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Tri-Band Mobile Transceiver

Reference and FAQ Page

June 2016

Reference and FAQ Page

Although this FAQ page is meant to assist as a diagnostic aid, it should also be reviewed in its entirety in the early stages of radio ownership, as you will find references and operating hints not found in some of the manuals.
Newest Radio and Firmware
  1.1   Firmware
Transmitter and Receiver
  2.1   I can't hear my local repeater (CTCSS)
  2.2   I can't hear my signal, but I hear the repeater squelch tail
  2.3   Aircraft frequencies
  2.4   Weather frequencies - NOAA / NWS
  2.5   Oscillator images / 'Birdies'
  2.6   Selecting a Channel using the Keypad
  3.1   Software Compatibility
  3.2   Storing different frequencies in A and B
  4.1   How to select channels to skip when scanning
Tone Access  (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
  5.1   CTCSS / DCS tones - What are they
  5.2   Tone Burst - 1750Hz
Newest Radio and Firmware 
  1.1   Firmware - Can it be updated?
No. The firmware in these radios cannot be updated. The microcontroller is an OTP type. (One Time Programmable) Once 'flash' programmed at the factory, it cannot be changed.
Transmitter and Receiver
  2.1   I can't hear my local repeater (CTCSS)
Some Repeaters and Services require a CTCSS or DCS tone for access but DO NOT transmit one back. If your display indicates there is an incoming signal but you hear no audio, you may have an incorrect or unnecessary RX tone set.
  2.2   I can't hear my signal, but I hear the repeater squelch tail
The key here is that you can hear the repeater squelch tail.
You are too close to your receiver and over powering (de-sensing) it.
When this happens, you are blocking everything from your monitor.

1) Listen to your signal on simplex to verify you have audio.
2) Call someone on the repeater to verify your signal quality. If they can hear you, then all is fine.
3) For testing using repeater frequencies, always set your monitor receiver to your transmitter's frequency, not the repeater's output signal.
  2.3   Can I receive Aircraft frequencies
Yes. The receive capability is:
0.5-1.71 MHz (AM Radio)
76-108 MHz  (FM Radio)
108-136 MHz (AM Air Band)
137-174 MHz (FM VHF Ham Band)
174-250 MHz (VHF TV Band)
300-400 MHz (General Receive)
400-480 MHz (FM UHF Ham Band)
  2.4   Can I receive Weather channels - NOAA / NWS
Yes. However, it cannot be put in a standby mode and triggered by their 1050Hz alert tone.
  2.5   Oscillator Images / 'Birdies'
There are several possibilities in which you may experience Birdies on the receive side. 

Power Supply -  One source could be your power supply. Some switching supplies have what is referred to as a Noise Offset. This shifts the supplies oscillator frequency.

Radio -  If the radio Clock frequency is the source, this can be shifted by selecting either:
F-08 / Operation Mode (factory software)  or
CPU Clock Frequency (CHIRP)
This is used to move a spurious response should it fall on a desired frequency.

Household Appliances -  Also notorious for generating stray signals. Televisions, computers, power supplies, chargers, etc.  If the 'birdie' is not present outside your house, you will need to isolate the source inside.
  2.6   Selecting a Channel using Keypad
Enter a three digit number to select the desired channel.
- Enter 001 to select channel 1
- Enter 010 to select channel 10
- Enter 100 to select channel 100
  3.1   Software Compatibility
Always use the proper software (SW) for your radio.
The programming software for this radio is CHIRP.

When using CHIRP, Always use the Latest Daily Build, available HERE.
  3.2   Can I store different frequencies in A and B
The 50X3 has two distinct 500 channel banks, for a total of 1000 channels. Any channel can be stored either channel bank.
Channels stored in Memory A will appear on the left LCD, Memory B will display on the right.
  4.1   How to select channels to skip when scanning
To select / deselect a channel from the scan sequence:
- Set the function mode to F-2
- Press SKIP
The small triangle on the LCD will appear when active, disappear when not.

The scan rate of this radio is 5 channels per second.
Tone Access (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
  5.1   What are CTCSS (PL) tones
A CTCSS is an 'Tone' sent along with your voice when transmitting.
They are used to access a specific repeater and block interference.
Visit CTCSS for details.

  5.2   Tone Burst - 1750Hz
If your repeater requires Tone Burst at 1750, one of the microphone programmable keys can be assigned to that function.

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