• 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.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.

MCS-2000 Programming Questions

Status
Not open for further replies.

phillydjdan

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
1,840
I've been seeing some cheap MCS-2000 type 2's on fleabay, and am considering buying one. I'd like to program it myself, but I have a couple questions first. I'm familiar with programming some other radios (Spectra, CDM's, HT-1000's, Radius series, etc) but none that uses Flashport and none which did trunking or used a system key. I have RSS versions R03.10.00 and R04.00.00, but I've never used them before. If I were to get a radio that had a system key, is there a way to reprogram the radio without having that system key? Is a system key only for trunking radios? What would I need to do to program some conventional channels into one of these things? I'm worried that I'll buy a radio and programming cable and will get stuck trying to read or write to the radio because it has a system key or something. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
 

N4KVE

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
3,297
Location
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
A system key is only needed to program trunking systems. You don't need a key to program conventional freq's, menu's, scan lists, or buttons, etc. However, if the radio you purchase has been programmed with software newer than what you have, you won't even be able to read the radio you plan to buy GARY N4KVE
 
Last edited:

Devilz311

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2005
Messages
43
Location
NJ
The system key for trunking systems is a file stored on the computer itself, not the radio.
 

phillydjdan

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
1,840
So what you're saying is as long as I have the same version (or newer) of the programming software (and providing I don't have a RIB or cable issue), I should be able to read and write to the radio without any problems, so long as I'm not trying to program a trunked system? Even if there's already one programmed in the radio?

I just located a version of the windows CPS for the radio, and it appears to resemble the CPS for the CDM & HT series. Is there any big differences between the two?

Ok, now my curiosity is piqued. I've programmed different types of radios for conventional channels, but I'm totally new to the prospect of trunking systems (although I have several scanners that I've programmed for trunking), Is there anywhere I can find some comprehensive information on how to program a trunked system or the various features, etc, that go into trunking systems? I'm the type of person that thirsts for knowledge, so I'm curious about this stuff. Like, what does a system key do? Is there many differences between the way a scanner and a radio are programed? I'm just looking for general or hypothetical info , not anything specific to any system. I don't want to program one, just want to learn more about it. Any help teaching me the in's and out's would be appreciated.
 

jim202

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
2,655
Location
New Orleans region
The MCS2000 is very sensitive to low programming voltage. I have found that most of the knock off RIB devices do not provide the required voltage to program this radio. Proceed with an open mind when trying to do the programming on this radio.

Jim
 

Devilz311

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2005
Messages
43
Location
NJ
So what you're saying is as long as I have the same version (or newer) of the programming software (and providing I don't have a RIB or cable issue), I should be able to read and write to the radio without any problems, so long as I'm not trying to program a trunked system? Even if there's already one programmed in the radio?
You can program anything conventional-wise without a problem. As far as the trunking goes, you can assign the talkgroups to different channels and scanlists, you just cannot change any of the trunking data or create talkgroups.

I just located a version of the windows CPS for the radio, and it appears to resemble the CPS for the CDM & HT series. Is there any big differences between the two?
I think the biggest annoyance of the MTS/MCS CPS over the Professional CPS is the Personality assignments. In the Professional series it's listed in the tree view by name rather than just by the number as in the MTS CPS. There are other differences in the layout of the two programs, but the general idea is the same. Personalities have the data, which is then assigned to a Zone and Channel.
 

oemctx4

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2012
Messages
79
Location
Chicago,Il.
Jay
I guess I meant that CPS doesn't program "any" radio. My bad I should have explained that. I love the MCS2000 Model 3
Don #4
 

phillydjdan

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
1,840
Lol yeah, I went back and started the software again, and sure enough, it said MCS200 CPS version 2.whatever. So I was confused. Ok, so I guess to play it safe I should probably try and find the latest version of this CPS. That'll be fun...

I've seen discussion about using the mic connector vs. the accessory connector, and I think if I do this I'll get the accessory connector programming cable. I believe my RIB is not Moto, but I've seen various people give differing results, so I'll try that and see how it goes. I've had low power Spectras give me problems where it would take a few tries to get the thing to read or write, but it eventually worked.

Now, is the system key just a different phrase for "password"? From what i was able to Google, you would need the system ID, and the system key. I guess that file contains what basically amounts to a glorified password. Am I right on that?

I'm seriously considering turning to Type 2 or Type 3 MCS's instead of CDM's. They seem to have more features (a bigger display is a plus for me). Looks like the only negative I see is that there's no speaker in the head (which isn't a deal breaker by any means). And they are certainly cheaper!
 

Devilz311

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2005
Messages
43
Location
NJ
Now, is the system key just a different phrase for "password"? From what i was able to Google, you would need the system ID, and the system key. I guess that file contains what basically amounts to a glorified password. Am I right on that?
Basically. The system key is a file (it's a .key file) that "allows" the CPS to modify the trunking information in the codeplug. The file itself just contains a few lines of code.

I'm seriously considering turning to Type 2 or Type 3 MCS's instead of CDM's. They seem to have more features (a bigger display is a plus for me). Looks like the only negative I see is that there's no speaker in the head (which isn't a deal breaker by any means). And they are certainly cheaper!
I like the MCS Type III's, the only downside is that they are Flashport radios, so any other option is going to be an add-on. With the CDM Radios, everying is included, like the rest of the Waris radios.
 

N4KVE

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
3,297
Location
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
The MCS2000 is very sensitive to low programming voltage. I have found that most of the knock off RIB devices do not provide the required voltage to program this radio. Proceed with an open mind when trying to do the programming on this radio.

Jim
I have absolutely no problem programming my UHF MCS2000 with a Sandy Ganz [Radio Stu] rib. But I do use the acc connecter. GARY N4KVE
 

phillydjdan

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
1,840
I like the MCS Type III's, the only downside is that they are Flashport radios, so any other option is going to be an add-on. With the CDM Radios, everying is included, like the rest of the Waris radios.
What kind of flash features would a basic MCS-2000 come with? I mean, I really only need it to transmit and receive on the band it's supposed to, in analog conventional mode, with PL or DPL, and it needs to have scan capability. Other than that, the other features don't matter to me. It would be nice to have MDC-1200 signalling, though.
 

bezking

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Aug 5, 2006
Messages
2,661
Location
On the Road
MDC1200 is a flash option that you would need to get. Scan, Conventional, Repeater Operation, and PL/DPL are standard on every radio.
 

RKG

Member
Joined
May 23, 2005
Messages
1,094
Are you aware that the maximum size of a scan list on an MCS2000 is 15+1 for conventional (10+1 for SmartNet)? The scan feature is fine for "working" applications (where, by definition, scan lists have to be short to avoid interfering with the user's function), but not a substitute of a hobbyist scanner for hobbyist purposes.
 

phillydjdan

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
1,840
I was not aware of that, but isn't the CDM/HT series the same way? Or am I thinking of the Spectra? Either way, 15+1 is fine for what I need.
 

phillydjdan

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
1,840
Ok, so an update on my quest. A friend of mine had an old model 1 800 MHz radio collecting dust, so he let me mess with the programming, and the cable and software worked with no problems. So I purchased a UHF model 2 off of Fleabay, through Wiscomm. It arrived today, and I had no problems reading or writing to the radio. It is now powered up and working great! It even has MDC in it :) Thanks for all the help, fellas!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top