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Harris / MA/COM / GE / Ericsson Forum - For general discussion of MA/COM EDACS and ProVoice systems, including equipment.

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Old 07-28-2018, 4:15 PM
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Default New to GE radios

Hi guys.

Looks like I'm going to start playing with some GE/Ericsson/MaCom equipment. The radios I have coming are model # D2HHG7. Best I can decipher that translates to a VHF high band, 110w Orion. That's about as far as I got.

I'm quite versed in commercial equipment (Motorola, Kenwood, Icom, Relm, Midland etc) but this will be my first GE. I have the programming cable and software so that's a non issue hopefully.

I'd be interested to know if anyone can confirm the band split on these radios. I have found both 136-174 meg and 150-174 meg. I'd also be interested in what it will take to move them down to 2 meters if it is indeed a 150+ radio. Hex editing? VCO alignment? RX alignment?

Any help is greatly appreciated. They look like good clean rigs.

Matt
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Old 07-29-2018, 9:21 AM
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D2HHG7
Manufactured between 1996 to 1999
150-174 MHz
Conventional
110 Watt max power output
12.5/25 kHz selectable bandwidth
Scan control head (4-button)
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Old 07-29-2018, 9:22 AM
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Default Orion model number breakdown sheet

see attachment
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File Type: pdf ORION_MODEL_NUMBERS.pdf (12.9 KB, 65 views)
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Old 07-29-2018, 3:39 PM
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To move the radio down below its bandsplit limits, you will need to obtain or create what's known as an .sc4 file. The contents of an .sc4 file can modify the radio's behavior in a number of ways but what is of interest to you is that it allows you to move the operating bandsplit.

KB4CVN knows a great deal more about those files than I do.

However, you're possibly going to have VCO tuning issues. Just be warned.

Motorola's Spectra radios are comparable to the Orion mobiles, and they're very much alike in the sense that it's a royal pain if you end up with one that isn't in the desired bandsplit. Moving both of them is a pain either way.

I would suggest that you make an effort to find a radio in the bandsplit range you actually intend to use, in any event. Using either an Orion or a Spectra outside of its manufactured bandsplit is just that much of a hassle. I say sell it and try again after verifying the correct model ID for one that IS in your desired split, and searching for that.


At least with a Spectra, it's not so difficult to hack and edit things so that you can at least tell the radio that its bandsplit is 146 to 162, and be able to enter frequencies down to 145. 3/4 of the 2 meter band is satisfactory for most users. You may not be able to use some repeaters in the bottom of the band.

It's been so long since I last programmed or even dug my A9 Spectra out, I have totally forgotten how I had that configured in software. I know I had the full 2 meter bandsplit running in it, and then some.
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Old 07-29-2018, 9:10 PM
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Anyone know where to get a service manual for a p7300 portable trying to find the pinout of the udc on the radio..Rpm don't show the pinout ..Thanks if you can help
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:02 AM
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Thanks for the info guys. KB4CVN thanks for the list. That's a good one to have handy at hamfests.

I figured they're be a bit of a challenge or PITA to move down to 2m. I guess I'll see what it's all about. I can do VCO's all day long, but the programming side my pose a bit of a hurdle. Nothing that can't be done with a little determination I hope.

I did put in a request on the yahoo Orion group.

I'll check them on the service monitor and go from there.

Thanks guys.
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:58 AM
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If you join the GE Orion group on YAHOO GROUPS there are pre-made SC4 files available to move Orion, vhf-lo, vhf-hi, 220MHz, uhf and 900 MHz ORIONS to the adjacent ham bands.


Orions are very easy to move down to 2 meters unlike my 220 mods which are more in-depth but even the 220 move is not that terrible if you ever want to make yourself a 220 Orion which BTW uses a shift up SC4 FILE.

One thing to remember with the sc4 file move to a 144 MHz lower frequency is that the entire original operating spread, in MHz, is maintained and shifted in the direction of the constants in the SC4 FILE.

That is, the original upper(174) and lower(150) MHz frequencies move down equally by 6 MHz so the SC4 -6MHz FILE moves the low end from 150 to 144MHz and the high end is shifted from 174 to168 MHZ.

As an example with the -6 MHz SC4 FILE FOR A 150-174 SPLIT, Programming is as simple as entering a frequency such as 146.520MHz as 152.52 MHz to keep the PROGRAMMER frequency entry field within the original radios bandsplit of 150-174.

The SC4 FILE does the final math and programs the synthesizer so that 152.52 is now 146.52 MHz.

In conclusion: All that is required during programming frequency entry is to add 6 to your desired frequency entry MHz value and to insure that any frequency entry is between 150-174 and then let the sc4 file automatically shift the final frequency down 6 MHz .

Finally a slight tx and rx vco capacitor adjustment is made to set the vco control voltage to the min and max vco voltage range over the radios new shifted down operating range.

The Yahoo Orion group has all the documentation and files to perform the various ham conversions.

Last edited by mm; 07-30-2018 at 1:25 AM..
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Old 07-30-2018, 2:44 AM
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Great! Thanks for that info. I'm still waiting to be approved on the yahoo group. Looking forward to browsing that group.

Stupid question. . . How does the sc4 file operate? Do I load it somewhere or does it run in the background of ProGrammer? I've never played with sc4 files so this will be interesting.

How's the RX at 145 meg?
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Old 07-30-2018, 3:55 PM
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Considering I wrote most all of the SC4 and SC5 files over on the GE-Orion Yahoo Group, which I Moderate, maybe I need to zip them all up and post over on this forum.....
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Old 07-30-2018, 4:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W5KVV View Post
Great! Thanks for that info. I'm still waiting to be approved on the yahoo group. Looking forward to browsing that group.

Stupid question. . . How does the sc4 file operate? Do I load it somewhere or does it run in the background of ProGrammer? I've never played with sc4 files so this will be interesting.

How's the RX at 145 meg?



I have moved dozens of 150-174 MHz Orions and M-RK's over to 2-meters WITHOUT having to do any alignment or tuning.


Issues seen with 35-50 MHz radios moved to 6-meters, about 15% required a VCO tweak.


SC4 files are for Radio Programmer
SC5 files are for Radio Personality Manager (RPM)
They are implemented on the GENERAL OPTIONS tab. You first go into OPTIONS AND DIRECTORY SETTINGS (at the top of the GUI) and click the box to use SC4 (or SC5) files.
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Old 07-30-2018, 5:52 PM
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kb4cvn that's great! These are my first GE's so bare with me. I may have to reach out to you for a little help.

I've moved plenty of Motorola, Kenwood, Midland, Relm, Unidens etc. But until recently GE's have been pure unobtainium for me. A rather large quantity of high band Orions have hit the auction site for what I feel is a good price for a complete radio.

I'm heading over to the yahoo group now to look around.
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Old 07-31-2018, 2:28 AM
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The biggest problem I found is that the farther down I tuned the VCO, the range for it to unlock on the upper end dropped considerably.

Ie to lock the VCO @ 144, which is 6 Mhz down, you'd think you'd lose 6Mhz off the top end, to 168 Mhz. However, I found highest freq, it would lock VCO reliably after tuning the VCO was ~160 Mhz... Ditto with the rx VCO... I had to tune the rx vfo to lock above 145 in order to rx NOAA 162.55.. If I tuned rx VCO to lock from 144+, it'd top out around 160 Mhz....before VCO would unlock.


With M7100s being dirt cheap, I'd skip the orions if just for the bandwidth issues...
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:29 PM
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For $35 each I can't turn down a complete radio with remote head and all the cables, mic, speaker etc.

The top end limitation sholdn't be a problem for me. The highest I'll need is 156mhz.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W5KVV View Post
For $35 each I can't turn down a complete radio with remote head and all the cables, mic, speaker etc.

The top end limitation sholdn't be a problem for me. The highest I'll need is 156mhz.
All the Orion accys are compatible with the M7100.....

You can buy an M7100 deck for $40 or less.
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Old 08-01-2018, 12:38 AM
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Just keeps getting better. The M7100's cover the entire split? 136-174?

Also, I may be 20 years too late but what about a button kit for the control head? are they still available or NLA?
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Old 08-01-2018, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W5KVV View Post
Just keeps getting better. The M7100's cover the entire split? 136-174?
Yup.

The M7100 was designed as a drop in replacement for agencies upgrading. Literally unscrew the DB37 control cable, antenna, and power cable, remove the Orion deck, and put the M7100 in its place and screw in the power, antenna, and control cable. That simple. Full 136-174 split, and P25 if you're lucky.


Quote:
Also, I may be 20 years too late but what about a button kit for the control head? are they still available or NLA?
Ebay.

You can also get an HHC, or a light/siren pkg that integrates and actuates by the radio control head.
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Old 08-01-2018, 12:59 AM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/GE-Ericsson...X/332507196599


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Harris-M-A-...5/263639247036
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Old 08-01-2018, 1:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W5KVV View Post
Just keeps getting better. The M7100's cover the entire split? 136-174?

Also, I may be 20 years too late but what about a button kit for the control head? are they still available or NLA?





Now someone asks for them...............



When the change was made from WHITE blank keycaps to BLACK blank keycaps, the company threw-out hundreds of the complete keycap kits (100+ caps). So, being the packrat Technie I am, I 'adopted' 20 or 25 dozen out of the dumpster, and tried to give them away for over a decade. Cleaning out my shop a few years ago, I ended-up tossing out about 200 kits as nobody wanted them.
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Old 08-01-2018, 6:10 PM
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Oh wow!

That's just how I roll. A day late and a dollar short.

No problem. I'll just keep my eyes open.
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Old 08-01-2018, 6:38 PM
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I picked up a 7100 deck as well. I can't believe the GE stuff is so cheap. When I first got in to the commercial radios 6-7 years ago they were fetching a pretty penny. Even a bare RF deck.
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