- SYNTOR X 9000 CONVERSIONS
     - Syntor X to Syntor X 9000 Comparison and Conversions
       - Conversion Details
     - Syntor X 9000 Extended Frequency Modifications
     - 32 to 64 Mode Conversions
     - 64 to 128 Mode Conversions
     - 128 to 255 Mode Conversions
       - Notes on Selecting Memory Chips
     - Syntor X 9000E to Syntor X 9000 Conversion
     - Converting Non-Securenet "KEJ" Models and Securenet "KXJ Models
         
   - Syntor X 9000 Home
   - HOME

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Syntor X 9000 to Syntor X comparison and conversions:

Aside from minor circuit revisions, the Personality Board and Common Circuits Board are all that separates a Syntor X from a Syntor X 9000. The control heads, cables and accessories of the Syntor X and Syntor X 9000 are not compatible at all. As far as these external connections go, the antenna and 12 volt power source is about all they have in common.

Among other things the Syntor X 9000 Personality Board added a Switched Capacitance Audio Filter (SCAF) chip with sharper filter response, digitally controlled volume and squelch, the microprocessor now controls the "voice" and "data" audio modulation connections, the IDC modulation control circuits are now located on this board, a system for adding internal option boards (i.e. DTMF, DVP, etc.) and the squelch circuits are now located on this board.

The X 9000 Common Circuits Board has no squelch circuits, it now has an unswitched +5 volt power supply which the switched +5 volt supply tracks when it is on, and an optional battery backup for an optional encryption key memory. The "Temperature / SWR / P.A. Protection / Set Circuits" are basically unchanged.

Even though the 32 mode Syntor X 9000 shares the same 2816A EEPROM as the Syntor X, programming the X 9000 is totally different. The Syntor X 9000 radio is programmed without opening the case or removing the EEPROM.

There are Syntor X radios that have been converted into Syntor X 9000 radios. If the conversion was done correctly, the Syntor X Personality Board and Common Circuits Board were swapped for Syntor X 9000 boards. The only difference between a properly converted Syntor X and a Syntor X 9000 may be some circuit revisions and the radio's label. For example; on the low band Syntor X 9000 radio the thermistor circuit in the synthesizer ramp generator was changed (it still uses the exact same PC trace layout as the original Syntor X board). Another example is the Syntor X 9000 added a ferrite bead to the receiver input line that the Syntor X does not have.

One functional difference between the Syntor X and Syntor X 9000 Common Circuits Board is the X 9000 has an additional unswitched +5 volt power supply (it runs as long as the radio's red and black cables are hooked to a power source). The switched +5 volt supply regulator tracks the unswitched regulator so both unswitched and switched +5 volt supplies put out the same voltage when the switched supply is turned on. The unswitched +5 volt supply keeps the radio's internal memory alive when the control head power switch is turned off. Without this supply things like the operator select scan list, volume setting, last mode used, control head button settings, operator selectable options settings, etc. are lost when you turn the radio off. In this case the radio uses the RSS programmed default setting when it is powered back on. The X 9000 works without the unswitched supply (the switched +5 volt supply is substituted), but it is a big nuisance to have to always manually restore the settings. If you have a 128 mode radio with an operator selectable scan list, upgrade nuisance to "HUGE pain in the rear".

The terms "switched" and "unswitched" are taken directly from the Motorola manuals. "Unswitched" refers to an analog regulated +5 volt power supply that is run directly off of the main radio power cables without any on/off switch. "Switched" refers to an analog regulated +5 volt power supply that is turned on and off by the power switch on the Systems 9000 control head. Please do not confuse "switched" with a switching type power supply which the X 9000 does not have.

Any HLN4925 or HLN5299 Personality Board can be jumpered for low band, VHF, UHF or 800 MHz. For example; there is no problem using one from a 800 MHz Syntor X 9000 radio to convert a VHF Syntor X into a VHF Syntor X 9000. The Common Circuits Boards however have a big problem. Each low band, VHF, UHF and 800 MHz Common Circuits Board has radically different circuitry for the "Temperature / SWR / P.A. Protection / Power Set" circuitry. This means a low band Common Circuits Board will only work in a low band radio, a VHF Common Circuits Board will only work in a VHF radio, a UHF Common Circuits Board will only work in a UHF radio and an 800 MHz Common Circuits Board will only work in a 800 MHz radio. So the above Personality Board example of using an 800 MHz radio for conversion parts in a VHF radio will not work for the Common Circuits Board. An alternative is the Syntor X Common Circuits Board can be used by changing the connector that goes to the Personality Board and custom wiring it to the Syntor X Common Circuits Board. However, keep in mind there will not be any unswitched +5 volt supply and the converted radio will "forget" every time you turn it off (as previously explained above).

If you purchase a Syntor X 9000 that was converted from a Syntor X radio you should check to make sure both the Personality and Common Circuits boards have been replaced. That is, unless you think you can put up with the constant memory/setting loss problem explained above.

One popular conversion is to take a low power VHF or UHF Syntor X 9000 radio and a high power VHF or UHF Syntor X radio (both radios need to be VHF or to be UHF), swap the Personality Boards and Common Circuits Boards between both radios. The only difficulty is the UHF Common Circuits Boards have some component value differences that need to be changed between UHF low and high power (using the service manuals, some soldering skills and equipment you can actually move the individual components between the circuit boards). This procedure easily creates a low power Syntor X and a high power Syntor X 9000 radio. Both radios are still useful and now the Syntor X 9000 is the generally more highly regarded 100 watt model. If one of the radios has a retuned VCO tuning range or retuned Rx preselectors, with a little more work you can actually swap out everything except the Tx PA deck between the Syntor X and Syntor X 9000 radio chassis (VHF range 1 radios are only available with 30 watts, this is one way to convert one into a 100 watt VHF range 1 radio).

Keep in mind the Syntor X 9000 Personality Board (compensation, deviation, threshold), the Syntor X 9000 Common Circuits Board (current limit, power set), Syntor X Personality Board (data deviation) and Syntor X Common Circuits Board (compensation, current limit, deviation, power set) have critical adjustments that are specifically adjusted for the radio they are originally installed in. If you go changing these boards around between radios you will need to do a full alignment on a test bench.

Click here for the Syntor X to Syntor X 9000 conversion details.

 

Syntor X 9000 extended frequency modifications:

Because the Syntor X 9000 RF assemblies are based on the Syntor X, the Syntor X Extended Frequency Modifications also work on the Syntor X 9000 with the following changes. The code-plug programming is different as described (modified SP versions of the X 9000 RSS for radios that have been retuned to the HAM bands with special V1 settings do exist, but I do not think Motorola supplies them any longer) and the VCO lock test instructions to disable scanning are different. The X 9000 has no "PRI" button (instead there may be a "Scan" button on the control head), there is no Scan Enable jumper on the Personality Board and depending on how the X 9000 was programmed you may have to reprogram it with the RSS to disable scanning in order to check the VCO unlock indicator light.

With the above understanding, every place you see "Syntor X" on the modification page can be replaced with "Syntor X 9000".

 

32 to 64 mode conversions:

All the conventional Syntor X 9000 radios are capable of at least 32 modes minimum. These mode conversion instructions assume you have a Syntor X 9000 radio and control head that already work correctly and can be programmed with conventional Syntor X 9000 RSS without any problems. If you are already having RSS problems please check the Programming Problems information first.

Remember to take anti-static precautions and always pay very careful attention to the pin 1 orientation on the chip and socket. Be careful when pulling a chip from its socket. PC board traces can be accidentally damaged if you are not very careful about where you place any tools used to pry a chip out. A real chip removal tool should be the safest thing to use.

The radio uses a 24 pin 2k EEPROM chip for 32 mode (or less) operation and a 28 pin 8k EEPROM chip for up to 64 mode (or more) operation. The RSS can create either a 2k or an 8k code plug. The code plug size must match the chip size. An 8k code plug with 32 or fewer modes programmed into it can not be loaded into a 2k chip, the 8k code plug must be loaded into an 8k chip. The control heads can also use a 2k or 8k chip. The number of pins on their chips depends on the control head type (i.e. DIP or SMD) and they have the same RSS size restrictions as the radio.

There are two different types of control head construction, either DIP or SMD. The HCN1033, HCN1041 and HCN1045 are examples of DIP control heads. The HCN1063, HCH1068, HCN1069 and HCN1073 are examples of SMD control heads. Only the DIP control heads may require an EEPROM memory upgrade. If you open your control head and the Control Board components are layed out like this, it is a DIP control head. If it is layed out like this, it is an SMD control head. All of the SMD control heads come with the EEPROM memory upgrade already included, except for the HCN1062 which can not be upgraded.

All the Syntor X 9000 radios only use DIP construction for the EEPROM memory chips.

The DIP 32 mode EEPROM chip (for both the control head and radio) is a DIP 24 pin EEPROM chip. The sockets on the circuit boards are 28 pin sockets. When the 24 pin chip is installed in one of these 28 pin sockets, the top 4 pins (pins 1, 2, 27 and 28) are empty (i.e. the chip is at the bottom of the socket). This is the most reliable method of identifying the 32 mode chips. The EEPROM chip is found here at U2 inside the DIP control heads and it is found here at U502 inside the radio. The upgrade EEPROM is a 28 pin chip that will fill the U2 and U502 sockets completely.

Save the old 24 pin Syntor X 9000 EEPROM chips for Syntor X radios (it is the same chip that was used on the older Syntor X radio line).

To perform the conversion, start with the radio, locate the Personality Board component side, remove the Internal Options Boards Shield near the main radio connector, remove the old 24 pin chip at U502 and replace it with a new 28 pin 2864A-20 chip. The jumper for JU501 and JU502 (they both share a common center pin) is located next to U502. This jumper needs to be changed from the JU501 position to the JU502 position. Now the radio can be put back together, closed up and is ready to program. When the radio is first turned on, the control head will display an error code because the radio EEPROM is blank. Have the radio programmed with RSS.

Some radios with early versions of the U501 firmware still may not program with 64 modes (if yours programmed you can skip the rest of this paragraph). The problem reported to me is the control head RSS will consistently fail with a verify error when attempting to program the control head with the more than 32 modes (it appears the radio may be interfering with the control head programming). One reported fix is to purchase Motorola part number 01-80754T53 (its a new later version firmware chip) as a replacement for the U501 chip. I have also seen U501 chip part numbers 01-80749T14 and 01-80751T38 work just fine in 64 mode radios. If you are only doing the 64 mode conversion as a stepping stone to the 128 or 255 mode conversion you will need a totally different U501 firmware chip so do not waste any money or time with any of the 64 mode U501 chips just mentioned (use your 128 mode or 255 mode U501 chip instead). Remember, problems like a verify error can also be attributed to an IBM compatible computer that is too fast.

A 64 mode radio will work with a 32 mode control head, but the control head will not be able to display user programmed mode names above mode 32. Instead the control head will display the word "MODE" followed by the mode number (i.e. "MODE 33", "MODE 34", "MODE 35", etc.).

Next, if the control head has a DIP 24 pin EEPROM chip at U2, remove it and replace it with a new 28 pin 2864A-20 chip. The jumper positions JU4 and JU5 are located on the other side of the board from U2. This is a zero ohm chip resistor located at JU4 that needs to be unsoldered (heating both ends at the same time works best), removed and soldered in at JU5. Now the control head can be put back together, closed up and is ready to program. When the radio is first turned on, the control head will display an error code because the control head EEPROM is blank. Have the control head programmed with RSS.

If the control head is an SMD type there is no need to make any changes to it, just have it programed with RSS. If you have a HCN1062 control head it is permanently a 2k EEPROM and can not be upgraded.

See the Control Head information page for more information on programming different model control heads with RSS. Some control heads may not program with conventional Syntor X 9000 RSS (most of these only need to be converted to conventional).

The radio is now capable of supporting 64 modes. More than 64 modes can be programmed into the radio and control head with special versions of the RSS, but the radio's non-priority scan will not work above mode 64.

The control head is now capable of supporting 64+ modes. The limit may be 210 user programmed mode names? It will display all the mode names up to 210, but will revert to the default "MODE 211", "MODE 212", etc., display for mode numbers larger than 210. No further EEPROM memory size upgrade is possible with the control heads and the RSS alone determines how many modes may be programmed.

The good news is currently aftermarket 2864A EEPROM chips are selling for under $ 7.00 each, so doing a 64 mode conversion is not expensive. Please see the Notes on selecting memory chips below.

 

64 to 128 mode conversions:

These mode conversion instructions assume your radio and control head already work correctly and can be programmed with conventional Syntor X 9000 RSS without any problems. If you are already having RSS problems please check the Programming Problems information first.

Remember to take anti-static precautions and always pay very careful attention to the pin 1 orientation on the chip and socket. Be careful when pulling a chip from its socket. PC board traces can be accidentally damaged if you are not very careful about where you place any tools used to pry a chip out. A real chip removal tool should be the safest thing to use.

The 128 mode conversion for 64 mode radios involves replacing or reprogramming the Personality Board firmware EPROM (ultraviolet erasable) U501 (located under the Internal Options Boards Shield) and it requires special 128 mode Radio Service Software (RSS). The Motorola part number for the 128 mode non-priority scan U501 EPROM is located here.

The 01-06707T52 EPROM does not support the "Alert tone on volume change" RSS feature. So you have to give up this feature to have 128 mode non-priority scanning.

The new firmware for U501 supports non-priority scanning up to 128 modes in the radio. Special RSS is required to program 128 modes. More than 128 modes can be programmed into the radio and control head with special versions of the RSS, but the radio's non-priority scan will not work above mode 128.

 

128 to 255 mode conversions:

These mode conversion instructions assume your radio and control head already work correctly and can be programmed with conventional Syntor X 9000 RSS without any problems. If you are already having RSS problems please check the Programming Problems information first.

Remember to take anti-static precautions and always pay very careful attention to the pin 1 orientation on the chip and socket. Be careful when pulling a chip from its socket. PC board traces can be accidentally damaged if you are not very careful about where you place any tools used to pry a chip out. A real chip removal tool should be the safest thing to use.

The 255 mode conversion for 64 or 128 mode radios involves replacing or reprogramming the Personality Board firmware EPROM (ultraviolet erasable) U501 (located under the Internal Options Boards Shield) and it requires special 255 mode Radio Service Software (RSS). The 255 mode non-priority scan EPROM apparently was not done by Motorola so it is very, very hard to find. This "hacked" firmware also does not support several internal option boards.

The new firmware for U501 supports non-priority scanning up to 255 modes in the radio. Special RSS is required to program 255 modes. No more modes may be programmed into the radio.

Actually, it is not clear if this is a 255 mode or 256 mode conversion? I have never seen a radio with this conversion.

There is also a possibility the control head can not have more than 210 user programmed mode names in it. It will display all the modes, but will revert to the default "MODE 211", "MODE 212", etc., display for mode numbers larger than 210.

If you have experience with a 255 mode or 256 mode Syntor X 9000 I need some help filling in the above blanks.

 

Notes on selecting memory chips:

This first paragraph only applies to used EEPROM chips. If you use previously used 2864A EEPROM memory chips as the upgrade memory chips for the radio or control head, you MAY have to erase them first before the conventional Syntor X 9000 RSS can program them. Apparently the Syntor X 9000 RSS will not program some chips with trunking data already in them. Unfortunately in this case, the error reported by the RSS is usually bogus and has nothing to do with why it will not program the radio or control head. Unrelated RSS error messages like, "Unknown EEPROM Size" or "Serial Bus Failure" are usually reported. An EEPROM programmer can be used to erase the chip or a new chip can be purchased. To start with you should only convert working radios and control heads that have no pre-existing RSS related problems, so do not worry about erasing a used chip unless the radio has RSS errors after the conversion.

My source for 2864A EEPROMs has dried up. So I tried a 28C64A-25 as an experiment. It has been programmed and acts just like the factory 2864A chip so far. There are still some unanswerable questions. For example I do not know if this chip will retain the program data for its entire rated lifetime or not (the 2864A data is good for 10 years or more)? It is currently in operation in a 64 mode VHF Syntor X 9000 and I will post any problems here (I am not really expecting any). This chip costs even less than the 2864A. I also tried a 28C64-20 and it worked.

Lately I tried a 28C64B-15 (150 ns) in a radio and it worked without any problems.

The -25 and -20 number on the chip part number is the access speed of the chip. For the above chips the -25 is 250 nanoseconds and the -20 is 200 nanoseconds. You may use parts that are faster than these (i.e. 150 ns, 100 ns, etc.), but you should not use parts that are slower than these (i.e. 350 ns, 400 ns). If there is no number indicating the speed, the part will be too slow to use (probably in the 350 ns to 400 ns range). You may need to lookup the manufactures part data sheet to find the actual speed (i.e. with some parts a -70 is for 70 nanosecond parts, but this is not always the case).

Just as a reference, the 2816A EEPROM is 2k bytes, the 2864A is 8k bytes and the 28256A is 32k bytes long. The 2816A is the standard 32 mode chip. The 28256A may be used as a substitute for the 2864A chip in the control head or radio, but only 8k of the 32k chip will be usable.

 

Syntor X 9000E to Syntor X 9000 conversion:

Remember to take anti-static precautions and always pay very careful attention to the pin 1 orientation on any chip or socket.

First remove the HLN5216 Trunking Board from the top of the Personality Board (it is under the Internal Options Boards Shield). If there is another trunking option board stacked with the HLN5216 Trunking Board it should also be removed. If there are no boards remaining under the Personality Board large metal shield, also remove the cable from J301. Keep track of the J301 cable because it can be used with other option boards later (i.e. the DTMF option board, etc.).

Next, change the Personality Board jumper configuration back to a conventional operation configuration. You might as well also check the Securenet jumper settings while you are there.

Next, EPROM U501 needs to be replaced or reprogrammed with conventional Syntor X 9000 firmware. You can purchase the 64 mode or 128 mode U501 EPROMs from Motorola. You can even use firmware from another Syntor X 9000 conventional Personality Board. For NLA U501 ERPOMs (such as the dual radio ones) you can copy an original if you can find it. The factory U501 EPROMs I have seen are 27128A-20. The -20 signifies this is a 200 nanosecond part. A replacement EPROM should be 200 nanosecond or faster. A 27C128-20 may also be used as a replacement. I found 27C128-15 (150 ns) EPROMs for $ 3.00 each locally that work just fine. An EPROM burner that can program the EPROM you select will be required. An EPROM ultraviolet eraser will be required to erase the EPROM if it is not ready to be programmed. When you are done, remember to cover the EPROM window with a label to prevent accidental exposure to ultraviolet light. If you save the original X 9000E U501 firmware you can undo this conversion if you ever want to.

Finally, button everything back up, reprogram the radio and control head with Syntor X 9000 RSS and you now have a conventional Syntor X 9000. Go ahead and put a piece of black tape over the E on the radio's label. You can now use the Syntor X 9000 manual and treat the radio as a Syntor X 9000 "KEJ" or "KXJ" model.

The Syntor X 9000E and control heads usually already come with the 64+ mode 8 kilobyte EEPROMs installed.

Whenever a control head has been programmed with the trunking Syntor X 9000E RSS, it will leave the control head in a state where the conventional Syntor X 9000 RSS will not be able to program it. The trunking programming must be cleared out of the control head EEPROM before it can be programmed with conventional Syntor X 9000 RSS. If the control head uses a DIP EEPROM chip, it will be easy to clear out. If it uses a SMD EEPROM chip, it will be difficult to clear out. The procedures are outlined on this page.

 

Converting Non-Securenet "KEJ" Models and Securenet "KXJ Radio Drawers:

Unlike the Syntor X radios, the Securenet Syntor X 9000 "KXJ" radios use the exact same Personality Board as the non-Securenet Syntor X 9000 "KEJ" radios. The only difference I am aware of is the optional Securenet accessories supplied with the radio and the Personality Board jumper positions. The Personality Board jumpers will need to be changed when converting these radios.

When the Advanced Securenet option board is installed inside the radio drawer, special U501 firmware is required. This special U501 part is NLA. The internally installed Basic Securenet and Full Featured Securenet boards appear to work with the standard U501 firmware. No special "Securenet" U501 firmware is required when any Securenet board is installed in the Physical Security Housing, instead of the radio drawer.

There is nothing "special" about the basic radio drawer with a Securenet "KXJ" model. A non-Securenet "KEJ" radio drawer can be changed to a Securenet "KXJ" radio drawer with simple jumper changes. The actual Securenet is all in the optional Securenet hardware.

 

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