FTR "HARD KEYS" (Hardware Key) are manufactured by Rainbow Technologies. These dongles are queried by the software, via the parallel port. Software sends a data stream that seems to be random, the device returns a response based on the individual algorithm programmed into it by the software developer (Motorola).
When the correct response is received by the software, the FTR portion of the software is enabled. The first screen actually is different, showing it to be FTR, etc. Usually before exiting, the software pops up a screen telling the user that the hardware key is still attached.
We don't know of anyone who has had success hacking this system. Several software companies use this system to prevent unauthorized copies of their product. No Key, No work!
Motorola actually uses several different hard keys. The FTR version is pretty much the most powerful, allowing all kinds of stuff to be done primarily to 800 trunked radios. The 800 MHz SYSTEM WATCH trunk system activity monitor uses a similar key. The FTR key can replace it, but it cannot replace a FTR key.
That is the case with all the keys, the FTR can replace them, but they cannot replace the FTR, or each other. Interestingly enough, some earlier versions of RSS could be started with the Key attached, and remove the key, and the software would continue on in FTR mode. Unfortunately this loophole has been fixed in later versions of RSS.
There is a company that has some limited workaround success. See www.donglefree.com.