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GE RANGR AND DELTA Programming

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kd8omt

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Hello everyone. I have been given a bunch of GE rangrs and deltas. I ordered the EPROM cable but I am wondering if the radios need to have the rf turned down like Motorola radios. Is there any thing else thats is important to do while converting from commercial to amateur.
 

JASII

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GE DELTA Programming

What control heads will you be using with these? Also, do you want any of these to be field programmable? I used a DELTA a while back and had it set up as four banks of 32 channels rather than the more common eight banks of 16 channels. Not a bad radio. While it was no Motorola, I did have it set up to be field programmable. I also had it configured for dual level priority scan, but that is much more common in public safety than amateur radio.
 

jim202

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Can't answer the question without you providing more information like the model number of the radios and what frequencies your trying to move them to.

I have been using a number of the Delta-S and Delta-SX radios along with a number of the Phoenix and Rangr radios on the ham frequencies since these radios first came out. You may have to pad the VCO to get it to move far enough to get onto some of the ham channels. You will have to re tune the radios in some cases, depending on the model to get normal performance. This will require the use of some sort of signal generator.

You will need some way of programming the channel information into the radio. This can be done in a number of ways. You can manage to find someone with a suitcase programmer, you can obtain one of several software programs on the open market, or you could do it the hard way and make one of the manual bit programmers and do it one bit at a time.

The use of these radios also kind of depends on which control cable and control head you have to make a working system. The Delta and Rangr series are made to function as trunk mount operation. There are also a couple of different control cables. One is the standard non down load cable and the other trunk mount control cable has 2 additional wires in use to allow down loading from the S825, S950 and S990 control heads.

You need to spend some time doing searching on the internet for information. One of the sites to start with is the "repeater builders" site. It has some good information and some links to other sites.

Once you have figured out what you have, have done your homework on the radios you have, then come back and ask specific questions that the members on here can help you with.





Hello everyone. I have been given a bunch of GE rangrs and deltas. I ordered the EPROM cable but I am wondering if the radios need to have the rf turned down like Motorola radios. Is there any thing else thats is important to do while converting from commercial to amateur.
 

kd8omt

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well i just got a truck load of these things so i will go thru and match heads to radios and will get back with what I have
 

W8UU

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GE Rangr and Delta S/SX radios were some awesome products back in the day. They are both basically the same radio, with the Rangr subcontracted to an offshore manufacturer and the Delta made here in the United States. Both use the same cables, control heads, power leads, microphones, etc. The Delta radio case is more traditional and square, while the Rangr case is somewhat streamlined and more artistic. I believe both use the same mounting tray, though.

Jim202 is correct in stating there are two different configurations of control heads and cables: The basic cable that used a simple control head (for up to 16 or 32 channels) with the programming in the radio, and a deluxe version with the programming "brain" located in the control head and it downloaded into the radio when power was applied. The deluxe arrangement worked with the alphanumeric control heads and also could control sirens, emergency lights, and may have a built in DTMF (touch tone) keypad. The deluxe heads offered up to 432 channels in banks of 16 channels each.

Don't confuse the original Delta radios with the Delta-S and Delta SX models. The original Deltas came out in the early 80s and were crystal controlled radios, replacing GE's venerable Mastr II series. For you Motorola fans, compare the original Deltas with the Mitrek. The S and SX versions were synthesized (i.e. programmable) and they were offered in the late 80s up through the mid 90s. The SX version is a wideband unit capable of covering a larger frequency spread. The GE Delta S and SX compare to Motorola's Maratrac series.

My hunch is you have the Delta S or SX series, as they were very popular models and the ones most likely to be recently replaced by a customer. Provided everything is there and it works, you have some VERY GOOD radio equipment that should work in the amateur market for years to come with technical performance much better than any traditional mobile ham radio on the market.

** THE GE RANGR AND DELTA RADIOS ARE NOT NARROWBAND COMPLIANT **

For model information, features, etc. your best point of reference is the Hall Electronics website. Hall's was a GE Mobile Communications dealer/factory repair center in Columbus Ohio and they've put almost all of their technical info online. You can find everything you'd ever want to know with some digging. Go to Hall Electronics, Inc. and click on GE Tech Info in the upper left hand corner.

The Rangr and Delta series was available in 60 and 110 watt VHF low band, 40 and 110 watts in VHF High Band, and in 40 or 50 watt and 110 watt versions for UHF. 800 MHz radios were available in conventional and EDACS trunking formats at 10 or 35 watts, and 300 milliwatt VHF High Band and UHF mobile repeater (PAC-RT) systems were also packaged in Rangr boxes.

If you want someone to do your programming, your best bet is Andy Brinkley at Brinkley Electronics in Wallburg, North Carolina. Go to Brinkley Electronics Home Page and click on "Company Info", then click "Contact Information". Tell him what type of radio you have and what you want done, and get a service authorization number. Ship it to him and it'll come back right the first time. I've used Andy several times and found him excellent to work with.

What a shame GE isn't in the two-way business anymore. They made some great stuff back in the day.

Hope the info above helps you.

Rick, W8UU
 

jim202

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well i just got a truck load of these things so i will go thru and match heads to radios and will get back with what I have

You need to provide some details on what band the radios are on and what you would like to do with them.

There are some DOS programs that can program those radios. If you have the fancy S950 or S990 control heads, then you will need to locate one of the GE suitcase programmers. So far to my knowledge, no one has come up with a way to program these heads except the mod to make them front panel programmable.

If your looking to do 2 meters with the radios, then the best bet is to find the Delta-SX version of the radios. The Phoenix-SX units are lower power, but will function just the same. You will probably need to tweek the VCO some to get them to work in the 2 meter ham band. The UHF versions of the same radio will work well on the UHF 440 ham band. Been there and done that with a number of these radios.

The low band Delta-S is a different story. They will require some cap changes to get them to function on the 6 meter ham repeaters. They don't quite make it up to the high end of the 53 MHz range.

The Rangr low band radio is another animal. I have used a number of these on 6 meters. It will take some modifications on the PA output filter to make them play well. If you don't work over the output filter in the PA section, you will burn holes in the circuit board. Ask me, I have done it when these radios first came out some 20 years ago.

There is a bunch of information all over the Internet on these radios. You just need to go looking for it. There are also a couple of GE groups on Yahoo. Go look for those also.

Keep us informed on just what flavor radios you have collected.

Jim
 

mm

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There is an aftermarket programmer for the X2212,DRAM IC, along with some windows software for programming somewhere out on the net.


There was even a home brew programmer that several of us made back around 1999 and this was being used with the Niles radio software to get the programming info into the Rangr and deltas for most bands.

I used it for 10 meter, 6 meter, 2 meter, 220 MHz (my own mod), and 440.

Then around 2001 to 2002 the hamflash software for the S950 and S990 heads started showing up on the net for all of these bands including 220Mhz but unfortunately I think the links to the home made X2212 DRAM programmer are long gone.


VO1CPU was one link that had a lot of good information along with another guy by the name of Sterrit Carter, I can't remember his call but he had a good page on a lot of GE radios including the RANGR and Phoenix radios but this was years ago and I don't think any of the links are active anymore.

Both the Deltas and RANGR's are great radios and certainly not door stops nor are they boat anchors or scrap material, the delta receiver is better than the rangr in dynamic range spec's but both are still excellent for ham use only as is mentioned they are all wideband.

And there is need to turn the power down, my Rangrs on all bands from 29 Mhz to 540 Mhz still run to this day at full power output, the 220 mod is a 25 watt radio BTW so it is loafing along at this power.


Mike
 

wa8pyr

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There are some DOS programs that can program those radios. If you have the fancy S950 or S990 control heads, then you will need to locate one of the GE suitcase programmers. So far to my knowledge, no one has come up with a way to program these heads except the mod to make them front panel programmable.
Don't forget about the S825 heads; with the proper programming cable, GE RIB and software, you can program the S825 head to do all sorts of fun stuff, as well as hold at least 128 channels.. and no PROM burner needed. As jim202's earlier post mentioned, these control heads connect to the radio, and upon power up or system ("Zone" to Motorola people) change, download the channel data for that "System" to the EEPROM in the radio.

You can still find S825 heads on eBay; I just picked up four of them about a year ago for around $20 each.

One caveat: the S825 heads have to be used with the proper control head cable, which has extra leads allowing program download. IIRC, the standard control head cable can be modified to do so as well.
 
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