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The following is information on conventional Syntor X 9000 radios and some dual operation (i.e. trunking and conventional) Syntor X 9000E radios that can be converted to conventional Syntor X 9000 radios. Please be sure to completely read the home page first.

The Syntor X 9000 Smartnet Dual Operation radio is not covered here. It turns out this radio is really a Syntor X Smartnet Dual Operation radio with a HCN1032 control head (it only looks like a normal Systems 9000 control head), Systems 9000 speaker & microphone and Syntor X 9000 cable. The trunking Personality Board and Common Circuits Board in these are the Syntor X boards and are very different from the normal Personality Boards and Common Circuits Boards found in other Syntor X 9000 and X 9000E radios. Please keep in mind any further reference on these Syntor X 9000 pages excludes the Syntor X 9000 Smartnet Dual Operation radios.

Any prices for Motorola parts shown on this page are examples of the Motorola new retail price at the time this page was written. Please see the home page for details and links to the Motorola part number search engine. If you have the Motorola part number (many are provided on this web site or found in the Motorola manuals) you can lookup the current retail price yourself.


New Radio Inspection:

The following steps are for a "new" (i.e. a newly acquired used radio) Syntor X 9000 or Syntor X 9000E radio. These steps should be completed before installing the radio or applying power to it.

When you get a "new" radio, the first thing is a visual inspection of the exterior, then unlock the handle and open the top lid using the push button. This will give you a view of the solder side of the Personality Board and RF board. Check your Motorola radio service manual or this drawing to help identify the solder side pins from the J1 connector (the one the radio cable plugs into) on the Personality Board. Look to see if there are any jumper wires soldered to any of the J1 pins. If you find any jumper wires here, identify the J1 pin number and look them up here. The main worry is too make sure no jumpers have been installed on any of the pins carrying power (i.e. J1-A, J1-B, J1-8 or J1-10). A jumper wire between J1-12 and J1-A is OK. It is not probable, but it is possible a radio removed from a positive ground vehicle could have jumpers here that will short out when installed in a negative ground radio installation. If you find any jumpers on the power pins then either remove them or verify they will not cause any problems before powering up the radio. Check the chassis near the common circuits board for a negative ground only sticker. It is also possible jumpers may be installed as a repair for a Personality Board with damaged PC board traces. Check J1-24 (spare 1), J1-13 (spare 2) and their PC traces as they are sometimes used to feed power to the control head. If you find a power wire jumpered here make sure it is fused. If it is not fused I recommend removing it and using the normal control head power leads (the fuse protects the radio connector, cable, control head connector and control head from potential damage).

This is a good time to locate the "loss of lock indicator" light. This is a LED mounted under a hole in the RF board. The radio service manual has a picture of its location in the Description & Operation section. While operating, when the indicator is lit it means the radio's frequency synthesizer is not locked on frequency. It is normal for it to flash when changing modes or pressing the PTT. It appears to be lit while scanning, but is usually flashing so fast from frequency changes that it is an optical illusion. Whenever you program new frequencies into the radio, this indicator is used to make sure the radio synthesizer can lock onto the new frequencies.

Check the factory programming label inside the top lid. First verify the label's serial number matches the serial number on the radio. Then look for the option codes and see if you can decode them. The options may or may not be installed (it is a used radio after all), but it will give you an idea of what to look for.

Next, check the radio cable and make sure it is a negative ground cable with the part number or with an ohm meter (pin A should be connected to the large red wire and pins B, 8 and 10 should be connected to the large black wire).

Now close the top lid, remove the radio from the mounting tray (if you have not already done so), turn the radio over, loosen the 4 screws, remove the bottom cover and remove the Internal Options Board Shield next to the J1 connector (there may be 1 or 2 option boards stacked under this cover). On the side with the J1 connector you will find the Personality Board. There may be a small white tag stuck to the Personality Board with the part number on it. If you can locate the tag, it will give you the part number and revision (i.e. HLN4925A1, HLN5299B3, etc.). Check here to verify the part number you find is for the Personality Board. If you can not locate the tag use the jumper locator drawings to identify the board part number (one drawing should match your board). If you can not match the Personality Board by part number or to a jumper locator drawing it is probably the Trunking Syntor X 9000 Smartnet Dual Operation radio.

If you have any Internal Option Boards on the Personality Board and you remove them to find their part number or to inspect the Personality Board, remember to use anti-static handling precautions.

If your radio still has the unified chassis number tag or ink stamp, it should be on the bottom edge of the chassis near the J1 connector. Here is the location photo and here is the number listing.

This is also a good time to check the Personality Board jumper settings and write them down. Your radio could be jumpered for an optional configuration that you may not have the hardware to make use of. For example; it is common to get radios with Securenet model numbers ("KXJ" and "FXJ") that have had the Securenet hardware removed, but have not had the Personality Board jumpers changed for non-Securenet operation.

Also visually check the EEPROM at U502 and see if the chip is 24 pins (socket pins 1, 2, 27 and 28 are not used) or 28 pins (the chip fills the socket). If it is the 24 pin 2k chip the radio only allows up to 32 modes to be programmed. The 24 pin 2k chip must use a 2k code plug from the RSS (no 8k code plug will work with this chip). If it is a 28 pin 8k chip the radio allows up to 255 modes to be programmed (depending on the RSS). Look for any missing chips on the Personality Board.

If your control head head is one of the older heads that use DIP construction, check out the U2 EEPROM chip. If it is a 24 pin 2k chip (socket pins 1, 2, 27 and 28 are not used) the control head only allows up to 32 modes to be programmed. The 24 pin 2k chip must use a 2k code plug from the RSS (no 8k code plug will work with this chip). If it is a 28 pin 8k chip the control head allows up to 210 modes to be programmed (depending on the RSS).

Some radios have a warning label inside stating they have been modified for negative ground operation only.

I recommend keeping a record of anything you find out about the radio from this inspection. It can come in handy later and keep you from having to dig into the radio again just to find out.

Last, make a visual inspection of the inside of the radio. Because of the seals on the covers and sealed J1 connector, these radios are usually sparkling clean inside, even when the outside looks abused.

Make sure you follow the Motorola radio service manual installation instructions and correctly fuse all the power leads.

Check out the Systems 9000 page for additional configuration / hookup information.

If you have any problems, the Programming Problems section also has some helpful troubleshooting procedures.


New Radio Modifications:

If your Personality Board is an HLN4925 then you may want to consider adding a jumper wire to the solder side of this board. Check your Motorola radio service manual or this drawing to help identify the solder side pins from the J1 connector (the one the radio cable plugs into) on the Personality Board. The new jumper will connect pin J1 pin 12 to J1 pin A (the pin marked A+ with the battery voltage). Do not use a big heavy gage jumper wire (better to blow up the jumper wire instead of the cable if there is a short at the other end of the cable). The J1-12 pin is used to supply power for the Siren/Public Address (HLN1185B and later versions using the HKN4304A cable), Vehicle Repeater System (VRS) and the External Options Housing. This connection is already standard on all HLN5299 Personality Boards and is built into the PC board copper traces.

The Conversions page also has information on increasing the number of modes, the number of non-priority scan modes and changing the frequency coverage.


Squelch Threshold Adjustment:

I have never found any Motorola information on the Personality Board Squelch Threshold adjustment in any of the service manuals. Here is the way it works. When you access the carrier squelch adjustment by holding down the control head Sql key, you have 5 squelch settings/levels to select with the mode key (numbered 0 through 4). When squelch setting number 2 is set, the Squelch Threshold potentiometer R213 is in exclusive control of the squelch level. When squelch setting number 1 is selected R213 is in parallel with R214. Squelch setting number 3 only uses R214 and squelch setting number 4 does not use either one. When squelch setting number 0 is set the radio ignores the squelch circuit and unmutes the audio (i.e. you get blasted with noise when no signal is being received).

Squelch Threshold Adjustment R213
Squelch Setting Potentiometer R213 Resistor R214 Combined R213 / R214
Receiver Sensitivity
0 - - - maximum / no muting
1 in in 0 to 1.1 k most
2 in out 0 to 1.5 k slightly less
3 out in 4.7 k much less
4 out out maximum least

R213 is a 1.5k ohm potentiometer and R214 is a 4.7k ohm resistor. At squelch setting number 1 both R213 and R214 are in parallel which creates the lowest resistance possible (this is the position where the carrier squelch setting unmutes for the weakest received signal levels). At squelch setting number 4 both R213 or R214 are switched out of the squelch circuit which creates the highest resistance possible (this is the position where the carrier squelch setting only unmutes for the stronger received signal levels).

The Squelch Threshold potentiometer R213 can only have any effect and therefore can only be adjusted when the squelch setting is a 1 or 2. The radio should also be placed in monitor mode to defeat the PL/DPL squelch and ensure the carrier squelch is active. I have never had any reason to adjust this myself. Until/unless someone comes up with the factory adjustment instructions we are all in the same boat and will have to wing it if we need to adjust it. It would seem to make the most sense to tune the radio to a clear Rx frequency (i.e. no signal is being received) and adjust the Squelch Threshold potentiometer R213 to just mute the audio when squelch setting number 1 is selected (just like you would with an old style manual squelch control knob). Then only if you can not get the squelch to mute on squelch setting number 1, switch to squelch setting number 2 and adjust the Squelch Threshold potentiometer R213 to mute the audio.

If you perform the first adjustment at squelch setting 2 and skip squelch setting 1, it may cause you to turn R213 down too much (see below) and it will render squelch setting 1 useless (i.e. carrier squelch setting 1 will not mute and it will always have un-squelched noise coming from the speaker).

You can create a problem if you are not careful. If potentiometer R213 is turned down to its zero resistance adjustment (turned fully clockwise from the component side is zero ohms) there will be no difference between squelch settings 1 and 2 (i.e. R214 at 4.7k ohms in parallel with R213 at 0 ohms makes a total of 0 ohms, so both squelch settings become 0 ohms). If you are adjusting the threshold at squelch setting 1 and you have to turn R213 down (i.e. down towards zero ohms) past its half way point, you might consider switching to squelch setting 2 to adjust the threshold. On the other hand you might have a use for two squelch settings (i.e. 1 and 2) that only have a slight difference between them. In any case there is no point to turning potentiometer R213 all the way down to 0 ohms unless you want to disable the carrier squelch muting on both squelch settings 1 and 2.

Consider this, if R213 is set to 1.5k ohms (i.e. it is turned fully counter clockwise from the component side of the Personality Board) then it will be at its full 1.5k ohm value. This makes the combined resistance (R213 in parallel with R214) at Squelch setting 1 about 1.1k ohms and squelch setting 2 (R213 only) will be 1.5k ohms. This is a 400 ohm maximum difference between squelch setting 1 and 2. If R213 is set to midrange then it will be at about a 750 ohm value (assuming R213 is a linear taper pot). This makes the combined resistance at Squelch setting 1 about 647 ohms and squelch setting 2 will be 750 ohms. This is about a 103 ohm difference between squelch setting 1 and 2. So you can see that when R213 is at its halfway adjustment point, the difference between squelch setting 1 and squelch setting 2 is reduced by almost 3/4 from the combined difference when R213 was at its maximum value of 1.5k. The more R213 is turned clockwise (towards zero ohms), the smaller the combined resistance difference gets between squelch setting 1 and 2.


Fail and Error Code Prefixes:

FAIL and ERROR Code Prefixes
Prefix  Description
01  Radio (single system)
05  Control Unit (Control Head or SIU - single or dual system)
06  Trunking Siren/PA Option (HLN1184A)
08  Siren/PA Option (single system)
09  Securenet Option (single system)
0A  MDC-600 Full Feature or MDC-1200 Option (single system)
0B  MDC Full Feature Option
0D  MDC-600 PTT ID or MVS Option
0E  DTMF Option Board
0F  DTMF Option Board
10  Trunking System
12  Vehicle Repeater System (VRS) (single system only)
14  Singletone Option (single system)
21  Primary Radio Drawer (dual system)
25  Control Unit (Control Head or SIU when error detected on primary radio)
28  Siren /PA Option (primary radio - dual system)
29  Securenet Option (primary radio - dual system)
2A  MDC-600 Full Feature or MDC-1200 Option (primary radio - dual system)
32  Not Used
34  Singletone Option (primary radio - dual system)
41  Secondary Radio Drawer (dual system)
45  Control Unit (Control Head or SIU when error detected on secondary radio)
48  Siren/PA Option (dual system) - programming problem, see below
49  Securenet (secondary radio - dual system)
4A  MDC-600 Full Feature or MDC-1200 Option (secondary radio - dual system)
52  Not Used
54  Singletone Option (secondary radio - dual system)


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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, Spectra II, Astro Spectra, MataTrac, Syntor, Syntor X, Syntor X 9000 and Syntor X 9000E are trademarks of Motorola Inc.