TP-3200 Repeater Controller: Review and Guide

Finally got around to putting up my GMRS repeater after I got my license this past weekend (real tough…just paid some money to the FCC).

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The controller that shipped with my GM300 repeater was a TP-3200 by Communcation Specialists. It’s a very slick device, clearly targeted primarily at shared repeater systems like GMRS or Business Band rented radios.

Features:

  1. You can have a boatload of users. Users are identified by CTCSS or DCS tone.
  2. Each user can have a Morse ID and settings like courtesy tone
  3. Prepaid minute operation (you can load each user with X quantity of minutes of repeater use)
  4. ID timers for the Repeater and User ID
  5. Cross tone capability

The list goes on and on. Best use case of this repeater is definitely prepaid Part 90 use, however it will work just as well as any repeater. No autopatch, unfortunately.

One issue I’ve hit is that the TX audio is too low to effect sufficient deviation with my GM300s. I shorted what appeared to be the “increase audio level” pads but I think they were the “right next to what you wanted but simply shorts your op-amp output and kills all audio output” pads, which was unfortunate.

I asked for guidance and was told that the Communication Specialists are no longer manufacturing or supporting this repeater. They have, however, published the full board specifications/block diagram and parts list, so I’m going to do a full EEPROM dump and maybe if I’m lucky a full microprocessor code dump. May as well reverse engineer it.

There’s a mysterious “KEYBOARD- DISPLAY CONNECTOR” on the board (which I initially thought were jumpers). It’s 16 pins connected to the microprocessor and some other control pins. Leaves me curious.

More to come once I play a little more.

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