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NX-200K General Questions..

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foxtrot_xray

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Hey all!
New here, and have learned a lot in the last couple hours or so. Some of my questions were answered, and some weren't. (And some, Googling came up with *no* help at all, oddly.) Was wondering if I could get ya'll's input on my 'new' radio.

My work upgraded their radios, and offered us employees a chance to buy the old ones, so we wouldn't have to pick one up at the start of shift. They were extremely cheap (like, I paid $50 for mine, and a friend of mine at another yard paid $10), but the catch was they were password protected, couldn't be programmed to without the code. Luckily, Google DID help me there, and I was able to overcome that. Having upgraded from a TK-250N (A friggin' BRICK, I tell you..), I'm liking this smaller radio.

Okay, so questions -
  1. I see referenced to 111D, 111DK, and 111DN programming software. I heard on here than the DN forces narrowband. But what's the difference between DK and D? When I got the software (v400, I believe), they gave me two installation keys, and only one of them worked. The other was specified as for 'DK'.
  2. There's some posts on here about firmware. My 111D software reports some incompatible features when I write. My radio's rather old (based on serial number) and running "K 2.57.00", which isn't *that* old, apparently.. Is there new FW available? And are the HEX files available, or will I have to call my local distributor? (I'm assuming that 'E' version firmware isn't compatible.)
  3. Because of my work, I'm really liking the yellow faceplate for the radio. Has anyone gotten one and installed it? Or is this something that should be left to a service center?

Thanks all!
-Mike
 

jhampton2000

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Welcome Mike.

1. So I believe 111D is suitable for E and K models, 111DK is only suitable for K models, and 111DN is as you say narrowband

2. So I've seen at least K 3.21.00. Check your PM for more details. I've actually seen K firmware work on an E model ok but never tried/seen it the other way round.

3. Sorry can't help there with that one

Jim
 

mmckenna

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The latest firmware for the NX-200 is 4.40, released in January of 2014.

It will add Version 4 NexEdge functions.
If you update the firmware, you will also need to update your KPG-111DN to 4.40 for it to work properly.

DN does force narrow band, which is required by the FCC on all Part 90 VHF frequencies (with a few exceptions for paging), but it's supposed to allow wide band on the amateur band, marine VHF, weather, etc. This shouldn't be a sticking point, as you should be using narrow band for business frequencies anyway (if you are in the US).
 

foxtrot_xray

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Ahhh...your PM doesn't work. Can you PM me or email me.

Jim
Hey Jim - Thanks for your answers, much appreciated! I'm afraid to try it backwards (I have a copy of E 3.2.00 that came with my software, but I'd hate to brick this!)

I'll send an email or PM as soon as I .. figure out what the heck I did. I can't see your email in your user profile page, or *any* PM buttons. Dunno if it's because I'm still new here, or I messed up some setting in my profile. :)

--Mike
 

foxtrot_xray

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The latest firmware for the NX-200 is 4.40, released in January of 2014.

It will add Version 4 NexEdge functions.
If you update the firmware, you will also need to update your KPG-111DN to 4.40 for it to work properly.

DN does force narrow band, which is required by the FCC on all Part 90 VHF frequencies (with a few exceptions for paging), but it's supposed to allow wide band on the amateur band, marine VHF, weather, etc. This shouldn't be a sticking point, as you should be using narrow band for business frequencies anyway (if you are in the US).
Yeah - I'm not worried about narrow-band only. On the railroad we're all forced narrow now. (I was surprised to find my old TK-250(G) did narrow, honestly..!)

We don't use Nextedge either (and likely won't) nor P25, so if the FW updates are only addressing those, then I'm not worried. :)
 

bruch

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What did you google to fine a way around the password, I'm not coming up with anything useful?
 

foxtrot_xray

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What did you google to fine a way around the password, I'm not coming up with anything useful?
I'm not sure it's allowed to be posted here, but if you search for the keywords, look at some old posts regarding the KPG-111D software. A user mentions changing a bit in the software. That's where I went, and once I found the right version of the software was able to get it cleared out.

I couldn't go back to the my employer to get it, since it would have taken months to get to the right people, and then probably denied, since those radios are still in use in other parts of our system. :)
 

foxtrot_xray

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A couple other questions came to mind, as I was going through the PDFs I found for the radio -

  1. The GPS Mic & Man-Down tilt switch - What are the common uses for these?
  2. I read about the VGS-1 and thought it amusing. Doing a search on here, I see that it's rather old (surprisingly), but I was thinking that it'd be useful to record the last transmission for review if needed. Other than the installation into the actual radio, do I have to tell the programming that it exists?


Thanks again for your help guys, other than my old TK-250, which was older than dirt, this is the first "new" radio I've had, and am quite getting into this. I just hope I have room for another hobby now. D'oh.

(JHampton2000 - apparently I'm still in 'new user mode'. I'll PM you when I can. No rush.)

--M
 

mmckenna

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A couple other questions came to mind, as I was going through the PDFs I found for the radio -


[*]The GPS Mic & Man-Down tilt switch - What are the common uses for these?
The GPS mic allows the radio to send out it's GPS location. This can be set up to do it when you hit the PTT button, on regular intervals, or when queried by a base. It's sort of useful for tracking people in dangerous jobs.

Man Down switch senses when the radio goes horizontal for a set length of time. I believe it sounds a warning and gives you a chance to defeat it, then it sends an alarm out. Good for those working in dangerous situations, with chemicals, fire, etc. It's an internal module that has to be installed.

[*]I read about the VGS-1 and thought it amusing. Doing a search on here, I see that it's rather old (surprisingly), but I was thinking that it'd be useful to record the last transmission for review if needed. Other than the installation into the actual radio, do I have to tell the programming that it exists?
The VGS1 requires installation inside the radio and some set up in programming to tell the radio it's there. You also have to set up some buttons so you can do playback, etc. Amusing little device that has been around for a while. I have one on my NX-410, but I don't use it.
 

foxtrot_xray

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The GPS mic allows the radio to send out it's GPS location. This can be set up to do it when you hit the PTT button, on regular intervals, or when queried by a base. It's sort of useful for tracking people in dangerous jobs.
Ah okay - so I'm correct in assuming that in a conventional (analog) group / setup, this wouldn't ever be used?

Man Down switch senses when the radio goes horizontal for a set length of time. I believe it sounds a warning and gives you a chance to defeat it, then it sends an alarm out. Good for those working in dangerous situations, with chemicals, fire, etc. It's an internal module that has to be installed.
Now THAT'S a useful feature. Do you happen to know if this works with non-trunked or analog channels?

The VGS1 requires installation inside the radio and some set up in programming to tell the radio it's there. You also have to set up some buttons so you can do playback, etc. Amusing little device that has been around for a while. I have one on my NX-410, but I don't use it.
Okay - looks like there are many available for the $100 range, which considering it's uses, I won't even worry about.

Another side-question - I saw (somewhere, I can't find it now) an option for an "Intrinsically Safe" battery - is this meaning of the term used for areas where there could be explosives / explosive gasses?

Thanks!
-Mike
 

mmckenna

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Ah okay - so I'm correct in assuming that in a conventional (analog) group / setup, this wouldn't ever be used?

Now THAT'S a useful feature. Do you happen to know if this works with non-trunked or analog channels?
It'll work on non-trunked NXDN channels. It won't work on Analog.

Okay - looks like there are many available for the $100 range, which considering it's uses, I won't even worry about.

Another side-question - I saw (somewhere, I can't find it now) an option for an "Intrinsically Safe" battery - is this meaning of the term used for areas where there could be explosives / explosive gasses?

Thanks!
-Mike
Intrinsically Safe (or I.S.) is a rating that has to do with the radio being tested as safe for use in specific types of hazardous environments. You'll often see fire departments use these radios. It is more than just the battery. The radio has to be ordered with the I.S. rating, and you then need to use an I.S. rated battery to make it fully I.S. compliant. The battery alone doesn't make a non-IS radio compliant. You need the whole package.

Unless you are a fire fighter, hazmat guy, or specifically work in such an environment, it's not necessary to have this. It adds cost to the radio and the batteries. Also, it raises some issues, especially with old radios. The radio has to be serviced a specific way to maintain the IS rating, unless you know that it has been properly serviced, I wouldn't rely on it to be so, especially if you life depends on it.


As for the VSG module, I turned mine off. I needed the buttons for different uses and I really wasn't using it. In fact, I can't remember now if its in my mobile or portable.
 

foxtrot_xray

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Ah, okay, thanks for that. Yeah, I don't need I.S., I just saw it mentioned in a price list, and was wondering what it was for, so thanks!

Yeah, sounds like I won't even look into getting the VGS-1, either.

I did get one of the yellow faceplates, so now I'll need to take the radio apart, for the first time.

Also, upgraded F/W, thanks to a user on here.. other than audio improvements, none of the other updates seem to affect Analog channels, either. So tonight will be the first time I use my radio on the job, we'll see how it goes!
 

foxtrot_xray

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Just an update, and another couple questions that came up..

Been using it almost non-stop for the last couple weeks, and I'm really liking it. I was worried that it wouldn't be as "solid" as the TK-250, but so far it seems to be holding up really nicely. :)

Question 1 - Scanning - is there a way to have two scanning modes? For example, some times I only need to scan one group/zone. But then, there are times where I may need to scan across all zones.

Question 2 - I believe the answer is "no", after doing some searching.. Is there a way to manually enter in a frequency to use? (i.e. I'm in unfamiliar territory, and am told to use 160.860Mhz ..)

Thanks guys!
-Mike
 

jhampton2000

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Q1 Yes that's quite straightforward on a zone by zone basis, as you can easily add channels and/or zones to the scan list.

In the software go to Edit>Key assignment>Menu. Make sure Scan is one of the category list options and that Zone Del/Add, Scan Add/Del and Scan are all in the Function List. Load this up to your NX200. You can then access this list list via the Menu button. Zone Del/Add adds and removes the currently selected zone in and out of the scan list, Scan Add/Del toggles this on a per channel basis. Note the downward arrow symbols on the display will change depending on whether channels/zones are in or out of the scan list.

If you use the function often, then you could also assign one of the TopSide buttons to Scan Add/Del and/or Zone Del/Add. So with one button press you can go through each channel and/or zone and lock them in or out of the scan list.

Q2 Not to my knowledge (i;d love that feature too). The only decent radio I've seen this in is with the latest firmware on the Hytera DMR radios. It's a really cool feature.
 

KG4EMJ

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The latest firmware for the NX-200 is 4.40, released in January of 2014.

It will add Version 4 NexEdge functions.
If you update the firmware, you will also need to update your KPG-111DN to 4.40 for it to work properly.

DN does force narrow band, which is required by the FCC on all Part 90 VHF frequencies (with a few exceptions for paging), but it's supposed to allow wide band on the amateur band, marine VHF, weather, etc. This shouldn't be a sticking point, as you should be using narrow band for business frequencies anyway (if you are in the US).
It will still allow 12.5 on the NXDN frequenices, right?
 

mmckenna

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It will still allow 12.5 on the NXDN frequenices, right?
Yes. I'm running my NX-410 with 4.40 firmware on my trunked system that is using 12.5KHz/"Narrow" channels.
The narrow band limitations refer to the analog side only.

For reference, Kenwood's terminology is:
12.5KHz NexEdge = Narrow
6.25KHz NexEdge = Very Narrow
 

KG4EMJ

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OK thanks. I finally got my NX-220 and my USB cable...waiting on software today. The USB cable doesn't have Windows 8 drivers with it...so I'm hoping it won't keep me from programming the radio tonight. Lots to learn!
 
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