My First DMR Code Plug


Soon after receiving the TYT MD-UV380 GPS I wanted to get on the air, then I found out quickly that this would not be the case as every Code Plug I bummed was geared towards using a Hotspot.

Not having a Hotspot, I decided to start building my own Code Plug so I could hit a few local repeaters. After reading quite a few websites and watching several YouTube video I started in on building, and after making several major changes I have all the simplex frequencies and one repeater with all the approved talk groups.

I can turn on the radio, connect to one repeater, hear other stations, key the mic on the Echo Test (9990) and can hear myself, more importantly, I understand the process of building the Code Plug to easily navigate and use this new radio.

Not to get too technical I’ll explain how I build my Code Plug; I dedicated a ZONE for one repeater, I created a CHANNEL for each of the Talk Groups on that repeater.  Those Talk Groups on Time Slot 1 would be assigned to ZONE – CHANNEL MEMBER A and to their own DIGITAL RX GROUP CALL (called TS1).  Talk Groups on Time Slot 2 would be assigned to ZONE – CHANNEL MEMBER B and to their own DIGITAL RX GROUP CALL (called TS2). Each of the simplex frequencies have their own CHANNEL and only on a SCAN LIST too. If you would like to see my Code Plug, download it here.

Honestly, figuring out how I wanted to layout the Code Plug out and adding just one repeater took me right at week, if it’s your first time with DMR don’t throw in the towel after a few days.  I actually packed up this radio on the third day and was ready to ship it back, then I decided to read more about it, watch a few videos and even attended a Workshop; How to Build a DMR Code Plug presented by John Burningham, W2XAB of the Sevier County Amateur Radio Society.  My willingness to unbox the radio again and to put in a little effort into building my own Code Plug has brought me to a new level of happiness in this hobby.

Even with only one repeater programmed, I’m excited to now have a working DMR radio and planning to add my second repeater today.  I’m also looking forward to getting a Hotspot so I can start trying some APRS, that’s going to be my primary use for this new radio, voice is really secondary.  I’ll most likely build and setup a Pi-Star, because the Raspberry Pi platform is more in my wheelhouse.

Just remember, an old dog can indeed learn a new device..

73, Tony N9SIR


DMR – old dog, new devices..

N9SIR Blog Image

First, I was dead set on never getting a DMR radio, that is until I heard the Brandmeister servers are now connected to > servers..

APRS on DMR, now I’m interested. Just getting into this new Ham Radio platform, I wanted a few things: 2M/70cm handheld radio that was both digital and analog on both bands, most importantly it has to have a build in GPS.

After looking through posts on social media, forums and personally talking with other Hams, I decided to purchase a TYT MD-UV380 GPS (same main board as the MD-390).

Delivery was quick from an eBay Seller on the West Coast, that first day I was excited and ask local hams for a Code Plug and many emailed some very complex builds. Once i get a Hotspot, these Code Plugs will be handy but I’m just looking to get on the local repeaters. With 4 DMR repeaters, I decided to build my first Code Plug..

Thank goodness for YouTube, I found a video that walked me through build my first Code Plug which didn’t worked too well. I ended up trashing the original Code Plug on the radio, I contacted TYT by email ( and they sent a fresh Code Plug back to me, super impressed by they’re quick response as this was done over the weekend. TYT Customer Support is 5 Stars !

Was able to build a simple Code Plug for two of our local repeaters, I have a separate channel for each Talk Group, each UHF and VHF Simplex frequency. It’s very easy to navigate on the radio, I’ve been able to hear a few conversations today but have not been able to get a QSO. Back to working on the Code Plug and this old dog needs to learn this new device a little more..

73, Tony – N9SIR

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

I’ve been wanting to try a Blog, here we go – Tony, N9SIR


The above picture is the results running a 20M WSPR-Pi (QRPi), a little transmitting board that sits on the top of a Raspberry Pi2. It’s amazing that a fraction of a Watt of RF can travel so far in distance and carry a data packet with my call, N9SIR.

The data modes on HF is fun, even QRP (low wattage) data, if you’re interested in getting a 20M WSPR-Pi (QRPi), visit this website:

I do not enjoy QRP voice that much, I built a µBITX and have a really nice Caras HF magnetic loop antenna, I can hear the world but can only be heard across town. I’ll do a separate Blog post one day..