DMR Sites of Interest Around The Web

DIGITAL MOBILE RADIOIf you are new to DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) there are a ton of Web sites that provide helpful and/or interesting information.

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

Quick Review – Wouxun KG-UV8E Tri Band HT

Wouxun KG-UV8EBought the Wouxun KG-UV8E based on the good experience I had with the KG-UVD1P.

The Color display is very good and rather large for an HT.

The 2600 mAh battery life is exceptionally good and does not drain when powered off as the KG-UVD1P does.

A group of us locals have access to a 1.25 meter repeater and performance on the band is very good even on low power.

The channel / VFO Knob gets tight in spots and the screw holding rubber side cover was so loose it was ready to fall out.

Very loud reception causes the speaker to be distorted.

After purchasing the radio, I found out that there is and E and T version. The difference is that a factory reset of the E version causes the firmware to reboot to Chinese while the T version reboots to English. Of course flipping through the Ching-lish manual will save your day with the E version.

Since I only had an old (pain in the ass) Prolific chipped programming cable I also purchased the Red programming cable. The Red cable was hassle free with Windows 10. No monkeying around with the old drivers from the stone age as is the case with the old Prolific chip. Unlike the expensive RT Systems cables, the red cable was around $15. By the way, the Red cable also works for Baofeng and I’d imagine some Kenwood HT’s as well.

Again no radio is perfect but for the price it was a decent buy for the additional 1.25 meter band. If you are looking for specs or videos, Google it. There is no point in regurgitating the same information that’s already available on countless other Web sites.

Quick Review – New 2016 Baofeng UV-3R

Recently I picked up a new car and decided that I am done with installing mobile radios, cables and antennas as I had over the past 30 years. I don’t commute any longer and just don’t spend that much time in the car so my thoughts turned to the idea of grabbing a cheap HT to throw in the glove box.

 

2016 UV-3R

After owning the original UV-3R, I was skeptical about grabbing the new Dual Display UV-3R 2016 version. Remembering back to my original UV-3R, it’s problem was rejection of unwanted signals.

The area around my QTH is densely packed with radio signals. However, the advantage of signal density  is that there are plenty of 2/70 cm analog repeaters to choose from. As a result the 2 watt limitation of the new UV-3R presents no problem for me.

 

Specs:

Go here if you want detailed Tech Specs. Basically, for around $30, it’s a 99 channel dual band, dual display 2/70cm HT in a small ‘credit card sized’ form factor with a 3.7 volt 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery.

Operating:

The Dual Band Screen of the new UV-3R is an asset. Manually programming the radio is pretty easy but if you are going to add tons of repeaters or fire/ems frequencies, grab a programming cable and use the free CHIRP software.

Navigation:

The radio has a couple of basic issues. There is no keypad so it takes extra effort to program the radio and to navigate around to change simple settings like the squelch level. The FM Radio has poor reception. But who buys an HT to listen to FM Radio anyway.

Audio:

The on-board speaker is loud with no distortion. If you plan to use earbuds you will notice that the audio is muffled and the gain is somewhat reduced .

Antenna:

In general, any rubber duck is nothing more than a Dummy Load but at my QTH hitting the local repeaters presents no problem with the stock antenna.

Just a word on HT antennas, there are tons of knock off rubber duck antennas on the market. Buyer beware when looking for a replacement because you may end up with an antenna that performs worse than the original!

Scanning:

The UV-3R scans EMS and Fire frequencies fairly well. Using CHIRP, you can easily select which frequencies to scan.

Battery: 

No complaints. With normal use the HT ran for a full day.

Manual:

Go here to grab your copy.

Summary:

IMHO, for around $30, how can you go wrong? This little GEM is a great little grab-n-go HT.