Getting Started with DMR radio?

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by W8WJW, May 24, 2016.

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  1. W8WJW

    W8WJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm looking into getting the "$130 special" UHF handheld with DMR capability. Is there a 'guide' somewhere that tells you how to get a DMR portable on the air to a local amateur DMR repeater?
  2. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  3. W8WJW

    W8WJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    KA2CZU, I'm looking at the UHF version of the TYT Tytera MD-380. It appears that it could be used for both analog repeaters and digital ham repeaters. I'm wondering if it is narrowbanded, which makes me wonder how well it would work on the analog repeaters? Also, hope to use it as a monitor only for some businesses that when they were forced to narrowband, were lead by Motorola to go to MotoTrbo, so I can't monitor them anymore.
  4. N1UV

    N1UV Ham Member QRZ Page

    The MD-380 supports both 2.5kHz and 5kHz deviation via the Channel Bandwidth setting (12.5 or 25kHz). When creating an analog channel for a repeater in the CPS, just use 25kHz and you should be good to go. Once you get the hang of Talk Groups, Channels and Zones, it's pretty easy (if not slightly tedious) to program up a codeplug. There may be pre-programmed codeplugs available for your area to help you along too. A quick search of YouTube brings up a bunch of "how-to's" -

    A tip - if you're going to monitor out-of-band frequencies, mark the channel as "Rx Only". That will stop you from accidentally transmitting on that frequency.

    Good luck!
  5. W8WJW

    W8WJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks N1UV- I did Google searches but didn't even think about YouTube as a resource.
  6. KM4BLG

    KM4BLG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not sure about other areas, but some DMR enthusiasts around here have created a code-plug for all the repeaters in the region. You just plug it into your radio and enter your subscriber ID and you are on the air.
  7. W8WJW

    W8WJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    KM4BLG, that would be great if there was a codeplug for the Lake Erie region.

    Is there a way to essentially have an 'all call' on receive, so that any station operating on the DMR ham repeater could be received? I can't seem to be able to do that- I just want to be able to listen to QSO's but not even that is working yet. Is there a setup or code to use to allow essentially what would be a CSQ on an analog radio?
  8. N1UV

    N1UV Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is a way of listening to multiple talk groups without having to select (or scan for that matter) each one in turn. Not quite what you're referring to as "all call", but close enough. Basically, create a RX Group List and add all the various talk groups into that list. At the channel level, select that RX Group List you created in the "Group List" dropdown. When on that channel, you will then receive anything coming in on any of those talk groups. You can only transmit on one talk group though, hence the reason you create multiple channels for the same repeater - one for each talk group you wish to transmit on.

    The MD380 will display what talk group from that list it's receiving traffic on, but some other radios do not. That's why, when throwing out your call, it's customary to say something like "<call-sign> listening on North America". That way, you can flip over to the correct channel containing that talk group should you wish to transmit. As an aside, some folks do not put multiple talk groups in each list - they just create one "list" for every individual talk group. They then scan all the channels and when the scan stops, they are automatically on the correct talk group to start transmitting on. Pros and cons for each method.

    I did find a SW Ohio codeplug on the TYT_Tytera Yahoo group that someone created for Dayton. It does include the two Toledo DMR repeaters (TOL1xxxxx and TOL2xxxxx) under the "ToledoOH DMR" zone - Plugs/
  9. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Is there any way to determine DMR activity in the local area (if that even makes sense?) ?

    The repeater traffic in our area is so low, I'm not sure I want to invest (even $130) in another handheld, but I am intrigued by getting into some digital mode(s)
  10. N1UV

    N1UV Ham Member QRZ Page

    From, it looks like this repeater is closest to you -

    Try parking your radio on that frequency to see the level of activity - you obviously wont be able to decode anything, but you should be able to judge how busy it is. By looking at the full-time talk group list on that repeater, there should be decent activity. You can also try to follow the k4usd netwatch -
    KA2CZU likes this.

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