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Thread: Thales 25 questions for a newbie

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    Default Thales 25 questions for a newbie

    Hi everyone,

    I have just joined as i'm trying to find out a bit about the Thales 25 radios, I am in the UK and have never seen one over here despite being in the radio industry (public safety technician) for over 20 years.

    I am therefore looking at buying one from the US, probably from Ebay as there are quite a few listed, but I could do with knowing are there any specific versions of software I need to avoid.
    It will mainly be used for ham radio, there is a P25 repeater about to go live near to me once the licensing has been sorted, so obviously P25 will be a must, as would front panel programming.

    i guess my questions are :-

    1) do all T25's support front panel programming?
    2) do all T25's support P25 in the 144 - 147mhz band.
    3) are empty battery cases still available? I believe shipping LiPo's is a no no. and there is little hope of getting a battery in the UK


    I've tried to download the manual from the sticky, but it seems I don't have permission to do that.

    Thank you to anyone who replies

    Kind regards
    Tony.


  2. #2
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    I owned a couple for a while and can help with the following...

    1) Yes - default password was 000000 - however you might be better off buying a cloning cable, cutting it in half, and being able to program via the CPS software in case someone did manage to change the password. You also cannot create new zones via FPP, so you need a computer at one point or another.

    2) Yes

    3) You can buy one with the AA "clamshell", but you'll be limited to 2w output. If you get the orange "hybrid" battery, it will do 5w, but are not easy to rebuild. Dead Li-Ion packs can be found and rebuilt, and the chargers can be found too. New batteries are still made by GTS/Honeywell - so you might luck out and find a seller that ships overseas.

    The stickied thread has the manuals, software, and the "feature enabler" to use if FPP isn't enabled. You cannot download them yet because you're a new member. But you'll get them soon enough with a few posts!

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    Since they're all cheap enough now, I'd avoid the -501 models since they often have the old style antenna connector and can never be upgraded to support AES. Try and find one with the tall Motorola antenna on it.

    Like Navy_BOFH said, you'll probably want a programming cable. You'll need it not only to add zones, but to change the FPP password if the previous owner set it to something other than the default, or if the side buttons aren't programmed to your liking. Make sure to pay attention to whether your radio has the newer screw on side connector or older latch on style, as your programming cable will have to match.

    I just use the AA clamshell pack with mine nowadays, as I don't really trust many of the rechargeable batteries out there. Seems like most of them are old and probably don't last long, or their made by a 3rd party with questionable components for $100+.

    I've never seen one without FPP, but the password could be something other than the default.

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    Hi Navy_BOFH

    Thank you for the reply, i've noted all you wrote, I cannot see anyone on Ebay selling the cloning cable, nor batteries unfortunately, I guess the empty battery shell would be ideal as there would then be no issue with shipping Lipo batteries.
    Do you by any chance know of any online sellers in the US that I could look at for batteries and cloning cable?
    I did look at Milspec.ca but culdn't see anything.

    Thanks again
    Tony.

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    tbiggums, thank you for the reply, how would I identify the -501 model? do they look physically different, AES is not something i'll need.
    Good to know that they should all be FPP, that is quite an important thing for my needs, any suggestions for a supplier that has cloning cable or battery shells?
    No hope of getting them in the UK, so i'll need to buy from the US, i've trawled Ebay, but not found anything yet!

    Regards
    Tony

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    check our favorite auction site for the cloning cable; search for item 272754922110.

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    Thanks Sywave, I searched on the UK page and nothing came up, putting the item number in directly found it, thank you.
    Just need to source a battery or battery shell now :-)

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    The model number sticker on the side of the radio will have the 4101256-50x model number on it. The -50x is the revision. The 501's are the oldest, and the 503's are newer and 505's are the newest. I've heard there's really no significant differences between the 503's and 505's.

    Since the cables are harder to find, I'd get that first and make sure the radio you end up getting has the right side connector--the latch type or screw type. That Ebay auction Skywave suggested is for a cable compatible with the "screw type" side connector. Radios with the latch style connector won't have the mating hole for the screw below the connector pins.

    Sorry I don't have much advice on where to get batteries or AA "clamshells". I guess just watching Ebay is as good as any place...

    Quote Originally Posted by ffr58kk90 View Post
    tbiggums, thank you for the reply, how would I identify the -501 model? do they look physically different, AES is not something i'll need.
    Good to know that they should all be FPP, that is quite an important thing for my needs, any suggestions for a supplier that has cloning cable or battery shells?
    No hope of getting them in the UK, so i'll need to buy from the US, i've trawled Ebay, but not found anything yet!

    Regards
    Tony

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    tbbiggums, thank you, that makes sense, I believe the one's I am looking are -505 i've sourced the cable from the post above by Skywave which is the screw down type, so that should work with the -505 radios.
    Still not had any luck with batteries, other than new from GTS for $120 which is a bit steep, i'll keep looking and watching Ebay though.
    Thank you for all the info, and to the forum hosts for what i've gleaned already from here.

    Regards
    Tony

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    I sold both my Thales 25s with those GTS batteries... and they are worth every penny. I would say to buy one because then you will have the battery for years - and a shell to rebuild when it dies.

    The postal regulations say a US seller cannot ship just a Li-Ion battery internationally - that it must be "installed in the product it is meant to ship with" - hence how laptops and other electronics make it overseas.

    I would say that if you bought the radio and battery, and sent them to someone here (I am willing to assist) - and have them rebox everything and ship it back out to you... it should go perfectly fine. The only part I don't know at that point is how your customs and taxes would work - since the catch is you have to declare the items due to the battery installed - I cannot call it "hair care products" like some Chinese sellers do!

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    Thanks Navy, that is very kind of you, should I end up buying new, I will PM you for details (once I get priviliges that is ).
    I am wondering if the Racal Cougar PRM4515 battery would physically fit the Thales 25, if it does, I could probably get one of those over here and use the twist mount top and then get my mate to draw and 3d print me a battery case for NiMh cells perhaps, just a thought.

    The suggestion you made is great, the only downside is the UK customs / tax as you say, our UK postal service completely ignore any parcels from China, let them pass right through, but every single thing I have purchased from the US has attracted either import duty or our VAT which is 20% of the price including shipping, on top of that the UK postal service charge you about 12 UK pounds for collecting the Vat / Duty as well!

    Hopefully, i'll be able to download the files from the sticky at the top soon, which will help me no end as I will have some more docuemnts to study.

    Thanks again
    Regards
    Tony.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbiggums View Post
    The model number sticker on the side of the radio will have the 4101256-50x model number on it. The -50x is the revision. The 501's are the oldest, and the 503's are newer and 505's are the newest. I've heard there's really no significant differences between the 503's and 505's.

    Since the cables are harder to find, I'd get that first and make sure the radio you end up getting has the right side connector--the latch type or screw type. That Ebay auction Skywave suggested is for a cable compatible with the "screw type" side connector. Radios with the latch style connector won't have the mating hole for the screw below the connector pins.

    Sorry I don't have much advice on where to get batteries or AA "clamshells". I guess just watching Ebay is as good as any place...
    There are also 504 models and the last version that was available was the 506 model. The 506 models had a thicker screen cover and had the THALES 25 label instead of the RACAL 25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRS View Post
    There are also 504 models and the last version that was available was the 506 model. The 506 models had a thicker screen cover and had the THALES 25 label instead of the RACAL 25.
    Were the thicker screen cover and different logo the only differences between a 505 and 506 that you know of? Just curious as I have a 505.

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    Would anyone who has the clamshell battery be kind enough to take a photo of the end that connects to the radio for me please, I am thinking it may be easier to try and 3d print up a suitable battery case and fill it with AA NiMh cells, obviously the radio would be restricted to 2W but at least I could use it :-)
    Also I would probably require the dimensions of the various elements of the twist locking mechanism if anyone can help with that too.
    I've got hold of a couple of PRM4515 Cougar batteries which also use a twist type fitting, so it could be that they could be modified too.

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    Hello all, just wanted to post a couple pictures to save the headache. If you try to make a programming cable out of the cloning cable remember to open the target side connector and unsolder the resistor. The other side of the cloning cable works fine and has no resistor. I have made quite a few and have never had a problem.

    20180717_084840.jpg
    20180717_085045.jpg

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    Thank you for that, i'm awaiting delivery of the cable so I haven't looked into doing that yet, I am assuming that the cable is straight through RS232 direct into the radio, i.e. no level shifter like most programming cables have?
    I still cannot find a used battery anywhere, it's looking like a new one may be the only answer, which I begrudge as the radio, charger and cable have so far cost less than the new battery would cost!