050-ND eBay see purch link $7.95 identical to OEM part
3D Models to print your own accessories
Accessory Type​ Price​ Download link​
Desktop cradle/stand/holder Free thingiverse
Desktop or Car cradle/stand/holder (2 versions in the file) Free thingiverse
Car cradle/stand/holder w/ RAM mount Free thingiverse
Desktop cradle/stand/holder Free thingiverse
Bluetooth earbuds/speakers
Brand Model No. Purchase link Pics Price Ear Placement Bluetooth Sound Playtime per charge Fast Charging Waterproof rating Included accessories Notes
Kurdene S8 Amazon pics $22.99 In Ear/earbud Bluetooth 5.2 8mm drivers 8 Hours Charge for 15 minutes, listen for 1 hour IPX8 Charging cable + Charging case + 6 silicone eartips with S/M/L sizes 1.5hr to full charge
Bose QC Earbuds Bose.com See purch link $199 In Ear/earbud Bluetooth 5.1 n/a 6 Hours Charge for 15 minutes, listen for 2 hours IPX4 2 Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds (fitted with size 2 eartips), Charging case, Small and Large eartips, USB-C (A to C) charging cable (12") 2hr (earbuds) or 2hr (case) to full charge
Belt Clips
Name Model No. Purchase link Pics Price Material Notes
Swivel Belt Clip LG-G4-PW link pics $15.30 Metal

Software

Unication provides its pagers' Firmware and programming software, also called Pre-Programming Software or "PPS", free of charge. Each are updated at irregular intervals. Other free software which can import Unication's files is "Universal Scanner Audio Player," discussed in the thread Universal Scanner Audio Player Thread.


Firmware Updates

Version Release Date Changelog
V1.40 Unreleased Added ability to scan multiple trunked systems within a single knob position. Currently in closed-group Beta testing since 2020.
V1.32 Unreleased Fixes an issue with G4's rebooting when on large systems that had a mix of VHF/UHF frequencies with 700/800 which caused issues, mainly TACN and MOSWIN systems.
V1.31 12/1/2020 • Fixed problems with conventional VHF QCII alerting
• Fixed issue causing P25C QCII Stacked Paging Decode Failure
• Fixed issue where TGID hold timer would only count down when the pager screen is active
• Fixed issue that caused pager to crash when changing knob positions in some zones
• Fixed issue where pager would not connect to PPS while screen off & would not charge until the screen turned on
• Fixed issue where pager would randomly reset when programmed with a large programming file
• Fixed issue in PPS that caused software to shut down when attempting to write a profile to pager
• Fixed issue when a P25 TG is received, and voice transmission is over, the squelch that opened speaker kept speaker

on with a hissing sound
• Fixed issue causing pager to lock up while navigating the settings menu
• Fixed lost audio issues, where received message audio would not play through speaker and recorded messages would not play back
• Fixed issue of pager receiving messages while powered off and charging (Green LED flashes and screen lights up showing "charging full")
• Fixed issue where pager decoded while powered off in the Amp Charger
• Fixed issue where during off duty state the voice record would continue for 10 minutes
• Fixed issue when 2-tone is sent from P25 Conventional channel on console, after tones end during hang time a different TGID and ID is seen on the screen and the pager reset
• Various other under the hood fixes and improvements to optimize performance

V1.30 8/14/2020 • Added Radio Aliases/Unit IDs feature.
• Added Talkgroup Hold/Remove feature.
• Bluetooth improvements.
V1.20 3/1/2019 • Added mute of encrypted channels.
• Added various Bluetooth fixes.
V1.10 T06 7/10/2018
V1.10 7/5/2018
V1.00 7/2/2018
V1.00-T08 7/1/2018 Added Phase II support.
V0.93-0.17K-R02 1/1/2018
V0.93.017 - R00 9/11/2017 • With R11P SW- Non-alerting TGIDs will no longer vibrate when the Selector Knob setting is set to Vibrate Mode.
• With R11P SW-When pager is in deep discharge it will not charge unless the battery is removed and re-inserted. This has been fixed.
• With R11P SW-When pager is off and transitions to ultra low power mode the 3 LEDS go on and eventually go off when the pager is fully charged. This has been fixed.
R11P 11/19/2016 • Corrects the common tone A issue on the analog side
• Corrects the issue of when the dispatch console has an SUID=0 on the P25 side
• Includes a few under the hood fixes
R11N2 11/4/2016


PPS Updates

Version Release Date Changelog
V3.17.10 Unreleased Only for V1.4 firmware beta testers. Shared 11/12/2020 to beta testers by Unication in Taiwan.
V3.17.09 Unreleased Only for V1.4 firmware beta testers. Emailed 11/4/2020 to beta testers by Unication in Taiwan.
V3.16.24 5/1/2021 Fixed issue for some users logging into RadioReference
V3.16.22 2/28/2021 Fixed issue logging into RadioReference to import frequencies
V3.16.20 Unknown • Added “Factory Setting” function that allows user to reset pager to original factory settings
• Added new Radio Reference import process (for Radio Reference premium members)
V3.12.6 7/14/2018 • Can now 64 zones, up from prior limit of 32 zones.
• Upgrades for adding DMR in future firmware release.
V3.11.09 7/1/2018 Added Phase II support
V3.10.07 1/1/2018 No notable changes.
V3.9.02 9/11/2017 • Added new paging functionality for QCII over P25 Selecitve Call and Monitor Modes
• Voice Memo can be disabled in programming software.
• Out of Range audible alert can be disabled (still displayed on display) in programming software.
• Unread Message Alert has been added for Voice Messages that have been stored and not read.
• Ability to convert G4 files to a G5 file.
• Call Alert is enabled
• Monitor Mode was removed in favor of using a Wildcard TGID of FFFF (HEX).
• Many "under the hood" changes to provide better overall performance.
V3.5.07 11/24/2016
V3.05.01 11/1/2016


External Links

Learning Sessions
Documentation
Contacts
Online Communities

RadioReference: Unication Forum

Facebook Groups


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