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    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

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Racal , again.

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panserv

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Hi everyone,
I was not sure if I should put this here, or in the amateur section.
You see, I am a radio amateur, but worked in the commercial mobile sector for many years, and a few weeks ago, I ended up assisting a small group, of volunteer paramedics and social helpers to commission a radio system. These guys have been working on the covid pandemic relief and some do it whenever and however they can.
Anyway, long story short, I have some VHF radios, some in P25 (Astro sabers and Racal P25's). As a start we can start analog conventional, and maybe take it to P25 later.
Some 15 years ago I used Racal P25 and today got my hands on a few more and turned them on.
I like these radios for their easy FPP ability.
Using FPP, I could get into the power, hi/lo channel select menu and modify the values, in my case 1 watt lo and 5 watts hi.
However on exit back to start display menu, I get 2 watt on the display !
Checked output; Its 2.5 watt on my Bird.
My question(s) is : Do I need some unobtainium soft/hardware to, change this power value ?
Also, its been some time now, so may I ask if there is some soft key or whatever to programm to act as hi/lo output switch ?

I know these radios are old old now, but when they work, they work well enough and we have a few of them on hand. Version is 7.1
Batteries are not available, but I put in regular x10 AA nicads in the clam-shell holder thats really meant for x10 1.5 volt non rechargable Alkaline cells, and they appear to work ( not sure if there is some circuitry in the clamshell to take the 15 volt alkaline stack voltage down to 12 volt something.) Maybe the battery issue is something else.

Hate to bring up this ancient stuff once more, but its for a good cause, if I can help it.
Will appreciate any help guys, I could not find anything online apart from a basic fpp menu twiddle instructions.
I did not know where else to ask.

thanks,

Vincent
9H5LX
 

panserv

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If my memory is intact the Racal/Thales T25 defaults to 2 watts with the alkaline battery pack. You need the circuitry inside the regular battery that allows 5 watt transmit.
In that case, I wonder if just a supply voltage dependent condition.
Come to think of it, the clam shell takes x10 alkaline stack from 15 v to 12.8v measured at terminals.
So to arrive at a voltage higher than this it means that the original nicad pack had more than 12 cells ?
I am just assuming.
 

prcguy

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I think it has something to do with the two extra contacts on top of the regular battery that feeds the battery gas guage in the radio. I believe the gas guage is not available with the alkaline pack and without that the radio is 2 watts maximum.

In that case, I wonder if just a supply voltage dependent condition.
Come to think of it, the clam shell takes x10 alkaline stack from 15 v to 12.8v measured at terminals.
So to arrive at a voltage higher than this it means that the original nicad pack had more than 12 cells ?
I am just assuming.
 

panserv

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I had a look. There is what looks like a tiny spring loaded contact or switch , sticking out of the radio where it screws onto the battery negative wings.
Not having a nicad battery to look at sucks. Not much information anywhere I looked.
 

panserv

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Ok good news about the battery, I'll thinking I will buy one , but not having a charger makes it so so at 111$.
But thanks for the heads up, I will see if I can find a used charger somewhere.
A while ago there were some items like hand mic for this radio. I guess they come up every now and then.
I would have thought there would be more stuff for them, they are nice radios.
 

panserv

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One other thing I remember from years back is that in analog I could do DTMF transmit which was great for voip signalling and simplex repeater voice mail control.
But I dont see this anywhere using FPP.
Maybe I really need unobtainium for this.
 

prcguy

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I just checked one of mine, just press any number on the keyboard while transmitting and it will send DTMF.


One other thing I remember from years back is that in analog I could do DTMF transmit which was great for voip signalling and simplex repeater voice mail control.
But I dont see this anywhere using FPP.
Maybe I really need unobtainium for this.
 

panserv

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I just checked one of mine, just press any number on the keyboard while transmitting and it will send DTMF.
ok tried and done that Thank you !
I have one radio which has no rx audio . I looked up the squelch parameters but its not this. Volume knob turned all way clockwise.
It might be the speaker of something in the audio circuit because led shows green upon rx ok.
Unless there is some other muting parameter.
Odd, never had one rx die on me.
Ah well.
 

panserv

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Ok, but how does the radio detect the presence of either the nicad or AA packs?
If this is known, maybe it can be fooled.
Software is going to be a problem because I have neither this nor any programing hardware.
If I am going the RACAL P25 route I might as well ditch some other Mil pack stuff I have.
Starting with a nice PRC128 in highband, which I would be willing to exchange with PRC6894 /P25 , radios and accessories especially programming / flash etc.
 

k7ng

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I bought a couple of batteries from GITS. Good batteries but one of them quit telling the radio it was an NiMH so I only get 2W from it. Not a warranty issue, unfortunately. There was folklore going around years ago about how to bring the Racal NiMH batteries back from the dead. I got a box of 96 'dead' ones. I revived 5. They still work, 4 years later. I'm not quite sure why I still have the radios, other than they FPP as fast as most radios change zones...
 

panserv

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Ok, but how exactly does the Nimh battery tell the radio to go ahead with lo/hi power ?
The radio has a tiny spring loaded terminal or switch near the screw in wings at the bottom.
I just tried to power up with jumper leads and press in this "terminal/switch" and could see no change in display...it remained "2 w"
k7ng, do you have the programming bits ?
 

panserv

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A quick check with digital ohm meter revealed that the tiny terminal, with respect to the radio negative tab, acts like a very high resistance diode ( infinity one way and 3meg ohm the other. This would suggest some active device, maybe open collector ?
If anyone has a working NiMh battery, can you measure the voltage between this "pip" and battery + and - ?
This should show the way, thanks !
 

jaspence

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I have a couple of these radios. They are excellent for ham use, even with the rather odd shape and size. I purchased the batteries mentioned above and they work well. The instructions suggest you charge them at least every 3 months regardless of use and there are test results online showing that the original antenna may be using more battery power. https://www.nifc.gov/safetyAlerts/Advisories/SA_20040722_Racal_25_Power_Consumption.pdf I have changed to antennas in the ham range, and I can bring up a repeater over 10 miles away.
 

panserv

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That nifc battery alert note is interesting. It appears that in the end Lion cells+ charging circuitry in the clamshell was used and it was used "to operate the radio at high wattage settings ".
So we are back to the question of how does the battery make the radio go in Hi power.
Anyone with an original nimh pack, care to measure battery small "pin" to + and - battery voltage ?
 

prcguy

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I've never seen a NiMh battery for these, mine have all been Li-Ion type. Measuring a good battery I get 12.6V across ground and the center pin that powers the radio. From ground to the extra two pins I get nothing and from center pin to the extra pins I get 8V with the extra pins being on the ground side even though they have no continuity with battery ground. I believe some of the gas gauge circuitry is in the battery and that's what feeds the extra pins.

If you were brave you could try a high resistance value from the battery hot to the extra pins to see if the battery gas gauge comes alive and the radio puts out full power. I might start with 10k ohms and work down to 1k but I have no idea if that would damage the radio. However I would be happy to test this on your radio.


That nifc battery alert note is interesting. It appears that in the end Lion cells+ charging circuitry in the clamshell was used and it was used "to operate the radio at high wattage settings ".
So we are back to the question of how does the battery make the radio go in Hi power.
Anyone with an original nimh pack, care to measure battery small "pin" to + and - battery voltage ?
 

k7ng

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I dismantled a battery pack a long time ago, in hopes of being able to replace the cells with new ones. (Don't bother, in case that idea is of interest). In the pack there is a physical chip of some sort that probably has to do with charging, even though the Racal charger is supposed to be 'smart' - but the chip may also have to do with the radio knowing it can run full power.

I was almost sure the originbal Racal batteries were NiMH, but nobody with any sense should doubt prcguy... I have to admit I haven't given the battery chemistry any thought in about a decade.
 

prcguy

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I've had a battery apart and I think part of the circuitry is for cell balancing during charging and part is the gas gauge. If the chip was made by Maxim that was probably the gas gauge circuit.

I dismantled a battery pack a long time ago, in hopes of being able to replace the cells with new ones. (Don't bother, in case that idea is of interest). In the pack there is a physical chip of some sort that probably has to do with charging, even though the Racal charger is supposed to be 'smart' - but the chip may also have to do with the radio knowing it can run full power.

I was almost sure the originbal Racal batteries were NiMH, but nobody with any sense should doubt prcguy... I have to admit I haven't given the battery chemistry any thought in about a decade.
 
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