By popular demand, I have finally gotten around to putting together a thorough tutorial on converting a Harris radio currently flashed for RPM back to older RadioCode for use in ProGrammer. This is the only tutorial I’ve found on the internet so hopefully this helps some of you out there looking to convert these radios to work with the older (unlicensed) software. This method works on the Jaguar 700p, P7100 and M7100 radios. If you have a LPE-200, M-RK or something older, you are stuck with ProGrammer anyway. Radios newer than the 7100 series, like the 7200, 5300 ,7300 etc. are RPM-only.
CAUTION: Thar be dragons ahead!
First things first, you will need some things:
* compatible radio * copy of ProGrammer * programming cable for your model * Windows PC capable of running the software * One super-special file from RPM
Once you have all of this together, we can get started! This process is not too painful, it will take 15-20 minutes to complete. Don’t be alarmed if you get some error messages and popups that warn of impending doom. Surprisingly, these radios are fairly hard to brick and are resilient to most types of user-error. knock on wood
General disclaimer – I know this goes without saying, but. The instructions here were tested by me to work but I cannot be held responsible for your own actions / failure to follow directions / unexplainable stuff happening. i.e. Do this at your own risk, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this procedure, please contact someone who can.
PLEASE READ This method is not perfect, I follow the Harris recommendation closely, and even then the radio is intended to be re-aligned before being put in service. Unless you have a known-good backup of the tracking data from ProGrammer, you should expect to have to realign the radio with a service monitor before use! If that is OK for your application or you don’t intend to use it in a professional setting (e.g. ham radio, GMRS, etc) then you may proceed.
First step will be to fire up the Radio Maintenance app.
Once that is up and running we will now do the safe thing and back up our current system. This will cover our rears in the event something goes wrong, this way we can always revert back to when the radio worked. (It did work before we started this… right?) You will want to hit the Read Code to File button, save the file to a safe place, and do the same for the DSP/ADI. This will let you put it back to RPM in the future, if you wish.
In the image above there are a set of 8 buttons across the top row, with various icons that look like radios and computers. If you hover over them with a mouse, they will show you their purpose. The first one we want to click is the far left one that says “Read Tracking from Radio”. Be sure the radio is in Program Mode before clicking. This is done on the portable radios by holding all three side buttons down while turning the power on. The program will communicate with the radio and show a success dialog when completed. Now, the tracking data and feature data is NOT valid because it is from RPM RadioCode. If you don’t have a ProGrammer backup of this information, stop now. You can extract the feature data from the menu on the radio itself if it was programmed to give you that option. The tracking data will need to be regenerated to align the radio. If you have RPM, you can copy down the information from the tracking data page there, and input it into the ProGrammer version. Otherwise you will need to have the radio aligned or at the VERY least, adjusted to put it on frequency.
To extract the feature data from the radio menu, power the radio on normally and hit the menu button. From there use the arrow keys to scroll down to the option FEATURES. Use the UP arrow to move to the next page which will show FD1 and 12 hex characters. Copy all the hex charaters down from this screen. Hit the up arrow again to move to FD2 and repeat the process, again to FD3 and copy them down as well. VERIFY the information is correct, if you miss one charater or get any wrong, you will lose your features in the radio and be left with a much less useful one. The tracking data cannot be recovered using this method, so a realignment will be necessary to get the radio back in spec. You can somewhat fake it by using the default tracking data provided with ProGrammer, and this will work usually for receive only. I highly recommend having it checked to make sure it is to spec before using the radio on a trunked system or in mission-critical applications.
Now, we either have a direct copy of the features from an old copy, or we copied them down directly. We can now move on to modifying a couple files in order for ProGrammer to be able to communicate with the CPU in the radio. That process requires us to copy a file that comes with RPM, to the folder where ProGrammer is and then modify a file to point ProGrammer at it. The file is a bootloader that instructs the radio how to talk to the flash chip and where to store the various data. RPM utilizes the full 2MB flash chip while ProGrammer does not, so we need to use the RPM bootloader (R0P08B05.bin) in order for ProGrammer to talk to the flash chip and re-write it.
Grab the file shown below…
And copy it to the C:\Program Files\MA-Com Software Tools\ProGrammer\Trans folder
Replace the line highlighted above so that it reads R0P08B05.BIN instead of R0R08B02.BIN. Save it but keep the file open, we will change that back when we are done. Don’t forget to change it or you will be scratching your head trying to figure out why the software won’t talk to the radio anymore!
So now on to the reflashing itself! Open up RadioMaint if you haven’t already, put the radio in Program mode, and hit the Radio Information button. You should see a screen similar to this:
This will show you the basic information about the radio, it’s flash size, current RadioCode and DSP, etc. None of this is really important right now, it just verifies we can talk to the radio.
Close out of that window, reset the radio back to Program Mode and hit the Recovery button. You will be prompted with this:
Do what it says and click OK. Several quick screens will flash up and go away, eventually you will be presented with this:
Don’t be scared by the intimidating words, but do be careful. Make sure you are doing this with a freshly charged battery and secure cables, we don’t want to have to redo this from a failed flash!. Click OK to bring us to the screen asking what kind of radio we are dealing with:
Select the radio that you have connected, and click OK. NOTE The only Jaguar 700p radios that work with RPM, are the RU101219 models, so select that if thats what you have.
Next we select that RadioCode we are going to put into the radio. Version J2R11C02 is the LAST version that worked with ProGrammer, and is the most stable. You may also have J2R11B01, that works well also. When you click next, it may ask you to reset the radio to Program Mode several times. YOU MUST DO THIS EACH TIME! Failure to do so will almost always result in a failed flash. This process takes about 5-10 minutes. PLEASE PLEASE Don’t touch the comptuer or click ANYTHING while this flashes! This software is very glitchy in that if you click another window while it is flashing, it will stop responding. The radio will still be flashing and working in the background, but you won’t see any progress meter or errors. For the sake of not going crazy, i suggest just clicking OK and wbacking away for a bit while does its thing. Once the radio code flashes, the software will prompt you for a DSP file. Pick one from the window that opens:
If you don’t know which one to select, chances are you will just want to use a F4Rxxaxx version, the later the better. That supports EDACS and digital voice, unencrypted. If you need to use AES/DES for some reason you will need F6 DSP. P25 trunking is F8 and P25 trunking with AES/DES is F9 (good luck finding that :D)
Same process here, once it starts flashing, DON’T touch it. This goes a little faster and only takes about 2-3 minutes.
This prompt is asking if we want to clear the EEPROM chip in the radio. This holds the tracking data/feature strings among other things the radio uses to operate. It is custom to RPM so we will click YES to erase it. (You backed up your feature data, right?)
This promt is asking us to point it to the tracking data to load into the radio. If you have a backed up copy, select it and click OK. If you don’t and want to start with a ‘dummy’ tracking file, go to the Track folder inside the ProGrammer folder and pick the .trk file that matches your radio. NOTE You will need to realign your radio if you use a generic tracking file!! Clicking OK will flash this to the recently-erased EEPROM.
Just like the Tracking Data prompt, if you have a backup, here is where you would select it. If not, you can click cancel (and make the software a bit upset) and enter it in manually later.
Not so fast here, the radio is flashed but its got a few more steps to be complete. First you will want to enter the Feature Data you copied down earlier on, click the Feature Data Edit button. Inside that window, type in the entire feature string you copied down. There will be 8 pairs of 2 characters. Type them all in, double check they are correct and hit OK. Click OK on the popup that follows reminding you about ProFile. Now click the top button second from the right that looks like some binary and an arrow pointing to a radio. That will flash the EEPROM with the Feature Data.
Next we need to undo the file edit we did in EDACS4.ini and change the R0P08B05.BIN back to R0R08B02.BIN. Save and close that file. Now load up ProGrammer, and either create or load up a personality and load it to the radio, it is now ready to go! I don;t recommend power cycling the radio before putting in a personality, as it has caused me some headaches in the past. I try to do the recovery – re flash – personality flash all in the same motion. Once that is all done, the radio will reboot itself and be operational!
Congratulations, you just downgraded a RPM radio back to ProGrammer! At this point you will either realign the radio for service or at least put the radio on-frequency if you only plan to RX with it. I hope this tutorial helps, the first time i downgraded a radio it was done entirely by trial and error!