Death of a Motorola RIB & Spectra Programming Issues

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Death of a Motorola RIB & Spectra Programming Issues

Postby wolfofoblivion » Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:24 pm

Hey all, its been awhile since ive been on the batboard, but I come seeking the collective technological wisdom of the members again.

While attempting to program an A4 mid power (D43) spectra the other day I believe I may have destroyed my RIB. I had the radio properly connected, ignition sense wired in, ect. As I went to read the radio via RSS it would showed one of the following errors: "Serial Bus Error: Power Fault" or "Serial Bus Error: Busy Line Locked". The "Busy Line Locked" error was accompanied by a SELF CHK/FL 01/90 loop on the display that would clear if I turned the radio off and disconnected the RIB to radio cable. I attempted to read it again, to no avail. Believing the RIB to Radio cable was at fault, I ordered a different one (the original RIB to radio cable I was using was an aftermarket by Wiscomm).

I ordered a different cable from MRE direct on ebay which arrived today. Again I hooked everything up, and attempted to read the radio. I recieved the "Serial Bus Error: Power Fault" message this time, but had no "Busy Line Locked" or SELF CHK loop problems. Baffled by this I tried then to determine exactly what the problem was (computer, cable, RIB, radio) I tried to read several of my other radios with the ill-fated RIB. All of them returned as com-port errors. I tried a different computer with the same results. I know from past experience that the RIB to radio cables for my other radios are functioning. Both of the computers are showing the COM port to be working as well. This only leaves the RIB as the issue.

Is the RIB dead? If so, how did it die, so that I may not repeat the mistake again? In addition, is it possible to have the RIB repaired, or is it best to just order another one?


RIB info:
Motorola RIB P/N 01-80353A74 (from the pre-RLN4008 era)
Motorola RIB to PC cable
Aftermarket RIB to Radio cable (from MRE direct on ebay)
9v 100mA AC adapter power supply for RIB

Thanks for any help
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Postby Al » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:18 pm

As a starting point, I'd suggest that you check the wallwart at the RIB end of the power cable under some load. Quite a few of these power adapters fail because the cable takes a beating either on the transformer end or at the connector on the RIB end. Try to verify that you do indeed have 9V minimum at the RIB while moving the cable at the strain reliefs on both ends of the cable.
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Postby HLA » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:20 pm

i've actually had better luck with aftermarket ribs and ones i've built over motorola ribs. I have 2 motorola ribs sitting on the shelf right now that don't work right.
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Postby DJP126 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:48 pm

Is the RIB dead? If so, how did it die, so that I may not repeat the mistake again? In addition, is it possible to have the RIB repaired, or is it best to just order another one?


When I was with the test equipment depot, we would swap defective ribs with new ones for $100. I don't know if CTDI is continuing this practice but you can find out by calling them @ 1-800-323-6967. By the way, CTDI's test equipment depot is still in Elgin and the hired most of the techs from the Motorola TE depot.

RIB info:
Motorola RIB P/N 01-80353A74 (from the pre-RLN4008 era)


In addition to adding the 9V battery, the RLN4008 series added protection diodes to the data lines of the rib. Your 01-803 model doesn't have this protection. If CTDI still replaces them at $100, is it worth it to troubleshoot and repair? Sometimes yes, but I usually have more important things to take care of.
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Postby wolfofoblivion » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:09 pm

Al wrote:As a starting point, I'd suggest that you check the wallwart at the RIB end of the power cable under some load. Quite a few of these power adapters fail because the cable takes a beating either on the transformer end or at the connector on the RIB end. Try to verify that you do indeed have 9V minimum at the RIB while moving the cable at the strain reliefs on both ends of the cable.


The AC adapter is working just fine, puts out the required 9V and no damage to the cord or strain reliefs.

DJP126 wrote:If CTDI still replaces them at $100, is it worth it to troubleshoot and repair? Sometimes yes, but I usually have more important things to take care of.


Thanks for the insight and info. It's probably too much of a hassle (both for the techs and me) to send this old box off for repair, especially if it'll just end up getting replaced alltogether. Ill probably scrap this one and order a RLN4008 tomorrow.
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Postby Will » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:29 pm

wolfofoblivion, I still repair RIBs in the Monty tradition. (Monty was the RIB expert, now a silent key).


A lot less than the $100 the other pepole charge. As always, free estamate.
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Postby mr.syntrx » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:15 am

RIBs are easy to fix, because electronically, they're not particularly complicated. You could even replace every component in a RIB (probably $20-$30 worth at most) in an hour and fix it by brute force.
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Postby wolfofoblivion » Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:02 am

Thanks for the help folks. Ive gone ahead and ordered a replacement (RLN4008E). I figured that this RIB has been with me for quite awhile and perhaps it was its time (poor thing's practically a museum piece at this point).

Anyone have any ideas on how it might have gotten fried? I don't want to make the same mistake again. My theory is that the aftermarket programming cable I initially used killed it.
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Postby Will » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:52 pm

It is hard to determin the failure or why it failed without seeing the 'dead RIB'.

There are many stories of aftermarket cables being wired wrong.
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Postby ayaresr » Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:21 pm

I have fried two RIB's using cables that were supposed to be for a radio and were for another radio. I would suggest checking the pinout of the cable against this site.
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Postby wolfofoblivion » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:41 am

Hey folks,
I recieved my replacement RIB and everything is working fine. The cable from MRE works great and I was finally able to program that darn A4 spectra.

I believe that there may have been a short in the wiscomm cable I had tried to use previously which probably burned up my old RIB.

Thanks again for everyones help!
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Postby SlimBob » Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:50 pm

wolfofoblivion wrote:Thanks for the help folks. Ive gone ahead and ordered a replacement (RLN4008E). I figured that this RIB has been with me for quite awhile and perhaps it was its time (poor thing's practically a museum piece at this point).


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