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Thread: 5300 Programming Nightmare

  1. #1
    kd8gua No Longer Registered

    Default 5300 Programming Nightmare

    Hello all, new to this group, and coming here for some advice about a 5300 I purchased several months back. You may have seen my posts on other websites and Yahoo groups, but I'm really desperate to get this radio programmed, and have had no luck. Here's the story:

    I purchased a 5326 (VHF High Power) unit used from a guy who last programmed the unit with PCC 2.12.6. Firmware is 4.14.5. I purchased the RF Guys aftermarket programming cable because of the good reviews I have heard. I spent the better part of a month scavenging various copies of PCConfigure, building/rebuilding/modifying computers, praying, intoning incantations, and etc to get this radio to program. Nothing worked. I tried two different radios to be exact, my 5326, and a 5317 I was able to borrow. With the 5326, I wound up using a total of 5 different computers, both with native COM ports and with USB to serial converters. I even went so far as to acquire PCC versions from 2.4.6 to 2.16.3, and yet still none of these things worked. I have even changed COM port addresses, changed Baud rates, FIFO buffers, etc and etc, with no changes to the situation.

    I have been told that I should at least be able to read the radio with any version of PCC. I won't be able to write, but at least view the codeplug nonetheless. I constantly receive a "Communication error during upload." error, which is the same error given when the radio is not plugged into the cable to begin with.

    So I chalked this up to a faulty cable, and sent it in for a replacement cable. I have received the new cable today, and the same problems persist. So now I'm wondering if the cable pinout is right on the Mic connector end, because this 5326 is using a gray 53SL control head. I have tried both of the control head connecters, because this radio is a trunk mount unit with dual control head capability. Is this control head somehow internally wired as a "Slave" that won't accept or run programming commands? Is there something I have to do inside it?

    This is, BY FAR, the MOST frustrating radio I have EVER had the unfortunate displeasure of working with. Because of some groups I volunteer with, I have a need for P25 on VHF, and I need a radio that can do 136-174 (the high power radios do not natively do 136-146, but can be retuned to do so with reduced power output). I have programmed Icom F1721s, EFJ 5100s, and a slew of Motorola items from Syntor X9000s to XTS 2500s and Micom 2s. I have NEVER found a radio I couldn't program on my own or at least found a tutorial, forum post, or hex edit to modify the codeplug for my use... until this piece of junk. I am the only one who has problems programming EFJ radios too. I have two friends who own 5300 series radios, and the RF Guys cable, and program their radios to their hearts' content. There isn't really a radio shop around town that works on EFJ products. My friends live a few hours away, and I don't have the money to buy something else. I can't very well sell a non-programmable 5300 for anywhere near the amount of money I have invested in it. So right now, I'm pretty much screwed. I don't have a mobile radio to use with my volunteer groups, I don't have a way to program the mobile radio I bought specifically for use with these groups, I don't have enough money to buy another computer running Win XP and contains a serial port, and I don't have the money to buy a Motorola XTL series radio. So right now, I am out of options. I need help because I can't deal with this radio anymore. I don't know what else to do or try.

    Thank you, Brad


  2. #2
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    The high power 5300 requires some different programming hardware then the standard 5300, it sounds like you have a programming cable for a mid power Johnny and that is why you cant read the radio. I don't believe rfguys produces a high power programming cable, can you confirm that your friends are infact programming high power 5300s with their cables?

  3. #3
    jim202 No Longer Registered

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    You say you have tried different baud rates to program the radio with. Can you be mode specific on what rates you have tried? I have an older 5300 that just won't program except at the lowest speed.

    When you try to program the radio, does anything change on the radio display when you first click on the icon to read the radio?

    Jim

  4. #4
    kd8gua No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhabdo-medic View Post
    The high power 5300 requires some different programming hardware then the standard 5300, it sounds like you have a programming cable for a mid power Johnny and that is why you cant read the radio. I don't believe rfguys produces a high power programming cable, can you confirm that your friends are infact programming high power 5300s with their cables?
    I am running a 5300 high power with the standard control head, not the HHCH. I have found no mention of a separate programming hardware setup for a standard, high power radio.

    My one friend has only programmed mid-power 5300s, and the other owns high power 5300s, but does not have full useable kits yet (missing control head, or cables, etc).

    Is this a case of: If I disconnect the high power amplifier and return the mid-power section of the radio to its factory condition prior to being chosen as a high power rig, then the radio will function properly?

    Thank you.

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    Ok, so I emailed rf guys and actually got a response (guess I'm not the only one bored at work) they claim that their programming cable will work with the high powered 5300 so according to them you should be good to go there, I know if you went OEM EFJ cable/rib then you would need a special set for the high power version. The correct PCC version for your firmware is 2.10.2, can you verify that you have tried that version without any success? Just going to get the basics out of the way here so don't take it as me calling you a retard. Does the radio power up? Are you able to read the 5317? Try and use a computer with an RS-232 port to keep the USB-RS232 out of the equation. Try and delete all other versions of PCC other then 2.10.2 off that computer. If you still can't read the 5326 try reading the 5317 on the same setup.

  6. #6
    kd8gua No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhabdo-medic View Post
    Ok, so I emailed rf guys and actually got a response (guess I'm not the only one bored at work) they claim that their programming cable will work with the high powered 5300 so according to them you should be good to go there, I know if you went OEM EFJ cable/rib then you would need a special set for the high power version. The correct PCC version for your firmware is 2.10.2, can you verify that you have tried that version without any success? Just going to get the basics out of the way here so don't take it as me calling you a retard. Does the radio power up? Are you able to read the 5317? Try and use a computer with an RS-232 port to keep the USB-RS232 out of the equation. Try and delete all other versions of PCC other then 2.10.2 off that computer. If you still can't read the 5326 try reading the 5317 on the same setup.
    Version 2.10.2 is what everyone says is designed for this radio. I have tried version 2.10.2 with no success. Version 2.12.6 is the last reported version this radio was programmed with (according to the previous owner), and again no success.

    I no longer have access to the 5317. It was a short term borrow of a radio someone else owns. The 5317 also had firmware version 4.14.5, so I tried using PCC 2.10.2 with no success.

    I am using my only working Win XP computer with somewhat native serial support. This PC has a plug on the motherboard to accept a 9 pin serial port. My other working computers with serial ports run Win 98SE. I had a "working" setup of XP on one, but it has since quit working, and I reverted back to 98SE.

    As to the baud rate question, I have tried changing the COM port assignment, as well as speed both on the PCC side and the Computer Management side. The selection for 9600 is grayed out, but I have tried all other speeds, 15000, 38000, 56000, 115000. I have followed everyone's advice from these other forums to a tee, and nothing works. The radio powers on, I cannot test TX both because I don't know the frequencies and because I cannot set it to low power and so it knocks out my power supplies since high power requires over 20 amps. Scan feature works. All of the buttons and knobs work. But when I go yo program the radio, nothing happens on the display. It seriously acts as if nothing is occurring.

    This is different under PCTune however. If I try to read the tuning parameters using PCTune, the radio will freeze up, and then i have to power it off to get the software to also unfreeze.

    Thank you!

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    I just went back and re-read your initial post. Do you have access to anyone who has a 5300 control head you could borrow and try out instead of the 53SL control head? I don't see why that would make a huge difference, seems to me the main differences between the SL and non SL radios are under the hood but it would be one more piece of the puzzle to rule out, maybe someone can chime in and give a definitive answer on the interoperability of the heads. You see the 5300 heads on ebay for under $20 every now and again. Or you could call EFJ on Monday and ask them directly, they've always been more then helpful on the phone even with the older non ES gear.

  8. #8
    kd8gua No Longer Registered

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    I will probably have to contact EFJ, because I do not have access to extra 5300 heads. The RFGuys cable apparently works on 5300 as well as 53SL series radios.

    I have no clue what is wrong!

  9. #9
    XPR8300 No Longer Registered

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    I just looked in the config matrix and 2.10.2 is the sanctioned version for that firmware. For ****s and giggles go into 2.10.2 and on the radio menu, set the series to 53xx mobile. I had a mobile once that would spew all kinds of errors until i manually set it.

  10. #10
    kd8gua No Longer Registered

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    That was one of the first things I tried. It has had no effect. I still get the same Communication error during upload. message.

    I literally am ready to throw this radio in the garbage. I have no use for something that just won't program.

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    Well, feel free to borrow my garbage can I always enjoy a winter project...

  12. #12
    kd8gua No Longer Registered

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    Update:

    Turns out my radio can read and write just fine. My computer with a serial port and Win XP is too fast.

    So now my next issue: making a 146-174 radio cover 136-174. I plugged my radio into PC Tune, and I have no way to add tuning parameters to extend the radio to 136-174. There is a secret menu in PC Tune that requires a password to access, but I have no clue what that password could be. Any help?

  13. #13
    XPR8300 No Longer Registered

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    What is the hidden menu of which you speak?

  14. #14
    kd8gua No Longer Registered

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    In PCTune, under Tools, there is an option for Other Tools... and that requires a password. I don't know what the password is.

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    The password is "huskers" Now be very carefiul with change radio type/band. If you use that it will reset all of the tuning values to factory default. That is why there is a warning message that pops up saying you may cause your radio to not function correctly.

    Good luck,
    apx-fail999

  16. #16
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    If these are anything like Motorola radios, you're talking about changing R2 to R1 without changing any hardware - that may not work at all, with a Moto, you would get VCO unlock (FAIL 001) if you try something like that, the hardware and the codeplug tuning range need to match...

  17. #17
    rfguys No Longer Registered

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    Hi,
    Just to clarify - the RFguys programming cables will work with ALL variations of the 5300, 53SL 5300 ES radios AND software versions (i.e. 242-53xx, 242-54xx, 242-5500).

    There are three different "RPI-less" (built in RIB) cables depending only on the head configuration:

    SKU 33116: All RS-5300/5400/5500 radios with the "normal" head - integrated or remote mount.
    SKU 33134: All RS-5300/5400/5500 radios with the "Lightning" head - integrated or remote mount.
    SKU 33135: All RS-5300/5400/5500 radios with the "HHC" hand-held controller/mic type head (aka "Secret Service" type).

    (instead of EFJ's confusing array of RPIs/cables/adapters depending on CPU speed, head type, software version, etc.)

  18. #18
    kd8gua No Longer Registered

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    Just wanted to add that I have in fact been successful in programming my 5300. I had to buy and install a PCI serial card in my computer, and then it auto-selected its port as COM8. I plugged my cable into this serial port, and bam! Success!

    I have now highly modified my high power (146-174) 5300 into a high power, 136-162 split radio with FPP and all sorts of other features.