Dangers of some Clone Ribs / Ribless Cables

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Dangers of some Clone Ribs / Ribless Cables

Postby Monty » Sat Jul 31, 2004 2:56 pm

Hello:

It was requested I make a post on some
reported dangers in using Clone Ribs and
Ribless Cables.

And Please, NOT all clone Ribs are bad !
Some maybe a little poorer than others, but
you have to make the judgement call yourself
here.
=================================

One thing for sure, quality in the cable or Rib
plays a major role as to the saftey of your radio
and Computer !


=================================
This is to just inform those who may not
be aware of some of the problems when
considering Clone Ribs and even Ribless
Cables ( Even Motorola ones ) when
connecting them up to either the radio or
Computer.

The " Pocket " Rib below for whatever reason
Smoked the Lap Top Computer and killed a
fairly new HT1250 Radio.


Was reported to been Ok at first, then was set
up to program the radio again, and this was the
result:

Image

Boom, no more Computer, Rib or Radio.......

================================

Ribless Cables can have the same result ( even
the Motorola one ) has a area where the DB25
Connector can " Short " to the PC board. In later
model versions, there is now a mylar strip that
isolates the PC board and Connector.

Image

================================

The one below is another " Muliti-Radio " programming
Rib, and I would urge strong caution before connecting
your 1500.00 ~ 2000.00 Computer up to this so called
" Ribless Cable "

Image

================================

Again, NOT all Clone Ribs ( or Cables ) share the
same pitfalls, but again, before you connect up
your computer to these style devices ( or ANY Device )
for that matter, I would make sure by:

________________________________________________

"Taking Apart" the Connector header, and view the
Construction of the plug
, it may save the Distruction of
your Computer
[/b]

_________________________________________________

This is "Exactly" what the DB9 plug looks like on a cheap
clone Ribless Cable being sold on auction sites. They
make work once or twice, but I sure would think again
before connecting the above to any computer I own.

Image

Note: No Rubber Supports, No Sleeves for the Pins, super
small telephone size wire, and a horrible soldering job !

EEgads......

Monty
Last edited by Monty on Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby FDC_100 » Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:57 am

Just to confirm Monty's story, when I started out, I purchased one of those aftermarket RIB boxes. It worked for a little while, and then I ended up frying a brand new HT1250........quite an expensive mistake.

Factory RIB boxes and cables is the only way to go.
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Postby kc7gr » Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:06 am

FDC_100 wrote:Just to confirm Monty's story, when I started out, I purchased one of those aftermarket RIB boxes. It worked for a little while, and then I ended up frying a brand new HT1250........quite an expensive mistake.

Factory RIB boxes and cables is the only way to go.


I would agree with ONE exception: The Sandy Ganz RIBs are, if properly constructed with good-quality components, just as good as (if not better in features than) the Motorola RIBs.

I've built two of Sandy's units from the blank board on up, and have never had any problems with them (yes, I trust my MT2000 to it). I suspect this is largely due to the fact that he's pretty much duplicated Motorola's design.

Keep the peace(es).
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Postby Monty » Mon Aug 02, 2004 11:16 am

I would agree with ONE exception: The Sandy Ganz RIBs are, if properly constructed with good-quality components, just as good as (if not better in features than) the Motorola RIBs.



I can agree to some level , (and do support Sandys design)
however, it having "Better" features than the Motorola
one I would rethink that for the following:


1. Sandys Rib uses a very inexpesive on/off switch and is
" open " to the elements
. In time, those copper clad surfaces
become tarnished, and sometimes intermittent. I have seen
them become " intermittent " and required replacement from
time to time.

The Motorola Rib uses a USA C & K Rocker Switch that
is fully enclosed (has Gold Plated Contacts) and is
completely sealed from the elements.


2. The design of Sandys Rib are attractive from a
economical view, but they also have many things
missing such as the Housing, the Power Supply,
Hardware, Labor , etc. And although there are
housings & "Extras" are made for them, it also
adds to the cost in " Who ever " builds or
sells them.

3. Additionally, the "Quality" of the parts used to
make his RIb many times may come from
Cheaper Sources
,and there is a major
difference between the AMP DB15 & DB25 Series
Connectors compared to the more inexpensive
China Styles that often are used to construct them


And, I can agree, the "Construction " is of Prime Importance.

4.In the Motorola Rib Box design, these
DB25 and DB15 Connectors are " Secured " to
the PC board with 3MM Stainless Steel Hardware,
where the more inexpensive Ribs are just
soldered to the PC Board


Tech Tip:

If you should have one of these style ribs, or "ANY " style Clone
Rib where the PC board is mounted " Between " the Contacts
of the DB25 Connector:

Build a "Pig Tail" dongle ( DB25F to DB25M) cable. This cable is
left attatched to the Clone Rib, and will relieve the Stress on the
Connector.....When / If it wears out, just replace the Dongle !


For persons who only use a Rib Box once or twice a year, I see
no drawbacks, but I have seen Techs at the Race Track even
wear out a Motorola DB25 Connector by taking the program cables
on and off on a weekly basis.


Hence, I DO NOT recommend the use of a
Cheap DB25 Connector as made by DBS.
Play it safe, use the AMP Style
!


5. Also, for those interested, Factory Motorola
Rib Boxes go through over [5] dynamic Quality
Control Checks
. There is a reason for this
.

Most Clone Ribs get "Tested By The Customer " and
may have no quality control at all.


BUT, that is where Clone Ribs are "Cheaper"
(in some cases)since items like the External
Power Supply, Rib to Computer Cable, housings,
quality of componets used, Labor maybe left out
of the picture.



Tech Tip:

If you use a Clone Rib , I would Highly Recommend getting
the " Highest QUALITY " 7.5 Volt Zener Diodes since they live
right on the Data lines !

___________________________________________________

If / When you can find them, the Sensemi Zenersare
the best you can get, and are indentifed with
a "Gray" housing.

They are very durable Zener Diodes. For those who
have trouble with the Cheaper Diodes, I do have a
quanity left, but they are not "Cheap" compared to the
clear type
.


They also play a "Major Role" in the protection of
the radio.


Foeget trying to hunt them down ! Been there, done that.
They are almost exclusive to mfg's and one has to buy
5000 @ a time if you want to order
from them direct.
_______________________________________________

We " ONLY " use the Factory replacements when a
Motorola Rib is sent in for repair that get damaged
by poorly made cables !
Since Rib Boxes are
compatable with many Motorola Radios,all the
circuits inside the Box "MUST BE FUNCTIONAL"

and all to often I here:

"Well, it works with one radio, but not another"

Sometimes that is "Rib Box" related, sometimes is
the Computer or RSS, sometimes both !

In either case, its not worth the risk from my view point.

5. There are other trival features in the Motorola Rib
like the On/Off switch being recessed, light weight plastic enclosure, 2.5 mm heavy duty external power jack, Quality
of the parts used, but most already are aware of those
attributes of a Motorola Rib Box.

However, if you have a limited budget, one can take a
PC board design from batlabs or Sandy's PC and if you
can make a suitable Rib Box for programming. But experiece
has shown, you still end up spending over 100.00
if you want the Quality.


One thing for sure, I now have a few cases where the
entire Lap Top was fried and it was due to a Cheap A**
Rib Failure.

The ones with this failure were not very happy !

Monty
Last edited by Monty on Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:48 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Postby ricciticcitembo » Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:37 pm

My MX300RIB is better than the factory rib.
It's smaller, and much more durable.
Tripple power supply.
Low power/voltage indicator. (calibrated)
Gold plated sealed Switches.
All Factory Moto Parts. (Thank you Monty)
Silver Solder.
Parts individually matched and tested.
lent out to a MA/COM Shop as well as the FED.
X9000, ASTRO, MTS, and Dual Band Spectra Qualified.
It costs more too!

The next one will be in an R case and be quite waterproof/explosion proof.
Also it will incorporate the Moto Rib DB25 with the spring loaded
pins that I got from Monty.
Monty Says that style connector is superior, and I have to agree.

And for the record even though my DB25 IS soldered to the board,
because I used point to point wiring even if the board cracks it will
not disconnect any electrical path since it is hardwired.

But again, that spring loaded dealy is better, and will be used next time.



Image
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Postby clavo » Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:32 pm

I've been using one of Sandy's ribs for 3 to 4 years programming everything (almost every portable made and about 10 different mobiles) and never had any problems.

-c

kc7gr wrote:I would agree with ONE exception: The Sandy Ganz RIBs are, if properly constructed with good-quality components, just as good as (if not better in features than) the Motorola RIBs.



Monty wrote:I made a correction to where the quote came from
since it was not fro me. Rest of post is a duplicate
of my comments _Monty
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Postby Monty » Mon Aug 02, 2004 6:04 pm

Hi:

To make sure we stay on the same page, I have always
supported both the Batlab Design and Sandys Design.


For those who can afford the extra bucks, and since I
offer support for them I can vouch for the Motorola ones
too since they have been a proven Rib for over 14 years.


The Sandy Gantz Rib is a Very Close copy of the Motorola
Rib, and is more compact. Has a " Superior " internal
Battery design.


So long as the quality or the labor in building a Rib is done
well, I can see absolutely no harm in " Making your own"


Many Techs get a personal reward when they make a
neat Rib Box as pictured below !

A lot of time and effort went into the construction of the
Rib listed below !


I can very much appreciate those who build there own products
and take the extra time to make sure the cables and componets
are secured.

Image



Excellent Job !


Monty
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Postby kc7gr » Mon Aug 02, 2004 6:09 pm

Monty wrote:
I would agree with ONE exception: The Sandy Ganz RIBs are, if properly constructed with good-quality components, just as good as (if not better in features than) the Motorola RIBs.


I can agree to some level , ( and do support Sandys design)
however, it having "Better" features than the Motorola one
I would rethink that for the following:


1. Sandys Rib uses a very inexpesive on/off switch and is
" open " to the elements
. In time, those copper clad surfaces
become tarnished, and sometimes intermittent. I have seen
them become " intermittent " and required replacement from
time to time.


That's why I used a high-grade sealed toggle switch from C&K instead of the stock slider. Cost about $6 instead of a dollar or so, but I know I can count on it. ;-)

Monty wrote:2. The design of Sandys Rib are attractive from a economical
view, but they also have many things missing such as the
Housing, the Power Supply, Hardware, Labor , etc.
And although there are housings & "Extras" are made for
them, it also adds to the cost in " Who ever " builds or
sells them.


Again, I spotted these shortcomings even before I bought the boards. I made a choice to build them with solid enclosures, a mil-spec connector for the external power, mil-spec parts for the D-sub 25's, etc.

I was able to do this with a lot less $$ outlay than I might have because I had a big stock of NOS connector components.

Monty wrote:For persons who only use a Rib Box once or twice a year, I see
no drawbacks, but I have seen Techs at the Race Track even
wear out a Motorola DB25 Connector by taking the program cables
on and off on a weekly basis.


Once again, this is why I opted for mil-spec parts on the high-stress points like switches and connectors. I didn't want to take chances with my radios (or anyone else's!) during programming.

Monty wrote:Hence , I DO NOT recommend the use of a Cheap DB25 Connector as made by DBS. Play it safe, use the AMP Style !


Better yet, invest in the correct crimp tooling to use the closed-barrel machined contacts present in the mil-spec parts. Those little monsters are tough!

<snip>

Monty wrote:However, if you have a limited budget, one can take a
PC board design from batlabs or Sandy's PC and if you
can make a suitable Rib Box for programming. But experiece
has shown, you still end up spending over 100.00
if you want the Quality.


Actually, my cost per RIB was about $75.

Keep the peace(es).
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Question!

Postby kc7gr » Mon Aug 02, 2004 6:14 pm

Why did the picture of the MX RIB have my company name on it with an arrow pointing at the blue LED?

I ask because I was not the one who built that beastie (though it is a really nice job).

While I find it flattering that someone wanted to stick Blue Feather's name on it, I can't take credit for it.
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Postby ExKa|iBuR » Tue Aug 03, 2004 4:10 am

I can speak for the "failures" of the cheap knock-off RIB's.

Thankfully, I've never had a radio fry as a result of a clone RIB, but I have certainly come close.

A friend of mine had what Monty would consider a Suicide RIB, one of these deals:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 80163&rd=1

Ed seems to have improved his battery connection, but it's STILL using the cheap "China" style connectors, with the thin wire with maybe 5 strands of el-cheapo wire wire. The one a friend of mine had, within maybe 6 months of use, the battery connector broke a few times and the cheap power regulator IC (7805) blew.

I've bought the "radiostew" RIB here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 00096&rd=1

This is the Sandy RIB style, which seems to be built with pretty decent parts, although it does use the cheap open-air style switches. I bought it back in February and only recently has it given up, so to speak. I haven't got a clue what could be wrong with it, but my guess is either the 7805 or the diodes on the data lines. All in all, a good RIB, but I'd rather save and get the "Real deal".

So, out of curiosity Monty - what would someone be looking at, price-wise to purchase the "real" RLN-4008 RIB from you? I am seriously considering doing that, as you know they are built to last.

Moot point now, but wouldn't it have been MUCH easier for Motorola to make RS-232 available on the universal connectors so you could hook it directly to your PC? hehe

-Mike
VoIP: BAT-MIKE (228-6453)

Are YOU hamsexy?

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Postby Monty » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:27 am

Hi Mike:

Check your email as I do sometimes offer members a
better price.

OR:

I guess I should have offer to make repairs to your
Radio Stew / Sandy Rib, in addition to giving it some
of the same tests I give Motorola ones when they
come in for repair.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I do use Higher Grade
replacement parts such as the Semsemi Diodes, IC's and
other related parts to help " Prevent " failures like the one
you have experienced.

But, at the same token, if you are into programming a lot
of High Tier type radios, you might just add the extra bucks
and get a Factory Original.

You will not be dissapointed in that choice.

____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

Why did the picture of the MX RIB have my company name on it with an arrow pointing at the blue LED?


Hi Bruce:

Was intended only to be a eye catcher !


I do that from time to time, to professional techs
to see if they really review my posts.

In todays world we can look at a subject, and
the same view point can have many explanations,
but the end result is much the same.

So, its nothing more than a little BS, and the Blue
LED was neat touch to the Clone Rib....

Monty
Last edited by Monty on Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jonathan KC8RYW » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:50 am

ExKa|iBuR wrote:This is the Sandy RIB style, which seems to be built with pretty decent parts, although it does use the cheap open-air style switches. I bought it back in February and only recently has it given up, so to speak. I haven't got a clue what could be wrong with it, but my guess is either the 7805 or the diodes on the data lines. All in all, a good RIB, but I'd rather save and get the "Real deal".

Mike-

First check to see if the diodes are "OK" with your meter.

Then check the voltage out of the 7805.

Then try replacing the CA3140.

My RIB stopped working after I made a bad programming cable :oops: . And the CA3140 was what went bad.

I took sglass's advice and socketed the CA3140, and bought a couple spares from Mouser Electronics. Just in case it happens again...

I hope this advice helps.
73 DE KC8RYW
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SYN1894B - V3m Sprint-branded Battery Cover
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Postby Monty » Sat Aug 14, 2004 9:50 am

ExKa|iBuR wrote:

This is the Sandy RIB style, which seems to be built with pretty decent parts, although it does use the cheap open-air style switches. I bought it back in February and only recently has it given up, so to speak. I haven't got a clue what could be wrong with it, but my guess is either the 7805 or the diodes on the data lines. All in all, a good RIB, but I'd rather save and get the "Real deal".


Mike-


====================================
====================================

For those who have a better quality Clone Rib Box, I
do not mind "Reworking" them and using the
"Higher - Quality" parts, however, sometimes
its worth spending just a few bucks more, and getting
a Original Motorola Rib.
===========================================

I am not able to extend a full warrantee on the Clone Ribs
but I can make them play again ( Polaris is a exception as
they are not worth fixing when they fail )
but most others
can be repaired, along with a quality & performance check if desired !

Yes, I know, you want to know the costs.....To completely
give a Rib Box a repair, and a qualitative test on all modes
runs about 75.00 from me. Regardless, its still cheaper
than a 279.00 ~ 379.00 repair !


===========================================
With the Exception of the E Series and Smart Rib, ALL
Motorola Originals others I offer a full ( 1 ) Year
warranttee on those that I service.[/b]


If you have some of these more expensive radios like
the CDM / Pro / Astro / XTS / MTS Series, you would be
well advised to Re-think using a unproven Rib on them !

I realize some do not have the budget at all, especially
in view of the average 200.00 ~ 300.00 just for the Radio
Serivce Software....Does not leave much left for a Quality
Rib Box and Cables..... :cry:


Monty
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