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Vintage Amateur and Military Radio Amateur/military receivers and transmitters, morse, and any other related vintage comms equipment.

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Old 16th Dec 2020, 10:07 am   #1
Malcolm G6ANZ
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Default Kenwood TK2180 not programming.

I bought one of these hand held tx from a for sale on this forum. I have tried many times to read the data from it using the supplied software and that supplied with the USB interface cable I bought. Nothing is working. I have tried contacting the person who sold it to me and after a few exchanges of PM's he went quiet. There may well be a good reason for this.
As he said the set was working and would need reprogramming I'm thinking that my interface cable is a fake, although it looks OK and is recognised by the PC. None of the sets programming functions work, such as 'A' and power on should go to panel test mode. The keypad works as pressing buttons gives a 'beep' The set goes into 'programme' mode as displayed on the screen.
So before I spend more on another USB cable has anyone ideas or a known good cable I could borrow?

Malcolm
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Old 16th Dec 2020, 4:22 pm   #2
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Kenwood TK2180 not programming.

Could be worth looking to see if the set is supported by (free) independent programming software such as 'Chirp'? Would give you something else to try, anyway.

https://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home

Edit: I see that this set is in Chirp's list of supported devices - but maybe that's the software you are already using?
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Old 16th Dec 2020, 6:09 pm   #3
Malcolm G6ANZ
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Default Re: Kenwood TK2180 not programming.

Thanks. I'm using the Kenwood KPG89D software. I'll download Chirp and see what happens.
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Old 18th Dec 2020, 2:42 pm   #4
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Default Re: Kenwood TK2180 not programming.

If that doesn't work either - I had a recent experience with oldish programming software for pagers, rather than for two way radio, but the observation may be equally valid.

I had an authentic manufacturer's USB programming lead with a 'USB serial port' built into the lead, but the programming software and lead still would not talk to the pagers.

When I went into Control Panel \ System \ Hardware Devices \COM and LPT ports, I saw that the USB serial lead had been allocated to something like COM11, and although the pager programming software could 'see' that port and would allow me to select it, it just didn't work.

I then went into 'advanced' settings for that COM port and forced the COM port number for the lead down into the range COM1- COM4 (I chose COM4, as the PC in question has two actual COM ports at COM1 and COM2).

That made it work. I would guess that my software was written in the days when the number of Physical RS232 COM ports on computers rarely exceeded COM4.

This might just also work with your Kenwood software / programming lead.
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Old 18th Dec 2020, 5:46 pm   #5
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Default Re: Kenwood TK2180 not programming.

Have you fallen foul of the infamous Prolific driver issue? Most cheap USB leads are chinese knock-offs of the Prolific chip, and the current Prolific drivers will not work with them. You may need to find an old driver, uninstall your current one then install the old one. Lots of write ups for this, it is common. I believe CHIRP has an article about it.
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Old 19th Dec 2020, 12:11 pm   #6
Malcolm G6ANZ
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Default Re: Kenwood TK2180 not programming.

I'm still having problems! The more I look into the errors the more I am thinking the TX is at fault.
There is a sequence of self tests that should be accessed by pressing one of the function keys and then turning on the power. EG Panel test=A+ power, This does nothing the set simply switches on normally. The same goes for TVCR INFO = B+ Pwr.
When connected to CHIRP and asked for radio data CHIRP returns 'unsupported model P2189 and that the radio is zone based and not supported.
I think that the connection is valid as the display changes to 'programming' when the software is asking for data from the transceiver although I cant be sure of the baud rate as the function to access that on the transceiver isn't working.
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Old 19th Dec 2020, 12:36 pm   #7
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Default Re: Kenwood TK2180 not programming.

As you've now tried everything you could reasonably have been expected to, I think it's probably time to return it to the seller, if possible.
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Old 19th Dec 2020, 1:00 pm   #8
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Kenwood TK2180 not programming.

I wonder iof the mention that the radio is "Zone based" means it's running a 'trunking' version of the firmware?
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Old 19th Dec 2020, 1:32 pm   #9
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Default Re: Kenwood TK2180 not programming.

That was my thinking, but if even if you had the 'normal' version of firmware to flash it with, doing so might wipe out all of the electronically factory set tuning which a set of this modest vintage possibly uses.
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Old 19th Dec 2020, 2:35 pm   #10
Malcolm G6ANZ
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Default Re: Kenwood TK2180 not programming.

It's difficult to say what the transceiver is doing as there is no way to interrogate it. To be honest I don't know what 'zone' and 'trunking' mean in the radio context.
I have been trying to contact the person who sold it to me but he's not answering my PM's or emails and he hasn't been active on here since the 3rd December, there may well be a good reason for this.

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Old 19th Dec 2020, 2:52 pm   #11
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Default Re: Kenwood TK2180 not programming.

Put very simply, 'trunking' means that instead of behaving like a traditional two-way radio transceiver the radio behaves more like a cellphone in the sense that you can 'dial through' to another unit which is not necessarily within the coverage of the repeater / base which your radio is communicating with. As with cellphones the desired working area of the system is usually covered by multiple fixed base stations with overlapping coverage.

Normally this 'trunking' behaviour is determined by the radio having specific firmware which makes it work that way.
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