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Thread: A9 Spectra Programming problem...

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    Default A9 Spectra Programming problem...

    Hello all. I am having an issue programming a dual head VHF A9 High power Spectra. I am using the MOT brand DB25 style programming cable, with an aftermarket RIB. I attached the cable to the port closest to the key for the mount lock(also rear head port), read the radio, made the changes and wrote back to the radio with no issues. Then I unplugged the front head and plugged the rear head cable into that port and tried to program the rear head with the F9(Rear head program option). The program cable was left in place. I am getting the cannot access bus message. ..

    I did notice when I had the front head plugged in with the program cable the LED on the RIB would activate without external power(I plugged it in anyway). When I did the same with the rear cable the LED didn't light. Not sure if that had anything to do with it. Also, the changes are noted in the front head however the radio will give the error "boop" when trying to transmit on every channel. I assume this is because both heads aren't matching but am not sure. I have done dual head Spectras before, but it's been forever and I am having a brain fart, so thank you for the time and assistance....


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    The aftermarket RIB might be the problem, some of them did not fully implement both the negative and positive logic for BUSY and DATA. The real RIB develops 4 signals, and most radios only use 2 of them. The analog Spectras and the X9000's in particular used all 4, 2 for the radio and the other 2 for the control head. Some of the aftermarket RIB's only programmed the radio correctly; they lacked the signals necessary for programming the control heads. If you have already used the RIB to do Spectras previously, then you can assume it's got all 4 signals.

    The other issue that comes to mind is when doing Front/Rear control heads, I think you must unplug the front head and do just the rear one, then unplug the rear and do just the front one, as they conflict during programming. Try hooking up just the rear head as a single front head and try to reprogram it. If it comes back to life, then reprogram as a rear head, but it sort of sounds like you did that already.

    Just some ideas...

    P.S. Oh, yeah FYI most mobile programming cables also power the RIB up as a bonus. Most of the portable cables do not. If your RIB wasn't powered by the rear head cable when programming, that would definitely have been a problem. I typically power the RIB regardless and don't trust the power-via-cable thing. Although when you have to reset the RIB (SmartRIB) it can be a PITA having to unplug the cable as well as turning off the switch to reset it.
    Last edited by Alpha; Aug 14, 2012 at 07:17 AM.

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    I concur with Alpha's explanation about aftermarket RIBs being unreliable for programming the Spectra. I remember temporarily bricking an old A5 VHF Spectra about 10 years back, simply because the aftermarket POS RIB had the problems described above.

    The "Sandy" RIB (or variants of it) was the only reliable aftermarket RIB I ever came across.

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    Some of the later Polaris RIB's used to be OK, too. The later versions (V3? V4?) had support for all the signals. They need to support NOT BUSY, BUSY, NOT DATA, and DATA. Most radios just use DATA and BUSY or NOT BUSY. Like I said the earlier mobiles used DATA and BUSY for the radio, and NOT DATA and NOT BUSY for the control head. Pretty weird, I guess they thought that was a way to keep them from interfering with each other, but that doesn't make sense either because the NOT versions of the signals are the same signals, just inverted... Whatever...

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    You said your removing the front head and then plugging in the rear cable and head? Just swap heads, dont swap cables. The rear cable should have no power wires therfore your not powering the radio on.

    Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMR061 View Post
    You said your removing the front head and then plugging in the rear cable and head? Just swap heads, dont swap cables. The rear cable should have no power wires therfore your not powering the radio on.

    Jason
    +1 that's your problem

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    Thank you for the help guys, its super appreciated.. I had a feeling that the RIB may be an issue as I have had rare but odd problems throughout the years with it. One example was its inability to program an HT600 of all things, however the MOT rib worked fine with it...

    So I didn't actually remove the heads, just the cables at the radio itself. I however am along that mindset with the power problem, as I stated when I had the front head plugged in the LED would light, however the rear wouldn't light the same LED. So my thought, before I went and bought another RIB(wanna save for a smart RIB), was to simply swap the heads, then program the one as the rear and the other as the front. I will try that later today and report back my findings.. :-)

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    Leave the front control cable connected. Remove the 2nd control head cable. Attach the programming cable to that port. Program the radio with he front control head connected just like you would for a single head set up. Then remove the control head only. Place the rear control head on the front control head cable. Program as 2nd control head. Disconnect the programming cable and hook it all up as it should be for installation and you should be good to go.

    Jaosn

    Quote Originally Posted by Techmedic View Post
    Thank you for the help guys, its super appreciated.. I had a feeling that the RIB may be an issue as I have had rare but odd problems throughout the years with it. One example was its inability to program an HT600 of all things, however the MOT rib worked fine with it...

    So I didn't actually remove the heads, just the cables at the radio itself. I however am along that mindset with the power problem, as I stated when I had the front head plugged in the LED would light, however the rear wouldn't light the same LED. So my thought, before I went and bought another RIB(wanna save for a smart RIB), was to simply swap the heads, then program the one as the rear and the other as the front. I will try that later today and report back my findings.. :-)