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Programming Motorola XTL5000 or CDM1250 mobile radios


WRTZ750
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I'm seeing that the CDM1250 and XTL5000 radios are quality units to use in vehicles for GMRS.  Does anyone have resources they can share that could teach me how to program these?  

What do others do?  Program themselves?  Pay a company to do it?

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The hardest part about programming the XTL5000 is getting the software..

As for programming the radio:  I learned everything about how to program it by watching youtube videos - I have a friend that I could call for things that really confused me and he also learned everything from Youtube and various websites.

For most/many things, the programming is the same/very similar to the XTS5000 - seems there is more info out there for the XTS, which also helped me a lot. 

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Ok, I did a brief YouTube search and just saw guys blabbing about, "here's my radio" but nothing on programming.  I'll dig in a little more.  What program is used?  I read somewhere there's a guy that sells the software but only at certain times on a certain website but that makes me nervous.

Thanks again.

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If you never programmed a radio before, the CDM series might be a little difficult to figure out. I even had one competitor pay me to program their customer's HT750 radios back in the day because their tech couldn't figure it out.

There is no real "step by step" manual ever put out by Motorola that I'm aware of which covers the programming of radios. They do offer some training online for for shops who sign up (and pay) for the training, but I have usually just spent the time to figure it out.

PM400 or M1225 radios are a little easier to work with for basic setups using the RSS/CPS programming software. Once you get familiar with those, then the Professional Series is just a step or two beyond.

Most Radio Shops will program up a radio for you at a reasonable price. If you're the kind of person who doesn't make themselves a pain, the shop might even let you watch while they program in a channel or two. It's not rocket science, but there's a few gotcha's involved.

 

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Also beware of "some people" that will chastise you for even thinking about using an XTL5000 on GMRS and watch out for the "experts" telling you that you will go to jail if you get a copy of the XTL5000 software..
I would say shut up. Commercial lmr gear is made very well. I mean it cost so damn much, most of the cost. They are part 90 and although fcc doesn't want you to they understand that radios are much better then the 90% of the garbage on the consumer market. So for the most part turn a blind eye.

I just can't afford $2500 for a 5 watt 10 year old handheld.

The problem is getting the software. It is still available Motorola, charges roughly $300 for it. You still may need a ris programming box, not all do.

If you can find a friend online or real life you should be able to get a copy. It was the only way I could get v12.05 for the cdma1250. Crap, said friend handed me 4 used 1250, with new in box accesories, hooked me up with someone who sold me original remote head kits.

At absolute worse case, you can contact a lmr radio shop or talk to someone in the government radio shop. They probable have the hardware and software. They will probably charge a nominal fee. If you get super lucky they will also align and calibrate the radio.



Sent from my SM-S901U using Tapatalk

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If you never programmed a radio before, the CDM series might be a little difficult to figure out. I even had one competitor pay me to program their customer's HT750 radios back in the day because their tech couldn't figure it out.
There is no real "step by step" manual ever put out by Motorola that I'm aware of which covers the programming of radios. They do offer some training online for for shops who sign up (and pay) for the training, but I have usually just spent the time to figure it out.
PM400 or M1225 radios are a little easier to work with for basic setups using the RSS/CPS programming software. Once you get familiar with those, then the Professional Series is just a step or two beyond.
Most Radio Shops will program up a radio for you at a reasonable price. If you're the kind of person who doesn't make themselves a pain, the shop might even let you watch while they program in a channel or two. It's not rocket science, but there's a few gotcha's involved.
 
I found it more painful to learn their terminology. Not like it's difficult, just different words and thought process.

I had wished their was a outside primer document. I would write one up, but I am no expert/instructor and wouldn't be able to answer any questions nor would I be sure it was right.

Sent from my SM-S901U using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, axorlov said:

He can't shut up. His girlfriend cheated on him with some people, he can't get over it and now has a whole youtube channel dedicated to his misery.

Imagine living a life where you get so angry and butthurt over videos that nobody forces you to watch, that you then go around complaining and making up stories every chance you can..

We should all pray for sad people like this.

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And yet NO ONE actually answered this mans question.

With most radios (non-motorola) you program them in one big spreadsheet looking thing where you name the channel, put in the frequencies and tones and then blow it into the radio.

CDM software and Astro25 software are different and you need to understand how to use the software.

With CDM software, you build all the channels independently and then once the channels are built, you go into the zone list, create the desired zones and set the channel configurations in the zones.  This is done two different places in the software.  Scan lists are also build elsewhere in the software and assigned to the channels.  Of course, you can't add a channel to a scan list that doesn't exist so there is some back and forth that goes on.

 

Astro25 software (XTS /XTL) software

This is a bit more complicated as the radio has multiple transmit modes that are set in a 'conventional personality' that is assigned to the channels.

It DOES however program more like the spreadsheet radios, but there is some prep work that has to be done.  the XTS XTL stuff is P25 and analog.  So the settings for the modulation are set in the personality, but not the frequency as in the CDM.  You DON'T have to create a personality for each channel either.  THe personalities can be shared across many channels.  Be aware that the scan list is set in the personality and a scan list can only have 16 channels in it.  So if you get crazy and program up zones by state, county or whatever, you will need to create a scan list and personality for each zone.  Not hard once you understand it but really time consuming. 

Once you have the conventional personalities built, you then add zones and program the channel frequencies and tones in a spreadsheet format in the zone configuration area. 

 

Ask if you have questions. 

I have a bit of experience with Astro25 as I have been using it for about 15 years now.

 

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4 hours ago, WRKC935 said:

With CDM software, you build all the channels independently and then once the channels are built, you go into the zone list, create the desired zones and set the channel configurations in the zones.  This is done two different places in the software.  Scan lists are also build elsewhere in the software and assigned to the channels.  Of course, you can't add a channel to a scan list that doesn't exist so there is some back and forth that goes on.

Which process is pretty much SOP for anyone programming a DMR radio -- except for DMR (digital) channels one has to first populate the TalkGroup/Contacts table(s). Then one can go to the Channel table (or list, as many pop-up a dialog in which to edit the parameters rather than a spread-sheet format) to define a channel name, Tx/Rx frequencies, Time outs, Tones for analog channels, or talkgroup/contact for digital. If one uses scan lists, one can create an empty first, then specify the empty list in the channel definition. After the channels, one can go back and populate the scan list, along with creating/populating the "zone" lists with channels.

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5 hours ago, KAF6045 said:

Which process is pretty much SOP for anyone programming a DMR radio -- except for DMR (digital) channels one has to first populate the TalkGroup/Contacts table(s). Then one can go to the Channel table (or list, as many pop-up a dialog in which to edit the parameters rather than a spread-sheet format) to define a channel name, Tx/Rx frequencies, Time outs, Tones for analog channels, or talkgroup/contact for digital. If one uses scan lists, one can create an empty first, then specify the empty list in the channel definition. After the channels, one can go back and populate the scan list, along with creating/populating the "zone" lists with channels.

Yeah,,, color codes too.  I have built a couple code plugs for Motorola XPR radios.  And the one constant is it's time consuming.

 

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2 hours ago, WRTZ750 said:

Ok.  I have a call in to the local Motorola dealer so we will see if they will program one.  Sounds like I'd better leave the programming to those with experience.

If you end up with the software and a cable let me know.... If you can read teh codeplug and email it to me I can set it up for teh first go around

 

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2 hours ago, WRTZ750 said:

Ok.  I have a call in to the local Motorola dealer so we will see if they will program one.  Sounds like I'd better leave the programming to those with experience.

If you are located down here in S.E. Texas I can help you out.  It can be a bit intimidating at first....  

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Thanks for the help.  I was thinking if I went the route of Motorola and decided I wanted to add another repeater if I'm going to be traveling then I assume I'd either, 1.  Know how to program that repeater in myself. Or, 2.  Take it to the Motorola programmer guy/gal and have them do it.  Am I thinking correctly on this?

If so, then would a Wouxon mobile or, here we go with using Ham radios on GMRS frequencies, would it make more sense to get, say,a TYT th-7800 radio?  Would those radios be much easier for a simpleton like me to program?

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Even setting up a ham radio for use with GMRS repeaters can be challenging for us simpletons.   But a GMRS radio like the KG1000G or XS20G is very easy to setup. You dont even need the software, you can do it directly on the radio (but, it is easier with the software).

If simplicity is your goal for GMRS, then do not get a CDM1250, XTL5000 or a ham radio - get a GMRS radio.

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7 hours ago, WRTZ750 said:

I'll adhere to the K.I.S.S. method and see where this takes me.  Thanks.

This is probably a good idea to start out. The XTS/XTL are excellent radios, but the are end of life, and you can really confuse yourself finding the exact model you need with the correct flashcode (Motorola code for features enabled). 

The nice thing about the XTS/XTL, you can set an entire zone for the GMRS frequencies, and enable MPL (or user selectable tone) which will allow you to change it on the fly, but you have to program each possible PL for RX & TX, and name it appropriately. It does cap out at 60 pairs. 

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