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TK-270 low audio on repeaters

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telxonmaster

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I bought a TK-270 today at a Hamfest, and have just programmed the local VHF repeaters into it, as well as two MURS channels I use. (Murs channels set at low power to comply with power requirements)

The problem I have is on the local repeaters, I'm being told my audio is very low, and sometimes it won't even break squelch. I've heard this myself by listening on my scanner.
I can also make all of these same repeaters with a 5 Watt Baofeng HT no problem at all. I have tried hooking up the Kenwood to my roll up J-pole with no better results.

Any ideas on what I can do?
I have access to a spectrum analyzer and oscilloscope as well, if that would help in testing.

Thanks,
Will
 

mmckenna

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I'm going to guess the repeaters you are using this on are 2 meter ham repeaters...

Did you make sure the channels for the 2 meter repeaters have been set to wide band?

Other than that, could be a couple of things, but without getting it on a monitor, there isn't any way to tell:
Someone monkeyed with the deviation setting.
Damaged mic element.
Failing component(s).

I'd check the programming before doing anything, that would be the likely cause and the easiest to fix.
If that isn't it, I'd get someone who is experienced in aligning radios to check it out. They'd want to look at the deviation and make sure it hasn't been set too low.
 

telxonmaster

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mmckenna,

Yes, they are 2 meter Ham repeaters. I think the radio only does wide band.
When I use an external mic, it improves the audio greatly, but was told by a fellow ham who fixes these things it could still be a deviation issue, or a mic issue. He's gonna look at it and see what's up.

How easy is it to set deviation? (i have the software and a cable)

Thanks for the help!
Will
 

gewecke

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I'm not familiar with programming on a tk 270 but maybe there's a half dev setting in the software?
My yaesu quad band talkie has a 2.5khz deviation setting in the menu, so maybe yours has something close to that.

73,
n9zas
 

cabletech

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You say that you have lowed the power out to meet MURS, this is a good place to start as the repeaters that you are trying access maybe to far away for the radio to access at 1-2 watts.

You also say that you have a friend with test equipment. I would hope that includes a radio service monitor.

Put the radio on the monitor, check to be sure that it is aligned to center frequency and that the audio dev is also within specs.

Then with the radio aligned, and still connected to the monitor, talk into the radio and see A) how loud it is, B) what the dev is. Then connect the specker mic and do again.

Some specker mic have a small audio amp build into them, this maybe the reason that you notice a little loud audio using the mic.

Good Luck
 

mmckenna

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TK-270 does wide and narrow band. I'd double check that before anything else.

If you are using the radio on MURS, you should be using narrow on 3 of the channels. If not, you are not following the MURS rules.
 

telxonmaster

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The two MURS channels I use are the 154.600 and 154.570 these are the only channels set at low power, unless I set the others manually.

My equipment includes a HP 8565A spectrum analyzer and a 20MHz O-scope. Not familiar with a "service monitor" but the Ham radio club might have one for the repeaters. (I think they have talked of owning one)

I do not see wide and narrow settings in the software, could it be the TK-270G (later model) that this applies to?
 

telxonmaster

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Well guys, I'm a dork!
The software had a setting for 136-150 MHz or 150-175 MHz, and it was set on the 150-175 setting! Duh!
I put it on the right setting, and Voila, I'm making the repeaters with good audio and no problems!

Thanks everyone for the advice and tips!
Now maybe next time I'll think about what I'm doing before I make a fool of myself!

Thanks again!,
Will KD0SJH
 

TelcomJunkie

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TK-270 does wide and narrow band. I'd double check that before anything else.
Only the 270G's do narrowband. The regular 270's are wideband only.

I do not see wide and narrow settings in the software, could it be the TK-270G (later model) that this applies to?
Correct. If you end up with a 270G (or 290 for that matter) at some point and program a narrowband channel in it I strongly suggest an alignment. Most 270G's I narrowbanded performed very poorly until realigned, versus the 2180/3180's which narrowbanded flawlessly.
 

MikeMercury

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I have two notes on the 260/260g series on tx modulation.

* if the radio was ever repaired (specifically in the front panel area) there's a rubber seal that slips over the mic element. I've seen where marginal repair techs don't bother to reinstall the seal. This seal helps conduct your voice - into the mic element. If missing, you will have TX modulation... but at a low level.

* contamination can collect in the small hole - in the plastic front case - where the mic element is inside. If foreign material collects & blocks this tiny hole - the full strength of your voice doesn't make it all the way to the mike element; sounding weak to everyone else.

One quick way to determine where the problem is with a low TX modulation complaint - is to talk on the radio with a speaker-mic plugged in. If the modulation is noticeably better using the speaker mic... then it's not an "adjustment" problem with the radio.
 

telxonmaster

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Mike,
The seal you speak of is still there, and the hole is clear of obstructions. The speaker mic trick does improve it substantially, so I'd think the mic may be damaged or defective.
The radio was used by a fire department, so I'm sure it saw some rough service.

I'll stick with the speaker mic and call it good, as the radio still has some low audio, but not as bad.

Thanks again everyone!,
Will
 
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