Help with second hand Motorola CP040

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post and I?m a newbie to two way radios even though I use them for work. I?ve never had to buy some. It?s been interesting researching but now I need to some help from the experts.

I?ve recently bought 6 second hand Motorola Radios which have 4 channels.

The aerials are in a pretty bad state and they have different types of aerials

2 x Stubby UHF HELICAL Antenna [Link Removed]

3 x VHF Whip Antenna
[Link Removed]

1 x UHF 403-520MHz Whip
[Link Removed]

We?ll be using them outside and potentially far away from each other. Can anyone give me advice as to which antenna to get? I?ve read that the larger whip aerials give more range. But I?d like to understand more about the frequenzy ranges.

I bought these radios from a lady who ran a boot sale. They are pre programmed. She doesn?t have a license. Didn?t even know that she needed one.
How do I find out what frequenzy these radios use? Will I need a license for these? I?m thinking yes.

We are based in the US so the I cannot comment on the license requirements in the UK, but I can recommend that you do not use the pre-programmed frequencies in those radios until you find out what they are and confirm with OFCOM for the rules and regulations in your country.

As for the antennas, we would need to know more about the radios themselves and how you plan to use them. What make and model of Motorolas are they? Are they all the same or different? If you are using them outdoors, what is the specific application? What is the terrain? How far is “far away”?

Thanks for the reply.

I checked the model number and found the frequency to be VHF 146-174MHz.

The radios are all the same and their details are:

Motorola CP040
Type: PG302CB
Model: mdh50kdc9aa1an

They’ll be used on a set of short films, so anywhere inside or outside really. With a range of up to 1 mile.

Just a reminder what Rick said. You CANNOT transmit on these business radios without an appropriate business licence and your own assigned frequency. Use on any of those frequencies that are programmed into the radios can potentially interfere with other businesses and even public safety channels.

Start interfering with properly licenced businesses or putting life at risk by interfering with public safety channels, and you will get your film set shut down very quickly and ruin the reputation of the film industry in your area for getting along with communities. If you don’t have your own business licence and frequency and are not prepared to do so, then you were sold the wrong radios.

We usually don’t recommend purchasing used radios for use in a specific practical application for a number of reasons.

[li] If they are older models, they may or may not be compliant with current rules and regulations, such as the FCC narrowbanding requirements in the US.[/li][li] The battery packs may or may not be usable, as rechargeable batteries have a limited lifespan.[/li][li] They will need to be re-programmed to frequency(ies) you are licensed for and can use[/li][li] The programming cables and software may or may not be available to the end user[/li][li] The radios may or may not be locked or password protected by the previous owner or programming service (aka dealer) to prevent re-programming[/li][li] They may or may not be adequate or useable for your specific application[/li][li] They may or may not even work.[/li][/ul]
A Two way radio is not a one-size-fits-all device. There are different types of radios with different features and functions that operate on different services for different applications and environments. Before you consider purchasing radios, it is best to consult with an expert to help you find the radios to fit your specific needs. This will save you a lot of time, money and frustration.

From your use of the word ‘Bootsale’ I guess you’re in the UK?

Assuming that you really have all VHF versions of the radio - you need the programming software and cables to change whatever channels are in them. First question is are you sure they are all VHF, because as one had a UHF antenna ???

If you are very lucky they will be on one or more of the OFCOM easily licences channels, but you need to find somebody who has a frequency counter or test gear (local ham radio club maybe can help?) The, if the channels onboard are the common ones, you buy a licence - ?75 for 5 years for the common type and away you go.

Forget any idea of using different antennas - the ones that come with them are the best trade off of range and convenience. If you get them tested and they are on technically assigned frequencies then you will NEED to have them, reprogrammed to use them. Murphy’s law says that you have one mismatched one - unusual to see a VHF radio with a UHF antenna on it. When you charge them up, do any talk to each other on one or more channel? This proves they work, but to find out if they can be used legally requires a test meter to find the frequency - OR - the software and cables, then you can just read them on a computer.