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TK-862G-1, CTCSS/DCS won't work

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madlabs

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Hi All,

Hope I got this in the right forum. The rig is commercial but I am using it for amateur purposes. Feel free to move if appropriate.

I am trying to use a pair of TK862G-1's for a repeater link. The problem is that I can't seem to get tone squelch to work. It will output a tone but will not tone squelch. I am using CHIRP to program it and it says I have tone squelch on but it doesn't actually happen. Any ideas?

Thanks!
 

mmckenna

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Is your microphone connected and hung up it its holder?

One of the nice differences between commercial and amateur/hobby radios is that the commercial radios are designed to work with CTCSS/DCS tones on the receive side. Since community repeater panels or shared channels can put a lot of traffic on a channel that not everyone wants to listen to, the radio manufacturers usually set up the microphones with a sense wire that will tell the radio when the microphone is on the hook or not.
The way it works is that the tone/digital squelch will be activated when the microphone is on hook, that way the radio user only has to hear radio traffic that has their tone. When the microphone is taken off hook, it defeats the tone and switches to carrier squelch mode, that way if it's a community repeater system or a shared channel, the user will know if the channel is already in use.

There are a couple of ways this is done:
In the old days, the Hang Up Box actually had a switch that would know when the mic was hung up or not. Motorola still refers to it as HUB, Hang Up Box, in their software.
Some radios simply use a grounded mic clip. When the mic it placed in it's holder, the lead is grounded and the radio knows it.
Some other radios have a mic hang up button on the rear that has two isolated parts. The metal mic clip shorts the two together.

I do believe your Kenwood uses the multi conductor rear hang up button on the mic, so simply putting the mic clip on the back should work.



This same feature can be used to stop the scan function, so if you experience the same issue, make sure the mic is connected and in it's hanger.
 

madlabs

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Fascinating. Being from the ham world this is all new to me. Seems like an odd system to me, when you have the mic off the hook and tone squelch doesn't work then you hear all traffic?

No, the mic isn't on the hook. In fact, the mic isn't even plugged into it, just an adapter plug I made to pick off the PTT and mic input. So, which wire in the plug needs to be grounded?

Thanks, this just might be the break I need! I am at work for a 48 hour shift but will test the minute I get home on Wednesday and let you know.
 

mmckenna

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Fascinating. Being from the ham world this is all new to me. Seems like an odd system to me, when you have the mic off the hook and tone squelch doesn't work then you hear all traffic?
Yeah, for the amateur radio crowd, this part of commercial radios might seem confusing.

Think about the old days where 2 way radios were much more common since there were no cell phones. Most contractors/service providers used some sort of radio for dispatch. Since small companies couldn't usually afford their own repeater systems, they'd rent service from a radio shop. That shop might have a repeater on a tall mountain, one channel, but they'd put in a bunch of different CTCSS and/or DCS tones. Each company would have their own tone so that their people would only need to hear the traffic intended for them. Since it would be easy for someone to talk over someone else if they didn't monitor first, the easy solution was to do this off hook tone disable. When they took the mic off hook, they'd hear any/all traffic on the repeater and know they had to wait their turn.
Much better solution that expecting a user to remember to push a button to check the channel before transmitting.
Other option was to use a "busy channel lock out", that basically kept them from transmitting if the repeater was in use.

No, the mic isn't on the hook. In fact, the mic isn't even plugged into it, just an adapter plug I made to pick off the PTT and mic input. So, which wire in the plug needs to be grounded?

Thanks, this just might be the break I need! I am at work for a 48 hour shift but will test the minute I get home on Wednesday and let you know.
OK, got it.
On the mic jack on the front of the radio, the following pins are used:
Pin # Name Function
1 MBL MIC backlight control
2 PSB 13.6vdc
3 GND Ground
4 PTT/TXD Push To Talk (Transmit Data for programming)
5 ME MIC Ground
6 MIC MIC signal input
7 HOOK/RXD Hook Detection (Receive Data for programming)
8 CM MIC data detection

So, what you need to do is to run a jumper in the RJ-45 plug that connects pin 3 (ground) to pin 7 (Hook).
That should make it look like the microphone is hung up.


Or, you can just program the radio to not use the function. I don't have the programming software in front of me, so I can't assist there, but look for a function with a term like Off-hook Decode, or something similar.
 

mmckenna

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Actually, I'll add this:

The mic hook function could be pretty handy, even for the amateur radio crowd.

Both my wife and I have our amateur radio licenses. All our gear is commercial radio equipment.
She's got a Motorola CDM-1250 VHF mobile in her car.
I've got a CDM-1550 VHF in my truck.
In the kitchen I've got a CDM-750 VHF with an external antenna outside the house.

We commonly use 146.415 simplex as "our" channel. Since any amateur has access to this channel, and I don't want to hear them in my house, I've set up the base radio in the kitchen with a PL tone on the receive side, and the mic clip set up to use the PL squelch when the mic is on hook.
Both our vehicles are set up to send out the PL tone to open the radio in the kitchen.
That way I can easily call home and talk to her. With the mic on hook in the kitchen, we don't have to listen to any other traffic

Pretty dang handy feature, if you ask me. Because of that feature, I'll likely not be going back to amateur grade radios any time soon.
 

madlabs

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Thanks so much! I bet that is the problem and it's killing me that I'm stuck at work until Wednesday to try it out. The rest of the link system is all ready to go, the tone squelch is the last piece of the puzzle.

It makes perfect sense once you explain it. Where I live in the sticks there is little traffic and the XYL and I don't hear others on "our" talk around frequency so I don't have tone squelch enabled. And it is very polite of you not to use it when you pick up the mic as you will hear if the frequency is in use.
 

KK6ZTE

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"Off Hook Decode" is under Edit->Optional Features->Optional Features2 tab. Check the box "Off Hook Decode" to allow the radio to decode PL without requiring wiring modifications.
 

madlabs

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Still at work for another 24 hours so I can't play with it right now. However, I am programming the radio with CHIRP and I don't see any option that resembles that. I am working on running the original program but it may be a while until I get it all working. As long as I can ground the hook input and get it working that will be OK.
 

KK6ZTE

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Ah. That's your problem right there. Get the right software for it. KPG-56D

This isn't a Chinese toy, don't use Chinese toy software
 

madlabs

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I do have a copy of the original program and am working on getting it to run. But DOSBOX, serial ports and so on aren't easy. One of Elmers just picked up and older machine loaded with all kinds of programming software and later this week I'll dig into it and see what I can get working.

However, CHIRP isn't Chinese and works with many radios. More radios are supported all the time and bugs are fixed. And it runs on current operating systems and is free. So while it may not be perfect it is a great resource for many.

Thanks!
 

KK6ZTE

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KPG-56D operates on Windows 7 and 10. I use it on both.

I am quite familiar with CHIRP. I know what I can and cannot do, and will always prefer the factory software. The only time I use it is with the radios with unpronounceable names.

Try using CHIRP on a radio with a large memory (TM-V71, etc) and you'll see it's not meant for it. Not to mention it doesn't handle the group style memory management.
 

madlabs

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Well, that is great news. I do have a copy but thought it needed DOS. I'll be trying it on Win8 but sounds likely it will work. I'd much rather be using the proper software.

Thanks!
 

KK6ZTE

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You'll be much happier and the radio will make much more sense. CHIRP is great for amateur radios but it isn't too good on commercial rigs (different organization method).

CHIRP is also good for blasting frequencies in (like all the AAR channels or the GMRS channels) without typing. Then go back into the factory software and cut-and-paste.
 
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