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APX Banding [Out of Band]

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PSEhub

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Hello All,

I am aware of the tighter constraints of the APX line in terms of out of band programming however I am wondering if there is any point in hoping for some sort of FW mod. For example, on the XTS line, people do an S-Split down to 440 for ham. I want to do the same idea with an APX7000 VHF/UHF2. I also don't know how many others actually utilize their radios for ham AND other bands. Feedback in terms of probablility/timeframe/hope would be appreciated.

Also, from a technical standpoint, if you do mod the CPS and it takes in your oob frequencies, does the radio literally "check" again? Then what happens?

Thanks.
 
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Neo

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In the APX's, the frequency split (with or without FPP) is in the radios firmware. So even if you mod the cps to allow out-of-band frequencies(OOB), the radios firmware will prevent OOB from working. You'd have to mod the cps AND firmware.

Moto made it almost impossible to do OOB programming with the APX radios.
 

d119

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Well, if it's any consolation I'm in the same situation you are. I have a FACTORY fresh VHF/UHF-2 unit sitting here on my desk that works great for work and 2 meters, but I can't use it on my 440 stuff.

I'm told that the modifications have to be done to the firmware, using some sort of software, and then the firmware has to be pushed back into the radio.

I'm also told that the kids that wrote the MotoTRBO software are the same kids that wrote the APX software. So if you are familiar with the MotoTRBO CPS RAM edit, you could TRY it on the APX, but I wouldn't expect any success.

I remember when "the only way" to get Waris radios out of band was to modify S-records and push them back into the radio, now we can do out of band with a simple DLL and CPS mod (which is described on this site, and works PERFECTLY!). It was quite a thrill to put 440 into a 450-520 CDM.

Maybe someday. I think the things [APX Series] are just too new for enough people to be playing with them to really know what the deal is exactly.
 
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PSEhub

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Thanks for the replies. I have heard that the new Trbo and APX Cps's are dot net? That (as of right now) makes mods a hassle. Is this correct?
 

Notarola

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yes they are .net the firmware is a differnet format alltogether but is loaded in the .net enviorment.
 
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dxon2m

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If you enable "Allow Out of Band Frequencies" under CPS Expert options, it will allow you to enter out of band frequencies in the CPS without spitting error. I can take my V/U1 APX to 471MHz.
 

mfire39

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If you enable "Allow Out of Band Frequencies" under CPS Expert options, it will allow you to enter out of band frequencies in the CPS without spitting error. I can take my V/U1 APX to 471MHz.

And this is the odd thing, for me at least.. I've had a few different APX7000's UHF1/VHF over the years. All different Host versions, from R02 up to R06. On my past radios, when I checked the box for allow invalid freqs, the CPS would allow me to enter them, but the radio did not like them when the channel was selected. Even if it was 1MHz oob. My current APX7000XE is UHF1/VHF, and I can RX up to about 472-ish before it throws the RX Freq Error. I wonder if the band limits and how forgiving the radio is have changed over the versions, because on the 7000's I used to have with earlier Host's, it wouldn't even RX 1MHz oob like my current XE does with Host R08.05.
 
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dxon2m

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I think it has to do with how closely the VCO goes unlock on the out of band frequency. With so much packed in a single RF board, I am actually not that surprised the VCO goes unlock after 1MHz above spec.
 

d119

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The 450-520MHz units should work down to ~438MHz. The "Enable out of band frequencies" option doesn't let the radio go down far enough. The modification to the firmware has to be done. There are folks that have been using high split APX UHF units in the 440 amateur band, and there's more to it than just checking a box.
 
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syntrx

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Australian spec UHF1 radios can do up to 472MHz out of the box (don't ask me why), even the CPS help says so.

The VCO and everything else, hardware wise should go there with no problems on a US radio as the hardware is exactly the same. Software would be the only issue.
 

Alpha

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This is not a big mystery. The radios have "soft" and "hard" band limits. The "soft" and "hard" band limits are enforced by the CPS, and secondarily by the radio's firmware. Using the ASTRO25 as an example, an R1 radio has "soft" limits at 380-470. The "hard" limits are 378 - 472, about 2-3 Mhz further out than the "soft" limits. The radio's firmware in the case of the APX line further enforces the "hard" limits which as I said are about 2-3 Mhz out beyond the "advertised" soft limits. Anything beyond that requires a customized firmware load in the case of the APX radios - for instance getting an R2 down to 440 MHz. It would most likely already go to 448 or so by checking the "out of band" option, but not much lower.

P.S. There is another thread on the forum here about expanding ranges for TX and RX in the Astro and ASTRO25 lines' CPS, if you examine that bandsplit table you'll see there are entries for the soft and hard limits for each bandsplit...
 
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d119

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Think there's any hope for me to ever get the UHF-2 side of my APX into the ham band? Or not for several years?
 

Notarola

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There is hope. The largest obsticle is to get the CPS into a readable and editable state. once this is done then work can proceed on locating the band splits and editing the ranges. The same would have to be done for the firmware.

Motorola is missing a big thing here. They could be sellling more units if they admit that hams use the hardware either as a primary user or as a resale user. Commercial operations dont care if the radios go to 440mhz.
 

d119

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No kidding. Well my 7K works great on two meters, but 90% of the stuff I use is UHF. Oh well!
 
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PSEhub

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Should I get a VHF/U1 or U2? In terms of the Astro25 line, people have had better luck bringing down an "S" split 5000. However, on my xts5000 Q Split I can mod the cps to cover from 375-509.5 mhz. Its for RX only but and on digital up at 508.xxxx it sounds like its on the fringes even with a decently strong signal. I could probably retune the thing and get compromise coverage everywhere but I only TX on ham so that wouldn't make sense.

At an electronics/hardware level, if anything the APX is more modern and should be more forgiving/flexible. Yet moto locks it down. Maybe I'm wrong about the hardware being so flexible but I've noticed since quite a while back, newer radios (even by a few years) especially the Public Safety lines oob much better regardless of the host version (since on those lines the limits weren't in the FW). Let me know what your observations are and maybe someone could advise me on which RF board will take oob better (U1 to 508.xxxx or U2 to 440.0000). My luck with the xts5000 I take it is unusual.

On one last note, does the latest standalone R9 CPS still allow the allow invalid freqs option?

Thanks for the great contributions.
 

Bigfella237

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I wouldn't expect to see a resolution to OOBing an APX for several years at least so don't hold your breath!

If this is really critical to your needs, just purchase a dual-band APX with UHF-R1 and UHF-R2 as the two bands, I believe they are available in this configuration now and this gives you access to all UHF frequencies from 380 to 520 MHz.
 
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PSEhub

PSEhub

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I'm not giving in/up quite yet for the meantime. IDA can do .net can't it? There is/will be somebody who can give this a try and take a look at the band tables. I don't mind a project and neither do many others (not necessarily only including here). If somebody wants me to figure out hex I can attempt that but the Big IDA is a little out of my current reach.

Getting an APX U1/U2 makes no sense for me and my US ham operation but it might for others who need full UHF coverage without any headaches.

Whatever solution does come up (optimistically speaking) needs to be sustainable for future FW as much as possible. I know I sure don't like getting "held back" just because of some sort of little tweak. However, just like other endeavors, it requires time and effort (which is always appreciated here when well spent) and this sometimes has to be sustained for updates. I believe I've expressed my interest and I never mind a little testing as long as Testing /= Brick. Thanks for insight/contributions.
 

Bigfella237

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I believe the newer versions of IDA do dotnet but I can't justify the exorbitant licence fees myself, if I were using it every day maybe but just for occasional 'hobby' use I have many other budgetary demands that take priority!

As Notorola alluded to, the other problem is that the dotnet files need to be deobfuscated before they can be decompiled, I am by no means an expert in doing this (especially as I've never even tried :p) but I believe 'people' are working on it as we type?
 

Alpha

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Should I get a VHF/U1 or U2? In terms of the Astro25 line, people have had better luck bringing down an "S" split 5000. However, on my xts5000 Q Split I can mod the cps to cover from 375-509.5 mhz. Its for RX only but and on digital up at 508.xxxx it sounds like its on the fringes even with a decently strong signal. I could probably retune the thing and get compromise coverage everywhere but I only TX on ham so that wouldn't make sense.

At an electronics/hardware level, if anything the APX is more modern and should be more forgiving/flexible. Yet moto locks it down. Maybe I'm wrong about the hardware being so flexible but I've noticed since quite a while back, newer radios (even by a few years) especially the Public Safety lines oob much better regardless of the host version (since on those lines the limits weren't in the FW). Let me know what your observations are and maybe someone could advise me on which RF board will take oob better (U1 to 508.xxxx or U2 to 440.0000). My luck with the xts5000 I take it is unusual.

On one last note, does the latest standalone R9 CPS still allow the allow invalid freqs option?

Thanks for the great contributions.

Your only choice is taking an R2 down to 440 if you really need coverage up to 508 MHz. Even if the powers that be come up with an OOB hack for the firmware, you are only going to RELIABLY get about 10 MHz OOB before things start getting funky. So an R2 down to 440 will work. An R1 will probably only get up to about 480-482 MHz before the VCO will no longer lock, so as I said if you really need coverage to 508 MHz then an R2 is really your only choice.
 
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PSEhub

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I'm really lucky with my xts5000 that it goes up to like 509-ish. Sure it would probably fail at TX but at least its a little something to listen to on RX. I posted in another thread about considering a Thales Liberty but in my picky state of mind I just don't think I could deal with trunking bugs even though they wouldn't affect me. I don't know if these bugs have been 99% worked out since some of the experiences since it was first launched. There are 100's of analogies that I could use (past and current) technologically of products/services that really start buggy and improve.

I don't want to completely write off everything about any of the the Multi-Band trio listed in my head in no particular order (Harris Unity XG-100P, APX7000/7000XE, and Thales Liberty) but I think the APX would be most fitting for my use (artificially created requirements). There is some truth to me using some of the features of a tough, advanced radio though. Its happened with my 5000 and I'm ready for an upgrade.

Hopefully I'm not hijacking this thread that I started but I do have to decide at some point model wise. (Don't want to buy all three). I must say I am leaning towards the APX7000XE though which is why I am/have inquired about OOB. Need those bigger knobs [on the XE] "for that *****cal look LOL" said a certain seller (redacted for various reasons). With the Liberty it is not relevant quite obviously.

Thanks for any advice (OOB on APX OR model-wise).
 
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