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Just ordered the new 878uvII plus

Discussion in 'Digital Radio, DMR, Fusion, Wires, DSTAR' started by W0BAX, May 8, 2021.

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  1. W0BAX

    W0BAX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I wanted to learn about some DMR so I ordered it. New to DMR and excited to learn something new. I figure these radios have a following in the DMR scene so I hope it was the best to start with. Any tips or tricks for the newbie in DMR?
     
  2. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Read, then read again, then a bit more... :) Seriously, that Anytone should be good - I have the non-plus model and it is one of the best built HTs I've had.

    You're going to need a codeplug to load into it - don't automatically load the largest you can find! Most codeplugs configure in every combination of repeater and talkgroup - which results in an almost unusable radio. When I bought mine, I searched the web and found a codeplug that included every analogue repeater in Britain together with every DMR repeater-talkgroup combination - I struggled with that for a week, then did a factory reset and loaded my own codeplug which just includes the repeaters in range of my home and boat and the DMR talkgroups for languages that I can speak and topics that I'm interested in. The result is a useable radio! The problem is that, while the Anytone has an enormous memory, it has no functions to search within that memory. If you load in several thousand repeater frequencies and repeater-talkgroup combinations, you will never find your way around them.

    Martin (G8FXC)
     
    G3XVL, WA0CBW and NQ1B like this.
  3. KJ7OTM

    KJ7OTM Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Writing your first codeplug from scratch can be an intimidating process, so don't let it get you down if you have trouble getting your head around it. Equally, don't blame the radio if a codeplug downloaded from the web is frustrating to use. If you decide to do your own, then start simple - a couple of local analogue repeaters and one or two DMR repeaters with a small number of popular talkgroups - try that, understand it and then expand to meet your needs.

    For your initial experiments, don't bother loading the contacts list - the radio will work without it and it has become so large now that loading it slows everything down. Work out how you like the repeaters loaded into zones and the scope of repeaters and talk groups that you want/need loaded. Then add the contacts list and all the other esoteric configuration items.

    Martin (G8FXC)
     
    W0JKT likes this.
  5. K8HIT

    K8HIT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The contact list is just under 200,000 entries. It takes several minutes to transfer to the radio. When you read or write to the radio there is a checkbox next to the contact list. If you uncheck that, it won't transfer the contact list. That's OK, you only need to do it every couple of months.

    When actually transferring the contact list it takes time. If you are not transferring the list, it does not slow anything down. I just wanted to clarify a little on Martin's comment.

    You can download codeplugs here - https://www.bridgecomsystems.com/pages/download-a-codeplug

    I find they are good examples of how to setup the radio. There are lots of ways to do things, so don't expect to find a perfect codeplug for your area.

    Bridgecom Systems has lot's of really good videos and links to resources. Browsing through what they have built is time well spent. When sharing a codeplug for Anytone radios, for the most part, it doesn't matter what the model number of the radio is/was.

    The software used to manage a codeplug is called CPS, it's very similar for all DMR radios. It might not write a compatible file for the Anytone, but for the most part, concepts are identical.

    Check with local hams in your club, they may have a codeplug for your area.
     
    AG5DB likes this.
  6. NQ1B

    NQ1B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, you don't want or need a monster code plug. Eventually you will want to learn to write your own so you can customize it, and add new repeaters and talk groups as they appear in your area.

    However, you could start with a large code plug and modify it. It doesn't really matter how many channels are in there. What matters is the zone list and how it is programmed. You could fairly easily (once you have CPS running and understand the organization of a code plug) create a list of zones that make sense for your own operation.

    For example, I have a zone for "Vermont Statewide" that includes only the Vermont Statewide talk groups, but includes them for every repeater I can reach. I do most of my operation on Vermont Statewide, and this lets me easily flip between repeaters if one is down or I want to test what I can reach. I also have a zone for "Local" that includes only the Local talk group for my repeaters.

    In addition, I have a zone for each of those repeaters that includes most of the talk groups each carries. So for normal operation, I can sit on the zone for my closest repeater and easily switch between talk groups within that zone.

    A few days ago I realized that the scrolling channels names on the MD-9600 were slowing down my channel selection. If all your channels are named with the repeater name first, you may have a lot of channels with names like Lincoln-NETAC1 and Lincoln-NETAC2, and you won't be able to see the "1" or "2" that distinguishes them without waiting for scrolling.

    So I programmed in the key channels twice. Now I have the equivalent of a channel called "Lincoln-NETAC1" and another one called "NETAC1-Lincoln" that both contain the same information. The zone that contains only talk groups on Lincoln repeater gets the channel called "NETAC1-Lincoln", while other zones that contain channels from multiple repeaters get the "Lincoln-NETAC1" channel. (Both are functionally identical.)

    There are many tricks like this you can use to make your operation easier. The power of the code plug gives you a lot of flexibility once you learn to use it instead of fighting against it.
     
  7. KF0FBK

    KF0FBK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Be considerate of others. I hear a couple of guys on the North America talkgroup asking for signal checks all the time. You can do that yourself on the Parrot talkgroup. In fact I recommend checking Parrot anytime you make a major change to your codeplug, just to make sure you didn't break anything.

    Also, there are different types of DMR systems out there. Your radio will be compatible with DMR-MARC and Brandmeister. While they both share some talkgroups, they operate a bit differently. You'll figure it out as you go along. Google is your friend!
     
  8. K8HIT

    K8HIT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good operating advice.

    Brandmeister parrot is a private call to 9990.

    Goggle says DMR Marc uses 9998, but it didn't say if it's a private call or not.
     
  9. KF0FBK

    KF0FBK Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's Group Call like all the others.
     
    K8HIT likes this.
  10. KK4JW

    KK4JW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here's my best advice for understanding DMR.

    Don't stop trying to understand it.

    Seriously. I pulled my hair out for about two weeks and one morning I was in the shower, and it just hit me. Suddenly everything came together and made sense, and I felt like a fool. Take the time to read about how it works, and why it's arranged the way that it is. DMR was actually created for a commercial environment and it's merely been adapted to be used by hams. Once you see how the ecosystem of timeslots and talkgroups are laid out - you'll understand this more clearly. You'll also understand why there are two timeslots, and what that actually allows the user to accomplish.

    Feel free to shoot me a message or an email if you get hung up. I'll be glad to help you out however I can.
     
    K8HIT likes this.

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