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Thread: Are there actually any 900 MHz Astro Spectras out there?

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    Part of the problem is lack of subscriber units (mobiles and portables) on 900 MHz. Commercial convertibles include EFJ 5100 (5300 mobiles too?), XTL and XTS2500's, and older analog Spectras.
    Orions and LPE-200s are both solid choices too, just to play devil's advocate. And don't forget the MTS/MCS line, GTX, and LCS2000. I've used all of the above. But none of those outside of the Astro25 radios do P25, which is what really makes this project worth pursuing.

    If y'all have never used P25 on 900, beg/borrow/steal some radios and give it a go. The improvement in range is significant, and you get P25 audio quality.
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    Default Are there actually any 900 MHz Astro Spectras out there?

    Further to what otaku said: yes, really decent range.

    The group I was formerly involved with installed a repeater at a 450 foot rooftop site, on the Canadian prairies. All flat land. We had a radius of about 100 km of coverage. That means about 200km point to point, assuming base stations with yagis. Mobiles were about 150km. P25!

    Maybe someday when there is time and means, perhaps this project can go full retard, and we can pre-make multiple quantity of 900 ASTRO spectras for a reasonable (but for-profit) fee. Iím all for getting more of us active on 900.

    I also predict a renewed interest in P25 surplus in the ham bands as Moto has dicked us on DMR, especially the fake ďbandstopĒ on the 7580e and I imagine the 5580e units, along with the new CPS 2.0 nonsense.

    Iím sure good things are coming for us again. If only we could get more people connected with the dongles/quantars, without messing with the encryption information headers.

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    I have had some rather encouraging results with a PLUS VOCON.

    I loaded a 900MHz XTL5K codeplug on a PLUS VOCON and it WORKS! Transmits and receives anywhere the 900MHz Spectra front end and VCO will let it, all the programming looks like it lines up correctly.

    The big stumbling block came when I tried to update the tuning partition, originally it was an 800MHz VOCON so the tuning frequencies were still in the 800MHz range.

    It went through part of the process and then it pretty much bricked the VOCON, I can read/write codeplugs but no firmware/tuning updates and the radio now gives a 01/82 flash ROM checksum error.

    I suspect there was not enough memory on the 4meg VOCON, or possibly a conflict between the Plus firmware and the XTL5K tuning partition,,

    I have very few 8 meg VOCONs so I am not ready to brick one of them yet, I did drop the XTL5K codeplug into another PLUS VOCON just to be sure it was not a fluke and it also worked as above.

    If the tuning partition problem can be solved then the only obstacle I can see is the issue with the PLUS not modding P25 OOB, at least I have found this to be the case with the VHF PLUS

    The quest goes on..

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    For what it's worth, we have 4 Quantars operating on 900mhz between Miami (at 800ft) and Boca Raton (300ft). Handheld and mobile coverage is excellent. Using XTS2500's, EFJohnson Ascend's, and XTL2500's. One of these days we will network them to our UHF and VHF Quantar systems. Since the 900's went on the air we seldom use U/V. 90% of the operation is in P25. M

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    There are methods to adjust the tuning partition. Iím confident with some additional information, you could have a functional AS+.

    The AS+ Will be easier to modify, at the codeplug/tuning partition level than the regular ASTRO Spectra vocon, as the process/identification (data blocks) has already been accomplished. There is some math involved, but itís nothing overly complicated. When time permits, we can go down this road.

    What I really need right now, if anyone is reading and has parts, is an 800 Astro spectra. Iím happy to pay shipping, if you have one for a very reasonable price. I donít even need the vocon.

    Thanks

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    I will be happy to send you one, will contact for address

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    I definitely have a few in my big box of spectra parts. I might even have a couple 800 AS+ units. Unfortunately I'm in the middle of a move right now and that box is buried somewhere between IN and IA.

    I'm interested in helping out with this project though. If you guys can wait a week or so I've got plenty of spectras to go around.

    EDIT: Beat me to it!

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    There's no rush. Standing by to stand by. Thanks guys.

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    I would be interested in any mapping that has been done with the Plus, I did not know it could be manipulated (I thought it was all encrypted), I have also searched all over this site for the mapping of the ASD SREC but have only found some on the MCS2K.

    I did get my test radio on frequency and the mod. within specs adjusting the 800MHz tuning points using the "peck and try" method, it also DOES mods P25 OOB but I will have to dig the Aeroflex 3550 out of the Co. van to look at how that is doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rc50won View Post
    For what it's worth, we have 4 Quantars operating on 900mhz between Miami (at 800ft) and Boca Raton (300ft). Handheld and mobile coverage is excellent. Using XTS2500's, EFJohnson Ascend's, and XTL2500's. One of these days we will network them to our UHF and VHF Quantar systems. Since the 900's went on the air we seldom use U/V. 90% of the operation is in P25. M
    Whenever I drive from Palm Beach to Miami to work the Miami Gun Show, those are the repeaters I use in P25 mode. The one at the Dade/Broward line works real good. GARY.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mogman View Post
    I would be interested in any mapping that has been done with the Plus, I did not know it could be manipulated (I thought it was all encrypted), I have also searched all over this site for the mapping of the ASD SREC but have only found some on the MCS2K.

    I did get my test radio on frequency and the mod. within specs adjusting the 800MHz tuning points using the "peck and try" method, it also DOES mods P25 OOB but I will have to dig the Aeroflex 3550 out of the Co. van to look at how that is doing.
    Tuning data in all Astro25 radios is stored in a separate memory partition from codeplug data. Since there was never such an animal as a 900 MHz AS+ I'm guessing when you used the same tool you used to make it think it was an XTL it wrote data to the memory partition that the AS+ VOCON didn't like. Could be the data was too big or didn't match an expected checksum for the AS+, or the AS+ VOCON just didn't know what to do with XTL tuning data.
    "The Girl Scouts found several hungry REACT members at the finish line..."

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    In addition to the radios that otaku mentioned, there's also a newer model which does 900 MHz, the Harris M5300. I got one from eBay a while ago (model MAHK-S9MEX), but haven't done much with it yet. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the feature code option for P25. The seller on eBay still has some. It's just the radio with a front mounted scan control head, so you would still need to get a microphone, speaker and cables.



    -RF

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