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Radioguy7268 last won the day on August 27

Radioguy7268 had the most liked content!

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  • Location
    Southeastern PA
  • Interests
    Radio tower site manager and GMRS user.

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  1. Yes, that's a weak point on some used/older XPR6550 radios. That, along with a PTT side button that becomes kind of picky about exactly where you squeeze to transmit. The fix for the side button is to replace the entire housing (Motorola doesn't sell the microswitch & flex assembly separately to my knowledge) - or to just use a Remote Speaker Mic to supply PTT. The volume pot is a difficult repair for a hobbyist, but if you've got skills, it can be done. Before I'd pay someone else to do it, I'd probably look for another radio. That volume pot problem is rare enough that you don't always see it on older units, and even a "soft" pot still has some life left in it if you're not turning it on/off up/down 10 times a day.
  2. Just to keep things More Moto-confusing, there's another software pkg out there called "Tuner". You better know what you're doing before you mess around with Tuner blindly & just "try some stuff" to see what it does. Save your Tuner files before you do ANYTHING you might regret. You also need to match up the firmware package on the radio with the version of Tuner you plan to use. Newer versions of Tuner pretty much assume that you've got the radio hooked up to a high end Aeroflex service monitor to do "Autotune" which is a nice feature if you're going through 100 or 1000 radios, but not so great for the hobby user. Anyway - the Tuner software is where you can actually adjust the squelch settings. From the factory, the standard Normal squelch is fairly close to threshold, and Tight usually brings it up 3-5 dB.
  3. Search up some stuff on the RS-232 data standard, and I think it will help you. CD = Carrier Detect RTS = Request to Send CTS = Clear to Send DTR = Data Terminal Ready? DSR = Data Set Ready? Ring = ??? Detect ringing voltage on the line? It's been too many years since I messed around with doing Modem stuff over radio channels. At one time it seemed like the future for SCADA control. That was a LONGGGG time ago.
  4. The Impres battery system is one of the few Motorola things that impresses the heck out of me. I'm surprised that other manufacturers haven't followed Motorola's lead on this. I can vouch for the increase in battery life & efficiency. I've had some customers getting 4 and 5 years out of daily use Impres batteries before they drop below 80% capacity. Prior to Impres, those batteries would have been tossed after 2-3 years. Nearly doubling the lifespan makes a pretty good case for why you should pay twice as much for Impres. Newer 2nd generation XPR radios (not the XPR6550) and systems allow you to report and track battery status "over the air" as the units transmit.
  5. It's a different board build. Not as simple as just ordering up the correct SMA jack & screwing it in. I'd guess that ordering in the Call Box configuration option basically gives you the same board - just flashed for North American XPR7550e firmware.
  6. And yet the same XPR7550e radio sold over in the EU as a DP4801 can be ordered up with an SMA connector (as a regular radio option, no call box option needed). I think it's all marketing. Nothing to do with the engineers. Same reason why Motorola won't give their APX series radios DMR capability.
  7. FCC field agents carrying DNA kits. That's something I haven't seen.
  8. Unless I've really missed something in the rules, there's no titling or registration involved with GMRS equipment, so "proof of ownership" isn't going to get you far as proving what equipment belongs to whom. Everyone in my extended family is using "my" equipment, even though I gave it to them, and some of them live a few states away.
  9. Yesterday, while transmitting to my wife, a neighbor's kid heard us talking, and said "What is THAT!?" while I was still keyed up. My wife heard the kid, and answered young neighbor kid, so obviously his question went out over the air. Which one of us broke a law? Asking for a neighbor...
  10. Oh, and Radio Management & templates is probably not something you want to mess with for basic codeplug builds on one or two radios. As you surmised, it's more of a fleet management tool. It is good if you want to push out OTAP codeplug updates to 100+ radios, without having to lug around a laptop and cables to touch each radio.
  11. There are Motorola training videos if you have an MOL subscription *oops, MOL is going away, replaced by PartnerHub and the Learning Management Platform. I will tell you that the Motorola training videos don't really show you much of how to build a codeplug for any specific purpose. They're very general, and they'll give a few pointers, but most of what I've learned over 15+ years messing with DMR has been by poking around and experimenting. Analog is pretty simple and straightforward, but the Digital stuff can drive you nuts until you figure what ticking one checkbox does to 10 other parameters. There's a few videos on the Utube that will help you out for a few specifics like setting up IP Site Connect or building a Capacity Plus codeplug, and there are sample codeplugs out there for some of the more popular DMR Ham platforms that will get you 90% of the way to what you want without spending a bunch of nights typing in 1000 contacts and 15 zones. You can also give Wayne Holmes blog a look, he's probably the best free resource you'll find for Motorola. He's also got a few videos online that are better (In my opinion) than what Motorola puts out. https://cwh050.blogspot.com/
  12. Except that in order to actually transmit through a repeater - you do need to be operating under an actual GMRS License. So they're not really "license free" - they're just cheap 2 watt radios with a fixed antenna.
  13. A Duplexer should be tuned for a single pair of frequencies - ie: 462.550 transmit (low) and 467.550 receive (high). There are people selling duplexers that are supposed to be tuned to the middle of the GMRS band - and are advertised to cover all the GMRS repeater channels. What they don't tell you is that they don't perform as well as a duplexer that's actually tuned to the specific frequency pair that your repeater is using. This is ESPECIALLY true for the compact "flat pack" notch duplexers which are often used by budget conscious repeater owners. A duplexer works best when it has high isolation & narrow notch windows. Trying to make the duplexer cover a wider range of frequencies will never improve system performance.
  14. Which Vertex model do you have? Are you willing to ship it? Vertex software is pretty easy to come by, and a simple programming cable for most models is about $25 online.
  15. Most of the cable TV stuff will be 75 Ohms - not the 50 Ohms that GMRS equipment would want to see. Would it work? yes, to a degree. You'll have higher losses and higher SWR than you would with "real" 50 Ohms coax. You will also find out that they don't really make LMR connectors that fit 75 Ohm cable (at least, not correctly.) You can buy some semi-expensive adapters or build your own toroid coils to deal with it. Putting a cheap radio together with cheap cable that's 75 Ohms will probably lead to a bunch of headaches, but if it ultimately means one more burned up CCR and a learning experience - then I'd probably be in favor of it. I would guess that in the long run, you'll end up buying more stuff in an effort to "save money" than you would have spent to do it right in the first place. If you want to get up higher so that you can get out further, using cheap CATV coax is NOT the way to go.
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