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  Introductory Information
on Tait Equipment

Compiled by Mike Morris WA6ILQ from donations from several folks
   

There is a YahooGroup mailing list oriented toards Tait radios at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TAIT_Radios.
If you are at all interested in these radios I suggest you join it.


An overview article on what equipment is of interest to the amateur would be most welcome (and we won't complain if it's written by a dealer, as long as the major thrust is information sharing rather than sales). If the person wants to remain anonymous (as many manufacturers employees want to) that's alright too.

If there is a Tait expert "out there" let me know, I'd be willing to just about turn over this page to you.



If there is a Tait new or used equipment seller that would like to do some business with USA amateurs please let the author know. I can put a pointer to you on this web page. There is a real lack of NBFM mobile and handheld equipment that covers 218-225 MHz, plus I know of more than one multi-repeater system whose members could use a 2m or 440 radio with the mobile voting feature (described below).



Cracking the model number code:

Let's use the model number T2020-XYZ-AAA as an example...

First of all, I'm assuming that the "T" is Tait.

Second, the 2020 iis the basic product model number.

Tait calls the XYZ digits the "RF Type group" and these indicate the basic RF configuration of the radio.

The value of "X" in the above example translates to the frequency band:

The value of "Y" in the above example designates radio IF bandwidth.

The value of "Z" the above example designates frequency stability (no data yet).

The digits represented by the AAA in the above example cover a wide range of software and market specific options. The large number of options and their frequent changes preclude listing them here. I suspect that they might be considered model-specific.

Click here for a chart showing the frequency coverage of various Tait models.

Programming:
One refreshing policy of Tait is that the programming hardware schematics and all of the radio programming software is provided to their dealers at no charge. Dealers can distribute it to interested end users if they chose to.

Notes:
One option that Tait offers that very few manufacturers have is voting in the mobile - where a mobile can select the best base station or repeater signal depending on signal strength. Picture an agency, such as a county or district police department, with a large number of wireline (or microwave link) controlled linked base stations or reepaters, all of which are at different geographical sites (each of which, naturally, has different geographical coverage, or "RF footprint"), all of which transmit the same audio (or it could be a large, linked repeater system configured so that what goes in on one system comes out on all systems). This mobile voting feature, when enabled, causes each users receiver to automatically select the best signal, and the receiver steers the transmitter appropriately. The user never has to twist a knob as he drives around. This Tait applications note describes the technology and how it works. The really nifty part is that everything is in the mobile radio.

Tait was founded in 1969 by Angus Tait, amateur call ZL3NL. He passed away on August 7, 2007 at age 88.

A lot of information on older products is at http://www.taitworld.com/technical.
Tait has made some service manuals for older radios downloadable for the general public (as opposed to dealers, and others with special privileges) at their support website. Have a look at this web site.

An amateur who works at Tait offered this information:

There are several amateurs working for Tait Australia.

You wrote:
> And in you have access to any surplus equipment, I'm looking for a 
> mobile that will operate on the 222-225 MHz USA amateur radio band, 
> and a second mobile that will operate on the 420-450 MHz amateur band. 
> Both need the CTCSS feature. It would be very useful to have the 
> ability to select multiple CTCSS tones from the front panel, rather 
> than tie up multiple postions on the channel selector with the only 
> difference being the CTCSS encode tone.
>
>How many channels are available?
>
>In my case the 220 radio does not need the mobile voting feature, 
>the 440 radio definitely will.
>
>Do you have anything for 900 MHz? The USA amateur radio repeaters 
>listen from 902 to 903 MHz, and talk on 927-928 MHz.

There are Tait model which cover both those bands. The current models are the T8000. These use basic radio torsos combined with a variety of control heads to give many different configurations, e.g.

With the low level torso you can have a single digit display head (10 channels) and its called a TM8110, the same torso with a 2 digit display (100 channels) is called a TM8115. There is also a Blank control head with just a DB9 male connector on it for data applications and thatís called a TM8105.

With the high level torso the option are endless. The basic high level radio is called a TM8250. There are options for 2 control heads on 1 radio (commonly used in ambulances and locomotives) and for 2 torsos with 1 control head i.e. a VHF and UHF radio in 1 vehicle with 1 control head. Full cross band repeating is available with this. Model numbers ending in A e.g. torso number TMAB22-H600A are trunked radios (actually dual mode). In this case its a high tier trunker for the 450-530 MHz band. This is done with programmable software feature enabling so a conventional radio can be turned into a dual mode radio and vice versa just by enabling or disabling the software feature.

All radios have comprehensive input and outputs via a DB15 connector as standard. Making a repeater with 2 mobiles is a 5 minute job, including full CW ID, time out timers and tail timers. If you can solder wires onto a DB15 connector you can make a full featured repeater.

All radios are full featured, mobile voting, scanning CTCSS, DTMF etc etc are available in all models.

There is a base version of these radios with a receiver torso with a low intermod front end and a 25 or 50 watt transmitter in a rack mount called a TB7100. This has full inputs and outputs via a DB25 connector.

Unfortunately 220 MHz is not used in Australia (used to be used for air navigation aids), but there is a model which covers it.

Also be aware that for repeater builders the base model equipments are MUCH better than all of the above mobiles. These are the T800 and TB8000 variant models. TB9000 is APCO 25.

As for bands available:

The older models e.g. T19XX T49xx T5XX T7XX and T2000 series can be made for most amateur bands. I have info for 6 metre conversions.

TMs will cover 2 m, 220 MHz, 70 cm and possibly US 900 MHz (I havenít checked this). I havenít achieved a 6 metre working model yet, but Iím working on it.

T800s will work on 2 m, 70 cm, and possibly US 900 MHz (I havenít checked this). I havenít achieved a 6 metre working model yet, but Iím working on it.

TB8000s will work on 2 m, 70 cm, and possibly US 900 MHz (I havenít checked this). 6 metres isnít possible because they have a 70 MHz IF.

Also please be aware the the programming software and radio firmware used in the US market is totally different to that used in the rest of the world.



Contact:
Mike Morris WA6ILQ can be contacted at (callsign) /at/ repeater-builder /dot/ com.




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This article first posted 21-Dec-2005.

This web page, this web site, the information presented in and on its pages and in these modifications and conversions is © Copyrighted 1995 and (date of last update) by Kevin Custer W3KKC and multiple originating authors. All Rights Reserved, including that of paper and web publication elsewhere.