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Budget and Entry Level Transceivers - For discussion of budget or entry level radios such as Baofeng, Wouxun, Puxing and other radio communications designated as commercial but not targeted for Amateur or GMRS. Also included are MURS and ISM 900MHz designed radios.

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Old 01-09-2018, 10:03 AM
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Default Trouble with VFO 868

Just got my third DMR, the 868 (XMAS to myself!).

Seem to have all the problems with programming on the digital side under control. However...

I'm not having any luck getting the VFO to talk in digital, analog works fine. I can get the radio into VFO digital mode, can set a frequency (435.12500). I also have an MD2017 and can get it on the same freq., but when i key the radio, i get nothing out of the other, and vice-versa . I do see the antenna icon go from X to full bars on the receiving radio while transmitting as well as the green led on the top of the radio proving something is getting to the receiving radio. I have gone through the CPS menus countless times, but i am obviously missing something. I was on the California NET last night, and was offered some things to check like, different IDs for the radios, etc. Was also advised to make sure that the VFO had a DRM TG number of 99 and time slot 1 CC 1. Not sure how to enter that. The place where you enter the TG number is the channels tab and it requires a set frequency. One observation on that, if im trying to make contact with another DMR radio on VFO, How do i know that my contact has entered the same parameters on his radio? Seems (to me) that VFO use should be kind of "open" in that respect. IOW enter a frequency and GO!

After a year and a half of DMR use, still pretty green! Any help appreciated.

Thank You,

Robert
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Last edited by V-17; 01-09-2018 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 01-09-2018, 1:26 PM
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Unlike analog, digital operation requires certain digital parameters in order for one radio to communicate with another. In the case of DMR, critical parameters include Frequency, Time Slot, Color Code and Talk Group. The generally-accepted settings for DMR simplex operation are:

Frequency (do not use a frequency designated for analog use - this would be considered bad form)
Time Slot 1
Color Code 1
Talk Group 99.

If you set both radios to the same settings, you should be able to communicate (within range). Although there are no "official" simplex frequencies for DMR, you can find several suggested VHF or UHF frequencies on-line.

If you wish to communicate via a DMR repeater, you must know the necessary settings for that particular repeater. These can usually be found on-line. You might also be able to locate a local codeplug that works with your radio.

DMR radio programming is quite different from analog and it might help to study the differences before attempting to program a DMR radio. There are numerous tutorials on-line that you could review to help you better understand the differences involved.

Best of luck and 73,

John AC4JK
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Old 01-09-2018, 2:08 PM
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Thanks John, will do.
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Old 01-09-2018, 4:13 PM
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Well tried/confirmed all that... no luck.

Anyone else been playing around with the VFO and had these kinds of troubles on either of those radios?
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:26 AM
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The 868 is somewhat complicated to set up a digital VFO manually in that you have to select the frequency as well as all of the parameters discussed earlier... talkgroup (contact), time slot, color code, etc.

The talkgroup (99 for simplex) is set under the CONTACTS menu. All of the others are found in the SETTINGS/CHANNEL SET menu.

Did I mention earlier that you also need to have a DMR ID (from DMR-MARC) before you can communicate on a digital channel? This number must be entered into the radio. (I know that it must be entered for repeater operation; not sure about simplex.)

Are you doing all of this by hand, or have you been using the Anytone CPS? (It's MUCH easier with the CPS application.)

You should also be aware that there have been several recent firmware and CPS updates for the 868. The most recent - CPS 1.21 and firmware 2.21 have improved operation of the radio substantially.

John AC4JK
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Old 01-12-2018, 2:50 PM
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Update: Problem resolved.

While pondering this particular pearl, It occurred to me that these radios should be able to function in VFO mode right out of the box, and indeed i was correct, for the most part. My problem was that in trying to get the radio to work, i was trying all the options/selections in the CPS, more or less digging a hole that i wasn't going to be able to "un select" my way out of...

This is what i did to get it working.

First, i read from the radio, saved the code plug as "current" and put that code plug aside. I would need it in the end. Next, i did a factory reset on the radio. What this did was wipe the code plug (and all the wrong settings) from the radio, and put a stock or fresh (blank) code plug on the radio. I then re-read the radio again and called that one "new". Then when i tried the radio, Voila, VFO talked and listened! At this point i noted the settings in the VFO tab of the "new" code plug, and then transferred those settings to the old code plug and wrote the file to the radio.

Yes, you do need to confirm a TS of 1, CC of 1, and TG of 99.

I honestly can't remember if i had to re-enter those values again after the reset, or if they were there upon reset.

I hope this can help someone in the future.
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