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Handheld FAQ Page
 
 
 
1.
   
Transmitter and Receiver
  1.1   I can't hear my local repeater (CTCSS)
  1.2   I can't hear my signal, but I hear the repeater squelch tail
 
2.
   
Tone Access  (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
  2.1   CTCSS / DCS tones - What are they
 
3.
   
Software, Cables & Drivers
  3.1   Software selection
  3.2   Error Messages
  3.3   Programming Cable & Drivers
  3.4   Genuine Programming Cables
 
4.
   
Antenna Questions
  4.1   Which antenna is best
  4.2   SMA Antenna Connectors
  4.3   Antenna doesn't screw in completely
  4.4   How Far can I transmit
 
5.
   
Display Questions
  5.1   LCD turns dark
  5.2   Display disappears if I wear sunglasses
 
6.
   
General Questions
  6.1   Waterproof / IPX rating
  6.2   Radio shuts down
     
 
 
 
 
     
       
Transmitter and Receiver
 
  1.1   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. This can be tested by pressing the [MONI] button of the side of the radio. When in doubt, leave the CTCSS or DCS tones set to OFF.
 
 
  1.2   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.
 
 
       
Tone Access (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
 
  2.1   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.

 
       
Software, Cables & Drivers
 
  3.1   Software selection
There are several software options.
- Factory Software - Usually included with the radio  FactorySW
- CHIRP - Compatible with over 80 different models CHIRP
- RT Systems - Purchased along with proprietary cable
 
 
  3.2   Error Messages
There are several  common error messages that could appear when programming via software.  A list of these error messages, their definition and recovery can be found at Error Messages.
 
 
  3.3   Programming Cable / Drivers
This is one of the major frustrations with generic, low cost programming cables. Many generic cables use Prolific chip clones/copies. When plugged into a USB slot, Windows will load the latest driver. These drivers have been updated to reject cables using cloned chips.
 
These cables will work fine, but only if the proper backdated driver is installed. This is covered in detail in the USB Cable Drivers page.
 
 
  3.4   Genuine Programming Cable
Programming cables utilizing an FTDI chip will work with no problems. These cables are truly "Plug 'n Play". Call your local dealer before ordering to confirm chip set.
 
       
Antenna Questions
 
  4.1   Which antenna is best?
It's all personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is:
The longer the radiator, the better the range, especially on transmit. Short stubby antennas use a coil to match TX to 50 ohm, not radiate. The closer to 1/4 wavelength in the air, the better the performance.

Field test results performed between 31 popular antennas can be found at  Field Tests.
 
An overview of antenna types available can be found at Best Antenna.
 
 
  4.2   SMA Antenna Connectors
There are several varieties of SMA connector. Male, Female, Reverse Polarity, etc. For diagrams of these varieties, go to SMA Antenna
 
 
  4.3   Antenna doesn't screw in completely
This is not uncommon on some aftermarket antennas. If your antenna doesn't come with a rubber spacer to fill the gap, you can purchase a thin 5/8" OD rubber O-Ring. Take your HT with you to the hardware store to assure the proper fit. Additional information can be found at Extended Threads
 
  4.3   How Far can I transmit
This depends strictly on the elevation, antenna, and obstacles. This lisk can be used as a reference.  How Far
 
       
Display Questions
 
  5.1   LCD turns dark
This is to be expected from a small radio. 5 watts creates a lot of heat in a small unvented area. The newer 8 watt radios will heat up even quicker. Give it time to cool down and the LCD will return to normal. The same occurs if you leave the unit in the car on a hot day. Run low power whenever possible. This will also extend battery life.
 
 
  5.2   Display disappears if I wear sunglasses
LCDs function by polarizing the liquid crystal elements in the display. Polarized sunglasses will react to the polarized lens. LCD Wiki
 
       
General Questions
 
  6.1   Waterproof / IPX rating
The IPX Code classifies and rates the degree of protection against water provided by a case or electrical enclosure.

This list ranges from IPX0 to IPX8.
- IPX0 = No Special Protection  to
- IPX7 = Protected against water immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter.
- IPX8 = Protected against water submersion - The equipment is suitable for continual submersion in water under conditions which are identified by the manufacturer.

A detailed breakdown of these codes can be found at CODES.
 
  6.2   Radio shuts down
A case is recommended if you carry your radio and keys in the same pocket.  If the charging contacts are shorted, the battery goes into the protection mode. There will be no damage to the radio, but it will power off. To reset the protection mode, the battery must be removed and reinserted.
 
Note: If you carry a spare battery, place it in a small plastic bag for protection.
 
 

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