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CONFIGURASI MAXTRAC M300


Before you even attempt this upgrade you need to take stock of what you have. Do you have a known working radio? Does it have a 16-pin (sometimes called the "expanded" logic board) or a 5-pin minimal logic board? Look at the connector on the back of the radio near the antenna connection, If it's a 16-pin board the only problem you might encounter is outdated firmware, which I will discuss momentarily. If it's a 5-pin board you really need to open up the radio and determine which logic board you have as there were three 5-pin boards and the one 16-pin board:

HLN9123A - 5 pins - This is, according to the Moto parts list, the "Basic Limited Board, No Signaling, 5 Pin Accessory Connector, Limited Channels, Masked Board". This board does not have the firmware PROM chip socket mentioned and shown later, and cannot be upgraded making it the worst one to have. HLN5173B - 5 pins - This is the "Signaling Capable, 5 Pin Accessory Connector, No External EEPROM Limited Channels, Expanded Board". This board does have the firmware PROM chip socket. HLN5172A - 5 pins - This board is essentially identical to the 16-pin logic board except that the 5-pin connector is installed on the board. If you must end up with a 5-pin board, this is the one you want to discover in your radio. However recent experiments have shown its not always upgradeable either. HLN9313A (or B) - 16 pins - This is the "Full Options and Signaling Capable, 16 Pin Accessory Connector, Expanded Board".

Note that the HLN number is sometimes inside the pop-off shield. The preferred boards are the HLN9313A or B, which are the only factory board with a 16 pin connector and either is fully capable of supporting 32 channels. If you have a 16-pin board and no speaker audio...

An external jumper is required between pins 15 and 16 to enable the internal speaker. On some radios I have found the plug missing, but a solder blob on the back side of the board bridging the two pins. If you are going to be running a MaxTrac and you only need to use the internal speaker then the solder blob makes perfect sense. Another thing I have done is to take a small two pin shorting jumper as found on computer motherboards and hard drives and push that on over the pins. Also, which front panel do you have? If you have a two channel front panel you can't do anything until you have a full feature front panel. You can purchase a complete new front panel from Motorola for about $35 and its part number is HCN3217B. It comes minus the escutcheon, that's the flat plate that surrounds the buttons and labels their functions. Or you can scavenge a front panel from an 800Mhz MaxTrac, which are common and cheap, and install a new escutcheon so the buttons are labeled properly. Also, six channel radios commonly have the scan button labeled as Exit, so if you want a new full feature escutcheon its part number is 13-80277L01. That brings us to the MaxTrac firmware. You need version 5.34 to be able to support 32 channels. Most of the 16pin logic boards will have this, but not all! And if you take a logic board from a cheap 800Mhz MaxTrac its going to have a trunking firmware EPROM, so you will need a replacement for that as well. The latest version of the firmware for the MaxTrac low-band, high band VHF or UHF radio is available from Motorola, part number HLN5569A.

To find out which firmware you have just pop the covers off the radio, which is accomplished by removing the two screws on each side and then the two screws holding on the front panel. Removing the top cover exposes the RF board, pay close attention when removing this cover, an important small white sticker usually falls out if the radio has been exposed to enough heat to dry out and release the glue and you will need the numbers off it later. Removing the bottom cover exposes the logic board. Once the radio is upside down on the bench, logic board up, look for a small shield. Pry off that shield carefully working your way around it to loosen it.

Once the shield is removed you will see a 27C256 eprom in a socket, the top right one with the blue and white label in the picture, this is the firmware - the program that runs the entire radio. It will be labeled on top with the firmware revision number. If you have a logic board from an 800MHz radio it will be a trunking version of firmware, which is totally useless unless it is a UV erasable Eprom so it can be erased and reprogrammed. If you do not have a version 5.34 chip, then stop here and get a replacement before continuing. It can be purchased from Motorola or their dealers. The PROM image file is out there, but don't ask me to provide it.

At this point I'm going to assume that you have a working radio, a logic board with version 5.34 firmware and a full feature front panel, an old, slow computer, a RIB and the correct RSS. First, swap your two channel front panel with your full feature one if necessary and don't worry about its odd behavior when you power it up. For one, the display will not function correctly as the logic board still thinks that it's a two channel front panel.

Next, open up the radio, if you haven't already done this in the step above to verify your firmware revision. While removing the top cover watch for a white sticker to be loose inside. Sometimes they fall off with age and are just lying loose inside the radio. See the note later on for the ramifications if the sticker is missing... You might want to copy the number to the underside of the RF shield with a Sharpie pen. The existing logic board has all the settings and tuning information from the current radio. The replacement logic board has to match, so in the next step you need to record three numbers plus all the tuning information from the old board so it can be written into the new one:

One is the crystal reference number, on the top side of the radio after removing the large shield there will be another small shield, just carefully take a small flat bladed screwdriver and work your way around it till it comes off.

Under this shield you will see a crystal with a numbered label on it, two lines of four digits each. Write them down!

Two, you need the tuning data number, or otherwise called the board number, it's a seven digit number located on a white label. Look around for it, they don't always put it in the same place. This is the label that commonly comes loose and gets lost. Third, and the last and final piece of information that you need is to turn the radio on and check the voltage at pin one of the board interconnect with an accurate digital VOM and record it with the other numbers. This will be asked for during the board re-initialization process. Pin 1 is labeled, as shown in the next picture you just need to check the voltage at this point.

Now you need to connect the radio to a dummy load (just as a safety precaution), and the RIB / computer. If you have a 16-pin logic board, make sure to install a jumper on the internal speaker pins (there is no other way to get speaker audio, short of adding a solder blob jumper on the foil side of the logic board) and a second one on the alarm pins. Then power everything up. Now use the RSS to read the radio to obtain all the other important information.

Hit F2 to enter the Service menu.

Hit F6 to get to the Board Replacement window.

Hit F2 for the Logic or RF Board.

Now, what you want to do is select each one of these steps, one at a time, and print or write down the info displayed on each page. Having a printer hooked to your RSS computer allows you to save time by doing a "Print Screen" on each one. Note from WA1MIK: I've had to do this a number of times and do not have a handy printer to hook up to my programming computer. So I designed an alignment data sheet (PDF file) that you can download and fill out as you read the various alignment screens. It has provisions for the crystal/tuning data and 9.6V reading. It can also be used on 900 MHz radios. Click here to download the file.

You can skip F2 because that is the info you recorded from the labels inside the radio and on an initialized board it will be all zeros anyway. Hit F10 to return to the menu, then F3 to go to the next step, when you get to each screen you need to print the screen or accurately record everything on each screen. When you are done with each screen just hit F10 to return to the menu. Here's the F3 screen:

The F4 screen:

The F5 screen:

The F6 screen:

The F7 screen:

The F8 screen:

What you are recording is the current alignment data for the radio, which you need to type back in when you reinitialize the radio as a 16 or 32 channel unit. If you are going to be using a new logic board or one from another radio to replace yours you will need to use these numbers as a starting point for the new values on the new board. Further info on these procedures will be presented in another article focusing solely on Logic Board replacement and that can be read here.

Now while you also have the radio connected you might as well read the full codeplug in its current form and save it for future reference in case the worse happens! Just hit F10 until you are back at the main menu:

Then hit F3.

Then hit F2 to read the radio. Once it's done reading it will return to the Get/Save Menu, now you can save the read data by hitting F7.

It will ask for a customer id, and above if you haven't already set the location of your archive you will need to input the directory you wish to save into. Just put in your name, call sign, whatever you prefer for Customer ID. Then hit F8 to save the file. After its done saving it will then ask if you want to make a backup. That's entirely up to you! If you do make a backup floppy make sure to store it in a safe place. This backup will be the exact same as the saved codeplug on the hard drive.

Now its time to use MaxTrac Lab. Run the software, the radio still being on and connected to the computer and the RIB, of course.

From the main menu select F2, the Service menu:

Then select F8 to "Blank" the board:

Then select F8 "Blank Board with Extended Codeplug, Clear Tune Data". Note from WA1MIK: You can actually select Extended or Normal codeplug; during board initialization the proper size codeplug will be written to the radio based on the model and features you select, regardless of what you choose here. Normal is faster as it writes out less data. You can also choose to Save or Clear tune data as you'll be putting the original tuning data (that you saved above) back in shortly. Make sure you do not interrupt this procedure. It will wipe the logic board EEprom and write default data to it then exit back to the menu. You may now shut down the MaxTrac Lab, and once again run the regular MaxTrac RSS. This is important; you want to reinitialize with the standard MaxTrac RSS, not the Lab version. Note from KBNLY: I get asked all the time "how about just installing a blank EEprom?". Yes, you can install a blank EEprom, however you still need to go through the procedure of making a blank board as it writes default info to the EEprom which then allows the radio to boot when first powered on so that it may be initialized.

Note from WA1MIK: When the blanking process is complete, the radio will emit a long boooooop and the front panel LEDs on a 6/8/16/32 channel radio will go out. Do not panic; this will be straightened out shortly. Select F2 for the Service menu, then F6 Logic Board Replacement, then F2 for the Logic Board. Now, with a blank board you are allowed to set the parameters of the radio. You will only see this screen with a blank board while entering the logic board replacement procedure. If the board is not blank you will just see the normal screen with F2-F9 listed:

Make sure for product line you select "Max High Sig" if you're doing a 16-pin logic board and you want full features and 32 channels, or if you're doing the full feature 5-pin board. Then set the Model Name to "MaxTrac 300", set the range according to the radio's RF board. You can not change a radio's operating band or range just by selecting something it is not, so make sure you set it to what the radio really is (i.e. what the RF board installed in the radio actually is).

For the Model number field use the up and down arrows to scroll through the list showing the radio options based on the model number selected. Scroll through them and watch the number of channels and power level, make sure if you have a 25w radio it shows 25w, and if it's a 40w it has to show 40 watts... If you pick the wrong numbers all the soft pot values in the alignment will be way off, and this is not a good thing. In the screen shot picture below you can see an example of me initializing a 16 channel UHF radio (note: on a conventional i.e. non-trunked radio, "Modes" are the same as "channels"), and since this particular radio is a 40w radio, the power is set to match. All the features are shown, making it a full feature radio. If you're making a 32 channel radio just do everything the same, just select an appropriate 32 channel model number with the correct power level. For the "panel number", set it to "001" for anything except the two channel front panel (for it, use "000"). In most cases this procedure will be used to create a 16 or 32 channel full featured radio, but in case you are putting together a radio from spare parts the same procedure applies to a two channel radio, just make sure to set it to "000" for the two channel front panel. Then input the serial number from the label on the radio. And double or triple check everything on this screen before hitting F8 to program the radio! If you make a mistake on this screen you will be blanking and initializing the radio all over again.

When it's done programming a couple beeps will be heard, and if you swapped from a two channel head to a full feature head you will now see everything light up. Then you will be returned to the service menu, press F6 again to get back to the Board Replacement menu, then F2 to the Logic Board menu. Now you get to go through one screen at a time (just as you did above to view and record all the tuning information) and re-enter all the tuning information you recorded earlier and program each parameter one by one. Be careful! If you make a mistake you have to complete all the screens that follow before it will let you start over again! So double check each screen before programming! Here's the crystal/tuning data screen filled in:

Once you are done re-entering all the tuning data just hit F10 until you are back to the main menu, from this point on its just like programming a MaxTrac on a normal daily basis... you hit F4 "Change Create View", and then you can change all the radio options, radio wide options like PL tones and accessory connector options. And also the individual channel data, RX and TX frequencies for each. Make sure that if you don't have the emergency switch jumper on the 16-pin accessory plug that you set the emergency switch option to "Null" in the RSS options screen (otherwise you get the error boop sound on power up, which sounds like, beep boop). Shut off any of the accessory

options that you don't plan on using to avoid problems. To get to this screen hit F4 "Change", then F2 "Radio Wide", then F9 as shown towards the bottom right as other accessory. On this screen you can also set for PL, DPL and CSQ detect, or just CSQ detect for an output to satisfy the needs of a repeater controller input when using the MaxTrac as a receiver for a repeater, a link, or a remote base (see the "MaxTrac Repeater Interfacing" article for more details). Note that some options interact: If you are using the talkback scan feature you need to make sure that the "busy channel lockout" option is OFF (on a per channel basis). When everything is set properly you can program the codeplug and you're done. To do this go back to the main menu after you have set everything the way you want it and hit F3 "Get Save Program", and then F8 "Program". It will ask if you are sure, hit it again and it will program. You might also want to save the codeplug to disk by hitting F7 on this screen first, then programming the radio. This way you always have a codeplug saved in case the radio gets corrupted, and you can also make changes without the radio by loading the saved codeplug and making your changes before connecting to the radio. This is really nice when the radio is permanently mounted in a mobile install, as you can make the changes from the comfort of the work bench then go connect to the radio and upload the programming changes to the radio. That's it, you have a full feature radio with either 32 or 16 channels, depending on which logic board you were working with. If it's a UHF radio and you are now interested in using it in the UHF ham band just look for the "Moving a 449-470 MHz MaxTrac" article. It explains how to retune the VCO down to push it to 440MHz, and how to adjust TX power out below 450Mhz. You can read that here.

If the tuning number / board number sticker is missing from the RF board... First, note that it is on the RF board, not the logic board. But, if you have opened up a radio and the sticker is missing from the RF board (the board under the top cover of the radio), then you are in trouble. The only way to get that number is to do a full - from scratch - factory alignment (which requires the book). Motorola should have made it so this information gets stored in a viewable location of the codeplug (like the "customer ID"), but when you go to the logic board replacement screen the F2 crystal reference data always comes up as all zeros. Which is why they put the label on the crystal and a second one on the board. I haven't yet seen a missing label on the crystal, mainly because the wax or whatever substance they use to dampen it around the base usually spreads onto the sticker a bit and helps hold it on.

If the 7 digit tuning/board number sticker is missing from a radio you could use a number from another radio of the same band and power output to get you close enough to fine tune everything. But the best way is to do a full factory alignment. And then write the number onto the inside of the radio with a Sharpie pen - and not on the underside of the cover! I was doing that until one day I had two radios open on the bench, finished what I was doing, and caught myself putting the wrong cover back on the radio...

A big THANK YOU is due to Robert W. Meister WA1MIK, for providing screen shots, photos, and the MaxTrac Alignment sheet. Back to Maxtrac and Radius
This site was last updated 11/08/10

CONFIGURASI REPEATER interface


Interfacing a Maxtrac, Maxtrac 50, Maxtrac 100, Maxtrac 300, Radius M100, M214, M216, mobile to a repeater controller Remember, above all, that these are MOBILE radio, and while it can be used quite readily as a receiver, you cannot use it as a repeater transmitter or link transmitter without due consideration to the normal mobile radio limitations on RF power and duty cycle. That said, the radios that have the 16 pin accessory connector on the back of the radio can be programmed via RSS to supply all the signals needed for both a repeater receiver, or as a link / repeater transmitter. Pins 4, 6, 9, 8, 12 and 14 can be assigned in the RSS. Yes, radios with sixteen pin logic boards are easier to use in a repeater or link environment, but the cheaper radios with the 5-pin logic boards can be used with minor modification. The major limitation of 5 pin boards is that you have to bring out the COR/COS signal by adding one resistor and one transistor, and you can only program one input signal (perhaps transmit PL inhibit) and one output signal (perhaps PL decode). Five-pin boards are quite usable in repeater service (especially as link radios or fully-PL'ed control receivers), after all, who needs a 16 or 32 channel radio for a single channel application like a dedicated repeater or link use? Really, the cost difference between a 16-pin radio and a 5-pin radio is worth an hour or two of bench time. There are three versions of the 5-pin board. The modifications to these allow you to perform the following.

1) Do all of the interfacing through the mic jack 2) Use etch cuts and jumpers to reassign four of the 5-pin accessory connector pins (one pin is ground) 3) Unsolder and remove the 5-pin connector (or just cut away the plastic around the 5th pin - the ignition control sense pin) then unsolder it. Then route a short pigtail cable out the opening, with a DB9, DB15 or some other popular connector on it. Having a pigtail connector allows any signal you want to be brought out, on any pinout, and you can keep the front panel mic jack available for a local microphone. It's a bit more work, but it is the most flexible.

By the way, if you put 16-pin firmware into a 5-pin board you can program pins 2 and 3 on the 5-pin connector (normally associated with emergency input and alarm output) for other functions just as if they were pins 9 and 4 on a 16 pin board if you have one of the better 5 pin boards. Further info on the logic boards is presented in another article here. The microphone jack on a MaxTrac has a 560 ohm input impedance and a resistor from a filtered positive voltage source to provide DC to the MIC audio input pin to power the preamp that is internal to the microphone cartridge of a Motorola microphone. Because of the preamp, any audio source fed to the microphone jack will require a considerably higher level - on the order of 100 to 300 millivolts for full deviation. If your external equipment isn't giving you that much when connected to the radio, then you need to do something to make it do that. Radios With 16 Pin Logic Boards: All the connections will be made via the 16 pin accessory connector, as shown in the following picture for both receive and transmit applications.

View looking at the radio accessory connector, bottom of radio down. By the way, the exposed pin on the power connector is the positive pin. You may find a jumper on pins 15 and 16 to enable the speaker, either as a physical jumper plug in the connector, as a PC style 2-pin jumper in the connector (as shown above), or as a jumper wire or as a solder blob inside the radio (this is covered later in the text).

The above photo is of the official MaxTrac jumper plug: the top jumper is between pins 15 and 16 to enable the internal speaker. The lower jumper (pin 9 to 7) grounds the alarm input pin (e.g. forces it inactive no matter how the radio is programmed). The holes in the tab are for a tie-wrap that goes through them and around the cable jacket as strain relief.... outer holes for fat cable, middle hole and one outer hole for smaller cable. The accessory connector shell part number is Digi-Key Part Number 104422-1-ND, made by AMP Corporation as their part number 104422-1. AMP makes a wide variety of contacts for this shell with varying wire sizes and plating types. The one most appropriate for 22 AWG wire is Digi-Key Part Number A3007-ND ( AMP 1-87309-3) And these pins are gold plated! Pins 4, 6, 8, 12 and 14 on the 16-pin connector can be programmed in a variety of ways, including as repeater controller interfacing connections. On a radio that is new to you do NOT assume that any pin programming is present, or if it is there, is correct for your environment. For a pin-by-pin dissertation of the 16-pin connector you can go read The Definitive Guide to the 16 pin MaxTrac and Radius Option Connector on the Repeater Builder website. In most cases the transmit radio will be using pins 3, 7, 2 or 5, and perhaps 6. The receive radio will probably be using pins 4, 7, 8, and 11. Either radio may have a wire on pin 10, called "Ignition Control", an option that allows the radio to be controlled by the ignition switch. If the radio is set up for this option, it will not power up unless this pin is jumpered to +12v.

To get to the RSS screen shown below you must first read the radio, then from the main menu hit F4 for the Change/Create/View menu, then hit F2 for the Radio Wide menu, then hit F9 for the Other Accessory menu. Note from WA6ILQ: I suggest that you read this write-up completely and as you do make notes how you want to program your radio(s). I also suggest that if your application requires two radios (one for transmit and the other for receive) that you combine the programming and set both radios the same (i.e. add transmit PL Inhibit and timeout timer disable to the receive radio) and then use that programming on both, leaving one / half of each radio idle. Also make any hardware mods (i.e. adding the COS transistor to a 5-pin radio) on both. This allows you to have instant backup radios - if one radio dies you can simply exchange the radios to get the system back in service, and you can swap out the half-dead radio with a good spare later. Here is the configuration for the receive radio: Note that in this write-up pin 4 is the carrier squelch logic level and pin 8 is the PL Decode ANDed with Carrier Squelch logic level (but there are several options on programming, and the pins can change). You can find the ground signal on pin 7. Receive audio appears on pin 11, and depending on an internal jumper you can have it be in either of two modes: 1) de-emphasized and squelch muted or 2) flat and unmuted. A photo of where to find the jumper is on this page. Too bad you can't get a third option: flat and muted. You can also get 300mv of de-emphasized audio at the top of the volume control or on the handset earpiece pin of the microphone jack.

The terms Active High and Active Low for the "Active Level" options in the RSS can be misunderstood, resulting in major confusion. Active Low means that the pin is normally floating, and is pulled to ground when the function is true. Active High means that the pin is normally pulled to ground, and is allowed to be pulled high when the function is true. Either mode requires an external pull-up resistor to work properly, and you may find the pull-up is internal to the radio or an inherent feature of the external circuitry or device.

Configuring the transmit radio: Some folks trust their repeater controller's internal timeout timer, others like having a second one further downstream in the PTT path as a backup. Those in the first group can disable the timeout timer (program it to a value of 00), those in the latter group can program it to any value that the radio supports. Either way, you will probably want to enable one very useful setting: transmit PL inhibit, which can be used to disable the internal PL encoder by grounding the appropriate pin. This allows your repeater controller

to turn it on and off remotely. Even if you don't use it immediately, it's probably worth programming now and reserving that pin on the connector for future use. Here is the RSS screen for the transmit radio. Here we are setting pin 7 as transmit PL inhibit. Transmit audio goes in on pin 5, and PTT is on pin 3.

Just use the enter key to move around, it will highlight each item as its selected and you use the up and down arrows to change each selection. All the functions can be set for low or high. So if you need an active low or active high COS/COR just set it here and you are done, no radio modifications or hardware changes are needed to go from one to the other. This is why the 16 pin radios are more desirable, everything can be done via RSS to match the controller being used. Note from WA6ILQ: If your repeater controller has a similar active low or active high choice you should find out which is the idle state (i.e. if there is nothing hooked to the controller's input pin, what does the controller idle to?). In the

case of the inputs on the SCOM 7K the idle state is a high signal, so I program the controller to an active low, and the Maxtrac to an active low. If I need to power down the Maxtrac control receiver the controller can continue to service the other radios in the rack since the powered down Maxtrac looks like an inactive port. The only other thing you need to do is decide on PL decode. You will probably leave the receiver in carrier squelch and let the repeater controller handle the mode change from Carrier to PL Decode using the two signals provided. If your controller is overly simple and has only one input (yes, there are those out there) you can wire it to pin 8 and use an output from the controller to ground or unground the "Hook" lead on the microphone jack (pin 3 - ground is on pin 4). With pin 3 floating the monitor light will come on and the radio is in carrier squelch mode. With pin 3 grounded the monitor light will go off on the front of the radio (i.e. PL decode is on). If this does not work then check in the RSS Radio Wide menu that off hook PL/DPL is set to "N" for no. If you want PL decode to always be on, and have no need to remotely disable it using the repeater controller then just make a jumper plug to put in the mic jack with pins 3 and 4 connected (this is useful on PL'd links). You can also go the Radio Wide menu and set Off Hook PL/DPL to "Y" for yes. This keeps the PL decode on regardless of hook state on pin 3, but PL decode can still be turned off by manually pushing the front panel MON button. Note from WA6ILQ: IRLP systems do not have separate PL and COS inputs, they have only a COS input, but have three AUX outputs. I suggest that you wire the IRLP COS input to radio pin 8 (ground is on pin 4), and wire one of the AUX outputs to mic jack pin 3 to allow you to remotely select between carrier (floating) and PL mode (grounded). Or if you want or need some isolation between the radio and the computer, just use the AUX output to flip a reed relay, and the contacts wired to the mic jack pins 3 and 4. Radios With 5 Pin Logic Boards:

The stock 5 pin connector has the following pinout: (pin 1 is nearest the edge of the chassis - i.e. the right side of the above photo) 1 - ground 2 - emergency alarm in 3 - external alarm out 4 - external speaker audio out 5 - ignition control sense input The ignition control option allows the radio to be controlled by the vehicles ignition switch. If the radio is set up for this option, it will not power up unless this pin is jumpered to +12v. As mentioned above, if you put 16-pin firmware into a 5-pin board you can program pins 2 and 3 for other functions just as if they were pins 9 and 4 on a 16 pin board. An alternate way to interface a 5-pin radio is to remove the 5-pin connector from the logic board and use the hole in the heat sink for a pigtail cable with a DB-9 or DB-15 female on it. Or you can cut the plastic body of the connector between pin 4 and pin 5 with a sharp knife and unsolder/remove pin 5 and that will leave enough space for a thin multiconductor cable to exit the radio.

Or if you want to leave the radio intact, the simplest repeater controller connections can be done using the ground, earpiece audio out, microphone audio in and the two extra pins on the front microphone jack. This also makes it fast and easy to swap a malfunctioning radio. Since the 5 pin logic boards are not capable of being programmed for all the signals needed a minor modification is necessary to bring COR / COS out - in this case to either pin 1 or pin 2 of the mic connector. The following modification will give you a low going COR / COS using the audio mute signal from the CPU. By the way, pin 1 of the mic connector is located on the top end of the connector (nearest to the volume control). Note that 900 MHz MaxTracs have the components that implement HearClear (a noise reduction technology based on a compandor circuit) mounted on the microphone jack / volume control circuit board in the control head. To add a COR circuit to a MaxTrac the only parts needed are a 10k resistor, and a common NPN transistor, for example a 2N2222 or a 2N3904. In the text and drawings below this new transistor is called Q1, not to be confused with any Q1 in the radio. First thing you need to do is disassemble the radio. This involves removing the Torx head screws, two each side, and the two holding on the front panel. Remove the front panel first and then remove the bottom cover. With the front panel facing you look for the radios CPU, left half of the board towards the rear of the radio. There are several varieties of the 5 pin logic board and there is a slight difference between the Radius M-100 and Maxtrac radios as well. Refer to the two following pictures showing the CPU and connection locations for the two varieties.

Connect to the locations as shown here in the following picture depicting a Maxtrac HLN9123A (the most minimal logic board).

You need to remove the solder masking from the through hole for one end of the 10k resistor. Solder the other end to the base lead of Q1. Remove some of the solder masking from the board's ground plane and solder the emitter of Q1 to it, keeping it above the board slightly. Just like building dead bug style. The floating collector lead will be used in the next step.

Note from KBNLY: If you want a Positive aka High going COR just connect the collector to a source of voltage in the radio I like to use pin 5 of the rear connector which is ignition sense and powered to B+ when the radio is on. Use a pull-up resistor or a small pico fuse inline with pin 5 and the collector. Then run a jumper from the emitter to J8. Note: Before making the connection to J8 leave the front panel connected and verify with an ohmmeter that you have a connection from pin 1 of the mic connector to a pin on J8. As said above, on the 900MHz radios the pin 1 and pin 2 mic jack pins never leave the front panel switch board and you will have to tap onto pin 1 or 2 there. Then from the collector of the new transistor run a small gauge wire to J8, pin 1 of the mic connector is on pin 8 of the J8 header, counting right to left with it oriented as shown in the picture, pin 2 of the mic connecter is on pin 9 of J8. COR will now be available on pin 1 or pin 2 of the mic jack. Until now both pin 1 and 2 of the front panel microphone connector is unused. For RX radios the connections are as shown in the picture below.

The "RX Audio" shown above on pin 8 was originally intended as handset earpiece audio, and the level is unaffected by the front panel volume control. It works just fine as de-emphasized repeat audio out (i.e. audio going to the repeater controller).

For transmit radios the connections are as shown in the picture below.

Another way of looking at the mic jack is: 1 - unused, but fed to the logic board * 2 - unused, but fed to the logic board * 3 - PL defeat (a.k.a. the mic hook switch) 4 - ground 5 - microphone audio in 6 - PTT in (ground to transmit) 7 - SCI+ (bidirectional programming lead - used by the RIB for programming the radio - leave this floating) 8 - handset audio * only on the low band, high band and UHF radios... on 900 MHz radios the two unused pins never leave the front panel board. There is a "Flat audio" input on the 16-pin radio accessory connector. If you compare the schematics of the 16-pin board and the 5-pin board you can see how to dig into the circuitry and inject audio into P6 pin 13. A spare pin on the mic jack can be used for this, with an appropriate DC blocking series capacitor, and perhaps a audio level adjustment potentiometer. As with the 16 pin radios you can select PL decode or CSQ by grounding or floating the hook switch line on pin 3 of the mic connector. Refer to the 16 pin directions above for further info on that. Alternatively there

is a PL decode signal available inside the radio that can buffered with another 10K resistor and transistor, and fed to a spare pin on the mic jack. Just compare the 16 pin and 5 pin schematics.

A big THANK YOU is due to Robert W. Meister WA1MIK, for providing screen shots and photos.

Upgrading a MaxTrac or Radius M100 / M214 / M216 to 32 channels


Before you even attempt this upgrade you need to take stock of what you have. Do you have a known working radio? Does it have a 16-pin (sometimes called the "expanded" logic board) or a 5-pin minimal logic board? Look at the connector on the back of the radio near the antenna connection, If it's a 16-pin board the only problem you might encounter is outdated firmware, which I will discuss momentarily. If it's a 5-pin board you really need to open up the radio and determine which logic board you have as there were three 5-pin boards and the one 16-pin board:

HLN9123A - 5 pins - This is, according to the Moto parts list, the "Basic Limited Board, No Signaling, 5 Pin Accessory Connector, Limited Channels, Masked Board". This board does not have the firmware PROM chip socket mentioned and shown later, and cannot be upgraded making it the worst one to have. HLN5173B - 5 pins - This is the "Signaling Capable, 5 Pin Accessory Connector, No External EEPROM Limited Channels, Expanded Board". This board does have the firmware PROM chip socket. HLN5172A - 5 pins - This board is essentially identical to the 16-pin logic board except that the 5-pin connector is installed on the board. If you must end up with a 5-pin board, this is the one you want to discover in your radio. However recent experiments have shown its not always upgradeable either. HLN9313A (or B) - 16 pins - This is the "Full Options and Signaling Capable, 16 Pin Accessory Connector, Expanded Board".

Note that the HLN number is sometimes inside the pop-off shield. The preferred boards are the HLN9313A or B, which are the only factory board with a 16 pin connector and either is fully capable of supporting 32 channels. If you have a 16-pin board and no speaker audio...

An external jumper is required between pins 15 and 16 to enable the internal speaker. On some radios I have found the plug missing, but a solder blob on the back side of the board bridging the two pins. If you are going to be running a MaxTrac and you only need to use the internal speaker then the solder blob makes perfect sense. Another thing I have done is to take a small two pin shorting jumper as found on computer motherboards and hard drives and push that on over the pins. Also, which front panel do you have? If you have a two channel front panel you can't do anything until you have a full feature front panel. You can purchase a complete new front panel from Motorola for about $35 and its part number is HCN3217B. It comes minus the escutcheon, that's the flat plate that surrounds the buttons and labels their functions. Or you can scavenge a front panel from an 800Mhz MaxTrac, which are common and cheap, and install a new escutcheon so the buttons are labeled properly. Also, six channel radios commonly have the scan button labeled as Exit, so if you want a new full feature escutcheon its part number is 13-80277L01. That brings us to the MaxTrac firmware. You need version 5.34 to be able to support 32 channels. Most of the 16pin logic boards will have this, but not all! And if you take a logic board from a cheap 800Mhz MaxTrac its going to have a trunking firmware EPROM, so you will need a replacement for that as well. The latest version of the firmware for the MaxTrac low-band, high band VHF or UHF radio is available from Motorola, part number HLN5569A.

To find out which firmware you have just pop the covers off the radio, which is accomplished by removing the two screws on each side and then the two screws holding on the front panel. Removing the top cover exposes the RF board, pay close attention when removing this cover, an important small white sticker usually falls out if the radio has been exposed to enough heat to dry out and release the glue and you will need the numbers off it later. Removing the bottom cover exposes the logic board. Once the radio is upside down on the bench, logic board up, look for a small shield. Pry off that shield carefully working your way around it to loosen it.

Once the shield is removed you will see a 27C256 eprom in a socket, the top right one with the blue and white label in the picture, this is the firmware - the program that runs the entire radio. It will be labeled on top with the firmware revision number. If you have a logic board from an 800MHz radio it will be a trunking version of firmware, which is totally useless unless it is a UV erasable Eprom so it can be erased and reprogrammed. If you do not have a version 5.34 chip, then stop here and get a replacement before continuing. It can be purchased from Motorola or their dealers. The PROM image file is out there, but don't ask me to provide it.

At this point I'm going to assume that you have a working radio, a logic board with version 5.34 firmware and a full feature front panel, an old, slow computer, a RIB and the correct RSS. First, swap your two channel front panel with your full feature one if necessary and don't worry about its odd behavior when you power it up. For one, the display will not function correctly as the logic board still thinks that it's a two channel front panel.

Next, open up the radio, if you haven't already done this in the step above to verify your firmware revision. While removing the top cover watch for a white sticker to be loose inside. Sometimes they fall off with age and are just lying loose inside the radio. See the note later on for the ramifications if the sticker is missing... You might want to copy the number to the underside of the RF shield with a Sharpie pen. The existing logic board has all the settings and tuning information from the current radio. The replacement logic board has to match, so in the next step you need to record three numbers plus all the tuning information from the old board so it can be written into the new one:

One is the crystal reference number, on the top side of the radio after removing the large shield there will be another small shield, just carefully take a small flat bladed screwdriver and work your way around it till it comes off.

Under this shield you will see a crystal with a numbered label on it, two lines of four digits each. Write them down!

Two, you need the tuning data number, or otherwise called the board number, it's a seven digit number located on a white label. Look around for it, they don't always put it in the same place. This is the label that commonly comes loose and gets lost. Third, and the last and final piece of information that you need is to turn the radio on and check the voltage at pin one of the board interconnect with an accurate digital VOM and record it with the other numbers. This will be asked for during the board re-initialization process. Pin 1 is labeled, as shown in the next picture you just need to check the voltage at this point.

Now you need to connect the radio to a dummy load (just as a safety precaution), and the RIB / computer. If you have a 16-pin logic board, make sure to install a jumper on the internal speaker pins (there is no other way to get speaker audio, short of adding a solder blob jumper on the foil side of the logic board) and a second one on the alarm pins. Then power everything up. Now use the RSS to read the radio to obtain all the other important information.

Hit F2 to enter the Service menu.

Hit F6 to get to the Board Replacement window.

Hit F2 for the Logic or RF Board.

Now, what you want to do is select each one of these steps, one at a time, and print or write down the info displayed on each page. Having a printer hooked to your RSS computer allows you to save time by doing a "Print Screen" on each one. Note from WA1MIK: I've had to do this a number of times and do not have a handy printer to hook up to my programming computer. So I designed an alignment data sheet (PDF file) that you can download and fill out as you read the various alignment screens. It has provisions for the crystal/tuning data and 9.6V reading. It can also be used on 900 MHz radios. Click here to download the file.

You can skip F2 because that is the info you recorded from the labels inside the radio and on an initialized board it will be all zeros anyway. Hit F10 to return to the menu, then F3 to go to the next step, when you get to each screen you need to print the screen or accurately record everything on each screen. When you are done with each screen just hit F10 to return to the menu. Here's the F3 screen:

The F4 screen:

The F5 screen:

The F6 screen:

The F7 screen:

The F8 screen:

What you are recording is the current alignment data for the radio, which you need to type back in when you reinitialize the radio as a 16 or 32 channel unit. If you are going to be using a new logic board or one from another radio to replace yours you will need to use these numbers as a starting point for the new values on the new board. Further info on these procedures will be presented in another article focusing solely on Logic Board replacement and that can be read here.

Now while you also have the radio connected you might as well read the full codeplug in its current form and save it for future reference in case the worse happens! Just hit F10 until you are back at the main menu:

Then hit F3.

Then hit F2 to read the radio. Once it's done reading it will return to the Get/Save Menu, now you can save the read data by hitting F7.

It will ask for a customer id, and above if you haven't already set the location of your archive you will need to input the directory you wish to save into. Just put in your name, call sign, whatever you prefer for Customer ID. Then hit F8 to save the file. After its done saving it will then ask if you want to make a backup. That's entirely up to you! If you do make a backup floppy make sure to store it in a safe place. This backup will be the exact same as the saved codeplug on the hard drive.

Now its time to use MaxTrac Lab. Run the software, the radio still being on and connected to the computer and the RIB, of course.

From the main menu select F2, the Service menu:

Then select F8 to "Blank" the board:

Then select F8 "Blank Board with Extended Codeplug, Clear Tune Data". Note from WA1MIK: You can actually select Extended or Normal codeplug; during board initialization the proper size codeplug will be written to the radio based on the model and features you select, regardless of what you choose here. Normal is faster as it writes out less data. You can also choose to Save or Clear tune data as you'll be putting the original tuning data (that you saved above) back in shortly. Make sure you do not interrupt this procedure. It will wipe the logic board EEprom and write default data to it then exit back to the menu. You may now shut down the MaxTrac Lab, and once again run the regular MaxTrac RSS. This is important; you want to reinitialize with the standard MaxTrac RSS, not the Lab version. Note from KBNLY: I get asked all the time "how about just installing a blank EEprom?". Yes, you can install a blank EEprom, however you still need to go through the procedure of making a blank board as it writes default info to the EEprom which then allows the radio to boot when first powered on so that it may be initialized.

Note from WA1MIK: When the blanking process is complete, the radio will emit a long boooooop and the front panel LEDs on a 6/8/16/32 channel radio will go out. Do not panic; this will be straightened out shortly. Select F2 for the Service menu, then F6 Logic Board Replacement, then F2 for the Logic Board. Now, with a blank board you are allowed to set the parameters of the radio. You will only see this screen with a blank board while entering the logic board replacement procedure. If the board is not blank you will just see the normal screen with F2-F9 listed:

Make sure for product line you select "Max High Sig" if you're doing a 16-pin logic board and you want full features and 32 channels, or if you're doing the full feature 5-pin board. Then set the Model Name to "MaxTrac 300", set the range according to the radio's RF board. You can not change a radio's operating band or range just by selecting something it is not, so make sure you set it to what the radio really is (i.e. what the RF board installed in the radio actually is).

For the Model number field use the up and down arrows to scroll through the list showing the radio options based on the model number selected. Scroll through them and watch the number of channels and power level, make sure if you have a 25w radio it shows 25w, and if it's a 40w it has to show 40 watts... If you pick the wrong numbers all the soft pot values in the alignment will be way off, and this is not a good thing. In the screen shot picture below you can see an example of me initializing a 16 channel UHF radio (note: on a conventional i.e. non-trunked radio, "Modes" are the same as "channels"), and since this particular radio is a 40w radio, the power is set to match. All the features are shown, making it a full feature radio. If you're making a 32 channel radio just do everything the same, just select an appropriate 32 channel model number with the correct power level. For the "panel number", set it to "001" for anything except the two channel front panel (for it, use "000"). In most cases this procedure will be used to create a 16 or 32 channel full featured radio, but in case you are putting together a radio from spare parts the same procedure applies to a two channel radio, just make sure to set it to "000" for the two channel front panel. Then input the serial number from the label on the radio. And double or triple check everything on this screen before hitting F8 to program the radio! If you make a mistake on this screen you will be blanking and initializing the radio all over again.

When it's done programming a couple beeps will be heard, and if you swapped from a two channel head to a full feature head you will now see everything light up. Then you will be returned to the service menu, press F6 again to get back to the Board Replacement menu, then F2 to the Logic Board menu. Now you get to go through one screen at a time (just as you did above to view and record all the tuning information) and re-enter all the tuning information you recorded earlier and program each parameter one by one. Be careful! If you make a mistake you have to complete all the screens that follow before it will let you start over again! So double check each screen before programming! Here's the crystal/tuning data screen filled in:

Once you are done re-entering all the tuning data just hit F10 until you are back to the main menu, from this point on its just like programming a MaxTrac on a normal daily basis... you hit F4 "Change Create View", and then you can change all the radio options, radio wide options like PL tones and accessory connector options. And also the individual channel data, RX and TX frequencies for each. Make sure that if you don't have the emergency switch jumper on the 16-pin accessory plug that you set the emergency switch option to "Null" in the RSS options screen (otherwise you get the error boop sound on power up, which sounds like, beep boop). Shut off any of the accessory

options that you don't plan on using to avoid problems. To get to this screen hit F4 "Change", then F2 "Radio Wide", then F9 as shown towards the bottom right as other accessory. On this screen you can also set for PL, DPL and CSQ detect, or just CSQ detect for an output to satisfy the needs of a repeater controller input when using the MaxTrac as a receiver for a repeater, a link, or a remote base (see the "MaxTrac Repeater Interfacing" article for more details). Note that some options interact: If you are using the talkback scan feature you need to make sure that the "busy channel lockout" option is OFF (on a per channel basis). When everything is set properly you can program the codeplug and you're done. To do this go back to the main menu after you have set everything the way you want it and hit F3 "Get Save Program", and then F8 "Program". It will ask if you are sure, hit it again and it will program. You might also want to save the codeplug to disk by hitting F7 on this screen first, then programming the radio. This way you always have a codeplug saved in case the radio gets corrupted, and you can also make changes without the radio by loading the saved codeplug and making your changes before connecting to the radio. This is really nice when the radio is permanently mounted in a mobile install, as you can make the changes from the comfort of the work bench then go connect to the radio and upload the programming changes to the radio. That's it, you have a full feature radio with either 32 or 16 channels, depending on which logic board you were working with. If it's a UHF radio and you are now interested in using it in the UHF ham band just look for the "Moving a 449-470 MHz MaxTrac" article. It explains how to retune the VCO down to push it to 440MHz, and how to adjust TX power out below 450Mhz. You can read that here.

If the tuning number / board number sticker is missing from the RF board... First, note that it is on the RF board, not the logic board. But, if you have opened up a radio and the sticker is missing from the RF board (the board under the top cover of the radio), then you are in trouble. The only way to get that number is to do a full - from scratch - factory alignment (which requires the book). Motorola should have made it so this information gets stored in a viewable location of the codeplug (like the "customer ID"), but when you go to the logic board replacement screen the F2 crystal reference data always comes up as all zeros. Which is why they put the label on the crystal and a second one on the board. I haven't yet seen a missing label on the crystal, mainly because the wax or whatever substance they use to dampen it around the base usually spreads onto the sticker a bit and helps hold it on.

If the 7 digit tuning/board number sticker is missing from a radio you could use a number from another radio of the same band and power output to get you close enough to fine tune everything. But the best way is to do a full factory alignment. And then write the number onto the inside of the radio with a Sharpie pen - and not on the underside of the cover! I was doing that until one day I had two radios open on the bench, finished what I was doing, and caught myself putting the wrong cover back on the radio...

A big THANK YOU is due to Robert W. Meister WA1MIK, for providing screen shots, photos, and the MaxTrac Alignment sheet.

Notes on MaxTrac or Radius M100 / M214 / M216 Logic Boards


If you have a radio with a dead logic board, this information is helpful in replacing the dead unit, but will not give you all the information needed for repair of that dead logic board. If the old logic board is unresponsive when attempting to collect all the tuning information via RSS and a RIB then you will need to replace the logic board from scratch and that will require a service manual and the correct test equipment to do a full alignment of the radio. If you're stuck with a radio that has one of the less desirable 5 pin boards, or you want to fully upgrade a two channel radio with parts salvaged from an 800 MHz Maxtrac, then read on! First of all, I will be referencing the channel upgrading article often, so please go read that article first for all the background information needed here. Basically the procedure is simple. Get a cheap 800 MHz Maxtrac that has a 16 pin logic board and a full feature front panel. Buy a new full feature escutcheon to replace the trunking type labeling of the front panel buttons, see the upgrade article for escutcheon part number, and if the new board doesn't have a version 5.34 firmware prom you will need that as well. Now you have all the pieces necessary to upgrade a low feature 2ch Maxtrac. First, before you do anything, verify the operation of the 800 MHz radio! Unless you have a nice collection of test equipment, at least see that it powers up normally! Take the covers off, visually inspect the logic board, make sure its not a water logged corroded radio that was tossed aside, a common problem with some cheap surplus units from eBay. If all is well then you need to connect the radio to the RIB and run Maxtrac Lab. Since we are not interested in the tuning information from the 800Mhz radios RF board you can use the upgrade article as a reference and skip to the blanking procedure without recording any information. At this time all we are interested in is creating a blank and ready to be re-used 16 pin logic board. Leave the 800 MHz firmware in it for the time being, it's not an issue until we are ready to reinitialize it! After blanking the board remove it from the 800 MHz radio. This is very simple, but you do need some Torx bits to remove the screws. To disassemble the radio remove the two screws on both sides, and then remove the two front panel screws. Pull the front panel off, you will not be able to totally remove it yet due to the speaker connection that goes back under the cover, usually two gray wires. Pull off the top and bottom covers, and then

disconnect the speaker lead from the logic board and the two main front panel connectors from the logic board pins. Set aside the front panel for now, we will get back to that shortly. Disconnect the white connector near the speaker connector that goes to the PA. Now remove the small shield on the logic board to reveal the firmware prom and the one screw hidden under that shield. There is six screws going through the logic board, one is longer than the other five on some radios and is located in the front left corner. You also have two screws going in from the right side into the heat sink on the logic board. Now you need to carefully remove the logic board from the chassis. I have heard many opinions on this, the way I generally do it is to just carefully start to wiggle it free, it has pins that go through the chassis to the RF board on the top side of the radio. If you have trouble getting it to come free use a plastic adjustment tool, or wood, something that won't cause damage and gently work it between the Logic Board and the chassis from the front and free the board slowly, don't go wild prying on it! Now you have a 16 pin logic board that is blank and ready to be re-installed in any low band, VHF or UHF Maxtrac, the same board does it all!

Now take the radio that will be receiving the new blank logic board and follow the instructions on the upgrade page to record all the tuning information from the board you will be replacing. Once that's been done remove the logic board and install the blank 16 pin board. Replace all the screws and connections.

If the new board does not have the proper firmware then remove the old prom (conventional or trunking), and install the version 5.34 prom (HLN5569A). Before connecting and installing the front panel replace the escutcheon, or you can always go back and do it later after you know you have a working radio. To replace the escutcheon remove the four screws holding the display board into the front panel, then remove the buttons. You will see on the replacement escutcheon that there are two pins; if you look inside the front panel you will see them coming through, just take a small pin or Philips screwdriver or other suitably sized tool and tap on each pin to remove the old one. The new one just press fits into place. You can put a drop of glue on each pin if you're worried about vibration causing it to fall out of place, but they were never glued in originally and I doubt it will be an issue as these radios rarely show up without the escutcheon unless it was removed. Now follow the reinitializing info in the upgrade article to setup the new 16 pin logic board. If the radio that you've just upgraded is a UHF radio that you wish to use on the 70cm ham band then be sure to give the "Moving a 449-470 MHz Maxtrac to cover the 440-450 MHz Amateur band" article a read here!

Moving a 449-470 MHz MaxTrac to cover the 440-450 MHz Ham band
The UHF Maxtrac can have one of two different RF boards: the HLE4425A or B which covers 403-430MHz perfect for 420-430 links and control channels, or the HLE9310A or B which covers 449-470MHz. Unlike the high band Maxtrac where two of the three RF boards cover 2m with no tweaks at all (and the third can be stretched) the UHF radio needs some work to have good performance from 440-450MHz. It doesn't take much - most, if not all, of the 449-470 Mhz Maxtrac or Radius M100 / M214 / M216 series radios will cover the ham band down to 440 Mhz. In some cases you will even get one that will cover 438-450 MHz. What I am about to show you is how to touch up the tuning of your average Maxtrac or Radius M100 / M214 / M216 to make it reliable in the ham band. If you have the money, and the test equipment to do so, then you may want to get a service manual from Motorola and do a full alignment. But, for the rest of us, a little screwdriver work goes a long way! This is not a professional and all-inclusive alignment of the radio, but rather just a VCO adjustment to allow use of the radio outside of the specified 449-470 MHz range. If you're picky about receiver performance than by all means do a full alignment! The ones I have performed this work on perform just as well as other radios I own. I have the attitude of "If it ain't broke don't fix it!" I am going to assume that: a) You have a UHF Maxtrac on the bench, connected to a dummy load, and powered by a power supply capable of supplying sufficient current. b) You have read the "Upgrading" article for the background information. c) You have the Maxtrac RSS running on your old slow computer. d) it is successfully talking through the RIB to the radio.

In this article I will cover in general all the areas you need to go to fully program the radio. I will show the RSS screens that you should visit to verify settings, as well as hardware adjustments after getting past the initial programming. First of all, you need the Motorola Maxtrac RSS, and version R07.02.00.A is the preferred one as it allows out-ofrange frequencies (i.e. below 449 MHz) to be entered simply by holding the shift key down while entering the numbers. For example, to program a frequency of 440.00000 MHz just hold down the shift key and enter "$$)" for 440 then release the shift key and enter the decimal point then press the shift key down again and enter the five trailing zeros ")))))" and then release the shift key and hit enter. First thing you should do is connect the radio and RIB to the computer and run the RSS.
The RSS starts at the Main Menu. Hit F3 to go to the Get/Save/Program menu.

Hit F2 to read the codeplug from the radio. When it is done it will return to the Get/ Save menu.

At this time you should hit F7 Save codeplug data to archive to a file on your hard drive.

If you haven't already set the save path do so, and then type in a customer id (maybe your callsign?) and hit the F8 key to save the file. When its done saving it will bring you to the file backup screen. You can use this to backup the file to a floppy disk to have a backup copy in the event that the one now saved to the hard drive location you specified in the previous screen is lost. Now hit F10 until you are back at the main menu, then hit F4 Change/Create/View codeplug data, then F2 Radio Wide configuration.

On to programming!

This is the page I mentioned in my 16 / 32 channel conversion article. You need to set any features you will not be using to NULL, or you need to have the proper jumpers in place on the 16pin accessory connector. You can see in the picture above that everything is NULL except the PA Switch, it won't allow being set to NULL, but it also doesn't cause any error beeps so its not a problem.

The most common error that is made is having the emergency switch enabled, which gives you an extra "boop" sound after the power up beep if you don't have the jumper on the accessory plug to disable it.

Now that you have those settings where you want them you can hit F10 to back up to the Change/View screen again. Hit F5 for mode configuration. You will only have one mode if you recently blanked and reinitialized the radio. Hit the F8 to go to mode utility and add as many modes (channels) as you need, up to the amount your radio is capable of. This is all self explanatory and pictures are not needed. If you have ever programmed a Maxtrac, or attempted to before, you should know how to get to the mode configuration screen. Now let's put some frequencies in there for testing. You will want to program simplex channels starting at 440 MHz and ending with 450 MHz. Program #1 to 440.0, #2 to 441.0, #3 to 442.0, and so forth up to #10 at 449.0 and #11 at 450.0 MHz. These test frequencies are needed to calibrate the VCO steering line voltage. This is the easiest way, in my opinion, to move the VCO with nothing more than a voltmeter and a bit of patience. As discussed above, use the shift key method to enter the out of band frequencies below 449 MHz. Or you can hex edit the MAXTRAC.MDF or RADMBL.MDF file to change the "449" to "440". Hex editing is beyond the scope of this article, but directions can be found on the web. If you do, just make sure that you maintain / rebuild the checksum.

Now you need to disassemble the radio, and here is where you will need T10 and T15 Torx drivers. Remove the two flat-head T10 screws on each side, and the two T15 screws holding on the front panel. Pull the front panel out slightly and remove the top plastic cover. Remove the large shield on the top side of the radio (watch for a paper label to fall out and DON'T lose it), then the smaller shield below that. With the front of the radio facing you, you should see a point labeled SL under the area where you removed the smaller shield as shown in the picture below. (Click on the photo to see a larger image.)

This is the point you will use to monitor the Steering Line (SL) voltage while making VCO adjustments. When locked on a frequency you will generally see between 2-7 volts at this point. You can use the chassis as a ground point for the VOM. Now you see why I program the test channels. While monitoring the voltage on SL put the radio on channel 1, 440 MHz. If the monitored voltage is below 2 volts simply adjust the Receive VCO coil (pointed to in the picture above) to bring it to or slightly above 2 volts. Remember this, if you use a metallic tuning tool to make the adjustment it you must remove the screwdriver and check the voltage each time you adjust (the metal tool will detune it slightly). If you have a plastic coil adjustment tool that's much better, but not needed if you take your time and use patience in checking with each small adjustment.

Note from WA1MIK: the tip of a wood or plastic toothpick can be flattened with a pair of pliers. It will then fit into the square metal core of the VCO coils. Since it's not made of metal, it will have no effect on the tuning, so you can measure the SL voltage with the tool in place. Repeat this process through all the test channels up to 450 MHz. The goal is to keep the SL voltage within the workable 2 to 7 volt range throughout the entire 440.0 to 450.0 MHz range. You only have to verify and adjust the voltage by using the lowest frequency you will be using, but, you should also double check the voltage across the rest of the test frequencies to assure its stability. You should see a gradual climb in voltage as you change channels upward. When the SL reading gets past 7 to 8 volts you reached the highest frequency it will now reliably operate on. The next step is to do the same for the transmit side. To do this connect the radio to a dummy load, and connect a microphone; keep the transmissions short with pauses of equal or longer times in-between to allow cooling of the PA. I put a muffin fan by the PA heat sink to speed up cooling while testing. Above all else, take your time and have patience! If you plan on doing this often enough it's worth building a simple PTT footswitch, I use a cheap footswitch with a RJ-45 plug installed for the mic jack. This allows you to have both hands free to monitor SL and adjust the coil. Note from WA6ILQ: Thrift stores get old Dictaphone machines in from time to time. They have very nice and sturdy footswitches... Some of them even have multiple switches (for some combination of rewind, stop, play and fast forward, depending on the model) and you can wire one of them to PTT, and use the other switches for whatever you want... a carrier/PL mode change or... To adjust the TX VCO monitor the SL voltage while transmitting, starting again at 440.0 MHz then checking the remaining test channels. Adjust the Transmit VCO coil (pointed to in the picture above) to keep the SL monitored voltage between 2 to 7 volts for TX. If the coil has been adjusted to a higher frequency previously you may notice that the lowest frequency, 440 MHz in this case, will not allow the radio to transmit for more than a second or less when you push the PTT, or the TX / Busy light will not even come on when PTT is pressed if the SL voltage is too far off. This is NORMAL; it will start to transmit fully when you get the SL voltage above or near 2 volts. Sometimes the radio will operate out of the 2 to 7 volt range. It's more of a guideline reference voltage than an absolute must, but if you're out of the 2 to 7 volt range you will have reliability problems with your mobile radio when the weather changes. It may unlock when cold, and return to working when it warms up. By the way, if the radio powers up with a continuous series of beeps this means that the RX VCO is out of lock.

The only other concern is TX power output calibration. For this you simply need a good quality wattmeter and the RSS. Go to the main menu, select F2 for the Service Menu, F6 for the Board Replacement Menu, then F2 for the Logic Board or RF Board Menu. The one you want on this screen is F5, but the software will not allow you to select the screens out of order. So select F2, then exit back with F10, and repeat for F3, and F4, and finally you can get to the F5 Set TX Power Calibration. The RSS has it's own set of test frequencies here. Make sure the radio is hooked up to the wattmeter and a dummy load and then press F6 to turn on the transmitter, check the wattmeter, then press F6 again to turn transmit off. The default values for 1-5 are usually in the 80's were not calibrated on most radios since these test frequencies cover the ham band. If the transmit power was low increase the number and try again, if it was high then decrease the number and try again. When you turn the transmit on it will display what frequency it is transmitting at bottom middle of the screen. As with the VCO adjustments keep the transmissions short with rest times in-between to prevent overheating the PA. A couple of the radios that I worked on would not go above 35w, while others might go the full 40w, and at least one person reported to me that the most they got at number one is 30w. After adjusting number one hit return to go to number two. Do this until you have checked all sixteen test frequencies or you hit the highest one at which the VCO will now operate, remember you realigned the entire VCO range downwards, so just as you would expect at some point the upper test frequencies will no longer lock and the radio will not transmit. So don't be surprised when you get above a certain point that the TX / Busy light only flickers or the radio doesn't transmit at all. After you're done on this page hit F8 to program the values to the radio then F10 to exit out to the main menu. You may want to save your codeplug file that has the 440.0-450.0 test frequencies for when you have to work on the next radio. Once that is done, you can program the actual frequencies that you wish the radio to operate on. Don't forget to save the new codeplug data, and perhaps even backup the codeplug when you're done programming the radio and before exiting the RSS.

Interfacing a Maxtrac, Maxtrac 50, Maxtrac 100, Maxtrac 300, Radius M100, M214, M216, mobile to a TinyTrak3 Plus GPS position encoder for APRS.
The TinyTrak3 Plus is a great little piece of engineering. Plug and play and your ready to go! On this page I will show you how to interface it to some of the most popular Motorola mobiles being used for this and many other purposes. First some notes on the TinyTrak 3 Plus: Whether you purchase a complete unit or order the kit you need to make some changes to it during assembly or open it up to make them on a complete unit. R5 - Replace this resistor to increase the audio output level, they recommend either replacing this 220k with a 100k or a jumper to increase the audio output. I found it was necessary to install a jumper. A 100k resistor kept the level too low even with R6 set to maximum. I took a piece of resistor lead and bent it into a "U" shape and soldered that in place of the resistor. That gave plenty of audio to properly set R6. Follow the instructions in the TinyTrak 3 Plus manual for setting the output level, you will hear a noticeable and quick decrease in the output while listening on another radio and adjusting R6 while sending the test tones as described. R8 - This resistor just needs to be left out when the TinyTrak is used to key a radio via the PTT Out line. R9 - You can leave out this trim pot when using the Carrier Detect line. It's used to set the carrier detect sensitivity when using the receive audio input for carrier indication. Or you can install it and set it to center if you wish to leave it in for later use with other radios, etc. The TinyTrak 3 Plus uses a female DB-9 for the radio connection and a male DB-9 for the gps receiver input. They do not have the hold-down screws for the mating connectors however and I felt it necessary to fix

that, in a permanent mobile installation having those connectors just sitting on there loosely could cause problems later. A slight modification to the bottom half of the plastic case with a dremel tool on a low speed with a multi use cutting bit takes care of it. The screws can be installed in the connectors included with the TinyTrak by using some machine screw nuts. As you can see in the picture you just orient them so the flat of the hex head meets the top half of the case.

Radios with 16 pin logic boards: Radios that have the 16 pin accessory connector on the back of the radio can be programmed via RSS to supply all the signals needed. Pins 4, 6, 9, 8, 12 and 14 can be assigned in the RSS. The accessory connector shell part number is Digi-Key Part Number 104422-1-ND, made by AMP Corporation as their part number 104422-1. AMP makes a wide variety of contacts for this shell with varying wire sizes and plating types. The one most appropriate for 22 AWG wire is Digi-Key Part Number A3007-ND ( AMP 1-87309-3) And these pins are gold plated! The first thing to take care of on a 16 pin radio is programming. To get to the RSS screen shown below you must first read the radio, then from the main menu hit F4 for the Change/Create/View menu, then hit F2 for the Radio Wide menu, then hit F9 for the Other Accessory menu. For the TT3P we will set Pin 8 to CSQ Detect and select Active Low. All other options will be disabled.

The terms Active High and Active Low for the "Active Level" options in the RSS can be misunderstood, resulting in major confusion. Active Low means that the pin is normally floating, and is pulled to ground when the function is true. Active High means that the pin is normally pulled to ground, and is allowed to be switched high when the function is true. Just use the enter key to move around, it will highlight each item as its selected and you use the up and down arrows to change each selection. All the functions can be set for low or high. So if you need an active low or active high COS/COR just set it here and you are done, no radio modifications or hardware changes are needed to go from one to the other. This is why the 16 pin radios are more desirable, everything can be done via RSS to match the controller being used. The radio to TT3P cable should be wired as follows:
Radio Accessory Jack Pin # 3 5 7 8 11 13 15 & 16 TT3P DB9 Pin # 3 1 6 2 5 7 NOT USED PTT TX Audio Ground Carrier Detect (COR) RX Audio * B+ Internal Speaker Enable ** Function

* RX Audio is not needed by the TT3P if you use the Carrier Detect line for channel activity. ** If left open the internal speaker will be disabled, beneficial since you don't need to listen to the activity.

Radios with 5 pin logic boards: With a couple internal modifications all connections needed for the TinyTrak3 Plus (hereby referred to as the TT3P) can be made through the mic jack. You can use the RX Audio available at the mic jack for channel activity, however I prefer to feed the TT3P with a COR signal from the radio for Carrier Detect.

The first thing that is needed is a Carrier Detect signal for the TT3P, this is accomplished the same way as interfacing the Maxtrac to a repeater controller. Since the 5 pin logic boards are not capable of being programmed for all the signals needed a minor modification is necessary to bring COR / COS out - in this case to either pin 1 or pin 2 of the mic connector. The following modification will give you a low going COR / COS using the audio mute signal from the CPU. By the way, pin 1 of the mic connector is located on the top end of the connector (nearest to the volume control). Note that 900 MHz MaxTracs have the components that implement HearClear (a noise reduction technology based on a compandor circuit) mounted on the microphone jack / volume control circuit board in the control head. To add a COR circuit to a MaxTrac / Radius mobile the only parts needed are a 10k resistor, and a common NPN transistor, for example a 2N2222 or a 2N3904. In the text and drawings below this new transistor is called Q1, not to be confused with any Q1 in the radio. First thing you need to do is disassemble the radio. This involves removing the Torx head screws, two each side, and the two holding on the front panel. Remove the front panel first and then remove the bottom cover. With the front panel facing you look for the radios CPU, left half of the board towards the rear of the radio. There are several varieties of the 5 pin logic board and there is a slight difference between the Radius M-100 and Maxtrac radios as well. Refer to the two following pictures showing the CPU and connection locations for the two varieties.

Connect to the locations as shown here in the following picture depicting a Maxtrac HLN9123A (the most minimal logic board).

You need to remove the solder masking from the through hole for one end of the 10k resistor. Solder the other end to the base lead of Q1. Remove some of the solder masking from the board's ground plane and solder the emitter of Q1 to it, keeping it above the board slightly. Just like building dead bug style. The floating collector lead will be used in the next step. Note: Before making the connection to J8 leave the front panel connected and verify with an ohmmeter that you have a connection from pin 1 of the mic connector to a pin on J8. As said above, on the 900MHz radios the pin 1 and pin 2 mic jack pins never leave the front panel switch board and you will have to tap onto pin 1 or 2 there. Then from the collector of the new transistor run a small gauge wire to J8. Pin 1 of the mic connector is on pin 8 of the J8 header, counting right to left with it oriented as shown in the picture, Pin 2 of the mic connecter is on pin 9 of J8. COR will now be available on pin 1 or pin 2 of the mic jack. Until now both pin 1 and 2 of the front panel microphone connector is unused. The way I set it up is to use Pin 1 to supply switched power, on and off with the radio power switch, to the TT3P, and Pin 2 to for the low going Carrier Detect, COR. Run a jumper from the collector of Q1 to J8 Pin 9. Using a small fuse, I used a Pico fuse that is the size of a 1/4w resistor, install a jumper from J8 Pin 5 which is SWB+ from the radios volume control power switch to J8 Pin 8. Pin 1 and 2 on the radios mic jack are available to be reassigned however you choose though. The radio to TT3P cable should be wired as follows:
Radio Mic Jack Pin # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TT3P DB9 Pin # 7 2 NOT USED 6 1 3 NOT USED 5 RX Audio * Ground TX Audio PTT B+ Carrier Detect (COR) Function

* RX Audio is not needed by the TT3P if you use the Carrier Detect line for channel activity.

An example of a completed cable, of course you could make it whatever length you choose as well. I used a short length of network patch cable and installed a Maxtrac mic cable dust boot over the RJ-45 plug before installing the DB-9 on the other end.