This list is in no particular order and I do plan to update it as I find other sites of interest.
The folks who run the Brandmeister Network have developed many cool Web pages but one of particular interest to newbies is Hoseline. You can actually listen in on QSO’s in progress. By clicking the Talk Groups drop down, you can change the TG you are listening to. You may use the Scan feature to listen in on several TG’s.
KG5RKI has developed DMR Netwatch Map which includes information from related sites. It’s a work in progress but well worth the visit.
N0GSG has developed free software called Contact Manager where you can maintain code plugs from various vendors all in a single app. Code plug conversions between radios are also possible. As of this post Contact Manager works with the CS700/750/800 Tytera MD380/390/390GPS, Retevis RT3, and AnyTone AT-D858 Radios.
W2XAB published a rather comprehensive PDF in 2015 called the Amateur’s Guide to Digital Mobile Radio. It’s worth the read for anyone interested in learning more about DMR.
K2YO and the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club presented an Introduction to DMR which does an excellent job of covering DMR for the newbie.
KC5HWB is the creator of HamRadio 2.0. As of this post, Jason has published around 90 videos. Many of his videos cover reviews of various DMR radios, code plug programming and HotSpot reviews. If you want to purchase ham radio equipment, check out Jason’s ham radio store at Grapevine Amateur Radio.
The PRN System offers a Wide Area Digital Amateur Radio Network which spans areas of North and South Carolina as well as areas of Virginia. Their Web Site offers a Getting Started Page, Repeater and Talk Group Information, Code Plug downloads and more!
KC7JOE’s blog has detailed information Fusion, DMR, DSTAR and HF NETS. Check out his Amateur Ham Radio Net List.
N2NSA has detailed information related to repeaters which connect to the New York Metro DMR Repeater Network.
Use my Contact Form if you have or know of a DMR site that would be of interest to others.
Enjoy! 73 Gary KE2YK
I recently grabbed a SharkRF OpenSpot from Grapevine Amateur Radio. As of this post, Jason KC5HWB sells the units shipped for $215. What’s better than buying Ham Gear from a Ham! Jason does a video series on “What’s New In Ham Radio”. Be sure to check out his HamRadio 2.0 site for the latest and greatest goodies!
Since I already have a DVMega / Bluespot for the Ham Shack my plan was to set up the OpenSpot for portable operation.
Installed my Gatcepot 24000mAh 5.5A Universal 3-Port Ultra-High Capacity Power Bank , TPLink Nano Router and the SharkRF OpenSpot into the Pelican 1150 case and now go 100% portable by tethering the router to my iPhone 7.
With inspiration from Rob AK7RM’s how to (thanks Rob), I threw my How To version together with some extra info to help with the setup process. I also wanted to specifically cover the problem that hung me up for a bit. Check the note about the SSID value.
This how to is written specifically for use with the the TPLink Nano Router and an iPhone7 in Hotspot mode. However you can probably adapt it to any similar setup.
Get your copy of my OpenSpot Portable Ops document.
Enjoy! Hope To Catch you on DMR 73 – Gary KE2YK
Note: Had a quick chat with Bob W2CYK the developer of RFINDER last night at the Peconic Radio Club monthly meeting and he mentioned that he’s got some new stuff peculating in his secret RFINDER lab.
I think we will all be pleasantly surprised and amazed at his next venture! Bob is an amazing guy with an array of software and hardware that brings the World of Repeater Directory Information directly to your fingertips. RFINDER is partnered with companies like RT Systems and other organizations around the globe.
Getting back to DMR or Digital Mobile Radio, during the short time that I have been involved with DMR, I wrote some code which I run on a Linux server where I track and reference the DMR database information.
When I began experimenting with DMR, the number of registered DMR Id’s maintained by the Motorola Amateur Radio Club was around 14k. At last count my database has around 55k entries in it!
Wow what an explosion! In just over a year, the number of worldwide id’s has skyrocketed.
As an Extra with HF privileges, I never thought much about DMR as a means of reaching beyond local repeaters. But as one Tech Ham friend of mine said, DMR provides a convenient way for him to communicate across the country and to places around the world for those with only 28 and 50 MHz at their disposal. DMR has provided a way to step out under the dismal HF band conditions of recent years.
If a digital repeater is unavailable, a Hotspot can provide a method of communicating with Ham’s around the world with DMR+ and BrandMaster networks right from the armchair in your home.
Depending on the radio(s) you have, it is also possible to reach out to other Hams using DSTAR, Fusion and P25 with one of these multi-mode Hotspots. The Shark RF Openspot is one of the most popular Hotspot devices around today.
Perhaps you will poke around the Web and explore the World of DMR. 73, Gary KE2YK
As with any firmware update, you are proceeding at your OWN RISK!
At the time this document was created, the latest firmware was 3.14.
Download the Firmware and X-Loader (you won’t need the manual):
Unzip the Firmware and X-Loader software.
Power off the DVMega and place the switch into the IN position.
Connect the DVMEGA to the windows PC with supplied USB cable.
Run Windows Device Manager on your PC to determine which com port the DVMega is using.
Star the X-Loader and configure it look like this:
(your hex file location and com port will vary)
Hit upload and the bottom status window will display: uploading.
When complete the status will display: the number of bytes uploaded.
Unplug the DVMega and place switch into the OUT position (for Android console).
Select the INFO button on the BlueDV console display the firmware version.
Been spending a lot of time on DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) these days. Recently ordered a DVMega / Bluestack Node and have been having a ball chatting with people all over the World.
As a matter of fact I had a very nice TAC311 QSO with HL5KY in Korea on 2/4 @ 22:20 hours.
The black PI is a PI3 Mod B where I run my Web Server, custom firmware for the Tytera MD380 called MD380 Tools and do some crazy Java Coding.
The clear PI is a PI2 and I experiment with all kinds of code like the unsupported BlueDV console for the BlueStack Node.
And of course the top of the stack is the HotSpot. Right now the console is an Nexus 7 tablet running Andriod with the BlueDV console. Pleas note my HIGH TECH way of keeping the STACK together!!!
If you are interested in finding out more about DMR, you can listen to DMR Ham Radio Operators talk on the various talk groups. A good place to start is to listen to talk group 3100.
Most of all have fun! 73 KE2YK
Wireless Holdings sells leading edge modules and accessories to Ham Radio operators. Wireless Holdings has been in the digital gadget market over 40 years, and leverages a network of professional engineers to bring the latest digital gadgets to the market.
Why would anyone be interested in a DV4mini USB Stick? First I should explain that the DV4mini is a miniature, low power transceiver which you can use around the house or portable with any HT capable of one of the four digital modes. DSTAR, DMR Plus, Fusion or P25. Download a copy of the DV4mini manual for more detail.
In my case, even though I live in an area tightly packed with analog RF, there are no digital repeaters close enough to reliably access with an HT. Unless I connect my CS700 to my roof antenna, I cannot reach the DMR TRBO repeater in my area. Visit DMR-MARC if you want to know more about TRBO for Ham Radio.
So using DMR with the DV4mini (although not TRBO) gets me connected to the digital world using DMR Plus (Hytera systems). I cannot speak about DSTAR, Fusion or P25. My only experience has been using DMR Plus. I don’t spend a lot of time with the DV4mini however I had the pleasure of having a QSO with a Ham from Japan a few weeks back.
My 70cm DV4mini has worked flawlessly since I purchased it some months ago. As I mentioned in a prior article, I built up a Raspberry Pi with the necessary software to run the DV4mini console. If anyone is interested in my notes about building up the software necessary to run the DV4mini Console and other Raspian Jessie ramblings, stop by my homebrew Ham Radio Forum.
Recently I received an email stating that Wireless Holdings will start selling the DV4mini in a 2 meter version. Just in time for Dayton Hamvention!
73, Gary KE2YK
For those of us who take and interest in digital radio or have been experimenting with the DV4Mini, Wireless Holdings recently announced their new DV4 system called DV4home .
According to Wireless Holdings, the DV4home is going to include the following features:
- Can be used with or without a DV4mini for DStar/C4FM/DMR/dPMR/P25
- Use your radio or connect a microphone and speaker to the DV4home
- No Linux experience is required
- Simple set up with navigation on display
- Improved shielding with metal case
- Extended temperature range (-40C – +85C) for mobile use
- Works with 12 V power supply
Wireless Holdings states that the finished product will be on display at the Dayton Hamvention.
So I decided to build a Raspberry Pi 2 model B using a 32Gb Micro USB Card and the vanilla copy of Raspian Jessie 8 into a fully working DV4mini Console.
I used Putty with the DHCP provided IP address to run raspi-config expanding the file system and to change default localization settings.
Then it was on to installing x11vnc so I could work from my Windoze desktop using Tightvnc. Next it was getting the Edimax Wireless card online. From there I installed Mono 4.0 (Note: an 8GB Micro USB Card will run out of space while installing Mono 4.0) and finally the DV4Mini Console.
Since I created a series of crib sheets, I put a home-brew forum together as a central repository for my notes.
For those interested, go straight to my work-in-progress forum at KE2YK’s Ham Radio and Systems Forum. BTW, You don’t need to register to poke around its contents.
72 and 73,
Gary KE2YK Email me for additional help!
Okay Okay, so it’s just a dongle but it’s sure packed with features!
The DV4mini is a very small but also very capable USB Stick that can expand any system running Windows or LINUX into a Hotspot for the D-STAR, DMR, C4FM and APCO P25 modes.
The DVmini is a powerful 32 bit micro controller, a complete 70 cm transceiver and a modulator/demodulator for GMSK and 4FSK and a USB interface.
One nice feature of the DV4mini is that it does not require external power. The unit gets powered from the USB interface. For some of us that means less complicated portable use.
Another feature is the included software package which is easy to use and easily links with DSTAR, DMR+, P25 and Fusion reflectors.
There are many Hams who have DV radios but are out of range of the nearest DV repeater. DV4mini to the rescue! The DV4mini creates a hotspot with minimal resources and provides access to many DV networks.
The Code Plug:
Assuming you have your associated Channel and Zone set up in your radio to operate the DV4mini hotspot, you should be ready to go with setting up the DV4mini software.
For DMR+. My Hytera PD-362 DMR HT is set up at 436.000 tx and rx (default for DMR+ in the software), Talk Group 9, low power and TX Admit set to always allow.
Setting Up The Mini:
My Dv4mini was up in running in a matter of minutes. Yes, I did scan through the manual first.
Presently I am only working the DMR+ systems. Some may ask, what is DMR+ as opposed to DMR?Simply put DMR+ is the Hytera network (more widely used in Europe but growing rapidly in the US). DMR is the TRBO-DMR network. To my knowledge the two networks are incompatible for a number of reasons. Hytera DMR+ is more ham radio friendly in that repeaters can directly interconnect without expensive bridging equipment.
Once again, my old Windows 7 Lenovo T60 Laptop came in handy.
The first thing to understand is that the DV4mini software is no longer supported on XP. Since XP is also no longer supported by Microsoft, security vulnerabilities would not be something I’d want in my shack anyway. However, if you insist on using XP it is recommended that you flash your stick with the older version 1.4 firmware. Read the manual to find out how to flash your stick….
As the software download Web page states, the first software package you need to install is VS2013 redistributable package from the Microsoft Web site. This is nothing more than a run time version of Visual C++. The 32 bit version is required even if you are using a 64 bit Windows O/S.
Now download the Windows software and perform a normal windows style install. A desktop icon will be created as part of the install process.
Next, connect the antenna, insert the unit into the USB port and start the software. In the status window you should see that your DV4mini was found.
Configuring The DV4Mini Software:
On the DV CONTROL PANEL, for DMR+ I entered my DMR id, call, grid square and location. DMR+ as my DV option and reflector 4639 USA-Nationwide.
Now to the expert panel where I checked the auto-connect option and set my DMR Master to USA-EAST. Select the DMR Master closest to your QTH.
There are two other settings to pay attention to on the EXPERT PAGE.
QRG which is the offset in HZ between your radio and the DV4mini transceiver. Depending on the radio you use, you may have to adjust the QRG and ask for a few radio checks to insure your packet loss has been minimized.
The transmit buffer size is dependent on your network. I have had success with this set at .25 since I have a high speed network here.
The Dv4mini is an excellent way to get on the DV networks. It is reliable, easy to upgrade and operate. There are a number of additional features that you will discover as you work with the unit. Again, I am only working DMR+ so I am sure you will learn more than I have when you explore the other DV’s.
My experience shows that you need to operate a distance from the DV4mini so that you don’t overdrive it. One ham I spoke to used foil to shield the unit.
Interested in getting one?
In the USA, visit Wireless Hold
Videos about the DV4Mini and links to the manual and software can be obtained at the bottom of the Wireless Hold home page.