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    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).

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Need a special code to program the radio?

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Jun 7, 2004
Sacramento/Bay Area, CA
Last edited:


Sep 17, 2004
NJ USA (Republic of NJ)
Yes - a system key is needed for programing a trunk system or any trunk system parameters.
Usually a trunk system administrator has the system key and is usually the only one that can do any trunk system programing for a particular trunk system. This is for system security reasons. Often it is not possible or difficult at best to program a trunk system for " receive only " into a radio as these radios will always affiliate (transmit an interaction) with a trunk system which is a normal function within trunking system radios.


Mar 7, 2002
New Orleans region
Problem with a true P25 digital trunked system is that there is no way to program the
radio for receive only. The way the system software is and how the trunking system
for it works, the radio "HAS TO AFFILIATE" on the system in order for it to function.

If you wanted to put the radio onto a non P25 trunking system, then that is a different
story. There are a couple of ways to set the radio up so that it won't affiliate.
However, it still can TX if the system sends the proper command to request all
radios on the system to affiliate. Many systems do this just to find radios that
have been placed there without permission. In this case, unless you disconnected
the exciter and removed the power from the PA, the radio could TX.

You would be better off just obtaining a scanner that can work on the P25 system.
When I say the P25 system, I am talking about the control channel data rate. On
an analog trunking system, the control channel data rate is 3600. You can have
an older digital trunking system that still uses the 3600 data rate. However, on
a true P25 digital trunking system, the control channel data rate will be 9600.
You can hear the higher data rate by just using a scanner.


southhaysfireman said:
I have a Motorola Spectra Digital radio with the a7 control head. I would like to program this radio system into the radio for receive only. http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=2

the guy at the radio shop I called said I need a system code or a system key or something like that to do it. Has anyone ever heard of this?


Forums Manager/Global DB Admin
Staff member
Forums Manager
Jun 26, 2001
Oot and Aboot
Chances are the flash in the radio does not include P25 trunking so he's SOL anyways.
Oct 11, 2005
Mike_Oxlong said:
Chances are the flash in the radio does not include P25 trunking so he's SOL anyways.

It does because it was programed on this system previously. I purchased the motorcycle that it is mounted to and I work in the area that the bike was in service.


Forums Veteran
Super Moderator
Dec 16, 2000
Your master site
Did you research whether you could even get the radio programmed before buying it??? People who are not authorized cannot just program the system in the radio RX-only. It doesn't work like a scanner. In some cases it can be but that's for an experienced programmer.
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