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Astro Saber AVA & Astro HHCH - The Facts vs. The Myth

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motorola_otaku
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Astro Saber AVA & Astro HHCH - The Facts vs. The Myth

Postby motorola_otaku » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:28 am

One version of this legendary hardware kit is known to exist and work. Here's how it breaks down:

  • AVA Cradle, part #PLN7736A. Yes, it is intrinsically different than the NTN7727x AVA cradles all over eBay, although how exactly is not known at this time.
  • XTVA handheld control head, part #PLN7737x. The kit pictured below uses a PLN7737A head which works with the AVA, but not with an XTVA. However, a late-revision PLN7737E head was also tested with the AVA and found to work identically. It plugs into the 8-pin RJ45 mic jack on the side of the cradle using a straight-through (1-1, 2-2, etc.) coiled cable that is identical to the cable used on DTMF and side-button MCS2000 microphones.
  • A very specific range of HOST firmware in the Astro Saber radio used: between AP_R03.20.01 and R05.60.xx. DSP version is irrelevant, as is the VOCON size. Both 512K and 1 MEG radios with firmware in this range were tested and found to work. Conceivably a 512K VOCON with DSP8 firmware forced in through chip programming would work. HOST firmware outside this range will either exhibit erratic or nonexistent function of the HHCH, or cause it to flash FAIL 01/90.
  • Handheld control head button functions enabled in the Astro Saber's codeplug through LAB programming. Some whoreflash s-recs/codeplugs floating around out there are set up for it, others are not. There is an option under the Labtools menu in old Astro Lab B03.04.xx to enable HHCH capability which works for old VSELP-era codeplugs and LA_ROVER.S, but obviously won't work for later 1C5E/4F1E whoreflash codeplugs or legit factory codeplugs.

Pictures of my personal kit, installed in a 2007 Impala. The radio used is VHF, 1 MEG, Host R05.60.00, DSP N06.05.02 and is a Model 3 in a Model 2 case with a 1C5E flash.
ImageImageImageImageImageImage

A brief demonstration, including the demo radio in test mode showing its firmware revisions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvPqXzNQcAs

A second, possibly earlier version of this kit has been rumored to exist since the earliest days of the Board which used a standard NTN7727x AVA cradle and a HMN4044 W3 Astro Spectra handheld control head connected with the amplified speaker to the DB25 connector on the bottom of the cradle through a Y-cable. Compelling evidence for its existence has been found over the years including PTT and Mic Audio functions on the DB25 connector, references in AVA installation manuals and the Astro Spectra control head service manual, and even a part number for the Y-cable (NTN8077A) which of course is NLA. However, a complete working kit has never surfaced and various attempts to probe a NTN7727 cradle for SB9600 data were unsuccessful.

Discussion threads and relevant information:
Attention Elroy - AVA HHCH
Information about the HMN4044 W3 head, including caps from the Astro Spectra control head manual
AVA HHCH dilemma..
Astro Saber HHCH
Last edited by motorola_otaku on Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
When exposed to Rapid Fire Growth or Thermal Emergency, two things are lost:
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dfc2
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Astro Saber AVA & Astro HHCH - The Facts vs. The Myth

Postby dfc2 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:32 pm

OK...So I have read this post..... then like most of you, I started looking for a cradle.......OK... where are they? are they that hard to find? I search on e bay, and every other site I can find.. did this guy get the only one made?

Anyone have ANY info?

DFC2

Astro Saber AVA & Astro HHCH - The Facts vs. The Myth

resqguy911
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Re: Astro Saber AVA & Astro HHCH - The Facts vs. The Myth

Postby resqguy911 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:23 pm

Sold mine at Dayton this year. They are extremely hard to find, and once you do- you feel like the bad guy that picked the wrong Grail in The Last Crusade. Totally not worth the effort.
"TDMA = digital and same great taste, half the bits"

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Re: Astro Saber AVA & Astro HHCH - The Facts vs. The Myth

Postby k5hdm » Mon May 02, 2011 11:17 am

Why aren't they worth the effort? I have been looking for just a regular AVA for about 3 years now with no luck.. I really really want one..
-Harmon - K5HDM
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resqguy911
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Re: Astro Saber AVA & Astro HHCH - The Facts vs. The Myth

Postby resqguy911 » Tue May 03, 2011 1:19 pm

Because for much less aggravation you could have a 1,000 channel XTS5000 in an XTVA, all still supported by the depot should anything break. Granted the Astro Saber was king in its day, but it really is time to retire to the museum shelf.
"TDMA = digital and same great taste, half the bits"

fineshot1
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Re: Astro Saber AVA & Astro HHCH - The Facts vs. The Myth

Postby fineshot1 » Fri May 24, 2013 7:24 am

motorola_otaku wrote:[*][*]XTVA handheld control head, part #PLN7737x. The kit pictured below uses a PLN7737A head which works with the AVA, but not with an XTVA.


Not sure how the PLN7737A could not work with the XTVA, i have a fleet of PLN7737B and NTN8560F Holder Units unless it has something to do
with the suffix info of those tested at that time.
fineshot1
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Re: Astro Saber AVA & Astro HHCH - The Facts vs. The Myth

Postby motorola_otaku » Fri May 24, 2013 3:31 pm

I never investigated it further, but that's how it laid out.
PLN7737A: works on AVA, not on XTVA
PLN7737B: works on AVA and XTVA
When exposed to Rapid Fire Growth or Thermal Emergency, two things are lost:
1. Ability to use fine motor skills
2. Presence of mind

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Re: Astro Saber AVA & Astro HHCH - The Facts vs. The Myth

Postby motorola_otaku » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:17 am

Update: while not completely invalidated, much of the information in the first post has been superseded by this very well researched and detailed document: http://www.aa0no.com/AVA/Motorola%20Astro%20AVA-HHCH%20Modification(1).pdf

Note: neither myself not this host of the document are responsible for its content. All credit for the research and information belongs to the author.
When exposed to Rapid Fire Growth or Thermal Emergency, two things are lost:
1. Ability to use fine motor skills
2. Presence of mind


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