Kenwood: Kenwood TM-D710GA Will Not Beacon Out

slsrc

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Apr 29, 2017
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6
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St. Louis
#1
Need some troubleshooting help here. I've had my TM-D710GA for 2 years. Last year I had the TNC replaced as it was throwing errors under warranty and everything has been fine since. Now the radio will not beacon out. Last beacon was 2 weeks ago as I've been troubleshooting for the past week.

This is what I've tried.

1) Full reset (4 times so far)
2) Loaded old, new, medium configs from saved .mc6 files that I know are good configurations
3) Configured the radio from scratch

Troubleshooting items
1) iGPS is blinking with good GPS lock
2) Beacon is turned on. Even when I toggle the Beacon on/off I can't get it to send out.
3) I've configured the APRS settings the same, different, etc from my own settings that were working compared to a few youtube videos out there. I've gone setting by setting.
4) Configured the APRS settings for Auto (.5 interval) plus Smartbeaconing (same results).
5) Changed to a different band (A vs B) with the same results
6) iGPS coordinate are good, when I'm traveling down the road, I can see speed, alt, location updating in the radio.
7) There is an APRS iGate in the area and it's working, but still not getting plotted on APRS.fi.
8) There isn't a lot of traffic in the area, so I know it's not waiting on a time to transmit.
9) I've set the TX beep on transmit just to make sure I'm not missing anything and ...nothing...


Odd Items I've noticed.
1) When I configure the APRS settings for PPT, I can push out a beacon manually, so I know the radio is good.

Anybody know some good troubleshooting items to try other than the ones I've already tried above? It's got to be a hardware issue??????
 

W9BU

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5,544
Location
Brownsburg, Indiana
#2
Is the radio in APRS mode? Press the TNC button to the right of the display. It should cycle through nothing (TNC off) > APRS > PACKET. If you don't see "OPENING TNC" when you go into APRS mode, you have a problem.

Go into Menu 601 and make sure Data Band is set for A Band or B Band (whichever side you are using for APRS). Data Speed should be set for 1200. DCD Sense should be set for "D or RX Band".

Is Menu 600 set for APRS?

In Menu 611, set Method to Auto, Initial Interval to 3 min, Decay Algorithm Off, Proportional Pathing Off.

In Menu 613, make sure it's set for APK102.

That's all I can think of right now. I know some of my questions are kinda basic, but it's often the little things that trip you up.
 

slsrc

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Messages
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St. Louis
#3
Hello, thanks for the reply. Answers below...as I do more troubleshooting! :-(

Is the radio in APRS mode? Press the TNC button to the right of the display. It should cycle through nothing (TNC off) > APRS > PACKET. If you don't see "OPENING TNC" when you go into APRS mode, you have a problem.
It's in APRS TNC mode, not packet. No errors. APRS12 is in the upper left hand corner. Check!

Go into Menu 601 and make sure Data Band is set for A Band or B Band (whichever side you are using for APRS). Data Speed should be set for 1200. DCD Sense should be set for "D or RX Band".
Check!

Is Menu 600 set for APRS?
Check!

In Menu 611, set Method to Auto, Initial Interval to 3 min, Decay Algorithm Off, Proportional Pathing Off.
My initial interval are .5 for testing, so every 30 seconds, but everything else is correct. Check!

In Menu 613, make sure it's set for APK102.
My 613 is the Network setup. It's set for APRS. I don't have any settings for APK102 within any of my APRS menus. Do you have a TM-D710 with no internal GPS? Not sure...

That's all I can think of right now. I know some of my questions are kinda basic, but it's often the little things that trip you up.
I basically followed this video to make sure all my settings were the same as this setup, except for I'm not 100% sure he's got menu 602 correct as that menu is for an external GPS unit, which I have the GPS built into the rig. https://youtu.be/i_uHaf8CdFQ?t=1m2s
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,656
#4
First things first. Monitor the channel for a while to make sure you are receiving other APRS transmissions and your radio is decoding them properly. You should hear the digital tones over your speaker and once the transmission has been decoded, see the display show that user's information on your display. This will guarantee that you have the settings correct for you to receive APRS on your radio, which is required to be able to transmit your information using APRS. If you can hear and successfully decode others packets, you're well over half way there.

Some other things to check:
* Is your radio set for the correct APRS frequency in your area. Most areas in the US use 144.390 MHz for APRS so that's the first frequency to try. There are some areas that use alternate frequencies, but these are generally for special purposes (isolating special event traffic from normal traffic or tracking a balloon using APRS beaconing are two examples).
* Make sure that your radio is set to use simplex for APRS operation. One of the common mistakes made when setting up a radio for APRS operation is to set the frequency up for repeater operation so you'll actually be transmitting on the wrong frequency. Watch the display as you transmit to see what frequency is shown when you manually beacon, it should help make sure you're set correctly.
* Make sure the APRS side of your radio shows APRS12 on the top line (and make sure that shows on the APRS side of the radio!). This will verify that your radio is set for APRS operation using the standard VHF/UHF 1200 baud speed.
* Your radio should also show a D in a box just to the right and near the top of the frequency on the APRS side of your radio. This will indicate that side is in digital mode and using the TNC to modulate/demodulate your radio.
* Temporarily set your beacon rate to a manual fixed rate so it will regularly beacon, moving or not. This will help in figuring out what setting(s) are not yet correct.
* Start out using high power for your transmitter on the APRS side. This will help get your signal out if that's the issue. Once you get things working correctly, you can lower the power setting and verify that you can still get into your local iGate.
 

slsrc

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Messages
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St. Louis
#5
Thanks for you reply. See my responses below as I'm still troubleshooting. Ugh...

First things first. Monitor the channel for a while to make sure you are receiving other APRS transmissions and your radio is decoding them properly. You should hear the digital tones over your speaker and once the transmission has been decoded, see the display show that user's information on your display. This will guarantee that you have the settings correct for you to receive APRS on your radio, which is required to be able to transmit your information using APRS. If you can hear and successfully decode others packets, you're well over half way there.
Yep, I can decode APRS packets all day. Everything looks good.

Some other things to check:
* Is your radio set for the correct APRS frequency in your area. Most areas in the US use 144.390 MHz for APRS so that's the first frequency to try. There are some areas that use alternate frequencies, but these are generally for special purposes (isolating special event traffic from normal traffic or tracking a balloon using APRS beaconing are two examples).
Yep, 144.39. Check!

* Make sure that your radio is set to use simplex for APRS operation. One of the common mistakes made when setting up a radio for APRS operation is to set the frequency up for repeater operation so you'll actually be transmitting on the wrong frequency. Watch the display as you transmit to see what frequency is shown when you manually beacon, it should help make sure you're set correctly.
I'm on 144.39. The outlined "D" for digital is on Band A and APRS setting is set for Band A.


* Make sure the APRS side of your radio shows APRS12 on the top line (and make sure that shows on the APRS side of the radio!). This will verify that your radio is set for APRS operation using the standard VHF/UHF 1200 baud speed.
Yep, APRS12 is showing.

* Your radio should also show a D in a box just to the right and near the top of the frequency on the APRS side of your radio. This will indicate that side is in digital mode and using the TNC to modulate/demodulate your radio.
Check. "D" is on Band A.

* Temporarily set your beacon rate to a manual fixed rate so it will regularly beacon, moving or not. This will help in figuring out what setting(s) are not yet correct.
I've set the beacon interval to Auto and .5 (every 30 seconds) to make sure I do beacon out no matter what.

* Start out using high power for your transmitter on the APRS side. This will help get your signal out if that's the issue. Once you get things working correctly, you can lower the power setting and verify that you can still get into your local iGate.
Yep, running 50 watts. Nearest iGate is around 4 miles away on a 30 story building and it is working, as it's picking up other APRS stations in the area, all the way to about 40 miles out.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
292
Location
Schwenksville, PA
#6
Is it showing that it's transmitting, or is it simply doing nothing at all?

My D710G is about 6 months old, and I'd say one out of every 10 beacons it sends out are shown as "non-standard format" on APRS.fi and Direwolf.... still trying to figure that one out. Wonder if yours IS actually transmitting, if the beacon formats are just so far off that nothing can decode them.
 

KE5MC

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Messages
703
Location
Lewisville, TX
#7
snip...

1) Full reset (4 times so far)
2) Loaded old, new, medium configs from saved .mc6 files that I know are good configurations
3) Configured the radio from scratch

snip...

Odd Items I've noticed.
1) When I configure the APRS settings for PTT, I can push out a beacon manually, so I know the radio is good.

snip...
Reset will dump your callsign, but reloading or scratch configuration should have gotten it back. Something to check...

When you force a PTT do you get the front panel indication that your 710 heard itself on the digipeter? Does a forced beacon show up on aprs.fi?

Mike
 

slsrc

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Messages
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St. Louis
#8
Solved!

Wanted to update everybody on the progress and also put a resolution to my issue for others to see.

It was something very simple. The squelch! I had posted my issue on Reddit and a user said "check your squelch, if the radio thinks there is activity on the frequency, and the radio says "busy" it will not beacon out". That was it. Talk about something dumb to trip you up.

I had voice alert on (100hz) and turned the squelch down, as if I heard someone within range and a tone of 100hz, it would open squelch and let me know someone near was beaconing.

...so if you have this issue and the radio is not beaconing, check your squelch!

also, just to share some knowledge, someone suggested to put three APRS frequencies in your radio for troubleshooting.

1 - APRS RAW 144.390 no tone, you will hear all APRS packets being transmitted in your area.

2 - APRS VA 144.390 100Hz tone (might have to turn voice alert off on some radios within the programming menu or it will apply it to all 3 programmed channels). You will only hear APRS stations transmitting a 100hz tone and near you.

3 - APRS Mute 144.39 (program a tone other than 100hz) therefore you will not hear any APRS packets close to you.

Good luck!
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2014
Messages
4
Location
Three Lakes, WI
#9
Kenwood TM-D710G does not beacon

Greetings. I have had a few frustrating days with the TM-710G. I am not beaconing. I have followed the steps outlined below, all are working except #1, the iGPS is not blinking.

There is a functioning didipeater within 10 miles, I can reach that station on two meters with a good signal.

The radio is receiving and logging APRS signals.

I have attached a screen shot of the radio.

My separate, NUVI GPS unit works at this location as a test.

So my question at this point is, how do I get the iGPS to work?

Thanks for your help.

Need some troubleshooting help here. I've had my TM-D710GA for 2 years. Last year I had the TNC replaced as it was throwing errors under warranty and everything has been fine since. Now the radio will not beacon out. Last beacon was 2 weeks ago as I've been troubleshooting for the past week.

This is what I've tried.

1) Full reset (4 times so far)
2) Loaded old, new, medium configs from saved .mc6 files that I know are good configurations
3) Configured the radio from scratch

Troubleshooting items
1) iGPS is blinking with good GPS lock
2) Beacon is turned on. Even when I toggle the Beacon on/off I can't get it to send out.
3) I've configured the APRS settings the same, different, etc from my own settings that were working compared to a few youtube videos out there. I've gone setting by setting.
4) Configured the APRS settings for Auto (.5 interval) plus Smartbeaconing (same results).
5) Changed to a different band (A vs B) with the same results
6) iGPS coordinate are good, when I'm traveling down the road, I can see speed, alt, location updating in the radio.
7) There is an APRS iGate in the area and it's working, but still not getting plotted on APRS.fi.
8) There isn't a lot of traffic in the area, so I know it's not waiting on a time to transmit.
9) I've set the TX beep on transmit just to make sure I'm not missing anything and ...nothing...


Odd Items I've noticed.
1) When I configure the APRS settings for PPT, I can push out a beacon manually, so I know the radio is good.

Anybody know some good troubleshooting items to try other than the ones I've already tried above? It's got to be a hardware issue??????
 

Attachments

Joined
Jul 19, 2014
Messages
4
Location
Three Lakes, WI
#10
Well I have the beaconing issue resolved and a blinking iGPS. . After reading that the gps will not work indoors, I moved it outside for most of the day. No response. On another forum I was advised that the internal gps is not a strong unit. I have a lot of tall trees here. I took the radio to an open field, within a few minutes the gps locked, I had my blinking iGPS, and the unit began to beacon.
 

vagrant

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Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
662
Location
California
#11
Thanks for that. I was not aware the D710AG had a GPS receiver that needed plenty of clear sky.

I am still using the D710A with the Green Light Labs GPS which works indoors and out. I will stick with it. I also have a Yaesu 400XDR, with the upgraded GPS, which works fine indoors too.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
238
Location
Merrillville, Indiana
#12
Hello Kenwood, Please start offering the tm-d710ga with an external gps antenna connector on the transceiver deck so we can use and mount an external gps antenna for a better gps signal. Another thing, please put a microphone connector on the control head in addition to the transceiver deck. Thank you...
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2018
Messages
1
#14
Wanted to update everybody on the progress and also put a resolution to my issue for others to see.

It was something very simple. The squelch! I had posted my issue on Reddit and a user said "check your squelch, if the radio thinks there is activity on the frequency, and the radio says "busy" it will not beacon out". That was it. Talk about something dumb to trip you up.

I had voice alert on (100hz) and turned the squelch down, as if I heard someone within range and a tone of 100hz, it would open squelch and let me know someone near was beaconing.

...so if you have this issue and the radio is not beaconing, check your squelch!

also, just to share some knowledge, someone suggested to put three APRS frequencies in your radio for troubleshooting.

1 - APRS RAW 144.390 no tone, you will hear all APRS packets being transmitted in your area.

2 - APRS VA 144.390 100Hz tone (might have to turn voice alert off on some radios within the programming menu or it will apply it to all 3 programmed channels). You will only hear APRS stations transmitting a 100hz tone and near you.

3 - APRS Mute 144.39 (program a tone other than 100hz) therefore you will not hear any APRS packets close to you.

Good luck!
Wow, thanks for posting this. I've been struggling for a while with this one. I guess I should have googled this long ago. I would never have thought that squelch would have anything to do with it. Problem solved for another HAM. Thanks!
 

KE5MC

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
703
Location
Lewisville, TX
#15
Wow, thanks for posting this. I've been struggling for a while with this one. I guess I should have googled this long ago. I would never have thought that squelch would have anything to do with it. Problem solved for another HAM. Thanks!
It helps reducing packet collisions on-air by holding off transmission until the squelch is closed indicating ok to transmit.

Mike
 
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