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ICOM Land Mobile Radio - Discussion forum for ICOM land mobile radio equipment such as the IC-F series radios. Please do not post amateur radio topics here.

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Old 04-09-2018, 9:20 PM
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Default IC-U400 versions?

I recently acquired an icom IC-U400 of unknown condition. Looking at icom's website, there seems to be three versions of the ic-u400: a 400-430MHz, a 450-480MHz, and a 480-510MHz - anyone happen to know what the hardware difference are (and how to tell the difference), and if it's possible to switch between the three somehow (and is it possible to get it more into the ham bands)?

As I'm still trying to hack up a programming keyboard for this unit, I won't know yet : what happens if you try to program a frequency outside of the "bands"?

TIA!
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:40 PM
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U400 is a rugged wide and radio. It will program out of band a few MHz without problems. If you are too far out of band, the display will blink. I don’t recall how to identify which model, but the 450 was probably the most common one.
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:36 AM
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Thanks for the info. I was able to hack up a keyboard and was able to program in some different frequencies to listen into, ham (447MHz) and gmrs (462MHz). They both came in loud and clear! I don't know how well it will transmit however, I don't have a license for either band (yet). It may very well be I have the 450-480 version which would line up with the observations. I'll just need to find a station further out of each band to see what they do - unfortunately I'll have no way to tell if there's a real transmission or not.

I didn't see the display blinking display so I'm not sure if I'm 'too far out' yet. It doesn't let me program 300MHz or 600MHz which isn't unexpected.

Kind of funny, comparing to my Kenwood TK-810 I've been playing with in parallel, the TK810 does not like 447MHz at all (supposedly the low band is 450MHz on the TK810) - it's extremely weak where the U400 picked up the same station easily with the same setup.
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:05 AM
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Well, it looks like I found out "out of band" ... Using a dummy load and trying to broadcast out of the band it was designed for, it seems to simply not bother trying - it completely shuts down the transmitter. I guess this is going to be a lot tougher if not impossible to run as a ham band radio.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:24 PM
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Find a UHF Port [U-16] and clone from that to the U400
Quote:
Originally Posted by needairtime View Post
I recently acquired an icom IC-U400 of unknown condition. Looking at icom's website, there seems to be three versions of the ic-u400: a 400-430MHz, a 450-480MHz, and a 480-510MHz - anyone happen to know what the hardware difference are (and how to tell the difference), and if it's possible to switch between the three somehow (and is it possible to get it more into the ham bands)?

As I'm still trying to hack up a programming keyboard for this unit, I won't know yet : what happens if you try to program a frequency outside of the "bands"?

TIA!
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Old 04-21-2018, 1:41 PM
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Would that really work? I tried actually hand programming the frequencies in, so you're saying that cloning can do more than what I can type into the keyboard?

Then I suppose the right way is to "fake" another device that has it programmed and clone this fake into the radio? Must be a simple bit somewhere that would enable the ham band frequencies.
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Old 04-21-2018, 2:05 PM
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http://www.qsl.net/icom/download/u16.pdf

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Originally Posted by needairtime View Post
Would that really work? I tried actually hand programming the frequencies in, so you're saying that cloning can do more than what I can type into the keyboard?

Then I suppose the right way is to "fake" another device that has it programmed and clone this fake into the radio? Must be a simple bit somewhere that would enable the ham band frequencies.
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Old 04-21-2018, 4:31 PM
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Yup, that's exactly how I hand programmed the frequencies - no dice (447 RX, 442 TX). Getting a U16 seems like a roundabout way to test if this actually works, and if it does work, I should be able to reverse engineer a bit going through the cable to enable these frequencies. That is, if this really is a loophole in the firmware!
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Old 04-21-2018, 6:57 PM
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OH, I may be dumb, I think I may have enabled "Transmit Inhibit (TXI)" on that channel! Well, not totally out of the woods yet, but I tried doing Func-9 on that channel and finally see that expected, large current increase when transmitting into my dummy load!

Another curiosity - These radios have a 3V lithium cell on board - soldered to keep the contents of the SRAM on the board. If the battery dies, could it also lose its "personality"?

Strange I haven't seen anyone with their battery dying on the web yet!

Thanks for the encouragement that there's hope to get this to work...
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Old 05-10-2018, 9:33 PM
   
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It sounds like the VCO may be falling out of lock. Find a service manual (i know, that's easy for me to say) and align the radio in the range you plan to use it. I have 2 of these and like them a lot. I was lucky, both of mine lock down to 442.000 or so when i got them. The IC-U16 programming is nice but won't help the alignment issue.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:50 PM
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Decades ago I had a U-16, & U400. They were the 450+ version. There was no magic to program either one in the 440 ham band. No hacking, or anything. Just enter the freq, & go. Matter of fact I left the programming keypad plugged in all the time. It was a decent radio at the time.
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Old 05-12-2018, 2:23 PM
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Thanks, yeah it appears to be the case: no electronics/programming changes were needed to get the IC-U400 to work in the 440 ham band, other than ensuring the transmit lockout wasn't enabled (oops!). I saw the power increase when I tried transmitting into my dummy load after toggling the lockout, which seems to not have any feedback indication that it was locked out.

Yes the U400 seems like a pretty neat radio, not a true ham radio, but otherwise seems pretty solid.

This is completely unlike my Kenwood TK-880, I had to tweak C's and L's to get it to lock on the lower frequencies.
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Old 05-12-2018, 2:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecps92 View Post
Find a UHF Port [U-16] and clone from that to the U400
You will also need a cloning cable to do that.
I use that method to program mu V-100 from my H-16
(same radio but VHF)
It's supposed to be 150-174 Mhz I believe, but have no trouble getting it to transmit well on 146 Mhz
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Old 05-12-2018, 3:58 PM
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I may have to somehow "fake" a cloning cable, or at least somehow find a way to program the radio without the dangling (EX494) keyboard so I can more easily shuffle programs. I accidentally set that VERY unpleasant "Special Channel" feature that appeared to move channels around but want to avoid it at all costs as 'undoing' this feature is very awkward. The special channel feature was probably meant for allowing things like "channel 22" (e.g. GMRS) despite only having a maximum of 16 channel presets.

I wonder if ultimately faking the cloning process or building a microcontroller to fake pressing the buttons on the keypad (using a PC) would be easier. However the latter would still succumb to accidentally enabling TXI (Transmit Inhibit) and no way to read back the programming to verify. Perhaps both are necessary because one still needs the keyboard to get into programming mode to do cloning...

FUN159357!
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