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Thread: "JEM Radio I" Reprogramming (Locomotive Radio)

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    Default "JEM Radio I" Reprogramming (Locomotive Radio)

    Anyone familiar with the JEM Radio I?

    I need to program in some duplex channels with PL tones, and a couple of 151MHz channels. Our units use the Kenwood core radio.

    Spoke with JEM support, they didn't seem to know anything about doing any of this.

    Anyone have any experience with this?


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    IIRC since the inside of the radio is a standard kenwood nxdn mobile, I believe you just use the standard kenwood programming suite and do it that way.

    This is secondhand information. I've never played with JEM stuff but a good buddy explained it to me like that the last time he had one.

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    Jem locomotive radios can be either Kenwood or Icom. In order to program frequencies for the radio you need Jem programming software and possibly the rabbit board software. One thing to look at on those Jems is to change out the speaker. We found on our railroad the factory speakers are horrible and tend to blow apart within 6 months. So we've been changing out the speakers upon preinstall checkout changing out the speakers with ones from motorola cleancab speakers.

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    Can they support 151 and 173MHz frequencies, and custom channel names?

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    Yes on the frequency range since they are usually just a kenwood nx-700 or a icom f5061d mounted inside the case. Custom channel names I don't think so since it's a locomotive radio. We didn't set ours up with custom channel names, they're basically setup just like a clean cab motorola. Looking at the JEM configuration software I don't see anywhere to have custom channel names.

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    I know our ASTRO Spectra Clean Cab radios can do custom channel names. We use the "Home Modes" feature of that radio and have channel names such as "1 MOW 49" "2 OPS 67", etc. Just curious if the JEM can do that as well.

    I would assume that I just program the custom channels into the Kenwood radio and then access them as normal using the JEM software and cross reference them to home modes.'

    What programming cables does the JEM radio require?

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    There are just two differnet cables for working on the JEM radios. One is a straight DB-9 cable for programming the radio via the JEM software and the other is a ribbon cable type with a IDC connector on it. The one with the IDC connector is used for updating firmware on the rabbit board. One of the problem we found on our railroad with the JEM's was the audio was clipping badly, part of the problem was the firmware on the rabbit board. The rabbit board controls the audio and provides an interface to what ever radio is inside the JEM. Another problem with them was the PTT getting stuck on, and that was traced back to the firmware on the rabbit board also. Good luck ordering parts from JEM for the model 1 radios. Supposedly JEM doesn't have anymore parts for those radios and the last time I talked to anyone at JEM they were in the process of coming out with the JEM 2 (which I've yet to see in person). So far we have about 350 JEM 1's with Icom F5061D's in them and about 40 JEM 1's with Kenwood NX-700's in them and so far the biggest issue I've seen with them is the speakers. I'm not sure the railroad operation you're at but ours is a class 1 passenger with loco's that leak,smoke and tend to be very loud inside, so the crews tend to leave the radios volume cranked up.

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    We are a NITR. Running everything from heavy rail diesels to Siemens light rail cars and everything in between down to 1906 trolley cars.

    So if I'm not doing anything with the firmware on the radio, can I do everything I need with just a straight DB9 cable, with regards to programming the radio and the control head?

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    Yes that's it. All of the programming is handled via the db-9 on the back of the radio that's marked for radio and other db-9 is for Jem software programming. On our radios we have the squelch is locked at 3 except for our HSP-46 locos where we have the squelch set at 7, and we use min set volume on those radio too. We had to move to a min set because train crews would put the volume on the pin and complain that the radio didn't work.

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    Are you aware of any passwords on the ICOM radios in the JEM units? Tried to read it with CS-F3160 V2.9 and was prompted for a password.

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    I see they have two models and links to configuration tools and software guide.

    https://www.jemcom.com/railroad-communications.html

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    The password that was on ours when we got them was BNSF_12345 but we've long since changed it to something much more secure.

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    That might help me out... Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KB1KVD View Post
    The password that was on ours when we got them was BNSF_12345 but we've long since changed it to something much more secure.
    UP_12345 perhaps?
    Retarded Mongoloid on PCP...

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    Or the old classic, the serial number of the unit?

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    The other password we've found to have worked with a couple of ours is 53626_BNSF . I don't know why there were two different passwords for their radios, but I seem to remember this other password on the very early ones of these radios. We only had a couple that used that password, the rest were the other password.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KB1KVD View Post
    The other password we've found to have worked with a couple of ours is 53626_BNSF . I don't know why there were two different passwords for their radios, but I seem to remember this other password on the very early ones of these radios. We only had a couple that used that password, the rest were the other password.
    EXCELLENT INFORMATION - That was the password on the unit I'm working on. THANK YOU! Saved me a lot of trouble

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    I'm still at a loss as to how to add non rail frequencies to this radio. The radio itself doesn't appear to be programmed with anything.

    One of our rail repeaters is on 160MHz using a 173MHz input as the band is extremely congested around here.

    Is there any way to make this work? The ASTRO Spectra Clean Cab radio does it fine.

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    The physical radio (kenwood or icom) itself usually isn't programmed on these radios. JEM uses the control board to manipulate the radio, and with Icom's it uses the radio scratchpad as for controlling freq. We've never tried to take these radios outside of the railroad spectrum for our operations. Yes the railroad band is congested around here too. We have several power companies and other railroads, it doesn't help that our railroad owns about a 1/3rd of the spectrum.

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    Charming. Sounds like they didn't much account for unusual circumstances.

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    I will admit the JEM radio's are pretty tough. We've had them get caught between a loco and a platform in the s&i and get belted with 25KV from the catenary. Everytime they've come right back to work.

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    Luckily our OCS is only 650VDC

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    All of our equipment is Diesel-electric but we run under catenary from Boston to Wickford Junction. The lucky radio that got belted was belted because a s&i foreman put a mobile whip on top of a locomotive without calling our department. Well I'll you guess what happened next...luckily nothing happened to the engineer when the mobile whip made contact with the catenary.

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    Holy shit... Yeah that's been a concern here for a bit as we are rapidly running out of AAR frequencies and are having to explore 150MHz and 173MHz options. The result is that our 2MHz BW loco antennas no longer fit the bill, so 1/4 wave VHF whips are being considered.

    Sure in the hell wish I could figure out how to get non-AAR stuff into these radios... This is bothersome!