MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

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MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby Norman » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:43 pm

Hi guys. I have three MCS2000s (M01WJLPW4CN). The first works perfectly on the HAM frequencies and I used it to successfully clone to a second radio. The third radio also took a clone from the first but beeps and displays an "FL 001". The error goes away if I restore the original codeplug (RX = 939 MHz, TX = 900 MHz). It was set up with four conventional channels and one trunked. My objective is to operate RX 927 and TX 902.

Looking around, I read that an "FL 0001" means the VCO isn't locking. But I also read that MCS2000s (M01WJLPW4CN) should work fine with just s/w programming, but apparently not in my case. What might be wrong? Any suggestions welcome.

Thanks,

Norman
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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby JPOPatents » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:02 am

Norman,

Now and then you may find an MCS2000 with a VCO that will not lock in the ham band. The following link provides instructions for how you can modify the VCO if that is the problem:

http://users.innercite.com/kj6ko/page14.html

Greg, KJ6KO, has run across one or two that had to be done so far. He did one and the other was done by someone back east using conductive ink and worked fine. You might contact him directly for help.
-John
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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby Norman » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:26 am

Thanks for your reply John. I guess I ended up one of these. Looks delicate! I'll print a copy of the instructions and work slowly. Hopefully I won't botch it.

Thanks again,

Norman
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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby JPOPatents » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:59 am

Instead of trying to clone a codeplug from another radio, read the radio, save that codeplug for backup, open the saved codeplug and add a few ham freqs, save that codeplug under a different name, open the saved ham codeplug, and then write the ham codeplug back to the radio. Try programming a few test channels like 927.0, 928.0 929.0 930.0 and see which ones it will lock on, if any. If it locks on the higher freq's, the VCO will need to be modded.
-John
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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby Norman » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:05 am

Hi John. I started at 933 and worked my way down to 931 without any problems. The "FL 001" starts at 930, so 931's a low as I can go. I've got my work cut out for me. I've picked up a spool of that copper snail tape (though I only need a 2mm piece!). I hope this goes well. Thanks for your pointers. I'll report back my results.

Thanks again,

Norman
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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby Norman » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:37 pm

JPOPatents wrote:Norman,

Now and then you may find an MCS2000 with a VCO that will not lock in the ham band. The following link provides instructions for how you can modify the VCO if that is the problem:

http://users.innercite.com/kj6ko/page14.html

Greg, KJ6KO, has run across one or two that had to be done so far. He did one and the other was done by someone back east using conductive ink and worked fine. You might contact him directly for help.

Hi John,

Success! All the cautions mentioned when working on this model could not be overstated. I worked slowly which paid off. I spend a half hour last night just trying to carefully remove the top half of the case then I called it a night.

This evening, I forged ahead, carefully removing the board from the radio. I pulled off the tape and studied the modification document and the VCO for about 45 minutes before gathering enough nerve to scrape off the coating on what I believed to be the tuning stub. The 'after' picture in the doc was just was too small for me to immediately understand what I was looking for. Then I started scraping but was a bit unclear about just how much coating to remove. I decided to expose all the gold as the little 1mm x 2mm piece of copper would pretty much cover it up anyway.

I tacked it on the tuning stub with some solder as directed. I was uncomfortable with having this piece of foil tacked down with so little solder so I was contemplating sealing the modified stub with a drop of epoxy glue. I didn't know if it adding epoxy would do more harm than good so I didn't and just reassembled the radio.

I don't know the new limits of the radio but the VCO does now lock between 926-930.

The link to Greg's doc was very helpful but your messages gave me the additional courage and confidence I needed to take on this challenge. I now have two MCS2000s on 927 MHz but I will always have a special bond with this particular radio which survived such delicate surgery in my hands. With this experience, I think I could now do this in half the time. This is true ham radio.

Thanks again for your guidance and 73!

Norman
WB6YSL
San Mateo, CA
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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby JPOPatents » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:12 am

Hi Norman,

You are most welcome, and thank you for the kind words. Modding the MCS2000 is not for the faint of heart as you found out, and you should take great pride in your success. Credit for the mod goes to Greg, KJ6KO, and his excellent website. I hope to hear you on the NC9RS linked system!

John, WB6WQF
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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby d119 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:47 am

I've got one that likes to unlock during transmit. Is the modification the same for the transmit VCO?
"im not doing MDC 24/7 but when i get a hankerin' for some DATA TX i do." -wazzzzzzzzup

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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby JPOPatents » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:19 am

d119 wrote:I've got one that likes to unlock during transmit. Is the modification the same for the transmit VCO?


I'm not completely certain, but here is the response that I received from the most knowledgeable person I know on this topic:

"Doesn't make any sense as the TX VCO in the MCS is very wide! It covers the entire range! If it is unlocking in the HAM bands on repeater inputs, that doesn't make any sense as the HAM bands are right next to the commercial input channels. Does it work if programmed to TX on 901.9875 and on 928.100 simplex? I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the TX VCO covers both rptr and simplex channels, making it very wide! if it works at 901 and 928, there is no reason it shouldn't work at 902 or 927. BUT...I could be wrong! The TX VCO uses different tuning entirely...doesn't have the "tab" the RX does, so not sure if it can be tuned."
-John
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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby d119 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:33 am

902.1125MHz is the frequency it is unlocking on. Not sure what the deal is with that. I have another radio I can just swap it out with, but wanted to see if there was anything that could be done for it. It may have a bad board and nothing can be done.
"im not doing MDC 24/7 but when i get a hankerin' for some DATA TX i do." -wazzzzzzzzup

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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby JPOPatents » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:56 am

d119 wrote:902.1125MHz is the frequency it is unlocking on. Not sure what the deal is with that. I have another radio I can just swap it out with, but wanted to see if there was anything that could be done for it. It may have a bad board and nothing can be done.


There is definitely something wrong with the radio. This is a 900 MHZ radio and not an 800 MHz radio, correct? What's the model number? The radio should easily transmit on 902.1125.
-John
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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby d119 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:20 pm

It *RARELY* does transmit there, most of the time it's Fail 001. It's definitely a 900MHz radio. Works OK in other parts of the band but I do believe it fails on talkaround as well...
"im not doing MDC 24/7 but when i get a hankerin' for some DATA TX i do." -wazzzzzzzzup

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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby JPOPatents » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:57 pm

d119 wrote:It *RARELY* does transmit there, most of the time it's Fail 001. It's definitely a 900MHz radio. Works OK in other parts of the band but I do believe it fails on talkaround as well...


Have you determined the highest TX frequency where the VCO will lock? Also, is your software correctly hex edited?
-John
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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby d119 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:11 pm

I haven't gotten into the nitty-gritty of whats what with the radio... I'll try to get to that in the next couple of weeks.
"im not doing MDC 24/7 but when i get a hankerin' for some DATA TX i do." -wazzzzzzzzup

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Re: MCS2000 & "FL 001" error

Postby d119 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:44 pm

Still having this issue - any ideas anyone??
"im not doing MDC 24/7 but when i get a hankerin' for some DATA TX i do." -wazzzzzzzzup

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