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Thread: Need some help in converting a A9 spectra to a A7 head.

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    Default Need some help in converting a A9 spectra to a A7 head.

    Was wondering if I could send a codeplug to someone and have them convert it for me. I don't have the proper tools to do so. Any help would be appreciated.


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    I know I've answered this question several times before, but you can't simply "convert" a Spectra/Astro Spectra control head from one type to another. The codeplug is built around that when it's created, and cannot be changed. You can insert a whole new codeplug that has the correct control head type, but that is another discussion...

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    Ive been reading a lot of contridicting information on the web. Most of it from batlabs. I did see some people mentioning bit banging using lab. I do have some A7 radios that do have some issues I'm sure I can't force a codeplug from one of those radios in the A9 with out lab which I do not have or have access to. For the mean time I'll stick with the A9 head and try to locate a A7 radio that is working properly.

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    Well, that was the "short" answer. The "long" answer is yes, with intimate knowledge of the codeplug structure, and a hex editor you might be able to change the control head type, but the display formatting will be all off, and it may not take the change without basically starting over with a blank codeplug more or less from scratch. Also, this would necessarily change the model number, so you won't be able to read your existing archive files - so again, you're basically starting over from scratch.

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    Well I still don't have the proper tools and I don't want to possible brick a good radio so by the looks of it. It seems easier at the point to find a A7 radio. Thanks for the info

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    I know this thread is a little old, but if you trying to mod an analog Spectra A9 to A7 or 5, changing 1 bit in the radio with Lab will change the head type. You will have to redo the channel names do to the less characters available 11 vs 8.

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    Thread moved to Legacy Radio forum...although it was technically in the correct forum to begin with.

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    Actually, it's quite possible, on an analog non-Astro Spectra, to change the control head type and many other parameters relatively easily. I've converted A9's to A7's, and vice-versa, several times. My usual tactic is to desolder the EEPROM from the Spectra's MLM, make the necessary changes with hex editor and device programmer, and reattach the thing.

    I have a Quattro Pro spreadsheet I adapted from the bit-banging info on Batlabs. Is there a spot on the forum I can post it to? Or should I use one of the file-sharing sites?

    Happy tweaking.

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    You guys are way over thinking this. A simple change at address 6050 will change the control head.



    Quote Originally Posted by kc7gr View Post
    Actually, it's quite possible, on an analog non-Astro Spectra, to change the control head type and many other parameters relatively easily. I've converted A9's to A7's, and vice-versa, several times. My usual tactic is to desolder the EEPROM from the Spectra's MLM, make the necessary changes with hex editor and device programmer, and reattach the thing.

    I have a Quattro Pro spreadsheet I adapted from the bit-banging info on Batlabs. Is there a spot on the forum I can post it to? Or should I use one of the file-sharing sites?

    Happy tweaking.

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    kc7gr: if the file is not too large you can attach it here in the tread for others to reference.

    radioman: such is true but sometimes things are not as simple as they appear

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    I was always able to change the head type on factory A9 radios in regular Spectra RSS under one of the Radio-Wide menus. It may require a version 6 MLM though. If that doesn't work flipping the bit at 6050 definitely will.

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    Yea the few spectra's I have I think are version 5. I decided to keep the A9 head it has grown on me and plus I like the fact that you can program the buttons to bring you to certain modes.

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    Please don't get me wrong, I wasn't trying to be snobbish or anything about overthinking it..The way I remember it, is if you have a radio that is feature stringed for an A-9 head, you can change it to anything but an A-3. Otherwise you do need to change the bit at 6050 with Lab.

  14. #14
    kd8gua No Longer Registered

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    I've been able to convert A5 radios to A7 using Spectra Lab RSS simply by forcing an A7 code plug into the radio. It will pop up an error that the serial and model numbers are mismatched and give you the option to continue anyway. Did that with some VHF and 900 Spectras that were A5s. Of course the 900 Spectra's time bomb capacitors have all blown up... so the thing is practically a doorstop...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kd8gua View Post
    Of course the 900 Spectra's time bomb capacitors have all blown up... so the thing is practically a doorstop...
    It can be brought back to life just like new. We do it here all the time. They even get a one year warranty.

  16. #16
    kd8gua No Longer Registered

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    I've got a friend who can do it. He did both of my VHF radios. I would ask him to do this 900 Spectra at the moment, but he's currently bogged down trying to replace PIN diodes on a Micom 2TS I blew up...