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Author Topic: MCP-1A software for Kenwood TM-281A  (Read 9985 times)
KE5YQG
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Posts: 11




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« on: February 25, 2013, 04:00:23 PM »

 This is probably a stupid question to those who know, but my son has been on to me to get me on 2 meters. So I buy a couple of radio's Kenwood TM-281A's and a antenna for mobile and one for base. I bought the software and cable figuring i would need it if there selling it. I have the radio's mounted in the truck and the house. Also mounted the Antennas. From what i could understand the software is suppose to make it where i can type in repeaters and offsets, tone on my computer then transfer info to my radio. I downloaded the disk then hooked up radio and cable to computer and downloaded free software from kenwoods web site. I cant see that anything was accomplished from this. I think the software was the same thing i had on the disk from what i could tell. all it did was save to my computer. How am i suppose to do a transfer to radio, and is there a program i am suppose to use? I am stupid to this computer software stuff. I just need to get my General so i can turn the radio on and talk. anyway i figure i would give this 2 meter stuff a shot, so far getting frustrated. just wander if the cable and software was a waste of money, or does it actually do something. If so can someone tell me what i am doing wrong. Thanks KE5YQG
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W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 05:20:23 PM »

You need a laptop, a USB interface cable (which can be found on Ebay) and the software.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
KE5YQG
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 07:25:48 PM »

As i stated i have a laptop, i have the software, and i have the cable. I downloaded the software onto my laptop and it downloaded drivers into a folder on my computer. I even went to the Kenwood site and did the download from them. Same thing. I would think it would down load a program i could use to add repeater frequencies to store in my memory or something. I think there must be something i am doing wrong, just don't know what it is i need to do once the software is downloaded on computer. the Kenwood site said to turn on radio and plug usb into computer. I did that but nothing opened up like a program or anything. i am stumped on what to do next.
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W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 07:47:11 PM »

As i stated i have a laptop, i have the software, and i have the cable. I downloaded the software onto my laptop and it downloaded drivers into a folder on my computer. I even went to the Kenwood site and did the download from them. Same thing. I would think it would down load a program i could use to add repeater frequencies to store in my memory or something. I think there must be something i am doing wrong, just don't know what it is i need to do once the software is downloaded on computer. the Kenwood site said to turn on radio and plug usb into computer. I did that but nothing opened up like a program or anything. i am stumped on what to do next.

You have to install and launch program. It will not auto load program.
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KE5YQG
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 04:48:15 PM »

I guess i need to call Kenwood, so maybe they can walk me through it. There is no program to launch on the supplied disk. there is a setup and i clicked on that and that is when it installed the drivers. When i went to the Kenwood site it updated the drivers that were on the disk to the newest version. Do i need to download a program from somewhere to launch? You would think they could make this easier to do. I guess i could try to do it manually again, but never had any luck there either. Or i could just write down the frequencies for the repeaters and there tones then turn the dial and do it that way. Now that i can do. just a hassle. having them in my memory would be so much nicer
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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 08:30:58 PM »

I just down loaded disk/file and unzipped it and ran setup and it installed and created a entry in start menu and I can launch program. It sounds like you are not installing software properly on your computer. The instructions are clearly posted on download page.
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KE5YQG
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 07:51:26 PM »

well it is showing the download was successful so i must be doing it right. I tried it on another laptop that had windows xp on it thinking that might work no luck there either. have spent 4 days working on this, have about had it. I am exhausted mentally got to just put it up.
 
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W8JX
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 09:38:29 PM »

well it is showing the download was successful so i must be doing it right. I tried it on another laptop that had windows xp on it thinking that might work no luck there either. have spent 4 days working on this, have about had it. I am exhausted mentally got to just put it up.
 

After you download it you have to unzip it then install it. You cannot just download it. Also while Win 7 can unzip or install from a zip file, XP can do neither by default.
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KE5YQG
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 11:19:57 AM »

I'm sorry i said download successful. I meant to say installation successful.  I can go to my comm ports in Device Manager and it shows my cable and says it is working properly. but i see no program for anything in my start menu. when i hook cable to my radio nothing happens. I would think when i do this the computer should start talking to the radio and a program would pop up. the cable is assigned port 8 i tried changing port number, and baud rate. Still nothing, so i changed it back to what it was. I thought this was going to be a snap to do. apparently i was wrong.
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W9GB
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Posts: 2622




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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 11:43:25 AM »

Quote from: KE5YQG
When I hook the cable to my radio nothing happens.
I would think when I do this (connect cable) the computer should start talking to the radio and a program would pop up. ...
I thought this was going to be a snap to do. apparently I was wrong.
Chad -

NO.  You are expecting consumer level operation, amateur radio (and many aspects of electronics) are NOT designed at this level.

As long as the USB Bridge VCP (Virtual Communications Port) drivers are loaded properly, you should just see the COM port loaded in the Systems Manager/Drivers section (MS Windows).
Quote from: KE5YQG
I am stupid to this computer software stuff. I just need to get my General so i can turn the radio on and talk. anyway i figure i would give this 2 meter stuff a shot, so far getting frustrated. just wander if the cable and software was a waste of money, or does it actually do something. If so can someone tell me what i am doing wrong.
Memorizing some answers for an FCC test won't make the continuing education go away.  
Radios are advancing as well as computers (technology) ... you have to dig in an establish a knowledge beach-head.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 11:48:59 AM by W9GB » Logged
KE5YQG
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 06:06:34 PM »

greg, My name is Ted not Chad. I am going by what i was told the software was suppose to do. I am fine with working on radios, and radio theory. I just do not care for the geek side of it having to do with computers. 2 meters has alot of the geek to it. the other bands do not. least not as much. If you are so knowledgeable as to the problem i am having. Why not just tell me what the point of loading the drivers on my computer is for. I know i didnt just load them on there so i could go to the device manager to see my cord was assigned a port number. If that is all it does then i do not think i got my moneys worth. The cord is made to hook to your radio so you can adjust settings and add or delete memory channels. How am i suppose to do that when i dont have anything in the way of a program that has a place to make these adjustments. I mean i know i cant just open up word pad and type send these settings to my Kenwood tm 281a memory 1- frequency 147.140 tone 123 bruceville eddy repeater then click enter. so what do i have to do or what else do i need to buy to accomplish this so i do not have to manually do it. Yes manually doing it seems to be the easiest thing to do at this point, but since i bought the cord and software i thought i would use it. and maybe learn to be a 2 meter geek in the process.
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KE5YQG
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2013, 07:51:02 PM »

Ah yes i think i found what i am needing. Freeware Chirp. I would have thought someone on here could have pointed me in the direction of this. But that's ok i found it by myself. There may be some geek in me after all now to download it and see if i am right. Crossing my fingers.
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KE5YQG
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2013, 09:08:53 PM »

Yes it worked great, have to pat myself on the back. Now to get my laptop to my truck tomorrow and program the other Kenwood in my truck.
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W9GB
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Posts: 2622




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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 05:52:33 AM »

Ted -

Glad you got it resolved.  
The majority of radio amateur have issues with the USB - Radio Bridge cables and OS driver software.
I have recommended non-Kenwood radio owners to look at G4HFQ and CHIRP software.

CHIRP is an Open Source Software project driven by Dan Smith and a group of volunteers.
http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home

It is important for CHIRP users to REPORT Issues/Problems (hey its free & this is payback),
so the the software can be improved (Bug, Feature, New radios) for all users/radios.
http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/issues

They are supporting a growing number of radios, as they are released, or older radios made available to the team.
This had been proposed over a decade ago, but there were threats of legal action, based on earlier OEM contractual agreements with some radio mfg.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 06:03:05 AM by W9GB » Logged
N8OX
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2013, 12:00:38 PM »

Ted... Pat yourself on the back...  I think you should kick yourself in the @$$. 

First of all, what made you think you needed a General class license to use this radio?  As a Technician class licensee you can operate on portions of 80-meters, 40-meters, 15-meters, 10-meters and all bands above 10 meters.  You are limited to 200 watts output and this radio only puts out 65 watts.  This was effective 23 February 2007. 

According to the date stamps on your posts, you spent almost a week trying to figure out how to use the cable and software with the radio when you could've used the book and programmed it manually in an hour or less.  You did not go a very good job of explaining yourself, yet you were condensending to the people that replied and tried to assist...  For future reference, when trying to explain to someone what you have done so far, be very explicit and explain every detail, i.e., what you did and the result.  You will find the Ham radio community more than eager to help a fellow Ham but none of us are magicians or mind readers.  Don't fault those trying to help because of the bad job you did in explaining your situation and what you had done.  Self-admitted, you are not a geek but that may not have actually helped in this situation. 

I don't think your question about loading the drivers was truly answered.  If you don't have the proper device driver loaded or the proper device driver is improperly loaded or installed, your device will not work.  Without the proper driver and driver configuration, your device can't talk to the computer.  By the way, which software did you buy?  Was it the MCP-1A software, a software for the radio, or the software for the device driver?  If it was the MCP-1A software, I thought that was a freeware.  Just curious about that one.  And from my observation, there is no one band that is more "geeky" than any other band.  These days they're all the same.

Today was the first time I had seen your post and that was only because I am interested in using a programming cable with my TM-281A.  I had previously programmed mine manually.  I have used a programming cable and CHIRP with the BaoFeng UV-5R. 

73,
Charlie
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 12:29:09 PM by N8OX » Logged
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