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I need info on adding Mars to a 6600, ive emailed twice to flex with no reply.

K5ROXK5ROX Member
Want complete documentation including install directions, Trying to decide if I want to join Mars.

Completed · Last Updated

Answers

  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 11
    Did you buy the extended transmit module for the 6600? It should have come with instructions for installation. If not, call Flex and hit 1 for sales. You will need to provide proof you are entitled to operate out of band, such as a copy of your MARS license. Dave wo2x
  • W3EX -- TomW3EX -- Tom Member
    edited June 11

    You need to get your MARS license first and then send Flex a copy of that document. They will then send you a file that you install into the software to open up the radio for MARS frequencies.

    It works very well.

  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2018
    The 6400 and 6600 require a hardware module to work on MARS freqs. Dave wo2x
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2018
    It requires the following:

    1.) A FLEX-6700 or FLEX-6500
    2.) A FLEX-6400(M) or FLEX-6600(M) with the optional extended transmit filters
    3.) A valid MARS license or other credentials provided as an electronic image to keep with your file
    4.) Submit a HelpDesk ticket requesting a MARS TURF file and include your radio's serial number and the electronic image of your MARS credentials

    Then we will send you a radio specific TURF file that will allow for transmitting on MARS frequencies.
  • K5ROXK5ROX Member
    edited June 11

    I need install info so I know if I want to do it.

    Please read my question.

  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2018
    I am sorry I misinterpreted your question. You asked for information, not install info. Hopefully someone from Flex or someone who has purchased the option after the radio can answer your question. Dave
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2018
    Dave, you have not done #4 submit a HelpDesk ticket requesting a TURF file as I outlined above.  You can't get the TURF if you do not submit a HelpDesk request for one.  

    Also, you have a 6600, but I do not see where you purchased the extend transmit filter, which is required for using the radio on the MARS frequencies (see #2 above)

    You need to do #2 first, purchase the ext. transmit filter and install it in your radio.  Contact Sales for information on this item.

    then you need to do item #4, submit a HelpDesk support ticket to get the radio specific MARS TURF file.
  • K5ROXK5ROX Member
    edited May 2018

    Tim please read my question just above.

    Ive sent 2 emails and asked here more times and still have no answer.

    I probally just need the documentation that comes with the hardware.

  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2018
    Distilled down I think Dave is asking if the MARS module is: - user installable (can I do it in my shack?) - what’s involved in installing it (what tools do I need?) - then wants to assess if he thinks he can install it himself? (Digesting the above) - Or implied but not explicitly asked, is it better to send the rig in for an install? (Preferred to send it in? What would the costs be?) @Dave - if you decide to join MARS and do the process, perhaps you can later post your checklist of all the steps, including the FlexRadio specific steps? 73 Steve K9ZW
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2018
    Dave, the instructions for installing the TURF file comes with the TURF file.  You instruct the radio to read the file and it modified the firmware to allow for MARS operation.  For the extended transmit module, see below.

    Steve, I'll be more than happy to answer these questions.

    - user installable (can I do it in my shack?)
    Yes.  However, there are no currently available installation docs because the module has to be specifically programmed for the radio.  We have had only one person install it in the field to date.

    - what’s involved in installing it (what tools do I need?)
    A #8 TORX driver and a Phillips screwdriver

    - then wants to assess if he thinks he can install it himself? (Digesting the above)
     I can't answer that definitively without knowing his level of dexterity, but I'll assume yes.

    - Or implied but not explicitly asked, is it better to send the rig in for an install? (Preferred to send it in? What would the costs be?)
    Usually, people who are in MARS and want to use the radio for MARS have the module installed at the time the radio is purchased so that when the final tests are done on the radio, the module is tested too.   

    Personally, I'd want the radio tested after the module is installed which cannot be done if it is user installed.There isn't an installation charge if the radio is sent in for the installation of the extended transmit filter.  The only charge would be the shipping to get the radio to and from Austin.
  • David SalomonDavid Salomon Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    I have the MARS filters and software key for my 6600M.  I had Flex install it before shipping, so I can't speak to the installation process / ease of installation.  I can tell you that working MARS frequencies works perfectly, with no loss of power.  I especially like the ability to have 2 slices open to a single MARS frequency simultaneously for use during nets.  I have one slice set for voice (2.9K bandwidth, USB, Med AGC) and the other set for digital (5.0K bandwidth, DIGIU, Fast AGC, DAX).  This provides the best setup for digital decoding and voice.

    Re: joining MARS, make sure you talk to some people about the time commitment before you join.  The minimum required quarterly time is fairly low.  However, to stay current and keep your operating skills where they should be, it takes more than the minimum.  I put in 60+ hours a month.  Note, however, that I am retired, so I have the ability to put in the extra time, and I love being a part of MARS, so spending the extra time is easy for me.  The minimum on air requirements are much, much lower.  Also, digital operating capabilities are required, but MARS software is provided so you don't need a hardware modem, etc.  Finally, there is a LOT of reference and training material (thousands of pages) to be read, and frequent updates.  This is the ARMY, so everything is documented and there are strict procedures for everything.  So, while the minimum operating requirements are low, expect to spend time reading and training.  You must also have an antenna capable of operating from 2 - 30 MHz.  There are numerous channels throughout the entire spectrum.  One of the things I like about MARS is the opportunity it provides to keep my operating skills sharp.  If you participate in frequent MARS nets, you will encounter the entire range of operating conditions from really good to nearly non-existent.  You must be able to get through in even the worst conditions.  As a result, you get pretty good with handling traffic relays, dealing with propagation issues, etc.

    If you would like more information, there is a fair amount of documentation publicly available at http://www.usarmymars.org/.  If you have additional questions, please feel free to email me and I'll answer what I can (OPSEC is a big thing in MARS, so there is a lot of information that cannot be shared until you are a member).

    73 - David,AG4F
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2018
    Thanks for the great info, Dave.
  • David SalomonDavid Salomon Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    I have a lot more info I can tell you...but then I'd have to **** you. :)
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2018
    After working a 20 hour day yesterday on the Win10 1803 issues, please tell me and **** me quickly! :-D
  • David SalomonDavid Salomon Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    Isn't Windows wonderful.

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