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VX-354 Tone decode issue

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63beetledude

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Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
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Hello all... I am wondering if anyone has ran into a problem with the VX-354 decoding QCII properly. Here's my issue:
A local rural department has several VX-354 VHF radios. They are having issues with the radios not decoding the fire tones & alerting. Part of their issue is indeed spotty coverage. But doing some testing the other day, we found that if we placed our Kenwood TK272G radio right next to the Vertex, the TK272 would alert every time - the VX-354 would alert maybe 2 times out of 3 attempts. We were listening to the actual transmitted audio on the Vertex during the page, and signal strength was good. Testing the VX-354 on a service monitor, everything checked good - paging tone sensitivity, paging tone decode at very low signal strengths, paging tone decoding bandwidth. And sitting right next to the service monitor sending the tones, it would decode every single time. There is a (very weird) setting in the programming software to set the required accuracy of the paging tones. It was set at +/- 2%. We tried resetting it to +/- 3% with no change, but we really didn't want to leave them set at any more than that for fear of falseing (+/- 5% was the max, I believe).
One would say, well, it has to be the device sending the tones! Nope, everything checks OK with the transmitter also. And there are 7 other departments with a mix of portable makes and pagers that have no issue.
I'm confounded... any ideas?
John
 

wa2chj

Member
Joined
May 4, 2006
Messages
196
Location
Charlotte, NC Metro
I have quite a few VX-354s both VHF and UHF, and never had a failure to activate with either flavor on several different departments' frequencies and tones that wasn't due to impropper programming. Assuming that isn't the case since it will alert sometimes, maybe somthing is desensing the VX-354 that isn't bothering the Kenwood. Does it only happen in one location, or in many locations?
 

MBill

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
166
I doubt this will help, but worth a try. Swap out the antenna on the VX-354 for another one you know
is good. I've seen the center pin on the stubby antennas get pushed in and not making good contact
with the radio antenna connector. Also can happen if the antenna gets bent. Radio will check fine on
a service monitor since you are connecting it to the radio antenna connector. If you have another
VX-354 try it too, and see if there is any difference. Could be your radio if the 2nd radio works OK.
 

msrettinger

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
32
Location
Oelwein, Iowa
We had the same problem. Check the power save column. Uncheck the receive on the channel that you have set up for receiving pages. I don't remember what ours were set on for the options on the power save mode. There is ABS, 1:1, 1:1.5 etc. Our radios have been working fine since. We were missing a page now and then.
 

63beetledude

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4
I have quite a few VX-354s both VHF and UHF, and never had a failure to activate with either flavor on several different departments' frequencies and tones that wasn't due to impropper programming. Assuming that isn't the case since it will alert sometimes, maybe somthing is desensing the VX-354 that isn't bothering the Kenwood. Does it only happen in one location, or in many locations?
It happens at many locations; although our testing was only at the station itself.
 

63beetledude

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4
I doubt this will help, but worth a try. Swap out the antenna on the VX-354 for another one you know
is good. I've seen the center pin on the stubby antennas get pushed in and not making good contact
with the radio antenna connector. Also can happen if the antenna gets bent. Radio will check fine on
a service monitor since you are connecting it to the radio antenna connector. If you have another
VX-354 try it too, and see if there is any difference. Could be your radio if the 2nd radio works OK.
We were actually testing the portable not connected directly to the monitor; but regardless, you could hear the tones going off on the portable from the base station, with good signal strength, but it wasn't alerting. The Kenwood right next to it went off every time except once when it was phased out.
 

63beetledude

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4
We had the same problem. Check the power save column. Uncheck the receive on the channel that you have set up for receiving pages. I don't remember what ours were set on for the options on the power save mode. There is ABS, 1:1, 1:1.5 etc. Our radios have been working fine since. We were missing a page now and then.
Kinda wondered about power saving - I think they were set to 1:1. We assumed that essentially meant there was no power saving enabled. I don't recall the ABS. The programming is on another tech's computer, I'll have to ask him.
 

msrettinger

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
32
Location
Oelwein, Iowa
Kinda wondered about power saving - I think they were set to 1:1. We assumed that essentially meant there was no power saving enabled. I don't recall the ABS. The programming is on another tech's computer, I'll have to ask him.
I think 1:1 is it switching on and off for the same amount of time. 1:1.5 is on then off for 1.5. If you uncheck the receive column the battery saving is off.
 
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