Please Note: I’ve sold my DRM radio and Hotspot in July 2019.
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