• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.

Astro Spectra Power Supply

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
90
Location
NH
Hello,

I have a fleet of Astro Spectra W4 110 watt mobile radios connected in my trucks. I have a mobile radio set up in my garage and In need of a strong power supply capable of running that radio. I also have a 45 watt non remote mount W4 block that I have powered on an Astron RS-20A as the base radio. I've been told I should have had a 110 unit as a base for better distance. We are having issues with reception located in New Hampshire. The best distance practice we've gotten from the base to a mobile unit was 4 exits down the highway. We have tried analog and Digital but nothing changes with reception. Sometimes digital is worse here. We've been looking into and I am hoping for strong feedback from other enthusiasts on this page. Should I get stronger power supplies and also, what are your recommendations for a strong VHF base antenna. I currently have 2 Browning BR-6050 antennas that I bought from the early start of my hobby with two way radios. Our truck fleet has the 5/8" gain VHF Larid B1443s antennas that I have replaced this spring. I first had Comtelco quarter wave VHF antennas and tried out the high gain antennas. Off topic, but I have reception static issues on my 2017 Ford F350 when I turn on the running clearance lights. All my lights on this truck are LED and making a severe reception issue. I originally was running a fleet of Kenwood TK series VHF analog radios with the quarter wave antennas and tried upgrading due to our span of coverage and the importance of truck to truck contact in the winter plowing season but still have issues hearing from two or more towns away. I have tried sparking a few other new topics but no reply. Thank You
 

toolman60

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
150
Location
King and Queen Virginia
I would look at getting a Astron 70a supply and you will never over work it with a 110 watt Astro. That radio going to draw somewhere between 25-30 amps at full power.
 
Last edited:

N4KVE

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
3,285
Location
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
That radio will draw 30+ amps. Use a 50 amp Astron at a minimum, because it is rated at 35 amps continuous. Also get rid of the Tram/Browning Antenna. They are ham junk. Laird, & Comtelco are commercial grade/quality antennas. Much better.
 

toolman60

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
150
Location
King and Queen Virginia
N4KVE,

Thats what I thought 30-35a but looking at service manual it said 27.5a but either or a 50amp supply be good I use a rs 70 here and it around 50+a continuous so it never works hard.
 
Last edited:

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,309
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Often those radios are fused at 30 amps, so they'll draw something below that. However, doesn't hurt to have more capacity.
If you are only running one radio, a 70 amp supply is way overkill.

Increasing RF power doesn't result in an equal increase in distance. In other words, if you double your RF power, it does not double your range.
Using the inverse square rule, you'd need to quadruple your power to double your range if you don't change anything else. So, going from a 45 watt radio to a 110 watt radio isn't going to make a huge improvement -ON IT'S OWN-.

You need to look at a really good base antenna, up as high as you can get it. Even then, you are going to be limited.

And I agree, ditch the amateur grade antennas and get something decent. Larsen is my personal favorite. It'll cost a few bucks more, but I've got antennas that outlasted the trucks they were installed on.
Antennas are extremely important to your radio system. Cutting corners to save a few bucks is going to get you exactly what you pay for.
Also, make sure your antennas are mounted correctly, as in permanent NMO mounts, right smack in the middle of the truck roof. Good coax with properly installed connectors. Antennas should be properly tuned using an SWR meter or an antenna analyzer. Radios need to be installed correctly, also, as in powered off the battery, and correctly grounded.

I also think your expectations for coverage might be a bit off the mark. I don't know what kind of distances you are talking about, but mobile to mobile range of a few miles on VHF doesn't sound bad. Expecting much more than that, unless you are out on a perfectly flat plain, is going to require a repeater.

As for the noise from the LED's, that's common. Replace with incandescent lamps and it should go away. LED lights seem to be hit or miss, some are good, some are bad.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
3,555
Location
Texas
For a base, 100W (sorry, 110W) don't make any noticeable difference when compared to a 45W base on the same antenna system. Proper antennas will make the difference though. On mobiles, 100W really tends to help once you get out a little further especially with fighting picket fencing.

That being said, you'll need a power supply for at least 30A continuous to handle the high powers.

Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,309
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
As for the VHF base antenna, what's your budget?

For what you want to do, you need a good base antenna, and those are not cheap, $1500 and up is a good price range.
You can certainly go cheaper, but that will come at the cost of quality and gain.

Providing a budget would help us point you in the right direction.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
90
Location
NH
Hello there,

My budget is around $400. I had been doing google searches and most point to comtelco antennas. I first ordered my VHF mobile quarter wave antennas from Rfwiz.com. I can't remember the other site, but last year I changed over to Larid 5/8" gain VHF mobile antennas. I went from analog to digital and was hoping for better reception, but it didn't get any better. My options are open if you happen to refer some links over to me about base antennas. Would still like to upgrade from the cheap antenna farm ones. I also noticed, their site is retired for good. Hope y'all have some opinions and feedback, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,309
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
$400 isn't going to give you a lot of options. Comtelco is probably a good place to start for inexpensive solutions. I've used a few of theirs in small base station installs and they've done fine.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top