Last Updated on November 6, 2020

Bought a new Motorola radio and don’t know to configure the settings? The plethora of buttons on the device can be a bit intimidating. But, worry not! We are here to help. Whether you are out in the mountains or are comfortable on your desk, this guide provides you simple ways to adjust your radio’s settings.

The Motorola radio can be programmed in two ways; one requires the use of a computer, while the other one does not. Each method has its own perks, and either can be used depending upon the situation you are in.

    1) Program your Motorola radio without a computer

    Using the programming software is much easier than configuring your two-way radio without it. However, when you are out in the field and want to change some settings urgently, the following methods will help you out.

    How to Program a Motorola Radio

    How to Enter into the Programming Mode?

    To change any of the programmable settings, you must first enter into the programming mode. To do so, follow the steps listed below:

    1. Make sure that you have a sufficient amount of battery and then turn your Motorola radio off. 
    2. While turning on the Motorola radio, press and hold the Push To Talk (PTT) button and the ‘MON’ button for 3 seconds. (1)
    3. Release when you hear a beep sound, and there’s a ‘PROG’ sign on display. The channel number blinks, and the frequency (FREQ) and code (CODE) display alternatively.

    While programming, remember not to press and release the Push To Talk (PTT) button. If you do so, it will make you lose all that you’ve programmed so far and will redirect you to the front of the programming mode.

    How to Select a Channel?

    Each Motorola radio has a number of channels to choose from. These are the steps you need to follow to select a particular channel:

    1. If you are already in the programming mode and have been programming for a while, then continue to step 2. If you aren’t, then enter into the programming mode using the instructions stated above and go to step number 3.
    2. Press ‘MENU’ until the channel number blinks, and the frequency (FREQ) and code (CODE) display alternatively.
    3. Use ‘+’ and ‘-‘ to get to the channel you want.
    4. Press and hold Push To Talk (PTT) if you want to exit the radio programming mode. However, press ‘MENU’ to continue to program.  

    How to Configure the Operating Frequency?

    The Motorola radios feature a pre-programmed frequency list. To configure the operating frequency from this list, follow these steps:

    1. Enter into the programming mode using the instructions stated above.
    2. Press ‘MENU’ until ‘FREQ’ is displayed, and the frequency number starts to blink.
    3. Use ‘+’ and ‘-‘ to select the required frequency. If you need to communicate with other business two way radios, then refer to page 53 of the manual for information on these frequencies.
    4. Press and hold Push To Talk (PTT) if you want to exit the radio programming mode. However, press ‘MENU’ to continue to program.

    How to Program the Interference Eliminator Code?

    As the name suggests, Interference Eliminator Code assist you in minimizing the interference while using the Motorola radio. It provides code combinations that filter out static, noise, and unwanted messages. (2)

    1. Enter into the programming mode using the instructions stated above.
    2. Press ‘MENU’ until there’s ‘PROG’ on the two-way radio display, and the code number blinks.
    3. Press ‘+’ and ‘-‘ to select the code that you want. Refer to page 56 of the manual if you need a specific code. 
    4. Press and hold Push To Talk (PTT) if you want to exit the radio programming mode. However, press ‘MENU’ to continue to program. 

    How to Change the Call Tone or Activate VibraCall?

    Often, your transmitted message isn’t heard by the receiver. Even you can miss a message because of loud surroundings or any other distraction. Call tone and VibraCall resolve this problem.

    When the call tone is turned on, the Motorola radio transmits it to all the other two-way radios in the group. This way, you can alert everyone that you are about to speak. If you haven’t received or transmitted a signal in the last 30 seconds, VibraCall alerts you whenever you receive a message. It vibrates and prevents you from missing the message.

    By default, the call tone is set to 0, which indicates that it is off. To change it, follow the given steps:

    1. Enter into the programming mode using the instructions stated above.
    2. Press ‘MENU’ until ‘CA’ appears on the walkie talkie display.
    3. Press ‘+’ and ‘-‘ to hear and select the call tone you want from 1 to 3. Set the value to 4 to activate the VibraCall. Setting it to 0 will turn both, the call tone and VibraCall, off.
    4. Press and hold Push To Talk (PTT) if you want to exit the radio programming mode. However, press ‘MENU’ to continue to program. 
    5. Whenever you want to transmit the call tone, press the bell sign on the side of the Motorola radio.

    How to Adjust the Microphone Gain?

    Microphone Gain is used to adjust the mic sensitivity to accommodate different users and varying surroundings. 

    1. Enter into the programming mode using the instructions stated above.
    2. Press ‘MENU’ until ‘G’ and a face sign appears on the right side of the display.
    3. Press ‘+’ or ‘-‘ to set the required setting. 3 is for high sensitivity and works best in a quiet environment. 2 is the medium setting and is also the default setting. 1 has the lowest sensitivity and is suitable for loud surroundings.
    4. Press and hold Push To Talk (PTT) if you want to exit the radio programming mode. However, press ‘MENU’ to continue to program. 

    How to Restore the Factory Settings?

    There are times when you want to switch to the default settings on your Motorola radio. In that case, while turning on your ham radio, press and hold Push To Talk (PTT) and ‘MENU’ for 3 seconds.

    2) Program the Motorola radio with Customer Programming Software

    How to Program a Motorola Radio

    Using Customer Programming Software (CPS) is an easier way to program your Motorola radio. To proceed, you need the CPS Programming cables and the Customer Programming Software, which is freely available here. All the features mentioned above, as well as features like programming frequencies, Reverse Burst, etc. can be easily programmed by this method. (3)

    1. Connect one end of the CPS programming cable to your computer in the USB port. The other end is connected to the Drop-in charger tray, which holds the Motorola radio that needs to be programmed.
    2. Ensure that the switch in the cable is in either Analog or CPS position.
    3. Open the software and click on the ‘RADIO’ tab.
    4. Click on the ‘READ’ tab to read the radio. If you want a new or pre-determined profile, click on the ‘Radio Type’ drop-down menu and select your Motorola radio model.
    5. Click on ‘Read Radio,’ which will be followed by a series of beeps. These beeps indicate that your Motorola radio is being read, and your radio profile settings will be updated. However, if you want to create a new profile, click on ‘New Profile’ instead. 
    6. Once you are satisfied with the settings, click on ‘Write to radio.’ A confirmation window will pop-up that suggests that the new settings have been installed on your Motorola radio. 
    7. If you want to use the same settings on other Motorola radios as well, save your profile by clicking on ‘Save to profile.’

    Conclusion

    Motorola radios have revolutionized communication by providing convenient and reliable transmission in remote locations. Programming them by a few simple steps enhances their performance and makes them more efficient. So, grab your handset and tune it right.

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    References

    (1) PTT – https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Push-to-Talk-PTT
    (2) Interference Eliminator Code – https://www.motorolasolutions.com/content/dam/msi/docs/business/staticfiles/
    mr355_and_mr356_user_guide.pdf
    (3) Customer Programming Software – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-We2L_efSo