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Any X9000 users still out there?

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gargamel1901

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I've finally got around to finishing up my "X9000 frequency/data codeplug disection" project. I completed the core parts a while back but am just now taking the time to cobble it together in a form presentable for release.

I've compiled the info in an MS Excel file including a bit of a tutorial on the CP contents, and how to manipulate the data to view the it in a more understandable form.

I also created a couple of calculators that generates byte data from frequency input, converts byte data into frequency values, and some details on VCO range control bits and divider reference control.

My focus was the Low Band (T71) X9000. Other stuff near completion are the same calculators for VHF and UHF radios as well as an Excel based checksum generator for the X9000 CP.

The frequency/byte calculators are Excel formula based, but I had to use Macros to get the CS generator to work without numerous,somewhat tedious manual steps, so to run it you will have to have macros enabled.

I'm considering using a PGP sig or something similar when I release it so folks know if they have the original code or an altered (possibly dangerous) version.

I even touch on some Arduino references. Essentially just concepts, no code or design anywhere near release worthy at the moment.

So……..anyone still interested in these ol' gals?

(Yeah, Jim, I finally got around to finishing this after how long now?….lol)

Regards.
 

cmdrwill

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Syntor X9000 radios are great radios. Thanks for your work Sir.
 
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I know several folks still running them. I have one hanging around but I haven't installed it in anything recently.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

902

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I have several X9000 radios on low band, VHF (now doing 2 meter service) and UHF (on 440, except it had to have the inboard preamp installed). Would love to replace the RDPROG and CHPROG programs with something modern that can run on a modern computer.

I also have some Syntor-X radios with the orange codeplugs. I've been looking around for an Epson programmer since 1994. I've taken a few and made X9000s out of them with scrapped 800 conventional radios.
 

mancow

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I've finally got around to finishing up my "X9000 frequency/data codeplug disection" project. I completed the core parts a while back but am just now taking the time to cobble it together in a form presentable for release.

I've compiled the info in an MS Excel file including a bit of a tutorial on the CP contents, and how to manipulate the data to view the it in a more understandable form.

I also created a couple of calculators that generates byte data from frequency input, converts byte data into frequency values, and some details on VCO range control bits and divider reference control.

My focus was the Low Band (T71) X9000. Other stuff near completion are the same calculators for VHF and UHF radios as well as an Excel based checksum generator for the X9000 CP.

The frequency/byte calculators are Excel formula based, but I had to use Macros to get the CS generator to work without numerous,somewhat tedious manual steps, so to run it you will have to have macros enabled.

I'm considering using a PGP sig or something similar when I release it so folks know if they have the original code or an altered (possibly dangerous) version.

I even touch on some Arduino references. Essentially just concepts, no code or design anywhere near release worthy at the moment.

So……..anyone still interested in these ol' gals?

(Yeah, Jim, I finally got around to finishing this after how long now?….lol)

Regards.
I would love to discuss this with you. I have an arduino based synthesizer driver for the lowband and drives the divider chip in parallel. I can enter any freq and it will convert it to the proper format and tune the radio. It's amazingly fast. However, I have been looking for the X9000 codeplug data format for years. (not the X but the PC programmable X9000). I want to go at the project from a different angle and I need a layout of what bits do what.

I have the formula mapped out for devising the A and B divider registers from freq and vice versa. Also, the 4 range bits etc... It all has to be put together and then wrapped around a 4 bit address.

I have some video of the X9000 project and some photos if you want to discuss it. Send me a PM with your email and we can go from there.
 
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jim202

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Sounds like there are a few folks that still like to tinker with the older radios. These Syntor X9000 radios are a great toy to tinker with. they are hard to kill and fairly easy to program with the right hardware.

But the real problem is the 6 meter repeaters are falling by the wayside due to high noise levels caused by computers, computer wiring and the network hardware that goes with it all. Don't forget the cable TV leakage. the combination makes it hard to support a 6 meter repeater near any urban area. It has forced most of the repeaters to ether go silent or move to the rural area where the noise floor is still low.

The 6 meter propagation is still there. But no one is there to hear any of the distant 6 meter repeaters. Mostly because there are not that many left in operation.
 

mancow

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X9000 is the single best transceiver in existence, better than military rigs. It's perfect. I was driving across Missouri the day of the Joplin tornado scanning all of the MHP troops on the X9000. I had a perfect situational awareness of the entire state. Everything was clear and crisp. Sadly that is gone now. It's all gone but California. The abandonment of lowband is a travesty.
 
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impalass427

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I use 3 x9000s every day. A low band as my base radio for my business freq, as a scanner for statewide hotlines, DOT and power companies; and for 6 meter ham.; a VHF for 2 meter ham, and as a scanner for the local Fire Depts. Another low band in my pickup. Best radio ever made.
 

mancow

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I have found a breakdown of the Syntor X codeplug but never found one for the X9000.

Does anyone have info on what each bit does in the codeplug such as freq, PL, DPL, SCAN etc?
 

gargamel1901

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X9000Calc

Man it is good to know there are still people out there that know and appreciate the value of these ol' gals. I completely agree with all the high marks given for this product line. They were clearly ahead of their time.

Yeah Casey, you are gonna love this. I've followed your X9000 post on everyone's favorite Canuk site and other sites as well....great work BTW.
I even make mention of it on the Info tab.

I killed a personality board (probably that U503 register chip) poking around on it before Mike B. posted the details for you on one of the other forums.
I had about 70-80% of the codeplug byte storage worked out and had intended to go another way (EEPROM emulation) to control the synthesizer. Similar to what Skip Hansen does with the X-Cat for the SyntorX but with the addition of FPP.
I had some personal things that took priority and had to shelf the project due to lack of time.

I am 100% complete with the disection of the frequency control part now, and even cobbled together a macro driven .xlb to take hex string data derived from the codeplug and generate the codeplug's checksum.

Presuming the .xlb function can be mathmatically ported to Arduino code, we will have the keys to the kingdom to make bit and byte level changes to the EEPROM via FPP.....and/or automated to write an entire binary (codeplug) file???...........things that make ya go HMMMMM....

Failing that, a "shadow ram/EEPROM" approach may be a viable alternative. I'll let ya chew on that one for a bit. Would need to work out the HW issues of 2 processors sharing the same bus/addy lines, but it's doable.

I remember you were trying to work out PL encode/decode via the UNO. Since we have "the map" or enough of it anyway, just manipulate the bytes and let the Moto uP keep doing the things it does best.
I havent spent any time disecting the math for the PL code hex values. Worst case, build a lookup table. There's not that many.
The MPL count can be jacked up to some ridiculous number too but everything over 16 MPLs blows thru the dataspace used for the PL data entered when setting a specific PL for a specific mode during programming. There's a (probable) workaround. I touch on it on the Info tab as well.

I like your OLED based HMI but I'm thinking TFT touchscreen for an interface. They are certainly less hardware intesive. I've seen a few demos on the'net and they look interesting, if supporting them isnt too resource hungry.

I'll get back with you on the Arduino math for the a and b divider values. It was POC and just for the T71 so I didnt dig into writing anything for the V1/V0 or reference divider bit calulations. We may have to move to a Mega or something with similar/better resources before it's over with.

The v2.0 version of the frequency to bytes and bytes to frequency calculators are near release ready and separate versions for VHF and UHF calculators too. It took a bit more time. (The formulas were a b*tch to code compared to the T71 version)

I added Low/High side injection selection to the UHF version but I'm considering taking it out of the beta release. If the user misses it and doesnt have it set correctly it will obviously generate the wrong data. The only radio that needs it are the Range 1 403-420 units. I've got a couple of those in Astro Spectra, but I've never seen a UHF Range 1 X9000.

I need to decide on a means to validate the checksum .xlb file's origin before I release it to the wild. I really dont want someone to run a compromised (malicious script added) version and blame me for it eating their boot sector or something equally destructive. PGP is not really a fair option since most folks these days dont know what it is, much less have it installed. I've got a few ideas. I'll come up with something.


@Jim202 - I apologize for not getting back with you after my last reply to your PM on the old Canuk site. That was right about when my priorities shifted and I didnt have a lot of extra time to persue hobby/project stuff.

1+ on the noise floor comment. It's not just low band either. The broadband noise off these wireless internet sites on every rooftop is murder on several of our repeater receivers.....and the Flakes and Commies Commission just turn a blind eye to it. (I'm still pissed at them and those morons in DC for releasing cell numbers to the telemarketing scum.)
I remember a time when you could work QRP and hear weak signals with less sophisticated receivers and antenna arrays than we have today. Too much residual RF polution now. It's like the "radiation badlands" from some cheezy sci-fi movie....lol
Think a 6/10 meter FHSS setup would fair better against the noise floor?


@902 - A replacement for the RDprog and CHprog could very well come from this info, but it would be a branch of the project. I'm expecting a fair amount of hardware level interfacing to realize my view of an FPP feature for the X9000.

Writing an X86 executable to R/W the EEPROM via the SB9600 bus would be an undertaking, and it would still be better to do it in DOS.
The last version of RSS will run in a command window on P4 class boxes without crashing. I have never used it to program a radio from a P4 box but expect it may (should), as long as you boot to DOS to run it.
There is more on the subject on the Info tab of the .xls file.

Dont trash those SytntorX personality boards. Get an X-Cat from Skip and Lee (X-CAT Yahoo groups). Skip is in Commifornia (hopefully against his will) but we wont hold that against him. I've talked with both Skip and Lee, great folks, very knowledgable and helpful.

The X-Cat works great in a SyntorX as a remote base and it (the X-Cat) speaks Doug Hall, Palomar Telecom and CIV.......and I've seen several DTMF to CIV microcontroller projects out there. Putting a 4x4 keypad in place of the DTMF decoder outputs shouldnt be too hard.

28nn DIP EEPROMs are still available too. I got my Willem burner for less that a hundred bucks many moons ago. They are prolly even cheaper and better now. Dont count the SyntorX out. There are a few paths to upgrade for it too. Just depends on how "Mad" of a scientist you are....lol


It's great to hear there are still a lot of X9000 loyalists. This lil' dab of info should keep a fair number of guys comming up with new ideas for a while.

I plan to go after the MCS and Astro/Spectra line next.....prolly better to say eventually.

Their divider comms are SPI based so I expect a lot of time slaving over a hot logic analyzer. Beyond poking around in the FDB I've not even taken a crack at the codeplug.

HMMM....Is there a minimum time/post count to be able to u/l a file with my post? I dont even know if I can u/l files yet. I've been comming here for years to catch up on the latest buzz, but never had much to comment on or add.

Well, here goes.......BTW it's not a .zip it's a .rar
I had to put the .zip extension on it to get the U/L manager to accept it.
73
 

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gargamel1901

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My post count is too low to post files without mod approval. Answers to many of the questions you asked are in the .xls I uploaded. It should clear moderation in 24 hrs or so I think the pop-up said.
Also, apparently access to email and PM privileges is tied to postcount as well. Hopefully this will resolve itself as soon as I meet the required count.
 
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mancow

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I'll pm a mod and see if we can get it worked out.

I think eeprom emulation is the way to go unless it steps on the toes of the xcat guys. Do you​ know if that would be an issue? If not then it would be far easier to let the existing hardware do so the pl dpl stuff instead of reinventing the wheel.

As for processors the teensy brand are very small very flexible very fast and fully Arduino compatible. I used the 3.6 with a recent project and it works great.

I have also used the arlcd product to make a touch interface. I don't know though if they have advanced beyond simple Arduino based processors though.

I do agree that a touch panel would be best.
 

gargamel1901

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I dont imagine Skip or Lee will have any issues. They are "X" men.....to steal a pop culture reference.
Skip is the FW (PIC) guy and Lee does the HW assy/QC. I'm pretty sure they are just breaking even (if that) and doing it more for the love of the hobby than any financial gains.

AFAIK they have no interest or stake in the X9000. I spoke to Skip once about a uC interface for the X-Cat he basically said "Sounds like a great idea, go ahead and build one." He stopped short of saying "This is what I'd do..." but does say the CIV interface is the default comm protocol and is running all the time.

I remember seeing the Teensy, at the time thinking, that's way more horsepower than I need. That was then..yadi,yadi
I'm thinking a Nano for a form factor, but if that falls short on performance the Teensy looks to be a promising alternative.

I d/l'd the .xls and opened it on my work comp.(MS Excel 2007). I wrote it on MS 2010.(home comp) I have the sheets protected to keep from undoing stuff I'd finished but I see that some of the row heights are screwy on the info tab. You will have to unprotect sheet under the Home>Format menus to adjust the row heights to see all the text.

I just checked and it looks like the PM & email features aren't enabled yet.
I'll keep checking.
 

mancow

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Once I can get you my email via PM I will send you all I have on the project.... the control code, synthesizer divider code, etc...

I have some code that runs the ARLCD touch panel too that is a basic keypad with enter, freq line, volume slider and what not.

As for the nano that's what I used in my MCS2000 control head project. It's a nice small form factor but the Teensy isn't much larger if any at all and has far more power and features.
 

mancow

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I'm going through and trying to identify things by changing codeplugs and looking at the changes in the hex editor. So far using your map layout byte 8 (which should actually be labeled as 00) is pointing to the TOT (time out timer).

00 = no TOT
01 = .08 seconds
02 = .17
03 = .25
04 = .33
05 = .42
06 = .50
07 = .58
08 = .67
etc....
78 = 10.00 minutes
7F = 10.58 minutes (maximum time)

As you can see it's not adding .08 each time. It starts with a base of .08 then adds and extra.01 second every 2nd time after the initial base .08.
So, it's . base .08 +.09 +.08 +.08 +.09 +.08 +.08 +.09 etc.....

Distill that into a formula. :confused:

Anyway, now that has been identified on to the rest....

Selecting PTT ALLOWED = NO results in the most significant bit of byte 8 flipping to a 1. Therefore using a maximum TOT of 10.58 which was 7F results in byte 8 all bits on and a value of FF.

29.540 = 326583
06528F 326583 0000E504000000 326583 0000000000000000
RX TX (no options) Alt TX Scan bitmap


06528F 326583 0000E504000000 326583 0000000000000000 31 user modes no change

06528F 326583 0000E504000000 326583 (TOT Off)
06528F 326583 0001E504000000 326583 (.08 TOT) minutes
06528F 326583 0002E504000000 326583 (.17 TOT) +.09
06528F 326583 0003E504000000 326583 (.25 TOT)
06528F 326583 0004E504000000 326583 (.33 TOT)
(.42) +.09 (.50) (.58) (.67) +.09 (.75) (.83) (.92) +.09 (1.00) (1.08) etc...
06528F 326583 0078E504000000 326583 (10.00 TOT)
06528F 326583 007FE504000000 326583 (10.58 TOT) hex 7F = 127

06528F 326583 00FFE504000000 326583 (10.58 TOT) + NOPTT

Ok I need to draw this out larger in an excel or something with each bit expanded and start labeling them. There's a lot of **** here yet to go through. I'm starting a large file with a cell for each bit and a label as to what it does vs what condition.
 
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gargamel1901

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Like eating an elephant, one byte at a time....... lol
Looks like this stuff gives you a new puzzle to work out.

Yes the actual offset of byte 8 of the "byteset" is initially on the n0h boundary. That psuedo numbering was born of deleting those 16 leading byte to get alignment. It was easier to align in HW and c/p to Excel than to do all the parsing in Excel for differential analysis. As I got familiar with it I could just look at the hex in the areas of interest and see patterns with the byte aligned.

As for the algo, hey, it's Motorola man.............and you expected????
In all fairness and venturing a guess, without looking into it and considering hundredths resolution, it probably has to do with precision limits.

Excel is a great program, probably the best thing ever coded by M$.
To keep from having to constantly scroll, I created workspace tabs for the various sub-functions to work out the details. You may find it easier to do something similar, byte by byte.

I dont recall the start of the codespace for MPL but de-constructing the algo for that might be the next best effort. It is just above the 64th mode in a 2k chip CP. I dont recall right off for the 8k.
The byte values for TX and RX are different for the same PL for some reason. I've not even tried to look at any DPL data. I'll look at my notes and post those offsets. They are different for a 2k vs 8k CP structure.
 

gargamel1901

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MPL offset

OK, From my notes the offset address for the beginning of the MPL data for a 2k chip is 0701h.
The offset address for the beginning of the MPL data for an 8k chip is 1E01h.
For some reason, 2 byte for tx and 2 bytes for rx, but they have different values for the same PL setting.

These offsets are for a CP that has not been modified for alignment as described on the info tab.
 

mancow

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Moving into the next field TX PL it follows this pattern.

Radio accepts any PL from 67.0 to 250.3 Hz in .1 Hz increments.
TX PL data resides at offsets 03 and 04 right at the beginning of the codeplug file.

67.0 = 8D 67
67.1 = 8D 69
67.2 = 8D 6B

150.0 = 93 25
151.4 = 93 3E
250.3 = 9A 15

Each .1 Hz increment adds 2 to the base 67.0 Hz 8D67 value.... for a while. But, then it changes. I'm trying to find the pattern.
 
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