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  Motorola® Spectra®
FAIL and ERROR Codes

Compiled By Robert W. Meister WA1MIK
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If you have documentation that shows additional device codes and/or error codes,
please forward them to the e-mail address listed at the bottom of this article.


The Spectra radios report most problems detected during the self-check on power up. These will be shown on the control head's Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD). They will be in one of three formats:

Where "xx" and "yy" will be hexadecimal characters (0-9, A-F), and "nnn" will be a decimal value (000-999).

Problems displayed with the "xx/yy" format consist of a two-digit prefix ("xx") that identifies the source of the problem followed by a two-digit code ("yy") that specifies the particular problem. For example, a radio FAIL code may look like this: "FAIL 01/90", where the first two digits ("xx" in the format above, "01" in this example) identifies the source of the error and the second two digits ("yy" in the format above, "90" in this example) is a unique error code that identifies the particular problem or trouble.

Problems displayed with the "nnn" format are usually associated with temporary conditions that may go away if a different mode is chosen.

A FAIL message is fatal and the radio will usually not work at all. Many ERROR messages will still allow the radio to work at reduced capacity, depending on the identified problem. For example, a disconnected external device or accessory will cause an ERROR message but the radio may still operate just fine without it.

The A9 control heads can display 11 characters. Problems will be shown with the full word "ERROR" or "FAIL", followed by the error code prefix and error code. All other control heads with eight-character displays show the message beginning with "ER" or "FL". Hand-Held Control Heads (HHC) display errors with their two seven-segment LED characters by first flashing "Er" or "FL", then the error code prefix, then the specific error code. For the three-digit fail codes such as FAIL 001 or FAIL 999, the HHCH displays "FL 00 01" or "FL 01 99".

These lists contain all the FAIL and ERROR prefixes and codes I could find in the manuals I have, but there are probably more. Use this list as a quick reference for locating problems. For example, if a radio is programmed to use the Siren/PA and you see an "ERROR 08/10" for a moment when you power up the radio, it means the Siren/PA Option is either not connected or is not working.

Spectra Error and Fail Code Prefixes:

CodeDevice Generating Or Causing The Error
01Radio (single system)
02Digital Signal Processor (DSP)
03Multiple PL (MPL)
04Internal Radio Options
05Control Unit (Control Head or SIU - single or dual system)
06Trunking Siren/PA Option (HLN1184A)
07Control Head Extensions
08Siren/PA Option (single system)
09SecureNet Option (single system)
0AMDC-600 Full Feature or MDC-1200 Option (single system)
0BMDC Full Feature Option
0DMDC-600 PTT ID or MVS Option
0EDTMF Option Board
0FDTMF Option Board
10Trunking System
11Trunking Options
12Vehicle Repeater System (VRS) (single system only)
13Vehicle Repeater System
14Single-Tone Option (single system)
15Single-Tone Option
16Vehicle Location
17Data Option
18Trunked Deskset
19Metrocom
1AControl Host (i.e. programming software)
1BVehicular Adapters
1CTone Remote Control Option
21Primary Radio Drawer (dual system)
25Control Unit (Control Head or SIU when error detected on primary radio)
28Siren /PA Option (primary radio - dual system)
29SecureNet Option (primary radio - dual system)
2AMDC-600 Full Feature or MDC-1200 Option (primary radio - dual system)
32Not Used
34Single-Tone Option (primary radio - dual system)
41Secondary Radio Drawer (dual system)
45Control Unit (Control Head or SIU when error detected on secondary radio)
48Siren/PA Option (dual system) - programming problem, see below
49SecureNet (secondary radio - dual system)
4AMDC-600 Full Feature or MDC-1200 Option (secondary radio - dual system)
52Not Used
54Single-Tone Option (secondary radio - dual system)

In general, device codes 00-1F are for a single radio system. These will have 20 (hex) added to them for the primary radio in a dual radio system (20-3F) or 40 added to them for the secondary radio in a dual radio system (40-5F).

It is common to find used radios displaying error messages when a new owner powers up the radio for the first time. This often happens if previously installed options have been removed or are not included with the radio. These errors should disappear when the radio and control head are correctly reprogrammed with the missing options disabled in the code plugs (sometimes a Personality Board also has to have its internal jumper settings changed).

Even though the manuals do not say so, a "2F/yy" error code would probably be the DTMF board in a primary radio. Likewise, a "4F/yy" error would probably be the DTMF board in a secondary radio. If you take a close look at the codes in the list, you can see the repeated pattern in the primary and secondary radio error codes. The same would apply to the MDC options, however, the VRS is not available on dual radio systems. Of course the "yy" in these examples will actually be the real error code.

The 48 code prefix means you have programmed the Siren/PA option into the secondary radio of a dual radio system. To fix this condition, remove the Siren/PA programming from the secondary radio. The Siren/PA option should only be hooked to the primary radio and only programmed in the primary radio.

Spectra and Astro Spectra Error and Fail Codes:

This list was extracted from the Astro Spectra Basic Service Manual. There is some duplication and redefinition of codes due to extra circuitry in the Astro Spectra radios.

Error CodeDescriptionCorrective Action
ERROR 01/02External EEPROM checksum non-fatal errorReprogram the codeplug
ERROR 01/02FLASH ROM Codeplug ChecksumReprogram the codeplug
ERROR 01/12Security Partition ChecksumReprogram the security partition
ERROR 01/22Tuning Codeplug ChecksumReprogram the tuning partition
FAIL 01/81ROM checksum failureReprogram the FLASH memory
FAIL 01/81FLASH ROM ChecksumReprogram the radio firmware
FAIL 01/82External EEPROM checksum failureReprogram the codeplug
FAIL 01/82FLASH ROM Codeplug ChecksumReprogram the codeplug
ERROR 01/84EEPROM is blankProgram the EEPROM
FAIL 01/88RAM failure, not a checksum failureTurn the radio off, then on
FAIL 01/88External RAM FailTurn the radio off, then on
FAIL 01/90General hardware failureTurn the radio off, then on
FAIL 01/92Internal EEPROM checksum failureReprogram the codeplug
FAIL 01/92Security Partition ChecksumReprogram the security partition
FAIL 01/93Flashport AUTHENT CODE FailureReplace the VOCON board
FAIL 01/98Internal RAM FailureReplace the VOCON board
FAIL 01/A2Tuning Codeplug ChecksumReprogram the tuning partition
ERROR 02/10DSP support IC checksum non-fatal errorTurn the radio off, then on
FAIL 02/81DSP ROM checksum failureReprogram the FLASH memory
FAIL 02/81DSP ROM ChecksumReprogram the DSP firmware
FAIL 02/82DSP RAM 1 failureReplace the VOCON board
FAIL 02/84DSP RAM 2 failureReplace the VOCON board
FAIL 02/88DSP RAM failure, not a checksum failureTurn the radio off, then on
FAIL 02/90General DSP hardware failure
(DSP startup message not received correctly)
Turn the radio off, then on
FAIL 02/A0ADSIC checksum failureReplace the VOCON board
ERROR 05/10Control head not communicating with radioTurn the radio off, then on
FAIL 05/81Control head ROM checksum failureReplace the control head
ERROR 06/10Aux Control Head Hardware ErrorTurn the radio off, then on
FAIL 06/81Aux Control Head ROM Checksum ErrorReplace the aux control head
ERROR 08/10Siren/PA not communicating with radioTurn the radio off, then on
ERROR 08/10Siren Hardware ErrorTurn the radio off, then on
FAIL 08/81Siren ROM Checksum ErrorReplace the siren
ERROR 09/10Secure option not communicating with radioTurn the radio off, then on
FAIL 09/90Secure Hardware Fatal ErrorReplace the secure module
ERROR 12/10VRS Hardware ErrorTurn the radio off, then on
FAIL 12/81VRS ROM Checksum ErrorReplace the VRS
ERROR 1C/10TRC Hardware ErrorTurn the radio off, then on
FAIL 1C/81TRC ROM Checksum ErrorReplace the TRC

The following list was extracted from a 900 MHz Spectra Basic Service Manual. Note that many of the displayed codes are similar to those in the Astro Spectra radios. Some of these errors may not apply to all models or bands.

DisplayPossible CauseRemedyCond
ERROR 01/02
ERROR 01/82
Radio has an error with its EEPROM; one or more modes in the radio have an incorrect pattern in the Memory Board EEPROM.
Radio will function normally until a corrupted mode is accessed; then "FAIL 002" will be displayed (see below)
a. Reprogram EEPROM from ARCHIVE file if available
b. Replace Memory Board
U
FAIL 01/81The pattern stored in the Memory Board ROM is incorrectReplace Memory BoardA
FAIL 01/82The pattern stored in the Memory Board EEPROM is incorrecta. Reprogram EEPROM from ARCHIVE file if available
b. Replace Memory Board
B
FAIL 01/83Radio has conditions A and B C
FAIL 01/84Memory Board EEPROM is blank
Microcomputer EEPROM is blank
Replace Memory Board
Replace Command Board
D
FAIL 01/85Radio has conditions A and D E
FAIL 01/86Radio has conditions B and D F
FAIL 01/87Radio has conditions A, B and D G
FAIL 01/88Memory Board RAM defectiveReplace Memory BoardH
FAIL 01/89Radio has conditions A and H I
FAIL 01/8ARadio has conditions B and H J
FAIL 01/8BRadio has conditons A, B and H K
FAIL 01/8CRadio has conditions D and H L
FAIL 01/8DRadio has conditions A, D and H M
FAIL 01/90Serial Bus Failure. May be control head failure, a radio command board failure, or a cabling failurea. Troubleshoot Control Head
b. Check rear options connector cabling
c. Replace Command Board
N
FAIL 01/92The pattern stored within the microcomputer EEPROM is incorrectInitialize EEPROMO
FAIL 01/93Radio has conditions A and O P
FAIL 01/94Microcomputer EEPROM is blankReplace Command BoardQ
FAIL 01/95Radio has conditions A and Q R
FAIL 05/81Control Head ROM is defectiveReplace Control Head BoardS,AA
FAIL 05/82Control Unit EEPROM corrupted.Troubleshoot Control UnitAB
FAIL 05/84Control Unit EEPROM blank.Troubleshoot Control UnitAC
FAIL 05/88Control Head RAM is defectiveReplace Control Head BoardT,AD
FAIL 05/90Control Unit serial bus failure.Troubleshoot Control UnitAE
FAIL 08/10Siren/PA serial bus failure.Troubleshoot Siren/PA UnitDA
ERROR 09/10SecureNet serial bus failure.Troubleshoot SecureNet UnitBA
FAIL 09/90SecureNet serial bus failure.Troubleshoot SecureNet UnitBA
ERROR 10/02Trunking EEPROM corruptedTroubleshoot Trunking OptionCA
FAIL 10/10Trunking serial bus failureTroubleshoot Trunking OptionCC
FAIL 10/82Trunking EEPROM corruptedTroubleshoot Trunking OptionCA
FAIL 10/84Trunking EEPROM blankTroubleshoot Trunking OptionCB
Blank displayDisplay malfunction, TX & Busy LEDs light upReplace Control Head BoardV
FAIL 001Synthesizer out-of-lock conditionTroubleshoot SynthesizerW
FAIL 002The mode being accessed has an incorrect pattern in the Memory Board EEPROM. (Refer to ERROR 01/02 above)a. Reprogram EEPROM from ARCHIVE file if available
b. Replace Memory Board.
X
FAIL 003EEPROM data does not match control head configurationChange control head configuration to match radio and reprogram 
FAIL 999Serial number in the Memory Board and the microcomputer do not match; Radio will not function but will enter test modeReplace the Memory Board with the proper oneY

Spectra System Interface Unit Error Codes:

These were found in a dual radio system HHCH instruction manual. Note that these codes use individual bits to indicate the various failures, and these bits are turned on to indicate the various problems in the SIU (device code 08). These form a 1, 2, 4 weighted pattern for the right digit of the error code, as follows:

 Left DigitRight Digit
Bit #84218421
Value01011???

In the columns of the right digit in the above table, the "1" bit is turned on for Memory Board ROM Pattern problems, the "2" bit is turned on for Memory Board EEPROM Pattern problems, the "4" bit is turned on for Defective Memory Board or Microcomputer RAM, and the "8" bit is always turned on for these bit-mapped error codes. The table below expands on this desription. I suspect that other devices utilize the same format for error reporting (see the table above).

DisplayPossible CauseRemedyCond
FL 05/81Memory Board ROM pattern incorrectReplace Memory BoardA
FL 05/82Memory Board EEPROM pattern incorrecta. Replace EEPROM from
ARCHIVE file if available
b. Replace Memory Board
B
FL 05/83SIU has conditions A & B C
FL 05/84Memory Board EEPROM is blank
Microcomputer EEPROM is blank
Replace Memory Board
Replace SIU board
D
FL 05/85SIU has conditions A & D E
FL 05/86SIU has conditions B & D F
FL 05/87SIU has conditions A, B, & D G
FL 05/88Memory Board RAM is defective
Microcomputer RAM is defective
Replace Memory Board
Replace SIU Board
H
FL 05/89SIU has conditions A & H I
FL 05/8ASIU has conditions B & H J
FL 05/8BSIU has conditions A, B, & H K
FL 05/8CSIU has conditions D & H L
FL 05/8DSIU has conditions A, D, & H M
FL 05/8ESIU has conditions B, D, and H N
FL 05/8FSIU has conditions A, B, D, and H O
FL 01/90Serial Bus Failure. May be a control head failure,
a radio failure, or a cabling failure
a. Check SIU
b. Check connector cabling
c. Check radio(s)
P
Blank DisplayDisplay malfunctiona. Check power cables/fuses
b, Replace HHCH
c. Check SIU
T

Miscellaneous Error / Troubleshooting Codes:

These codes were also found in the Advanced HHCH manual. There may be some duplication of codes in the tables above.

DisplayDescription of ProblemRemedy
ER 00/02
FL 00/02
Mode error in EEPROMa. Reprogram
b. Replace radio memory
FL 01/81
FL 01/82
FL 01/84
Radio Problema. Reprogram EEPROM
b. Check J501/502
c. Replace U502
FL 01/83Radio Problema. Reprogram EEPROM
b. Check J501/502
c. Replace U501
FL 01/88Radio ProblemReplace U500
FL 01/89Radio ProblemReplace U501 and U502
FL 01/8ARadio Problema. Reprogram EEPROM
b. Check J501/502
c. Replace U500
FL 01/8B
FL 01/8D
Radio Problema. Reprogram EEPROM
b. Check J501/502
c. Replace U502
FL 01/8CRadio ProblemReplace U502
FL 01/90Serial Bus FailureCheck cable kits
FL 01/99Not Programmed for HHCH/SIU
Serial number mismatch
a. Reprogram
b. Replace MLM card
ER 08/01Siren/PA ROM failureReplace U7
ER 08/08Siren/PA RAM failureReplace U7
ER 08/09Siren/PA ROM/RAM failureReplace U7
ER 08/10Option serial bus failureSee Siren/PA instruction manual
ER 08/10Siren/PA Bus failureSee Siren/PA instruction manual
FL 08/90Siren/PA Fatal errorSee Siren/PA instruction manual
FL 09/90
ER 09/10
Option serial bus failureSee SecureNet instruction manual
ER 0A/10
ER 0B/10
Option serial bus failureSee MDC-600 instruction manual
FL 14/10Option serial bus failureSee Single-Tone instruction manual


Motorola, Spectra, Astro Spectra, HHCH, SecureNet, VRS, and a whole bunch of other terms are trademarks of Motorola Inc.

The author can be contacted at: his-callsign [ at ] comcast [ dot ] net.

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This page originally posted 27-Dec-07.



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