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Lscott

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Everything posted by Lscott

  1. https://www.manualslib.com/manual/779398/Kenwood-Tk-880.html https://all-guidesbox.com/download/499649/kenwood-tk-880-series-service-manual-70.html
  2. Does anybody use one with an external antenna? It seems Motorola took a good radio and sort of mucked it up by using that funky stud type antenna connector. Looking at some videos, showing a stud to BNC adapter, a thin copper foil ground strap is required to be run from the inside edge of the antenna well, over the top rear edge of the radio down to the mounting screw for the belt clip. That screw is in the aluminum chassis providing the ground connection for the adapter. When the adapter is screwed in the “shell” makes contact with the copper foil ground strap completing the coax shield connection to the ground side of the radio. This doesn’t require any permanent modifications to the radio or interferes with the normal use of the rubber duck antenna. I really don’t like this since the length of copper foil from the antenna well to the grounding screw likely results in a significant impedance bump. However without it the coax just turns in to one long grossly mistuned antenna. At least with the older XPR6550’s I’m going to experiment with they use fairly standard SMA antenna sockets on the radios. I have a bunch of SMA male and SMA female to BNC adapters I can use.
  3. If I got one for free I’m not complaining. Maybe some future update might eliminate that restriction. Likely the two that I would use are DMR and P25. The radios are very expensive and the software requires registration with license files etc. For a business they can deal with it. For a private individual for hobby use, not going to happen, not me anyway. I have a used XPR6550 VHF radio I just purchased for $75 off my favorite auction site coming. I have a used XPR6580 for $45 that should be shipping in a day or two. There is reportedly a way to put it on the Ham 33cm band. That’s why I was interested Unfortunately it seems I need the conventional version of the firmware. The radio looks like it has the trunking firmware which I’m lead to believe won’t work with the code plug hack to put the radio on 33cm. Until I can scam up the right firmware the radio will go into a storage box. I would also like to get my hands on the current version of the XPR6550 firmware for the VHF/UHF radios. Now that I seem to have a functioning version of the Motorola Mototrbo software I going to experiment with a few of them.
  4. Yeah, I understand that. If somebody gifted me a nice Kenwood NX-5200, 5300 with all three digital modes, NXDN - DMR - P25, enabled I wouldn’t turn that down either. https://comms.kenwood.com/common/pdf/download/NX-5000_portable_Specsheet_K_02_prnt.pdf
  5. About radios, you get what you can afford and fits your operating requirements. I don’t care if someone is using a $20 CCR or a $5,000 Motorola. I use primarily Kenwood radios, I do have a small number of Chinese ones, not because they are better, it’s just a personal choice.
  6. I don't make the rules. I just offered an explanation. One is always free to contact the FCC and petition for a rule change. It's been done many times before. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/1.401 https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/rulemaking-process
  7. I've looked briefly at those. I might consider getting one or two if I can find a super good deal just to experiment with them. I don't have any 900 MHz radios. I looked at the Kenwood TK-481's but the radio's internal IF filters kill the signal once you drop below the upper band limit. To make them really functional they need to be replaced. Second, you need a utility to put in the real frequencies since the FCC requires the use of channel numbers I believe. Not convenient for Ham use. https://www.qsl.net/kb9mwr/projects/900mhz/plan.html I noticed there is a code plug hack to modify the XPR6550 800 MHz radios. I think I can find those fairly cheap.
  8. Oh, it's the 400 to 470 MHz band split model. Perfect for Ham Radio's 70cm band and also covers the FRS/GMRS channels too when running analog FM.
  9. If you shop carefully you can find some good deals. I got this one eBay for $110 on an auction I won, it's a TK-5320. https://comms.kenwood.com/common/pdf/download/TK-5220_5320_Specsheet.pdf The radio looked like new, didn't have a scratch on it anywhere, not even a finger print on the display cover. I had to get a power brick to go with the charger base and the radio came with a used 3300mAh Li-Ion battery pack.
  10. My buddy didn’t program the radio. He purchased it from another Ham who had gotten it from a guy that worked for the FBI, I believe he said, tonight at our weekly coffee meet. I’ve seen a person selling a service doing exactly what you mentioned, hacking the code plug, in this case to drop the lower limit to 440 from the normal 450. I’ve hacked some Kenwood code plugs, the ones I played with used simple XOR encryption, to see what they really contain. The idea was to hack a code plug for one of the cheap ProTalk radios, the ones where you can only select frequencies from a predefined list, to enter some GMRS channels. I don’t have one so I sort of dropped the idea for now.
  11. Check it out. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Motorola-XPR6550-Mototrbo-Digital-Two-Way-Walkie-Talkie-UHF-Portable-Radio-/174821776460?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m2548.l6249&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0
  12. If you can find the FCC ID look it up and see what certifications it has, likely just Part 90.
  13. The version I found on-line has some modified DLL files to enable the Canada full frequency range for programming anything above 866MHz for radios in that part of the UHF band, enabling the 25/20 KHz bandwidth and by-passing any code plug passwords that might be set. The password thing looks like it works because I downloaded a sample template. Using the RM app, I think I tried, to edit the template it wanted a password. I followed the patch instruction to type in anything and it will work, which it did. After playing with the Radio Manager app I have to agree it's NOT for working with just a few radios, but a rather large fleet. I had it installed so might as well play with it. Looks like I can just ignore it now. The Motorola stuff works different than any of the other CPS systems for my other radios. I do have the D878UV and built a code plug from scratch with both analog and DMR channels. That got me somewhat familiar with DMR concepts. Looks like most of that applies to the Motorola radios. Just have to sort out whatever the differences are in the terminology. At least the help files aren't too bad. I'll be talking to my buddy about buying his XPR6550 if he doesn't want way to much for it. Some of the used ones on eBay look pretty good price wise, at least not crazy expensive. One thing I quickly found out using the Motorola CPS, when they say the frequency range for a given model is 403 to 470, they mean it. You can't enter anything outside of that range. Kenwood radios are not like that. They will let you enter in an out of range frequency but you have to click through a warning message each time you do it. Looking at used XPR6550's on eBay I'm checking the FCC ID numbers to make sure exactly whats being sold. One seller has a radio up for sale, but all the ID stickers are very obviously missing. You figure out what that means.
  14. Lscott

    Antennas

    For GMRS all you really need is a 1/4 wave antenna. That's about 6 inches long. The multi-band antenna won't do you much good unless you have a multi-band radio. The antenna is physically longer because it's likely designed to work on the VHF band where the frequency is lower and thus you need a longer antenna to be resonate. Stay away from the ultra short ones too, those seems to be around 3 to 4 inches long, and will defiantly be inferior to the normal 1/4 wave design. If you're the kind of person who likes to sit the radio upright on a table to monitor the longer antenna makes the radio more prone to falling over. Be vary careful buying cheap antenna off sites like Amazon, eBay etc. They are full of counterfeit antennas with packaging that looks almost identical to the real deal. Nagoya antennas seem to be one of the favorite ones that get counterfeited.
  15. Best thing is look in the service manual. If its possible the manual will explain how its done. Looking briefly it appears the answer is no to your question. http://manuals.repeater-builder.com/Kenwood/tk/TK-8360/TK-8360(H)(K2_M2)_B51-8964-00.pdf As a matter of practice I spend time hunting down all the relevant documentation, in PDF format, for any radios I have or plan on buying. I have a library of folders for each radio/model series with user guides, service manuals, notes, FCC grants, modifications if any and manufactures brochures. The last one is the first thing I look for when thinking about purchasing a used radio. Excellent source for features, exact frequency ranges, on UHF it's common to have more that one, number of memory channels etc. If I don't like what I see then I've saved myself some money by not getting something I won't like or can't use. https://pdfs.kenwoodproducts.com/30/TK-7360HV-8360HUBrochure.pdf http://manual.kenwood.com/files/53d7482397066.pdf https://fccid.io/K44415502
  16. I'm thinking about maybe adding some Motorola radios to my collection. Looking to buy a buddy's UHF XPR6550, and later adding in the VHF version. Before doing so I want to be sure I can even program Motorola radios, otherwise they'll just be expensive paper weights. I located and installed Mototrbo CPS V16 build 828, with the wide band (25/20 KHz) and full Canadian frequency hack. It seems to work but is considerably different than any other radio programming software I've used. My question is there any good written training materials for download showing how to use it? The actual code plug editor I'm sort of figuring out, playing with one of the sample code plugs, but creating radio "templates" using the Radio Manager app I'm getting nowhere with it. I added what I think are some radios but I can't seem to locate or add in the so-called templates. The software looks like the aim is for fleet management of radios. Maybe it's just not what I should be worrying about.
  17. Business band type radios like the Kenwood's do not use offsets. If you look at the radio programming software there are two entries for frequencies. One is strictly used for receiving and the other is just for transmitting. For example you want to use a repeater the receive frequency would be 462.675 and the transmit frequency is 467.675. There are two tones which you can use, separately, also for receiving and transmitting. The transmit tone is the "ENC" while the receive tone is "DEC". You don't have to use a receive tone. I never use them, just the transmit tone. That way I don't care what tone the repeater transmits, I'll still hear it.
  18. That's actually is very well made! VHF and UHF antennas are fun to build since they are rather small for the simpler designs. If you look around on the Internet you can find scanned PDF's of antenna design books. I'm not talking about the crazy vector calculus filled pages using Maxwell's equations either. They are basically construction projects that anybody with modest skills and tools can build. This is just a sample of what you can on the Internet with some effort looking. http://hamradio.uz/media/uploads/2018/04/19/arrl_antenna_book_21st_ed.pdf
  19. Yikes!!! I never learned to type, and really still can't. I get by using the two-finger method. I don't want to guess how long it took to type that many cards.
  20. I remember when some student used the wrong device code for the output in his FORTRAN assignment. Instead of going to the line printer his data was send to the card reader/punch. Yup, you guessed it. Every source deck after that one was punched full of holes destroying them. Fortunately my job ran before that one. They had a female student retyping all the source decks like a demon on the computer center's key punch machine. That's provide you could read the code printed on the top edge, most of the ribbons were worn out and almost impossible to read.
  21. Now try learning FORTRAN and doing your assignments using a keypunch machine to type up your source deck. Oh, provided they even worked, which was about half the time. Everything was batch processed with a typical 4 to 5 hour turn around time. That was for my engineering degree. Yuck. I remember I had to take a programming class in COBOL for my computer science degree. At least the school had a VAX cluster by then with terminals. You could even dial in from home and log into your account to do your programming projects.
  22. I have a Kenwood TK-2160 coming from an auction. The seller said it worked fine last time he used it 2 years ago when he stored it. Now it doesn’t. He said the battery pack likely failed. It was a NiCAD pack suiting for 2years I’m not surprised. For $22 including shipping for the radio, antenna, charger and a likely failed battery pack it’s not bad. These radios make excellent MURS radios, even if they’re not certified for it. They can be programmed to be compliant however, power, frequencies and bandwidth. http://www.telectronics.biz/assets/mainmenu/59/editor/PDF_leaflet_TK-3160.pdf With 16 channels there is plenty of room for the 5 MURS channels and the 7 NOAA channels with a few left over. The UHF version could be used for GMRS. Enough channels to stick your local repeaters in it and a few of the simplex channels. Doing some careful shopping you can get these radios for a decent price. All the CCR radio type accessories work on them including the programming cable, just not the battery packs or chargers. The programming software is fairy easy to find on the internet and will work on Win 10. I’m thinking about buying a buddy’s Motorola XPR6550. I currently don’t have any Motorola stuff so it will be a learning curve. http://www.streammktg.com/stream/images/specs/TRBO Portables/XPR6000 Series Product Spec Sheet.pdf
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