Author Archive

How to Get Into DMR … Without a Radio!

Are you a licensed ham who is interested in Dstar or DMR – but without the cost of expensive radios?

Here are three steps you can take to accomplish the task. This applies to the three most popular protocols.

It begins by acquiring a special USB Dongle that contains an analog to digital and digital to analog IC chip reffered to as an AMBE3000. They
sell for about $100 but that’s still only 1/4 the cost of an Icom IC-51HT or DV4HOME V2 SDR.

http://nwdigitalradio.com/product/thumbdv

Because only licensed hams are permitted on each system, registration is required.

For Dstar go to:
https://regist.dstargateway.org/Dstar.do
(Login then click REGISTER, it takes 10+- days).

For DMR registration go to:
https://www.radioid.net/cgi-bin/trbo-database/register.cgi

You can confirm your DStar Registration later at:
http://dstar.info/query.html

For software I recommend the free BlueDV Windows client:
http://software.pa7lim.nl/BlueDV/BETA/Windows/BlueDV-09548-preBETA.zip
(note: expand the BlueDV-09548-preBETA.ZIP and RUN the contained .MSI installer).

and here for the latest changes to build 9548:
http://www.pa7lim.nl/bluedv-windows-changelog/

When you plug in the ThumbDV it should create a new “virtual” serial port. Look under Control Panel, Device Manager, Com & LPT . You must note the new COM port# it creates and use that COM# when setting up the BlueDV setup software. Also remember the ThumbDV™
Dongle works at 460800 baud (older models are at 230400).

Be aware that BlueDV build 9548 is BETA, although the Dstar and DMR operations are very stable, Fusion has yet to be fully implemented, currently limited to receive only.

I quote from David, the author: “Press CTRL+1 to activate C4FM (Fusion) on BlueDV but it currently only works in receive mode. I find BlueDV software to be superior to WinDV.

As always, install any software you download online at your own risk. Every computer configuration is different and not all software will be compatible with all systems.

Youtube Help and setup video for BlueDV:

73 & Happy Digitizing!


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  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor