VK3SMB.COM
Wicen R4D5 Co-ordinator


matt at vk3smb dot com
PRM8030/25 Ham Firmware
New Firmware for the PRM8030/8025
It has been done... Here is new firmware for the PRM80 that gives us full control of all the VHF/UHF Ham Bands

This Article will also appear in Amateur Radio soon

In my previous article I showed how to convert an E band PRM80 radio to 6 metres, using nothing more than basic RF principals and some "outside the box" thinking to get the PLL down to 50Mhz. This all worked very well apart from a couple of side effects.

If you didn't see the other article, these side effects were Microprocessor noise on parts of the band and the lack of a repeater defeat option due to the hacked reference stepping.

While converting another E band PRM80 to six metres, I got thinking about the firmware and how the "words" are added to the PLL to not allow it to go below 58Mhz. So silly me started trawling through lines of code to find a pattern that looked familiar and I found it.....

The Changes
I have on a link below, a modified firmware for the PRM8025 and PRM8030 and now the Dual Mode 8025/30. It may work on the PRM8038 but this has not been tested. It will work with PMR and Dual Mode type radios. This firmware has the following changes:
  1. E band has been changed to go from 48Mhz to 68Mhz, originally 68 - 88Mhz
  2. B band has been changed to go from 108Mhz to 132Mhz, originally 132 - 156Mhz.
  3. U band has been changed to go from 220Mhz to 250Mhz, originally 440 - 470Mhz, and
  4. W4 band has been changed to go from 24Mhz to 50Mhz, originally 494 - 520Mhz
What this means is that the FPP software will still show the original Phillips designed frequencies, you still enter them as Phillips want, just the radio will behave differently. Here is an example for each band:
  1. To program 53Mhz, set the FPP software radio type to E band and enter the frequency of 73Mhz (up 20Mhz)
  2. To program 123.45Mhz, set the FPP software radio type to B band and enter a frequency of 147.45Mhz (up 24Mhz)
  3. To program 222.5Mhz, set the FPP software radio type to U band and enter a frequency of 442.5Mhz (up 220Mhz)
  4. To program 29.200Mhz, set the FPP software radio type to W4 band and enter a frequency of 499.200Mhz (up 470Mhz)
I was initially just going to change it for the 6 metre conversion and then I got carried away. There is 2 hidden bands in the firmware (called K1 and K3 I believe) that we cant access with our Australian software, it would have been nice to be able to use them, I could have left 4 metres in for our English mates.

How to install the firmware
  1. Remove the eprom from the radio. Note there is 32 holes and only 28 pins, and watch the orientation.
  2. Erase the eprom contents with a UV light.
  3. Download and write the modified firmware (3smb8030.bin) to the eprom.
  4. Install the eprom back into the radio.
  5. Write a known good Configuration to the radio.
It is possible if your radio had version 2 or lower of the Phillips firmware in it that it will make a beep-boop sound indicating that the software is corrupt. In most cases this can be cleared by loading a new job file to the radio but not always. If this does not work, you will have to have a look on the internet for a program called FP (Factory Programmer) and do a "re-format" of the radio's software.

The earlier side effects
Both side effects have been fixed by using this firmware. The repeater defeat button now works as the correct codes are loaded into both RX and TX. The microprocessor noise I was getting across the band has disappeared. I can only surmise that using the 8Mhz rock and already having a 12Mhz rock on the control board were mixing and causing all sorts of havoc. (we get 8, 12, 4 and 20Mhz and multiples of them).

Already done the conversion?
If you have already done the conversion from my previous article, all you need to do is remove the 8Mhz crystal and replace it with the original 10Mhz one and change the firmware. The RF stages are all the same.

Summary
We now have a radio that is suited to all the ham bands from 29Mhz to 440Mhz depending on what RF board is installed. Here is a list of the frequency ranges now obtainable using the FPP software without band swapping or HEX editing:

W4

24 - 50Mhz

10M

E

48 - 68Mhz

6M

B

108 - 132Mhz

Aircraft

A

146 - 174Mhz

2M

U

220 - 250Mhz

American 220Mhz

T

400 - 440Mhz

70cm

TU

403 - 470Mhz

70cm, Police RX

W1

470 - 500Mhz

UHF CB

UW

450 - 520Mhz

UHF CB, Police RX


or if you feel like HEX editing (the higher value is an estimate as it depends on the step size):

W4

10 - 75Mhz

E

38 - 99Mhz

B

100 - 180Mhz

A

140 - 200Mhz

U

190 - 320Mhz

T

380 - 500Mhz

TU

400 - 520Mhz

W1

445 - 565Mhz

UW

440 - 560Mhz


Improvements
If some nice soul out there is able to re-write the Phillips FPP software to reflect my firmware changes I would be very great full, it will stop any mathematical errors we will all do programming the thing!

Forget the Above!!! I have managed to modify the FPP software to take into account the Firmware changes! Please see the FPP Ham version page for all the information.

Otherwise there is a small VB6 program that gives FPP frequencies from your desired frequencies. find it here:
Have Fun,
Matt, VK3VS

Getting the firmware

Complete the transaction and I will email you the firmware.

Thankyou.

PMR Firmware $20
Dual Mode Firmware $20


Pre-programmed Eproms
For Australian's only, I have a few pre-programmed eproms with the firmware loaded.
Version


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