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Motorola Spectra

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Chrispucs

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Hello,
Didnt know where else to go with this so I thought I would give it a try here. Recently I was given a Motorola Spectra with a remote head, Model # TA5GX+078W ID# T83GXA7HA5AK Ser.# 671AXN0227 FCC # AZ492FT3766. I myself am not a ham radio user and know nothing about it but I am an avid scanner user. My question is this - Is this radio of any use to me as a scanner somehow or am I better off selling it in the next yard sale for $50.00?
Any help and or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,
Chris
 

w2smw

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Aug 8, 2007
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Town of Tonawanda NY
Unless you have the software and hardware to programm the radio, it will be of no use to you and that is just the start. You need the Motorola RSS, which is expensive, a rib converter and a dos computer. Spectras will only scan 16 channels at a time and there are many other reasons to dump it.
 

hhrj

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Number indicates it's a 110w, hi band vhf, securenet unit.
More trouble than it's worth.
I was offered one for free last year....PASS.
 

zz0468

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You'll get more for it on eBay than you would at a yard sale. Some hams think very highly of 110 watt Spectras. But I agree with everyone else's assessment - in your case, it's more trouble than it's worth.
 

mmckenna

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Spectras are often wide band, so they are not worth much for commercial/public safety use. About the only market for these guys is the Ham market.

Other issue: display issues, they often need their capacitors replaced to get the displays to work correctly.

Old, no longer supported by Motorola, hard to get parts for.

Programming is a PITA unless you have the right gear, cables and software. Oh, and you can't buy the software anymore from Motorola.

Sell it on e-bay to an amateur radio operator and be done with it. You could likely get $100 or so for it if you found the right buyer, but likely not much more. Take the hundred bucks if you can get it and put it towards something useful.
 

radioman2001

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I'll take any offers of Spectra's any day, They are a great radio easily modified to narrow band for both TX and RX. They will not meet the rules of FCC compliance for all services, but will work fine for TX/RX on GMRS if UHF, Ham freqs if VHF and all freqs for RX only. I have about a dozen that I have bitbanged for RX of FDNY's and Westchester County trunking systems, they beat a scanner hands down. The caps issue has been know for over 10 years and with about $10.00 in parts to correct that problem you can have an excellent radio that with a mod from Batlbabs will do more than 16 chan scan.
Again I'll take any offered.
 

mmckenna

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Yeah, certainly not bad radios if you get one that's been taken care of. If you are a HAM, then they are great for that service, scanner, sure, if you don't mind dealing with the volume issues created by listening to narrow band transmissions on a wide band radio.

The display capacitor issue is easy to fix if you are hand with a soldering iron, lots of tutorials on line about how to do this. I've got a couple at work that still work fine. We've since replaced them with newer radios, so these are becoming toys more than anything. I've loaded up one with 2 meter frequencies and have talked to my wife once or twice on them.

If you have your ham ticket, and you can find, or are willing to pay someone, to program them, then go for it. But as a scanner, I think you might be happier selling the radio to someone who can use it, then taking the money and buying a purpose built radio. Much easier to program, and a lot more flexible.
 

hoffmyer

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Mar 12, 2012
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Help with motorola spectra a9

I think some buttons were pushed and maybe held on my spectra. Now I cant transmit. Ive checked all connections and wiring. Havent been able to find much regarding programming . Any help would be great.
 

zz0468

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I think some buttons were pushed and maybe held on my spectra. Now I cant transmit. Ive checked all connections and wiring. Havent been able to find much regarding programming . Any help would be great.
If it used to transmit but now it doesn't, it's unlikely that programming is a problem.

Have you replaced all the electrolytic caps in the radio?
 
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