Motorola Global Tuner

Ajout d'une procédure permettant d'effectuer les actions courantes de sauvegarde et de restauration des paramètres de calibration d'une radio via l'outil Global Tuner.
Le lien est disponible ci-dessous:

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Mise à jour du firmware d'une radio GM340, GM360 et GM380

Le titre de ce court billet est suffisamment clair. Toute la procédure est détaillée dans le fichier accessible ci-dessous:

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SMA to FME adapter 3D printed strengthening piece

USC230BrokenBnc.jpgIf you haven't broken your handled transceiver's antenna connector when using a long antenna yet, this will certainly happen sooner or later.
I've faced this problem with my USC230 a year ago, and I didn't want it to happen again on my TYT MD380. Furthermore, the MD380's SMA is a lot more fragile than the USC230's BNC.
So, I've designed a small tube that holds the SMA to FME adapter on the inside, and that provides wide contact area on both ends: my Procom FSP70's antenna base and the MD380's SMA socket.
It just took me less than 2 hours from scratch to draw and print that little strengthening piece. Click "Read more..." to see the result and the gcode file download link:

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Conversion d'un relais TAIT T800 Série II sur une autre plage de fréquences

T800SlimlineOuvert_30pc.jpg J'ai sauvé in-extremis une poignée de relais T800 Série II d'une fin de vie tragique chez le ferrailleur il y a quelques mois. Mon activité professionnelle ayant dépassé les limites de l’imaginable dans le même temps, je n'ai pas eu le temps de m'occuper de ce matériel, mais cela tend à se calmer, tout du moins suffisamment pour que je puisse commencer à m'en occuper sérieusement.
J'espère donc pouvoir partager d'ici peu le résultat de mes essais et modifications sur ces équipements.

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Conversion de postes Motorola GM1200 (3RP) en MC2100 (2RP)

Étant un peu perdu face à la diversité d'informations, pas forcément très détaillées et quelques fois divergentes, je vais à mon tour tenter de partager mon expérience suite à la conversion réalisée avec succès de deux GM1200. Une fois de plus, afin de ne pas rendre ces explications rédhibitoires avec la mise en page sommaire des publications sur le moteur de ce blog, j'ai décidé de rassembler toutes les informations dans un fichier PDF. Ce format permet un partage simplifié et une diffusion même en cas d'indisponibilité de mon serveur web.
J'espère que ma tentative de vulgarisation de cette procédure permettra à d'autres possesseurs de ces radios de connaitre le même succès dans cette opération. Dans le cas contraire, n'hésitez pas à laisser un commentaire à la suite de cette publication, avec le lien "Ajouter un commentaire" situé en bas de cette page.

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Soundfreaq SFQ-04 hack attempt - Help needed

soundfreaq_logo.jpg Has anyone successfully opened this device without breaking it into pieces? The only thing I was able to do so far is to remove the front top and bottom plastic cover, using a cutter blade as a lever. Then I've untightened the screws at the bottom of the speaker, but the ones at the top are covered with the speakers grille. This last one seems to be glued very well and I don't see any way to get it off without risking to bend it.
I cant imagine how this company can provide after sale service and servicing of faulty speakers, or I'm completely wrong about the disassembly procedure...

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Motorola Waris series S-meter

MotorolaGM380SMeterZoom.jpgAlthough the following design is not revolutionary at all, it still has the benefit of fulfilling its primary function and bringing back memories of electronics courses about op amps. Moreover, it does not need any specific measuring tool for the calibration process. You'll need something to generate a strong RX signal though, like your kid's PMR talkie-walkies, in order to set the full range signal reading.

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VNA Vs SA

PhotoQuelconqueDSA815.jpg
Just a few lines to share a quick VSWR measurement comparison between my MRS Mini VNA tiny and my Rigol DSA815-TG along with the VB1032.

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ALCATEL ATR42x, la résurrection!

20171028_105828.jpg
De nombreuses personnes, dont certaines travaillaient à l’époque chez le constructeur, proposent déjà diverses solutions permettant de réutiliser ces postes « pro » sur les bandes radioamateur. Les logiciels embarqués qui sont utilisés donnent accès à des fonctions assez sommaires, et rendent l’utilisation de ces postes relativement inconfortable.

Ces bidouilles ont toutefois l’avantage d’exister et ont certainement permis à ces postes de ne pas finir leur vie chez le ferrailleur. Un autre avantage non négligeable est la mise à disposition des schémas qui auraient autrement eux aussi disparu, compte tenu de l’age avancé de ces postes.

On pourrait se questionner sur l’intérêt de vouloir exhumer ce vieux matériel, dont les dates de fabrication s’étendent de 1988 à 1994 d’après les plaques d’identification des postes dont je dispose. Pour le commun des mortels, la réponse est simple : aucun. D’autres fabricants proposent des postes beaucoup plus évolués, donnant accès à une bande de fréquences nettement plus large sans nécessiter de modification matérielle hasardeuse, et permettant même de s’adonner aux communications numériques, sans avoir à « réinventer la roue » pour être utilisés hors de leur domaine initial. Mon avis en tant qu’écouteur est un peu plus mitigé, notamment lorsqu’il s’agit de balayer toute une plage de fréquence, sans trou. Les postes destinés à un usage professionnel ont leurs fréquences de fonctionnement programmées en dur, majoritairement à l’aide d’un logiciel propriétaire dont l’utilisation n’est pas intuitive, ce qui limite l’utilisateur à un certain nombre de fréquences accessibles, en fonction du nombre de canaux mémorisables. La souplesse de paramétrage dont l’utilisateur dispose sur les récepteurs ou postes radioamateur est, elle aussi, soumise à l’utilisation d’un PC.

Pourquoi donc s’attaquer au logiciel embarqué d’une si vieille gamme de postes dans ce cas ?

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Helping the TYT MD380 charger go green.

GreenEnergy.png If you came here hoping to charge your MD380 faster, you just feel into a trap!
By the way, you can still read the few following lines as this may still interest you .

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Aliexpress's bargains - S01E01

aliexpress_logo.png In this episode of Aliexpress's bargains, I'll write a few words about what's sold as a Nagoya UT-108UV.
I don't delude myself, what I bought is certainly just a bad copy of a terrible clone, but whatever...
The first thing I did after opening the bubble wrap package was to unbend the nicely curved antenna, then plug it to the VNA and see how horrible it could be, and I can't say I've been deceived by what I saw...

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Sirio GP430LB autopsy

GP430LB.JPG If you ever wondered what's inside a GP430LB or how wide is this antenna's bandwidth, you've come to the right place.

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Diamond X50N to X50NA: Cut it three times and still too short!

X50NTooShort.jpgThis short article describes how I shortened my X50N in order to get a better reception on 446MHz.

This antenna was bought from Wimo's website, so I'll consider it as an genuine antenna from Diamond (not one of its numerous and probably bad clones).

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Hot cams!

HotCams.jpgIf you know a little bit about electronics, you probably already seen TVS diodes. If not, these are Transient Voltage Suppressor diodes, placed in parallel as close as possible to the power supply input of the device, which basically sacrifice themselves by going short circuit when the applied voltage exceeds their rated breakdown voltage. Their response time is fast enough to protect the remaining electronics from damage. That's the good part of the story.
Unfortunately, some electronic board designers don't seem to care about what happens just after that...

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HQ POWER PS613 unleashes its power!

This lab PSU is also sold by Velleman, under the same product name.
I own it since almost 8 years and I never had to complain about it, aside from its voltage drift that forces to regularly adjust the voltage output.
Therefore I had no reason to doubt about it when I needed a 12V power supply for powering the IP cameras I quickly installed, before going to a 2 weeks holidays off the house.
Well... what happened next proved me wrong!

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Système de vidéosurveillance CFI-EXTEL, réf.: SVMN 87050 (IPSV 87050), avec écran intégré: que la lumière soit (éteinte)!

N'étant pas certain que cet appareil ait été vendu ailleurs qu'en France, du moins sous la même marque & référence, je vais vous épargner un billet en anglais approximatif :)

i_562293.jpg Ce système de vidéosurveillance acheté relativement cher il y a quelques années chez Castorama a quelques points faibles, notamment l'accès à distance par une interface web utilisant des ActiveX douteux nécessitant la levée de nombreuses sécurités sur Internet Explorer. De plus, il est obligatoire d'utiliser Internet Explorer 6, qui n'est plus installable sur des ordinateurs récents, ce qui nécessite l'installation d'une machine virtuelle sous Windows XP. Bien entendu, il ne faut pas compter sur un éventuel accès via votre smartphone. De toutes façons, ce n'était pas encore très répandu à l'époque à laquelle ce produit était commercialisé. Ce problème ne sera absolument pas traité dans ce billet, puisque les sources de l'applicatif embarqué ne sont évidemment pas disponibles. Un autre "défaut" de cet appareil pour les particuliers, c'est le fonctionnement constant du rétro éclairage de l'écran: cela consomme de l'énergie, ça émet de la lumière inutilement, et ça réduit considérablement le temps de vie du circuit d'alimentation du rétro éclairage, comparé au temps passé à surveiller ce qui est affiché. Pour une utilisation professionnelle, dans un poste de sécurité par exemple, cela ne pose pas de problème. La modification proposée consiste à dévier le signal de commande du rétro éclairage, afin de permettre une mise en veille manuelle à l'aide d'une interrupteur.

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Unbricking Linksys WRE54G and WAP54G - When you think you can start digging their graves...

This entry follows an older one I posted almost eight years ago here (link). Although I tried to make it really clear, I realize that it is not the case, even to me.

tempReprogWAP54G_1.png tempReprogWAP54G_2.png tempReprogWAP54G_3.png tempReprogWAP54G_4.png

I've been contacted recently by someone who visited that other website and who was facing the same frustrating issue with his WAP54G. The device was totally bricked, as well as his two WARE54G.
Sometimes you can strap pins, sometimes you can access the shell and enter the magic commands, and sometimes (should I say most of the time) you can just hate yourself for having done something wrong. Hopefully, such mistakes can be easily fixed as long as you have the appropriate tools.

To do so, you'll need:

  • a soldering iron, preferably a good one like a Weller WSD50 & TCP-S (a smaller one for SMDs would even be better) with a reasonably thin conical tip. I wouldn't recommend using a plumber soldering iron, or anything approaching;
  • tin, lead-free or not, that's up to you;
  • desoldering braid (or the shielding of a coaxial cable if you feel like MacGyver or Bear Grylls);
  • anti-flux or flux cleaner (or alcohol but not the one you drink unless you live in Macedonia), if you want to wow your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors with shiny solderings;
  • a cutter with a breakaway blade (it can be a dull one, we won't cut anything with it anyway);
  • an universal programmer with a TSOP48 adapter (you can find really cheap adapters on ebay or aliexpress).

The universal programmer is certainly the missing device on your workshop but you might have access to one at the university, at work or at your local electronics shop. You can e-mail me in last resort but you should check the shipping costs to/from France first because it might be more costly than a new device.

05/01/2015:

The whole detailed procedure for desoldering & soldering the chip is now available here.
The second procedure for building a working Flash image and programming it is available here.
Please note that the first release of each document (Rev. 05/01/15) shall be considered as a draft. As stated in these documents, any comment or remark is more than welcome.

Ouaps "Jojo" is not only a toy for your kid!

Jojo pot de colle

Christmas is not too far away from now and Santa Claus already brought me a gift: a nice faulty electronic toy :) When people usually take back the faulty device to the mall, I prefer to repair it myself as long as it's possible (and also because I bought it from Amazon and I didn't want to send it back since I could not find it elsewhere). This toy called "Jojo pot de colle" (I only know its French name) was supposed to follow the kid, guided by a carrot shaped infrared remote control that the kid attaches to his wrist. Actually, it wasn't able to do anything else than running round and round. So, my first guess was a battery issue: wrong! A motor issue: wrong too! So after opening it and re-soldering a broken wire with no luck, I've played with the oscilloscope around the IR receivers that the toy uses to move towards the kid. One of these receivers seemed to be faulty (no IR reception), but it was actually a PCB issue. These components pins are bent so much that one of them pushed the pad away from the single side PCB and broke the connection to the ground. One more soldering later, the toy was working like it should have since the beginning.

http://dl.shibby.fr/blog.shibby.fr/Toy_repair/JojoPotDeColleRemoteControlProtocol.pdf

IR receiver pinout IR receiver re soldered pin Bent IR receivers pins

The war is not over!

Kenwood RC-20 I just couldn't stay with so many questions and so few answers, so come check back the protocol descritpion in the next few weeks ;)
I've made a scan of the RC-20 Instruction manual, since it's not available anywhere else, maybe it will be useful to someone.

Trying to find RC-20 commands

RC-20 (picture shot by AD6MI) Well, I think the protocol description I've made is pretty much complete, now it's time to try every other command than the ones sent by the RC-10 and see what happens (by "see what happens" I mean "pray that the transceiver won't blow up"). I'll write a simple program on a Renesas microcontroller that will convert UART frames sent from my computer with Docklight into a synchronous "SPI like" data frame to the TM-241.
I'll try to update this entry ASAP with some test results.






10/07/2012: Well, after trying to use the R8C/25's integrated USART peripheral for days and a strong headache, I've finally capitulated and written a software protocol based on the Timer RA in "Pulse Width Measurement" mode. It uses the clock signal generated by the transceiver to send and receive data. That's the good news.
The bad news is that the transceiver doesn't seem to accept any command above 0x3F, so after all this hard work I still don't know how the RC-20 sends its commands, which is a little bit frustrating.
I did not waste my time anyway since I've found the purpose of some other bits from the LCD indicators bit field, but I would have liked to find more about the RC-20... I've updated the protocol specifications with my latest finds. I'm interested by any information about the operation of the RC-20 (yes, this is an SOS).