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G5 Revisions

surfacemount

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Hi!
Think I'm about to take the plunge to solve a problem.

With other radios, I generally want one revision behind whatever the newest is, and I rarely want the first release, either.

Has anyone compiled a way to figure out if there are any physical differences in the VHF/700-800 flavor? (I'm surfing the used market first).

Thanks!
 

Hit_Factor

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There are lots of flavors, just try to decode all the model numbers.

At one point I had 2 G5s. Both DMR enabled. One I bought brand new, the other was used, and a bit older. For whatever reason the older one could not handle a large system/site file, while the newer one could. Both had the same firmware, I suspect there are hardware differences.

If you are buying new, tell the dealer what you want, they may have access to information. Buying used, I don't think there is anyway you could articulate what you want, and in turn, get (find) what you want.

Perhaps the G4 is one rev behind the G5.

Side note: I have a VHF G5. Never should have bought a G5, I don't need the secondary band and can't really figure out why I would. It won't switch between P25 to VHF and back. It's not a scanner. If you buy me a new G4 I'll trade the G5. I don't need DMR either. I'll even include a charging base with an antenna jack. You can't get these, it's an engineering sample.
 

kruser

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I'll even include a charging base with an antenna jack. You can't get these, it's an engineering sample.
I always wished Unication would sell a standard charge only base that does have an external antenna input on it but nope, one must get the amplified charging base if they need the external antenna connection for the secondary band.
The pins on the bottom of the G series were easy enough to map out regarding which two pins supply the secondary band a signal from an external antenna but finding a mating connector like their charging bases use has never been found from any of my searches. I'd build a cradle to supply the secondary band for my G5 while mobile if I had the connector needed.
I suppose I could always buy a charge only base like your engineering sample and add a BNC jack to get an external antenna signal to the secondary band.
The primary band can also use an external antenna with the amplified charging base but not directly via the pagers contacts on the bottom. They must do some switching inside the G5 for the primary band when it detects it's plugged into the amplified charging base.
That may not be easy to build for mobile users that only need a cradle to hold the pager and also supply an external antenna signal.
 

Floridarailfanning

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Has anyone compiled a way to figure out if there are any physical differences in the VHF/700-800 flavor? (I'm surfing the used market first).
If you remove the battery, there is a small opening in the plastic of the battery well where the PCB is visible. Mine says G3/G4 RF Board and it has the mfg. date which I assume could be interpreted to a certain revision. Obviously, you haven't purchased one yet but you might be able to get a seller to send you that date before buying.
I always wished Unication would sell a standard charge only base that does have an external antenna input on it but nope, one must get the amplified charging base if they need the external antenna connection for the secondary band.
The pins on the bottom of the G series were easy enough to map out regarding which two pins supply the secondary band a signal from an external antenna but finding a mating connector like their charging bases use has never been found from any of my searches. I'd build a cradle to supply the secondary band for my G5 while mobile if I had the connector needed.
I suppose I could always buy a charge only base like your engineering sample and add a BNC jack to get an external antenna signal to the secondary band.
The primary band can also use an external antenna with the amplified charging base but not directly via the pagers contacts on the bottom. They must do some switching inside the G5 for the primary band when it detects it's plugged into the amplified charging base.
That may not be easy to build for mobile users that only need a cradle to hold the pager and also supply an external antenna signal.
I've never understood why you can't program through the charger. I run my charger from one of the USBs on the back of my PC so it would be really nice if it could be programmed while it's already sitting there.
 

kruser

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I've never understood why you can't program through the charger. I run my charger from one of the USBs on the back of my PC so it would be really nice if it could be programmed while it;s already sitting there.
I fully agree with your question and have also wondered the same. The amplified charging base even has a charge (power) only USB jack on it that could have been used for the programming feature. I think the manual said the USB jack was there for charging cell phones if my memory is any good.
 

kruser

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Yep, just a 5v power source. The regular charger has one also.
I still wonder how @Hit_Factor ended up with an "engineering" version of the standard charging base. I recall when he posted Unication's response to his email to them about his having a BNC antenna jack which is not included on the standard charging base!
He always wondered why that external antenna jack did absolutely nothing!
 

Hit_Factor

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I suppose I could always buy a charge only base like your engineering sample and add a BNC jack to get an external antenna signal to the secondary band.
I thought the same thing, so I opened it up. Not that simple. I think it has a preamp. P25 signal is so good here, there is no way for it to be better.
 

kruser

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I thought the same thing, so I opened it up. Not that simple. I think it has a preamp. P25 signal is so good here, there is no way for it to be better.
On my G5, I can simply touch the shield and center coax conductor from a rooftop antenna to the proper two terminals on the bottom of my G5 and it will instantly lock onto and decode the secondary VHF bands weak signals.
It does not work for the primary band though. I'd say you are correct for the primary band in that a preamp or something is involved.
I always wanted to do it as it's the secondary VHF band that I need to get an external signal into anyway.

Do you recall if all ten contacts are in the connector inside the standard charging base that you have? Of course your engineering sample probably would have all the contacts while the real charge only base may only have the contacts needed to charge the pager.
My amplified charging base does have all 10 contacts.

When I did the experiment of touching the coax to the correct two pins on my G5, that did work for the VHF band but I think if my G5 was sitting in my amplified charging base and it was not plugged into external power, it would not pass the signal to the secondary VHF band. That's a sure sign some kind of switch or preamp is used for the secondary band in the amplified charging base.

I just need signal to the secondary VHF band radio. I don't need the G5 to charge or use any other features when I'm indoors or mobile and far away from the VHF sites.
I may need to look into this again as I know I can feed signal to the secondary radio without any charging base using a direct connection to the contacts on the bottom of my G5.
 

Hit_Factor

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Do you recall if all ten contacts are in the connector inside the standard charging base that you have?
Sorry no, I don't recall. I do remember, opening it a crack was harder than I thought it should be. Was looking to see if it was just a simple connection. If it had been, I would have posted pics so others could do it.
 

surfacemount

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Thanks for the pertinent responses!
Also, thanks for the gracious offer! I'm going to have to pass for now, though.

I wonder, on the usb issue, if it is like a charge-only cable, in that the terminals on the radio have data + power, but then the data pins aren't connected?

On the antenna issue, are you saying that there are pins on the bottom that accept RF? And, that it doesn't pass both bands, but there is a switching mechanism inside the radio to select 7/8 or the secondary band?

That's interesting.
 

kruser

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On the antenna issue, are you saying that there are pins on the bottom that accept RF? And, that it doesn't pass both bands, but there is a switching mechanism inside the radio to select 7/8 or the secondary band?

That's interesting.
Yes, that's how it seems to work. I could hook an external antenna directly to the RF input contact and a ground contact on the bottom of the G5 and it would bring my secondary VHF band to life. The same connection never did anything for the primary 7/800 band though. That's why I suspected there must be a preamp or some kind of switching that occurs within the G5 that routes an external signal to the primary bands rf input.
I never really studied this much further than the secondary band tests though.
When mobile, if I needed a better signal for the primary 7/800 band, I still needed to use an adapter in place of the G5's antenna so I could get the external 7/800 MHz signal in that way.


Somewhere in this forum is an older thread with a pinout drawing or picture that someone posted that shows which pins do what.
I don't think all the contacts were labeled though. I think a couple contacts were labeled Data + and - though which sounded like a possible connection via USB to the pager. Who knows, maybe those data contacts are used for routing the audio through the amplified charging base speaker when the pager is in the base,

When the amplified charging base is powered up normally like it would be in an office or home environment, the single BNC external antenna jack on that charging base does provide signal to both, the primary and secondary bands in a G5.
My G5 almost acted like it could automatically select the G5's removable antenna signal or the signal from the amplified charging base. It seemed like it automatically picked the RF input source with the best signal but it only seemed to do this on the primary 7/8 band.
 
Last edited:

llzel

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Jan 14, 2014
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There are lots of flavors, just try to decode all the model numbers.

At one point I had 2 G5s. Both DMR enabled. One I bought brand new, the other was used, and a bit older. For whatever reason the older one could not handle a large system/site file, while the newer one could. Both had the same firmware, I suspect there are hardware differences.

If you are buying new, tell the dealer what you want, they may have access to information. Buying used, I don't think there is anyway you could articulate what you want, and in turn, get (find) what you want.

Perhaps the G4 is one rev behind the G5.

Side note: I have a VHF G5. Never should have bought a G5, I don't need the secondary band and can't really figure out why I would. It won't switch between P25 to VHF and back. It's not a scanner. If you buy me a new G4 I'll trade the G5. I don't need DMR either. I'll even include a charging base with an antenna jack. You can't get these, it's an engineering sample.
PM me please
 
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