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Can an Autocom damage your FRS radio?


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I have the ProM1 and I use the Kenwood Freetalk XL 3101 for my bike to bike communications. I had also purchased the unit that allows me to power my Freetalk from the Autocomm. I developed a problem where I could transmit and everyone could hear me, but I could not hear anyone. I can see the Green receive light come on when someone else is transmitting, but I can't hear anything. I confirmed that I had no "Quiet Talk" or anything set on the Freetalk. Changing the Freetalk channel did not help either.


I disconnected the Freetalk from the bike and put in it's regular battery to use it as a stand alone unit, and experienced the same behavior. So I felt like I had isolated the problem to the radio and not the Autocomm.


So I borrowed a radio from my wife's bike and everything worked for a very short time, but now that radio is experiencing the same problem. I disconnected the radio from the bike, and tried to use it standalone, but the volume was completely gone. I don't hear the beep when I turn it on, I don't hear anything when I adjust the squelch, etc. Now I have $300 worth of bad radios.


So now I am thinking that possibly something with the Autocomm unit itself is frying my radios. Has anyone ever seen or heard of this happening? Is it possible a short in my cables could cause this type damage? Anything else I should look for?


I have had tons of other problems with various cables. I'm at the point where I don't trust the unit. Does anyone know if Autocom provides a service where I could just send the entire unit in with all my cables and have you take a look and see what is bad?


I've sent this same info into Autocomm tech support, so I'll see what they come back with.

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[thinking out loud]Could be that the Kenwood has some kind of software-resettable cutoff that maybe the Autocom activated via a voltage spike. I've read that there are issues when the Autocom is powered off the Canbus-controlled accessory sockets. But the issue comes up on Transmit, when the power can spike before leveling at the 1-and-a-fraction amperes of current required for the TX function. Did the problem occur on the second radio before or after an attempted Transmit?


I can send you a cable that interfaces the radio to a PC, it may be possible (I have not played around with the DOS-based programmer too much) to reset a configuration within the radio and get it back.

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The problem on the 2nd radio occured after attempted Transmits and Receives.


I'll call Kenwood too and see if they think it is a software resettable problem Thanks for the offer on the cable. I'll let you know.

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Please get this figured out before the Copper Canyon trip or you'll be seeing lots of familiar hand signals instead. tongue.gif


"Familiar" is the understatement of the year!!! Mark has actually come to believe that is a normal wave and common salutation. I've seen how he drives/rides, and that seems to drive complete strangers to "wave" all the time!


As far as the radio... it was supposed to fail only on the transmit side. That way you could be seen and not heard!!! (yes, it is a conspiracy, I have some real friends going on that trip!)


Miss me? grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gifeek.gif



Actually, I do have a suggestion/theory on your radio problem: Check the large plug end (output/speaker lead) very carefully. It just might be disconnecting your speaker still, but not really getting a good connection to the autocom. It may also have bent the internal radio plug just enough to keep it open, so no radio speaker. I would try an earpiece/headphones to see if you can get the radio to work through them with a little wiggling etc. To me, the physical part of the cable sounds suspect...


Also, check the plug for its ability to seat all the way into the radio. I have a real problem with that, and had to trim some plastic away from the lead to make sure it went all the way in. if not seated properly, I would imagine it could cause problems and damage a radio!


also, If necessary, I can get some good cable pin resistance readings for you, which might tell you what your cables are supposed to be doing...But that would take me at least a day or two before I could get to it.


Let me know.

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I'm familiar with the "I know I am slowing you up, so go ahead and pass me" hand signal. Lord knows I've seen that one enough grin.gif. Don't worry, I'll have it fixed before Mexico. It just wouldn't seem like a ride if I couldn't hear about my technique issues.


Matt was kind enough to send me a cable, so I'll try to see if resetting the software will do the trick.



Yes, you have been missed terribly grin.gif. You may be onto something. I plugged in just the regular earphones directly. I can hear the talk battery (at least that's what we called it in the telecom world) when I turn it on, but still cannot hear any audio.It makes me think it is more of a physical issue too.

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Autocom, or Topgear, can test your unit to see if it is okay, but they have no means of repairing the circuit card in it. The parts are not available. Scott, at Topgear looked at mine last week and basically told me that the unit is not receiving power any longer and that nothing can be done with it.


I know that isn't what you want to hear, but at least you will know if the Autocom itself is okay.

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