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Out-of-band VHF Maxtrac?

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Otis413

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I did a search and couldn't find this question, if it has been asked and answered already please post a link!

Anyway, I see a lot of 146-174 MaxTrac radios on eBay now, but the local repeater here is 145.110/144.510, and I was wondering how well these radios work down into this range without major work?

I have a UHF MaxTrac 300 (450-470) that seems to be happy working down to the 442 range, but I was reading over at Repeater Builders about the modifying the 146-174 radios, but they mostly talk about how to get them down into the 136 range, which I don't need.

So, my question is, for those who tinker with these radios, do they play nice down to 144? or should I just hunt for a 136-164 model? (more$, harder to find) I don't have the equipment to do a realignment.

Why? well I just like Motorolas....

Any help/ input on the subject is appreciated!

Otis, KD8VBV
 

mmckenna

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I've got a few 146-174 MaxTracs in use on the 2 meter amateur band. Using the shift key method, I've had no issues getting them down to 145.45 repeater with negative offset. Never tried anything lower although it isn't that much a stretch. I've hung on to one just in case I ever want to play on the APRS systems again.
We've used these on ATV's and UTV's for a few years. They work well with the vibration/dust issues, although they are not perfect. I have CDMs that are sealed better. I've had a few MaxTracs get water intrusion. Certainly are good radios for mobile and shack use.
 

cmdrwill

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Maxtrac below 146 you lose the transmitter power control and the transmitter may run wide open.
 

Otis413

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Thanks for the input, I'm going to get one to play with, if it works out I'll probably put it in my old work truck. My wife has agreed to try for her teck license, so I might get another one to put in her car for the ease of operation.

Thanks

Otis, KD8VBV
 

zz0468

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Every 146-174 Maxtrac I ever played with just worked down into the 144-145 range. You just have to use the shift trick to enter frequencies that low. Never had power control issues, but if it happens, you can bypass the e-pot and replace it with a conventional pot and set it manually.
 

WX9EMS

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Jun 23, 2010
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Lake Geneva, WI
Every single Maxtrac I took below 146 MHz, the PA went wild. You NEED to monitor your output power when you go out of band with a VHF Maxtrac. It is just luck of the draw, some work, some don't. One in particular, a 45 Watt model I did the "shift key trick" to get it down to 145.450. While the radio's TX and RX were just fine, but when transmitting, the Bird indicated it was transmitting at 87 Watts. The PA will not will not live long in combination with the poor heat dissipation of the Maxtrac heat sink.

When these radios are taken out of band, the tuning parameters are not there for the out of band frequency range. The processor gives up trying to set a power value for the frequency. The result is varying transmitter power levels, some lethal to the PA.

My remedy was that I blanked the logic board and initialized the radio as a 136-162 MHz split and never had any issues with it since. You can also do a manual power control mod described above and that will remedy the situation as well.

There is lots of info on the Repeater-Builder website about these radios.
 
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