Author Topic: How to Convert a MOTOROLA XPR6580 for Amateur Use  (Read 34359 times)

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Offline W1RC

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How to Convert a MOTOROLA XPR6580 for Amateur Use
« on: May 30, 2015, 06:37:29 AM »
The Motorola XPR6580 is the 800/900 MHz version of the 6000 series of their digital MOTOTRBO portable radios.  These are rugged commercial-grade radios and are now becoming available at reasonable cost on the surplus market.  Unlike most other 800 MHz radios the XPR6580 can be modified to cover the amateur 900 MHz (33cm) band (902.0000 - 928.0000) which makes it very useful to radio amateurs.  These can be picked up for as little as $100 on eBay but there is a caveat.  These are very likely going to be analog trunked radios which, as received, will be useless to amateurs.  However, these surplus commercial radios can easily be "converted" to conventional analog and, if desired, the digital feature can easily be activated afterwards.

Here is how it is done.......

You will need a programming cable, available on ePay.  Also you will need the Motorola CPS (Customer Programming Software).  Current version at this writing is 2.0 but 16.0 is still around and  is probably a better choice if you can get it.  Please do not email asking for a copy of the CPS as your message will be ignored.  Get it from Motorola. 

If your radio' was set us for analog trunking you will first have to upgrade the firmware to the latest trunking version then convert the firmware to conventional analog.  This is done using CPS.

Here's a link to everything (current as of May 31st 2015) associated with performing the conversion from analog trunking to analog conventional firmware, TRBO-->3600 and 3600-->TRBO conversion.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1ly39v4mthl7tik/AAACP0SZbRixS3fFV1erH3g2a?dl=0

You will need to download files from the first two directories. For the XPR6580 you will want to download the PORTABLE files. 

The files in the third directory are not needed to do the conversion but may be handy to have if you ever want to restore the radio to analog trunking service.  So download them in case....

R01.12.13 TRBO firmware for analog conventional radios can be found here:

http://files.p25.ca/trbo-firmware/North%20America%20%28NA%29/4000-6000-series/R01.12.13/

The P25 Forum article also  provides all the information you need to do this.  This is a wonderful resource for information and wisdom relative to these radios.  I recommend that you subscribe.  It's free.

http://communications.support/threads/9397-XPR-6580-3600-baud-Analog-trunking-conversion-back-to-TRBO

The next message in this article explains how to use a hex editor to hack the codeplug to allow you to enter 900 MHz amateur repeater and simplex frequencies. The codeplug that you create in CPS or download from the radio will not allow "out-of-band" frequencies to be entered.  It is also important to remember that you MUST use the hacked codeplug file that you will have hopefully saved to make future changes.

Finally, if you want to add MotoTRBO digital capability to your radio after the conversion you will need to purchase an Analog to Digital Upgrade software license from a Motorola dealer or directly from Motorola online.  The "entitlement key" will allow you to activate the radio's MOTOTRBO Digital features from within CPS .  The Motorola part number HKLN4429A.

Here are some additional sources for information on 900 MHz in New England.

http://www.near900.com/

http://www.gemoto.com/900freqs.htm

More information on the 33cm 900 MHz amateur band:

http://www.aracc.org/33CM900MHZ.pdf

More information on MOTOTRBO DMR here in New England:
www.nedecn.org

Roger WA1NVC sets up his portable 900 MHz repeater at NEAR-Fest.   It is open to all.

927.5875 MHz output with a tone of 100.0 Hz
902.5875 MHz input with a tone of 131.8 Hz

See you at the fester.

73 and ENJOY!

Mister Mike, W1RC

Many thanks to the following for the information in this article:
Bill, NE1B; Glenn, KB1SMN; Roger, WA1NVC, Joe, N1QD; and many others.....

Offline W1RC

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MOTOTRBO out of band modification for the 800/900 MHz radios, to put them on the 902/927 MHz amateur radio frequencies. (XPR 6580 & XPR 4580).  This procedure is obviously not approved or endorsed by Motorola or anybody else, not even NEAR-Fest.  WARNING:  Perform this mod at your own risk! And please don?t ask for software. Register and purchase the software from Motorola at www.businessonline.motorolasolutions.com

Here are the instructions for hex editing CPS to allow for 900 MHz ham use of certain XPR series radios, ie: the XPR6580, XPR4580 and XPR8380 repeater.  This is a simple, yet effective, out-of-band modification for several Motorola MOTOTRBO radios. Please note that once this mod is performed, you must always use the backup file created for any future editing Of the codeplug file. Any attempt to read the radio via the CPS will automatically restore default values instead of the "incorrect", out of band frequency entries, and the process will have to be repeated.

1. Download and install {HxD}, an excellent free HEX editor. http://mh-nexus.de/en/downloads.php?product=HxD

2. Launch Mototrbo CPS.  If performing this for the first time read the radio's codeplug and save the file.  Leave the CPS window open.   If there is a previously savd codeplug file open that file.

3. Make any custom changes to the codeplug at this time. (Radio name, Buttons, etc)

4. Go to the "Zone" and right-click on "Zone" and add needed Analog channels. You can name the channels now or later.

5. Launch HxD, Click on "Extras" > "Open RAM" and click on "mototrbocps.exe".

6. Next, press Control+R (or Search > Replace) (Within HxD)

7. Enter 870.000000 in "Search For" and enter 941.000000 in "Replace With".Be sure you have 6 zeros after the decimal point. (Ex: 941.000000)
*See below for XPR 8380 Repeater info

8. Keep "Datatype" at text-string, check the "Unicode String" and "All" boxes and click "Replace All".

9. Click on "File" > "Save" (in the HxD utility) when finished. (Click on Yes in warning)

10. Return to your open CPS program, and make sure you can enter Ham freq?s in RX & TX fields.

11. Enter all needed RX & TX freq?s in all the channels.

12. The next step is to edit your channels for PL/DPL and for "Admit Criteria", use "Always". Check the "Allow Talkaround" box for each channel. Remember, 900 MHz is only 12.5 KHz. Now SAVE THE FILE under a NEW, different name. This saved file will now ALWAYS have the modified frequencies and should be used for any additions.

13. Using CPS write the codeplug to the radio and you are ready to go.

This file can also be used for "Cloning" another radio of the same type. Any attempt to read the radio will result in the deletion of all "out of band" frequencies in the radio. It will not be bricked; just the Ham information would be lost. Use the saved file to restore the radio if this happens.

*The XPR 8380 Repeater mod requires two steps within HxD. Steps 7a & 7b replace above step 7.
7a. Enter 825.000000 in "Search For" and enter 905.000000 in "Replace With".Be sure you have 6 zeros after the decimal point. (Ex: 905.000000)
7b. Enter 870.000000 in "Search For" and enter 930.000000 in "Replace With". Be sure you have 6 zeros after the decimal point. (Ex: 930.000000)

Continue with step 8 above and just enter one channel for the repeater.

Have fun!

73,

MisterMike, W1RC

Many thanks to Lou, WA6EPD.

Offline W1RC

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Re: How to Convert a MOTOROLA XPR6580 for Amateur Use
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2023, 02:41:56 AM »
That radio has trunking firmware in it.
If you have a friendly Moto dealer around there, it can be flashed back
to conventional mode. Have them look for the below download, if they
don't already have it:-

Device Conversion Packages 3600 Baud Trunking to MOTOTRBO Digital
Firmware (18 Dec 2013 HTML Document 4KB)
These firmware packages will Convert an 800|900MHz Smartnet Privacy Plus
Analog Trunking R01.10.22 radio to MOTOTRBO Digital Conventional
firmware R01.12.02 for (defaulting to Analog only features).

That will allow the 902 TX.

I have that firmware but perhaps it need the "package" I used CPS to flash
the firmware but CPS doesn't seem to recognize the firmware is there to
be flashed. Any ideas?

Offline W1RC

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Re: How to Convert a MOTOROLA XPR6580 for Amateur Use
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2023, 08:52:42 PM »
MOTOTRBO out of band modification for the 800/900 MHz radios, to put them on the 902/927 MHz Analog Ham frequencies. (XPR 6580 & XPR 4580)
Here is a simple, yet effective out-of-band modification for Motorola MOTOTRBO radios. Please note that once this mod is performed, you must use the backup file created for any future editing out of band. Any attempt to read the radio via the CPS will automatically restore default values instead of the incorrect, out of band frequency entries, and the process will have to be repeated.
Perform this mod at your own risk! And please do not ask me for software. Register and purchase the software from Motorola at <www.motorolasolutions.com>
This process can get a bit tedious and repetitive, but it does work.
1. Download and install {HxD}, an excellent free HEX editor. <http://mh-nexus.de/en/downloads.php?product=HxD>
2. Launch Mototrbo CPS, Read the radio and save the file, and leave the CPS window open.
3. Make any custom changes to the codeplug at this time. (Radio name, Buttons, etc)
4. Go to the ZONE and right-click on ZONE.  Add an Analog channel.
You can name the channel now or later.
5. In RX field, if it does not have 935.000000, then enter that. (6 zeros after decimal point)
6. In TX field, if it does not have 902.000000, then enter that. (6 zeros after decimal point)
7. Launch HxD, Click on ?Extras? > OPEN RAM and click on mototrbocps.exe?.
8. Next, press Control+R (or Search > Replace)
9. Enter 935.000000 in SEARCH FOR and your new Receive frequency in Replace With
Be sure you have 6 places after the decimal point. (Ex: 927.587500)
10. Keep Datatype at text-string, check the Unicode String and All boxes and click Replace All.
11. Click on File> Save (in the HxD utility) when finished.
12. Next, press Control+R (or Search > Replace) again.
13. Enter 902.000000 in Search For and your new Transmit frequency in Replace With
Be sure you have 6 places after the decimal point. (Ex: 902.587500)
14. Click on File> Save (in the HxD utility) when finished.
15. Return to your open CPS program, and make sure the changes took affect in RX & TX fields.
16. Go to Step 4 above and repeat for all channels needed.
17. The next step is to edit your channels for PL/DPL and for Admit Criteria, use Always.
Check the Allow Talkaround box for each channel. Remember, 900 MHz is only 12.5 KHz.
Now SAVE THE FILE under a NEW, different name.
This saved file will now ALWAYS have the modified frequencies and should be used
for any additions.
18. PROGRAM THE RADIO, and Enjoy!
This file can also be used for Cloning another radio of the same type.
Any attempt to read the radio will result in the deletion of all out-of-band frequencies in the radio. It will not be bricked; just the information would be lost. Use the saved file to restore the radio if this happens.
I hope this information was helpful. Lou, WA6EPD