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Repeater settings question


Riktar

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I am trying to hit one of the repeaters in my area with my Kenwood TK-880 without any luck. I have no problem when I use my Midland MXT400 but when I try with the Kenwood all I can do is hear traffic on the repeater. My radio is not getting picked up.

 

I have the same code for QT/DQT Dec (141.3) and QT/DQT Enc (141.3) and double checked the frequency settings to make sure they are correct: 462.67500 RX and 467.67500 TX

 

Is there some other setting I am missing?

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I am trying to hit one of the repeaters in my area with my Kenwood TK-880 without any luck. I have no problem when I use my Midland MXT400 but when I try with the Kenwood all I can do is hear traffic on the repeater. My radio is not getting picked up.

 

I have the same code for QT/DQT Dec (141.3) and QT/DQT Enc (141.3) and double checked the frequency settings to make sure they are correct: 462.67500 RX and 467.67500 TX

 

Is there some other setting I am missing?

 

Are you sure the Kenwood is putting out enough power? It's not set for low power or has an issue with the final amplifier such that it's putting out much less power than it should?

 

How far away is the repeater? If the Midland is on the fringe, the Kenwood may not be able to make it, especially if the power output is a factor.

 

Are you using the same antenna and coax for both radios (swapping out the radios) to make sure there isn't a problem with the antenna or coax that the Kenwood is on?

 

Does the Kenwood have a transmit indicator like a red LED or tower icon on the display that activates when you key up? Making sure that transmit isn't inhibited by the programming.

 

Lastly, can you configure the Kenwood and Midland to talk together (both TX and RX on 462.675) to make sure the Kenwood is working properly and can be heard by the Midland? Bonus if you can separate the two by a good distance to help prove the Kenwood is putting out a decent amount of power. If the finals are bad, you'll hear the Kenwood get noisy and cut out as you drive down the street (assuming you have it in a car).

 

Wideband vs. narrowband can make a difference as well, but shouldn't be a make it or break it factor unless you're at the edge of the repeater's range.

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Are you sure the Kenwood is putting out enough power? It's not set for low power or has an issue with the final amplifier such that it's putting out much less power than it should? 

I double checked the settings and yes, the radio is set to high in the KPG-49D software table. And I am swinging 22 watts out of the 25 listed on the 880. The 880H has not been checked but considering it can reach farther when simplexing I am figuring that it is doing and least that if not more.

 

How far away is the repeater? If the Midland is on the fringe, the Kenwood may not be able to make it, especially if the power output is a factor. -

I have tried as close as Ixonia so I would say maybe 9 miles to the repeater. Just for reference, I have no problems hitting the Armored 1 repeater with both Kenwoods and the Midland which is a fair distance farther than the Oconomowoc675 repeater.

 

Are you using the same antenna and coax for both radios (swapping out the radios) to make sure there isn't a problem with the antenna or coax that the Kenwood is on? -

 I have tried in my car seup and the base setup. And yes, it is swap out one radio for the other. The car and base setup stays the same, I merely unplug one radio and hook the other one up.

 

Does the Kenwood have a transmit indicator like a red LED or tower icon on the display that activates when you key up? Making sure that transmit isn't inhibited by the programming. 

Yes, the LED is red when broadcasting and green when receiving,

 

Lastly, can you configure the Kenwood and Midland to talk together (both TX and RX on 462.675) to make sure the Kenwood is working properly and can be heard by the Midland? Bonus if you can separate the two by a good distance to help prove the Kenwood is putting out a decent amount of power. If the finals are bad, you'll hear the Kenwood get noisy and cut out as you drive down the street (assuming you have it in a car).

Yes, I have tried all the radios against each other between my base and mobile setup. My brother and I can simplex together on every other channel. I hadn't thought about matching the frequency for transmit and receive. But is it possible to have 2 radios that are exhibiting the exact same issue? I know they are both used but what are the odds?

 

Thanks for the reply and the suggestions!

 

Wideband vs. narrowband can make a difference as well, but shouldn't be a make it or break it factor unless you're at the edge of the repeater's range.

 

Considering I can simplex for 10 miles and get nearly identical results between the 40 watt Midland and the 40 watt 880H I am still thinking it's something I messed up in the software program. But for the life of me I don't know what it is.

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And last, MAKE SURE THE ANTENNA IS CONNECTED!! >.< I drove myself nuts for three weeks trying to figure out why my radio wouldn't TX more than a few houses, turned out when I reprogrammed the radio I forgot to plug he antenna back into the radio. DOH!

Just saw your reply, does not seem to be an antenna disconnect issue.

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Check to see if you can still hit the repeater with your midland radio. If your able to hit repeaters that are further away from you than the repeater in question, it leaves only three thoughts in mind. A) the repeater is down, B ) closer higher power traffic is getting in, cutting you out of the loop, and C) there is an issue with the PL tone encoder on the kenwood that is not allowing you into the system.

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Are you sure the Kenwood is putting out enough power? It's not set for low power or has an issue with the final amplifier such that it's putting out much less power than it should? 

I double checked the settings and yes, the radio is set to high in the KPG-49D software table. And I am swinging 22 watts out of the 25 listed on the 880. The 880H has not been checked but considering it can reach farther when simplexing I am figuring that it is doing and least that if not more.

 

How far away is the repeater? If the Midland is on the fringe, the Kenwood may not be able to make it, especially if the power output is a factor. -

I have tried as close as Ixonia so I would say maybe 9 miles to the repeater. Just for reference, I have no problems hitting the Armored 1 repeater with both Kenwoods and the Midland which is a fair distance farther than the Oconomowoc675 repeater.

 

Are you using the same antenna and coax for both radios (swapping out the radios) to make sure there isn't a problem with the antenna or coax that the Kenwood is on? -

 I have tried in my car seup and the base setup. And yes, it is swap out one radio for the other. The car and base setup stays the same, I merely unplug one radio and hook the other one up.

 

Does the Kenwood have a transmit indicator like a red LED or tower icon on the display that activates when you key up? Making sure that transmit isn't inhibited by the programming. 

Yes, the LED is red when broadcasting and green when receiving,

 

Lastly, can you configure the Kenwood and Midland to talk together (both TX and RX on 462.675) to make sure the Kenwood is working properly and can be heard by the Midland? Bonus if you can separate the two by a good distance to help prove the Kenwood is putting out a decent amount of power. If the finals are bad, you'll hear the Kenwood get noisy and cut out as you drive down the street (assuming you have it in a car).

Yes, I have tried all the radios against each other between my base and mobile setup. My brother and I can simplex together on every other channel. I hadn't thought about matching the frequency for transmit and receive. But is it possible to have 2 radios that are exhibiting the exact same issue? I know they are both used but what are the odds?

 

Wideband vs. narrowband can make a difference as well, but shouldn't be a make it or break it factor unless you're at the edge of the repeater's range.

 

Considering I can simplex for 10 miles and get nearly identical results between the 40 watt Midland and the 40 watt 880H I am still thinking it's something I messed up in the software program. But for the life of me I don't know what it is.

 

 

That sounds like everything is set up right. All I can think of off the top of my head is that maybe it's not putting out the PL tone on TX like you think it is. If you have a scanner or another radio that can be tuned to 467.675, you can rule that out by having the scanner listen for the tone before it opens squelch. If the scanner sees activity but won't unmute, then you're transmitting without the tone.

 

Could the Kenwood be in talkaround mode? Where it's set to TX on 467.675 but it's trying to talk direct on 462.675? I doubt that only because you'd hear the Kenwood on the Midland just direct and not through the repeater.

 

Hopefully someone else has ideas or has that software so they can take a look at your programming.

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Check to see if you can still hit the repeater with your midland radio. If your able to hit repeaters that are further away from you than the repeater in question, it leaves only three thoughts in mind. A) the repeater is down, B ) closer higher power traffic is getting in, cutting you out of the loop, and C) there is an issue with the PL tone encoder on the kenwood that is not allowing you into the system.

Looking up the listing for Armored 1 you are using the wrong codes to get into that repeater. Rich, if it is ok with you I can post the correct tones, or the direct link to the system and that should correct his issue I think.

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Looking up the listing for Armored 1 you are using the wrong codes to get into that repeater. Rich, if it is ok with you I can post the correct tones, or the direct link to the system and that should correct his issue I think.

I am hitting the armored one repeater no problem. That repeater is another story about how do I get into this repeater stuff. In a nutshell I missed the back letter on the 2nd code. I was driving myself nuts with that until I changed to the correct code....

 

I am not sure what tone codes you are refering to for the Oconomowoc675 repeater. I thought all I da to do was set the encode and decode settings in the KPG-49D software to 141.3 and I would be good to go. I looked at the page again for the Oconomowoc675 repeater and I don't see any mention of PL tones. Than again, this is all new to me so I am probably overlooking something.....

 

And thanks for all the replies to my questions. Hopefully I can reciprocate all the help I am getting today in the future to somebody else.

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My bad, I thought it was an issue going the other way around. I looked up the Oconomowoc675 repeater and you are right, they are showing 141.3 so that is an odd one. Lets do a default check. First, check that the channel is in WIDE mode. Sometimes this causes an issue when distance is involved.

When you confirmed that, we can use the Midland radio to test the Kenwoods PL tone encoder which could have gone out of whack. You only need one antenna for this as the midland doesn't need to transmit, only receive, though a dummy load would be a better option. Power up both radios on the same simplex channel and PL codes. Key the kenwood and see if you can hear it on the midland. If you can, it means the PL encoder is working as it should. We can reverse this to test the kenwoods tone decoder. Simply switch the antenna to the midland radio and key the midland radio, listening on the kenwood.

The last thing I can come up with would be that the radio is off frequency or low power when transmitting on 467 which you would need a meter and equipment to test.

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Forgive my "noobish" question but where do I look to check what the Kenwood's PL tone is set at? and by PL codes are refering to the privacy codes? Can that be read in the KP49 software? 

 

For what it's worth, I have the car parked outside my office with the volume turned up. I can clearly hear both radios. As a matter of fact I checked with my brother and we have both our radios set to the same privacy codes on Channel 17 and we can talk to each other just fine.

 

If it helps, I am showing a screen capture of how I have the Kenwood setup. I blanked out the codes for Armored 1 since that is an invitation repeater and I didn't think the owner would appreciate me publishing the privacy codes for his repeater.

 

Let me know if there are any other screen shots I could provide.

pVhEOSh.jpg

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That was very helpful :) PL is ham for QT/DQT, or another words, the 141.3 tone.

You seem to have everything set properly. You said you can talk to the armored repeater ok. Im wondering if the Oconomowoc675 repeater went down for maintenance or some other issue. Try using the midland radio to access the Oconomowoc675 repeater. If it works then we know for sure it has to be something with the kenwood. If that's the case, there isn't much more you can do until you purchase a meter and dummy load, or take it to a radio shop to be looked at.

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Fair enough. I can connect with the Midland with ease. As a matter of fact, when I connect with the Midland I can hear the call if I have the Kenwood set to the repeater. But that is where is ends. I can key the Mic until I am blue in the thumb and nothing comes out.

 

NUTS!

 

I still find it weird that all 3 Kenwoods (A couple of TK880's and a 880H) have the exact same issue. That is why I was sure I was just setting something up wrong.

 

I also sent an inquiry to the Oconomowoc675 website but they are closed today. I will wait for a response from them.

 

I will look into getting a meter and dummy load for this. I do want to get involved deaper with this since as frustrating as some of it is, I find myself enjoying the challenge.

 

Thanks again for all the help! I will follow up once this gets all sorted out.....

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UPDATE: Just for grins and giggles, I setup the "Non-repeater" channel 17 with the same 141.3 code on the TK-880 and did the same thing to my MXT400 and got the same results. The Midland never "heard" the Kenwood. So then I changed over the codes on both radios to the other end of list (250.3) and boom! both radios were talking to each other.

 

Could this be something along the lines of the Kenwood being "out of adjustment" on the 141.3 setting? Is this something that could be fixed? Adjusted through the KPG-49D software?

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UPDATE: Just for grins and giggles, I setup the "Non-repeater" channel 17 with the same 141.3 code on the TK-880 and did the same thing to my MXT400 and got the same results. The Midland never "heard" the Kenwood. So then I changed over the codes on both radios to the other end of list (250.3) and boom! both radios were talking to each other.

 

Could this be something along the lines of the Kenwood being "out of adjustment" on the 141.3 setting? Is this something that could be fixed? Adjusted through the KPG-49D software?

It can be, at least I know there is a fine adjustment thing, but youll want a shop to do this to make sure the radio is in full alignment. Also of important note, its odd that you could reach other repeaters while using codes. Odd, very odd, My concern would be you adjust so the 141.3 tone opens up the other radio, but then your other tones are thrown off and nolonger work. I would go to a dealer/service dept. Shouldn't be too expensive (maybe $100-150), but youll know that everything will be set properly using the proper test equipment.

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Ok, I tried to throw my radio out of whack using the test software (I took notes of how it was originally set up as to not damage anything) and I couldn't get it to go that far out, I really do believe youll need a repair desk or a friend who has the equipment and know how to figure out what is wrong.

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That probably would be best. There is a Kenwood dealer about 45 minutes from me. They are open for business but most of the staff is "working from home" for the time being. I will call tomorrow and see about dropping off the radio to have it checked.

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Another alternative that came to mind, not a solution, but perhaps clarifying things a little, if the Kenwood dealer isn't able to help at the moment.

 

I remembered some radios offer the option to scan for the CTCSS/DCS tones (Miklor has some info on doing with a uv5r). If i had time to kill, i'd be tempted to get my hands on a radio that can do it, and see if i could nail down what the kenwoods are actually transmitting.

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