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Feat Err 0552 & reflashing etc.

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mitaux8030

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I love to tinker. For me, its the best way to learn. To that end, I got my hands on a 'sacraficial' MR-K to experiment and learn with.

It appears as if its a conventional only M-RK2. 344A3937P235. Looking at the LBIs, it would appear as if there's no circuit hardware differences between the conventional and EDACS variants, even down to the flash .bin file.
So it appears as if it would only be the features enabled (with the Feature Encryption string) that determines if a particular M-RK is EDACS or conventional - would that be an accurate statement?

As received (no label, just a test personality programmed, out of the factory box) the radio powered up with a FEAT ERR 0552. Reading some of the advice here, I took copies of the .bin file, saved the tracking data, the 'as delivered' feature encryption string, and noted the ESN - then proceeded to update the flash from M2G28400 to M2G46402. This didn't help, so doing a recovery on the radio (first without erasing the EEPROM, and then with erasing it) still didn't help with this particular problem. I assume that the problem is the feature encryption string was corrupt (or doesn't match up with the ESN) to begin with when I got it?
If it helps any, it shows the following in Features:
Ch# 0
SG# 0
SY# 0
and shows NO features at all.

Wonder how MA-Com USA would react to someone from the other side of the world calling up to confirm if my FE string and ESN match? Do they have an email address that such queries can be directed to?

Not that it matters a lot, as it works fine in conventional mode anyway.
My education continues.
 

ElroyJetson

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Is your ESN string a bunch of zeros?


If so, the ESN chip is probably missing. Which means that you've got a conventional only radio until
and unless the radio is given a new ESN and a new feature encryption string matched to it and the
features you need.

No amount of radio recovery or reflashing will help you without an ESN and a valid feature string for it.

If your ESN is not a bunch of zeros, the ESN chip is present and working and an email to the TAC should
be sufficient to get back the feature string that they have on record for that radio. Provide the ESN
number as well as the radio type and serial number and you should get it with no problem.


Elroy
 

mitaux8030

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Just to follow through this one to conclusion: TAC just emailled me to say that they searched for both the serial number and the ESN of my radio in question - and couldn't find any record of it in their database. Interesting.

Still, the radio is functional, and seems to accept conventional channels and work just fine.
 

ElroyJetson

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I believe that's their standard answer these days if you're not an authorized m/a-com service center or decent sized customer. They've given me the same line of BS on radios that were pristine, had good
personality data in them, and the ESN chips had never ever been tampered with.

It's possible that your ESN came up in their records as belonging to a radio that they don't think you should
have, for whatever reason. Scrap, surplus, sold at auction, who knows...but whatever the reason, they
are more likely to be unwilling to help than unable to help.


Here's a thought: Do you know anyone in any sort of position of authority that works for any agency that uses EDACS radios?

If so, you might be able to get him to help push M/A-Com for the feature string. Have him state
"Our agency wants to use this radio for special operations but obviously we're not going to buy it
without a usable feature package in it. Now are you going to help us, one of your significant customers, or are you not going to help, something we'll keep firmly in mind when the time comes
to solicit bids for a replacement of our entire radio system?"


Sometimes you just need a little leverage.


I'll look through my pile of M-RK scrap radios (Yes, I have some) and see if I've got one that powers up
and has a reasonable feature package in it. If so, I can copy the string, pull the chip, and get it to
you for a nominal price. You swap it in, load the string, and call it a day.

Give me a few days to work on it.


Elroy
 
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