Dive into Digital

Author Neil M6OYY

Well after spending nearly 2 weeks laid up due to a motorcycle accident, I finally decided to add a small wee article to the club web site.
So, I finally got my antenna mounted a couple of weeks ago (the day before myself and said motorcycle became detached from one and another)
and decided the first thing I wanted was to actually see if I received anything. So, after tuning the ID-5100 to the local repeater GB3HW
I could pick that up no problems great I no longer have to stand out on a cold balcony with the hand held to listen to anything I thought.
So, having that luck I decided it was time to venture a little further afield and fire up the FT991 on the HF bands.
Joy and wonder it was like being a kid again with all those funny beeps and robotic voices I was transported back to my early years as a listener.
Morse I could finally hear some DX transmissions ok I can’t understand the dits and dahs yet but that is what the mobile phone is for still trying to find a
100% reliable decoder but I will persevere. So that took me all of Monday decided Tuesday would be spent setting up the various digital modes yes I covered
all the bases and went with D-Star, Wires-x (C4-FM) and of course good old DMR out of all of these the easiest I would say to configure is wires-X
just a little faffing around and I had my first room listing yayyy I was so chuffed then I realised that the problem with MMDVM and Wires-X is that on the FT991
at least it will only list the first 20 rooms so a good old fashioned print out and the search button solves this just add the various rooms to favourites and away you go.
I then decided it was time to give D-Star a go well that was not so easy after getting my callsign registered on the D-star network thanks to Icom UK,
it took a lot of google research and a few YouTube videos before I finally grasped the setup of this system. The secret is remembering that the user id you program
into the radio has to be an exact amount of characters (8 to be exact)
This is made up of your callsign followed by one or 2 spaces then the letter E So in my case it is M9OYY**E (where * are spaces) easy huh oh no the next thing is when
setting up your MMDVM this also has to be set up with an 8-character id only this time it is frequency dependent so

A=23 cm
B= 70cm
C= 2m

So in my case rgw modem id is M6OYY**B (*’s are spaces)

Then you have a few others these are

E= End User as on M6OYY E
G= Gateway

There are probably more but these are the ones most of us will need.

This was a very useful video

But above all else RTFM!!!!!

The last mode I set up yet again was DMR this is probably the most complex as in you need to set not only frequency and offset but you also need your
DMR id which is obtained by registering with the DMR network and also the colour code (Form of digital key like tones on repeaters) and the slot number
either 1 or 2 most will be using slot 2 again there is lots of information out there so I will just skim through most of us will be using pi-star
so I will stick with this. Once you have done it one or two times it becomes quite simple so

Step 1 log into configuration screen on pi-star

Step 2 in the first section most will have the following selected
Mmdvm host
And Simplex node APPLY CHANGES

Step 3 MMDVMHost Configuration select your modes
Hint one or two is best as you go higher you will find that the delay between modes is so small the activation is hit and miss.
I use one mode at a time and just switch it over using my mobile takes seconds and frees up the dvm to just that mode so when using
DMR the D-star does not take over etc etc Also select your display in this section if you have one it is pretty self-explanatory only thing to remember is make sure you set where the display is connected to.

Step 4 General Configuration
Fill in each of the boxes correctly especially your latitude and longitude (most DVMs appear to be somewhere in the Channel between Dartmouth and Guernsey)
Easily find your location using https://www.latlong.net/
Make sure you have both your callsign and DMR id if using DMR correct.

Step 5 configure your modes
Most of the time the default settings will be fine

Use your digital modem
Of course, there is much more to it than this but this will get you on the air with minimal fuss.

So, do not be scared of the digital modes they are actually quite easy to set up if you just follow the steps, RTFM andNeil M6OYY remember Google is your friend.
73’s DE M6OYY

Updated: 16th January 2024 — 20:18
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