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Old 10-09-2017, 19:23   #1
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SCS PActor modem stopped working

any have experience of this?

All was working fine, but now the PC does not recognise the modem SCS PTC-iiusb.

airmail error message is "PTC11 family modem not found make sure its connected and powered on". It is on, and the USB cable is still there.
in device manager - I can sill see the scs virtual serial port/USB etc (com 7).

on the Modem - only LEDs are in the tuning window - bouncing from right to left and back (the manual says this is in baud rate mode/search)
no other LEDs are lit.

any suggestions?
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Old 10-09-2017, 19:38   #2
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Re: SCS PActor modem stopped working

Are you connecting to a new/different PC or have you used it before with same PC?

I'd first make sure the USB driver is good for the SCS. Sounds like the OS is seeing the USB device being plugged in but does not recognize what it is but can't talk to it due to driver corrupted or not loaded.

Try reloading the device driver which you can download from here:
http://www.p4dragon.com/download/SCS...8_24_setup.exe

BTW the lights indicate the modem has booted normal and is waiting for a connection the PC. Once it has connected to the PC if all the other radio connections are made properly they will then show radio noise where the leds now blink back for forth.
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Old 11-09-2017, 03:38   #3
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Re: SCS PActor modem stopped working

How old is the modem? Which specific model and the manufacture date?
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:17   #4
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Re: SCS PActor modem stopped working

I've tried 2 PCs, the current, and an old laptop i was using previously (that did at that time work)
I've reinstalled the drivers.
I've confirmed the right virtual/USB COM port is being used
I've used different USB slots on both laptops
I've checked the USB cable is working (with a multimeter).

So I think it must be the Modem itself

It's a SCS PTC-IIusb. I think it dates from 2009.

is a modem this manufacturer/type/eg worth getting repaired or should I buy new? (I think as we're going to be in the south pacific for over a year, this would be cheaper than paying sat-phone data)
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:29   #5
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Re: SCS PActor modem stopped working

Definitely worth getting repaired. Where are you in the world? Ish? What it sounds like to me is that some of the electrolytic capacitors in the modem have dried out and not everything is working. In the US send to Farallon Electronics and in the EU to SCS. I don't remember the price but it is cheap. $200US I think. They'll replace the capacitors, update all the firmware, and check full functionality.

If you are in the US it goes attention to Gary Woods. Tell him I sent you.

dave
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:30   #6
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Re: SCS PActor modem stopped working

Before sending it in for service if you can find another cruiser nearby to exchange with, just to test, you can definitely narrow it down to the modem. You mentioned meter testing your cable but have you tried different USB cables?

My guess it its either the USB cable contacts or the contacts in the modem's connector. Unless they are power surged these modems don't die easily. It's usually mechanical wear or our old foe corrosion at exposed connections.
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Old 11-09-2017, 14:08   #7
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Re: SCS PActor modem stopped working

With the thought about repair or service, I bought a boat with a pactor modum & have no idea how to use it or anything about them,how to hook up ,nothing. Where can I get educated on how this thing works. During the survey I remember the surveyor saying that the radio was not properly grounded so I haven't really messed with it yet as I'm still really on my way home from the original purchase. 800 miles. I'm down to the last hundred. But when I get back home I need to get educated on that thing and get it all figured out and I have no idea who I should be talking to about repairs or where to look for education so if you guys could point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated thank you
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Old 11-09-2017, 14:52   #8
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Re: SCS PActor modem stopped working

Kita after you reach your destination look into a local amateur radio club. You'll likely find members willing to help get get radio sorted out and help you learn skills to use it and keep it working well no matter where you are. A ham license makes cruising more fun and less sat phone dependent.
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Old 11-09-2017, 15:19   #9
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Re: SCS PActor modem stopped working

If I remember correctly the radio should only be "grounded" through the negative power cable and not through the "ground" connection on the back of the transceiver. Grounding that terminal could set up a ground loop.
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Old 11-09-2017, 15:40   #10
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Re: SCS PActor modem stopped working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kita View Post
During the survey I remember the surveyor saying that the radio was not properly grounded so I haven't really messed with it yet
There aren't many surveyors who understand HF radio. A lot depends on the installation. I'd start by going back to the surveyor and asking WHY s/he thinks the radio is not properly grounded. Then we can help you determine 1. if he is correct and 2. what to do about it.
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Old 11-09-2017, 15:55   #11
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Re: SCS PActor modem stopped working

If you are in the USA, call Gary Wood at Farallon Electronics in San Rafael, CA. 415 331 1924 ext. 112
I recently had our unit serviced, the best customer service I've ever experienced.
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