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Moving from VX-231 to VX-261

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#1
My apologies if I missed these answers somewhere here in the forum. I have a number of VX-231s and I need to add more radios to the system. I see the 231 is discontinued so I will go with the VX-261. That is fine, however I am unsure about the programming cable and software. For years I have been programming the 231s with an aftermarket cable that is a single USB to Radio cable (don't recall where I got it but it has always worked great). And I use the CE99 software. From what I can tell I will need the CE150 software for the new radios.

Is it true that I cannot use the CE99 software with the VX-261?
Will the CE150 software read/import the *.c99 files I have?
Am I likely to need a new cable or should I expect the cable that works on the 231 to work with the 261?
Is it possible to clone from a 231 to a 261 if I purchase the cloning cable?

Thanks for any help.

Charlie
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Menlo, IA
#2
Charlie,

As far as the software goes, yes, that is correct. As far as your programming cable goes, all you need is a cable that has the 3.5 millimeter Jack, like you would see on a pair of headphones or plugging headphones into a computer,ect.... so if you have that cable already for the 261, which I would think it would be the same type of cable since the 261 and the 264 are all from the same series, but, if you do not have the correct cable, I have a DB9 programming cable that will work. I will sell it to you at a very very cheap price. We can work on the details if that's the cable you're wanting to go with, versus a USB cable. I purchased a DB9 programming cable so I can run all of our radio's. My problem with the CE150 my Windows 98 OS is not compatible with the Vertex Standard CE150 software. They say anything from Windows XP to Windows 7 works just fine. I have also heard though, that there have been some issues with some people running Windows XP OS, and there are certain components in the software that is not compatible to Windows XP on certain versions or editions of XP. I know it works just fine with my Windows 7, however they do warn you that it's at your own risk if you're running Windows 8 or higher because vertex latest software version came out before the new Windows 8 and 10, so you're running it at your own risk, some people have gone into the settings of the software, and send it to run into compatibility mode with Windows 7 and that seemed to work. My Windows 7 laptop works great with the. ce150 software. is not compatible with older Windows versions of operating systems. You have to have Windows XP or newer, and there's even been some difficulties here and there with the XP system, but my Windows 7 works great. They are saying however that it will not work with Windows 8 or Windows 10 because the software was manufactured before Windows 8 or Windows 10, and they haven't made an update version for it yet. that way I can keep all , but the ce150 software is not compatible with Windows 98 or XP for that matter. Windows 7 works just fine with the ce150 software, but my other problem was, my new laptop that is running Windows 7, doesn't have DB9 port anymore basically just like any other newer computer, they've gone away from using the DB9 port. instead of the hassle of going somewhere, trying to find the correct USB to DB9 cable, come back home, which I forgot to mention, it's about a half hour drive to the nearest city that has a Walmart or a Best Buy, and then have to install the drivers to the USB port, ect... it's just easier to go to eBay and buy a USB cable that has the 3.5 millimeter Jack on the end of it to program the radio. Once you see it, you'll know if it's the correct cable. Here is an item number for an item that I purchase from him. This is the exact time that I use right now to program the 264. Very cheap and super fast shipping. He has a whole bunch in stock, so it's going to be the same table I got along with the little CD with the USB drivers. Here's the item number for eBay..171174462995, as far as the ce150 software goes, I can give you my address and I can send you a copy via the computer at no charge. You're going to just have to read between the lines here, I tried to make it as simple as I could for you to read between the lines. So here we go, you can contact me at firemedic78 AT mSn Dot "C", again, I am hoping you can read between the lines, and the last letter I think you can figure out how it ends. Anyway, get ahold of me and I can help you out. Have a safe holiday.
 

MBill

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#4
Never used the VX-231, but I like the VX-261. It is better than the VX-351 which I am familiar with. More rugged, slightly more waterproof, and particularly has more volume and the cost is less than a VX-351, which is now also going obsolete. The VX-261 switched the belt clip to the battery, which eliminated a problem with the belt clip screw loosening up and stripping the threads in the chassis housing.
The only complaint so far that I have is that the PTT button is rather small in surface area and more easy to miss when you want to transmit. One issue that I have seen with the VX-261 was with one that had been used for about a year and the PTT rubber cover over the PTT button came off.
HiTechWireless sells a kit which includes the plastic PTT frame and rubber PTT cover for $1.45 plus shipping. You may want to get a few kits as replacements when the warranty expires if you go with the VX-261's. Overall, a nice radio at a good price.
Just one comment on programming cables. A Vertex dealer I spoke to suggested using Vertex's FIF12A USB cable, as all Vertex radios will be using USB cable now rather than Serial cable for programming. However, if the serial cable works on the VX-261, it will save you a few bills.
 
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Messages
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Location
So Cali
#5
Thank you, Mr Bill. I have the serial cable for the VX160 radio with the four conductor 3.5 mm plug, can that be used on the VX-261? Now I just need to get the s/w! Win XP.
 
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In the 'patch
#6
My apologies if I missed these answers somewhere here in the forum. I have a number of VX-231s and I need to add more radios to the system. I see the 231 is discontinued so I will go with the VX-261.
My employer has somewhere between 100 and 200 VX231 deployed. They have been solid radios.

That is fine, however I am unsure about the programming cable and software. For years I have been programming the 231s with an aftermarket cable that is a single USB to Radio cable (don't recall where I got it but it has always worked great).
That cable will likely work just fine with the VX261.


Is it true that I cannot use the CE99 software with the VX-261?
Yes it is true. You will need to get the correct software for the VX261


Will the CE150 software read/import the *.c99 files I have?
You likely will not be able to import the files from the VX231.


Am I likely to need a new cable or should I expect the cable that works on the 231 to work with the 261?
Your cable should work fine with the VX261. While I do not have a VX261, I do have a pair of VX231. I currently am using an aftermarket serial cable with a USB->serial adaptor with Windows 7. Absolutely no issues reading or writing my radios.

Is it possible to clone from a 231 to a 261 if I purchase the cloning cable?
I don't own any VX261, so I can't give you an answer from experience, but I doubt you can clone between the VX261 and the VX231.

Really though, they are only 16 channels, it should not take long to create a codeplug. You should be able to either print off the frequency list from a VX231 and build a codeplug for the VX261, or have both CE99 and CE150 open and build a codeplug for the VX261.



Thanks for any help.



Charlie

Good luck, I like my company issued VX231's, they have always worked, even when it was -25c, they have never missed a beat.
 

MBill

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Joined
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Messages
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#7
cmdrwill

Thank you, Mr Bill. I have the serial cable for the VX160 radio with the four conductor 3.5 mm plug, can that be used on the VX-261? Now I just need to get the s/w! Win XP.
Sorry, I can't answer your question on the serial cable. I use the FIF12A USB cable since it was
dealer recommended to avoid serial cable issues. No doubt someone in the Forum can give you
the answer.
 

k7plt

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Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Messages
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#8
I have sold several (30+ units) VX-261's recently, and have found increased distortion in the received signal on other radios or the VX-261's. This was confirmed by reviewing the specs sheet for this model "Audio Distortion <5%" vs. <3% on other models. I have also had the rubber TX switch cover separating from the radio (TX unusable afer this) with 261's with less than 100 hrs of use, was centered around a sequence of S/N's so it could have been QC related, and not design flaw.
 
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Messages
3,187
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#9
Wrong Antenna.
The brand new in the box VX-261 radio had the wrong antenna for the 155 frequencies I had the vendor program for me. Antenna turned out to be the cause of very poor range, even into the repeater. I put the antenna on a analyzer and it was the 162 to 174 range. Something to watch out for..... There are three different VHF 'long' antennas.

Other than that radio working very well.
 
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#10
My employer has somewhere between 100 and 200 VX231 deployed. They have been solid radios... Good luck, I like my company issued VX231's, they have always worked, even when it was -25c, they have never missed a beat.
Looks like we just got our first 4 VX-261 today. I'm hoping I can play with them a bit before they get deployed. they are the first ones I have actually held in my hands.

Hopefully they are as good as the VX-231we have deployed.

does anyone have any additional feedback, good or bad, other than what has been stated in this thread?
 
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