Motorola DMR Radios for Hams
One of the things that came out of my trip to Westcreek was a renewed interest in getting Motorola radios to work for myself. I originally became interested in this back in February when RMHAM University did a class on using commercial DMR radios from Motorola and Kenwood for ham radio purposes. Among other things, the Motorola section of the class covered the very important difference between using the old and new versions of the customer programming software (CPS). The class piqued my interest and I picked up a sleek Motorola SL-300 but didn’t actually get very far programming it.
So over the past couple of weeks, I’ve tried to keep track of everything I needed to do to get licenses for and successfully program one of these Motorola radios. Ultimately I needed to get the TRBO CPS license as well as a wideband (25khz) entitlement from Motorola. There seems to be a lot of outdated information out there, so hopefully this will be updated advice.
First, note that the Motorola radio website is https://www.motorolasolutions.com; just plain motorola.com is for the cell phone division. I got an account on motorolasolutions.com, but that only gave me access to the consumer side with FRS/GMRS/MURS radios. To order the necessary part numbers, I had to contact customer service and have them upgrade my account to a business account with a 10-digit customer ID. It sounds like this is a common arrangement for hams. Once they did that, I was able to access https://myview.motorolasolutions.com/.
At this point I went on http://learning.motorolasolutions.com/ and took training course PRD0001: FCC Narrowbanding Mandate Training which carefully explained that wideband FM channels are no longer allowed on commercial bands, only on ham radio bands. That only took about 15 minutes to complete. After I finished that, I had to again contact customer service and have them manually verify completion and open up the option to order the 25khz entitlement.
Once all of that was done I was able to go back to https://shop.motorolasolutions.com/ and order part numbers:
- HKVN4362A for the TRBO CPS, which became free in February of 2022
- HKVN4046A for the 25khz entitlement, also free
After all of this hassle, I was finally able to download the TRBO CPS 2 from MyView, add the wideband entitlement and program to my heart’s content. I wouldn’t really say I’m happy with CPS 2 because there is no import/export functionality, but considering there’s no other option with Motorola radios, I guess I’ll just be happy it works at all!
The bottom line here is that when working with Motorola equipment as a ham, don’t expect to be able to do anything self-service. Contact customer support; it’s relatively quick and painless, and you won’t get far any other way.