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Old 04-15-2011, 10:31 PM
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Default Motorola Maxtrac programming

Wondering if there is anyone out there that can program some Maxtracs for me. I bought a UHF and VHF off of Ebay, was set up as a crossband amateur repeater. Local Motorola dealer cannot program due to age of radio. Would be willing to ship and pay for programming.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wconn View Post
Wondering if there is anyone out there that can program some Maxtracs for me. I bought a UHF and VHF off of Ebay, was set up as a crossband amateur repeater. Local Motorola dealer cannot program due to age of radio. Would be willing to ship and pay for programming.
You might want to consider acquiring the needed components to be able to do it yourself. You will need a slow DOS computer with a serial port. A RIB and the interface cable to go to the Maxtrac radio. The interface cable you can make yourself. The RIB can be had from a number of sources, like Ebay or maybe someone on one of the chat groups. Then you will need a cable to go from the RIB to the computer.

The software is floating around on the Internet in a few places. There are several versions out there.
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:37 AM
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are you going to use these for amateur radio? if not then they are useless anyway.

you need to get them checked out fully before investing any money in them. the reference osc is likely bad unless it has been replaced in the last year or two, and they are about 60.00 per radio, plus labor. if your dealer can't program them, they can't replace the osc since you have to warp it in via the software. there is a pot in the radio, but it is more of a wide warp than a fine tune warp.

i can program them, but honestly the cost would be 40.00 per radio. if you wanted it checked out and/or repaired the cost would probably end up around 200.00 per radio(including the programming), which makes it not worth the cost.
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Old 04-16-2011, 2:37 PM
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Maxtracs are good radios, but virtually worthless. I'd strongly consider the advice you are given here before investing much into them. Good luck.
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Old 04-16-2011, 4:44 PM
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1/1/2013 = Maxtrac (and many other decent radios) will officially be junk except for ham radio use.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:33 AM
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Thanks, I have about 100 bucks invested in already. Sounds like I may be money ahead to just to forget about the project. I was going to use them for amateur use.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:26 AM
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The Maxtrac is a great radio for amateur use. There is a lot of information on them available at the repeater builder site:

Motorola MaxTrac / Radius / GM300 Index Page
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:28 PM
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I have a Maxtrac running on this feed:

Fort Dodge Area Rail Live Scanner Audio Feed

Not sure how much longer I will be able to use it with narrowbanding coming. Radio works still works well.

Tim K.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wconn View Post
Thanks, I have about 100 bucks invested in already. Sounds like I may be money ahead to just to forget about the project. I was going to use them for amateur use.
Great for amateur use, using them for links and repeaters everywhere around here, since the got cheap they have been commonplace. I have a UHF repeater here made from a pair, another ham has one that i made from a pair, and two other repeaters i built and maintain use maxtracs for link radios, many other local hams use them for APRS.

Very good and durable radio. Don't let the other posts scare you off.. For around $20-$30 you get get a RIB cable from eBay and your set. You don't need an ancient computer. I run the Maxtrac RSS on a modern 1.8ghz desktop with a dual boot to DOS. You could even just use a DOS boot disc or CD and boot to DOS then run the RSS as well. Its not as picky as other RSS packages.
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Old 04-17-2011, 1:21 PM
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yeah for commercial use they are junk due to NB, but amatuer they are still a solid radio. my comment about the osc is meant only to show that the cost to use them at most another 20 months is not worth it, but since they are good for years it is worth it for amatuer use. you can usually warp the old crystal in up until they get to either -4khz off or so unstable they won't stay on freq more than a few minutes after warping. if it is off to the + side, it is NOT due to an old crystal, as the crystal grows it always shifts negative, so you can usually warp them in or just replace a cap. once set they generally hold within +/-100 hz, usually less than 10hz!

as to the software, the maxtrac RSS has a feature most don't that allows you to adjust the speed it communicates/times out and this lets it work on most any DOS based machine no matter how new/old it is.
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Old 04-17-2011, 5:19 PM
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even with NB they can be "upgraded" to function (althopugh they wont meet type acceptance). I have replaced the IF xtals in several maxtrac VHF for narrow band RX. the pl decoder has no troubles with the slightly lower pl deviations.

for tx its just a matter of setting up the deviations in the alignment menu.
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Old 04-17-2011, 7:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidgcet View Post
yeah for commercial use they are junk due to NB, but amatuer they are still a solid radio. my comment about the osc is meant only to show that the cost to use them at most another 20 months is not worth it, but since they are good for years it is worth it for amatuer use. you can usually warp the old crystal in up until they get to either -4khz off or so unstable they won't stay on freq more than a few minutes after warping. if it is off to the + side, it is NOT due to an old crystal, as the crystal grows it always shifts negative, so you can usually warp them in or just replace a cap. once set they generally hold within +/-100 hz, usually less than 10hz!

as to the software, the maxtrac RSS has a feature most don't that allows you to adjust the speed it communicates/times out and this lets it work on most any DOS based machine no matter how new/old it is.
I have literally gone through hundreds of Maxtracs in the last year alone. I bought a pallet of them from an auction here, i had two radios out of nearly 200 radios that had bad crystals. Sold some, kept some, donated some. All the ones i have been keeping track of are running strong. They do suffer from a failed crystal now and then. But thats easy to fix. I ordered a lot from ICM a while back, the more you buy the cheaper they are, down to my last two as spares. I bought a lot of dead radios cheap from eBay and fixed them, seems like all the dead ones showing up on ebay were due to a dead osc.

FYI a lot of the articles on the RBTIP website were written by yours truly or in cooperation with another ham, WA1MIK.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:14 PM
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i've never tried an off brand xtal for a reference osc, i may order one to try it out as we use maxtrac 800's on our own trunk systems and i have several of our own units with bad ref osc that i have not got around to fixing. got quite a few of the 800's myself a few years back, and the only 3 issues you ever really see are ref osc, 2nd if, or the keyed 9.6 transistor failing. other than those easy fixes(and they are not frequent failures just the most common ones) they seem to take a licking and keep on ticking. heck, my 32ch UHF maxtrac base has not been touched in 15+ years and it is still dead on freq.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidgcet View Post
i've never tried an off brand xtal for a reference osc, i may order one to try it out as we use maxtrac 800's on our own trunk systems and i have several of our own units with bad ref osc that i have not got around to fixing. got quite a few of the 800's myself a few years back, and the only 3 issues you ever really see are ref osc, 2nd if, or the keyed 9.6 transistor failing. other than those easy fixes(and they are not frequent failures just the most common ones) they seem to take a licking and keep on ticking. heck, my 32ch UHF maxtrac base has not been touched in 15+ years and it is still dead on freq.
ICM and Bomar both make them, they sell them as a replacement specifically for the Osc or 2nd IF, whichever you need they have. I got a hold of ICM when i needed some more and my MOL account showed NLA for them.

Motorola replacement crystals and channel elements from International Crystal

Maxtrac is at the top of the list, a very popular product for them. When i ordered them the lead time was less than a week due to stock on hand!
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:12 AM
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thanks!
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
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thanks!
You're Welcome!

To the OP, did you get anywhere on getting them programmed?
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:02 AM
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Default Rss

I to have recently acquired a box of 10 MaxTrac D43MJA77A3CK radios. All but 1 appears to work properly however they are transmitting around 200 Mhz. I had originally thought I could program with a DTFM mic (all my amateur equipment is modern). My goal was to play around and try to build a repeater since I had found a dual rack mount. I spent days gathering web information about the tweaks and even built a interface cable. I looked forward to the project until spending the last 3 days trying to find the Maxtrac RSS. I turned to our local Motorola Dealer/Tech who said he knows he had the software but can't find it. I found a guy on Ebay that programs the radios for a fee however he does not set up repeaters. Can anyone point me in the direction for a RSS.

KD8EGV
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:47 PM
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To KC9ODJ, Thank you for the info. I purchased 9 Maxtrac D43MJA77A3CK and 1 Maxtrac D33LRA7PA5BK at a city auction. I am working on getting a Motorola RICK for the repeater build. I am not used to this older equipment. I was hoping to do the programing with DTFM mic until I found out different. I do have ribless grograming cable however I have not built the DOS hard drive for the PC part of it. I am hoping to use Widows Me or 98 with a boot disc. I need to do some reading and on the subject while I wait for the rest of the equipment I ordered. I have a feeling I will learn alot in this build. Once again, thanks for the info.

KD8EGV
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:56 PM
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Default Maxtrac Users Guide for licensed amateur radio operators

Good evening: Several amateur operators in the Kansas City area are working on a users guide for the MaxTrac 300, 16 and 24 channel transceiver. We are in the final stages of putting this guide together. There will be pictures and detailed information available in a few days. There will be a link on Larrylist.info that takes the reader to a pdf file that can be printed. Please check <www.larryslist.info/index.html> in a few days. In order to get this information, you may have to subscribe to Larrylist, there is no charge. Please note that we are amateur radio operators, not professional technical writers or professional journalists. We hope the Users Guide will be published within a week of 3 OCT 2012, and will be a useful guide to amateur operators. Please do NOT send me an email asking questions as that will just slow down the process of finishing the User Guide.

Ross Taggart, WRCT
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Old 10-04-2012, 6:31 PM
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we used them in cabs for years still do since we use 800 mhz occasionally they will go off frequency but the radio fixes them easily we had one that went off frequency like 4 times in two months would recive fine just not transmit
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