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How to Use the Armada software

KC5DBH

Newbie
Joined
Aug 9, 2020
Messages
1
Location
NE Oklahoma
I am trying to program a pair of Kenwood Viking VP900 portable radios. They are VHF/700-800 models.

I am by no means a newbie to programming radios but I find the Armada software difficult to use and, lacking features. Here's the list:


1. The radio can only take one codeplug at a time. I can find nothing in the software help file to indicate otherwise. That said, I absolutely have to be able to do VHF and 700/800 MHz zones in the same codeplug. Armada appears to have no provision for that.

2. I need to be able to program frequencies in the 803 and 804 MHz range for interoperability purposes. Armada does not allow that yet other major radio manufacturers do. I need a method to override this limitation.

3. I understand that templates allow the generation of codeplugs that are not specific to the model and serial number of the radio(s) being programmed. It appears that I have to link a codeplug to a template. Problem is I can’t generate new codeplugs with Armada and I can’t program more than one band at a time within a given codeplug. That said, I don’t see how the radio can be a multi-band unit when I can only get one codeplug at a time in it and, when that one codeplug is only good for one band.

4. What on earth is Monitor RX? I’ve never heard of such a thing. If it refers to any function I’m already familiar with; Monitor RX is not the correct term for it. If not, I have no clue what it is or what it does.

5. The Armada help file made a brief reference to profiles and gave me the impression profiles are a collection of codeplugs and templates; maybe something that Armada actually programs the radio with as opposed to individual codeplugs. I can’t find any method in Armada by which to generate new profiles.

6. What does the “save” icon do up in the upper left of the Fleet Window? Best I can figure is it does nothing as I used it to save my work as I progressed and, Armada lost all of it for no reason. If Armada saved it, then where because I can’t find it and I checked the AppData portion of my user directory in Windows 10 Pro where Armada places files it uses.


The above statements were copied from an e-mail sent to my dealer and EF Johnson support.

I have programmed numerous Motorola radios, a handful of Harris radios, Kenwood and, Icom radios; both digital and analog.

I am in serious need of assistance with programming these radios. Absent that, I won't be having my local fire department buy anymore of them.

--Matt
 

okgatorfan

Newbie
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Messages
11
Location
Oneonta, Al
1. You can do both in the same ZONE. In the ZONE TAB, you will need to change the channel to reflect the SYSTEM TYPE, be it trunking, conventional, etc.
2. Check your CHANNEL ID tab, under SYSTEMS. Your bandsplit may not be setup correctly
3. Check and ensure that your SYSTEM is a 7/800/VHF system.
 

okgatorfan

Newbie
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Messages
11
Location
Oneonta, Al
Question, what are you trying to program them with?

Your dealer should be able to assist you, if not, they should be able to get with EFJ to get you some help.
 

MTS2000des

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
3,554
Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
Armada is hands down some of the easiest software I've ever used. Stops you from duplicating trunking IDs, keeps track of everything, doesn't require a server class machine to load and run (ahem...APX CPS anyone?), doesn't bog down with large codeplugs, allows you to create templates and apply across different models without having to rewrite codeplugs from scratch. If a radio doesn't have a feature, the world doesn't stop, it just tells you (sorry x y z not in this radio) but will let you continue anyway.

Get with your dealer that sold you the radios.
 

rowanRF

Member
Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
11
When using the dual band radios you have to pay attention when adding templates and systems. Armada will ask you to specify a band, and that band needs to be the dual band 7/800 VHF option. In your third question it sounds as if the template or the system was added as single band, which is why you can't program frequencies in both bands.

"Monitor RX" lets you monitor traffic on the radio's selected receive frequency, bypassing any ctcss or nac checks that would normally keep the radio from picking up undesired traffic. "Monitor" does the same with the transmit frequency. Pressing and holding a "Monitor" button does the same thing as pressing "Monitor RX". There are other functions that can be programmed that similarly disable some filters for conventional transmissions, but monitor is the one that's supposed to disable them all so you hear anything that the radio picks up.

For your fifth question, I think profiles is just another name for codeplugs, which are settings that are tied to a specific radio. You can't create a codeplug out of nothing. You have to read it in from a connected radio, or import a saved one which would've been created from a specific radio. You can, however, create templates out of nothing, but you have to make sure you create them with a band that matches the radios you intend to link to. Once you have a template created and linked to one or more radios, any changes you save to a template will also be applied to any linked radio codeplugs. All you have to do then is push the new settings to the actual radios. You can also create templates from codeplugs if you have a codeplug that would make a better starting point than starting from scratch.

The save icon will save whatever you have selected in the fleet window, which will either be a codeplug or a template. The save all does the same for everything in the fleet window. When you save, the changes are committed to Armada's internal record, which is loaded every time Armada is started up. If you want to save to a file that you can send to a coworker or copy to another computer, you have to export the template or codeplug. An exported codeplug can only be imported and applied to the radio it was created for, but imported templates should work with any radio of the same band as the template. Templates and codeplugs can also be exported in bulk, so a single exported file can contain several templates and codeplugs.

The Armada workflow takes some getting used to, but you can make changes to dozens of radios quickly one you get the hang of it. It's probably worth reaching out to EFJ to see if they have any Armada training materials because the help isn't the most pleasant thing to navigate. They should also be able to answer your question about the 803-804 range.
 
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