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Thread: RIB repair questiion

  1. #1
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

    Default RIB repair questiion

    I have a knock off RIB my work bought off fleabay a few years back, model is a Maxton 707 RIB, Rev 1.1, with design date of October 18, 2010 if that helps. It appears to have blown the diode in location D5 that is circled in red. As a result it opens the Squelch on the XTS3000s when attempting to read it via CPS and RSS, and issues a connection error. I was not witness to when it failed but my guess is a newbie was responsible for an ID10T error. Values for the other diodes read in the 790-809 range on the multimeter in diode test mode. Any ideas on what to replace it with or how to otherwise fix the bugger? It's a Chinese POS so I cant tell if its a Zenier or fast switching type, and the techs have a major cluster of modern ICOMs to repair/calibrate in light of an upcoming exercise, as well as a buttload of the vehicles data systems, so i'm on my own to get if fixed for my office. I would prefer not to have to shell out 30 bucks and four weeks to get a new one from HK, 60 bucks and one week from a shop up in the Pacific Northwest, or god forbid go drive down to the procurement office and unseal the 7th layer of hell.
    Maxton707RIB_Rev1.1_10-18-10 -2.jpg
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    Last edited by standardmissile; Mar 25, 2013 at 03:11 AM. Reason: Smaller image file


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    Go look at the batlabs site, there is a good schematic and parts list of the factory RIB. Those are 1N4001s on the factory unit.

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    That's actually not a bad looking little unit, judging by what I can see from the circuit board, it looks like they just took the RLN4008 and subbed a DB9 and SMDs for the older stuff in the factory RIB. Does it have room for a battery? That would be the kicker if it did....

  4. #4
    Will No Longer Registered

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    Yup, same piss poor Motorola design. There have been several mods over the years to that circuit to bring it up to correct RS232 interface specifications..

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    Yes, I have seen those, but my venerable 4008s haven't fried any radios, and they keep working. Now if I could just keep the DB25s from wearing out....

  6. #6
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    It does. That was the reason my superiors ordered me to acquire it for our office, in addition to the fact it was really cheap compared to the quote that we got from the local Bearcomm detachment for a Motorola brand unit. The only things that seems to get under their skin is we cant put an "official" NSN on it, and its not painted OD.

  7. #7
    Alpha's Avatar
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    FWIW, if it's shorted and holding a line low, it's probably just a static protection diode, and you can probably remove it and run without it. You'll stand a slight chance of blowing up the unit from a static zap but at least until you find a decent replacement it should work fine without it. The SmartRIB has the same type of diodes, I know because I have blown the ones in my unit twice in many, many years of use. You might look in the RIB or SmartRIB manuals for that particular design, but they are running one from the signal to the positive rail and one from the signal to the negative. Look in the SmartRIB schematic at VR2, 3, 4 and 5 - they are your equivalents and they are 5.1V Zeners back-to-back. The regular RLN4008 RIB calls them out as CR3, 4, 5 and 6 (funny how yours have the same designators ) and those are listed as 7.5V Zeners. They are all listed as 1/2W parts.
    Last edited by Alpha; Mar 26, 2013 at 06:13 AM.

  8. #8
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    From what I can tell D5 is in a direct line with D6 and is blocking some sort of F(x) that tells the radio to distinguish CSQ from an actual data signal from the CPS. When the CPS addresses the radio via the RS-232 on the DB-9 the radio acts as if it is detecting a proper programming signal but then opens the squelch and the data indicator LED on the RIB just gives short pulses, as if it is trying to sense or negotiate the Tx rate on the line. However it never syncs up and just issues a communication failure error on the CPS.

    I swear I want to pistol whip the idiot who caused this mess, as I am getting ridden by command for not having this working yet and have been informed that I might have an Astro Spectra that went DOA to deal with too.

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    As I said, if you're really pinched for time and need it fixed yesterday, simply remove the part. The RIB will function without it for the time being. Those diodes are on the SCI bus BUSY and DATA lines, which form the inter-processor serial bus the radio CPU talks to it's peripherals like the control head, the secure UCM, and other chips in the radio with. It's possible that holding the line low or high may induce some weird symptoms in the radio, but those are incidental and strictly side-effects. The important issue is that it's not going to communicate with the radio, and subsequently the radio may not communicate with itself internally...

  10. #10
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    So this is a smart RIB? What extra functionality does that have vs the standard RIB?

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    Sorry, you misundertake me

    I was saying the SmartRIB has the same protection matrix and I know the manual is up here, because I posted it a while back! It has the same arrangement of diodes as the regular RIB, which is what you have a clone of. I'm not positive the regular RIB manual is up here, (I think it is) but since I was sure about the SmartRIB I pointed that out a source of information that would apply to your particular problem.

    The SmartRIB is a completely different beast, it is itself a FlashPort device. It has a CPU and internal memory (1 or 8 Meg for the ABC and D versions) and it buffers the firmware when doing flash upgrades. Also it has the necessary circuitry to put radios into bootload mode (by toggling a special line the regular RIB's don't have).

  12. #12
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Ah, and here I thought that I had a gift from the circuit gods. Has anyone ever made a knockoff of one of those beasts?

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    No, they are pretty secure as devices go because of their scarcity and relative obscurity. Other than someone dumping the ROM image from one and disassembling it, there is not going to be a wealth of info on these guys. They also have extremely complex internal firmware because they used to talk to something called a FlashKey that is also another FlashPort device itself, and that went on the DB-25 between the SmartRIB and the radio.

    That FlashKey was the equivalent to the iButton of today, it governed whether the flash firmware image was simply loaded like a simple refresh key or if the model/serial/flashcode was to change (as in a feature upgrade/downgrade), and that internal control and verification was all within the firmware of the SmartRIB.

    The firmware, or at least part of it, was verified and loaded fresh by the RSS/CPS immediately before each use, so with each RSS/CPS release there may have been an associated firmware update for the SmartRIB, but there is really no way to tell, or query the version numbers - however that was unimportant, since they upgraded or downgraded the SRIB firmware every time immediately before each use.

  14. #14
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    So they rely on closed source software, and proprietary read/write formats...... Sounds like a certain software company I know all too well.

  15. #15
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Just tested in and no joy. Radio is has squelch opened when it displays CSQ, and short pulses of red data led with no successful data read, same as before. The radio also goes into a perpetual "Self Test" mode until the RIB is powered down or dissconnected from the radio and the CPS issues a Connection error.

    However I finally got a bit deeper into what may have killed/damaged the RIB though. A junior member of my staff stated that he heard a pop on the unit when attempting to program an Astro Spectra Mid power unit. He had a 12 volt 800mAh power supply hooked up to it via the external jack (which I have done for portable units) when he attempted to read the old codeplug, and she stated that when the CPS began to read the data it emitted a pop as well as a slight odor. Unfortunately there was no "adult supervision" present so her story cannot be further verified or investigated as far as to what went wrong. I looked at the cables supposedly used, as well as the desktop to inspect for any damage and found none on either. I have since brought in my RIBless cable for the Astro Saber and XTS3000s that I had at home to keep the office running. However the Astro Spectra Mid Power has since ended up on my list of equipment that has been red flagged, but that is due to it being doused in mud when a vehicle managed to suffer a training mishap and wound up in a creekbed.

    Any ideas on what might be wrong with this device? I do not want to have to leave my personal gear in the hands of some of these new personnel as they appear to be dumber than the usual batch of fresh meat, and our staff is stretched thinner than even the local PDs so we can't spare anyone to constantly supervise them.

  16. #16
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    Well, from your picture it looks like Q1 may be damaged, it looks smaller than the other Q's, and it looks like it's either chipped or damaged or blown up. The "killer visual inspection" is always your first attack. About 80% of my fixes come from finding the problem with just that, an intense inspection (with a loupe if needed).

    Also, if the diode was reading bad, read it out-of-circuit again, it may be OK (but maybe not), but it may be the driver for that line it was attached to is what blew, causing the diode to read wrong in-circuit. That may help you to narrow the search a bit - the general knowledge that it most likely has to be on one of the 4 lines going to the radio.

    Other things to check in order:

    1. Check output of 78L05 voltage regulator between center and right hand pin you should see 5V DC.
    2. Check the maxim IC on the other side of the board, it is a negative voltage regulator circuit, IIRC it makes -9 or -12 VDC from the incoming +12V B+.
    3. Test the individual transistors and diodes one by one.
    4. Finally, if you don't find ANYTHING else wrong, the only remaining thing to check/replace is the other IC, an OP-AMP, IIRC.
    Last edited by Alpha; Mar 26, 2013 at 01:22 PM.

  17. #17
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Point is almost mute now, my supervisors bit the bullet and bought a new RIB from BearCom. However, this is kinda pissing me off so I want to get to the bottom of it. I checked the rest of the board visually, and found that nothing looks out of place so far as damaged components go. I dont mean to sound a little tardy here, but I have more experience in the software side of things, such as TCP/IP and higher level languages go, but little experience with circuits other than recapping my TVs/stereos for my old man or straight solder replacment jobs for faulty components.


    So far I know the following:


    -RIB went kablooey due to reprogramming of an Astro Spectra W4 VHF1 50 Watt remote unit.
    -(new intel) Unit was programmed by "newbie" who lacked "Adult Supervision" and used a high power cable resulting in a loud pop from within the RIB when running on the internal 9v battery supply.
    -Newbie is reprimanded, assigned to remedial post, permanently out of my hair, and new protocols to prevent this CF from occuring again are in place.
    -After stress migranes were addressed by cocktail of Ibuprofen, Napricin, and Titus MP3s. I confirm no damage to the Desktop RS-232 DB-9 port, Astro Spectra, or existing cables, only the RIB. Checked with multi-meter and RIB-less cable/Astro Saber with CPS read/write.
    -Symptoms reliably show upon CPS attempting to read ASaber, CSQ displayed on screen, short pulses of red "data" LED, ASaber opens squelch audibly, goes into self check, RIB power LED changes from green to yellow, and communication error displayed on CPS. Subsequently ASaber must be disconnected from RIB to properly reset and successfully POST, with no adverse effects. Have not tried with ASpectra, due to lack of proper setup at home, permanent replacement RIB in service, and concern over frying more expensive equipment, AKA "Magic Smoke."


    Steps taken to remedy problem:


    -Checked continuity for all diodes, only finding issue in D5.
    -I have busted the diode occupying D5 straight out of the board, no avail.
    -Replaced 9v battery, no avail.
    -Replaced desktop PSU 13v 500mAh, no avail.
    -Alcohol bath/scrub for potential of flux to cause serious noise on circuit and has worked with problematic V.90 modems in the past, no avail.
    -Plenty of R&R/Booze before trying this again with calmed nerves.


    Equipment currently at my disposal:


    -Analog 5 position Multimeter
    -Digital 7 position Multimeter
    -45 watt soldering iron
    -7 Amp 12v DC PSU
    -9v Alkaline batteries
    -Jewelers loupe/high grade mag lense
    -Account with Mouser Electronics, and buddy who works at Radio Shack.
    -CPS latest Rev for ASpectra, ASaber/XTS-3K, MTS-2000 (Alll purchased from BearCom Sept 2007) with accompanying cables, and P4 Laptop with native RS-232 DB-9 port.
    -RSS latest Rev for ASpectra, ASaber/XTS-3K, and Legacy Saber (purchased from BearCom Aug 2002, and Dec 2005).
    -Access to Boris/Natasha upon absolute need....... *COUGH*


    Given the above, any tips on how to approach this bugger?

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    would use a scope to track the RS-232 to TTL and use the Standard Motorol RIB schematic

  19. #19
    Will No Longer Registered

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    We fix those sob's here.

  20. #20
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    First get moose and squirrel.
    Then, get real RLN4008 schematic from BatLabs as jry said.
    Then, go through the checklist I gave in my post above, it's pretty comprehensive, and should cover nearly all possibilities.
    Do you have output from the 78L05?
    Do you have negative output from the Maxim IC (the one connected to C1#-C4#)?
    Put your meter in diode-check mode and start testing individual diodes and transistors. Start with the line that had the blown diode on it, trace it back to the transistor(s) it goes to and test them but they are the prime suspect at this point.
    As I said before if all else fails (is OK, actually) it's probably the only remaining part - the other IC.

  21. #21
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Alpha sometimes it feels like I need some Upsidasium with the sheer number of issues that I end up having to fix. I think they call it Prozac now..... LOL

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    D5=CR5= ZENER 7.5V