Motorola Radio Question

Please remove if this is not appropriate here. I am looking to get our old department radios programmed with just a few channels for training purposes. Just want to have them programmed with like Channel 1, 2, and 3 type thing. They are old XTS1500. We just want to be able to use them fro training and not our new 8000s. Please let me know what direction I should be looking in.

You need to find a two way radio shop. Not only do the radios need to be programmed, they also need to be tested to ensure that they are narrow band compliant and that the deviation is set properly. Motorola programming software is proprietary. You need to have a license from Motorola to use it. You can’t even loan it to someone if you own a copy of it. You need to have licensed frequencies and you need to have some way to identify - a license and call sign for anything you do that doesn’t involve your local private land mobile radio repeater.

This is an interesting dilemma. Depending on how many radios you are wanting to program it could cost you more to have a shop do it versus obtaining the programming cable and a copy of Astro 25 Portable CPS from Motorola. Then again, then you have to do that yourself.

The better question is figuring out what you want programmed. Do you have tactical channels licensed? Are you wanting to use NIFOG interops (it is an acceptable use)? Do you want to maintain unit IDs? Digital or analog? Do you need to enable permit tones (say you are using a trunking IRL but conventional in training)? The list goes on…

@The_Roadmaster mentioned the radios needing to be tested. I actually don’t agree. Should they be tested? I mean Motorola recommends aligning radios annually but those radios are pretty good about staying within spec for several years at a time and typically what you will see is the reference oscillator will drift out of factory spec (while the emission is still within regulatory spec). As for narrowband compliance, it may or may not apply depending on the band of operation…also doesn’t apply if using P25 because P25 is narrowband compliant to begin with.

All that being said, I don’t really recommend doing what you are wanting to do. The reason I don’t is that the radios are completely different and this is a public safety application. If you are looking at the two radios from the front, there is no display on the front of an APX8000 where the XTS1500 came in either a Model 1 (no display) or Model 1.5 (display). The APX has an secure switch on the top which is not present on the XTS1500. The APX has most of it’s controls and display on the rear. There are two microphones on the APX, one front and one rear. On the XTS the emergency button is in front of the antenna where it’s behind the antenna on the APX. It’s kind of like doing all of your firearms training with a revolver and instead carrying a Glock as your duty weapon.

If it were me, I’d train with your APXs or at a minimum, trade in you XTS’s for APX6000s (same housing) with someone like Sunny Communications.