• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

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Is Motorola HAM friendly?

superdeez

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
12
I wish to buy MotoTRBO software FROM MOTOROLA. I do not wish to get it illegally, free, etc. However, my question is one of amicability. I'm still unhappy about an incident with Mr. Ken Wood about spending money for one of their dealers to program two radios for GMRS use and then being told exactly where to go. Before I register with Motorola On Line and have issues, has any licensed HAM successfully bought CPS software from them? Or would I just be better off getting one of the Chinese DMR radios? I'd like to get into DMR and already have a Motorola radio. Has anyone successfully done business with them just for your HAM purposes?
 

superdeez

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Jun 3, 2017
Messages
12
Just to be clear, I wish to get the software from Motorola proper, but I had an issue with another company in the past and I do not wish to waste time or money.
 

alcahuete

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Jul 24, 2015
Messages
1,104
Location
Antelope Acres, California
Are they particularly ham friendly? No. They don't care about hams in the slightest. Their money is governmental agencies with tens of millions of dollars to spend on radios, service, upgrades, accessories, etc.

However, getting CPS from them is not an issue at all, outside of potentially taking a while by the time you get set up, getting the software added, etc. It's all manual, in my experience. Motorola is still living in the 90s, kinda like Germany. I am a licensed ham, but I purchased the software for business (and ham), and thus set up a business account. However, I know plenty of hams who have set up accounts as hams, with no business, and had no issues.

As well, they are pushing CPS2 now, which in my opinion, is garbage...especially for hams. I have the old CPS (16) available in my MOL account, because I have been a subscriber for many years, but I don't know that it will be available for new users. In fact, the firmware for use with the old CPS has been removed.

I would never advocate getting the software illegally, but if the old CPS is not available to new users, I don't know that I personally would purchase a subscription. Some people say CPS2 is okay. I disagree.
 

mmckenna

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Keep in mind that these commercial radio manufacturers and dealers are in business to make money.

Sure, you can absolutely purchase software from just about any of them. They are more than happy to take your money.

But don't expect them to make it easy. The reason a lot of dealers and manufacturers are not "ham friendly" is because it's a very small market, and hams tend to demand a lot of support. For most commercial radio users, they have a few channels set up and some specific features. That's about it. On the public safety side, it's more involved, but there is more money to be made. On the other hand, hobbyists, especially hams, want a lot of support and hand holding, and they are usually reluctant to pay for it. A lot of hams get frustrated when they spend a lot of money on a commercial radio and then find out it won't do 'ham' features.

Before purchasing these kinds of radios and software, it's a good idea to check with the hobby community and find out what sort of support you can get from inside the hobby. Expectations on dealers to spend a lot of time setting up one or two radios with a lot of features is unrealistic. When you buy the software, you'll have access to help files, but understand those are not geared around ham use. Make sure you have access to other hams that understand the software and features and are willing to assist you. The learning curve on the software can be very steep.
 

N4KVE

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Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
3,309
Location
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
There are plenty of locals who have Moto DMR radios who do not have CPS. For the once a year they need something changed in their radio, be it a new repeater, or TG, I have had radios mailed to me, I’ve programmed them at a ham fest, or been invited to someone’s house & fed grilled cheese burgers to update a radio. These folks just don’t want to bother with buying the CPS, & cables, & learning how to do it, & I can’t blame them. But there’s plenty of us who are glad to help our friends. So unless you live in the middle of nowhere, find out locally who has Moto DMR radios, & if they can help you with programming a radio.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,978
Motorola is not "Ham Friendly", just look at the pricing!

superdeez said: "I'm still unhappy about an incident with Mr. Ken Wood about spending money for one of their dealers to program two radios for GMRS use and then being told exactly where to go. "

When dealing with Motorola shop for GMRS, bear in mind that none of their current public safety or commercial LMR radios has type certification for Part 95. To /\/\ GMRS/FRS means buying at Walmart a cheap radio with Motorola name, engineered in HK China.

So the chances of getting a company owned or high profile shop to program /\/\ LMR radios to GMRS is 50-50, especially if you want the low power FRS channels. You will need your own software and wide band entitlement key (25KHz). You are better off having any discussion within the realm of "HAM Radio" as type certification is not an issue.
 

PACNWDude

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Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
804
Older Motorola radios can work very well for amateur and other use, MURS, GMRS, VHF marine and other bands, but the legal aspect and the cost is often very prohibitive. I tell people that want to get into amateur radio to go Japanese, as in Yaesu, Kenwood, Icom route. It will be cheaper overall and keep you legal. For those that want the big "M" be ready to pay for it. In my circle of associates, there also seems to be a bit of snobbery with using MDCID on ham bands.....which is very annoying. They just want to brag that they have Motorola radios, but that is falling off as many other companies include this feature now.
 

romanr

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Feb 15, 2009
Messages
135
Location
Cheese country
Motorola is not "Ham Friendly", just look at the pricing!
You will need your own software and wide band entitlement key (25KHz).
This is probably nit-picking, but MURS and GMRS have been mentioned along with the "25kHz EID", so let me throw it in here.
GMRS uses 20kHz, not 25kHz bandwidth and MURS uses a mix of 11.25kHz and 20kHz. Most the people around me that buy "ham friendly" commercial radios and program them for MURS and GMRS don't seem to know this and you CAN tell...
 

KN4HTC

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
54
From my brief personal experience with Motorola, I had no issues creating an account with them. I even told them upfront I want to get the software for some of their older discontinued radios so they could be programmed for ham radio usage. I had no issues getting an account approved. My software was free but I would hope if I needed to purchase anything, I wouldn't have any major issues.
 

KK6ZTE

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
604
Location
California
This is probably nit-picking, but MURS and GMRS have been mentioned along with the "25kHz EID", so let me throw it in here.
GMRS uses 20kHz, not 25kHz bandwidth and MURS uses a mix of 11.25kHz and 20kHz. Most the people around me that buy "ham friendly" commercial radios and program them for MURS and GMRS don't seem to know this and you CAN tell...
You still need the 25kHz entitlement to program a 20kHz channel....
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,978
This is probably nit-picking, but MURS and GMRS have been mentioned along with the "25kHz EID", so let me throw it in here.
GMRS uses 20kHz, not 25kHz bandwidth and MURS uses a mix of 11.25kHz and 20kHz. Most the people around me that buy "ham friendly" commercial radios and program them for MURS and GMRS don't seem to know this and you CAN tell...
Stop it you will further confuse the newbies..

You are nitpicking because the (25 KHz) Is exactly how Motorola describes the wide band entitlement ID for UHF. It refers to channel spacing. I know that you know that.

Now explain 16K0F3E to the newbies and why neither Midland or the many other low parts count CCR radios are not wide-band and why that sucks.
 

dietlein

Newbie
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
3
Location
DC/Maryland/Virginia
Is Motorola ham-friendly? I asked myself this a few weeks ago. Here's my newbie perspective: they certainly aren't ham-unfriendly. But they're a big business not dedicated to supporting negative-margin amateur radio operators, so they might seem opaque or nebulous at times. And purchasing CPS and getting the wideband entitlement is certainly an order of magnitude more complex than buying programming software from RT Systems. However, at no point in the process did they seem discriminatory toward me as an individual amateur radio operator.

About two weeks ago I decided to take the plunge. I'm a newbie to DMR. I'd never touched a Motorola radio until last Friday. So, I created a single-sign-on account with them. Next, tried to log in to MOL. No joy. Called the 1-800 number, said I wanted to buy CPS in MOL, and they created a MOL account number for me within 48 hours. Logged in to MOL, purchased CPS. Found out that even though my MOL activation email said I would have access to the training site, I did not, so I started a chat conversation with support in MOL, and they added LMS access to my account. Took the narrowbanding training the next day, and ordered HKVN4046A (wideband entitlement) immediately. I received the entitlement ID the same day. So yes, we're talking about a week of "process" to get to this point. But it's not ham-unfriendly, it's just how Motorola is with anyone who wants to start using their radios, amateur or commercial.

To add further clarification for the two posts directly above this, for other newbies like me, the email I received upon placing the order for HKVN4046A had the line item:

Model No.HKVN4046A - 20/25 KHZ CH BW LIC (MOTOTRBO)

This makes sense to me, because in CPS you have only 12.5 kHz channels available, but 20 kHz and 25 kHz channels are in the drop-down and can be programmed if you have the entitlement. 20 kHz for GMRS if you want to go that route (I'm not condoning it), and 25 kHz FM voice is available on some amateur repeaters near me. I see the utility in having access to both.

But when I received the entitlement ID email, the description was slightly different:

Part Number:HKVN4046A
Description:25KHz Channel Bandwidth License Key

So, sure, there's a distinction, but it's a distinction without a difference. At least for MOTOTRBO radios, it's one part number, and it's on you as the user/programmer to make sure you're following applicable regulations when you program 20 kHz or 25 kHz channels.
 

FKimble

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
284
Location
Newnan, GA
OP, YOU WROTE "I'm still unhappy about an incident with Mr. Ken Wood about spending money for one of their dealers to program two radios for GMRS use and then being told exactly where to go."

Sounds more like you had an issue with a large commercial Kenwood dealer, not Kenwood Corp. Yes, some dealers refuse to deal with "HAMs" and "Joe Public". If they are a busy shop, it probably cost them money to do a small job.

Frank
 

Skypilot007

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
2,282
Location
Medford, NJ
Is Motorola Ham friendly? That's like asking if a hungry lion on the Serengeti is people friendly. As a company, no Motorola is not Ham friendly. Never was and never will be. Are Motorola radios Ham friendly, sure, they can be. It's a bit of a learning curve as compared to your typical ham gear but most determined folks figure it out eventually.
 

chrismol1

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
149
Was there ever a 2 meter or 70cm mobile they made? I seem to think I saw a 2 meter motorola made in the 70s at some point but I could be mixing that up with all the CBs they came out with
 

jim202

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Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
2,665
Location
New Orleans region
I use the Motorola Spectra radios all the time on both the VHF and UHF ham frequencies. The down side is you will need a computer that you can run pure DOS on and it has a functioning serial port. You will also need a RIB to convert the radio interface voltages to the computer serial port voltage.

You can make your own connection cables. Go to the batlabs site and then go to the radio information selection and select your Spectra radio.

You should be able to located the original programming software on the Internet if you ask around enough. Just be aware that there are different versions. You can't go backwards in the version from what is in the radio, but you can use the same or a higher version. You probably won't know what version the radio was last programmed with unless you get it from another ham.

The Spectra radios can be had in a number of different configurations and control heads. The lower power models are available in dash or trunk remote configurations. The trunk mount come in low, medium and high power configurations.

A couple of things to bear in mind. DOS can not use a hard drive larger than 80 GB. Format the hard drive in FAT32. What I do is dual partition the computer hard drive. One partition for DOS and the remainder for the Windows partition. The computer needs to have a slow clock speed. I try to find a computer with a clock speed below 1 GHz. Even lower clock speeds will work fine.

With the dual partitioned hard drive, using Windows XP, I can move the Spectra files between different computers using the computer LAN in my workshop. I try to keep multiple computers with the same files. This way if one computer has a hard drive failure, I have the files stored on other computers.

If your looking for the slower speed computers, try going to your local computer repair shops and talk with them. In many cases, they will just give you the computer just to get them out of there. You will probably need a hard drive for it as most shops will pull the hard drive out to protect the original owner's information that may have been left on the hard drive. The older computers use an IDE type hard drive. They are getting hard to come by these days.
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
9,848
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
Yes, the Motorola Metrum, a crystal controlled 25w 2m radio which was an offshoot of their marine radio at the time. I had one and it was a very good radio.

Was there ever a 2 meter or 70cm mobile they made? I seem to think I saw a 2 meter motorola made in the 70s at some point but I could be mixing that up with all the CBs they came out with
 
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