• 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.

System Admin/tech questions


Oct 25, 2018
North NJ, Northeast PA
Hi all (I sure hope this question is in the right forum),

This post is directed towards system administrators or radio techs from large radio systems such as county or statewide systems:

Do you enjoy your job as a radio tech for the system you maintain? What kind of system do you maintain? What educations or qualifications did you get/do you have for the position you are in? How often do things go wrong in these systems? What made you get into radio tech like this?

I am basically inquiring about the jobs of radio techs because 1. I want to better understand what you guys do in your job AND 2. I am looking around at what different jobs the world has in it.




Aug 24, 2013
Maryland Shore
Wow, no one has responded to this?

Here is at least something for you. I'm a System Administrator rather than a technician (though I end up doing tech stuff and installations as well). In terms of modern LMR you really need a background in basic electronics theory, a basic understanding of RF theory, a working knowledge of networking and a working knowledge of IT systems administration on both Microsoft and Linux based platforms. Add to that an understanding of regulatory requirements and industry standards.

In hiring for any system administration or technician position I would be looking for someone that has their GROL and the ability to pass an A+ and Net+ exam. I would also want a seasoned technician to be able to obtain their CET, CCNA and the master technician certification series for the system manufacturer.


Jul 12, 2008
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
I maintain a 15 site Motorola Astro 25 simulcast system for a county with around 7,000 primary user active IDs, another 7,500 mutual aid IDs, and 400 talk groups. We have 4 dispatch (console) sites, maintain an IP microwave backhaul with ring protection via fiber. I also spent two years of my career here implementing a new computer aided dispatch (CAD) system and part of this is implementing mobile devices such as laptops (MCTs) and mobile applications running on tablets and cellphones.

I still have my hand in the mobile side because I was "the guy who built it", though the CAD has been handed off to a seasoned CAD manager.
Everything above is sound advice, I would add that today's radio technician needs to have just as much IT/IP training and certs as traditional RF. Background in cellular/LTE/5G would not hurt.

One thing I trained on is interference mitigation, got ETA certified as an RFIM in 2017 and recert due next year. With BDAs and DAS's being thrown up around town, interference from illegal carriers are a daily battle on our system. I've already found 3 and had them shut down. Most of these are installed by unqualified individuals/firms and the owners didn't even know. If you get involved with any large trunked radio system on 700/800MHz, you will deal with this, so my advice is get trained, get familiar with what's around you.

A good attitude, listen to those with experience and learn from them. That is one thing lacking in this industry is an apprenticeship type of learning environment. This is a very specialized field and I can tell you from experience hiring folks, it is hard to find good help.