Using Licence-free Radios with Licensed Radios

Here’s the thing. You have a number of PMR446 licence-free radios and a number of licensed radios. You want them to work together and your local radio dealer has told you that it’s impossible.

That’s not strictly true. You could program your licensed radios to work on PMR446. But if you do, you risk a £10,000 fine and up to a year in prison. So don’t do that.

The Solution

The good news is there is a viable technical alternative to risking prison time. And it’s by using the SR-628 cross-band repeater control box by Surecom. Introducing the Surecom SR628. See this diagram.

How It Works

You connect Surecom SR628 allows you to connect a radio to either side creating a 2-way duplex repeater. When you talk on the PMR446 radio, this will be rebroadcast on the Licensed radio, and vice-versa. You need to use one of the radios from each system, but this solution allows you to talk between the two sets of radios legally.

> See the Surecom SR628 on our main website.

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Motorola MOTOTRBO 10th Anniversary RRP Reduction Discount

Motorola Solutions LogoMotorola Solutions (Motorola Two Way Radio) have announced a reduction in the recommended retail price of their DP series two way radios in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the MOTOTRBO line of digital DMR radios.

What this means for customers is that Radiotronics is passing this discount on to you! See the full MOTOTRBO range on our website here.

The promotion is scheduled to run from the 5th of June, 2017 until the 30th of September, 2017

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Licence Free Two Way Radios

Licence free two way radios are a convenient way to use two way radios without the worry or inconvenience of obtaining a radio operators licence.

Advantages of Licence Free Radios
  • No licence required – of course
  • Smaller initial cost outlay
  • No call charges
  • No contracts
  • Pre-programmed frequencies, no programming needed
  • Can be used throughout the EU
Disadvantages of Licence Free Two Way Radios
  • Limited range compared to licensed radios
  • Potentially congested channels – many operators use the same channels so interference can be more frequent

Types of Licence Free Two Way Radios

Here at Radiotronics, we categorise these into two headings – Walkie Talkies which are more leisure style radios, and Professional Grade Licence Free Radios which more resemble high power business radios. Read on.

Walkie Talkies (Leisure Style Radios)

Walkie talkies, usually supplied in pairs, are cheap and convenient types of two way radios. They’re usually small radios no larger than the palm of your hand. Here at Radiotronics, we stock a wide range of walkie talkies from both Motorola and Midland. Walkie Talkies are not always used for leisure use – sometimes they can be a cost-effective solution for small schools etc.

Advantages of Leisure-Style Walkie Talkies
  • Usually Supplied in Pairs
  • Cost Effective – Very Low Cost
  • Easy to Use – Preprogrammed & work out the box
  • Most accept either bundled batteries, or alkaline AA or AAA batteries
  • Some models CTCSS to reduce interference
  • No licence required of course
Useful For
  • Camping & Fishing
  • Shooting Sports
  • Paintball Activities
  • Small Schools & Nurseries
What We Recommend

> See the Licence Free Walkie Talkies section on our website.

Business Grade Two Way Radios

Professional-grade licence free two way radios are radios look almost identical to high-power business radios. Business grade licence free two way radios are typically built to the same military specifications as their high-power siblings and are just as durable. The only real difference is that professional-grade licence free two way radios restricted to 500mW (0.5W) and operate on only the licence free radio band.

Advantages of Licence Free Professional-Grade Two Way Radios
  • Same build quality as licensed radios
  • Dealer programmable
  • Almost all models are CTCSS capable for minimum interference
  • Maximum feature set – almost all professional-grade licence free two way radios have similar features to licensed radios
  • Some models are waterproof
Useful For
  • Construction sites
  • Leisure centres
  • Hospitality / Hotels
  • Factories
  • Farms
  • Shooting & Fishing Sports
What We Recommend

> See the Licence Free Professional Grade Two Way Radios section on our website.

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Vertex Standard Universal / Legacy Battery Reference Chart

Vertex Standard have completely replaced all their batteries with the all new Universal Range.

This means, in a nutshell, that now all Vertex Standard batteries can be charged in the CD-58 charger. This is great as no matter what Vertex Standard radio you buy, they all use the same “universal” charger. But this only applies to the latest version of batteries. The bad news is that if you buy a new “universal series” battery, you’ll also need to upgrade your charger to a CD-58 charging pod with either a PA-55U (UK) or PA-55C (EU) power supply.

Finding the right new universal battery for your old radio can prove challenging. So we’ve created this handy chart. If your battery is missing from this chart it just means there’s no direct replacement battery.

 Radio Old Battery Old Charger New Battery  New Charger
Code Pod PSU  Code  Pod PSU
VX-230
VX-231
VX-234
FNB-V106 CD-47 PA-43C (EU)
PA-43U (UK)
FNB-V103LIA CD-34 PA-42C (EU)
PA-42U (UK)
FNB-V131LI-UNI CD-58 PA-55C (EU)
PA-55U (UK)
FNB-V104LIA FNB-V132LI-UNI
VX-160
VX-180
VX-410
VX-420
FNB-V67LIA FNB-V126LI-UNI
VX-351
VX-354
FNB-V96LIA CD-34 PA-42C (EU)
PA-42U (UK)
FNB-V130LI-UNI
VX-820
VX-920
FNB-V86LIA CD-53 FNB- V127LI-UNI
FNB-V87LIA FNB-V128LI-UNI
FNB-V92LI FNB-V129LI-UNI

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Motorola Two Way Radio Starter Pack (6 Colour Options)

Motorola Two Way Radio Starter Pack

Exclusive to Radiotronics is this amazingly good value Two Way Radio Starter Pack. Containing six Motorola DP1400 two way radios and a six-way charger, this two way radio package contains everything you need to get started – and you can choose your favourite colour!

Offer Price: £999.99 +VAT

> You can purchase the Two Way Radio Starter Kit from our main website.

Here’s What’s Included

  • Choice of Colour Casing
  • 6x Motorola DP1400
  • 6x NiMH Batteries
  • 6x Belt Clips
  • 6x Antennas
  • 1x 6-Way Charger
  • 1x UK Power Lead

Six Different Colours Available

We have six DP1400 colours available to choose from. These are Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Red & Green/Turquoise.

> You can also retrofit your existing Motorola DP1400 radios with our Front Cover Kits

Red Motorola DP1400 Front Cover

Orange Motorola DP1400 Front Cover

Green Motorola DP1400 Front Cover

Blue Motorola DP1400 Front Cover

Motorola DP1400 Pink

Motorola DP1400 Front Cover Black

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Motorola UK & EMEA / USA Equivalents

Motorola GP340Motorola Solutions have different model radios in the UK, Europe & East Africa (EMEA) to the models they have in the USA.

Whilst the USA models are not exactly the same, they’re pretty much identical in most physical characteristics.

We have put together a handy little chart to cross reference equivalent table.

> If you notice any mistakes, or you’d like to suggest some additions, please email us tech@radiotronics.co.uk.

Commercial Series Portable Radios

EMEA Model USA Model
CP040 Radius CP200
CP200.XLS
CP140 PR400 FKP
CP160 PR400 LKP
CP180 PR400 FKP
P140/P145 CP185 NKP
P160/P165 CP185 LKP
P180/P185 CP185 FKP

Commercial Series Mobile Radios

EMEA Model USA Model
CM140
CM160
Radius CM200
Radius CM300
CM340
CM360 PM400

Professional Series Portable Radios

EMEA Model USA Model
GP320
GP328
GP330
GP340 HT750
GP360
GP380 HT1250
GP640 MTX850
GP680 MTX8250
GP344 EX500
GP666 EX560-XLS
GP688 EX600-XLS

MOTOTRBO DMR Digital Series Portable Radios

EMEA Model USA Model
DP1400 CP200D
SL1600 SL300
SL4000 SL7550
DP2400/e XPR3300/e
DP2600/e XPR3500/e
DP3400
DP3401 XPR6350
DP3600
DP3601 XPR6550
DP4400/e
DP4401/e XPR7350/e
DP4600/e
DP4601/e
DP4800/e
DP4801/e XPR7550/e

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How to Open a Motorola GP340

Motorola 6680702Z01 ToolThere are many reasons you may want to open up your Motorola GP340 which include changing the front cover or cleaning etc.

This article also applies to: GP340, GP330, GP340, GP360, GP380, GP640, GP680, GP344 & GP388.

The good news is that opening your Motorola GP340 is relatively simple. You’ll just need a simple Motorola GP430 Case Opening Tool.

The tool you need is the Motorola 6680702Z01 tool.

This guide is designed to facilitate with changing the front cover when you buy one our Motorola GP340 front cover housing kits.

If you need detailed information you’ll need to download the GP340 service manual.

Front Cover Removal Procedure

This short guide assumes you’ve already removed the battery, unscrewed the antenna and removed the accessory socket dust cover.

All of our GP340 front cover kits come with the internal ribbon flex cable already installed, so here we just concentrate on removing the radio from the cover.

> Note: Fitting the cover is the opposite of this guide.

1. Remove the Plastic Knobs

It’s very important that you remove the plastic knobs on top. If not, this can result in fracturing the knob shafts and cause expensive damage to your radio.

Motorola GP340 & GP344 Knob Removal

2. Remove Chassis From Cover

Be very careful here. This process should be relatively smooth. If you find it’s very tough to do, you’re probably doing something wrong.

Prise the chassis out of the front cover by pushing upwards from the bottom, using the tool mentioned above. Then slide the chassis downward to remove from the front cover. Be very careful that you don’t snag the ribbon flex cable.

Motorola GP340 & GP344 Case Removal

3. Detach the Ribbon Flex Cable(s)

Depending on if you have an option board fitted there will be either one or two ribbon flex cables. You can detach them by very carefully sliding a flat-blade screwdriver under their retaining latch. They should pop up instantly and release the ribbon flex cable. I they do not, do not force them, rethink and reassess.

Motorola GP340 & GP344 Ribbon Flex Cable Removal

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How to Open a Motorola CP040 or DP1400

Motorola 6686533Z01The only way to open a Motorola DP1400 or Motorola CP040 without damaging the casing is by using the correct tool.

The tool you need is the Motorola 6686533Z01 tool.

> We sell the 6686533Z01 for £9.99 on our main website – click here.

If you attempt to remove the casing without this tool you risk damaging the case or, worse, damaging the radio circuit board or chassis.

> Also see our Motorola DP1400 Front Cover Housing which is available in multiple colours.

Front Cover Removal Procedure

There are just three simple steps to open the casing and potentially change the front cover on a Motorola CP040. The procedure is practically identical on the DP1400.

> Note: This short guide assumes you’ve already removed the battery and unscrewed the antenna.

1. Remove The Knobs

First you must remove the plastic knobs on top. Failure to do this may result in you snapping the volume and channel shafts.

Motorola CP040 Knob Removal

2. Remove the Chassis from the Front Cover

Using the chassis opening tool, starting at the bottom, prise the chassis from the front cover. Be very careful not to strain the front cover housing or damage the chassis. The chassis will prise easily, so if you need to use too much force, you may be doing it wrong.

Motorola CP040 Chassis Removal

3. Remove the Speaker

You can remove the speaker by simply removing the speaker retainer.

Motorola CP040 Speaker Removal

Front Cover Fitting

Simply follow the steps in reverse.

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Motorola DP1400 Front Cover & Housing (Multiple Colours)

Motorola DP1400 Front Cover Black Here at Radiotronics, we can exclusively offer a selection of multi-coloured front covers for your Motorola DP1400.

Changing the cover on your DP1400 is relatively simple. You’ll just need the 6686533Z01 case opening tool, which we can also provide.

Having different colour cases can be useful for many things such as branding or radio identification for example.

> You can order these covers now on our main website.

Colours Available

We have six colours available to choose from. These are Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Pink Red & Green/Turquoise. Click on the colour of your choice to view on our website.

Parts Included

Our Motorola DP1400 front cover housing kits are made from a mixture of original/genuine and aftermarket parts.

Part Description Type
 Plastic Front Cover Aftermarket
15012242001 Audio Jack Dust Cover
38012042001 Programming Socket Dust Cover
35012094001 Speaker Felt
33012039019 DP1400 Model Label  Original / Genuine
33012026001 Motorola Logo Label

Please note the speaker and microphone assembly is not included, so you’ll have to remove it from your existing casing and fit in this one. If you need a speaker, it part code 0104055J50 or a microohone is 0104055J51. Please contact us if you would like to order these?

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Motorola GP340 Programming

Motorola GP340 ProgrammingDo you need to program your Motorola GP340? Radiotronics sells everything you need to do just that.

> Also see our Motorola GP340 Front Cover Kits

This article also applies to GP320, GP330, GP360, GP380 radios. But this article does not apply to GP640 and GP680 as, whilst they share the same accessory/programming socket, GP6xx radios require different software.

What Do I Need?

We recommend that you go for an after-market USB cable which will make your life a little easier. We’ll concentrate on that option here. But for convenience, we have put details of the genuine programming kit at the end of this article. Note: The GP340 and GP344 have different accessory and programming sockets but they use the same software.

Operating System Compatibility

We have tried and tested ENLN4115 GP Professional Series CPS on both Windows XP and Windows 7. We have also tried it with Windows 10 which also worked well (after a system restart). We’re unsure if it will work on Windows 8. If you try it and find it does work, please email us sales@radiotronics.co.uk and let us know.

How To Program A GP340

Wayne Holmes is one of Motorola Solutions’ lead engineers. He has a very useful video on GP Professional Series programming.

Genuine Programming Equipment

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to create a genuine programming kit. You’ll need a Radio Interface Box and a bunch of other things. This is a serial cable programming kit so you’ll also need a USB to RS232 Cable – which we also sell on our website (click here) for around £20+VAT.

Order Code Description Portable Mobile List Price*
3080369B72 RIB to PC RS232 Serial Cable     £53.00
RLN4008E Radio Interface Box (RIB)     £182.00
EPN4042A RIB Box Power Supply (Out of Stock)     £8.40
RKN4074B Portable Radio (GP340) Cable     £36.00
MDJMKN4123B Portable Radio (GP344) Cable £96.00
GTF374C Mobile Radio (GM340) Front Cable     £31.50
RKN4083B Mobile Radio (GM340) Rear Cable     £36.50
Firmware Upgrade Adapter
HLN9742D Firmware Upgrade Flash Adapter     £69.00

* List Price is Motorola’s published price at the time of writing this article. Please refer to our website for current prices.

Upgrade Motorola GP340 Firmware

If you’d like to upgrade the firmware in your Motorola GP340, you’ll also need a HLN9742D flash adapter which only works with the genuine RIB box (and you’ll need everything in the list above). We’ve tried firmware updates using an aftermarket RIB box, and whilst the aftermarket RB box works for programming – it did not work for firmware updates.

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