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  #1  
Old 04-24-2017, 09:31 AM
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Default HT question VX-7R

I wanted to use my Yaesu VX-7R HT to communicate through a repeater in Utah. I was able to set the mode to tone and the tone freq to 88.5. I was then able to transmit to the repeater successfully and be heard on another radio listening to the repeater. The problem was, I couldn't hear anything from the repeater on the HT.

I tried the Yaesu 7800 in my truck and it worked fine on the repeater.

I lowered the squelch on the HT and also pressed the button below the PTT to shut of the squelch and still heard nothing but static.

I then tried the HT on simplex on another freq and it worked fine, both transmitting and receiving.

We also tried a different VX-7R on the Utah repeater and it worked.

What other setting on my HT could cause the radio to act like that? I even tried the "return to factory settings" option but it didn't seem to do anything as none of the registers were erased.
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Old 04-24-2017, 10:01 AM
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Maybe you had a receive tone set? You can have CTCSS on TX and/or RX so if you had an RX set to a tone the repeater is not including on it's output then this will happen. Generally you only need to have the TX tone set and active for successful repeater use.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:22 AM
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I had the same problem on my VX-7R and could never figure it out. I even took it into HRO and they were stumped too. We used a button combo to reset the HT back to stock out-of-the-box settings. That fixed the problem.

Edit: looks like you already did this. Sorry, I'm no help.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:56 AM
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Does the S-meter indicate you're receiving alright?

Regardless if you have the tones set correctly if your radio is hearing the station the meter will show signal strength. The squelch being opened is done after the IF demodulates the signal.

If you do not see the meter showing a received signal I would verify that you offset correctly, both using the right + or - for the repeater you're testing and that it's 600KHz/0.6MHz. Remember that repeaters are set using the frequency you listen to, e.g. the RX frequency relative to you. Your radio then offsets to the TX frequency when you push the PTT button.

If it shows a signal is being received then make sure you have CTCSS set to 'TONE' and not 'TONE SQL'. The 'TONE' setting is what puts a tone on your TX and the 'TONE SQL' is what does both, e.g. the SQL means it will require a tone to open the received squelch.

As a test you can set the tone to 'OFF' and you should definitely be able to hear repeater traffic. The last option for the VX7 is 'DCS', which is a digital tone and you don't want that either. You won't hear anything on that setting either.

I just checked the Denver (145.310) Colorado Connection with my VX7 and it worked fine for both TX and RX using 'TONE' but did not open my squelch when set to use a tone on RX (e.g. 'TONE SQL'). I'm not sure the repeater transmits a tone and if it does it must not be 88.5Hz.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:19 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I've got several things to check and will be back. I have not noticed the s-meter showing anything. I did set it to weather band (wx) and scanned for a weather broadcast - got nothing. This makes me think it might have the bad RF filter problem, (http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~timc/e/vx7r.html). Maybe it was working in simplex because it was a few feet from the transmitting antenna? I need to see if it'll receive anything from a real distance.
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Old 04-24-2017, 10:50 PM
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If you think it's an RX issue make sure the antenna is good and the SMA connector isn't broken, too.
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2017, 12:22 PM
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I think I’ve got a hardware problem.

I have two antennae for the HT and both appear to produce the same results. The connector jack looks fine no damage.

I was able to do a total reset of the device. There are two different options available in the manual – one clears out everything, I got that to work.

I was then playing with the radio and got clear weather band reception on the Sub band and nothing on the Main band – both set to the same freq. At that point I guessed the Main band was fubared and the Sub was ok.

The next day I tried the weather band again, I got nothing on both Main and Sub.

The next day I was able to get decent reception from the 145.310 repeater on both Main and Sub, although the Sub was a bit more clear than the Main. Oddly I still got nothing on the weather band, both Main and Sub.

Reception on wide band FM appears to work fine.

I might make the effort to replace the filter module but I’m more likely to replace the entire radio with a more dependable unit. I am intrigued by the VX-8R as it has Bluetooth. Then I could have ham in the moto helmet without the wire mess I have with the VX-7R
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:40 AM
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Update on the VX-7R....

I replaced the filters and it appears to be working fine now. I can get equal reception on the main and sub bands from the local repeater and on the weather band.

I ordered a set of 3 filters on ebay for 10$ shipped from China. Opening the radio and removing the old filters wasn't too difficult. What was a pita was getting the holes in the PCB clear of solder to insert the new devices. The solder sucker that I was using appeared to be working ok but it didn't have the suck needed to really clear the holes. After numerous tries, I did manage to get the holes clear enough to install the new devices.

I did replace both filters. One is for the sub band and one for the main. I know the main wasn't working properly but I decided to do both since I had the radio apart and the new parts on hand.
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