vx3200 out of whack!

Discussion in 'Wireless & RF Design' started by gerty, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. gerty

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    I have a Vertex VX3200 mobile 40 watt radio, had it for about 4 years and it's been just fine all this time. Last month I tried to contact a game warden and couldn't hit the repeater which is only 10 miles away. Checked a few other channels and anything over 10 miles or so it didn't work.
    I can receive just fine on all channels.
    Thought it was a low power issue, I do not have a power meter, but connecting an amp meter on the 12 volt side shows various currents,, between 8.5 and 11 amps. Oddly enough the higher currents were some of the ones not reaching out.
    Bought one of those freq counters that also display the pl or dpl tones. It wasn't reading the game wardens dpl (172) but it did read some of the others. I wiped the radio clean of all channels except the game wardens and it still doesn't work.
    A few, more experienced radio people suggested an alignment, which is built into the Vertex software. Still no joy.
    Anyone ever hear of such an issue? Anything with a CTCSS works fine, it just won't tx certain dpls but it will decode them.
    I'm lost, and Vertex replaced this model with VX2500 so mine is now obsolete. And since Motorola bough out Vertex they are very hard to deal with, don't even want to talk to you on the phone. Just buy a new one is their credo I guess.
    Open to suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  2. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    I have read your post several times. Are you saying that your radio is not keying up repeater because you think that your ctcss transmission tones are missing or incorrect?
    Can you key up any repeater?
     
  3. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    You should acquire or borrow a Bird Wattmeter for the frequency range of interest to measure the output power of your transceiver. You might also be able to use a meter that measures forward and reflected power to see if you are actually radiating any power. A crappy connection to the antenna will render your transmitter dumb (unable to speak), but still able to receive strong local signals. Your CTCSS tone generator may also be defective.
     
  4. gerty

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    What it's doing is keying up the close repeaters, either with dpl or ctcss. The distant repeaters are not responding, both dpl and ctcss.
    All that lead me to believe it was a power issue. After checking tones I'm seeing accurate ctcss tones and some accurate dpl. The one I mentioned for the game warden (dpl172) registers nothing on the meter as far as tones, the vhf freq is right on the money.
    I wrote another program for the radio with just the one problem channel and got the same results, I can hear them (decoding dpl) but I cannot tx to them (no dpl showing on meter). Other channels with dpl display ok, and if they are near work ok.
    As far as the meter is concerned I'm not sure if the dpl 172 is off somehow and the meter won't display it if it's not a valid number. Or if there is no tone at all.
    Confusing at best, I know..
     
  5. gerty

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    I know I should get a Wattmeter, that's probably in the near future. As for the antenna, the radio was in my truck when I discovered the problem, I have swapped it out for another radio and the bad one is now on my bench, powered by a filtered, regulated power supply and connected to a antenna mounted to the roof of my house. The results were the same. I even programmed the radio for simplex and sent my wife a 100 yards down the road with a portable and she couldn't hear me. I know the radio will tx that far for sure, it just wouldn't open the squelch with that dpl.
     
  6. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
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    the first thing I would do is check the swr of the antenna. in a mobile unit, vibration and hittling limbs, as well as weather take their toll on the antenna, mount, and coax.
     
  7. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    Check for local ham repeater club. One of the hams will check your pwr.
     
  8. gerty

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    I called one this morning, he's hunting for his power meter. Still the dpl problem baffles me. We'll see how this goes.

    Changed the antenna out when I tested it on my bench, also replacement radio in the truck works fine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  9. BR-549

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    Sep 22, 2013
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    Hey gerty, any luck with that unit?
     
  10. gerty

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    I talked to the original dealer that I bought it from, he wants to take a look at it. He was closed for a couple of years due to health problems, he now works from his house. He's having a hard time believing it's doing what it's doing. Anyways I'm sure he knows more about it than I do. Worst case scenario, return it to Motorola for servicing . Since Motorola bought out Vertex they now charge a flat $100 service fee instead of actual cost plus labor.
    Hopefully I'll know something by the end of next week.
     
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  11. gerty

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    Well...Ended up calling Vertex tech support. From my description of the original problems, and the fact that now , when on scan it will not stop on a busy channel we have hardware failure. PA Modulator board "should" fix it... $125..Vertex doesn't support that model anymore, so I would have to replace the board myself.
    It's a crap shoot, that may fix it, or not..He was clear on that.. I informed him the radio I put back in the truck when all this started was looking better everyday. Brand new only $149.99 ..http://www.radio-mart.net/TYT-TH-9000D-VHF-Transceiver.html . Works great, made by Uniden. 3 of our rescue trucks have the vx 3200, so I may save mine for parts for that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
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