Programming the Motorola Radius
Programming the Motorola Radius was not easy to learn. It took me about a week to figure out how to accomplish this dreadful task. Let’s jump right in and start programming your Motorola Radius series (GM300/GR300/M10/M120/M130) radio!
Cables Required to Program the Motorola Radius
The cables and connectors required to program your Motorola Radius will vary from computer to computer. If you have a newer model computer, chances are that you do not have a serial port. If you have an older model computer, you are probably in luck.
To see if you have a serial port on your computer, look at the connections for a port labeled “Serial”. It will have nine pins and look like the picture.
If you do have a serial port, you do not need to purchase the USB Serial Port Adapter listed below.
Recommended Cables & Connectors
Listed below are the recommended programming cables and connectors required to program the Motorola Radius. I have received a few conformations from others that they do work as expected.
- RIB for Motorola – https://amzn.to/2OsHVrD
- Power Supply for RIB – https://amzn.to/2AO1PK4
- Radio Programming Cable – https://amzn.to/2RzrQSQ
- USB to Serial Port Adapter – https://amzn.to/2Dp4koy (only needed if you don’t have a serial port connection on your computer)
Other Cables & Connectors
There are other programming cables that may or may not work to program your Motorola Radius. It is best to use the recommended cables and connectors listed above.
WARNING! – Some cheap USB serial port adapters do not work to program your Motorola Radius. I had to trash two different USB serial port adapters before I found one that worked for me.
Getting Setup to Program the Motorola Radius
The first thing you need to do is get your hardware setup. Plug in your USB Serial Port Adapter to your computer. Attach the Motorola RIB to the USB Serial Port Adapter. Finally, attach the programming cable to the RIB and your transceiver.
Note: If you have an existing serial port on your computer, just plug your Motorola RIB to the computer and the Motorola programming cable to the RIB and your transceiver.
We now need to make sure that the USB Serial Port Adapter has been assigned port COM1 or COM2. This can be accomplished by checking the Device Manager. The Device Manager can be accessed by bringing up the Start Menu and typing “Device Manager” in the Search Programs and Files area.
How to Change the COM Port Number
If you plugged in your USB Serial Port Adapter and a COM port other then COM1 or COM2 was assigned in the Device Manager, follow the steps below.
Step #1 - (Changing the COM Port Number)
Open the “Device Manager”.
Step #2 - (Changing the COM Port Number)
Right click on the USB Serial Port and select Properties.
Step #3 - (Changing the COM Port Number)
Click the “Port Settings” tab, and then select the button labeled “Advanced”.
Step #4 - (Changing the COM Port Number)
Click the drop-down menu from where it says “COM Port Number” and select “COM1” or “COM2”. Then click “OK” to save.
Note: If COM1 and COM2 are both in use, you must select one of them. It will give you a warning that the port was opened by another application, and may have an unpredictable effect (on the other application). You must select “Yes”.
Adjusting the COM Port Settings
The COM Port Settings will need to be adjusted in order to communicate with your Motorola Radius.
Step #1 - (Adjusting the COM Port Settings)
If you are not already there, open the “Device Manager”, right click on the USB Serial Port and select “Properties”.
Step #2 - (Adjusting the COM Port Settings)
Click the “Port Settings” tab, and then change the “Bits per second” drop-down menu to 2400.
Step #3 - (Adjusting the COM Port Settings)
(You might not have to do this step. If you have problems, change this back to the default setting.) Click the “Advanced” button and change the “Receive FIFO Size” setting to “None” from the drop-down menu.
Step #4 - (Adjusting the COM Port Settings)
Confirm and close both boxes by clicking “OK”.
Configuring DOSBox to Run Motorola RSS
Now it’s time to configure DOSBox to run the Motorola RSS program. If you have not done so yet, download and install the DOSBox program. (Download link)
Step #1 - (Configuring DOSBox for Motorola RSS)
Click the “Start Menu” and in the “Search Programs and Files” area, type and select “DOSBox Options”.
Step #2 - (Configuring DOSBox for Motorola RSS)
Your default text editor will open with the DOSBox conf file. Change the the conf files “serial” settings to:
[serial] serial1=directserial realport:COM1 serial2=disabled serial3=disabled serial4=disabled
Note: Make sure if you are using COM2 that you change the above to:
[serial] serial1=directserial realport:COM2 serial2=disabled serial3=disabled serial4=disabled
Step #3 - (Configuring DOSBox for Motorola RSS)
Change the the conf files “autoexec” settings to:
[autoexec] mount d c:\gm300v.5 d: GM300.EXE
Step #4 - (Configuring DOSBox for Motorola RSS)
Save the DOSBox conf file and exit your text editor.
Starting Motorola’s Radio Service Software
Now it’s time to see if we did so far is correct. Let’s start DOSBox and see what happens. You should see a welcome screen that tells you to push any button, and then the following screen below.
If you see this screen above, congratulate yourself! You have successfully configured DOSBox to run Motorola’s Radio Service Software.
Now comes the part that just about everyone has trouble with . . . getting your Motorola Radius to communicate with your computer. Cheap programming cables, and too fast of a CPU speed (on your computer/DOSBox) are the main cause of this problem. We already discussed what cables worked for me. Now let’s go over how to slow down the CPU speed.
Slowing Down the CPU Speed in DOSBox
While DOSBox is running, hold down the “Ctrl” key and press “F11” until the CPU Speed (displayed in the title bar) reaches somewhere around 191 cycles. If you went too far, hold down the “Ctrl” key and press “F12” to raise the speed back up. I was able to successfully program with a CPU Speed of up to 400 cycles.
Configuring and Testing the Motorola RSS
Now it’s time to configure the RSS, and test the connection between your computer and your Motorola Radius.
Step #1 - (Configuring and Testing the Motorola RSS)
From the “Main Menu” of the Motorola RSS, press “F9” to get into the “Setup Computer Configuration Menu”.
Step #2 - (Configuring and Testing the Motorola RSS)
Now press “F3” to go into the “PC Configuration Menu”
Step #3 - (Configuring and Testing the Motorola RSS)
You will need type in the “Default Path Names” on this screen.
DEFAULT PATH NAMES Archive D:\ARCHIVE Backup D:\BACKUP Repeater D:\REPEATER SERIAL PORTS RIB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . COM1
Note: If you are using COM2, make sure to change the “RIB” setting to COM2.
Step #4 - (Configuring and Testing the Motorola RSS)
Now press “F8” to save your settings.
Step #5 - (Configuring and Testing the Motorola RSS)
Press “F3” to perform a “COMM TEST”. This is where you will find out if your computer and your radio will be able to communicate. Look to make sure you get the “Radio Communications OK” message. If you get any error messages, double check everything above, and make sure all the settings are correct.
Programming Frequencies, Tones, Offset, and the Time Out Timer
In this section, I will show you how to program frequencies, tones, offset, and the time-out-timer.
Step #1 - (Frequencies, Tones, Offset, and the Time Out Timer)
If you are not at the Main Menu, press “F10” until you get there. Press “F3” to “GET/SAVE Codeplug Data”.
Step #2 - (Frequencies, Tones, Offset, and the Time Out Timer)
Now press “F2” for the “READ Radio” option.
You should now see a screen that looks like the one pictured below.
Step #3 - (Frequencies, Tones, Offset, and the Time Out Timer)
After the reading of the codeplug block is complete, press “F10” and then “F4” to get to the “CHANGE/VIEW Codeplug” menu. Now press “F5” to get into the “MODE Configuration: Frequency, Squelch Type, and Codes” menu.
Step #4 - (Frequencies, Tones, Offset, and the Time Out Timer)
This is where you can change the frequencies, PL tones, offset, and time-out-timer. Change the settings to what you require.
Note: The “Tab” key will navigate you around in this menu, and “F4” will take you to the next channel settings.
Step #5 - (Frequencies, Tones, Offset, and the Time Out Timer)
Press “F10” twice to return to the “Main Menu”.
Step #6 - (Frequencies, Tones, Offset, and the Time Out Timer)
Now press “F3” and then “F8” to select the “PROGRAM Radio” option. A warning screen will appear. Press “F2” to continue programming your Motorola Radius.
This is the screen (below) that you will see when your Motorola Radius is programming.
Step #7 - (Frequencies, Tones, Offset, and the Time Out Timer)
Celebrate! You have programmed your Motorola Radius!
- A good source of information about Motorola Maxtrac / Radius / GM300 radios is at the repeater-builder.com website.
- Common RSS error codes (and what they mean) for the Radius series transceivers.
- Find used Motorola Maxtrac / Radius radios on eBay.