PSE-508 Troubleshooting Tips

When I measure voltage at TP1 with an AC voltmeter, I always get about 5 volts. Am I doing something wrong?

The signals at TP1, TP3, and TP4 are AC signals riding on a non-zero DC level. The exact DC level depends on the testpoint, but is not important to the measurement. Many AC voltmeters have internal DC blocking capacitors, but some do not. If your AC voltmeter does not have a blocking capacitor, take your measurement with a 1.0 uF capacitor in series with your test lead. The capacitor should be placed in series with the "red" lead, and, if the capacitor is electrolytic, the plus side of the capacitor should go toward the testpoint.

I plugged my PSE-508 into my repeater. When I key up the repeater using a hand-held, the Squelch LED blinks once and then goes out. The PTT LED on the PSE-508 lights up, and the transmiiter puts out a carrier, but there is no audio.

This problem usually occurs in Mastr II stations that were originally configured as repeaters using GE controller cards. See our Repeater Setup page.

When I key up the repeater, sometimes the transmitter hangs on. To turn it off, I need to cycle power on the repeater.

This problem usually occurs in Mastr II stations that were originally configured as repeaters using GE controller cards. See our Repeater Setup page.

I can't hear an OK or ERR message after entering DTMF codes on my HT.

Check the setting of the "N" parameter (tone encoding on RUS). If you have tone-squelch enabled on your HT and tone encoding on RUS enabled on the PSE-508-2 (N=1), you will not hear the DTMF response because the PSE-508-2 only encodes when RUS is active, and it is not active during the DTMF response.

I have a PSE-508 running V2.0 or later firmware. The CTCSS decoder seems to lose lock in the presence of strong voice signals.

Check the setting of the "H" parameter (CTCSS decoder timeout). It is normally set to 1000 at the factory, but the setting can be changed by a user. If you set it lower, say to 200 or 250, you may experience dropouts from time to time, depending on the strength of the signal, level of tone modulation, and level of voice modulation. If you start experiencing problems after changing the setting of the H parameter, try setting it higher.

The DTMF codes don't seem to work.

You must hold each DTMF code for more than about 200 mS and you must leave at least 200 mS of dead air between codes (don't unkey, though, until all codes have been entered).

You must enter the DTMF password first, before any other commands. After entering the password, you must unkey. You should get an "OK" response in CW. You might also get your callsign ID after the OK.

Within one minute after getting the OK response, enter your command. After entering the command, unkey. You should get the OK response again.

I can't get my PC to communicate with the PSE-508.

  1. On Hyperterminal, you must go into the "Settings" menu to set up the COM port. Set 19200 baud, 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, and no handshaking.
  2. Make sure you press the icon on Hyperterminal's Tool bar that connects to the port. Hyperterminal will show a little telephone icon with the receiver off-hook, and the word "Connected" in the lower left corner of the window frame, if it thinks it's connected to the port.
  3. If you have an older board (one of the PSE-508 Versions 1.0 to 1.3), there are two short blue jumper wires on the back (solder side) of the near the RS-232 connector. Make sure these jumpers are intact. PSE-508 Versions 2.1 and above do not have (or need) these jumpers.

Repeater does not repeat.

Verify that the PSE-508's power LED is on when the repeater is turned on. If the PSE-508's LED is not on, 10 volts may not be getting to the PSE-508 from the repeater's 10-volt supply. There are actually two 10-volt supplies produced by the regulator card: one rated for 1/2 amp, and one rated for 2 amps. The PSE-508 draws about 60 mA from the 2-amp supply.

Squelch and unsquelch the receiver and verify that the PSE-508 unsquelch LED turns off and on. If not, check the repeater's RUS line to be sure it is turning on and off and is getting to the PSE-508. The RUS signal can be found on connectors P935 pin 3 and J904 pin 8 on the system board inside the radio cabinet. When unsquelched, RUS must go up to at least 2.0 volts. When the receiver is squelched, RUS must go below 0.5 volts. If RUS looks OK on the system board, check to see if it is getting to the proper connector and pin (J1206D pin 12) in the Audio board slot in the control shelf.

If the unsquelch LED is turning off and on properly, check to see if the transmit LED is turning off and on. If the transmit LED is not turning on, check that DIP Switch #4 is down (ON), and that all other switches are up (OFF). Also, check to make sure that the transmitter is enabled in the 'F' line of the status command (F T1).

Make sure that you are transmitting the correct CTCSS tone, if you have CTCSS decoding enabled. Check the 'F' line of the status command for P1 to see if CTCSS decoding is enabled. Check the 'P' line of the status command for the CTCSS tone number. The CTCSS frequency can be determined from the number using the table in the User's Guide.

If the transmit LED is coming on but there is no audio at the transmitter, check the level at the VOL_SQ_HI pin (receiver output) in the radio cabinet (P904 pin 11) using a multimeter on ACV while transmitting a tone into the receiver. It should be around 1 V RMS for a 3 KHz deviation level. The VOL_SQ_HI level is adjusted using the potentiometer under the cover of the small metal box in the receiver section.

If the VOL_SQ_HI level is OK, check the ACV level of TX_AUDIO_HI (P902 pin 6). This signal should be about 100 mV RMS for a 3 KHz exciter deviation. A test signal can be generated by transmitting a DTMF code into the receiver or by issuing the "B" command from the PSE-508 RS-232 terminal. The TX_AUDIO_HI level is adjusted using PSE-508 R2 (transmit audio gain).

If the transmit LED is working and the VOL_SQ_HI and TX_AUDIO_HI levels are OK, PTT may not be getting from the Audio slot connector on the control shelf to the exciter. Press the Remote PTT switch on the 10-volt regulator card. It uses the same signal as the PSE-508 to go from the control shelf to the radio cabinet. If this doesn't work, a wire is probably missing between the control shelf and repeater cabinet.