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Thread: Zetron Model 5 Issues

  1. #1
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    Default Zetron Model 5 Issues

    I have a Zetron Model 5 that's been working fine. I went in to the programming to change some things and saved it. Now it has four dashes on the screen and won't do anything. Keypad presses don't do anything and the * + 3 to get into programming mode doesn't work either.

    Any thoughts on getting this baby working again? It's a great backup unit tied to a radio and is stupid proof for people.
    Schrodinger's Radio: It is simultaneously too loud and too quiet, but you will never know which until someone transmits.


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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerm View Post
    I have a Zetron Model 5 that's been working fine. I went in to the programming to change some things and saved it. Now it has four dashes on the screen and won't do anything. Keypad presses don't do anything and the * + 3 to get into programming mode doesn't work either.

    Any thoughts on getting this baby working again? It's a great backup unit tied to a radio and is stupid proof for people.
    I would check the power supply voltages and ripple on anything that old.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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    @tuckerm

    I second the check the power supplies recommendation I have had 6's do the same thing they run great and until they have to reload then they don't want to run at all any more..

    ----

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    Is there a link to a scanned manual and how the tones are selected on keypad?

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    I looked in the manual for a factory reset and didn't find one. I don't see a battery backup either.

    I looked at my manual and 4 dashes indicate a prompt for 4-digits, single format, 5-tone.

    I can e-mail you a copy of the manual if you don't have one already.

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    I have the manual. Tried different power supplies, no luck. It happened during a program change so I'm guessing its circuit boards just finally gave out. Its stuck on the 4 digits like it wants to do something, but nothing happens on the keypad including trying to get it into the programming mode. I did email Zetron and they think its toast...but can revive it for $175.

    I'm going to try again this weekend otherwise I'll be looking on eBay for a replacement (or two).

    Thanks to all who responded.
    Schrodinger's Radio: It is simultaneously too loud and too quiet, but you will never know which until someone transmits.

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    Does yours have a Dallas clock under the eprom? I have had to replace clock batteries on occasion. You can check the battery voltage when the unit has no power to it, the battery retains the programming. Also try resetting all the ICs in their sockets if they are socketed.
    Apparently NOT a radio professional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by com501 View Post
    Does yours have a Dallas clock under the eprom? I have had to replace clock batteries on occasion. You can check the battery voltage when the unit has no power to it, the battery retains the programming. Also try resetting all the ICs in their sockets if they are socketed.
    I do not have a battery in there. I did reset all the ICs with no luck.
    Schrodinger's Radio: It is simultaneously too loud and too quiet, but you will never know which until someone transmits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerm View Post
    I do not have a battery in there. I did reset all the ICs with no luck.
    The Dallas clock looks like a chunky IC. It has RAM and battery in same molding, it may have "DS" inscribed on it.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFI-EMI-GUY View Post
    The Dallas clock looks like a chunky IC. It has RAM and battery in same molding, it may have "DS" inscribed on it.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
    I'm not seeing it unless I'm blind. There's nothing underneath the EEPROM that I can tell.

    Picture for reference attached.IMG_20190804_022242.jpg
    Schrodinger's Radio: It is simultaneously too loud and too quiet, but you will never know which until someone transmits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerm View Post
    I'm not seeing it unless I'm blind. There's nothing underneath the EEPROM that I can tell.

    Picture for reference attached.IMG_20190804_022242.jpg
    I can't see it either. The Zetron 48B has such a battery backed RAM. Have you looked on the reverse side for a coin cell?


    Other ideas. Does it use NVRAM that has worn out? Master password required? Keypad miscomunicating with CPU? Power regulator voltage low or oscillating? CPU crystal failing?

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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    I believe its the EEPROM that's probably dead. Pulling it and running the Model 5 allows the keypad to function and I can get into program mode but obviously can't save it. EEPROM goes back in and everything is frozen. It's beyond my expertise. I'm going to hold onto it and maybe RMA it some day...in the meantime I'm going to look for a new one.
    Schrodinger's Radio: It is simultaneously too loud and too quiet, but you will never know which until someone transmits.

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    I'm unfamiliar with the specific component, but it sounds like you've pretty well narrowed it down. I'd guess you could probably find a replacement EEPROM on a electronics retailer like Digikey or even on eBay (if it's no longer in production). Might be worth a shot to get one and drop it in, they're not typically that expensive. Or post the number on the chip, who knows - someone on here might have one kicking around.

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    I believe I found a replacement but have no way to program it. Dropping a new one in is just going to work?
    Schrodinger's Radio: It is simultaneously too loud and too quiet, but you will never know which until someone transmits.

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    Most "normal" software designers would automatically detect the blank part and auto-format or do an initialization on it. Unless they're being dicks like Motorola and relying on a "partially programmed part" (yes, they actually did this with the MDC generator and old MX codeplugs, and probably some other things), and then the unit won't work or auto-initialize deliberately. Just to be dicks. Did I say that?

    Otherwise, just drop it in and see, you've got nothing to lose at this point, except maybe a new $5.00 chip (or whatever it cost). You were ready to junk the unit previously, so why not try it?

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    I will absolutely try it as there is nothing to lose. I have limited experience with circuit board level work so this is a new arena for me and wasn't sure if just dropping in a new EEPROM would auto-work. I'll report back my findings.
    Schrodinger's Radio: It is simultaneously too loud and too quiet, but you will never know which until someone transmits.

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    The biggest thing is to get the "pin 1" orientation correct. There is a notch at one end or a dot on pin #1 (Upper Left Corner looking at the top of the chip in "portrait mode"). Keeping proper orientation is ultra-critical, it will make sure to keep the little lights on inside the chip, and prevents the magic smoke inside that makes it work from coming out!

    The other thing to do is adjust the "lead break", the legs of a DIP package will bow outward a bit from the factory. To adjust, lay the chip on it's side on an anti-static mat or grounded bench top with one row of pins flat on the table top, then bend the legs straight parallel by rocking the body of the chip toward the bottom or open side of the legs, using the bend in the legs as a pivot point or fulcrum. Then, flip the chip over, and straighten the other side's legs out so they are both parallel and perpendicular to the body of the chip or any socket it's going into.

    Locate the chip over the socket and let it drop into the dents at the top where the pins go, you should be able to see any bent legs and take the chip back off and re-straighten them with a needle noise pliers of they get bent away from parallel. Then, once the chip is situated with the legs barely inserted into the socket holes, and apply even pressure directly down with your thumb and the chip should almost snap into place. Inspect carefully for any skewed or bent pins, pry up with a small screwdriver, straighten and re-insert and try again. You'll get a feel for it and the amount of pressure required and you'll immediately feel it when a pin bends out during insertion.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    The biggest thing is to get the "pin 1" orientation correct. There is a notch at one end or a dot on pin #1 (Upper Left Corner looking at the top of the chip in "portrait mode"). Keeping proper orientation is ultra-critical, it will make sure to keep the little lights on inside the chip, and prevents the magic smoke inside that makes it work from coming out!

    The other thing to do is adjust the "lead break", the legs of a DIP package will bow outward a bit from the factory. To adjust, lay the chip on it's side on an anti-static mat or grounded bench top with one row of pins flat on the table top, then bend the legs straight parallel by rocking the body of the chip toward the bottom or open side of the legs, using the bend in the legs as a pivot point or fulcrum. Then, flip the chip over, and straighten the other side's legs out so they are both parallel and perpendicular to the body of the chip or any socket it's going into.

    Locate the chip over the socket and let it drop into the dents at the top where the pins go, you should be able to see any bent legs and take the chip back off and re-straighten them with a needle noise pliers of they get bent away from parallel. Then, once the chip is situated with the legs barely inserted into the socket holes, and apply even pressure directly down with your thumb and the chip should almost snap into place. Inspect carefully for any skewed or bent pins, pry up with a small screwdriver, straighten and re-insert and try again. You'll get a feel for it and the amount of pressure required and you'll immediately feel it when a pin bends out during insertion.

    Good luck!
    Excellent write up, I appreciate it. I found some for $0.50/piece so I ordered some. I really hope this fixed the problem, I'd just be tickled pink! I'll keep the thread updated once they arrive.
    Schrodinger's Radio: It is simultaneously too loud and too quiet, but you will never know which until someone transmits.

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    Well, the Zetron programming guys are not dicks! I installed a new EEPROM and everything came back to life! It is sending tones out and I'm able to program again. I'll have to go through and get it all set up again but it is working.

    Zetron wanted $175 to repair it...a $0.52 EEPROM fixed it.

    Thanks to all helped!
    Schrodinger's Radio: It is simultaneously too loud and too quiet, but you will never know which until someone transmits.

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    Glad to hear it! I was hoping that would be the case. Just for informational purposes, what was the source and part numbers of the replacement chip?

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    This is the one I was able to source:

    Mouser #: 579-93LC46/P
    Mfr. #: 93LC46/P
    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...rrencycode=USD
    Schrodinger's Radio: It is simultaneously too loud and too quiet, but you will never know which until someone transmits.

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