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IanM

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IanM last won the day on October 13

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  1. Glad I could help, and usual caveats apply (driver is in development, use at own risk, part 95 yadda yadda). Really do hope some fully fledged drivers for the Wouxun GMRS models get developed eventually. Definitely wouldn't be hard to port over the existing ones that sort-of work on the 805 and 935; I just don't have that sort of coding skill or confidence! It is a huge help to have CHIRP just for channel editing alone. It's downright painful to move or reorder channels in the manufacturer software.
  2. Ha, yeah, I've heard some positive things about the TYT (I think they used to be marketed as "Tytera", not to be confused with "Hytera," or just "Tera) line on both GMRS and amateur but it's probably a get-what-you-pay-for sort of device. There is someone out there that managed a workaround, to be able to monitor some Canadian LMR frequencies. As I just said in my prior comment, the UV9 series is superhet and might suit your needs. Remember of course, that only the 9G is Part 95 certified.
  3. @MichaelLAX—yes and no. I see we're both commenting on similar topics in different threads and I apologize about the confusion... the 'trick' I'm mentioning here in this thread is solely for programming memory channels on the 935G and the 805G with CHIRP. There doesn't appear to be any way to unblock TX on non-GMRS frequencies on the 935. Locked up tight. the 805 is a bit simpler in how it's configured to operate on GMRS-only, and that's mostly down to the dedicated software only allowing drop-down selection. The 935 is VHF and UHF, receive-only. You are correct, it is not a superhet, it's based on an RDA Microelectronics SoC. I believe the primary differences between the UV8 series that it's based on, and the UV9 series, is that the latter uses a superheterodyne receiver, and can demodulate AM on aviation band.
  4. Quite simple. I mentioned in another thread that there is a UV8H driver for CHIRP under development, found in their repository. You must install it in your CHIRP driver folder, or enable developer functions and load it under File > Load Module. Like most of the Wouxun drivers on CHIRP, the frequency limits for each band are editable. The hardware is capable of a wide range, but are sold locked down to the amateur bands for dealers for compliance in their respective countries. It seems this feature was requested as obviously some people travel/move to other countries, or purchase from an international dealer. I did read one report somewhere that a user purchased a radio direct from Wouxun and it came (very slowly, mind you) completely unlocked. There are also a few 'dealer mode' applications floating around out there for the UV8D and UV9D, but they do not appear to work on the UV8H or 935G. But a nice trick for loading memory channels is using the same driver on the 935, and a similar trick for the 805G with the 816 driver. Doesn't seem to work for the 905G, as its parent model doesn't appear to be exported.
  5. Shhh....definitely don't tell the guy I hear on a local repeater talking about his Motorola GMRS rig. Definitely an emergency. Who, Me? I may have reviewed something on Amazon recently. But you may be confusing me with someone else. There's many of us out there.
  6. An update, that I think you'd appreciate @mbrun— I found the 935 useful and additionally ordered a UV8H for amateur use. These both seem far better at decoding DTMF than the 905 does, even at the default very short tones. And after unlocking the 8H to GMRS frequencies (legality dubious but it is for the sake of experimentation) I got it to work. Sounds like an old cordless phone ring. Here's the trick. First, you must assign each unit a unique 3+ digit PTT-ID. Setting them the same won't work, since they appear to ignore calls from the same ID as itself. Second, you need to set the SP-Mute mode to 'SQ+DTMF' or 'SQ*DTMF'. Nominally it appears the former isn't supposed to open squelch until after it receives a page. Won't hear anything until it rings, then normal conversation can occur. It times out after a while, I think when the backlight turns off or goes to standby. Alternately 'SQ*DTMF' will open squelch with tones as usual, but will ring when it hears the right DTMF sequence. Third, you need to set up a sequence in one of the call slots. Either only the PTT-ID of the individual unit you want to call, "*#" for any handset on the channel, or [single digit] + "*#" for any unit whose PTT ID begins with that digit. (i.e., '1' would ring 101, 102, etc but not 201) I guess the sequence it's looking for is the calling set's ID number, followed by #, or really any DTMF sequence, be it from PTT-ANI, typed manually, or the call key. That's what's displayed onscreen as 'Caller ID.' Following that, if it hears its own ID, or any of the above strings match, it rings. Just typing the receiver's ID, or just the '*#' sequence wont work, it has to be preceded with the caller's number and '#', which PTT-ANI and the call key both do automatically. After receiving a page, pressing the PTT will respond with a sequence to call back the original caller. So essentially, say you have two units, 101 and 102. 101 initiates a call—this could be a preprogrammed call key for '102,', or typed in as '101 # 102', or '101 # * #,' etc. 102 rings until it times out or 101 unkeys, and then conversation can occur. Say some time passes before 102 can return the call, and 101 goes to standby. When 102 keys up again, it'll send a call tone back to 101, and it will ring. Ad infinitum. This is a potentially useful tool for working with group of several users sharing the same channel. Unfortunately, it still doesn't seem to do anything on the 905 but display garbled decoding and set off the alarm, and I haven't tried yet with the 805, which doesn't have a call button option. More experimenting is in order!
  7. Easy peasy, but like I said, it's an in-development driver. Download it here. You'll need to run 'developer mode' under Help > Enable Developer Functions. Then go to File > Load Module, and locate that file you just downloaded. Hook up the radio, download, et voila. You won't see anything under the settings tab, because the developer is still working on it, and the 935 seems to have the settings mapped in the memory a little differently. DONT edit anything in the Browser. But you should be able to add and edit new memory slots just fine. Obviously you won't be able to TX on anything that isn't a GMRS frequency, and you can't edit some of the per-channel settings like compander, descrambler, and the mostly useless DTMF squelch. But it'll save you a lot of time adding, or even just rearranging, your custom channels. Haven't broken anything yet, since it seems it stores channel data mostly the same as other UV8-series radios. If things go sideways, you can always restore with the factory software. Use at your own risk; I don't believe there's much risk of bricking the device, but that is quite clearly a breach of warranty. Enjoy the radio! Mine also came before it was even scheduled to ship, and I loved it enough that I snagged a UV8H that came today that I've been running some experiments on with that driver. As an aside, the same trick with works with the 805 and the KG-816 driver. One could also revert it back to a full UHF radio with VFO with that driver, but that would be violating the Part 95 approval.
  8. Somewhat new GMRS user (at least in the world of repeaters) and new ham (but with a lengthy interest in radio in general) here, and I'm maybe wading into dangerous territory with this older thread, but I do have some thoughts, and that it's worth respecting both viewpoints here on repeater access and use of the few channels we have. As with any hobby, we want to find a use for our toys, and those uses can be varied. Sometimes it's easy to forget there are other sides of the hobby, or antagonize them. Not everyone is using the radio just for the sake of using a radio Over on the ham side, you've got all sorts of things. CW and DXing, ARES/RACES, social nets, AMSAT, packet radio, you name it. I don't know how much overlap there is on each of those niches, but there's plenty of spectrum to go around. Or at least enough. Yet there's still plenty of arguing by the "Sad Hams" on who's doing it right, which seems to be whatever they aren't. OTOH, we're limited to 22 little channels here, and only 50W and repeaters on 8 of them (six, if you're like me and 'North of Line A'). We have to play nice. Thanks to the past posters who mentioned the roots of GMRS as CB Class-A and some business use, which explains why we get such a small slice of spectrum. Thankfully, we're not dictated on what we can use it for. But for better or worse, we share it with FRS, and bubble-packs (licensed or not), Garmin RHINO, legacy-license businesses, and the like. Clearly it's used as a 'utility' service, whatever that may be. Maybe to you it's shooting the breeze, and to others its something else, and that's the beauty of it, since by nature it's fairly limited in range. I've seen complaints around the web of GMRS users coming across families yapping, traffic flaggers and the like, and, well, assuming they're licensed or using FRS, they have every right to be there. Even if they're not, they're there, and thankfully at least around here it doesn't sound anything like the chaos of CB. That's why we're limited to 50W and not 1500W. (also thankfully, in my area in the middle of Seattle, all I ever hear regularly are some carpenters on a nearby construction site, and a parent checking in on their child walking home from school.) Yes, its frustrating to hear kids screaming on Channel 1 day and night, but the disdain should be towards discourteous users, rather than all utility users. Someone earlier mentioned communication while kayaking, and similarly I'm sure many here are off-roaders switching from other communication modes, and as another person replied, for them the radio is in support of another hobby, rather than the hobby itself. For me, I'm interested in radio as a hobby as well, but in a way I can use it for what I need. That's the type of thing I use it for—group and family outings and beyond-cell, or alternative-to-cell communications. To that end I like that GMRS is relatively quiet.Something I don't appreciate, when I have been using it for intra-party communications, is someone coming on a simplex channel and asking to strike up a conversation. No, I don't want to chat, I'm halfway down a mountain, trying to get ahold of our ride at the trailhead. Using tones appears to be a no-no in ham bands, but I definitely use them on GMRS simplex. Anyway. With all that said, I certainly understand @JCase's views on this, in wanting to limit all those other uses when you need wide coverage. In the Seattle area, we've got quite a few repeaters, including many unlisted ones in-city, that are private, for neighborhood/emergency use, or request permission and discourage rag-chewing. That's their choice—unlike in amateur, there's no (voluntary) governing body on choosing a channel, and they don't have rule over a specific frequency, but it's their equipment and they have every right to be picky over who can access it. Many of them are in areas with no cellular coverage, and I too would be a bit miffed if I couldn't get through to family member because of chitchat, or they turned their radio off because of such. And I appreciate those that have extended the offer to me with the expectation I'm not going to yak all day to strangers. Most of them are not 'for absolute emergency use only'—they want them to be used, but they also want them to be usable and not clogged up. Again, 50W will only go so far in most places. It's their right, legally and in practice, to have a privately accessed system, and it's likely not going to step on others' systems. This is what I mean by GMRS being utility oriented. But in counterpoint, I also appreciate those like @WRKC935 that have invested the time, money and effort into building something for complete public access. Looking at the WWARA database, I'm astounded at how many repeaters are in the area. And scanning through, equally astounded at how many are dead quiet, or on further research strongly discourage use other than some specific purpose; again, that's their right as equipment owners, but it's nice that some owners have stepped up to provide a community forum. On those bands, where repeater slots are coordinated, both 2m and 70cm are pretty full with very wide coverage systems—there's no room to say "hey, I'll just start my own repeater!" Again here, on GMRS, we have one repeater up on Tiger Mountain that covers much of the region, and it gets used for ragchewing, even if it's the same 5 or so guys, and that's great that it doesn't sit there silent. Agreed with @mbrun that if you're gong to cover that much ground with one frequency, it is a public service in a way. People have the technical know-how and resources to set up something like that make it more useful for everyone, not just radio junkies. Moreso than the amateur band, I do believe that, with cellular taking away a lot of the user base and the growth of different wireless data modes, GMRS is at use-it-or-lose-it risk. I do hope this doesn't come off as the radio police (or alternately, too wishy-washy). I try not to be pedantic, since there's too much arguing over Part 95 or when to ID and things like that. I just think that we occupy a special niche—restricted in equipment, power, and frequencies, but not in coordinating through a regulating body; we're neither CB nor amateur—but it's small, and we need to make everyone happy. You can have a small private repeater for your neighborhood or a public one for your whole county, but be understanding of other uses, even the mom calling kids in for dinner on simplex. And to @Doctnj the radio world is fun, and there's lots to play with and many ways to put it into good use. I've long been an audio and phone tinkerer, and I thank MacJack on here for suggesting I get my ham ticket, since I learned in studying for it that there's a lot more to that than the quite literally old boys' club, and room to experiment with things you can bring back to GMRS. No reason to be one or the other!
  9. Michael, thanks for the detailed reply. I think I misunderstood your original post as when you said you understood the purpose of group calling that you had accomplished it somehow. (as an aside, I feel similarly about devices with functions I haven't figured out or found a purpose for—I have to figure it out and it feels like a waste of capacity if I can't use it) It looks like we've done the same experiments (on my end with the 905 and 935) and come to similar dead ends. The 905 seems to want to decode something; but sometimes that something is dialing '1' and getting back '111111'. Playing with a few custom channels programmed with DTMF squelch and PTT-ID haven't worked at all. The closest I've gotten, I think I mentioned, is programming each with PTT ID and getting them to start screaming the siren. Not quite the call tone I was looking for. I think you're right, there's some functionality that's been lost in the firmware. The programming software for the parent models (KG-978, UV8H) looks mostly identical save for fewer button options, so I'm wondering if they do work satisfactorily on the LMR/amateur models. It is strange though that in BTWR's own authored manuals, they mention the function in passing without really describing how to implement it. My guess is that they came that way from the factory and know it's not functional (and most users won't bother), but didn't want to have some mystery setting go unmentioned in the manual. I'd be interested to know what Wouxun really means by 'calling' specifically, and am guessing some sort of paging, unlike the private calling function on DMR. Though I could see how one could setup a 'dispatch channel' set to DTMF squelch, where individual stations could be called from a console. But again, that's much more of a business band feature than of much use on our few channels! And now I'm running a bit long, but thanks again for sharing your experience with it!
  10. As I mentioned in another thread, I *did* get the 8H, but I am passing on the tactical vest! And an edit-- @pcradio, just noticed that the harness is from True North. Used to live next door to their facility; nice group of people who let us hang out for a while when my apartment had a fire. They make some cool and durable stuff here in Seattle and a buddy of mine that does summer wildfire fighting (wild-firefighting?) swears by them.
  11. Yep, that antenna is great, and I want it on my other two. Curious how it's built—says it's tuned for 462-467 but it's longer than the dual-band that was on my Btech, and the SignalStick I cut down slightly for that range. Wonder if it's an end-fed half-wavelength, but I'm not going to tear it open to find out! The antenna on the 805 is the shortest, and the 905's isn't much longer, but more a length I'd expect for a run of the mill 1/4 wavelength. Nice and springy too.
  12. Yep, definitely order ASAP and get on the backorder queue. I put my order in last month and it actually shipped a bit early than the estimated restock date, and I got it yesterday. Ended up buying the parent amateur model KG-UV8H, since a lot of the features I think will be much more useful on ham radio. May or may not keep the 935 if I can get the 8H to go up to GMRS frequencies. Either way, it's a fantastic little device. I also picked up the 805 for a family member that finds the others a bit bulky and while that's a great radio too, the 935 blows it out of the water on features. There's someone currently working on porting the KG-UV8D CHIRP driver to the 8H, and I tested it out with the 935. It's still a work in progress and likely won't be able to edit things specific to the 935 (different programmable keys, WX radio, etc) but it did let me add GMRS, 2m and 60cm channels. Also agreed on the accessory port trapdoor. It's also very easy to misplace. I wish they'd gone with something similar to Motorola's like Baofeng did with their waterproof models, but I suspect there's probably some intellectual property issues there. I intend to use mine out of doors while hiking or MTBing with an earpiece (so as not to disturb other trail users) and it's a shame the water rating goes out the window in that setup.
  13. Curious how you set up a calling function—that's something I'm particularly interested in. I know this is not FRS and we are serious radio operators here (), but that would be incredibly useful to me, absent the usual 'call' button bubble-pack radios usually sport. In my usage, there is a member or two of my calling party that will turn the volume down inadvertently or stuff the HT in a bag, and being able to hail them short of screaming over the air or kerchunking with the roger beep on would be very useful. All I've been able to do so far is set off the SOS alarm on the 905 by some combination of random DTMF presses whose sequence escapes me.
  14. From what I understand with these Chinese radios, the DTMF is actually (well, intended to be) used for paging and selective calling, like Motorola Quik-Call. I believe some older Kenwood systems used DTMF, and Wikipedia has a short article section on it. I just haven't been able to figure out in the least how to get it to work between two different Baofeng models and two Wouxun models. The 905 seems to be able to decode and display DTMF on screen but doesn't emit any type of page tone. Long-pressing PF1 makes it dial whatever is in CALL ID1 followed by the ID-EDIT field, it seems. The other radios don't do anything with it. Can't figure out what the Baofengs send when PTT-ID is switched on... The 905 has the ability to use DTMF squelch instead or in conjunction with tones, which has interesting (if useless) possibilities. I'll be interested to play with this more when my 935 comes in tomorrow, though the manual (and the parent model UV8H manual, as well as other Wouxun manuals) are clear as mud on it. So far, all I've been able to do is set off the alarm with a bunch of random key presses from a Baofeng. All that said, in contrast to what wayoverthere said, I'd politely disagree and guess this is more to do with vestiges of a LMR dispatch system than autopatch and repeater control of ham systems. PTT-ID is very useful with dispatch software to identify a unit, but at least on analog in the US, MDC1200 became the standard. Maybe DTMF paging is still widespread in China? As an aside to further readers: CHECK RPT15'S FREQUENCIES. For some reason one of them is programmed off-channel to 46x.500 out of the box—don't remember if it was TX or RX, but I had a heck of a time trying to hit my local repeater until I dug into the program and saw. Creating a new config file in the software doesn't have this problem, it seems it was just limited to what was flashed to the HT itself.
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