How much for a Spectra?

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How much for a Spectra?

Post by KC9UZB » Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:54 am

I'm just trying to figure out how much it will cost me to be Spectra sexy.

My requirements:
R split (ie UHF 403-470)
doesn't need to be silly power out, circa 50W is fine
Not sure which head I'd need, I don't need it to be fancy just the basics :)
Flash as long as its IMBE and has soft-ID I'd be happy...

What else am I missing?

(I have looked on here and on batlabs but there's a ton of info to sift through, and I'm not quite sure what I should be looking for anyway).
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Post by motorola_otaku » Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:10 am

First off, you can't get the whole 403-470 split out of a Spectra, be it analog or Astro. You can choose from:

-403-433 (out-of-band hacking will get you a max of 438, if you're lucky)
-438-470 (only available in 25W, usually configured for motorcycle use, and not real common, Scott's current batch excepted)
-450-482 (will do 440-450, but only in analog. They have no modulation alignment points below 450, so you don't get enough IMBE deviation for it to TX. RX works, though.)

There's also a 482-512 split.

If you want IMBE in 440-450, you HAVE to get a 438-470 radio.. or, at the minimum, a 438-470 s-record to blow into a 450-482 radio. If you guys use IMBE in the 420-430 range, you're in like Flynt because 403-433 Astro Spectras are cheap and plentiful on the used market thanks to US Government surplusing. The standard warnings for asking about firmware revisions, VOCON size, and flashcode apply. When they were really plentiful they could be had for less than $100, but $125-150 seems to be the going rate these days. Don't pay any more than that or you're getting :anus: 'd.
And the sign says you got to have a membership card to get inside.

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Post by KC9UZB » Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:38 pm

motorola_otaku wrote:If you guys use IMBE in the 420-430 range, you're in like Flynt because 403-433 Astro Spectras are cheap and plentiful on the used market thanks to US Government surplusing. The standard warnings for asking about firmware revisions, VOCON size, and flashcode apply. When they were really plentiful they could be had for less than $100, but $125-150 seems to be the going rate these days. Don't pay any more than that or you're getting :anus: 'd.
Hi Josh,

Hmmm, well in this country[UK for those who don't know me], the 70cm ham band is:
430-440MHz.

Most of the channels my buddy and me use for IMBE are in the lower end at 433MHz. So If I can get xmit coverage up to 440MHz I'd be happy...Receive would be nice up to 460MHz but isn't essential, as I can just use a scanner for that.

So I'm looking for:
403-433MHz with a W7 head? I've seen (in pics) JLX's W7 and it looks the sexeh, and practical too...

$150US sounds appealing, but awful cheap; I was always told I'd be looking at circa $900 :o Or is that for the more popular splits?
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Post by Mong » Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:45 pm

403-433 is fairly useless around this side of the pond, hence the lower prices for that split.




Ask how much 403-433 analog saber 1s go for, If the knobs are good, $5, if not, -$5 :baby:

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Post by KC9UZB » Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:48 pm

:baby: :baby:

Anyone got a 403-433MHz spectra for sale then? :D IMBE Ftw.

I'm assuming it can be "tweaked" onto the higher part of 433...?

*goes off to batlabs and eGay*
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Post by motorola_otaku » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:34 pm

M3ECM wrote::baby: :baby:

Anyone got a 403-433MHz spectra for sale then? :D IMBE Ftw.

I'm assuming it can be "tweaked" onto the higher part of 433...?

*goes off to batlabs and eGay*
You can easily hack the software to let you plug in frequencies up to 450 and beyond. The issue comes with the VCO and the receive prefilter.. the prefilter skirts off very sharply past 438 (or at least it did on the one, very clean Astro Spectra I dicked with in that split) and the VCO may well go out of lock right past 433. The VCO can be modded to hold a lock, but the prefilter is pretty much un-modifiable.

edit: Oh, when looking at model numbers, the one you want is D04Qxxx. If you see R, it's either 438-470, 450-482, or 453-488, and if you see S it's 482-512.
And the sign says you got to have a membership card to get inside.

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Post by KC9UZB » Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:25 pm

Q - ok thanks Josh:)

I've seen one over on Batlabs - $500... :anus:

Here's the specs (some of you might recognise who it is, apologies if you're a member here, I'm not doubting you I just need some advice :) ):
(5) Motorola Digital Astro Spectra-UHF(403-437)W7 Head - 100 Watt-NEW IN BOX

I have a lot of five (5) Motorola Digital Astro Spectra trunk mount
radios. They are UHF (403-437 Mhz) and have a W7 head.

The model number for these units are: #T04QLH9SW7AN.

The Flash Code is: 5400010000004

These units are NEW IN THE BOX and have all the accessories.

PRICE $510.00 each plus shipping
Wait - I notice the model number starts with a T and he lists them as "Trunk mount".... is that significant? Am I really looking for D/Dash mount here?

I'm half-clued up about the portable range but as you can see I know next to nothing about the mobile stuff.
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Post by ka8ypy » Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:36 pm

M3ECM wrote:Q - ok thanks Josh:)

I've seen one over on Batlabs - $500... :anus:

Here's the specs (some of you might recognise who it is, apologies if you're a member here, I'm not doubting you I just need some advice :) ):
(5) Motorola Digital Astro Spectra-UHF(403-437)W7 Head - 100 Watt-NEW IN BOX

I have a lot of five (5) Motorola Digital Astro Spectra trunk mount
radios. They are UHF (403-437 Mhz) and have a W7 head.

The model number for these units are: #T04QLH9SW7AN.

The Flash Code is: 5400010000004

These units are NEW IN THE BOX and have all the accessories.

PRICE $510.00 each plus shipping
Wait - I notice the model number starts with a T and he lists them as "Trunk mount".... is that significant? Am I really looking for D/Dash mount here?

I'm half-clued up about the portable range but as you can see I know next to nothing about the mobile stuff.
T = Trunk Mount and most likely 100 Wattsexy.
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Post by Mong » Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:40 pm

High power, remote mount, new. That says a lot there

:baby:

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Post by mr.syntrx » Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:34 pm

Low split, schlow schmit. Some of us are fortunate enough to live somewhere we can hold licenses for 411MHz :baby:

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Post by motorola_otaku » Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:39 pm

Even NIB with all accessories included, they're still worth $300, tops. That guy is nuts.

Yes, T means trunkmount, and the L means 110 watts. The S instead of a P is throwing me off, though.. anyone got a clue what that stands for?
And the sign says you got to have a membership card to get inside.

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Post by mr.syntrx » Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:44 pm

Hey, how hard is it to get a 45W ASTRO Spectra to do 25W without blasting spurious shit everywhere, overheating etc? I want a W4 or similar, but the license is only good for 25W.

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Post by motorola_otaku » Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:47 pm

mr.syntrx wrote:Hey, how hard is it to get a 45W ASTRO Spectra to do 25W without blasting spurious shit everywhere, overheating etc? I want a W4 or similar, but the license is only good for 25W.
Align your low-power setting for 25W (if it's not there already, I forget what the factory setting is) and slave all of your channels to low power. Done and done.
And the sign says you got to have a membership card to get inside.

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Post by mr.syntrx » Sat Sep 22, 2007 3:29 am

Cool.

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Post by va3wxm » Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:20 am

mr.syntrx wrote:Hey, how hard is it to get a 45W ASTRO Spectra to do 25W without blasting spurious shit everywhere, overheating etc? I want a W4 or similar, but the license is only good for 25W.
Hook it to a -3 dB gain antenna? :baby:

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Post by mr.syntrx » Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:16 am

Well it's probably safe enough at the QTH, the license is 83W EIRP for base stations and 41W EIRP for mobiles (50W and 25W carrier power through a dipole, respectively.)

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Post by KC9UZB » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:30 pm

motorola_otaku wrote:Even NIB with all accessories included, they're still worth $300, tops. That guy is nuts.

Yes, T means trunkmount, and the L means 110 watts. The S instead of a P is throwing me off, though.. anyone got a clue what that stands for?
Well the guys offered me $240 each if I buy 5 or more (I want two and I have a firm order for 3 off a mate) so that works out ok.

Is $240 each a good price for what they are? I'm going to need a programming cable too, which I guess is a stock item from the various eBay sellers?

I haven't committed myself yet, I need to be sure these will do what I want - it's a fair chunk of cash.
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Post by Mong » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:45 pm

I saw that ad, and I wonder if he ever sells anything. He's always overpriced....


You might want to check on shipping, it can't be cheap to your end of the pond.

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Post by KC9UZB » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:45 pm

fake edit:
looks like someone on eBay bought a load from the same auction - model number is the same - with that S instead of P.

http://cgi.ebay.com/MOTOROLA-DIGITAL-AS ... dZViewItem
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Post by Mong » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:47 pm

That's the extra-rare A69 control head, everything is upside down :baby:

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Post by KC9UZB » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:50 pm

heh, hadn't noticed that :baby:

I could do with knowing what Host/DSP these ones are on.

Actually that eBay auction is the same guy... he was offering them for $500 on Batlabs but a buy it now on eBay for $230? :anus:

Ok perhaps this isn't such a good deal after all? :wacker:
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Post by motorola_otaku » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:56 pm

M3ECM wrote:I'm going to need a programming cable too, which I guess is a stock item from the various eBay sellers?
High-power Spectra programming cables are so easy to make it's obscene. See here. The DB-25 jack in the middle of the drawer, where the handle is, is the one you use for programming.

I guess $230-250 is fair.. IF the VOCONs are 1 MEG and the firmware is recent. If they're 512K shit, then no, way overpriced. If you end up dealing with either of those guys, be sure to ask first. If they can't/won't tell you, walk away. And yes, a complete 110W Spectra is very heavy in terms of shipping, so be ready to break out the Astroglide.
And the sign says you got to have a membership card to get inside.

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Post by mr.syntrx » Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:34 am

I've got a funny feeling those radios have crypto as well. Seeing as these are NIB, who buys a radio with multikey and no crypto?

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Post by KC9UZB » Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:09 am

Well he replied to my question about Host/DSP, he said he has no idea how to find it out, but he can ask his radio tech to do it.

My gut is telling me two things:
1: Don't touch these things, walk away
2: I could be onto a real bargain here.

If I buy one of these and it turns out to have a shitty host/dsp, am I screwed or can I get it uplifted? Or is that secret squirrel crap?

For $240 I'm sorely tempted, but I'd like to pay even less if possible :D For BNIB I can't complain too much at that price though?
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Post by 10-95 » Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:38 pm

I've been seeing a guy on Ebay lately selling IMBE low split kits complete for 200.00 to 250.00 lately. keep an eye on Ebay.

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Post by KD6NIG » Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:05 pm

Mong wrote:That's the extra-rare A69 control head, everything is upside down :baby:
The females seem to like the A77 control head, because you get ate (8) more.
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Post by KC9UZB » Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:50 pm

The dude says he's sold a lot lately and he hasn't got many left.

I asked him to come back with Host/DSP versions and vocoder info (512 or 1M). I guess if they've all gone by then, more will be along eventually :baby:
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Post by Mong » Sun Sep 23, 2007 5:15 pm

M3ECM wrote:The dude says he's sold a lot lately and he hasn't got many left.



That's what I'd tell people too, it sounds better than saying "well these things never sell, so go ahead and try to get a better deal out of me" :baby:

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Post by KC9UZB » Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:19 pm

Ok after I put a wanted ad out on Batlabs i got a response.

Astro Spectra Plus, W5 head, flash of 580000004802 and quote "recent revisions". I've been quoted $350 each, comes with mic and speaker.

Whats the diff. between a Spectra and a Plus? Is it worth the extra moolah? These are also 50W versions which suits me better than 110W hi power.

I'm sorely tempted.
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Post by Josh » Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:30 pm

Rayjk110 wrote:I was told that a SpectraPLUS is almost sorta like an XTL. But don't quote me on that information.


I'm sure Josh knows.
the astro spectra plus is an Astro Spectra with an upgraded vocon. Nothing else is really different.

It has 4 megs of memory, and programs using Astro25 CPS (just like the XTL5000). It's touted for doing 9600 trunking and was the "stepping stone" between the Astro Spectra and the XTL5000. It does pretty much everything the XTL5000 W5/W7 can do, including ID alias.

Being an ASTRO25 radio, it also has similar Host/DSP revisions. The one I have here is Host 9, DSP9... it's actually pretty cool.

I have two, definitely an upgrade from the Astro Spectra, but it's not hax0rable like the original astro spectra radio.

-Josh

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Post by KC9UZB » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:03 am

Had word from the guy host/DSP is 6/6.

Are they still worth $350 each?
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Post by motorola_otaku » Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:24 pm

Plus, the Big M seems pretty free and loose with firmware refreshes to Astro25 radios these days. If yours is unmolested and has a valid serial #, I'll bet one of us folks with MOL access could probably get a one-shot firmware update.
And the sign says you got to have a membership card to get inside.

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Post by KC9UZB » Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:39 pm

Ray: Yep thats what I'm thinking - only thing I have to worry about now is if I get hit with import tax... ouch. :)

Thanks to the two Josh's.
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Post by alex » Sat Oct 06, 2007 2:50 pm

Rayjk110 wrote:Remember, you can always get the DSP refreshed.

And since it's an Astro25 Host/DSP radio, that means you can have it bumped up to Host/DSP 10.x (current).
Again Ray -

YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

Astro Spectra Plus != 8MB Flash Memory

You can NOT PUT 10.XX.XX in to a radio WHICH DOES NOT HAVE 8 MB OF MEMORY.

You just can't do it! Hell, the firmware file itself is > 8MB.

I can't remember if the Astro Spectra +'s have 2mb or 4MB of flash. You can probably go up to 9.XX.XX if they are 4MB, but maybe not even that high if they are 2MB radios. I do not know what the CVN # is for the Astro Spectra plus. While it may use the same software, it doesn't mean that it takes the same firmware.

If you don't know ask, or say your not sure. But please, stop making statements like they are the end all be all of life. I know I'm not perfect, but you are really starting to get annoying.

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Post by KC9UZB » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:23 am

Well this thread makes no sense any more since certain posts were deleted.

:wacker: :wacker: :wacker: :wacker:
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