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Author Topic: Code Encoder Box  (Read 3156 times)

Posts: 1

« on: December 26, 2013, 10:20:28 AM »

I recently acquired a Yaesu Memorizer FT-227RB 2 meter mobile rig from an estate sale and would like to locate an external tone encoder box to use with it.  The rig works great and I'd really like to get some use out of it.  Do they still make these tone encoder boxes new?  If not, any recommendations as to where to get one? (Sorry about the error in the subject line -couldn't modify it once it was created!)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 10:22:55 AM by K8IYO » Logged

Posts: 53

« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2013, 09:56:33 AM »

I would recommend a programmable CTCSS Tone Encoder made by Communications Specialists.  Their model SS-64 encoder board is small and designed to mount inside the radio.  The desired tone is selected using DIP switch settings.  The Communications Specialists web site has installation instructions for a variety of 2-meter radios, including those made back in the 1970's.  Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) carries the SS-64 encoder board; it sells for about $30.

The only catch is that changing the CTCSS tone requires opening up the radio to access the board and changing the DIP switch settings.  This is not practical for mobile use.  But if you are going to use the radio at home with a 12-volt power supply, this solution would work IF the local repeaters all use the same CTCSS tone frequency.

Here in Montana the Great Falls Area Amateur Radio Club (GFAARC) maintains 7 different VHF and UHF repeaters.  They all use the same 100.0 Hz tone to keep things simple.  That way a person with an older radio that has been upgraded with an CTCSS encoder board can use any of the various club repeaters in the area with just one tone setting.

Communications Specialists does make a larger, external CTCSS encoder box for use on the test bench.  It is as large as some 2-meter mobile radios and therefore not practical for mobile use.  The best application for an older 2-meter rig such as yours is to monitor a local repeater from the house.  In that case select the required tone for the local repeater and leave it.  The radio would also work on any other repeater with the same tone requirement, repeaters with no tone requirement, and any simplex frequencies such as 146.520 MHz.

Posts: 53

« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2013, 12:10:30 PM »

You might also want to check out a discussion in the "Mods and Repairs" section of this web site.

NC8V on 7 December 2013 posted the question: "External Access to SS-64 CTCSS Freq Selection".  He was looking for suggestions on accessing the tone board once it was installed inside the radio.  One suggestion was remote mounting the DIP switch outside the radio.  Another suggestion was creating a small rectangular hatch or door in the radio housing that could be opened/removed to access the DIP switch on the installed board.

While helpful, neither suggestion solves the problem of easily changing the CTCSS tone when the radio is installed in a vehicle.  Again, the older radio would best be used with a 12-volt power supply and external antenna to monitor a local repeater from the house.

Posts: 53

« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2014, 08:42:47 AM »

Updated information:

The Communications Specialists TE-32 external tone box is apparently no longer made or available.  It is not listed on the Communications Specialists web site or with Ham Radio Outlet.  It was designed for use on the test bench when checking out radios.

However, if you go to the SS-64 tone board listing on the Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) web site, there is a link to the Communications Specialists web site.  Communications Specialists lists installation instructions for a variety of 2-meter radios.  There are instructions listed for the Yaesu FT-227RA, which I expect will work for the FT-227RB version as well.
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