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Thread: Astro Spectra UHF Range 4 to Range 3

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    Default Astro Spectra UHF Range 4 to Range 3

    All I have read appears to focus on getting range 3 radios to go down to 440

    I would like to know if I can take a range 4 w3 high power and get it to go down to 460 with out hardware changes.

    Can it be done with hex editing the original code plug?

    Can it be done with putting a r3 code plug in?


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    No. The Range 4 radios are 490-520 and without hardware changes generally any range radio will go about 10 MHz out of band but not much more. What you will want to do is find an analog 450-482 MHz (called an R2) Spectra, and drop in the command board, RF board and VOCON from the range 4 Astro Spectra and then put in a "European R" split (438-470) or an "American R" split (450-482 MHz) codeplug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    No. The Range 4 radios are 490-520 and without hardware changes generally any range radio will go about 10 MHz out of band but not much more. What you will want to do is find an analog 450-482 MHz (called an R2) Spectra, and drop in the command board, RF board and VOCON from the range 4 Astro Spectra and then put in a "European R" split (438-470) or an "American R" split (450-482 MHz) codeplug.
    very well.

    Thanks for the answer.

    i will find a r2 spectra and get to work

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    Alpha, just want to make sure i did not misread your reply. you say the analog R2 spectra is 450 -482. I look elsewhere and see that 450 - 482 is R3.

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    There is a lot of confusion around this one. The radio splits are ~30 MHz wide. Generally, R1 is 403-430 or a "Q" split. What would be a normal "R" split of R2 at 438-470 was moved up to 450-482 or "R3" - they kind of skipped R2. Also, to further confuse things, portable radios with the "S" split are 450-480, but there is no corresponding mobile "S" equivalent, it's called an "R" split. The mobile "S" split actually is R4 - 480-520 MHz.

    Later, they decided for Low Power Motorcycle, European and Canadian use where the commercial bands start at 440 instead of 450, they would make a normal "R" split in 438-470, what was expected as a normal R2.

    Confused yet? Good. Welcome to the club!

    To try to keep things straight, I refer to "American R" as 450-482 and "Euro/Canadian/Motorcycle R" as 438-470. The R1-4 nomenclature was more applicable to the older Analog Spectra radios, and earlier.
    Last edited by Alpha; Aug 07, 2013 at 09:55 PM.

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    ok
    i will look for and buy a analog spectra 450 - 482 and put those parts into the digital radio i have then go from there ahead.

    good clarification

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    Then there is the R3 453 - 488 split common in So California.

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    If that's what I'm thinking of, it's an SP version called a Range 3.5. It has the range identifier tag marking 0-ohm resistors halfway between the R3 and the R4 marker on the VCO and similar laser cuts marking the RX Frontend between 3 and 4. IIRC, the P/N's of them end in an SPx, a special version for a particular customer or group.

    They have a history of doing that, in the past there was an SP "Ham" version of the Syntor X9000 called an R1.5 that went between the R1 (403-430) and the R3 (450-470) versions, and it covered 440-470 or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post

    Later, they decided for Low Power Motorcycle, European and Canadian use where the commercial bands start at 440 instead of 450, they would make a normal "R" split in 438-470, what was expected as a normal R2.
    I have a pair of the motorcycle R2 438-470 radios, & they work great in the ham band. The R3 radios tend to run out of steam & get deaf when trying to rx at 442 mhz. In my case, I'm trying to hear a few repeaters 60 miles away. But I do have a few friends who live 10 miles from that same repeater, & their R3 radios hear OK at 442 mhz . GARY

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    No. The Range 4 radios are 490-520 and without hardware changes generally any range radio will go about 10 MHz out of band but not much more. What you will want to do is find an analog 450-482 MHz (called an R2) Spectra, and drop in the command board, RF board and VOCON from the range 4 Astro Spectra and then put in a "European R" split (438-470) or an "American R" split (450-482 MHz) codeplug.
    OK I have the command board, RF board, and VOCON from the R2. I check part numbers against known R2 part numbers and they are correct. I read and saved the original codeplug for the R4. I will now change the components. I have found an "American R" plug. Do I just write the radio with the R2 codeplug? Thanks

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    Yes, pretty much. You will have to re-tune the radio afterward, even writing down the tuning values won't apply since the frequency-dependent tune points are now different. Until you do you will probably get a FAIL 001 error message, because the VCO is out of lock. Once the proper range codeplug and associated tuning values are loaded you should be all good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    Yes, pretty much. You will have to re-tune the radio afterward, even writing down the tuning values won't apply since the frequency-dependent tune points are now different. Until you do you will probably get a FAIL 001 error message, because the VCO is out of lock. Once the proper range codeplug and associated tuning values are loaded you should be all good.
    Do I use the CPS to write to the new codeplug into the radio, or must I use the lab?

    thanks

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    i swap out the command board, rf board, and vocon board.

    the command board was a little different.

    I power up and get the fail 01/90. radio will not read nor write.

    i will return boards to original and see if radio reads and writes again.

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    I tried several variations of the boards from the donor radio and the target radio. The current configuration allows me to read and write the radio with CPS and LAB. I still get the fail 01/90, then self test, then fail 01/92.

    Current boards in the target radio are:

    HLE6103B
    HRN6003F
    HRE6003B
    HLN5558M

    With this configuration of boards, I can read and write the radio with the W3 head attached showing the fail codes. I currently have the r split W3 codeplug in it from the CPSS. It will accept frequencies in the R range

    The target radio is:

    Astro Spectra
    T04SLH9PW3AN
    firmware 11.25.00.00

    The donor radio is:
    Spectra
    D44KMA7JA5BK

    I have spent several hours off and on over the past few months reading here and elsewhere trying to find a solution.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Please be gentle.

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    Also, the flash code is 140001-000000-3

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    It sounds like you are mixing W3 and some other head types, that may be part of the problem. If it's a proper W3 are you using the correct mobile cable or are you just trying to connect the W3 to the DB-25's on the radio? If so that also may be a problem. The W3 head requires a different interface (the part with the 2 DB-25's on the front of the radio) than non-W3 (all other head types). There are other threads here that describe this in detail, do some searching...

    You need to get the radio and control head talking properly, get rid of the 1/90 issues, before you do anything else.

    Also I think you are trying to use an analog RF board from the old Spectra, this will not work. You need the Astro Spectra RF board HRN6020A.

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    I got the W3 chassis connected to the W3 head (NMH4044E) using the cable HKN6096B along with the DB-15 power cable to the HKN6096B. I apologize because I misunderstood the original instructions. I found the R split analog spectra and used the boards from it as stated in the early posts. So can I use the HRN4010H RF board that came in the astro spectra, or is that split specific?

    Thanks for the help.

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    The RF board is NOT split specific, the Astro one should work fine.

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    The astro RF had been installed. FAIL 01/90 code has vanished.

    I now have the FAIL 001. I will be investigating the cause.

    Much appreciated.

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    Good. You're on the right track now.

    That means the VCO is out of lock. You are trying to go too low in frequency (probably around 442 or lower) and the VCO is losing lock. The stripline can be lengthened slightly to fix this, do some more searching, there are threads here that discuss this in detail.

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    I am trying 462.XXX and 470.XXXX.

    From the beginning I have been trying to get the original radio which was an R4 to an R3.

    The lowest frequency I need is 462 the highest is 474.XXX

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    Oh, then you just haven't put a proper s-record into the radio, apparently. The VCO part number you give is range 3, so it should lock on those frequencies with the correct s-record. Either that, or the VCO or RF deck are possibly defective, maybe?

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    I obtained an R split codeplug from the super site. I forced it into the radio using LAB. I read the radio with the CPS and it shows the R3 codeplug in the radio. I enter the 462.xxxxfrequency into the radio and CPS accepts it. I then write to the radio and get no errors on the CPS screen.

    I however get the fail001 on the head.

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    Hmm. You might see if you can find a newer s-record that you know is in the right range, but otherwise it's starting to look like the VCO or RF deck may be bad. Did the radio work OK as an R4 before starting? If so, maybe the VCO is bad.

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    the R4 radio was new old stock built in 2005. Never used/programmed until August 2013. It worked before the hacking began.