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Programming Motorola XTS5000

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dj0321

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Hello Guys,

I picked up a Motorola XTS 5000 from eBay, and I would like to program in some trunked channels. How would I go about performing such task? I do have a cable and the software. My city uses a lot of trunked channels: Montgomery County, MD Trunking System, Montgomery County, Maryland - Scanner Frequencies

I want this radio to act as a scanner basically. I do not need the radio to send out tones or any information to dispatch. Is this possible? I know the stations I would like to listen to are using the Motorola P25 system. Basically, I am trying to figure out what the frequencies needed to program this is. I do see the control channels listed on radio reference. Do you just enter all the channels and you can magically listen in?
 

mmckenna

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It would have been wise to read up on how to do it correctly before buying a random radio off e-Bay.

Motorola radios use a thing called "flashcodes". This flashcode is what decides what features the radio has. Not all flashcodes will support P25, trunking, etc.

Without knowing a lot of details about your radio, there's no way for us to determine if your radio is even capable of working on that system.

As someone who administers trunking systems and public safety radio systems, I'd strongly encourage you to sell your XTS-5000 and buy a scanner. Setting up your radio incorrectly can cause interference to public safety users, even causing their radios to not work at all. Unless you set the radio up correctly, you would be actively putting first responders lives at risk. I'm sure that is not your intention, but it is a real possibility.

Please, consider this advice carefully.
 

mmckenna

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And, no, there is no way to decode encrypted communications with that radio without the correct key.
And before you ask, no, the system administrator is not going to give you a copy of the encryption keys. That would be a breach of security and would be a career ending move for them.
 

dmichaels18

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I apologize for shooting your idea down with that, it is very possible with the right flash code, but everything mMckenna is saying is very true. Furthermore, I can’t speak for Moro type 2 system, but for the smart zone system My agency operates on, a key is needed to be able to even write the trunking information to the radio. For me, my system key was provided by my local administrator to get my agency operational. They will never provide any information to individuals. I would highly suggest just getting a Uniden SDS or BCD because in all honesty, they scan better than our Motorola radios. Motos scan well, but they’re meant for life-death situations, they won’t watch multiple towers at once like a scanner will, simply because that could be detrimental to an operation. There are ways around everything mentioned above, but if you aren’t familiar with programming a trunking capable radio, I would advise against attempting. They’re fairly complicated to new comers.
 

mmckenna

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I agree. Not trying to shoot anyone down, but this subject comes up about once a week. There's a lot of good reasons to not do it. No point in beating around the bush. Yes, it can be done, but there really are a lot of variables involved. It's not as easy as buying a correct bandsplit radio off e-Bay. The programming software is difficult to master. If the radio affiliates, it will utilize resources on the system, and that can be very bad. Also, a system admin that is paying attention can easily send a kill command to your radio if it's affiliated. You will now have an expensive door stop. The only way to get the radio "unkilled" would be to go to the system admin, hat in hand, and plead for them to unbrick your radio. Or, send it off to Motorola (If they still service these guys) in which case they'll probably laugh and send it back.

And, as far as I know, the Motorola's will only scan 16 channels or talk groups at a time. Scanners really are a good tool for this. In fact, when I was still running my Type 2 system, I used a Bearcat scanner to monitor system activity. It was more efficient than tying up a radio for it.
 
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