R2670B Purchase Questions

LA_XTS

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I'm considering a R2670B for ease in servicing (e.g. auto tune) Astro and Astro 25 radios.

Although I have some ideas, to keep it simple, I'll just ask a few questions.

What options should I look for?

What firmware version(s)?

Can the auto tune software still be sourced? (Note: I'm not soliciting it, just asking about it for now.)

Are there any reliable vendors, either here or on eBay, for these units? I want something that works properly without discovering that I need to have it immediately serviced.

Thanks in advance.
 

MotoBill

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I have a R2670B that I also occasionally use with Auto Tune and will share a few thoughts from my experience.

The Auto Tune software released for the R26xx is dated and needs to be run on Windows XP or Windows-7 32 bit. I have Auto Tune software
for several of the Astro and Astro25 radios but I am not aware of a version for the XTL's released for the R26xx series. I am not saying it don't exist, I just saying that I have never encountered it.

The Auto Tune software for the R26xx does not support USB Programing and Test Cables. You'll need RS-232 Serial Programming & Test Cables in addition to an RLN4460 to complete you test setup. The interface between the R26xx and the PC must also be RS-232 and you'll likely need to fabricate your own cable.

My general impression with earlier Auto Test software is that one can usually perform a much better alignment manually than can be obtained by using the test software. Still, running the test suite makes is convenient for performance benchmarking.

In my case, and because of the vintage of the Auto Test software, I elected to install it on an older Dell C640 Laptop arranged to dual boot Windows XP and MS-DOS that I use to run most of my vintage RSS/CSS software. Unfortunately, the C640 has one one serial port and you need two serial ports for running Auto Test. With that, I picked up a used Edgeport USB 4-Ports converter that has excellent driver support on the Windows-XP and Windows-7 platforms.

Unless your need is for volume testing and alignment, then you'd be better off to pass on the vintage test software and perform your alignments and testing manually. If volume testing is anticipated, then you should consider investing in a a more current service monitor with requisite test software options to match the SU's in your fleet.
 
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LA_XTS

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Thanks for the comments. I do have the RLN4460 and test cables for the portables as well as an XP computer used for programming with a serial port and a USB to serial port adapter that works well with the Motorola CPS.

I could use my existing HP8924C for manual alignment. I'm looking at a cache totaling around 40 XTS3000/5000 radios. I can do a few at a time and this isn't a profit-making endeavor that would justify buying something really modern.

I'll continue to ruminate on it.
 

wiredwrx

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I'll add that I use auto test with my 2670 to "quickly" go through tuning, however, I find that the 2670 auto test is just passable.. I generally use it when I have several radios to tune, and find if the radios are close autotest works well enough. If something is way out of spec, I find auto test gives up way to quickly, and simply fails that task. I will often run that task a second time, just in case. On a second fail, I will manually complete the task/tune. It definitely is quicker and easier to use autotune, but it's not perfect.

As for the 2670 itself, I love mine. It does everything needed to tune up a radio, repeater, duplexer etc. Get the latest firmware you can, and for options, try and get the P25 option if you can, but you don't need it to tune P25 radios, only to run BER tests. Most of the other stuff won't be helpful to the amateur.
 
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jry

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I typically use the Auto Test as an initial troubleshooting test if the symptoms are vague and as a final QA check before returning to the customer.
It does require some manual intervention and does not align everything so the Tuner program may still need to be run and as mentioned if the radio is way out of spec as well.

One of the tests verifies the digital functionality but it does require the P25 option in the R2670 ...R2625 has it as standard ( bunch of other stuff got stripped out though )
 

Mars

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I have the R2670B as well. Have never played with the autotune software (I think I grabbed it from A$$ a couple years back when it was posted) but I also prefer manually tuning. I recommend setting TX deviation on your ASTRO/ASTRO25/APX subs to 3.00 kHz (not 2.83), as doing so will bring up your maximum analog deviation to about 4.3 kHz, instead of 3.5-3.7~. It has no adverse effect on TX'd P25 signals.

Nice box. My most common use/function is the Tracking Generator for tuning up band-pass/reject cans and duplexers. Just wish it had more dynamic range (sensitivity) or stronger generate output for that purpose, but meh -- there's always external "generate amps" to bump up the signals to find the center frequency or maximum reject.

If using the R2670B at your bench 99.9% of the time, I recommend investing in a GPSDO to give it a nice external reference. The recessed switch on the back of the unit toggles internal/external oscillator reference.
 

rescue161

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We quit using autotune on our R2670 monitors as the other poster mentioned, once it passes, it stops. We were always able to get a better alignment manually. So we just set up the memory channels for the alignment screen freqs and it made it pretty fast. Using the manual method, I was able to do alignments on the HP8924C much faster as it had a counter that found the transmitted freq almost instantly.
 
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LA_XTS

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Thanks to all for the suggestions. I'll probably continue to use the 8924C for now.