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What to do if the radio programming software does not detect the cable or COM port

You've just received your two way radio, taken it out of the package, and now you want to get it operational. You plugged in the programming cable, downloaded the driver, set up the software, and connected the cable the radio to program it.

There is just one small glitch. When you run the program, the software can't seem to find the radio. It can't connect to the cable. It can't even find the COM port. What gives?

First, don't panic or blow a fuse. There are several devices in the mix and multiple connections here, plus an entire computer system. It could be anything. Before you pack up all the new stuff and send it back to the dealer, find out what the real problem is. It may not be as bad as you think. It may even be quick and easy to resolve.

Here are the steps to troubleshoot if the programming software for your two way radio does not recognize the COM Port or the programming cable purchased from Buy Two Way Radios.

Step 1. Verify the programming cable is installed correctly.

  • If using our programming cable and it is installed correctly, proceed to Step 2.
  • If programming cable is not installed correctly, re-install the cable driver.

Step 2. Verify the COM Port number assigned to your programming cable.

  • If you are running Microsoft Windows, go the the Device Manager and click on Ports (COM & LPT).
  • Note the number of the COM port assigned to your cable.

Step 3. Verify the correct COM Port is recognized and listed as active in the programming software.

  • If the COM port assigned to the programming cable is listed as active and available, choose it and skip to Step 5.
  • If the COM port assigned to the programming cable is NOT listed as available, go to Step 4.

Step 4. Assign another COM Port to the USB programming cable.

  • Open the Device Manager, go to Ports (COM & LPT) and right click on the listing for the USB programming cable.
  • Click PROPERTIES in the pop-up menu.
  • Click on the PORT SETTINGS tab.
  • Click the ADVANCE button.
  • Click the drop down list next to COM Port Number: and choose a COM Port below the number 10 that is not in use.
  • Click OK to save the setting, then click OK again to exit the Communications Port (COMX) properties window.
  • Note the new COM Port number assigned to the USB Programming Cable and go back to Step 3.
  • If a new COM Port number was assigned to the cable and it is still not recognized by your programming software, skip to Step 6.

Step 5. Run or close and restart the programming software.

Step 6. If the program does not recognize the programming cable or the COM Port assigned to it, refer to the manufacturer of the programming software.

If you are using CHIRP programming software, go to the CHIRP web site at http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home and download the latest daily build of CHIRP or report the issue to CHIRP.

If these instructions are followed correctly, the programming software for your radio should be able to recognize the correct COM port and access your programming cable.

11 thoughts on “What to do if the radio programming software does not detect the cable or COM port”

  • Cato Andrè Pettersen
    Cato Andrè Pettersen August 9, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    I have this cable, HKN6184C (For Motorola TETRA MTM800E) and having this GMWN4298B (NGCH), i cannot get this NGCH to turn on, as in, it will not flash with the red lamp in front, the computer do not recognise the radio, neither will it turn on the NGCH, need help

    Reply
    • Rick

      We do not carry this Tetra radio or programming cable so we are not familiar with it. You may need to contact Motorola in your country or region for support.

      Reply
  • Sam Hammond

    I have a problem with programming Motorola radius GP300.
    I have installed the driver correctly (USB to Com -RS232), also there is no problem in the CPS (under windows). But the last moment before completion of the device reading, an error pops up and says: "check your RIB connection". Even the green light on the panel blinks before the error message.
    I would be grateful if you help me with that.

    Reply
    • Rick

      We do not carry the GP300, so I have no information on it, the programming cable or software. However, based on the error, I would go through the entire list of steps in the article to be sure nothing was missed. If you are still unable to resolve the issue, you may need to contact the dealer or Motorola directly for support.

      You could also ask in our Two Way Radio Forum. It's an international community, and there may be members who are familiar with the GP300 and may be able to help you figure it out.

      Reply
  • William Simard
    William Simard July 15, 2020 at 7:52 am

    I have a bj-318 and a USB cable using the 232R chipset. I installed the cable with the VCP ( virtual com port ) driver and set the com port to 7.
    I have the software from the manufacturer and I run it and it seems port 7, and I click read radio then read from the box that pops up, and after 2 seconds it says Write Error !

    Does anyone know why it is doing this ?

    The drivers installed correctly and the software sees the port.

    Are there specific settings needed under the com port in device manager ?

    Flow control ? Stop bit ? Data rate ? Etc ..

    Anyone else see this error on a BJ-218 ?

    I tried writing to the radio, got the same error

    Any ideas ?

    Thanks

    Bill
    KC2OVX

    Reply
    • Rick

      If your computer recognizes the programming cable and the software acknowledges the port, but gives a read error, chances are it is not an issue with the cable or the drivers, but with the radio itself. I've never heard of a BJ-318 (or BJ-218) radio, and we do not carry that brand here on this site, so I have no information on it. You may need to contact the vendor or manufacturer for support.

      Reply
  • John Cliff

    can I connect pins 2 and 3 with a resister in series from the 9 pin serial port to the yaesu ft 4xe to program it

    Reply
    • Rick

      Hi John, your query relates to a specific brand and model of radio that we don't carry or support and is outside the general scope of this article. Some members of our Two Way Radio Forum use Yaesu radios and perhaps one of them may be able to answer your question.

      Reply
  • barrie kissack
    barrie kissack May 9, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    I HAVE UPDATED FDI SOFTWARE.AND PC TELLS ME COMPORT.BUT RY SOFTWARE WILL NOT RUN.
    COMPORT IS OK.
    I HAE LOST SERIAL MBER AND NDER NO HELP.
    [email protected]

    Reply
    • Rick

      We need more information. First, what make and model is the radio? What software are you using? What operating system do you have on your computer? The statement about the serial number is confusing as it is usually located somewhere on the radio itself. What is "NDER"?

      Reply
  • ANDREW MWILA

    how can i fix my kirisun pt 260 when programming it is saying comport fail.

    Reply

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