The Motorola GP300 can be re-programmed quite easily to allow use on our Amateur Radio bands. The radio is made in both a VHF and UHF versions, and makes an excellent 2mtr or 70cms portable radio.
Most of the radio's I have worked on have originally been 8 channel units. These can be modified to operate on 16 channels quite easily.
The programming interface can be made for a low cost. All it consists of is a RS232 to TTL level converter, that connects between the serial port of your PC and the radio.
Amateur Radio Conversion.
The radio requires the Motorola Software which can be found if you ask around or search for it on the FTP sites on the Internet. If you can't find it then try your local Motorola dealer who should be able to help at a small cost.
You also have to make an interface, or purchase one.
To program the radio onto the Amateur band, you can find some versions of software that have been hacked into allowing frequencies to be entered to bring the radio into the amateur bands which normally are just bellow the original working frequency. However this depends on your version of software, if it's a un-hacked version then you have to press the key down when entering the frequency. You must release the key when entering the decimal point. For example to program 433.500MHz you will enter the following: $££.%)) on a English layout keyboard. (This is 433.500 with the held down. Fill all of the 0's in the frequency field. This example is the same for both the VHF and UHF GP300's.
16 Channel conversion. (for 8 channel radio's only)
To program the radio for 16 channels you need to first of all, pull the channel selector knob off the radio. On the underside of the channel selector knob you will see a small black "Stop". Cut this off with a sharp knife and replace the knob. You will now find the radio then switches 16 positions instead of the original 8 channels.
You then need to "Hack" a file called GP300.MDF with the help of a Hex editor such as Hex Workshop. The file you need to modify is called GP300.MDF and can be found in the main directory of the Motorola software. Keep a backup of your original GP300.MDF file, just in case you make a mistake.
I have made a small video that shows the Hex Workshop screen during the modification. This should help you understand the procedure of editing the file which when complete will give you 16 channels. Click below to download.
- Get a copy of Hex Workshop.
- Start the Hex Workshop program and open the file GP300.MDF to begin editing.
- Go to "Tools", and the "Generate Checksum".
- Make sure "Entire Document" and also "Decimal" are ticked. Then press "Generate".
- Look in the "Checksum-16" box, in my version of software for example, this results in a checksum of 53454 (yours may be a different number depending on the version of Motorola software)
- Write this number down, as you need it later.
- Press "Cancel" to return to the main window and your next step.
- Go to "Edit" and then "Find". A pop-up window appears.
- You need to enter the model number of your radio. For e.g. P93YPC00D2AB.
- When you enter the model number leave off the last two letters(AB on my radio).Make sure "ASCII" is ticked.
- When you press "Find Next", you will see your model number highlighted.
- If you count 8 numbers after the highlighted section, you should see the number "08" as long your radio is originally a 8 channel set.
- Edit the "08" to "10" (note 10 in Hex is equal to 16 in decimal).
- You now need to edit the start of the program, to allow the software to run.
- In the first few lines look for a Hex number that you can easily take away 8 from.
- In my software at address 00000040 you will see the number "78" on the right.
- Edit this to be "70".
- Now you must do a final checksum and make sure it equals the original value.
- If this is the same, then replace you original file with the modified file.
- Try to reprogram your radio with the extra 8 channels to give you 16 channels.