DMR mit wenigen Worten erklärt

Als ich mit DMR begann, wurde mir schlicht schwindlig und der Verbrauch von Kopfschmerz-Tabletten stieg dramatisch an. Nach einiger Zeit hatte ich aber das Konzept verstanden und kann sagen das mein analoger Yaesu FT857 ist eine größere Herausforderung um alle Einstellungen korrekt vorzunehmen. Nun ja, ich bin mit Computern seit 1980 eng verbunden, was mir sicherlich hilft. Aber wenn Sie sich etwas mit Excel (oder Ron’s CSV Editor, den ich bevorzuge – da einfacher zu bedienen) ist man schon fast am Ziel

DMR ist nicht kompliziert, es ist komplex. Ein anderes Problem ist, dass viele Informationen im Internet entweder falsch, veraltet und/oder unklar sind, oder sie gehen so tief ins Detail, das die Informationen irrelevant für die Programmierung des Geräts sind. Der Universalschlüssel zum Gerät ist die Codeplug (CP-) Software des Herstellers und diese muss mit den richtigen Informationen gefüttert werden. Der Codeplug besteht in der Minimalversion aus einer Frequenzliste (analoge und digitale Frequenzen, nach Repeatern oder Aufgabe benannt), diese werden in Zonen logisch zusammengefasst (z.B. alle digitalen Repeater in NRW, in Deutschland usw.). Weiterhin benötige ich noch eine Liste von Talkgroups (TG’s) oder Sprachgruppen an die Sie interessiert sind (z.B. Welt, Lokal, Regional, Land, Bundesland, Sprache oder für spezifischer Nutzung wie den Notfallkanal 112)

Sie selbst brauchen für die Teilnahme an DMR (und DStar) eine CCS7-Kennnummer. Diese kann für Europa und Afrika hier beantragt werden. Nord-Amerika, Süd-Amerika, Asien und Ozeanien registrieren sich hier. Beide Registrierungsstellen verlangen einen Scan Ihrer Amateurfunklizenz.

Registrierte DMR (DStar) Benutzer stehen dann in einer CCS7 Datenbank zur Verfügung und kann von dort heruntergeladen werden. Heruntergeladen und ins Radio transferiert erlaubt dann bei einem QSO zusätzliche Informationen auf dem Display zu sehen, wie z.B Rufzeichen, Name, Stadt, Staat, Land.

Darüber hinaus werden Sie mit Timeslots (TS) in Berührung kommen, namens TS1 und TS2, da DMR (und DStar) auf einer Frequenz 2 QSO’s gleichzeitig unterbringen können und nicht nur ein QSO wie die analoge Welt. Obendrein gibt es noch Color codes (CC), die in Ihrer Kanalliste (Frequenzliste) mit dem Repeater übereinstimmen muss.

Zum guten Schluss werden Sie auf dem Repeater statische und dynamische TG’s finden. Statische Talkgroups sind immer da, d.h. sie können rund um die Uhr mithören und senden. Dynamische Talkgroups verhalten sich anders, da nach der Auswahl der gewünschten TG kurz die PTT-Taste gedrückt werden muss damit der Repeater sich mit der TG verbindet. Bei Inaktivität Ihrerseits fliegen Sie nach 6-10min. raus. Insbesondere schade dass hier in Deutschland nur die Deutsche TG (262) statisch ist, die TG Welt (91) ist nur dynamisch verfügbar. D.h. alle 6-10min. muss ich wieder die PTT Taste drücken. Dies wiederspricht eigentlich der Grundidee des Amateurfunks. Welcher TS welche TG bereitstellt findet man meistens auf der Webseite des Repeaters. sowie auf den Brandmeister / DMRplus Webseiten. Jeder TS kann sowohl dynamische als auch statische TG’s bereitstellen.

Eigentlich nicht so schwierig !! Oder ?

 

Viele nützliche Informationen finden sich in der Linksammlung

Codeplugs explained

Most HAM’s have big problems to understand codeplugs, but actually they are not so difficult to understand. A codeplug is nothing else than a bunch of csv (comma separated files) like an excel spreadsheet, just in ASCII format, each cell separated by a comma (or semicolon), each row separated by CR+LF (Carriage-Return+Line-Feed or simply ENTER). These files are than imported and compiled by the manufacturers program for the radio into the codeplug (CP). This CP-program needs some basic settings how the radio should behave in general i.e. Audio-Settings, DMR-ID, Bluetooth-Settings, How the keys should work etc.. Have you used CHIRP before to program your radio ? Well this is basically the same, but you don’t have only one file to upload to the radio, you have many in different formats.

As I mentioned before: Please search for an existing CP like the one from the Dutch HAM PC5E, export the CP entirely into CSV files (in a separate directory and inspect them. What you definitely need is Ron’s CSV Editor which can be downloaded and bought from Ron’s Website.

The interesting information can be found (after exporting to CSV) in a fair amount of CSV-files. Now you can start experimenting with it, using Ron’s editor, Excel also works but it’s too heavy for my taste. A complete export of the whole codeplug into CSV files looks like this:

Please do not forget to save the initial codeplug (factory setting) as the first task after unboxing, to be able to set the radio back into “as delivered” mode.

The files interesting for us as beginners are: Channel.csv, TalkGroups.csv, Zone.csv, DigitalContactList.csv. These files are quite hard to edit just through the manufacturers software, but Ron’s CSV Editor speeds the process of modifying/editing up by the factor of 100.

Now collect from different souces the necessary information, like repeaters analog and digital as well as your hotspot frequencie(s), the DigitalContactList and the TalkGroups you are intersted in. You will see that this will be one of the hardest tasks, as you find so much outdated, non-accurate lists and you may have to edit a lot. How do these files look like ? Just click on the below file name to download and view it in the editor:

Channel Here you will find all channels (all frequencies) you will use. Analog, Digital in Duplex or Simplex Mode
Zone Zones are frequencies grouped together as a zone, for easier selection. A zone can be a functional group like i.e. hotspots, all repeaters in your state or in a country
TalkGroups TalkGroups are areas you are interested in your communication, like i.e. Talkgroup 91 (=Brandmeister World), Talkgroup 262 (=Brandmeister Germany)
DigitalContactList Is the “Phonebook” of all registered DMR/CCS7 users worldwide (CCS7 is your registration id for DMR and DStar) i.e. my callsign is DO1AWD and my DMR/CCS7 Id is 2644671

Where to start ? I started with the codeplug from the Dutch Amateur PC5E. I exported everything and started carefully to edit i.e. the channel list by adding some local repeaters, my hotspot frequencies, my analog repeaters and so on. After modification I imported these files into the CP-Software, saved the CP and uploaded the information to the radio.

The easiest is the DigitalContactList. For some bucks per year, you can download (after registration and donation) the worldwide DigitalContacts for the Anytone radios directly in the right format. Import this file into Anytone’s CP-Software and write it to the radio. I do this once every week, because otherwise I see only the CCS7 Number of new HAM’s instead of details like CCS7, CallSign, Name, Town, State, Country. This magic URL is AmateurRadio.digital.

I modify Channel and TalkGroups exclusively with Ron’s CSV Editor. Some other information I change within the Anytone CP-Software like the creation of Zones from the Channel list. When you get more experienced and want to create RoamingChannels, you will also use Ron’s Editor for the RoamingChannel list, but the CP-Software to create RoamingZone’s.

 

My Digital Radio Setup

How it all begun…

When I was on a business trip in Plano, TX, I visited a local Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) and bought an ICOM ID51E for DStar and a ZUMSpot. Back home in Germany I made it to work within a few days as this was completely different from my analogue experiences in HF/VHF/UHF so far. But the activities here in Germany on DStar were not overwhelming and in a lot of publications DMR was pushed heavily. The ID51E still exists but I am now mostly on DMR-Brandmeister, which I really like.

Due to the fact that the ZUMspot can do both, I ordered an Retevis RT90, but we both did no click into each other. I got it working, but the software was not stable, crashed very often and the radio could only be run via Codeplug, no VFO Operation possible.

As I bought it at Amazon, I could send it back within 30 days, but I was already highly frustrated after 14 days and simply sent it back. I promised myself to do some more researches which radio could suite me best and came across the ANYTONE radios. I had a look at the AT-D868UV and AT-D878UV Plus (with Bluetooth and Bluetooth-PTT) and ordered it at a distributor here in Germany. Received, unboxed, Software installed. WOW !!! THIS IS COMPLEX AND COMPLICATED ! (Actually it isn’t when you have understood the basics, which I will explain in another post)

 

During my researches I came across the website of a Dutch HAM, PC5E who is dedicated to a lot of different DMR radios of many manufacturers. I downloaded his Anytone codeplug for Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and studied what he had done to get the Anytone UV878UV running. Playing around with it I understood the concept of codeplugs. Not in depth and not using all features of the Anytone, but enough to get it running. Now, 6 month after buying the AT-D878UV I create Codplugs for others, using my blueprints and being the proud owner of one AT-D878UV Pro and two AT-D578UV Pro (one in the car, one in the QTH).

Beside the radio’s I own four hotspot’s. One ZUMSpot, which I do not use anymore, as it was making problems (not investigated on it) when I visited a friend in Canada (12/2019) and I will later take care of it. I use two MMDVM (China-Clone) Dual-Hat Hotspots mounted on two Raspberry Pi 3B, one for DStar, one for DMR and a brandnew SharkHF openSPOT3 for use in the car, hotel or anywhere I do not have a proper repeater or do not know the repeater frequencies. The openSPOT3 is typically connected through a LTE wifi hotspot or my mobile phone in tethering mode.

At home I use the Dual-Hat Hotspot for DMR to have TG91 (world) and TG262 (Germany) on Timeslot 1 and Timeslot 2 in static mode as the German Brandmeister Repeater OM’s only have TG262 static, TG91 is set to dynamic, which means you get kicked out every 6-10 minutes (I personally don’t understand that and think it is a shame not doing TG91 static – it is contrary to the idea of amateur radio). With this fact in mind I use my portable radio to monitor TG91 via the hotspot and the D-578UV in the shack to monitor TG262. Both, TG262 (TS1) and TG91 (TS2) are set to static on my hotspot(s).

The other Dual-Hat hotspot at home is dedicated to DStar. Both Dual-Hat Hotspots run the pi-star software.

Here at home I use a DIAMOND X30 about 10m (30ft.) over the ground and  under the roof for the AT-D578UV Pro and a special construction at the car for a Diamond NR-770H which can be flipped to a horizontal position which is useful for parking garages. In the car I use the Bluetooth PTT switch, mounted to the gear-stick and a typical BT-Headphone for a mobile phone. This does the job more than well. Same for the handheld AT-D878UV , BT-PTT-Switch attached like a wrist watch (with a wrist watch band) to my right arm with the same BT-headset from the car. In the QTH I use a callcenter style BT-Headset with the PTT-Switch on the desk or in the pocket.

BT-PTT Switch with a wrist watch band  BT-PTT Switch as delivered

 

+ QTH use: AT-D578UV Pro with a callcenter like BT headset and the BT PTT-Key either in the pocket or on the desk
+ Portable use: AT-D878UV Pro with a BT headset for mobile phones and the BT PTT-Key with a wrist watch band
+ Mobile use: AT-D578UV Pro with the same BT-headset for mobile phones, BT PTT-Key mounted to the gear-stick

For the handheld I use (depending where I am) the DIAMOND SRH805S which is only 3.5 cm or 1.5″ long (!!) which works very well, the manufacturers antenna and a DIAMOND SRJ77CA Antenna, about 40.5 cm / 15.9″ long. With the SRJ Antenna I could easily reach repeaters in Canada 30km / 19mi away from the livingroom of my friends house.