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Vertex Standard Discussions regarding Vertex Standard professional and public safety radio equipment.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2013, 8:26 AM
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Default VX4600 Scan issue

Hello Everyone.

I have a few hundred VX4600's out there and everyone is having a scanning issue.
The radios will intermittently stop on an active channel or pass it up all
together. It's hit or miss.
This has been going on since the radio was released by Vertex Standard.
I have been working with technical support at VS to get this problem resolved,
but there has been no true fix to the issue.

Here are a few of the support suggestions given to resolve the issue:
1. Send us your Code Plug.
2. Set Scan dwell to 2 seconds
3. Check Radio Alignment.
4. Use a new code plug.
5. Update Firmware.
6. Change the "Scan" and "Group Scan" button location. (this one does not make
sense)
None of the above have made a difference.

The VX450 series portable does not have this problem. The 450 hits the first
time, every time.
This is also noticed by others. The 450's pickup traffic that the 4600 does not
from INSIDE of a patrol car on their belt.

This is NOT an isolated problem. I have bench tested with only 3 channels in the
radio and it still remains a hit or miss problem.

Anyone else notice this problem or found a fix?

Thanks
John
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Old 05-23-2013, 6:11 AM
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Hi John,

I was thinking about getting a VX-4600, but judging from your experience with them and VS, I guess I'll wait until this is sorted out. I will say that the VX-459 series is the best I've seen from Vertex or any manufacturer. I have both UHF (for my ambulance service) and VHF (for my Fire/Rescue deartment), and sitting inside a vehicle with the stock antennas, they run circles around even the vehicle mounted/external antenna radios. The VHF version is WAY better than any amateur 2-Meter radio I've ever used. Good luck getting to the bottom of this scanning problem. Please report if you get it solved!

Scott
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:35 AM
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Hey Scott,

Yeah the 450 series is great radio plus the scan is dead on every time.

Well they wanted a video in Japan of what was happening so I sent one. They are still saying it's within specs.

I have 6 channels in the scan list of the VX4600 and sometimes it's still taking up to 8 seconds to lock on a channel. That is way too long but it's a Hit or Miss problem.

Here is the video using: Motorola CM200, Vertex Standard VX4600, Vertex Standard VXD7200 (almost the same scan problem as the 4600) and a HYT TC780.
The other radios have more channels in the scan list except for the CM200 since it only has 4 channels.

Transmit Radios used to test: Motorola HT1250 & HT750, Vertex Standard VX351, VX451, VX924, VXD720, VXD7200 and VX4600, Icom F60V.
I could have used a service monitor but that's not a real world test.

I'm not sure what I am missing.
Vertex Standard VX-4600 Scan Issue - YouTube


Is there is any other dealer having the same issue with the VX4600?
I would like to hear from other dealers.

Thanks
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Old 06-17-2013, 7:04 AM
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Hey John,

I don't see how they can say that meets specs (of course I've never seen published specs for the channels per second scan speed either) when in a few of those TX to RX times clearly would miss any two tone decode one second first tone and reject the decode because of that.
If they're going to advertise 2/5 tone decode without any scanning disclaimer, it should certainly be able to lock up with only six scan channels programmed fast enough to decode the tones. Clearly that's not happening.
Did you by any chance try that with only six TOTAL channels programmed, not just six in the scan list? Maybe it is taking an inordinate amount of time to skip the other channels/groups not in the scan list. From the channel names, it looks like the scan list channels are all conventional, but are there other types programmed into that radio?
I hope they get back to you with a firmware upgrade to correct this!

Scott
WA2CHJ
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:23 PM
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Hello Scott,

I will try just a total of 6 channels in the radios tomorrow.
All channels are conventional (450 to 471MHz).

They closed the case so unless another dealer complains no fixes will be made.
Also noticed if MDC is enabled it takes longer to lock on a channel.

I guess it's time to push more Icom. I love the VS stuff but I need some support for problems like this.

Had a problem with a feature in the IC-F60V's and wrote one email and it was fix with firmware in about a week from Icom.

Oh well.
John
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:56 PM
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Have you tried programming the channels and leave the pl tone off for recieve. Another brand, Baofeng, has the same problem and a users group reccomend no pl on rx as a fix.
Maybe this'll help you narrow down the problem.

Last edited by m-gerty; 06-18-2013 at 12:03 AM..
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRNcommLLC View Post
They closed the case so unless another dealer complains no fixes will be made.
Also noticed if MDC is enabled it takes longer to lock on a channel.
This should be adjustable by changing the DOS Auto Mute duration under MDC1200 Common --> Common-2. By default it is set to 300 ms, thus muting the first 300 ms of received audio.

Does the extremely slow lock-on time occur on CSQ channels as well? If not then it may be caused by the CTCSS/DCS decode time being greater than the amount of time the radio pauses on an active channel while scanning. I had a similar issue on an Icom portable, and resolved it simply by increasing the pause time (the Slow Scan value in Icom software). There are a couple of settings in the Common --> Hardware area of the Vertex software that may be similar. They are SQL Stability, Release and Attack time, and they are only editable by placing CE-115 into manufacturer mode. The help file isn't really helpful in regard to these settings, but the stability and release times look like they could be related to scan timing. You might try increasing these values, in case they were set too low by default. As always, be sure to make a backup of the codeplug before changing any setting in any "manufacturer" or "reserve mode" of programming software.
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Old 06-18-2013, 6:14 AM
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No PL on receive? I know there have been amateur radios with PL decode timing issues, but on commercial radios like the VS, that's unacceptable. On my EMS and Fire/Rescue radios, that would make them less than useless as there are so many other users on some of the frequencies it would be impossible to have a radio that was CSQ.
It makes no sense that VS can make HTs that out perform the mobiles like this. There is no excuse for scanning to work so well on a series of HTs, and so poorly on the sister series of mobiles. The circuitry, and therefore perfomance, should be nearly the same.
Also, since John's problem is so random, it doesn't seem like it's a timing issue or it would probably always be there. Unless, of course, there are a certain set of circumstances that have to occur simultaneously to either cause the radio to take too long or act notmally.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa2chj View Post
Also, since John's problem is so random, it doesn't seem like it's a timing issue or it would probably always be there. Unless, of course, there are a certain set of circumstances that have to occur simultaneously to either cause the radio to take too long or act notmally.
Not necessarily. CTCSS and DCS decode time can vary by more than 50 milliseconds. If the 'pause time' of the radio is set close to the lower edge of this scale, then the radio could easily pass by an active channel several times before it decodes the tone/code fast enough. Other times it could decode on the first pass.

Should the radios have left the factory like this? Absolutely not. But it's one of the few things I can think of that would cause this issue.

If changing the SQL settings I mentioned doesn't work, you may have to try the shotgun approach, since Vertex is apparently unwilling to investigate this obvious problem. Making sure to create a backup of the original, start out with a blank codeplug, and then disable any signalling, dual watch or other such features that could possibly interfere with scanning. Basically just leave a few bare-bones channels in a single group setup for regular scan. This will help determine if it could have been a programming problem, a problem with any of the signalling features, or a problem in the radios firmware.
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Old 06-18-2013, 1:29 PM
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On a similar note, my vx 354 acted pretty much the same way for a few days before it went totally deaf. Turns out there was some sort of filter gone bad, which caused a recall. My radio was out of warranty when it died, Motorola/Vertex still has it trying to decide whether or not they're going to fix it. I'm not holding my breath, they've had it for a long time now.
There's another thread about it, I'll look for it.
Narrowbanding on Vertex damaging radios?

Last edited by m-gerty; 06-18-2013 at 1:33 PM.. Reason: added thread
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Old 06-18-2013, 1:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa2chj View Post
No PL on receive? I know there have been amateur radios with PL decode timing issues, but on commercial radios like the VS, that's unacceptable. On my EMS and Fire/Rescue radios, that would make them less than useless as there are so many other users on some of the frequencies it would be impossible to have a radio that was CSQ.
It makes no sense that VS can make HTs that out perform the mobiles like this. There is no excuse for scanning to work so well on a series of HTs, and so poorly on the sister series of mobiles. The circuitry, and therefore perfomance, should be nearly the same.
Also, since John's problem is so random, it doesn't seem like it's a timing issue or it would probably always be there. Unless, of course, there are a certain set of circumstances that have to occur simultaneously to either cause the radio to take too long or act notmally.
VS is now MOT
My HT went deaf, not my mobile (VX220)
The Baofeng is a part 90 approved radio (yes it's a cheap one)
I'm not saying removing the pl on rx is right, I'm just using that as a trouble shooting tool
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Old 06-18-2013, 3:12 PM
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I just got a case in and will try a few of the suggestion and see what I can get it to do.

John
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRNcommLLC View Post
I just got a case in and will try a few of the suggestion and see what I can get it to do.

John
Any luck ??
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
I just got a case in and will try a few of the suggestion and see what I can get it to do.

John
Has Vertex fixed the problem or does the 4600 still have scanning issues? I have a VX-454 portable and I was looking at buying the matching mobile unit but not if the scan issue hasn't been fixed.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:26 PM
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No I was told by Japan engineers that it's to spec with the scanning and that's that!

Not sure what their definition of "Spec" is over there but here it's not 1 to 8 seconds to lock on only 4 channels in the whole radio.
The VHF version does not have this issue. Not sure why only the UHF does.
Once they closed my case I got the feeling that my issue and opinion was not valid.

I ended up replacing the 4600's with Icom mobiles and there has been no complaints what so ever.
I wish they would have listened but I guess the dealers problem is not theirs.

Since then I been selling more of the Icom radios to my customers. I can't stand behind a product that the manufactures will not stand behind a dealer when there is a problem like this.
There has been some firmware updates but no one knows what the updates are updating.

Most of my customers have vertex and I can't switch them...yet to something else.
Am I the only dealer having this problem? I can't think it's only me and 100+ radios with different batches.

I will say the 450 series is a killer radio for the price, features and quality.
Wish the 4600 UHF was the same.

So if you want a 4600 VHF I would go for it. You will love it.

Other then that maybe I will get a phone call from VS about my post. I can only hope.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:59 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply. I am interested in the VHF model. Strange that only the UHF has that problem.
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRNcommLLC View Post
No I was told by Japan engineers that it's to spec with the scanning and that's that!

Not sure what their definition of "Spec" is over there but here it's not 1 to 8 seconds to lock on only 4 channels in the whole radio.
The VHF version does not have this issue. Not sure why only the UHF does.
Once they closed my case I got the feeling that my issue and opinion was not valid.

I ended up replacing the 4600's with Icom mobiles and there has been no complaints what so ever.
I wish they would have listened but I guess the dealers problem is not theirs.

Since then I been selling more of the Icom radios to my customers. I can't stand behind a product that the manufactures will not stand behind a dealer when there is a problem like this.
There has been some firmware updates but no one knows what the updates are updating.

Most of my customers have vertex and I can't switch them...yet to something else.
Am I the only dealer having this problem? I can't think it's only me and 100+ radios with different batches.

I will say the 450 series is a killer radio for the price, features and quality.
Wish the 4600 UHF was the same.

So if you want a 4600 VHF I would go for it. You will love it.

Other then that maybe I will get a phone call from VS about my post. I can only hope.


Just curious.. Did you ever try it without a PL tone?
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m-gerty View Post
Just curious.. Did you ever try it without a PL tone?
Yeah I did and it was the same.

Also increased the level of the PL and DPL on the service monitor and it had no affect on scanning.
Even tried wideband and narrow band in all channels and the outcome was the same.

I hear there was a problem with the Vote scan with LTR and from what I am told that was fixed so I may have to try the new firmware.
Not sure what v1.23 has changed since no docs have been released on it after may request but maybe a fix in there.

I was going to go in today and try the new firmware but the honey do list took longer then I wanted it to.
Maybe Sunday will be a good day with out the phone ringing all of the time.
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