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My first MSF5K has issues.

This forum is for the discussions targeted at converting various models of Motorola equipment to operate in the 900MHz Amateur Band.

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John G
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2001 4:00 pm

My first MSF5K has issues.

Postby John G » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:08 am

I just bought a 900MHz MSF5000 model C65GFB5203AT. Others who bought the other repeaters from the same trunked system have them up and running. I must admit that I have limited experience with the MSF. I worked on a VHF base some years ago and that's about it for these. When I power it up, it displays the SSCB firmware version, 3.25, but not the TTRC version. Neither VCO shows locked. When I try to read it with 5.21 RSS, I get a TTRC type mismatch error. I created a conventional codeplug from the default one in RSS and when I try to program it into the repeater, RSS reports that it can't communicate. SInce the TTRC doesn't report its firmware revision, I suspect there is a problem with it. Has anyone encountered this problem before, and if so, what caused it?

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kcbooboo
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Re: My first MSF5K has issues.

Postby kcbooboo » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:25 pm

Do you have a reference oscillator connected? Without one the VCOs have no reference and won't lock up.

Do any of the LEDs on the TTRC light up during power-up? Could it be unplugged?

Is anything else appearing on the display besides the firmware version?

Check the jumpers JU1 and JU2; with just a TTRC and no secure board, they should both be in their "normal" position. You have to change one of those jumpers if you remove the TTRC or install the secure board.

If the TTRC is marked as "present" in the code plug, RSS and the SSCB will want to read/write it and will fail if not. You could try making a new code plug with the TTRC disabled and send that to the station; it will only write to the SSCB and that should go fine. Of course if you want to use the TTRC, you can't leave things like that.

Bob M.

John G
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2001 4:00 pm

Re: My first MSF5K has issues.

Postby John G » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:37 pm

Thanks for the fast reply, Bob. All the lights on the TTRC light when powering up. I also get an error code, I believe it is DA2. When I looked it up, the explanation was something about the serial EEPROM on the TTRC. The TTRC is definitely plugged in. I even tried unplugging it. I made up a conventional codeplug without TTRC but RSS reported that it couldn't communicate. If I select "Read station with fatal error," I get the same thing as a regular read. I tried moving JU1, 2 but that seemed to make things worse. I don't see any indication of what the "normal" positions are so I can't say whether they are in their "normal" positions or not. It would suit me to operate it without the TTRC.

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kcbooboo
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Re: My first MSF5K has issues.

Postby kcbooboo » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:40 am

There's a small silk-screened bar next to the jumper position that they consider "normal". You have to look straight on into the board to notice it, and it may even be hidden by neighboring jumpers. For the majority of them, that's in the position closest to the DC power connector.

The SSCB and TTRC both have 8-pin sockets for serial EEPROM ICs. I've never seen a station with one, but there is a field in the software for "External EEPROM" in both the SSCB and TTRC programming areas. On the F6 Advanced Information screen, page 7, you can choose Enabled or Disabled for each board. If you have the external EEPROM but don't use it, that's OK, but if the software thinks you need it (more than X number of modes and channels) and you don't have it, you'll get complaints.

There may just be a communications problem with the TTRC, although the fact that you get the dA2 error message means that the SSCB can talk to the TTRC, so why can't the programming software?

Your station has very old firmware, so you should start with the CONV.DEF codeplug file and write that to the station. If you tell the software you don't have a TTRC (F8 Station Type information, page 2), that will delete all the TTRC fields and the only way to get them back is start with the CONV.DEF file all over again.

Bob M.

John G
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2001 4:00 pm

Re: My first MSF5K has issues.

Postby John G » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:21 am

Thanks again Bob. I have received information on disconnecting the TTRC and hopefully loading a conventional codeplug. I will try that and report back.

SlimBob
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What radios do you own?: I sold my soul for a Saber.

Re: My first MSF5K has issues.

Postby SlimBob » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:06 am

Slow computer issue?
An armed society is a *polite* society.

John G
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2001 4:00 pm

Re: My first MSF5K has issues.

Postby John G » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:15 am

Removing the TTRC and loading a conventional codeplug did it. Had to adjust the receive VCO a little. Now, to figure out where to hook a speaker and get the receiver aligned. I don't have one of those fancy metering panels. But at least no error codes.

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kcbooboo
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Re: My first MSF5K has issues.

Postby kcbooboo » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:58 am

The metering panel is definitely the way to go as it has an amplified speaker in it. The station has a low-power amp that will feed a handset or earphone but probably won't do much with a speaker. The signal is available on the front panel CTRL jack, a 6P6C modular type. You typically don't use the speaker during alignment, just the meter, a tuning probe, and a sig gen.

Computer speed usually isn't a problem with the MSF5000 as communications runs at a blazing 1200 baud.

Bob M.


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