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vx3200 low power

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m-gerty

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I have a vx3200 that has worked fine until a week ago. I've noticed the output power appears to be down, I can no longer hit repeaters that are more than about 15 miles away. Previously this was no problem.I can receive on all channels, but transmit just doesn't seem to reach out.

I don't have a watt meter to check, so I used a amp meter to check the power on the incoming 12v line. I got readings of between 8.5 amps and 12 amps. All channels are programmed for "high" power., Some of the low amp channels are simplex, some aren't.The high amp channels are mostly local, so I'm getting out on them ok.

All channels are programmed in the 150 Mhz range, well within the radios capabilities.
Has anybody seen this before? Such a wide amp draw when all are programmed for high power.
I bought this radio new, just before its replacement (vx2200) came in and haven't had a bit of trouble until now.
Any ideas or suggestions?
 

W8VFD

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I would suggest not using the radio until you are able to get a meter to check the SWR on your antenna to make sure that there are no issues there.
 

m-gerty

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I would suggest not using the radio until you are able to get a meter to check the SWR on your antenna to make sure that there are no issues there.
I should have mentioned that I replaced the vertex in my truck with a old /\/\ that I had and it works fine.
I used an ohm meter to check the antenna for shorts/grounds, and everything appeared ok.

Edit: The current readings that I gave above were measured both in the truck, and again later on my bench with a different antenna.
 

PACNWDude

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I just received one back from Vertex/Motorola that was killing batteries in vehicles by drawing too many amps. The official repair was "reflashed radio, updating firmware and codeplug, reprogramming. Returned to specs." Flat rate repair fee was charged for this with the warning that these are no longer supported.

I think they only did this due to some of the other posts me and co-workers did on VX4200's that failed after narrow-banding. This was due to a bad production run of filters that ended up in Vertex and Motorola as well as rumors of other types of radios.

I'm now testing this radio to see if it still sucks too much amperage. You could fry an egg on the heat sink before sending it in.
 

m-gerty

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I just received one back from Vertex/Motorola that was killing batteries in vehicles by drawing too many amps. The official repair was "reflashed radio, updating firmware and codeplug, reprogramming. Returned to specs." Flat rate repair fee was charged for this with the warning that these are no longer supported.

I think they only did this due to some of the other posts me and co-workers did on VX4200's that failed after narrow-banding. This was due to a bad production run of filters that ended up in Vertex and Motorola as well as rumors of other types of radios.

I'm now testing this radio to see if it still sucks too much amperage. You could fry an egg on the heat sink before sending it in.
Yeah...I lost a 354 to the bad filter deal, got totally screwed on that deal. They changed their minds , a couple of times, on what they were going to do. The problem with the 354 was different from this though.
The 354 went "deaf" and wouldn't pick up anything, the vx3200 rx and tx but only some channels are low power . I'm just looking for a plausible explanation on how the current draw can vary so much when all channels are programmed to "high" power. Any takers?
 

VSTech

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Borden, IN
All PA's have a bell curve and are not all the same. 148 and 174MHz are usually lower than the center frequency, so the PA detection circuitry will cause the PA to draw more current at the lower and higher end frequencies to keep the same amount of power out as the center frequencies. When alignment is done it is done at the center frequency. If the PA (Q1039 - G1094314) is failing, it will need to be replaced, and since Vertex will not fix it, you can purchase PA's from Home page RA60H1317M

13.6Vdc drawing 8.5 - 12Amps is normal, it might just need realignment, if you're running in narrowband, the deviation might be set too low or high.
 

MBill

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PA power

Thanks VX-Tech for the info. Reminds me of an issue with a Cat IT Loader. Caterpillar had installed a
24/12 volt converter to power the am/fm radio. A Motorola GM300 was installed and powered from the
same converter circuit as the am/fm radio. Worked fine with no problems. Then when narrowbanding
was mandated, the GM300 was swapped out for the Vertex VX-2200. First thing that happened was
that the radio would turn off and on if you transmitted on one channel, but work OK on the others.
The other channels (VHF) were four to five megahertzs lower in frequency. Was determined that the
supplied converter could not provide enough current for this one channel, so they put in a 24/12
converter able to provide 20 amps. No problems after that.
 

PACNWDude

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Oct 15, 2012
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I see this all the time on VX3200's on vessels where I work, it is an amperage issue. We have commercial 150Mz as well as marine VHF channels loaded and some at only 1 watt output. Often times the engines need to be above idle to transmit. So the amperage draw due to the final amp and deviation for the radio is a plausible reason. Adjust deviation, increase amps available, or it may really need a new PA.
 

m-gerty

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Mar 3, 2012
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Location
Miiddle TN
I'll try doing an alingment, never did one before so it ought to be a learning experience. I bought radio several years ago and no adjustments were ever made to it. It has worked fine until now. As for power, I have it connected to a 13.8 volt 25 amp bench supply, and the amp raedings I posted earlier were from this supply.
Since this all started, another deputy with a VX220 is having similar problems, but with different frequencies.
My VX3200 is at least 2 years older than his VX2200.
 
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