|- Factory Style Programming|
|- The "Code Plug" Mode Revealed|
|- Orange Label EEPROM Modules|
|- EEPROM Programmers|
|- White Label PROM Modules|
|- Real World Style Programming|
|- Receive Only Programming|
|- Talkaround Programming|
|- HHCH Notes|
|- Code Plug Memory Map|
|- Syntor X Home|
Factory style programming:
If you want to program these radios the Motorola way, you will need a R1800/R1801 series suitcase programmer, RTL-4801C Radio Service Software (RSS), RSS license, RTL-5816B Memory Module adaptor board and thousands of dollars if you do not already own or have access to this stuff. There is also an Epson based programmer Motorola used to sell. As most people do not have access to the Motorola programming equipment, there are other ways to program them yourself.
Motorola refers to the program stored in the radio as the "Code Plug".
The "Code Plug" mode revealed:
Here is a web site with a detailed bit map of the Syntor X "Code Plug" mode programming format: http://home.xnet.com/~pakman/syntor/syntorx.htm
Orange label EEPROM modules:
The orange label Memory Modules use one 2816A EEPROM. If you remove the Memory Module from the Personality Board, open it (it is two halves that slide apart) and remove the 2816A chip from its socket (remember to follow CMOS static handling precautions and do not mangle the 2816A pins or damage any PC board traces when removing it) it can be programmed by a variety of commercial EEPROM programmers. EEPROM programmers that can program the 2816A EEPROM can be found in electronics magazines like Nuts and Volts, etc.
The only example of an 800 MHz EEPROM module I have seen has the 2816A soldered on the Memory Module board. To program this 2816A with a conventional EEPROM programmer the chip would have to be unsoldered or the original Motorola programming setup could used instead. If the chip is unsoldered you could put a low profile socket on the board although the 2816A would probably have to be replaced (removing the solder completely enough so the EEPROM can go in a socket is hard to do). You could also make your own Memory Module to EEPROM programmer adaptor and not have to bother removing 2816A EEPROMs from memory modules ever again.
When reinstalling the EEPROM in the memory module, remember to orient it correctly in the socket (pin 1 must be in the correct spot), do not bend or crush any of its pins and always follow CMOS static handling precautions. Sometimes you need to carefully straighten the pins before it will go back into its socket.
These EEPROMs are designed to hold the programmed data for at least 10 years. At some point after 10 years they may need to be programmed again if you are still using them. This is just a limitation of the EEPROM technology these chips were built with. If they are not programmed correctly they may not make the full 10 years.
I have only encountered 2816A EEPROMs with no manufacturer stamp on the chip, 2816A SEEQ EEPROMs and one XICOR 2816C in these radios. There are also other 2816B and 2816C EEPROMs that should also work if you can program them.
Information on EEPROM programmers is located here.
I have an old generic EEPROM programmer that does not list any chip manufacturers and it programs all of the 2816A and 2816C EEPROMs I have tried with no problems. Of course I have not waited the entire 10 years yet, to see if the programs hold like they should (I only have about 4 years on my oldest programed 2816A).
Keep in mind that you may find different EEPROMs inside a radio that your programmer may not program. They may not be factory original EEPROMs, in which case even the Motorola suitcase programmer may not be able to program them.
2816A EEPROMs are not being manufactured any longer and they are getting hard to find. I recommend searching on the Internet for chip vendors. If you know someone that has upgraded a Syntor X 9000 radio or Systems 9000 control head with a W930 8k chip, see if you can get their old 2816A chip. Fortunately most Syntor X radios come with an EEPROM already in them.
White label PROM modules:
The white label Memory Modules are not common (thank goodness) and use a PROM that is not re-programmable. I do not even know what PROM they used. If you have one of these you will need a new never before programmed PROM and a programmer that can program that type of PROM. Do not make any mistakes programming it because the PROM will have to be thrown out if you do. Actually fusible-link PROMs can be reused only if none of the links that have already been fused need to be changed (i.e. you can not undo a fused link, but you can always fuse more links). So you can always add additional modes that were not programmed originally and sometimes get away with making some changes to existing modes. Each fused-link in the PROM corresponds to a bit in the code plug and the program is permanent. In contrast the orange label 2816A EEPROM is designed to be completely re-programmed at least 10,000 times before the chip wears out.
If you have an old White Label PROM module and want to up upgrade it to an Orange Label EEPROM module, the "Field Retrofit Procedure for EEPROM Modules" (68P80100W53) explains how to perform the conversion (you have to supply the parts). There are two chips on the Personality Board (U2 and U3) that may not be fast enough to work with an Orange Label EEPROM and this manual explains how to test them with an ohm meter to see if they need to be replaced or not. This test only applies to radios shipped before 7/3/84.
In this web site references to the programmable code plug memory (PROM or EEPROM) will be made to the EEPROM. Since the Syntor X PROM is a relative rarity it will not be discussed any further.
Real world style programming:
There is some free software and commercial software available that will create a code plug from the information you provide it. Check out the Syntor X links on http://www.batlabs.com/ and remember to be careful with some of the free software because it may have bugs and not produce a good code plug. The code plug bit map documentation should be used to check the code plug produced by any free software until you gain some confidence the free software is working correctly. If you are really adventurous you can create your own code plug from scratch with a binary editor and the detailed code plug bit map documentation.
You will also need a computer that can run the software to create the code plug and can communicate with your EEPROM programmer.
A typical programming solution is an IBM PC compatible running Microsoft Windows 9x or NT, SPROG II software and an EEPROM programmer that works with the PC and programs 2816A EEPROMs.
Another programming solution is an IBM PC compatible running DOS, Microsoft Windows 9x or NT, VHF / UHF Syntor X software and an EEPROM programmer that works with the PC and programs 2816A EEPROMs.
The solution is to create the information for the code plug and use it to program the 2816A EEPROM. Because there is a wide variety of ways to accomplish this, all I can do is point you in the right direction and you will have to figure out the rest of it.
If you do your own programming from scratch there is more programming information to be found throughout these documents. For everyone else, some of the other documents will help you understand just what it is you are getting when you choose certain mode programming options.
Do not forget the radio must be correctly cabled, internally jumpered and programmed to operate correctly. This will all depend on the control head and optional accessories with your radio. If you get a complete radio then all you have to do is keep the programming consistent with the options present in the radio. If you change things or have to build yours up from separate pieces then the Motorola manuals will really be invaluable.
Receive only programming:
Any mode may be programmed as a receive only mode. To accomplish this see the Syntor X code plug bit map (at the bottom of the bit map page). By programming the 5 indicated values into the Tx synthesizer 4 bit nibbles, the radio will not transmit when the mode is selected and the PTT is pressed. Receive only is very useful if you want to monitor frequencies you can not legally transmit on. It prevents accidental transmitting or misuse if your radio falls into the wrong hands. It can also be combined with 64 mode and Tx MPL operation by placing the receive only modes and the Tx MPL codes together in the MPL bank. Since a receive only mode does not use Tx PL/DPL these MPL codes can be stored here without causing any problems.
Talkaround is a Motorola feature that is implemented in the way the radio is programmed. When a repeater mode is programmed, different receive and transmit frequencies are used (that match the repeater frequencies). A Talkaround mode is the same as the repeater mode except the Syntor X transmit frequency is changed to match its receive frequency. This changes what was a repeater mode into a Talkaround simplex mode on the repeater output frequency. Two or more Talkaround radios located fairly close to each other can now communicate directly without using the repeater, but they can still hear stations using the repeater and they can easily switch back to the repeater. The way Motorola implements Talkaround is they divide the total number of modes on the Mode Select control head in half. The first half have repeater modes and the corresponding other half have the Talkaround simplex modes. For example: a 16 mode control head would be called an 8 mode Talkaround control head, with mode 1 for a repeater and mode 9 for its Talkaround simplex, mode 2 for another repeater and mode 10 for its Talkaround simplex, etc. This is why an 8 mode Talkaround control head is really a 16 mode control head. The Talkaround control heads all have 2 bank selects. For regular control heads the banks would normally be labeled "A" and "B", but are relabeled "Repeat" and "Direct" ("R" and "D" on clamshells) on Talkaround control heads. The reason for dividing the modes in half with the bank select is the operator can set a mode then use the bank select to choose between the repeater or Talkaround simplex mode. For example, when you select mode 5 you can choose the repeater or Talkaround simplex operation by a simple to operate procedure (select "repeater" or "direct"). The only things different about Talkaround is how the radio is programmed, the labels on the control head mode select bank switch and the total number of modes listed as half their real number (i.e. 16 mode Talkaround is really a 32 mode control head).
There is another slightly different matter connected to Talkaround. On the 800 MHz radios the Talkaround version is the only one capable of simplex operation. If an 800 MHz radio does not have Talkaround it is a repeater only radio. The 800 MHz factory frequencies are 806 - 825 MHz transmit and 851 - 870 MHz receive. The Talkaround option will add 851-870 MHz transmit. All of the other conventional Syntor X radios have matching receive and transmit frequency ranges, then Talkaround is only a programming trick as outlined in the above paragraph.
For Hand Held Control Head programming the operator select coded squelch encode and decode (MPL) is not used. The non-priority scan source - "selectable scan" (code plug mode byte A, bit 7) is the one normally selected. Even the HHCH without the non-priority scan button can program and use the selectable scan (the radio's case has to be opened to program the non-priority scan modes for the HHCH without the non-priority scan button).
Code plug memory map:
The following is a map of the Syntor X EERPOM locations. Each mode takes 16 bytes of the EEPROM. For a detailed description of each mode see http://home.xnet.com/~pakman/syntor/syntorx.htm.
|Code Plug Memory Map|
|EEPROM Byte Count (decimal)||Mode||EEPROM Address
|1 - 16||Mode 1||000 - 00F||Mode 1||Code 1||1|
|17 - 32||Mode 2||010 - 01F||Mode 2||Code 2|
|33 - 48||Mode 3||020 - 02F||Mode 3||Code 3|
|49 - 64||Mode 4||030 - 03F||Mode 4||Code 4|
|65 - 80||Mode 5||040 - 04F||Mode 5||Code 5|
|81 - 96||Mode 6||050 - 05F||Mode 6||Code 6|
|97 - 112||Mode 7||060 - 06F||Mode 7||Code 7|
|113 - 128||Mode 8||070 - 07F||Mode 8||Code 8|
|129 - 144||Mode 9||080 - 08F||Mode 9||Code 1||2|
|145 - 160||Mode 10||090 - 09F||Mode 10||Code 2|
|161 - 176||Mode 11||0A0 - 0AF||Mode 11||Code 3|
|177 - 192||Mode 12||0B0 - 0BF||Mode 12||Code 4|
|193 - 208||Mode 13||0C0 - 0CF||Mode 13||Code 5|
|209 - 224||Mode 14||0D0 - 0DF||Mode 14||Code 6|
|225 - 240||Mode 15||0E0 - 0EF||Mode 15||Code 7|
|241 - 256||Mode 16||0F0 - 0FF||Mode 16||Code 8|
|257 - 272||Mode 17||100 - 10F||Mode 17||Code 1||3|
|273 - 288||Mode 18||110 - 11F||Mode 18||Code 2|
|289 - 304||Mode 19||120 - 12F||Mode 19||Code 3|
|305 - 320||Mode 20||130 - 13F||Mode 20||Code 4|
|321 - 336||Mode 21||140 - 14F||Mode 21||Code 5|
|337 - 352||Mode 22||150 - 15F||Mode 22||Code 6|
|353 - 368||Mode 23||160 - 16F||Mode 23||Code 7|
|369 - 384||Mode 24||170 - 17F||Mode 24||Code 8|
|385 - 400||Mode 25||180 - 18F||Mode 25||Code 1||4|
|401 - 416||Mode 26||190 - 19F||Mode 26||Code 2|
|417 - 432||Mode 27||1A0 - 1AF||Mode 27||Code 3|
|433 - 448||Mode 28||1B0 - 1BF||Mode 28||Code 4|
|449 - 464||Mode 29||1C0 - 1CF||Mode 29||Code 5|
|465 - 480||Mode 30||1D0 - 1DF||Mode 30||Code 6|
|481 - 496||Mode 31||1E0 - 1EF||Mode 31||Code 7|
|497 - 512||Mode 32||1F0 - 1FF||Mode 32||Code 8|
|513 - 528||Mode 33*||200 - 20F||Mode 1*||Code 1||5|
|529 - 544||Mode 34*||210 - 21F||Mode 2*||Code 2|
|545 - 560||Mode 35*||220 - 22F||Mode 3*||Code 3|
|561- 576||Mode 36*||230 - 23F||Mode 4*||Code 4|
|577 - 592||Mode 37*||240 - 24F||Mode 5*||Code 5|
|593 - 608||Mode 38*||250 - 25F||Mode 6*||Code 6|
|609 - 624||Mode 39*||260 - 26F||Mode 7*||Code 7|
|625 - 640||Mode 40*||270 - 27F||Mode 8*||Code 8|
|641 - 656||Mode 41*||280 - 28F||Mode 9*||Code 1||6|
|657 - 672||Mode 42*||290 - 29F||Mode 10*||Code 2|
|673 - 688||Mode 43*||2A0 - 2AF||Mode 11*||Code 3|
|869 - 704||Mode 44*||2B0 - 2BF||Mode 12*||Code 4|
|705 - 720||Mode 45*||2C0 - 2CF||Mode 13*||Code 5|
|721 - 736||Mode 46*||2D0 - 2EF||Mode 14*||Code 6|
|737 - 752||Mode 47*||2E0 - 2DF||Mode 15*||Code 7|
|753 - 768||Mode 48*||2F0 - 2FF||Mode 16*||Code 8|
|769 - 784||Mode 49*||300 - 30F||Mode 17*||Code 1||7|
|785 - 800||Mode 50*||310 - 31F||Mode 18*||Code 2|
|801 - 816||Mode 51*||320 - 32F||Mode 19*||Code 3|
|817 - 832||Mode 52*||330 - 33F||Mode 20*||Code 4|
|833 - 848||Mode 53*||340 - 34F||Mode 21*||Code 5|
|849 - 864||Mode 54*||350 - 35F||Mode 22*||Code 6|
|865 - 880||Mode 55*||360 - 36F||Mode 23*||Code 7|
|881 - 896||Mode 56*||370 - 37F||Mode 24*||Code 8|
|897 - 912||Mode 57*||380 - 38F||Mode 25*||Code 1||8|
|913 - 928||Mode 58*||390 - 39F||Mode 26*||Code 2|
|929 - 944||Mode 59*||3A0 - 3AF||Mode 27*||Code 3|
|945 - 960||Mode 60*||3B0 - 3BF||Mode 28*||Code 4|
|961 - 976||Mode 61*||3C0 - 3CF||Mode 29*||Code 5|
|977 - 992||Mode 62*||3D0 - 3DF||Mode 30*||Code 6|
|993 - 1008||Mode 63*||3E0 - 3EF||Mode 31*||Code 7|
|1009 - 1024||Mode 64*||3F0 - 3FF||Mode 32*||Code 8|
PL, Private Line, DPL, Digital Private Line, MPL, Talkaround, MDC-600, MDC-1200, MVS-20, Securenet, Smartnet, Privacy Plus, Trunked X2, Trunked X3, Touch Code, Quick Call II, Channel Scan, Talkback Scan, System 90, System 90*s, Systems 9000, Mitrek, Micor, Spectra, MataTrac, Syntor, Syntor X, Syntor X 9000 and Syntor X 9000E are trademarks of Motorola Inc.