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IC-F3021S Firmware Question

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#1
I recently bought an IC-F3021S radio off of ebay with Revision 1.0 and was wondering if I upgrade the firmware, will it disable wideband use for 2m? It currently does wideband without any problems and I have read on some sites that upgrading the firmware will lock it to narrowband only. If that is the case I will leave it alone but I would like to get the last firmware update as I also use it in a commercial environment. Also do you have to pay for the firmware just like you do for the programming software? Please don't laugh at the question because this is my first commercial radio I have purchased so I really don't know.:D I bought the software so I wouldn't mind paying for the firmware, I'm just curious if that is up to the dealers to charge for the updates. I'm not new to the ham world or using radios, just new to owning a commercial radio.
 

wa1nic

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#2
I have seen occasional posts about upgrading/downgrading firmware in F3021's and F5021's but have never actually seen a link to the firmware.


Nor an I sure why I would want to. All of mine still do WFM and I cant think of a reason why I would want to mess with them.

If you don't have a good reason to mess with it, why do so?

Rick
 
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Good point Rick. I mainly use the radio in a commercial application so if I were to upgrade the firmware and it locks it in NFM, I'm not that concerned since I do have a few ht's laying around for 2m. The only main reason why I would upgrade the firmware is to get the MDC1200 to work. After several attempts of trying to get the MDC to work, I think it must have something to do with the firmware. I also can not set up the scan how I would like with rev 1.0 and would need something higher than rev 1.1 firmware...Well at least that is what it states in the programming software.
 

wa1nic

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#4
I will have to check to see what firmware I am using, maybe this weekend, but I have WFM and MDC1200 works as well.

I dont use scan, so not sure about that.
 

wa1nic

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#6
I just realized something... I have no idea how to figure out what software rev I have in my radios.

Where does it show up?
 
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On mine I press and hold the P3 and the button just below the PTT while turning it on. In the software it shows up when you click the clone information button or Top Menu > Clone > Information.
 

wa1nic

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#8
OK... I checked 4 of them

Ones without a keypad are all 2.2
Ones with a keypad are all 3.1

I don't know if the keypad has anything to do with the rev or not. They didn't all get bought at the same time or from the same place, and most were slightly used when I got them so I don't know how old they really are.
 
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#9
Thanks for checking. Well at least I know that I can use 2.2 to hopefully get it up to par since mine doesn't have the keypad. I also received a reply from an Icom dealer about getting the firmware:

"Erich,
I am told by Icom Tech Support that the firmware on your radio cannot be "field upgraded." It would have to be sent to Icom repair. So unless you are having problems, I would recommend you leave it as is."

So now I guess I'll have to drive 2 hours to the closest dealer and get it done:(. I understand that they probably don't want me accidentally turning my radio into a paperweight and then blaming them for bricking it. Does anyone reading this thread know of a dealer that might be a little more helpful? I just don't want to believe that it has to be sent to Icom and it can't be "field upgraded" by me.
 
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My software revision is 3.4 so I wonder if that is why the radio doesn't save the mdc settings. Maybe I need to try to find the revision 1 software. I can program the mdc and it uploads it to the radio just fine however it doesn't save it in the radio. I know that doesn't make sense. When I read from the radio, all the mdc settings are turned off. I wonder what magic wand I have to use to get it working?
 
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I got a sneaky suspicion that it probably has something to do with the firmware. However, I am going to try to find an online dealer with version 3.2 for sale. If that doesn't fix the mdc problem, I will have to see if I can find a dealer that is open on the weekends. I wish I could mail it to a dealer but I use it for one of my jobs during the week:(.
 
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#15
I received several emails from various Icom dealers today. Every dealer has stated that they can't help me with updating the firmware and that Icom has discontinued support for the radio. I was even told that it would need a higher firmware update for the MDC1200 to work. Even the closest dealer said if I brought it in that they couldn't help me and it would have to be sent to Icom. With that being said I guess I am just stuck with an MDC1200 capable radio that has no MDC1200. LOL oh well life goes on and I will just have to buy a new commercial radio with mdc that works. Sometimes it sucks being a contractor and having to provide your own stuff. Many thanks to you Rick for trying to help me fix the problem. If anyone comes across this thread in the future with some possible help, please post a reply.
 

wa1nic

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#16
Yes, they have been replaced with a newer model (F-3031 I believe). The newer model I don't think is WFM capable though.

I was able to find 6 of the F3021's on ebay for well under $200 each, all in like new to new condition. That was a couple of years ago. They seem a little bit less common now than they used to be though. I actually got one that had a scrambler in it and was programmed as received for a frequency that was used by the 2012 DNC. They probably bought a zillion of them, used them for a week, and then sold them all.

When shopping on ebay, always ask if it is WFM capable and if the programming security code has be reset so that o code is needed to program it. I guess you would want to ask about software revision as well, something that I wasn't even aware of as being a problem. If you ask these questions and it turns out the seller mislead you, you have recourse. I did get one that I had to send back because the programming was locked.
 
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