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XTS3000 Programming Issues/Tricks

CraigJcOz

Newbie
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
1
After reviewing what felt like 100 different posts where people reported similar issues to what I experienced with programming a new XTS3000 I purchased recently, I thought i'd post how I overcome numerous issues I faced, and ultimately the kit I used to get my radio programmed and working.

The PC and CPS
First, ensure you're using CPS version R5.03.00 - that's the latest version of the CPS for the XTS3000. Don't use anything newer - it won't work.

Also ensure that you're running Windows XP 32bit - either on an old laptop or in a virtual machine on your PC/Laptop. It MUST be 32bit - not 64bit. I'm using virtualbox, with a VM configured to run Windows XP.

Upon first boot of the CPS, you'll probably get an error and the program will crash. This is because the software either hasn't detected your programming cable, or that you don't currently have one connected. Install the drivers for your programming cable within Windows XP (not on your local PC/laptop). More on this below.

The programming cable
I purchased a RIB-less cable from china. I paid $30 for it. It works (so far).

I attempted to use 2 different types of USB to RS232 cables to connect the RIB-less cable to my laptop (as I don't have an old RS232/Serial port on my surface laptop).

In short, Prolific-based USB to RS232 cables = BAD, FTDI-based USB to RS232 cables= Good. I could NOT get my prolific based USB cable to work with my radio. The radio would beep, and show 1. CSQ on screen but would then error out with "Cannot read radio" in the CPS. No amount of editing settings fixed this. I sucked it up and dropped $45 on an FTDI based USB cable, which worked flawlessly.

How do you know if your cable is Prolific or FTDI? It should say on the packaging, or at least within Windows Device manager itself.

Save yourself pain - get a quality FTDI-based cable.

Programming the radio
If this is the first time you've touched CPS, you're going to find the learning curve a little steep. There's lots of youtube videos out there that shows how to program basic channels.

The key things to point out are:

Conventional = analogue or ASTRO (p25) channels
Trunked = Trunked system (unless you're programming the radio for an agency, there's no need to go into this section).

Hopefully this helps someone out there.
 

n3obl

Ø
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Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,037
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PA
The PC and CPS
First, ensure you're using CPS version R5.03.00 - that's the latest version of the CPS for the XTS3000. Don't use anything newer - it won't work.

Also ensure that you're running Windows XP 32bit - either on an old laptop or in a virtual machine on your PC/Laptop. It MUST be 32bit - not 64bit. I'm using virtualbox, with a VM configured to run Windows XP.
Long post but some corrections.

Astro portable 5.03 will work on windows 7 machines with 32 bit also. I use a toughbook with a serial port no issues at all.

And you state nothing newer than 5.03. Newsflash there is nothing newer. Just people who confuse astro portable with astro25 portable CPS.
 

KC8ESL

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
547
Location
Mentor, Ohio
The iomega GUC232A has always been my go-to USB to RS-232 adapter. If something went wrong, I can safely remove it from the "unknown" part of the equation.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Lead Database Admin
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
5,140
Location
Ohio
I attempted to use 2 different types of USB to RS232 cables to connect the RIB-less cable to my laptop (as I don't have an old RS232/Serial port on my surface laptop).

In short, Prolific-based USB to RS232 cables = BAD, FTDI-based USB to RS232 cables= Good. I could NOT get my prolific based USB cable to work with my radio. The radio would beep, and show 1. CSQ on screen but would then error out with "Cannot read radio" in the CPS. No amount of editing settings fixed this. I sucked it up and dropped $45 on an FTDI based USB cable, which worked flawlessly.

How do you know if your cable is Prolific or FTDI? It should say on the packaging, or at least within Windows Device manager itself.

Save yourself pain - get a quality FTDI-based cable.
Nice writeup.

USB-Serial cables with FTDI chipsets are a good idea for any radio programming tasks. There are many knockoffs of the Prolific chipset rambling around out there, and none of them seem to work reliably. It's even hit-or-miss with the genuine Prolific chipset when it comes to radio programming.

if you do a lot of radio programming (especially of various different radios) you might consider getting yourself a dedicated laptop with a serial port for the purpose. Some months back I bought a Toughbook CF-53 for $200 on eBay and put a solid state drive in it. Installed Windows 7 32-bit, works like a champ.

 
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