View Full Version : Pakratt-232MBX Question
11-03-2004, 08:56 PM
Hi everyone #http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
I just received my KW8MY setup to connect my Kenwood TM-221A to my Pakratt-232MBX. #I connected the 8-pin connector to the mic connector, the plug into the speaker jack in the back of the Kenwood, then the 5-pin connector into "Radio 1" in the back of the TNC.
My problem lies in 2 areas...
1) The TNC is sending if I type out 'test test test de ki4vpr' but the radio is not sending. #The rig is not keying up at all.
2) I am getting a *LOT* of receive noise to where my TNC is seeing it as noise and not packet bursts. #Could it be my antenna (2m Groundplane on 144.390) or is there a known issue with receive noise on Kenwoods?
Thanks In Advance all... #When I won this on eBay, the guy was a jerk and sent me an email saying "I have the manual but I'm not sending it, buy your own". # http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif
Anthony - KI4VPR
I decided to go to the local MARS Frequency of 148.650 and just listen and heard no noise whatsoever and I had my squelch set to about 40%. So I'm supposing it may just be a frequency issue at 144.390 because on .650 it's full quieting.
Also another problem has popped up, I'm not sure how to turn the monitor function on so I can monitor these packets. I'm using HyperTerminal Private Edition and when I reset or cycle the TNC, I hear the packets but nothing comes up on my screen.
Still scratching my head over this one.
11-03-2004, 09:16 PM
On number 2 , squelch the radio. If noise is opening the squelch you can advance the DCD detect pot on the front left CW a bit too. The DCD light should be out unless you are receiving a packet. Regarding number one, make sure the radio select switch is in it's outer position for radio one. GL HTH
Quote[/b] ]2) I am getting a *LOT* of receive noise to where my TNC is seeing it as noise and not packet bursts. #Could it be my antenna (2m Groundplane on 144.390) or is there a known issue with receive noise on Kenwoods?
Possibly you computer power supply?? (some cheaper models are great broadband noise generators).
144.390- - -HMMM What modulation are you using, FM or SSB ( dumb me, see how much 2 meter experience I have had lately ? ) I do know however, that if you are down in that portion of the band, you probably should be listening on a horizontally polarized antenna, shouldn't you? You state you are using a groundplane, and that is a vertically polarized antenna, which will have nearly 30 dB of loss compared to a horizontally polarized antenna due to the cross-polarization.
My packet experience goes back a few years ago, and we used FM modulation on 145.01,03,05 etc. with vertically polarized antennas. But I am betting you are not - right ?
I agree, the guy was not the best, most benevolent seller. But you do need a manual, as most packet commands are not at all intuitive. I believe there is one called "pacmon" that has to be set to 5 or 6 in order to see all the packets not being sent specifically to you on the screen. I may be a long way off ( it has been a while, as I said ) but that should give you an idea of how un-intuitive setting the box up actually is!
If you want to send me a private EMail, I might be able to give you some additional advice , but it would be a waste of the bandwidth to try to talk about this more on the public forum.
Good luck! hope to hear from you soon. 73 Jim AG3Y
11-03-2004, 11:59 PM
I FOUND IT!!
After hours of exhausting research, I found the operating manual for the Pakratt 232MBX. Above is the URL for it in case *ANYONE* has problems finding it like I did.
73 de KI4VPR
P.S. Thanks to everyone for their assistance with the TNC I appreciate all of you!
Excellent! Great detective work! I popped it on the HD so if you have a question about something you read, I might be able to help you! I felt kind of helpless with my manual tucked away in a box somewhere!
11-04-2004, 09:05 PM
Jim, 144.39 is the APRS frequency. So it is vertically polarised FM on that one.
I'm glad he found the manual. The PK232 is unmanageable without it. I had a couple of those things. I nearly sent the first one back within days of getting it as I was so confounded trying to figure it out. What got things on track for me was getting the software for it instead of using in dumb terminal mode. THAT was a mess.
In fact, Jim, wasn't it you who I talked to about PC Pakratt software?
Yup, Chris. Still have it , and the offer is still good. Was I supposed to send you a copy of it? All the AEA software is probably obsolete by now, but still can make those older chipsets "sit up and notice! "
I've played around with a couple of versions of the original PCPakratt software, as well as an early version for Windows ( which isn't as good, in my opinion ).
One of the mysteries I still have not solved is why the version of the PK-232 with the mailbox will not deliver FAX to the screen using the old PKFax program. An earlier version of the box without the mailbox chips will work with the old DOS version of PKFAX !
I also do not understand how in the world you can make a PK-232 work with a modern program such as MixW, which supposedly will allow you to transmit in ARQ AMTOR and still use the other features of MixW's program, such as logging, the GUI, etc.
Oh well, just shows that even this O.F. hasn't learned EVERYTHING about ham radio, yet ! http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif
73, Chris. Talk at you later!
11-05-2004, 03:07 AM
Regarding your 'update' question: there are several levels of monitoring in the PK 232. At the most restricted level you will only see a bit of whats going on perhaps only unconnected frames i.e. a CQ or test. At the command prompt this is done by setting 'mon = 0', to see traffic with out all the overhead set mon = 2, to see all the stuff going on set mon = 6. Near the beginning of the manual there is a 'self test' where you connect the audio 'in' to the audio 'out'. Set myc = KI4VPR and then, also from the command mode, type "C <space> KI4VPR" you should see the note "connected to KI4VPR" do this with out the radio connected and change the mon settings to experiment. There is lots more. GL HTH
On a related question - how would someone find out if a PK232 has had the MBX upgrade? I have one I picked up at a hamfest for a lowly little buck, but i have no clue if it's had the mbx upgrade done on it - model number on the front doesn't show the mbx, but I know you could actually get an upgrade to allow that.
11-05-2004, 06:35 AM
Quote[/b] (kf3el @ Nov. 04 2004,23:12)]On a related question - how would someone find out if a PK232 has had the MBX upgrade? I have one I picked up at a hamfest for a lowly little buck, but i have no clue if it's had the mbx upgrade done on it - model number on the front doesn't show the mbx, but I know you could actually get an upgrade to allow that.
Try the commands MDC or MAILDROP - they probably won't work on a PK232 without the mailbox (I don't know exactly what they'll do - my 232 has the mailbox).
11-05-2004, 01:26 PM
Quote[/b] (kf3el @ Nov. 04 2004,23:12)]On a related question - how would someone find out if a PK232 has had the MBX upgrade? #I have one I picked up at a hamfest for a lowly little buck, but i have no clue if it's had the mbx upgrade done on it - model number on the front doesn't show the mbx, but I know you could actually get an upgrade to allow that.
On the early PK232, the MBX upgrade was done with a daughterboard. #You can pop the cover and see if there is a small circuit board that has been added in above the main board. #That is not a sure-fire method, because later versions had everything on one board.
Timewave used to have some good descriptions and internal pictures of the various versions on their website. #I haven't looked there in a while, but you might check it out. #They also sell upgrades for all the versions.
If you don't have the manual, make sure you download the one from the link listed earlier in this thread. #Those manuals are usually hard to come by, and you really need it to get one of these things up and running!
The daughtercard is a dead giveaway, and there might also be a little sticker added to the name of the box "PK-232MBX" applied over the original silkscreening.
The last PK-232s were made with different colored LEDs to show the status of the setup. If you have one of those, you almost undoubtedly have the mailbox setup!
BTW, the last PK-232s reverted back to a single board, but have all the functionality of the mother/daughterboard setup.
Have fun ! 73, Jim AG3Y