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Author Topic: Kenwood TH-D7A(G) Programming  (Read 4487 times)
KC2MMI
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Posts: 620




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« on: January 27, 2007, 07:17:25 AM »

Jeff, it is sadly well documented that some of the D7 cables ship DOA, apparently for some time now. As hams we should know better than to trust any new cable provided by the cheapest bidder.<G>

The problem of the TX/RX lines is also to be expected. Every time I've dealt with "simple" RS-232 connections I've found the documentation to be sadly lacking, or outright conflicting. I suspect this is because no one bothers to hire real technical copywriters or copywriting teams anymore. TX and RX lines are both actually the same lines, you call it a TX line if *your* device is talking on it, but you call it an RX line if you are referring to the other device--which will usually be listening on it. Like pin-out diagrams, no one bothers to spec which "side" of the view they are considering normal, so at least half the time we'll read them backwards.<G>

I'm just surprised that so many Japanese manufacturers, coming from a society where "face" is or was considered extremely valuable, consider it acceptable to make such poor translations in written manuals. I guess the industry norm (cheap) overrides the cultural norm.
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TOASTY
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Posts: 41




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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2005, 09:40:34 AM »

I recently got the pg-4w cable for my kenwood th-d7a(g).  I downloaded MCP-D7G from kenwoods website, but cannot get it to read or write to the radio, it gives me connection timeout errors.  is there some kind of key combo i need to press while turning on my ht (on my two yaesu radios i need to put it into 'clone' mode on powerup).  thanks in advance.
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2005, 03:20:38 PM »

Isn't this explained in the manual?

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VK2ACM
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Posts: 102


WWW

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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2005, 05:30:50 PM »

I am not sure if this is the information your looking for try this link.

http://www.radiohound.com/d7zpinfo.htm
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KC2MMI
Member

Posts: 620




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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2005, 01:32:53 PM »

No magic key chords on the D7. It sounds like either you have made the cable up wrong or have something wrong in the settings for your COM port.
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TOASTY
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Posts: 41




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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2005, 11:47:01 AM »

I did not make the cable myself, I bought it.  It was however, wired incorrectly.  Kenwood made an error in their manual with the pin-outs for the cable.  I opened up the d sub shell, switched pins 2&3, and now it works perfectly.  Wonder why kenwood never got around to fixing this typo, or at least put in a 'manual supplement' sheet for their error, they already have 2 other supplement sheets.  anyhow, all is well now.
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YEPSURE
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Posts: 114




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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2005, 10:56:31 AM »

Wow, that's something if you purchased a factory-made cable and it was wired wrong!  I made my own cable since they were so simple to wire. Although you figured out what the problem was, for anyone else who may read this having the same problem it's always good to look at the basics in terms of "what could be wrong".

1) Make sure the radio is set properly to be programmed. In the case of the D7AG there is nothing the user need do. Just make sure it's 'ON'. It's also a good idea to make certain the radio's battery has a good charge.

2) Make certain the programming cable is wired correctly and completely plugged into the radio AND the PC!

3) Make certain you are using the correct version programming software. In the case of the D7AG, there are two (2) different versions. Make sure you select the proper country when installing the software (D7A or D7E).

4) Make sure you configure the software to the correct COM port, usually either COM1 or COM2 by default. But check to be sure, as I have seen some PC's with only one COM port configure the port as COM3 or COM4.

The TH-D7AG software from Kenwood has flawless operation, and the D7 is among the easiest radio's to program, unlike the TH-G71A and TH-F6A, which must be set to a special condition through the menu in order to be programmed. If your D7 still won't accept programming after checking everything it could mean a deeper issue. I had one such D7 one time, and it required repair in order to get it to accept PC programming. Most of the time its something simple though and this is not the case.

And of course, it always helps to come here as the original poster did and just ask questions!
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N5RO
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2005, 08:12:39 PM »

I was getting the same error message so I switched pins
2 & 3 as u suggest, but still got the same message. The battery is fully charged too.

Any other ideas? Is there a way to check the voltages, etc. to each pin or do I need a service manual?
Jim/N5RO
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KC2MMI
Member

Posts: 620




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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2005, 08:49:41 PM »

Jim, connection timeout errors mean the same thing: You don't have a connection.

First, use a computer with a real serial port. USB adapters are problematic.

Second, make sure your computer & OS work with that serial port as COM1-2-3-4 nothing higher. Beg borrow or steal an external modem of any kind and query it with the computer, that's the most reliable way I can tell you to test the serial port for proper operation, unless you buy a loopback adapter (about $10) and use a diagnostic on it.

Having confirmed that your serial port is working, the only possible problem is wiring pins 2/3 the wrong way, or a bad cable. Personally I find creative dyslexic ways to get the DB9s wired upside down and backwards, so recheck the pin numbers. If it still doesn't work, reverse pins 2/3. Use an ohmmeter to test them from the ring/tip/sleeve on the plug to the DB9, it is possible the plug is internally defective if you've got a molded one.

Having done all that, you have proven:
1-The computer and serial port work
2-The cable works

And the only possible problem left would be a defective radio. If you can, test your radio with someone else's "known good" cable and computer. If it works then--go back and redo #1 & 2. If it still doesn't work--the radio needs servicing. (Least likely but possible.)


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N5RO
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2005, 07:27:50 AM »

Comments Below.  Hopefully you won't take my answers as being smart-a___ but only mentioned them to save time on future emails/postings. [My XYL, also a ham, says I AM a smart-___ and somewhat arrogant to boot :-(  Guess I better work on that :-) ]
 
73
Jim/N5RO
 
Posted By KC2MMI
 
Jim, connection timeout errors mean the same thing: You don't have a connection.

........OK. Point well-taken.
 
First, use a computer with a real serial port. USB adapters are problematic.

........Presently using a real serial port that I regularly use to program other radios (other than Kenwood).
 
Second, make sure your computer & OS work with that serial port as COM1-2-3-4 nothing higher. Beg borrow or steal an external modem of any kind and query it with the computer, that's the most reliable way I can tell you to test the serial port for proper operation, unless you buy a loopback adapter (about $10) and use a diagnostic on it.

......Same comment as above.
......BTW just for information, and I should have mentioned it to save some time, I was an IT manager for several years and my experience with computers goes back to the 70's. Of course at my somewhat advanced age, my XYL says I have to be re-trained every morning [hope she's only referring to electronics & computers :-)].
 
Having confirmed that your serial port is working, the only possible problem is wiring pins 2/3 the wrong way, or a bad cable. Personally I find creative dyslexic ways to get the DB9s wired upside down and backwards

[me too], so recheck the pin numbers. If it still doesn't work, reverse pins 2/3. Use an ohmmeter to test them from the ring/tip/sleeve on the plug to the DB9, it is possible the plug is internally defective if you've got a molded one .

......[Nope - it's one with screws like the old days when you could fix things]
 
......As with any electronic/electrical project that I have undertaken since age 9, I "ohmed it out" and the cable and DB9 plug are fine.  In addition, as I mentioned in my posting, I tried switching pins 2 &3 to no avail.
 
Having done all that, you have proven:
1-The computer and serial port work
2-The cable works
And the only possible problem left would be a defective radio. If you can, test your radio with someone else's "known good" cable and computer. If it works then--go back and redo #1 & 2. If it still doesn't work--the radio needs servicing. (Least likely but possible.)

.....That must be the problem.  I've had two handhelds (A Relm and an ICOM commercial/public safety used in search and rescue) that had to be sent back for bad solder joints causing similar problems - they were under warranty thank goodness.
I'm not sure if this Kenwood is under warranty so I may have to fix it myself but will need to pay for a service manual darn it.
I was just hoping someone had discovered another pin configuration that would make it work.
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KC2MMI
Member

Posts: 620




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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2005, 11:25:12 AM »

Jim-
 Sounds like you (or your XYL<G>) have a firm grasp on things.<G>

 First SONY product I got from their "new" plant in Malaysia had five cold solder joints. Maybe this is the downside to manufacturing being jobbed out to cheap new places.

 If you need retraining every morning, you're welcome to join us for the Olympic Doddering Trials. Yes, that's right, we've had Doddering adopted as an Olympic Sport and the trials for the next summer games are coming up this spring. The catch is, is you can remember where the trials are being held...you're disqualified.<G>
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N0IQM
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2007, 09:10:09 PM »

I, like several subscribers, am the proud owner of a new TH-D7A(G)radio!  I also, like others, immediately had problems getting the radio and computer to talk so I could program it.  I do have a few tips to add that may help someone, so here we go.

#1  I had to ensure I was using the correct revision of software.  For the TH-D7A(G) I found that Rev 1.10 works.  Rev 1.20 DID NOT WORK.  At last check the web site for downloading was  http://kenwoodusa.com/support/simple.aspx?men=2&M2=71&M3=100

You can verify your rev level by going to the Help function and click on "About".

#2  The pinout in the manual is indeed incorrect. Simply enough, Pin 5 is ground (shield), Pin 2 is the TXD (tip of plug), and Pin 3 is the RXD (middle of the plug).  Do not trust the color scheme as drawn in the manual.  After talking with a Kenwood rep I realized that on the cable accessory included for the GPS connection, my colors of red and white were reversed in comparison to his notes.  Save yourself grief and Ohm these out so you know which is doing what.

#3  The included cable (for the GPS function), did not work for me when I tried to use it as the computer programming cable.  Oddly enough, I noted a slight resistance of just a few Ohms on each wire when I was checking it for continuity.  I found success in simply making my own cable assembly (did not use the Kenwood supplied wire assembly).  Success!  My continuity shows essentially zero ohms, just as it should.  I haven't tried the Kenwood supplied cable assembly for the APRS function; however, I'll likely not as I did note that it is next to impossible to solder the wires to the DB9 connector pins.  Either a wire coating or wire material issue was at cause, and likely the cause of my contact resistance.

#4  You can order the PG-4W assembly pre-made; however, one can easily make the assembly with a 2.5mm plug, a DB-9 (female) connector, and a few inches of 3 conductor flexible wire.  With today's modern computers and the use of USB to DB-9 adapters, you'll find that you simply need to make a 1" pigtail adapter.  That'll save on excess junk and wires in your shack.  You'll also save a $50 bill so you can afford to buy more Kenwood gear!

#5  Just a note that I was using Windows XP with a Sony Viao computer.  I had to run this through an adapter plug from the USB port out to a DB-9 connection (common hardware from your local computer store).  This works quite well and is just an offered observation.  An additional note, be sure to input/output to the PC port on the radio.

With just a bit of tenacity I was very successful in employing the programming software.  The price is certainly right (free download) and certainly the TH-D7A radio continues to set the high standards we're accustomed to with Kenwood.  Thumbs up all the way!

Jeff
NØIQM
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