RMS Express/Winlink Packet and PK232MBX

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by K4HYJ, Nov 3, 2015.

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  1. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I assume the "burnt smell" was a failed voltage regulator / electrolytic capacitor?
     
  2. K4HYJ

    K4HYJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It was the big capacitor right behind the power switch- not sure of the value without looking - About the physical size of a cr123 battery.

    They installed a new battery - which is kinda nice since the modem comes up in whatever mode I left it. WinWarbler grabs it for RTTY and CW with no issue. WinWarbler's reset function works too. Randy added a reset switch on the back. Now you turn it off momentarily depress the reset switch and it restores it to default settings. Basically it looks like the reset switch opens the battery circuit for as long as you press the switch.

    If I connect two radios via USB on the pk-232(sc), I have to add 5volts to the USB supply plug (Randy sent me a pig tail just in case - he said the ic-7600's USB connection is a little power hungry and the USB connections on the TNC are current limited to 100ma each using bus power). I have an 857d connected to the other port for VHF packet.

    Thanks for the helpful responses W9GB. Timewave's customer service is rare in today's market place.
     
  3. WZ4K

    WZ4K Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a 26 year old PK-232MBX with the Daughter card configuration. The chip on the daughter card says AEA 1990, PK-232 E1714. My model has all red LEDs. I cannot communicate with it. It powers up with the 4 left LEDs lit and then initializes to CMD and PKT. The DCD light is out.

    I'm using the simple terminal program RMS Express and my COM3 is set to 9600, 7-1-even as-is the terminal program. I apparently am in command mode but the PK is non-responsive. I've played around with the com setting to no avail. I have a cable attached to J4 in loop-back but if it is already in CMD mode this seems pointless. Any ideas? How do I reset? the hold-up battery is 26 years old and is soldered to the board and reads 3.02 Vdc. I would love to resurrect this for VHF Packet - advice is appreciated!

    73, Howard
    WZ4K
    wz4k@arrl.net
     
  4. K4HYJ

    K4HYJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Change your Term settings to 9600-8-1. If that doesn't work, unplug it (power), disconnect the battery (may be a hole in the bottom of the case with a jumper - remove the jumper for 30 sec and then reinstall), reconnect power and turn on the PK. If you do not have a "battery reset" jumper, open the case and disconnect the lithium button battery (most leave it out). Disconnect the j4 loop back.

    Once all that is done, power up the unit. After it does the 4 blinky lights on the left, all the LED's should go off except the "BAUDOT" LED. Now start you terminal program and hit * (not * on the keypad, but shift 8). You should see the AEA startup message, Code version, date and then a CMD: prompt.

    At that point you can send keyboard commands to the unit. It automatically reverts to packet mode once the * is accepted.

    Now how do you want to run packet? RMS Express? When you select "Open Session - Packet", the transmission window will open - select setup then select TNC. In the TNC selection window pick AEA/Timewave, then the model PK232, set the correct com port and select 9600 baud (that's baudrate to the PK not over the air), the rest of the settings are fairly standard. You may need to edit the TX delay depending on your radio. Hit UPDATE and your PK's lights will flicker and settle on the PKT and CMD lights ready to go!



     
  5. KK4EDX

    KK4EDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did they install reset switch on the back on the enclosure, or do you still reset device by the jumper underneath the case?
    Also, does this update include DSP option? My understanding is that DSP filters are automatically engage when changing modes, but I find it puzzling that there is no user control over DSP. I am very grateful that my ts-590SG DSP filtering is adjustable and can be turned off if needed.

     
  6. K4HYJ

    K4HYJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I did the upgrades myself. The SC upgrade includes a new case top with a reset switch and necessary wiring. I had to send the unit in when it stopped working which they repaired promptly. The DSP upgrade is not included in the soundcard upgrade - that is extra. I did add it after the fact. The DSP filtering is only active in native PK-232 modes (RTTY, PACTOR, CW, AMTOR etc.). It is configured for each of the modes specifically. If you select RTTY, the PK changes the signal path through a BAUDOT specific set of analog filters. The DSP unit is in that chain and configures itself for steeper "skirts" for a tighter bandpass etc. The same thing for CW - different analog filters and different DSP config. It is a bit tougher to tune a signal for decoding in the native modes after the DSP upgrade. The only bench mark I have is another PK without the DSP mod. For RTTY and PACTOR which I use the most, the DSP PK has less trash characters on poor quality signals. It is also nice for packet - it establishes a visual indication if you are overdriving the signal input to the PK from the radio when not using a dedicated data port on a radio (or your VHF rig doesn't have a data port and you use a speaker jack etc.).


     
  7. KK4EDX

    KK4EDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Interesting you say that RTTY is harder to tune with new DSP because that has been my experience as well. Perhaps in my case it's because I'm spoiled with Fldigi and click&play tuning vs tuning the actual VFO knob - call that inexperience! Still, I love 232 especially since you can use a simple dumb terminal to operate it with palm sized devices. Now if only I could find pk232 equivalent in size comparable to 817nd!
     
  8. K4HYJ

    K4HYJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mr. Gawtry says the DSP makes a tighter "window" - rejection of most everything not spot on. Weaker signal reception seems better over the non-DSP version also.
     
  9. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    AEA Product Information -- Repeater Builders TIP
    Manuals and documentation for legacy (discontinued) AEA products, before 1996
    http://www.repeater-builder.com/aea/aea-index.html

    Timewave is best source for those former AEA products, supported after 1996.
    that are still supported (upgrade packages, etc.)
     
  10. PD0RH

    PD0RH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi there,
    I have recently also a pk232 (without MBX!!). Also I have a problem with RMS to work with PK232. I have listened my signals back with another vhf rig and the tones are not correct to my opinion. I can key the PK when I use "Putty" , I can make comms to the PK232 but i think I have to calibrate the tones? (Perhaps mark and space tone frequencies???)
    Any input on the subject is more than welcome.

    Tks de Ruud PD0RH
     

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