I got my AOR 8200 mk3, WAS I DRINKING?

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KIKINWING

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It all started in a small town in 1964...... Okay, okay I will fast forward. Been enjoying "scanning" since 1988. My technical proficency has been not to exceed the plug it in, punch it in and turn it up!!! But this has all changed. I have decided to build a wicked double awsome shack. While I feel as though I have done my homework as to what best suits me and the landscape I call home I now realize that I have allot to learn. Specifically my new/used AOR 8200 MK3. FHEW!!! This thing comes with a real steep learning curve. It is not written (owners manual) in laymans terms and I hope I havent bit off more than I can chew. I know I am in good comapny because in reading similar posts from what seems to be technically able posters or better yet people a lot smarter than I are making some of the same claims...... Now and while I am not dumb I am what you could call not to bright when it comes to certain things such as electronics. Not because I cant get it but because I really havent had much exposure beyond the get it, plug it, punch it in and turn it up. ( I did that just fine with the AOR, no manual necessary!!) Thats where the fun stopped. So that said, Where can a wise fool such as meself find the book titled AOR8200 for dummies? Or is there video lessons out there for purchase to see it done and hear it done? Certainly a much easier way of learning instead of just trying to read a text manual by an author who clearly shouldnt be writing an text manual????? Oh well, I can go knee deep and do my best. But I want to have fun in use and learning. If this thing becomes real work I might have to put it up on ebay and move on to the next hobby - cat juggling!!!
 

thecop

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Having recently purchased an AOR AR-8200 MK II, I feel your pain. I, too, have been around the block re: radios (my story begins in 1954...) but still programmed 200 NYC PD and FD frequencies in NAM. No PC cable nor software. Just took a deep breath and reprogrammed the mode. My fingers will never be the same, but I can guarantee this, it will NEVER happen again, and I have since learned the programming function forward and backwards! I also have an AOR AR5000+3 and thought I knew all about the AOR nuances. WRONG! These are two manuals I keep in my fire safe, 'cause, although I truly love these radios, without the manuals they would serve as wheel chocks.
 

KIKINWING

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THECOP wrote; "I also have an AOR AR5000+3 and thought I knew all about the AOR nuances. WRONG!!!" You mean the 8200 and 5000 have much different formats?? There similarities are non existent? When and if I learn one I have to again learn a completely different other? OH BOY!!!! What's up AOR?? are you that clueless or am I?? That said, if there is anyone who owns and has mastered an 8200 MK3 and are willing to video conference and provide a few basic lessons I would be willing to compensate for your time, or if you live in South Eastern New England I would travel..... Just a thought!!
 

thecop

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Sorry if I lead you to believe that the formats are foreign to each other. What I meant was they are both complicated and foreign to what I consider more user-friendly formats, e.g. Uniden and Icom. I think I would be remiss if I didn't state that I believe the complexity of the operating system is, in part, a result of the radio feature set. The AOR radios are communication receivers, not scanners (although the AR5K+3 will buzz along at 46 cps). I have had many, many radios during the course of my monitoring "career" and I can say that it will take a very, very special radio to make me sell my AR5K+3. I installed Collins mechanical filters and find the HF ability as good as any other rig, including my R75 and 746PRO. The capabilities of both the 8200 and 5K+3 are, in my opinion, second to no other radio that does not require a PC (received my first NOAA-15 WESAT image using APT software yesterday. I was able to utilize the 30 kHz filter in FM available on the AR5K+3).
To be honest, I also have two Uniden 996T's and one 396T, and I find the lack of "channel's" a bit frustrating. Now I know this is my fault for not having taken the time to become more familiar with them, but they are programmed via PC and do not lend themselves to my desire to go beyond that. I find 1000 dynamic memory channel's in a radio that offers text search so much easier to use. Certainly subjective and your mileage may vary!
I really believe that, after enough time going through the manual, you'll become more comfortable with your new radio. That said, the AOR operating system can be difficult but it's worth the trouble.
Hang in there and step away from the liquor cabinet!!! ;-)
 

KIKINWING

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Thanks much and your words make much sense.... I am not a quitter but I do know when to ask for help. That said maybe you can answer a question? As stated I just got my MK3 and am fiddling with it and having some success. That said I noticed that the volume is somewhat lacking. I first attributed it to not being on the proper band but still then when I have my local PD dialed in to both the 8200 and an old Pro-528 the 528 is very, very loud. Just to be thorough I adjusted for variables and switched antennas and location and power sources and the 8200 is very, very, weak. I did find one suggestion from the manual that said to depress the moni key when powering up to adjust volume and it is still weak. Is this something you have found? Again I got it off e-bay for 360.00 second hand and am wondering if a drink was droped on it or something? Any thoughts or experiences?
 

Fast1eddie

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I purchased the Butel CD's for my AOR's....as I used it I was able to better comprehend the programming routine. With all of the key functions it can be difficult. My 8200 is used mobile with a Austin Spectra (side mounted on the trunk) and works very well. If anything, it would have been nice for AOR to integrate CTCSS/DCS instead of requiring a $100.00 plug in.
 

thecop

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KIKINWING - I'm sorry, but I can think of no reason why your 8200 should have insufficient volume. My series "B" can be VERY loud. I think this is a question that would be better off presented here:

ar8200 : The AR8200 Mk I/II/III mailing list

Ed - I couldn't agree more re: the CTCSS issue. Although I was able to purchase my 8200 MK II with that card option, I would loved to have had a DPL function as well.
 

gcgrotz

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I have one of the original 8200's and I still couldn't begin to program the mems. I can barely enter a VFO freq and manage a search.

Get the Butel software and you won't have to learn.
 

fourthhorseman

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I purchased the Butel CD's for my AOR's....as I used it I was able to better comprehend the programming routine. With all of the key functions it can be difficult. .
i feel this also,
i dont have this rig,im not to that point in the,ill say hobby,for lack of a better term,
but i have asperations to get myself a nice kenwood or maybe an icom one day when
i can sneak a grand out of the savings acct with out the wife noticing,,

back to the issue of computer aided programming,,

i think there are many who,like me get a much better grasp on a radios setting up when
you can see the whole picture.meaning, seeing the entire layout,allmost a working-modifiable
blueprint to see in one glance makes it far easier,for me,to understand the associations among the
multitude of features,settings and general set up of said rig.

in my case,it actually get me to understand how to manually enter data,change advanced settings,
manual search and fine tune a desired channel.

kudo's and thank you to the advancement in this field,my first scanner was a uniden BC60..i had no idea
what teh hell to do.back when all i could find on the internet was looonnnggg text files of frequencies..
allmost fifteen years ago.i had little luck and gave it up,then gave away the scanner.last year i picked up a 528 for 35 at a shack,NIB..3 weeks later i got a pro97,2 1/2months later,a pro 96,and a few after that a pro 106..

all thanks to the introduction of programming software,surely driven by all the old school monitor'ers demand pushing and subtle nagging...

i may have been a lil long winded,,my apologies for the time you wasted,that you'll never get back...
 

Mike-KC8OWL

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The AOR 8200 and 8600 are awsome recievers but are not intended to be a "scanner" in the same sense that a Uniden or GRE is a "scanner". I have an 8200 MK3 and agree that the learning curve is very steep on thise radios but the trade off is the fact that they can do so much, and do it so well. Before owning the AOR I had an Icom R-20 which is similar in terms of coverage and features but after using both of them, the AOR is much more sensitive and also much more flexible in terms of letting me tweak settings (for example, I can tell the 8200 to use any step size I want to to while the R20 requires me to stick to the defined step size choices).

I also use AOR equipment in my profession and can confirm that these radios are a favorite in the surveillance / counter-surveillance business.

It is worth it to get the software to program these radios if your goal is to use it as a pre-programmed and ready to roll scanner. I use the Butel package on mine as well and have created many memory and search configuration files that I can swap in and out of the radio on the fly if I have to using my laptop.

Stick with it and it will get better. There are a few useful cheat sheets on the Yahoo group referenced earlier - I would recommend joining.

Good Luck!
 

thecop

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I have a lot of time and money invested in my AR5000+3 (CTCSS and filters) and I cannot fathom ever getting rid of it. It does so many things other radios cannot, e.g. I set up which antenna a specific frequency group will use (out of 4 choices!), as stated, steps, bandwidth, hi-pass and low-pass audio and on and on independent of any master default! Twenty search ranges with more specific settings than you can shake a stick at. Having had an Icom 8500, a great communications receiver in its' own right, I prefer the AR5k+3.

And now, for your listening entertainment... D X - B u d d y

As the AR5K beta tester, I can testify that this software is a blast (and available as of 3:56 this morning)!!

John
 

KIKINWING

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Thanks all. I am proud to announce that I am making great headway in the learning curve department. I do have two questions tough. I bought the 8200mk3 and the 8600 mk2 for short moola moola. They were advertised as unblocked. Not that matters much these days. What I didnt realize unblocked is code word for European and with my chic new receiver is a band plan that doesnt match up. Now as stated in AOR we can put ANY step we choose and or mode. But I guess what this means is that when I want to use the auto tune feature I am DOA?? is that an accurate assesment?? Some say I cant change the band plan from software other say I can. They say it is a chip changing matter. Anyone had to deal with this? Is it a real problem and how? Lastly I had the guy from AOR on the phone ordering a new manual for the 8600 (it's jap version). He had me do a soft reset and it wiped out of allot of features pre-set.Lastly and this really bugs me; I have tried to find the following to re set after the reset removal with no luck; Does anyone know how to make the lcd backlight stay lit continously and not just when the radio makes a hit an stays??? I cant find it in my 8200 manual or online manual. Any help as how to do it would make me very appreciative and I will name my third born after you........
 
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thecop

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My last post re: this subject because I own neither of these radios. If you cannot trust Gommert
( Software for Uniden Radioshack GRE GRECOM MFJ DSE AOR police scanner software BCD996XT BCD396XT BC346T BCT15X PRO-404 PRO-405 PRO-97 PRO-96 PRO-2096 PRO-106 PRO-197 PRO-164 PRO-160 PRO-162 psr500 psr600 psr300 psr400 psr100 psr200 BCD996T BCT15 BC246 ) when it comes to his claims, there is no one else you can trust when it involves this hobby and software. I own numerous PC control software control programs that he authored but NOT the ARC5000 nor ARC8200 programs. He knows from whence he speaks. Consider him the first assisting nurse in the operatory when the baby was born. He didn't design the radio but, on some level, he is partially responsible for a great deal of its' (their) success. His response to query's and requests for additional options is second to none.

John
 

KIKINWING

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"If you cannot trust Gommert..."

Forgive me but who is Gommert? And dont leave cause you dont own either rig. If that were the case these boards would be empty!!!
 

KIKINWING

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I wrote "Does anyone know how to make the lcd backlight stay lit continously and not just when the radio makes a hit an stays??? I cant find it in my 8200 manual or online manual. Any help as how to do it would make me very appreciative and I will name my third born after you........"

Thanks but I found it.... Only ended up on AOR's UK website cause USA dont have it and it was in the third download via PDF, the 4 page addendum. Way to go AOR great product but next time hire a ghost writer not an engineer to do your writing.
 

thecop

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First, I apologize for the confusion as I sent the comment to the wrong forum, but it is just as relevant here.
Gommert Buyten (forgive me Gommert, that was the best I could do) has been around since the appearance of PC controllable scanners/radios and is, in my humble opinion, the premier scanner software author. His products can be found here: Software for Uniden Radioshack GRE GRECOM MFJ DSE AOR police scanner software BCD996XT BCD396XT BC346T BCT15X PRO-404 PRO-405 PRO-97 PRO-96 PRO-2096 PRO-106 PRO-197 PRO-164 PRO-160 PRO-162 psr500 psr600 psr300 psr400 psr100 psr200 BCD996T BCT15 BC246 . For scanners you can do no better.
 

KIKINWING

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Thanks..... I will be contacting Butel. Below is an e-mail from AOR UK that should settle the matter:

John,

The UK and European units are 'unblocked' with full coverage throughout thier frequency ranges.
The USA models are 'blocked' with a chunk of frequencies missing around the cell phone bands.
The blocking or unblocking cannot be changed by any of the software control programs (it's a back to factory job).
The USA versions are often refered to as 'B' models.

The AUTO band plan loaded is only slightly different between USA and UK models. I'm not sure if any of the European models had different band plans loaded.
I believe some of the amateur bands and broadcast bands were different between USA and UK models but a quick way to check is by tuning to MW (try 945kHz). In AUTO mode, the UK set will tune in 9kHz steps, the USA in 10kHz steps.

It doesn't make much difference in most areas. It is only of any consequence if you use the set in AUTO a lot - it will just pick up the wrong mode and step size in a few places.
The good news is that it can be changed easily under PC control. If you use one of the software packages such as AOR WORKSHOP, just re-write the 'Auto mode file' to what ever you want and re-load it to the set.
Butel software is usually pretty good and is probably capable of doing this as well (not checked).

As you say, any other information (scan and search frequencies etc) would be entered manually to suit what ever was of interest to you.

I hope this helps,
Tony
 

thecop

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I, too, have had occasion to communicate with Tony at AOR UK and, like Gommert and software, he is THE AR guru. I have had work done (a tune-up) to my AR5K+3 by AOR USA and found them to be superb as well.
I guess the point I'm making is that there is a very good backbone to the AOR products. If you hang in there I can assure you you'll be very happy with your purchase! Just remember, these radios are not "scanners" as such...they are communication receivers and thus offer many more options and configurations (as I think you've come to realize)
 

KIKINWING

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Roger that,
Thanks for your time and interest. I am already pleased. I have learned allot just fiddling and trial and error. These "communication receivers" are wicked double awsome and I look forward to many years of fun. That said if AOR, or anyone, happens to view this thread I will say that my wish is they merge the best of the receiver world with the best of the scanner world. Such as putting trunk tracking, apco, etc...etc... The company that makes that beast will win the race. AOR, Icom, Uniden, GRE are you listening?????? Big so yo feel like you bought something, user friendly for us idiots, capeable like a receiver should be. I am gonna see if my AOR 8600 will have sex with my BC 898 T. Them will be some pretty babys if you know what I mean
 
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