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Thread: Does anybody faimilar with very old radio device "MCX 90"?

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    bg1gtx No Longer Registered

    Default Does anybody faimilar with very old radio device "MCX 90"?

    Thanks all for the help!

    Is anybody here faimiliar with a very old radio device "MCX 90"? I want to know if there is a RSS for it. Because I found the physical interface of MCX 90 is different with the others. Some pictres are here.


  2. #2
    ars.ki5mc No Longer Registered

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    Someone will correct me If I'm off on this, hopefully. The MCX 90 is basically a MCX 100 with fewer channels. They basically had the same guts as the early Syntor, paqckaged differently. I suggest you check out the following links to batlabs and Mike Blenderman's Syntor sites:
    http://www.batlabs.com/syntor.html
    http://www.onfreq.com/syntorx/syntor/index.html

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    Thhere's no "RSS" in the traditional sense. They program via a PROM. The MCX100 is the "Canadian" version of an MCX90 I believe. I had an MCX100 back in the day, by far one of the best radios I've ever owned. Receive sensitivity was better than anything else I've used.

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    You are corrrect the MCX 90 is a MCX100. Both radios use a prom to contain the freq. The If I remember correct without refering to the srevice manual the Pl tone is generated by a vibrasopncer module and is not synthesized.

    If you want to program one you would either need to find a Motorola "suitcase" which is virtually impossible or you will need to locate a stand alone program to directly address the memory chip. Remember the memory chip is a "one time only" type of chip although you could substitute a newer reprogrammable version if you feel ambitious enough to match the addressing/IO pins. There are a few privatly written programs to do your own freq editing.

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    cyrus's Avatar
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    I believe somebody just posted pictures of the programmer which he has. Edit: here's the link:

    https://www.p25.ca/threads/1340-Moto...ase-Programmer

    There were some hacks available for increasing the number of channels.

    I think I've got an MCX100 sitting around somewhere and an MCX1000 gathering dust as well.
    Cyrus

    Bubbles: I'd like to see that Red Blue Green c***sucker put one of those together, duct-tapin' it.

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    I believe the PL was also programmed via prom just like the Syntors, and yes they are great radios have a few of them set for my local Sheriffs department, and County PD's. Plus the Federal version was extra wide band( had a DFE) to work from 144 to 174 mhz. There are a few ways around the one short proms, I have seen modifications to 2716 proms. It's not pretty but does work.

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    I checked the manual and yes the PL is programmable too.

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    Paul Bennett (N7OCS) wrote some software to program the PROMs on the MCX100 / Syntor. I have the software, but can't find where to download it any longer... Here is his site: http://www.sites.onlinemac.com/pbenn...7/software.htm which shows screen shots of the software.

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    The reason you can't find it for download is because it was payware. I bought a copy of it a LOOONG time ago, and he had programs for MCX/Syntor and Syntor-X, which would produce a normal hex file you can upload to any run of the mill PROM/EPROM programmer.

    Doing a little searching, it seems there are newer windows based versions that still may be available here: http://www.shout.net/~rieslabs/index.htm

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    It's all coming back now. I remember buying that one and then getting one for free from Sandy Ganz that would only program TX for ham, but would rx any freq. Here it is: http://www.chopper.org/SprogPage.html

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    I dont know if this program is still available. I have the earlier sprog1

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    The free version is here: http://www.gtsparkplugs.com/files/FreeHam.zip I imagine you have to email him for the commercial version. His site says that the commercial version is $150.00!

  13. #13
    Will No Longer Registered

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    MCX series are known as Canadian Syntors and actually came out before Syntors. We had a lot of MCX radios for the '84 Olympics here in Los Angeles when I worked for /\/\. Great radios, just had to learn the way to proggram them.

    I think one reason we saw lots of MCX' down here was the were in the Military portion of the VHF and UHF bands. Most of them went to the Army and Air Force after the '84 Olympics.

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    Default Does anybody faimilar with very old radio device "MCX 90"?

    Your military portions were our public safety portions.

    Lots of radios saw service in many cruisers up here.
    Cyrus

    Bubbles: I'd like to see that Red Blue Green c***sucker put one of those together, duct-tapin' it.

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    The MCX1000 is basically a modern 68HC11 fitted to an older radio chassis that didn't use a computer at all. In the MCX100 (and the Syntor), the synthesizer generates some pulses and based on the current divisor set, the pulses are either at 150 ns, 200 ns, or 250 ns... For 4.166KHz, 6.25 KHz, and 5KHz respectively. The PROM used was rated for 50ns, by comparison. The MCX1000 has the VCO rebuilt, but the front-ends and PA are different, as well as the control head. Either radio is jam-packed in comparison to today's mobile radios (or even Spectra). However, the MCX100 and 1000 can be brought down to 144MHz from the 146MHz lower limit of the Range 2 radio (146-174). The MCX1000 has an RSS available for it, but the latest version was released in 1987, V02.02.00. There is no RSS for the MCX100, but several software packages that allow codeplugs to be built in binary form, thought PROM programmers are as rare as software to program them today.