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Rebooting Spectra

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wdatkinson

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I have three VHF Spectras just aquired from ebay. When applying power to the radio and pressing the power button, the radio displays the self check, then the display dims and then self check comes back on again. Almost as if it were rebooting.

I thought I'd read somewhere that Spectras would do this if they had no frequencies programmed in them, but when attempting to read the radio, I just get a serial line busy message.

Did I end up with three hunks of junk or is there something I'm missing?
 

n5ims

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The Motorola Spectra radios have issues with bad capacitors that cause many issues. Read here for details on this issue, how to fix it yourself, and if you want, I believe that the bottom of the page lists a few places you can send them off to get repaired if you don't want to do it yourself.

Recapping the Spectra
 

wdatkinson

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According to the auction, they radios worked and were tested before they were sold. Seller has positive feedback, etc. It's hard to believe that all three leaked to the point that none of the three radios function in just a few days....

Josh, how long does it take for the FAIL 1/90 to show up? I had one running for a few minutes while trying to read the radio.
 

Josh

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It will power cycle a few times and eventually, but briefly, show it before rebooting in an endless cycle. If it does, it means there are issues with the control head talking the the rest of the radio, meaning something is awry. Be sure all the wiring is connected properly, especially if this one was/is a remote mount radio (with the green and orange wires).
 

wdatkinson

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All three radios are not remote mount units. They are dash-mount. I'll fire one back up and let it cycle for a while and see if it goes into fail.
 

cmdrwill

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wdatkinson,

This can be related to capacitors having leaked and done damage to the control head circuit board.

Try a different control head, A5 or A7 will work on A5 or A7 radios to test.

If not I can fix them here.
 

wdatkinson

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Will,

I currently have four units that have issues. One I purchased a year ago. It ran long enough for me to bench it after receiving it, then would turn off by itself and now doesn't turn on at all. I've never been able to even use it.

And of course, the three I just purchased from ebay.... All three, when fired up, show self check, with the XMIT/BUSY lights on, then the display dims down, as well as the XMIT/BUSY lights, and then recycles to self check again.

The only other Motorola mobile I have is a Syntor X9000 that just came out of my squad car. I'd planned to replace it with a Spectra, but so far, I'm batting zero on them.

I've done some reading online and the capacitor problem seems to have a whole laundry list of symptoms, and I think its likely that is my problem. What am I look at to have you take a look at and or replace the caps?

You came very highly recommended via these forums.
 

wdatkinson

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I'm am using a bench power supply. A BK Precision 30VDC power supply. I had it set to 13.8VDC, and the radios barely pulled .50A when I turn them on and they act like this. I've also tried with Pyramid unit as well, even hooked the two together.
 

cmdrwill

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wdatkinson,

I wouls be glad to look at your Spectra(s). I will send you a PM for further details.
 

RKG

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Rolling boots with a Spectra can sometimes be caused by programming (particularly when you've inherited a unit taken out of prior service). Look for the radio being programmed to work with a DEK box or siren controller, or a mismatch between the control head type in the program and the control head actually on the radio.
 

jim202

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You didn't say if you are also applying power to the 2 pin connector on the rear of the radio when
your trying to power up the Spectra units. They will not function without power applied to the high
current connector. If you have power applied to the rear connector, I would guess that you are
having an issue with the control head. Hope you have one that you know works and can try
swapping it in.

Another issue might be the inter board connections. These can get a poor connection between
the boards and cause all sorts of hard to find problems. It means taking the radio apart and
moving the boards and the interface connector in and out a couple of times to make a new clean
connection.

You might try to alos pull the control head off the radio and do the same thing with the small
interface board between the head and the control board.

Jim




I have three VHF Spectras just aquired from ebay. When applying power to the radio and pressing the power button, the radio displays the self check, then the display dims and then self check comes back on again. Almost as if it were rebooting.

I thought I'd read somewhere that Spectras would do this if they had no frequencies programmed in them, but when attempting to read the radio, I just get a serial line busy message.

Did I end up with three hunks of junk or is there something I'm missing?
 

CSHIFTLT

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power, they do the same thing in vehicles if used to small, or to long of wire, or battery not enough...
 

wdatkinson

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Unfortunately none of my spectras are functional. The three that are rebooting all have the exact same head. So I don't have anything to swap around. I do have a siren box and cable, but its for a Syntor X9000, not Spectra.

If the rolling boots are due to a missing DEK or Siren, is there any way to recover sans tracking down and hooking up the missing hardware?

The same power supply combination I'm using to try and run the Spectras will run a 100w Kenwood TK-730 when transmitting.

I've taken one apart to look for leaking caps, but didn't see anything obvious. But from some of the pics I've seen on the net, that doesn't really mean anything.

I'll tear one completely down and re-assemble to see if its an interconnect problem.
 
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