DMR Plunge

K2KOH

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Going to dive into DNR, got my radio ID and a Brandmeister account. Going to order a portable radio. How much of a pain is it to program the radio? Anytone is what I'm getting
 

captainmax1

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I've had the Anytone 878UV for over a year now and just today received my Anytone 578UV I ordered for Christmas. There's a learning curve for programming these radios but Bridgecomsystems has lots of training videos to help you plus technicians you can call. I suggest you purchase it from bridgecomsystems.com because of all the support they provide. I also have their Hotspot that connects to your modem and you have access to hams all over the United States and world. That is handy when you're not near a DMR repeater. Programming with the CPS Software included makes it easy once you get use to it. My 878 is the first ham radio I grab nowadays as it works great on UHF & VHF also. Go to thier website and look around and read before you pull the plug.
 

littona

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popnokick

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The BridgeCom assistance is a great step forward, but I have had more than one other ham tell me that they placed too much reliance on it, treating it as an "all in one, solve all my problems" local programming service. There will likely be two major "local" RF environments that you'll use: 1) your local repeaters, and 2) your hotspot. They behave differently and understanding those differences... and the local variations even among repeaters... is key to optimizing your codeplug (configuration) and enjoying DMR. The Miklor guidance is more oriented to that. YES you will need to use a computer and plug in the programming cable and software for your radio. And you'll need to use a web browser to access your hotspot and the Brandmeister or other digital voice network used by the hotspot. Be cautious with YouTube videos... many are outright incorrect or will not apply to your "local" situation. Miklor and BridgeCom are the good sources to which you've been referred. Another valuable source of assistance is a local amateur radio club where you are likely to find a ham who's "been there, done that" and may be willing to offer help. For our club, I am the DMR "radio administrator" and offer codeplug and programming assistance to our members.
 

KE5MC

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Going to dive into DNR, got my radio ID and a Brandmeister account. Going to order a portable radio. How much of a pain is it to program the radio? Anytone is what I'm getting
I didn't go thru looking at all the links in this thread, but I will briefly comment on my experience.

Programming is easy, the difficult part is organization and having a plan before you start. If you have any experience with spread sheet programs that is what you have to work with, sort of. One key element missing will be moving data around. Generally if you want to change the order you overwrite, delete or start-over. Looks like a speed sheet but does not work like one. 😟

First view is the channel page when you start the program. Ignore it because you should setup your talk groups and zones. Both are needed before you can finish programing a channel.

Talk groups with have two flavors, like TG 1 world wide and then the Brandmeister version.

A single zone for me is one DMR repeater which will have the common or active TG and Times Slots (TS) programmed in the channel slots. I prioritize my zone list with the one I likely use the most followed by 2nd and so on. I use the zone list to order / organize how I program channels.

Once you start programing channels keep all channels for a single repeater together. At some point when finished programing channels, you while have to assign a channel to a zone. A programmed channel will be an orphan and not be selected by the knob of the radio when that zone is selected if you don't assign the channel to a zone. In the zone tab you will have your list of zones. Double click a zone and a pop-up appears to assign a channel to that zone. If you don't do this step the channel become an orphan. It's in the program data, but can't be selected on the radio.

The above based on Anytone CPS and 878 radio.

Clear as mud... :cool:

Good Luck!
Mike
 

K2KOH

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Thank you very much to one and all I'm going to get the HT from Bridgecomm. The hotspot looked nice but a little too rich right now. 73 one and all!
 

KE5MC

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First effort is best directed to program your radio for local use on the repeaters. While I have experience with various digital modes and hotspots I find DMR on hotspots the most difficult to wrap my head around. Dstar, Fusion and DMR local repeaters easy, DMR hotspots not so much. TG numbering convention is like numeric soup.
 

w2xq

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Burlington County, NJ
Going to dive into DNR, got my radio ID and a Brandmeister account. Going to order a portable radio. How much of a pain is it to program the radio? Anytone is what I'm getting
You may find the Anytone is overly complicated for codeplug construction, especially when upgrading the ROM. I strongly suggest you explore the subject here in RR and on Reddit. i agree the Anytone is an expensive radio, but there are less expensive alternatives.

Building a codeplug can be confusing. I couldn't wrap my head around it until I broke it down using a spreadsheet. See my explanation at W2XQ.com : Amateur Radio: DMR: Codeplug as one way to plan out what you want to do.

i prefer the KISS principle when it comes to radios. At the time I got into DMR, the venerable MD-380 was THE low-cost radio to buy. instead I opted for the TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio that has the same form factor but is dual band. See my comments on the W2XQ.com : Amateur Radio: DMR : TYT MD-UV380 but note there is no color screen and the promiscuous mode is more trouble than it is worth. FWIW, neither feature is important to me.

See W2XQ.com : Amateur Radio: DMR for more information on DMR, including hotspots -- https://amateurradionotes.com/hotspots.htm -- and Pi-Star.

You can get into DMR for ~$225 including a hotspot or you can get on the air with an app for Android and iOS right now. Look at DroidStar -- W2XQ.com : Amateur Radio -- which, in my opinion, is a clever piece of software.

Good luck. HTH.
 

N1XDS

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Going to dive into DNR, got my radio ID and a Brandmeister account. Going to order a portable radio. How much of a pain is it to program the radio? Anytone is what I'm getting
When a person is new to programming a radio of any kind in my case when I was getting in to DMR/MotoTRBO a long time ago I didn't know how to program the radio myself (Motorola XPR 6550) so I reached out to couple of locals who had the same radio and one of them offered to help program my radio for free as long as I brought the coffee and learn from him how to program the radio. Learning a DMR radio can be hard at times all depends on what you plan on doing with the radio such as doing DMR/Capacity Plus or higher in DMR.

Once you get programming the radio down pat you'll be good to go trust me it took me awhile to get the hang of it but now I pretty much do my own programming of my radio (Motorola MotoTRBO Smart Ion portable/UHF radio) (cloud base via Radio Central application).

Good luck and welcome to DMR!

- Jamie N1XDS
 

N4KVE

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1. I went to the local DMR repeater owner, & asked him to program my radio. 2. I made sure I owned the same radio as him which 9 years ago was a Motorola XPR6550. Took him 2 minutes. Over time I learned how to program the radio myself to add repeaters, & tailor his menu settings to suit my needs.
 

K2KOH

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You may find the Anytone is overly complicated for codeplug construction, especially when upgrading the ROM. I strongly suggest you explore the subject here in RR and on Reddit. i agree the Anytone is an expensive radio, but there are less expensive alternatives.

Building a codeplug can be confusing. I couldn't wrap my head around it until I broke it down using a spreadsheet. See my explanation at W2XQ.com : Amateur Radio: DMR: Codeplug as one way to plan out what you want to do.

i prefer the KISS principle when it comes to radios. At the time I got into DMR, the venerable MD-380 was THE low-cost radio to buy. instead I opted for the TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio that has the same form factor but is dual band. See my comments on the W2XQ.com : Amateur Radio: DMR : TYT MD-UV380 but note there is no color screen and the promiscuous mode is more trouble than it is worth. FWIW, neither feature is important to me.

See W2XQ.com : Amateur Radio: DMR for more information on DMR, including hotspots -- https://amateurradionotes.com/hotspots.htm -- and Pi-Star.

You can get into DMR for ~$225 including a hotspot or you can get on the air with an app for Android and iOS right now. Look at DroidStar -- W2XQ.com : Amateur Radio -- which, in my opinion, is a clever piece of software.

Good luck. HTH.
Thank you so much for the tons of information. I actually decided to go wit the Alinco radio, should be here Wednesday.I downloaded the software and have been playing around with it, and the spreadsheets are huge help. One question...I run Windows 7 on a Macbook for all my radio programs. Alinco's seems to be OK with it, and I assume getting the radio to connect to Windows will be no problems since my Motorolas connect with ease. Thoughts?
 

N4GIX

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Building a codeplug can be confusing. I couldn't wrap my head around it until I broke it down using a spreadsheet. See my explanation at W2XQ.com : Amateur Radio: DMR: Codeplug as one way to plan out what you want to do.
Nice work! Actually, DMR uses a "distributed database" rather than the analog "spreadsheet" paradigm. One who is at all familiar with the distributed database system will find building a codeplug fairly easy.
 

dmaria

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Thank you so much for the tons of information. I actually decided to go wit the Alinco radio, should be here Wednesday.I downloaded the software and have been playing around with it, and the spreadsheets are huge help. One question...I run Windows 7 on a Macbook for all my radio programs. Alinco's seems to be OK with it, and I assume getting the radio to connect to Windows will be no problems since my Motorolas connect with ease. Thoughts?
I use a Mac with Fusion 12 virtual software running Windows 10 and I haven't had problem ( about 15 different radios ).
 

w2xq

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Nice work! Actually, DMR uses a "distributed database" rather than the analog "spreadsheet" paradigm. One who is at all familiar with the distributed database system will find building a codeplug fairly easy.
Thanks for the positive feedback. I started mucking with spreadsheets in 1979 with VisiCalc on my Apple Ii... reviewed 24 packages in 1984 for Auerbach Publishers...
 

w2xq

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Thank you so much for the tons of information. I actually decided to go wit the Alinco radio, should be here Wednesday.I downloaded the software and have been playing around with it, and the spreadsheets are huge help. One question...I run Windows 7 on a Macbook for all my radio programs. Alinco's seems to be OK with it, and I assume getting the radio to connect to Windows will be no problems since my Motorolas connect with ease. Thoughts?
Good luck with the new radio. Glad the spreadsheet idea helps. Sorry I can't comment on a MacBook as I gave up on Apple in 1983 or 1984 when the OS on my Apple II proved to be impossible for me to write shortwave receiver control programs.

Once you are up and running on DMR, you might like to explore the various DMR nets. See W2XQ.com : Amateur Radio: DMR for starters including additional resources.
 

Wy9k

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Dec 26, 2020
Messages
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If you want a great radio please look at the gd77 by radiodity. There is open software that literally opens up the entire radio with some awesome features and continued updates periodically. For under a 100 bucks its an awesome radio. The advice i have is learn the difference between talkgroups and contacts. Alot of people get stumped. If you need anything please reach out to me. W9dxc83@gmail.com. If i can be of any help

good luck
WY9K J.D
 

Thorndike113

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Dec 10, 2014
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Thorndike, ME
Just tossing my two cents in here. When it comes to DMR, how easy it will be depends on what you are used to. Are you strictly or semi strictly an HF operator who doesn't bother with anything 6 meters or above or digital scanners? or do you have a basic knowledge of digital scanners/systems and play with repeaters? Personally I found DMR pretty easy. I am also not someone who you would consider a "Ham Operator" because I refuse to have anything to do with HF. I have always dealt only with anything 6 meters and above my whole existence of having a ham license. I have also immersed myself in scanner monitoring/programming and learning about all the new technologies out there so when I sat down to write a codeplug for DMR, it just came to me just like that. There were a couple of minor things I didn't understand but they were not related to DMR on ham radio but I figured it out quickly. More often than not, if hear anyone who complains about how hard it was to program a DMR radio, it was usually hams who spend 99% of their time operating HF. HF is simple. Chuck a wire in a tree, turn a few knobs, tune the antenna, key the mic and call CQ until you get a contact. DMR or even some other digital modes requires a little knowledge of how it all works. If I found anything aggravating, it was how long it took to write my codeplug. You can get codeplugs for most of the common radios to just download into the radio but in my case, since I don't really travel far, most DMR repeaters in my state are spread apart really far, and I don't talk worldwide, I need to write my codeplugs because I am very specific about how my radios are programmed. Once you get the hang of it, it is fun to use. It might not have that ham radio feel because there is no constant static or kerchunking noises. It is pleasant to listen to though, especially when you are around non hams who don't care for radio.
 

popnokick

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Rereading all the replies in this thread and I'm going to write the obvious: If you aren't comfortable with (or don't have a computer), cringe when you hear "USB cable", "codeplug", "upload", "download", or "program".... DMR (or perhaps any digital mode) is NOT for you.
 

K2KOH

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Just tossing my two cents in here. When it comes to DMR, how easy it will be depends on what you are used to. Are you strictly or semi strictly an HF operator who doesn't bother with anything 6 meters or above or digital scanners? or do you have a basic knowledge of digital scanners/systems and play with repeaters? Personally I found DMR pretty easy. I am also not someone who you would consider a "Ham Operator" because I refuse to have anything to do with HF. I have always dealt only with anything 6 meters and above my whole existence of having a ham license. I have also immersed myself in scanner monitoring/programming and learning about all the new technologies out there so when I sat down to write a codeplug for DMR, it just came to me just like that. There were a couple of minor things I didn't understand but they were not related to DMR on ham radio but I figured it out quickly. More often than not, if hear anyone who complains about how hard it was to program a DMR radio, it was usually hams who spend 99% of their time operating HF. HF is simple. Chuck a wire in a tree, turn a few knobs, tune the antenna, key the mic and call CQ until you get a contact. DMR or even some other digital modes requires a little knowledge of how it all works. If I found anything aggravating, it was how long it took to write my codeplug. You can get codeplugs for most of the common radios to just download into the radio but in my case, since I don't really travel far, most DMR repeaters in my state are spread apart really far, and I don't talk worldwide, I need to write my codeplugs because I am very specific about how my radios are programmed. Once you get the hang of it, it is fun to use. It might not have that ham radio feel because there is no constant static or kerchunking noises. It is pleasant to listen to though, especially when you are around non hams who don't care for radio.
I play with HF as well as VHF UHF.I'm kinda used to the fun and games software since I own two each of Motorola MTS2000 and XTS3000. DMR is actually coming quicker than I thought. Maybe my experience with Motorola software helped.
 
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