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Thread: What Quantar SCM cards can be upgraded for P25 ?

  1. #1
    ronen No Longer Registered

    Default What Quantar SCM cards can be upgraded for P25 ?

    Hi there
    Is there any list of SCM cards that can be upgraded to P25 Operation in Quantar conventional RPTR ?
    I understand that every card that have in it Eproms is not flashable and not good for me but what cards can be flashed ?
    I have some cards wich have no Eproms in it but dont know if they good for me ...
    as exampe i understand that some cards that used for Inteli Repeater might not be good for that purpuse But i also understand that there are cards that can be found in inteli repeater and can be flashed for P25 in conventional and can work in P25
    so How can I know what cards to pick up in order to flash it ?
    Thanks Forward
    Ronen - 4Z4ZQ

  2. #2
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    There is some discussion of this in this thread:

    I am under the impression the intellirepeater SCM cards are a different design and not flashable to operate stand alone.

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    The simplest way to tell is to look at a picture of the board, locate the BNC connector along the edge of the board (for external clock). Near the BNC connector you will see 4 eprom sockets and a long connector that looks like a memory module would fit in. If the board has chips in the eprom sockets (you will probably see 4 white labels), then it can't be directly flashed with an upgrade. You could burn four new eproms with updated code, but that is kind of a pain. If the SCM has a SIMM module in the long socket and the 4 eprom sockets are empty, then the SCM can be flash upgraded.

    If you can locate old Motorola SIMM modules (single sided - marked NIR), the SIMM can be installed, then you remove the four eproms from their sockets and you can proceed from there.

    If you have a SIMM module that has been upgraded with conventional (NIR) software, you can generally swap it onto an Inteli-repeater board (like a CLN6961x) and it will work in conventional mode and P25.

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    I have often wondered what happens when you install I.R. firmware SIMM's onto a EPIC used in a conventional single channel repeater. I have messed with I.R.'s for years and have never tried this. I have an old EPIC with the 4 EEPROMS for conventional and a SIMM with I.R. firmware. Before I give this a try anyone on here tried this before and if so does it work properly with IMBE etc. Not trying to reinvent the wheel or waste time if it will not work. Just curious is all..

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    I am curious about the IR SIMM module. All the ones I have seen have a BOOT1 version written on them (20.10.001 for example) Even after a firmware update, the BOOT1 version never changes - does this mean that not all of the 8 EEPROMS on the SIMM are written over during an upgrade? If so, which ones hold the firmware?

    I have a dead SIMM module that is stuck in software bootloader mode (BOOT1 version 20.09.xx) and I'm thinking that the chips might need to be manually burned to revive it. I swapped the SIMM module for a good one, and the station came good straight away, so I know the SIMM is the cause.

  6. #6
    Astro Spectra's Avatar
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    I know for sure that the EPIC I TTN4094 and the EPIC II CLN6961 conventional boards will work with P25. If the boards have the 1 Meg early firmware (four 256k 27C02 EPROMs) then they should be upgraded to the 2 Meg Flash SIMM (four 512k 29F040 chips) with the recent firmware available here for best performance. The exciter firmware needs to be dated 2001 or later. To upgrade remove the EPROMs and insert the SIMM. You will either need to find a SIMM or hack the board the take 29F040 chips. The four EPROMs on board SCMs (typically 1996 vintage R16 version 9 firmware) will often do P25 but performance is poor and using some features like TMS will crash the station.

    @ Matt

    The IR firmware comes on a 4 Meg Flash SIMM (eight 29F040) and the SCB is a jumpered version of the '6961 called the '6960. The only difference is a unique zero ohm 'punch out' jumper block. This jumper block and zero ohm resistors on the SIMM are read into a parallel port at boot. Also the DRAM is larger in the IR version of the board. You can use generic (but hard to find) SIMMs by jumpering the port pull up resistors on the SCM.

    I beleive the Boot 1 block is actually in the code plug byte wide EEPROM while Boot 2 is in the Flash. One or other needs to be present. Your Boot 1 is probably corrupt and needs to be rewritten from a good Flash (any vintage). Can't remember how to do this. This allows the station to burn an otherwise blank Flash.

    Tech notes:

    The EPIC I cards had a high voltage supply on board to burn the Flash while this was dropped in the EPIC II and later boards as 5V programmable Flash memory became available.

    The main SCM CPU, the 68EN360 can be made to boot using byte wide memory then change to the full 32 bit wide data bus under program control.

    See also (dated):

    It doesn't matter how you upgrade your Quantar or if you leave it stock, you WILL need to align the station after moving it to your operating frequencies for decent P25 operation.

    Happy new year all!
    Last edited by Astro Spectra; Dec 31, 2012 at 10:31 PM.

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    Just a note for all reading the thread:

    I may have an alternate supplier for the flash and SRAM SIMM modules. I'm awaiting some samples so I can do some testing. If all is 10-4, I will be offering upgrade packages, including latest exciter firmware ROM.

    Will update in next 2-3 weeks.

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    @Mars: I could use some SRAM SIMM modules, did you manage to get some of these?

  9. #9
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    The SRAM's are nothing special, they are 2 Meg EDO SIMM's. They were very commonplace in the late 1980's early 1990's for regular home PC's. I think the IR models used 4 or 8 meg EDO SIMM's but for conventional anything 2 Meg or bigger should work fine.