DMR Page

VE6RYC is the first DMR repeater in Calgary and it is proving to be a very interesting addition to the amateur radio scene in Calgary. Thanks to CARA for getting it on the air! The information below is provided to help people get started with the world of amateur radio DMR.

Usefull Links

  • DMR Talkgroups A page with links to various web sites where Talkgroup names and numbers are listed for the various networks.

  • DMR-MARC Worldwide Network The Motorola Amateur Radio Club are leaders in the use of DMR technology for amateur radio.

  • VA3XPR Digital Radio VA3XPR's site has a lot of useful information on setting up DMR radios and repeaters.

  • CAN-TRBO Home provides general information about the DMR-MARC Canada CAN-TRBO Amateur radio network

  • DMR at Foxhollow This site focuses on the Tytera MD-380 radio: programming software, codeplugs, contact lists, getting started.

  • VE6PLC's DMR presentation to the Calgary Communications Club

  • Operating Your DMR Radio PDF file with information on using your DMR radio. Excerpts from a presentation by W2XAB.

  • QuadNet Array This site has information on the QuadNet Array, which can be used to connect operators on DMR MARC (TG 320 - PTT access with 15 minute timeout), DMR Plus (TG 320 or reflector 4541), DMR Brandmeister (TG 31012), D-Star (reflector depends on whether you are connected to DSTAR1, 2, 3 , or 4), Fusion (reflector 35947), and Wires-X room 45058 together. Check it out if you have access to any of those digital networks through a repeater or hotspot.

  • TGIF Network Started in 2018, TGIF's goal is to be less formal than other DMR networks. It is already supported in Pi-Star hotspots and by the SharkRF Openspot.

  • Pi-star Hotspot Many hotspots use the Pi-star software maintained by Andy Taylor MW0MWZ in collaboration with many hams around the world. Pi-star based hotspots combine a Raspberry Pi small board computer with an MMDVM board (multi mode digital voice borad) and the Pi-star software.

  • Pi-star Forum is a great place to find answers and ask questions about Pi-star.

  • Shark RF Openspot is another popular hotspot package with some nice features.

The Tytera MD-380 DMR UHF radio has become popular as an entry level DMR radio with hams around the world. Several CCC members have these radios already. The codeplug below includes configuration for the DMR Repeaters in Calgary and Edmonton.

The MD-380 has multiple Zones with up to 16 Channels in each Zone. The Calgary codeplug above has 4 Zones: Calgary, Test, Edmonton, and Simplex.
The channels provide access to the local DMR repeater and to its various Talkgroups, as well as to 2 local Calgary FM repeaters (VE6EHX and VE6OIL).
The Talkgroups include Canada, North America, and World Wide. These Talkgroups are always linked. There are several other Talkgroups that are linked only when activated by a user. User activated links include TAC310 (a sort of "chat room"), Quadnet Array, UAE1 and UAE2 (which are English language world wide "chat rooms"), and several provincial Talkgroups (AB, BC, MB, ON, QC, and NB).

Enhanced Firmware for the MD-380

There are a lot of clever hams in the world! Some of them, in particular Travis Goodspeed, have turned their attention to the MD-380 DMR radio. The capabilities of the MD-380 have been greatly expanded through their efforts to create "experimental" firmware. There are several branches of firmware available.
KD4Z has created a Virtual Machine environment under Windows for flashing the Tools (with an s, not a z) firmware and updating the user database. He has provided an excellent guide. It requires some computer skills. See MD380 Tools for all the details.
For users who want something simpler, the TyteraFlashTool will upload the Tools firmware and do user database uploads. MD380-390 FlashTool NOTE: version 2.00a has been released.
There is a Facebook Support Group for the KD4Z Toolkit KD4Z Toolkit Support Group
There is also software available that can create and modify a codeplug, flash the Tools firmware, and program the user database: EditCP by Dale Farnsworth. This software included several enhanced features that are not available in the standard CPS, including drag and drop reordering of entries!

Radioddity GD-77 dual band (2m/70cm) DMR/FM analog handheld is now available for around $100CDN, including programming cable. Not as feature rich as the MD-380 with Tools, but still a good option for someone who wants to have both bands in a single radio. It does have the option to monitor 2 frequencies (called dual watch), so you can monitor your favourite 2m analog repeater and your favorite UHF DMR repeater. The 3.0.6 and newer firmware has space for up to 10000 contacts. It also has promiscuous mode (called "monitor" in the GD-77) that will decode any signals on the selected timeslot, just like the MD-380. Note that firmware revisions usually come with customized programming software, which may require rebuilding the codeplug from the earlier firmware, at least for the DMR settings. The older codeplug likely won't work with the new firmware until it has been rebuilt. Firmware and software updates are available on the Radioddity web site: Downloads There is a fairly active Facebook Group for the GD-77 radio.
GD-77 codeplug with settings for MARC repeaters plus settings for Brandmeister, DMR Plus, and Fusion connections to a hotspot.
Roger Clark, a ham from Melbourne, Australia, has developed custom firmware for the GD-77 radios. OpenGD77 is customized for hams. It features easier codeplug programming and easier radio operation. This firmware also allows the GD-77 to be connected to a Rasberry Pi via its USB cable, turning the GD-77 into the MMDVM board. With its better spectral purity and ability to run more than 10 to 15mW, it is able to extend the range of your hotspot. Check out the details at OpenGD77 Forum. There is also an active OpenGD77 group on Facebook.
After a brief pause, OpenGD77 firmware is experiencing ongoing development. It now includes the ability to track and work through various FM satellites and the ISS. It includes automatically adjusting the frequencies for doppler shift as the satellite passes overhead. The latest CPS plus experimental, beta, and full releases can be downloaded at OpenGD77 Downloads. The latest user guide is at OpenGD77 User Guide. There are version of the firmware for Radioddity GD-77S, Baofeng DM-5R (RD-5R), DM1801, and DM1801A radios as well. The same CPS can be used for all models.