Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Weird radios suck

My 15A supply came in yesterday, as did the replacement microphone for my ADI AR-146 two-meter radio.  This should have allowed me to "road-test" this radio, which I was planning to use for my APRS station.  I ran into a hitch, though.  This radio has a firmware option to operate in a "channelized" mode, in which it can only be tuned to a limited number of predefined channels, which cannot be changed by the operator.  There is a procedure to switch it out of that mode (documented in the manual, which I managed to find online), but that procedure requires the OEM microphone.  My radio is stuck in this mode, and since I don't have the OEM microphone I cannot switch it out of that mode.  So unless I can find either the OEM microphone for an AR-146, AR-147, AR-446, or AR-447, or enough technical information to find out what pressing the "CALL" button on the microphone (in conjunction with the PTT key) does, I won't be able to delobotomize this radio, and thus will probably not be able to use it as an APRS radio.

So I'm going to start going to local group meetings in the hopes of finding someone who can help me recover this radio, while saving up toward buying a new one in the event that I can't rescue this one.  That'll delay the project about two months.  The main question now is whether I want to buy the antenna and put it up now, or wait until spring.  It'll be winter before I can afford to buy both an antenna and a new radio, and there is not much chance that I'm going to climb up onto my roof to install an antenna in the middle of winter.

Anyway, if you happen to be reading this and you have a two-meter FM radio that you're not using, or you have one of the aforementioned microphones, and are willing to sell or loan it to me, please contact me.