Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 75

Thread: Astro Spectra Upgrades

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 28, 2012
    Location
    Grants Pass, Or USA
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Astro Spectra Upgrades

    I have 5 older Astro Spectra's. The flash code reads 500001-000000-8 on all of them - R08.01.05 and I06.03.02. They will not do the new 2.5 KHz freqs. My question is, if they are flashed to their latest firmware, will it still be necessary for new RF boards to be installed. If new hardware is necessary, are they worth the cost?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 21, 2011
    Posts
    4,415
    Thanks
    3,652
    Thanked 6,304 Times in 1,799 Posts
    Country: Canada

    Default Astro Spectra Upgrades

    What memory size are the boards? 512K or 1M?

    Those look like 512K based on host firmware you've posted.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 28, 2012
    Location
    Grants Pass, Or USA
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    They have 512K boards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 21, 2011
    Posts
    4,415
    Thanks
    3,652
    Thanked 6,304 Times in 1,799 Posts
    Country: Canada

    Default

    Those 512K boards are maxed-out at the highest capable firmware version for CAI operation.

  5. #5
    GS4 No Longer Registered

    Default

    If the 512K boards are the originals, then it is safe to say you will also need new RF boards.

    GS

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 28, 2012
    Location
    Grants Pass, Or USA
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    That was what I was afraid of. Looks like I need a 1 meg vocon and Rf board for each radio. I can find a later issue astro spectra for the price of the two boards and a flash. and then have money left. Thank you Mars and GS4, for your expert opinions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 01, 2012
    Posts
    176
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bob View Post
    That was what I was afraid of. Looks like I need a 1 meg vocon and Rf board for each radio. I can find a later issue astro spectra for the price of the two boards and a flash. and then have money left. Thank you Mars and GS4, for your expert opinions.
    Or you can do what I have been doing in upgrading my analog Spectra's. I bought a dozen 800 mhz radios for about $40.00 each. Moved all the boards over and shot a new "S" record in them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 12, 2012
    Posts
    513
    Thanks
    841
    Thanked 283 Times in 153 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by radioman2013 View Post
    Or you can do what I have been doing in upgrading my analog Spectra's. I bought a dozen 800 mhz radios for about $40.00 each. Moved all the boards over and shot a new "S" record in them.
    Radioman, I am doing the same as you,,, have the 800 1meg Astro's, and regular Spectra VHF's. But need S-Records to shoot the Vocons. And a way to shoot them in. Ugggggg
    Radio Referenced...Those who think they know it all are very annoying to those of use who do.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 01, 2012
    Posts
    176
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts

    Default

    The procedure is pretty simple, you will need a radio with the flash or as close as possible to the flash you want or in the 800 mhz radio. You will need Ver 2.0 of MTSXLaB, to read,save and program the "S" record . Info is located here and other places.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 12, 2012
    Posts
    513
    Thanks
    841
    Thanked 283 Times in 153 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by radioman2013 View Post
    The procedure is pretty simple, you will need a radio with the flash or as close as possible to the flash you want or in the 800 mhz radio. You will need Ver 2.0 of MTSXLaB, to read,save and program the "S" record . Info is located here and other places.
    Thanks Radioman. I have been looking for VHF s-Records for VHF Needed for Dash mounts with W7 and IMBE and Enhanced ID display id is all I am looking for, The Vocons are 1meg. Any Ideas?
    Radio Referenced...Those who think they know it all are very annoying to those of use who do.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 12, 2012
    Posts
    513
    Thanks
    841
    Thanked 283 Times in 153 Posts

    Default

    The 800 Vocons are flashed with 1000040000004 and have W7 heads. Would it possible to have a VHF S-Rec with FC starting with 5 to enable Enhanced ID display? The VHF Spectras are Range2. Still looking for S-rec by the way!! Radioman if you have a S-Rec can you post it to the s-rec file post here on the site. Another thought , is it possible to pull the s-rec and hex edit the file, do not want to go that route, I believe it would be a lot of edditing, plus possible tunning information. Sounds like a headach to do it that way if it would work.
    Last edited by moetorola; Jan 29, 2013 at 06:39 PM.
    Radio Referenced...Those who think they know it all are very annoying to those of use who do.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 12, 2012
    Posts
    513
    Thanks
    841
    Thanked 283 Times in 153 Posts

    Default

    Anybody have a VHF Range 2 W7 IMBE 1meg S-Rec to post to the Software files section. I will Post my 800 IMBE W7 S-Rec as sonn as I get it it pulled, someone was looking for one in another post somwhere. Thanks
    Radio Referenced...Those who think they know it all are very annoying to those of use who do.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 01, 2012
    Posts
    176
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moetorola View Post
    Anybody have a VHF Range 2 W7 IMBE 1meg S-Rec to post to the Software files section. I will Post my 800 IMBE W7 S-Rec as sonn as I get it it pulled, someone was looking for one in another post somwhere. Thanks
    Sorry, but all my "S" records are UhF and 800.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 12, 2012
    Posts
    513
    Thanks
    841
    Thanked 283 Times in 153 Posts

    Default

    So i moved 800 astro spectra Vocon, cmd and rf board over too VHF spectra. everything works great analog wise, P-25 not at all on any frequency. P25 was tested and working when the parts were in the 800 deck. The weird part and where I think the problem is at is in the tx dev balance alignment will not align because the low test tone has no audio or deviation maybe, even when slider is maxed. The high setting has deviation up to 4khz if slider maxed but no audio can be heard on the service monitor audio frequency to low to be heard, all filters are turned off on monitor . Because of this i can't align the high tone to the low, because there is no low tone deviation. Also the symbol eye pattern is all over the place. The tx dev limit alignment seems to work and put out a tone on all test freq. I am used to aligning XTL so figured its the same procedure. The radio has R11.03.00, N07.03.12 also using latest CPS. Any ideas?
    Last edited by moetorola; Feb 05, 2013 at 01:17 AM.
    Radio Referenced...Those who think they know it all are very annoying to those of use who do.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 28, 2012
    Location
    Montauk, NY
    Posts
    31
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 9 Times in 4 Posts
    Country: United States

    Default

    When I was doing some VOCON switching from 800 to VHF for firmware update purposes, I would just change out the Vocon board. I did pull the Astro guts from a Q split Astro and shoved them into an Analog Spectra of R Split range, and in this case I needed to bring over the Vocon, Command, and the RF board, as the RF board is good for all the UHF splits. According to my service manual, the 800 RF Board is HRN6019, and the VHF RF Board is HRN6014. There are 10 parts to change to make the 800 RF board into a VHF, probably all SMD. Also, if you could send me your 800 SREC that would be much appreciated.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 12, 2012
    Posts
    513
    Thanks
    841
    Thanked 283 Times in 153 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kc2tgd View Post
    When I was doing some VOCON switching from 800 to VHF for firmware update purposes, I would just change out the Vocon board. I did pull the Astro guts from a Q split Astro and shoved them into an Analog Spectra of R Split range, and in this case I needed to bring over the Vocon, Command, and the RF board, as the RF board is good for all the UHF splits. According to my service manual, the 800 RF Board is HRN6019, and the VHF RF Board is HRN6014. There are 10 parts to change to make the 800 RF board into a VHF, probably all SMD. Also, if you could send me your 800 SREC that would be much appreciated.
    Dude you Rock, did not even cross my mind to check the RF board,,,Maked sense ,,LOL I will change the parts, PM me with you e-mail and Ill shoot you over a file. Thanks
    Radio Referenced...Those who think they know it all are very annoying to those of use who do.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 12, 2012
    Posts
    513
    Thanks
    841
    Thanked 283 Times in 153 Posts

    Default

    Update..... It worked! I used the Donar 800 radio's smt caps and resistors to the VHF RF board, radio's work great. Also converted the VCO to range 1 also using chip caps from the Donar 800 radios. Thanks for all the help Guys.
    Radio Referenced...Those who think they know it all are very annoying to those of use who do.

  18. #18
    4n6inv No Longer Registered

    Default

    OK, guys; I'm in a similar, but tall box... I have several VHF Astro Spectras with WB boards. I also have 5-6 NOS HRN6014A boards still in the anti-stat bags. Ditto vocon carrier boards and 1MB vocons. I'd like to convert them to NB, but don't have a clue as to where to start - or how much of a hassle factor it's going to be. SMD work is mothers milk to me, so that's not a problem. Identifying the necessary parts and modification procedures is quite another matter - YES - I do have the detailed Service manuals; but a quick, accurate answer is better from someone with experience, than ME trying to decipher the differences and chance overlooking something, or finding out that my ideas / theory's are completely flawed and unusable AFTER the fact! If any of you would be so gracious as to reply or contact me with respect to your experience or any other pertinent information, I will greatly appreciate it. Other question is: Are there any modifications to the RF board that affect "K" or "J" split? I have both flavors of VCO's and radios that I could harvest S-records from. I also have access to a "flashcode doctor" from Motorola in Schaumburg that can bump the firmware / flashcodes. BTW; I can confirm that the "C" rev RF board is narrowband capable. I found a "J" split W-4 Astro Spectra that was still in the box from where I purchased it (God knows when) and it has the "2.5kHz" note on the radio tag with a "C" rev RF board in it.

  19. #19
    GS4 No Longer Registered

    Default

    ALL Astro Spectras are NARROW BAND compliant, The older VHF boards would not do 2.5KHz steps, but would do 2.5KHz deviation. I'll look up the part numbers later on, but IIRC they changed the number (not just revision) when they went to the 2.5KHz steps.


    GS

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location
    Directly above the center of the earth.
    Posts
    2,678
    Thanks
    793
    Thanked 1,343 Times in 664 Posts
    Country: Christmas Island

    Default

    You need a rev "C" or later VHF RF board. I was under the impression that rev "D" or later was needed, but I just converted a radio last week, and used a "C" rev board that came from a donor radio marked 2.5K from the factory, and to my surprise it was the correct one to do the narrowband steps properly on VHF.

  21. #21
    4n6inv No Longer Registered

    Default

    I haven't even fired it up, yet but; I'm assuming that since it was still in the box and marked with the 2.5kHz that it will. Maybe a bad assumption on my part.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location
    Directly above the center of the earth.
    Posts
    2,678
    Thanks
    793
    Thanked 1,343 Times in 664 Posts
    Country: Christmas Island

    Default

    You are correct, we said the same thing, I didn't notice you had also mentioned a "C" was marked as 2.5k capable. If the radio has that marking and it hasn't been molested by hackers such as ourselves then it's good to go on narrow VHF.

    There is nothing in the RF boards that is range-specific, only to the band. IOW a VHF RF deck will be fine with either J or K split VCO's. Changing wide to narrow will be more difficult, but would involve changing out the IF filters at the very least.

    I have thought about this, but have not thoroughly researched it. If you are really interested in researching and sharing the technique, I would start with comparing the "A" to the "C" in the service manuals and try to find the differences, then evaluate the differences to see what's relevant. Then try to convert one and see how it goes.

    A word of warning, somehow the CPS will interrogate the radio and determine whether a narrowband-capable board is installed and bitch if you have narrowband splinter frequencies defined but the radio isn't able to do it. Figuring out this is probably going to be the most difficult - either they have a newer rev IF ASIC or some jumpering that somehow identifies the RF board to the radio controller CPU. That may be the show-stopper to converting them.

  23. #23
    4n6inv No Longer Registered

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    You are correct, we said the same thing, I didn't notice you had also mentioned a "C" was marked as 2.5k capable. If the radio has that marking and it hasn't been molested by hackers such as ourselves then it's good to go on narrow VHF.

    There is nothing in the RF boards that is range-specific, only to the band. IOW a VHF RF deck will be fine with either J or K split VCO's. Changing wide to narrow will be more difficult, but would involve changing out the IF filters at the very least.

    I have thought about this, but have not thoroughly researched it. If you are really interested in researching and sharing the technique, I would start with comparing the "A" to the "C" in the service manuals and try to find the differences, then evaluate the differences to see what's relevant. Then try to convert one and see how it goes.

    A word of warning, somehow the CPS will interrogate the radio and determine whether a narrowband-capable board is installed and bitch if you have narrowband splinter frequencies defined but the radio isn't able to do it. Figuring out this is probably going to be the most difficult - either they have a newer rev IF ASIC or some jumpering that somehow identifies the RF board to the radio controller CPU. That may be the show-stopper to converting them.
    That has puzzled me for years - even before Motorola really released the NB Radios. The first Astro Spectras I got were in Atlanta, circa 1994, 1995. We wern't using digital, so I couldn't tell you if they were VSLOP or not. Perhaps, analog only. I know that Motorola was just trying to get the "Astro" and "Digital" buzzwords out in the public view. Just like the APX series during the 08 Olympics in Beijing. During the 1996 Olympics; I was building interop codeplugs, and when I went to put in some three letter agency frequencies on the high end of the VHF scale, The software honked at me, but took them anyway. So; I don't know exactly how the CPS "knows", but it does. Now you have me curious enough to where I'm going to get two radios and dissect the RF boards, study the schematics, and come up with a (most likely wrong) theroy on how it does that. Stay posted for a non-event.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 08, 2012
    Location
    Oregon Territory
    Posts
    174
    Thanks
    43
    Thanked 119 Times in 83 Posts

    Default

    I would be very much interested in how CPS identifies the board as well. When I did my upgrade back in January, I was thinking perhaps its some combination of Flashcode options.

  25. #25
    4n6inv No Longer Registered

    Default

    I printed out the schematics, parts lists, and board layouts for V, U and 800 - all revs. 8.5 x 11 paper is great if you're an ant. So; I'll take my thumb drive to work tomorrow and print them on 11 x 17 sheets and try to compare them this weekend. Interesting: The somewhat debated "C" rev narrowband board is all by itself in the documentation. Now, I'm really curious about the differences! I have two late rev narowband boards - one in my vehicle, and the other in a motorcycle housing with a W-4 motorcycle control head on my John Deere Gator. I have a "J" split narrowband NIB that I didn't even know I had until a couple of days ago that is marked 2.5KHz and hs a "C" rev RF board. This definitely bears further investigation.