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AndFlmsg comparison; three radios (one with interface) and three android devices 20190929

Ole Helgerson KI7MBR
 


Goal:  Check newly acquired Baofeng (BTech) UV5X3 and Baofoeng APRS-K2 interface cable for AndFlmsg suitability

Radios: HTs; Icom T70, BTech UV5XR. Base station; Alinco DR-735.

Androids: Moto G 2nd Gen., Nokia 3.1, Samsung 6" tablet

Test conditions. Indoors. HT's set at 1W, Alinco 5W. When testing Baofeng APRS-K2 cable, radios were adjacent to each other in the shack. For testing speaker-to-mic, the shack was isolated from the sending area (kitchen) by a closed door.

Results

Baofeng UV5X3 with the factory APRS-K2 cable.

1.The cable would transmit header, eg. mode and frequency, but no message. Static burst about every 1-2 seconds during message.
2. With the cable, the UV5X3 would not receive messages from the Icom or Alinco
3. When cable plugged in and VOX turned on (level 1 or 2) the mic would still pick up and transmit sound.

UV5X3 "speaker-to-mic" with the Android devices.

1. Months ago, all three Androids would send and receive to each other across the table top. During this test, The older Moto G did not want to receive, but did prove to be a stalwart (mostly) transmitter. Although the program would quit after each transmission, the message would go through.

2. Using the UV5X3 speaker (Androids within 6" either side of radio), the Nokia was able to receive and decipher text messages and a test form accurately received by the UV5X3. The Samsung could pick up the content of the form as text, but the actual form with its message did not appear in the Samsung INBOX.

3. Using the Alinco and it's speaker (Nokia and Samsung perched on the radio), both Androids accurately received the test form in the INBOX.

4.  The UV5X3 had difficulty consistently transmitting text.

Lessons learned

1. It is probably prudent to check Android devices periodically across a table top for sending and receiving AndFlmsg. It is likewise  probably prudent to test Android devices against various radios.  Some devices might be not work well for moth transmitting and receiving.

2. For whatever reason, the UV5X3 does not seem as amenable for hardwired connections as the Icom T70 was with its EasyDigi. Even that set up has its peculiarities re VOX, now starting to send a burst of static between the header and the message which appears to prevent the receiving Android from decoding the message.

3. For my ht radios, the best method of using AndFlmsg now appears to be via phone; speaker-to-mike.

4. It remains to be seen whether the BTech APRS-K2 cable can be made to work satisfactorily. It might be a matter of finding the correct internal radio setting, or it might just be faulty kit. Likewise a quick initial test of an Easy Digi setup ordered for the UV5X3 showed no connectivity at all and would seem to be in the same boat.

End of report. Hope its useful!

73, de KI7MBR Ole'

p.s. The UV5X3, with the factory tri-band Nagoya antenna, does seem to work as well as the Icom for regular voice transmission to nearby repeaters.

Ole Helgerson KI7MBR
 

Update.  Had a few minutes tonight and found and "resolved" two issues; VOX and transmission time out.

First, tested VOX vs holding the mic key.  With VOX there either would be a disconnect about every three seconds or a disconnect between the header and the message.  The latter just plain would stop.  Thus tested holdling the mike key down.  That worked, -but- Tx seemed to stop routinely after about 15 seconds.  A clue.

With that thought in mind, checked the new UV5X3 internal settings for mic time.  There is an "end transmitting" setting that was set for 15 seconds.  That was the cause of chopping off transmissions in mid sentence so to speak. Lengthened the time to 60 seconds and ICS 213 forms, which take about 40 seconds, go through letter perfect.

Conclusion.  The BTech APRS-K2 cable works a treat for sending messages when attaching the UV5X3 to either the Nokia phone or the Samsung tablet.  Just means holding the mic key during the tranmission; as with the Icom T70. (Receiving radio, Alinco DR-735).

Now to figure out the EasyDigi's inability to connect with the UV5X3.

73, KI7MBR


On Sun, Sep 29, 2019 at 3:47 PM Ole Helgerson KI7MBR via Groups.Io <olehelgerson=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Goal:  Check newly acquired Baofeng (BTech) UV5X3 and Baofoeng APRS-K2 interface cable for AndFlmsg suitability

Radios: HTs; Icom T70, BTech UV5XR. Base station; Alinco DR-735.

Androids: Moto G 2nd Gen., Nokia 3.1, Samsung 6" tablet

Test conditions. Indoors. HT's set at 1W, Alinco 5W. When testing Baofeng APRS-K2 cable, radios were adjacent to each other in the shack. For testing speaker-to-mic, the shack was isolated from the sending area (kitchen) by a closed door.

Results

Baofeng UV5X3 with the factory APRS-K2 cable.

1.The cable would transmit header, eg. mode and frequency, but no message. Static burst about every 1-2 seconds during message.
2. With the cable, the UV5X3 would not receive messages from the Icom or Alinco
3. When cable plugged in and VOX turned on (level 1 or 2) the mic would still pick up and transmit sound.

UV5X3 "speaker-to-mic" with the Android devices.

1. Months ago, all three Androids would send and receive to each other across the table top. During this test, The older Moto G did not want to receive, but did prove to be a stalwart (mostly) transmitter. Although the program would quit after each transmission, the message would go through.

2. Using the UV5X3 speaker (Androids within 6" either side of radio), the Nokia was able to receive and decipher text messages and a test form accurately received by the UV5X3. The Samsung could pick up the content of the form as text, but the actual form with its message did not appear in the Samsung INBOX.

3. Using the Alinco and it's speaker (Nokia and Samsung perched on the radio), both Androids accurately received the test form in the INBOX.

4.  The UV5X3 had difficulty consistently transmitting text.

Lessons learned

1. It is probably prudent to check Android devices periodically across a table top for sending and receiving AndFlmsg. It is likewise  probably prudent to test Android devices against various radios.  Some devices might be not work well for moth transmitting and receiving.

2. For whatever reason, the UV5X3 does not seem as amenable for hardwired connections as the Icom T70 was with its EasyDigi. Even that set up has its peculiarities re VOX, now starting to send a burst of static between the header and the message which appears to prevent the receiving Android from decoding the message.

3. For my ht radios, the best method of using AndFlmsg now appears to be via phone; speaker-to-mike.

4. It remains to be seen whether the BTech APRS-K2 cable can be made to work satisfactorily. It might be a matter of finding the correct internal radio setting, or it might just be faulty kit. Likewise a quick initial test of an Easy Digi setup ordered for the UV5X3 showed no connectivity at all and would seem to be in the same boat.

End of report. Hope its useful!

73, de KI7MBR Ole'

p.s. The UV5X3, with the factory tri-band Nagoya antenna, does seem to work as well as the Icom for regular voice transmission to nearby repeaters.

Ole Helgerson KI7MBR
 

20191006 update.

I am now thinking that for communicating with AndFlmsg,  audio connection (MT6300_LG) between a radio and Android device is potentially the least error prone as well as being least costly (at least with my radios).  Here's why. 

Had a few minutes to further test the BaoFeng UV5X3 with; Easy Digi, the BaoFeng APRS-K2 cable and audio connection. (Note; I checked the two Android units (Nokia phone, Samsung 6' tablet) for sending and receiving with each other by audio connection.  One-hundred percent ok.)


Easy Digi.  The Nokia phone and the Samsung tablet were swapped out with each as signal source and end point.  Re reception, nothing showed up on the attached Android unit (despite the radio LED indicating a signal).  But Easy Digi sent text and forms just fine swapping the  Decided to again test the APRS-K2 cable. 

APRS-K2.  VOX worked almost.  Again static bursts like a mic being keyed about every 1 second and no message received.  Keying the mic, produced better, but still mixed results.   Text messages were usually incomplete, missing about the first line of a three line message.  And I started to hear a three-tone sequence (e.g.C-A-D)  at the end of the RSID when sending the Android signal through the radio.  this tone seemed absent when communicating Android to Android,  Forms transmitted ok, though one produced an error message

Phone only.  Text messages and forms letter perfect; both directions with the BaoFeng ht and the Alinco and Nokia and Samsung.

I am suspecting that something unique in the circuitry with the BaoFeng and possibly the Easy Digi is causing the total lack of connection and the partial transmissions or receptions. What it might be exceeds my meager knowledge of things electrical. Because the Baofeng's VOX does not seem to want to work quite right,  it is going back to the factory.  Maybe the next unit will work better.

Hope this is useful.

73, KI7MBR Ole