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Deep technical question on 7100 family radios

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ElroyJetson

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At one time I thought I had the answer to this but I've misplaced my notes and don't want to possibly damage
a workable radio to figure this out again.

I've got a very interesting 7100 radio board that doesn't power up and may be a FIPS death case, but
I'm not SURE of that yet. M/A-Com doesn't release any documentation of what happens to a FIPS dead
radio so I'm kind of working blind here. And then again, maybe it's not even a FIPS-enabled radio
and just has a bad regulator. Not sure.

I don't care about any encryption hardware on this radio. What I want is to isolate one specific bit of
information, and a second if possible.

1: Which EPROM chip stores the feature encryption string? This radio's ESN is still present, and I would
like to salvage that and the feature string for use in another radio.

2: Which chip is the radio personality stored in? If I can transfer that to any working radio, I can
read out the personality which I suspect may be sort of interesting.

The sad thing is, I once knew which chips stored this info but the last time I tried to reproduce the experiment, it didn't work. Which means I probably forgot which chips are the critical ones.

If I know which ones to swap out, I will be successful. There's no chip on these radios I can't change
out with near 100 percent success rates.


Elroy
 

JungleJim

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"If an unsigned DSP code or a DSP code signed with the wrong FIPS 140 Key Card is inadvertently loaded into the radio during forced recovery or code upgrade, the radio will be permanently disabled with no possibility of field recovery. The disabled radio will display “ERR=0903”, will not transmit or receive or allow further programming. The only fix is to replace the main radio board or send the radio to M/A-COM for repair. This is not considered to be a warranty repair."

I have come across a radio with the problem you are describing. Won't power up, no display, fuse checks good. I found that a tantalum cap in the +5VD switching regulator had shorted to ground and caused the switched B+ input choke inductor to blow like a fuse. On the underside of the board at the lower left corner in the space next to the DSP and under the flash EPROM is the regulator. The inductor is blue and there are two or four large tantalum caps, one at the bottom (22uF, 16V) and one or three 15uF, 16V up the side (older boards have three, newer ones only have the one on the side). The 22uF at th bottom is the one that shorted on my board.
 

ElroyJetson

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Those are the caps that are normally covered by that silicone potting, correct?

I hadn't thought about those. But I'll certainly check.

If that problem is a common failure to power up, I may have a lot of fun very shortly as I've got a good
supply of boards with that type of problem. Fuse OK, doesn't power up.

Thanks for the info on the FIPS kill, too. But I think the problem is repairable. Odds are the processor
is OK but the ATMEL Eprom has executed disabling code. Replace the ATMEL Eprom and maybe the flash EPROM and it should work again, I'd guess.

Elroy
 

mitaux8030

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I'd be guessing the personality would be held in a non-volatile memory like a 28Fxxxx series device. Seems to be the way modern radio design is going. Don't specificly know about the 7100 though... just a general observation that might point you in the right direction.
 

ElroyJetson

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DO NOT ASK ME FOR HELP PROGRAMMING YOUR RADIO. NO.
Yes, it IS in non-volatile memory, that's certain. But there are SEVERAL non-volatile memory chips on these radios.

I need to determine:

1: Where the personality is stored

2: Where the feature encryption string is stored

Of the two, no. 2 is more important. With that information I can recover valid feature data for specific ESNs from non-functional radios. Transfer the ESN to another radio and load up its feature data and now I've got a recovered feature set that's portable from one radio to another. That's valuable.

Just today I got a radio working that I was afraid I'd have to do just this to, and I'm really glad I didn't
have to do that sort of brain surgery on it as it turns out that its feature package includes option 39,
P25 Phase II trunking. :)

So of course its data has been backed up. I don't need any UHF low band radios, really, so that feature
set will get transferred into an 800 MHz model by means of an ESN swap and load up the appropriate
feature string. Easy.

Elroy
 
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