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Thread: Astro Spectra W-3 to W-9 conversion woes

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    Default Astro Spectra W-3 to W-9 conversion woes

    I purchased a few Astro Spectra W-3 radios chassis from fleabay. The radios have the latest analog DSP and latest firmware with Smartnet. I did verify that the radios work with a W-3 setup, which was good. Then I removed the command board, Vocon and receiver board and put them in my 110W UHF chassis. the radio powered up but the following error Fail 1-90, now I know that can mean power missing somewhere or data bus error. I verified that I could talk to the radio with software and then took a "S" record from an existing radio that had been update to P-25 Type II trunking for a W-9 and programmed the radio with it. I still got the fail 1-90 but then I also got fail 2-90 and fail 1-82. I know fail 1-82 is corrupt code plug, so I loaded the code plug from my good radio too so now I am back to only fail 1-90 again. I then took the front control interface board from the working W-9 and put it on the work in progress radio and still got the fail 1-90. I put the front interface board from the analog AS on my working radio and the radio powered up OK , I still have to verify all operations of the head and TX/RX functions, but as of right now the radio TX/and RX analog and P-25 OK. So it appears that the command board has some differences between the W-3 and W-9. Anyone done this mod before or have any idea which jumpers I need to change.


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    Ok first off I am assuming this UHF spectra is a normal spectra (ie T84....?) If it is you need to place the command board and vocon from the W3 radios in the UHF. You need to put an astro spectra UHF RF board in the radio as well. You probably don't have this. If you want to do legit flash upgrades you also need to replace the interconnect board as well. The A9 control head would have to be upgraded to W9 as well. If it is an SMD head then you need to replace a chip in the control head.

    Jason

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    I have replaced the RX board with the 800 mhz, the command board, and the vocon. All the RX boards are the same with some minor changes with jumpers, I know this from the analog Spectra's. I am aware that I have to replace or do something with the interface board, but with my testing I installed a proper AS interface board and I am using a working W-9 control setup, and still received the same error fail 1-90. So something else is different in the command board between a W-3 and W-9, and I also confirmed that the vocon is working OK, by putting it in a working radio. Just no P-25 which I expect since the DSP in analog only.
    Since yesterday I have done some research as time allowed and determined that the command board does have different jumper setting depending on the model of radio, but I havn't completed my research to match the model number to command board to find the actual differences. The print I have is very small making it difficult to read, also the front interface board is physically the same board and again will need jumpers and even transistors relocated to change it from an A-9 to W-9.
    My question is has anyone done this. I know it can be done as Motorola likes to use common circuit boards configured differently for different products.
    As a side note anyone looking for mid power AS W-3 interface boards can contact me. Maybe we can exchange the command board too, since it needs jumper configurations also to work.

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    I speak from experience. No physical changes on the command board or vocon. I have done MANY conversions.

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    OK then I need to go backward and make the radio work again as a W-3 and see what board is causing the failure when I convert it to a W-9.

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    OK, here is where I am at right now, I installed the 800 RX board and command board/vocon in a working radio. The radio works fine no issues. I didn't have time to try the front end and VCO boards yet, but I doubt that's the problem. I am leaning towards something with the Power Amp board which feeds the command board,since basically it's the only thing left. Got to get out the diagrams and look for something obvious..

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    Ok, finally after quite a few hours of work the radio works as intended. I am still trying to figure out why I got the error codes . It is possible I missed a step in making sure all jumpers and plugs were in correctly and seated. Thanks to all that commented for the assistance. Now on to 3 more, then DSP updates. Now does anybody have the proper chips for the conversion of an A-9 to W-9 heads?

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    I have those chips. How many?


    Jason

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    3 would do nicely. PM me, thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by JMR061 View Post
    I have those chips. How many? Jason

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    JMR061 I'm looking for that chip as well for the the A9 to W9 conversation. Please drop me a PM with details.

    Thanks
    Gary N0PBM

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    Just so you know they worked perfectly, now if they only made a drop in for the w-5 /w7.
    Quote Originally Posted by N0PBM View Post
    JMR061 I'm looking for that chip as well for the the A9 to W9 conversation. Please drop me a PM with details. Thanks Gary N0PBM