Working backwards on your questions, no, you usually can't program a radio with an
RSS that is older than the RSS now in the radio. I've heard that in a few cases it is
possible to do so but I've never encountered such a situation. And yes, you do have to
go out (if you can't find one at a ham or computer fest for $15.00) and buy a DOS-only
machine to RSS/DOS programming. In more recent times the CPS RSS has converted to
GUI but the old RSS/DOS continues to be used in a lot of radio lines. The DOS that runs
under Windows is not true DOS. You MAY be able to read your radio with it but when you
go to write the program to the radio watch out; you may have a real problem which, in
addition to not working, may mess up your radio so it has to go to the Motorola Depot for
an expensive "fix."
Regarding flashcodes, features, etc., on the older radios that don't have flashcodes there
are a variety of features and options which your radio may or not have. You find these out
by decoding the Factory ID number, which in the case of older portables usually runs like this:
H = portable
4 = high power (3 is low power; some radios use the number 2 for low)
3 = VHF (4 = UHF)
X = alpha character denoting specific feature, sucn as secure or no secure
X = ditto
X = ditto
4 digits = usually the same for all HTs in the line
X = alpha character, function varies
X = ditto(The above is only an example, taken from the Saber radio line. Other radios' feature
coding may vary and there may be more characters and numbers in the lineup.)
In addition, the non-flashcode radios come with different internal fixed programs having to
do with internal electronics.
Oftentimes the Factory ID codes can be found at http://www.batlabs.com
under Model Specific Information for your particular radio. If not there's always someone on this Board who will be glad to help you dig up more information.
Tom in D.C.
In 1920, the U.S. Post Office Department ruled
that children may not be sent by parcel post.