Why newer is not always automatically better

We offer a couple of codeplugs on MBARS here, as a sort of get-you-started thing, for anyone who gets a radio and it’s got one of those a poor or non-local codeplugs in.

All of our codeplugs are checked for programming errors, but time constraints do not allow for us to check every single bit of info in these codeplugs, thats why we ask you to check them once you open them.

When uploading codeplugs, we ask you to not just submit just a bare codeplug file, but to include some info about it, such as the CPS version used, and the author and a brief summary of the features you have programmed in, mainly to help other people looking for codeplugs, distinguish between one and another..  as just seeing codeplug1.cpg   and codeplug2.cpg  isn’t too much help is it !

Here’s a couple of things to ponder.
New code (software) is not automatically always better than the old software, previous versions will have had many users submitting feedback and has had errors or issues found and corrected. This is even true of CPS and Firmware too, Major CPS versions generally contain much new code, with smaller incremental releases being minor updates and fixes as you would expect. New code is just that, it could bring new features, but could also bring new errors, which you may or may not find.

Also if you’re a Radio Amateur, don’t feel the need to automatically upgrade to the newest CPS – or firmware. It’s not a Microsoft OS we’re talking about here, or an antivirus program. The fact is, that as Radio Amateurs, most of us still don’t use many of the more interesting features in the sets already, so we’re not too likely to notice many of the updated features and bugs that commercial customers would anyway – the prime focus for Motorola. Motorola software is well enough written nowadays that the difference for Amateurs between using old versions of CPS 10 or even earlier might not be too apparent, apart from the fact that Murphy’s Law applies and any secondhand MotoTRBO set you may buy has likely been programmed by a later CPS version than the one you have… typically !

Many of us Amateurs who are *forced* into using the latest CPS, do so because there is someone elses codeplug we want to play with, or we want to to help someone else out, or swap them with friends.

For example, if you have CPS 10.8 or 10.9 or 11 or whatever, and your mate has the CPS 10.5 – then he can’t open your codeplugs, he needs the same or later CPS as you, but you can open his older ones. Opening an older codeplug is ok in new CPS, but when you save them in the newer CPS you wont be able to open them in any version older, – they’ve been upgraded. You can go forwards, but you can’t go back !

Same goes for Firmware updates.
Also, the DM3600 and DP3600 series will be getting no new firmware updates – they are not supported models anymore, although to look at Ebay and see prices of old used DM3600’s going for the same or more than a new DM4600 it makes me shake my head, but I digress..  I’ve had bad firmware (on MotoTrbo) and its not funny.

I don’t know the final firmware versions for the DP/DM 3xxx series sets.  You may be on an older firmware, and there *may* be an update you missed, but i personally  wouldn’t advise it unless there’s a firmware bug you need fixing or a new feature you really must have.  Upgrading these things are all fine when it works, just be aware of the possible pitfalls, if it all goes tits-up, you’ll be making frantic phone calls to friends, loved ones, elderly relatives and Motorola dealers – and pricing up a Moto dealer or a clever friend to fix it, or worse, you’ll be sat admiring  your new paperweight.


All work, text and images © GB7MB


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