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Ranger RCI 29 base conversion, er "un-cripple" method.

nomadradio

Analog Retentive
Apr 3, 2005
7,086
11,415
698
Louisville, KY
www.nomadradio.com
Here's a new one. A base station that looks like the overpriced 40-channel DX2547 radio with the Galaxy name on it. But it's a wolf in sheep's clothing. It contains most of what the larger 'black' radios like the RCI69, Galaxy DX2995 and similar models offer.

But in a smaller package. Shoulda done a proper 'studio' pose for this shot, without the cluttered background. Had other concerns that afternoon.

Q1lKLC.jpg


It has the same one-driving-one-driving-two setup as the RCI69 base, and the same circuit board.

8Gm6QT.jpg


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Converting, er "un-crippling" this one is simple, really. Just move one tiny black shorting jumper from one pair of header pins to a different pair of pins.

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Except it didn't. At first, the band selector was still non-functional, still showing the 28 MHz frequency it did with the jumper in the "before" position. Never mind what that looks like. No need to waste a picture on that. Just open the cover of a new one and look inside.

Anyway, it was intermittent. I could get it down to 27 MHz by wiggling the tiny black jumper. Pulled it out. Shorted across the two pins with a screwdriver blade. Gave me the band switch, and all the desired frequencies. Here's the fix.

F34IFJ.jpg


So that's how we'll convert the rest of these that we encounter.

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The next one of these radios did the exact same stupid trick. That's what prompted me to declare soldering pin 4 to pin 5. Two of these in a row is a pattern.

Looks like a part too simple to fail. Can't remember the last time I had one of these go bad on me, even back in the 80s doing computer repair. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, just means I don't remember.

This radio has some other memorable, uh, "features". The dual fans on the rear make the antenna-coax connector really tough to grip and turn.

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Seems silly to make you remove the fans to unhook the coax.

But wait, there's more. You can't remove the top cover without removing two screws where it overlaps the rear panel. But not before taking the fan loose first. The fan bracket hides them completely.

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At least they give you a proper plug and socket to unhook the fans and get them safely out of the way while the radio's covers are off.

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I wondered how much air the fans can deliver through the narrow slots on the rear panel. And why two fans?

This is why.

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This heat sink doesn't look much bigger than a mobile radio with two bipolar final transistors delivering 35-Watt peaks. This radio shows 120 Watt peaks on AM.

No, that's not a misprint. Nor a fluke. The next radio in this batch showed the exact same power.

Before you hyperventilate, the SSB peak output is turned down to 65 Watts PEP. This is because sideband can put a higher average load on the finals than AM.

Can. Doesn't always.

But that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

At least is has a high SWR alert light on the front panel. Don't know how many seconds you'll have from when it lights up to when the finals croak. Didn't do any research on that, just converted them for the customers.

So far these are the only two radios this model we have seen, but there will probably be more.

I'm not a fan of how this radio's circuit board sounds on sideband. YMMV. Maybe somebody out there will come up with a hack to smooth out the sideband transmit audio for these.

Maybe.

73
 
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Or flux and gunk, I've seen that gunk all in the control pots so bad they won't work correctly.
Almost the impression that nos parts are pulled from a shipping container somewhere.
I bag on Ranger to do something new, but I will be the first to admit that Jim Peng got his business model right, manufacturer a crapload of Ept boards and keep sticking them in different models.
I was recently told that
Yu-Fu Fan ( yes that's his name) who did a lot of design work for Ranger retired so who knows what's next for RCI but they have made a boatload of money since they first cloned the old uniden boards over the years.

73
Jeff
 

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