Heads-up: beware cloning codeplugs, & why you should really write your own ..


oldie pc
It’s time to give a heads up to people and to try and encourage more amateurs to write their own codeplugs.
Our hobby is primarily a technical hobby, and as such we’re all interested in tech and playing with this kind of stuff, and so perhaps this is a good time to maybe sit down and write your very own codeplug, as a recent post on a {professional radio site} warns that there can be problems sometimes, when cloning someone else’s codeplug into your set – if they’re differing codeplug versions that is, it seems you could end up with bad audio settings, or worse still, missing features, so really do check before you commit the changes to your radio. Codeplugs contain much more data than just the channel information and rig settings you get to see and change in the CPS.

On the forums over at Communication SupportMars here, posted a heads-up about this issue to Amateurs, and when Mars says it, you’d be wise to listen. so might i suggest you read Mars’ Post here  The forum is for professionals, so don’t even think of posting on there without having done your homework first, or you may not get much help at all, but what you will get is a huge forum full of technical discussions and, more often than not, you will find out exactly what you want – by just reading the forums, you also may enjoy the dry humour that occasionally pervades the site too, and maybe you’ll get answers to questions you’ve never even thought of asking, and hopefully save yourself a little stress into the bargain…

Writing a MotoTRBO codeplug isn’t too bad once you have the basics, It may help your understanding of how DMR works too, if you’re not familiar with it, there are guides to using it and documentation on programming with Motorola CPS on this very site, but first option for help is the CPS’s built in documentation and the area specific help system, that’s a real great feature of the Mototrbo CPS, or, if you care to browse back through the archived posts, you can look there too for some Amateur specific bits of info, and then you can set your radio for how You use it, not how the original author of the codeplug you downloaded uses his, and also you’ll not fall foul of any of this cloning codeplug stuff Mars warns us about. You can drag ‘n’ drop channels from other Mototrbo codeplugs with ease, you can open other codeplugs in the CPS at the same time, FM channels are much easier, and dragging ‘n’ dropping can save you much time, but make sure to check the exact name of things like talkgroups before dragging digital channels between codeplugs, If you don’t, you’ll find out later why you *should*

Writing a codeplug is all part of the ‘learning about radio technology’ thing we all signed up for.. sure, it’s not waving a soldering iron inside a valve transmitter like the early days, not quite as dangerous either, but technology has allowed up to swap the soldering iron for the keyboard in some ways, and me, i’m not complaining, they are both skills the modern amateur radio hobbyist will benefit from, and it really does bring back a sense of DIY to the hobby, now that much of the premade gear is often too small and fiddly for most of us nowadays.

Don’t be afraid of the CPS, give it a go, it can be quite interesting trying out your ideas, and you’ll be putting something In to the hobby too, which leads to getting more out of the hobby too, & it kind of beats watching funny cat videos on youtube doesn’t it !

Happy programming !

–Hax–
All work, text and images © GB7MB

TAC-9 logos for Motorola DP4800 / DM4600

cushion

Just because i was a bit bored, i thought i’d trim our TAC-9 logo’s and see how they would look as a startup bmp for the MotoTrbo sets.
The portable ones are a bit stretched out to fill the (little) screen the HTs have. They’re quite fetching i think.
Download>>   Download

–Hax–
All work, text and images © GB7MB

A Thankyou ..

To everyone that came to visit us at Blackpool rally yesterday and very kindly surprised us with donations, we’d like to say a big Thankyou to You all, and also of course, to Everyone who has supported us this far, either with donations, equipment, time or other assistance along the way,. even just by joining in,  It shows the true Amateur spirit is still alive and kicking !

-Hax, Mot and Paul-
All work, text and images © GB7MB

MB and UZ last heard lists

We were asked by some folks at Blackpool rally to add a few links to the last heard pages, the web pages where you can see who’s been using the repeater and what their rough signal quality was like into them.
So here we are, First link is to the Phoenix last heard list for GB7MB:

GB7MB Last heard list   (these links open in a new browser tab)
and GB7UZ below,
GB7UZ Last heard list

So .. Hope that helps..

–Hax–
All work, text and images © GB7MB

some codeplugs retired, and and an updated CS700 codeplug for GB7UZ and GB7MB

We are in the process of moving some old codeplugs we had on the site into an ‘archive’ or ‘retired’ section, as since they were uploaded, the DMR landscape in the UK has changed. They may have incorrect or not used anymore talkgroups, i spotted one or two CS700 ones with errors, so i strongly advise you not to use these, unless you want to see how DMR has changed since they were uploaded, and we have a new, hopefully easier, download system on the site, so all the codeplugs will magically re-appear in there soon.

Some of the ‘retired’ codeplugs still contain huge amounts of valuable data, like FM repeaters, contact lists and many simplex frequencies that you can still drag over into your current MotoTRBO CPS, but the DMR repeater Talkgroups have changed massively, most, (but not all) Phoenix talkgroups on other Phoenix DMR repeaters generally follow the ones we carry on GB7MB and GB7UZ, talkgroups such as the old American slot1 and uk wide slot2 and other unused stuff should be removed.

Anyway, here is an updated CS 700 Codeplug for GB7MB and GB7UZ users.
There are no other DMR repeaters programmed in.
It is here mainly for testing purposes, and i request feedback of any errors you may notice.
Please bear in mind i do not own a CS 700 to test this codeplug on, so please do expect errors and differences, and bear this in mind whilst submitting errors for inclusion into the proper finished version, which i will re-check in a month or two.

It is up to you to fill in your DMR ID and assign buttons etc. to your liking.

Please (ALWAYS) back up your current codeplug and take a look at the MBARS test CS700 codeplug before you write it to your radio, and adjust it to your needs, like side buttons and your ID. You can then use it after that, but most users will want to customise it and add a few extra channels of their own. There are DMR simplex and FM simplex channels, local FM repeaters and, of course GB7UZ and GB7MB.  FM channels are all 12.5kc, and there are basic scanlists set up.

I cannot find any way to re-order the channels in their zones, as i am pretty unfamiliar with the (dreadful) CS700 programming software, I hope someone out there knows how to and, either tells me, or submits or uploads a re-ordered and tweaked codeplug. I’m pretty much a CS700 newb !

Notes to fellow codepluggers, on Phoenix DMR repeaters in the UK, there is NO UK wide on slot 2, the long time gone North America Talkgroup is no more, it was spotted in several codeplugs, but as that TG disappeared before GB7MB got on air, i thought it should be made clear. TG8 roaming is no more either. The more efficient User activated Talkgroups  made this moot. The full list of our Talkgroups are listed on this site, plainly and simply, and they are the same for GB7UZ nd GB7MB, there are no ‘secret’ or undocumented talkgroups. talkgroup9 slot 2 (local) is called TAC-9 now because it is linked between UZ and MB.

We hope this helps, as i say, i do not have a CS 700 to test this codeplug, so please do not complain of any errors or omissions, instead, just drop us a message on here, or better still, upload your fixed CS 700 codeplug, saying what you fixed, (but lets not have any non Amateur frequencies though), so let’s help each another in the true spirit of the hobby 🙂

-Hax-
All work, text and images © GB7MB

Introducing TAC-9

tac9-a 1 not bad nn
Now just what are they on about over there in the Bay area ?
– and what’s all this TAC-9 business about anyway ?

We largely started GB7MB to help ourselves, a few radio geeks up here, communicate between each other a little more easily on handhelds whilst we were out and about, and perhaps, even drum a little more activity in the area, and to experiment and to have a bit of fun doing so into the bargain, and we were actually quite delighted when quite a number of other local Amateurs joined in with the DMR fun too, Great stuff. The more the merrier !
Results with GB7MB weren’t quite as great in some areas as we had hoped, largely due to a mixture of site restrictions and the local terrain, after all, this is perhaps the lower end of the Lake District, and it’s certainly not the flat VHF friendly terrain of Norfolk and other flatter VHF friendly areas we might wish to live in, even a local towns’ commercial system uses two repeater sites to cover one town – and and we would like to cover the whole area if we could…

So, GB7UZ came on air over Easter, it’s at a private site in Lancaster, it’s a MotoTRBO repeater, one of the new SL series, and it’s carrying the same talkgroups as GB7MB,  the new repeater’s output frequency is 439.500 and it’s input is 430.500, all colour code 1. Yes, feel free to set roaming up between UZ and MB – both repeaters are set to beacon (nothing like CW id!) to aid roaming.

Our two UHF  MotoTRBO repeaters are not completely seperate however, the one slight difference is that Talkgroup 9 local is linked between them both – how this works is you simply transmit on Talkgroup 9 slot 2 one on repeater and you are coming out of the other repeater at the same time, so if you cant get in to MB and your friend cant get into UZ .. you can both have a QSO as if it were the same single repeater. This is what we are working towards in the area, Total Area Coverage on Talkgroup 9, hence, TAC-9.

Referring to GB7MB local slot2, Talkgroup 9, (apart from being a bit of a mouthful), is less important really, as it is much the same as GB7UZ local slot2, Talkgroup 9  – and TAC-9 is far easier to say, and maybe more acurate too, and will become even more so as we test, build and expand the system over time, because calling on TAC-9 will involve your voice coming out of more than just two DMR repeaters, maybe on a different band or different mode somewhere in our local area… – that’s if we get to where we want to be with our other plans.
The next plan being discussed is to possibly add a 10m FM repeater into the TAC-9 system and possibly a 6m FM repeater too, and hopefully another digital gateway into the system too, in order for us to all experiment and provide access to a common place to chat between users of different systems, some of whom may not have DMR or 10m FM, but may still want to join in with other users who only have (say) a 6m HT or whatever, maybe giving them chance to actually use that dusty old 6m FM HT you’ve been meaning to use, but have instead, had sitting gathering dust in the shack for years.. and use it on the interlinked TAC-9 system !, of course as for the DMR side of things, these interconnections will only be local, on talkgroup 9 local, and not networked or routed across any other talkgroups or networks at all.

That’s the plan, or something like it anyway, and who knows, it might even be a bit of fun 🙂

-Hax-
All work, text and images © GB7MB

We will be at Blackpool NARSA next weekend

Sticker 2016
Yes, we will be at Blackpool next weekend,  we may have a few items for sale, incuding some Motorola FM HTs and a (used but boxed) high power (48w) Motorola DM4600 with IMPRES mic amongst other bits and bobs, pop along and say Hi-

Hax-
All work, text and images © GB7MB

GB7UZ (Lancaster) operational, and Linked to GB7MB on TG9 (TAC9)

wireless-308829_640
To aid coverage of our existing GB7MB repeater around the Bay area, another DMR  MotoTrbo repeater was set up in Lancaster, the date of NoV Issue was on 16th Mar 2016, and it seems to help in some places wher MB was struggling, due to local terrain and limitations we have for sites.

GB7UZ is, Like GB7MB, connected to the Phoenix UK DMR c-bridge, and ‘Talkgroup 9, slot 2’ on both repeaters is linked.. how it works is very simple, and you dont need to do anything at all, You can have a QSO with one station on MB and the other person on UZ. There are further additions planned for expansion to the system, in order to give Total Area Coverage.. maybe on other bands and modes, as the spirit of Amateur radio is experimentation, and so watch this space.

-Hax-
All work, text and images © GB7MB

GB7MB Talkgroups

List of current Talkgroups on GB7MB

TIME SLOT 1

TG1 WORLD WIDE,
TG2 EUROPE,
TG9 LOCAL SECONDARY,
TG13 ENGLISH WORLD WIDE
TG80 UK WIDE USER ACTIVATED 1 (INCL. MALTA 9H1DMR)
TG81 UK WIDE USER ACTIVATED 2 (INCL. MALTA 9H1DMR)
TG113 ENGLISH WORLD WIDE USER ACTIVATED 1,
TG119 WORLD WIDE USER ACTIVATED 1
TG123 ENGLISH WORLD WIDE USER ACTIVATED 2,
TG129 WORLD WIDE USER ACTIVATED 2
TG235 UK WIDE (INCL. MALTA 9H1DMR),

TIME SLOT 2,
TG9 LOCAL (PRIMARY)

TG820 NW ENGLAND BR , CA , HM , LP , MB , MR & PN -Hax- All work, text and images © GB7MB