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ASTRO Spectra VHF: Strange Problem

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mfn002

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I recently acquired a gently-used ASTRO Spectra VHF that I've been using to monitor some local VHF P25 channels. Yesterday, the radio mysteriously turned off and back on again repeatedly by itself. I checked the power connection and the power supply, but both were fine. There were no errors popping up on the display, either. In the past, it would--every once in a great while--briefly show "ERROR 05/10" on power-up, but the radio would behave fine after that. What's going on here?
 

mass-man

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Yep sure seems to be the symptoms of the caps leaking and failing. I did a couple earlier this year. One would literally just stay on about 5 min, then shut off! The other, the display started flashing about an hour after being turned on....

it's not terribly hard....
 

mfn002

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Yep sure seems to be the symptoms of the caps leaking and failing. I did a couple earlier this year. One would literally just stay on about 5 min, then shut off! The other, the display started flashing about an hour after being turned on....

it's not terribly hard....
Okay, I'll check the caps.
 

MTS2000des

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this fella sold me a kit of caps for my spectras
and yup Astros have the same issue
AI4JI Spectra Repair and Modifications
David is a brilliant technician. Worked with him for a few months. He wrote the bible on rrecapping Spectras.

Astro Spectras share many of the same RF parts and control heads, and many of the leaky cap problems. To the O/P, remember these radios are at newest 10 years old (IIRC 2Q 2006 was the last order date for Astro Spectra anything), most are 15 or more.

Another thing to watch out for is "EEPROM wear". Yes, EEPROMs do wear out, and these radios do lots of background writing to EEPROMs when they are operating (e.g. updating control channel registration tables, scan lists, last zone/channel when powered up, etc). While Motorola used top quality ATMEL EEPROM chips (unlike the modern Chinese turd radios with garbage that fail after 100 write cycles), they do approach their MTBF of 1,000,000 writes in 20 years of daily use.

FAIL 01/82s that occur for no reason at all, or after writing a codeplug with no other issues usually point to this. Usually means you will need to replace that chip. Not terribly expensive, but it does require good soldering equipment and skill.

Just thought I'd mention that, I've had about 12 Astro Spectra and XTS3000s come across my bench in the last few months that needed this to get going.
 
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