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Which digital voice mode do you prefer?


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On 6/23/2021 at 9:46 AM, Lscott said:

There are just too many digital voice modes for Ham Radio. Typically a radio will only support one. Yes I've seen some mobile LMR's that will do several but in general this isn't the norm.

I

In your opening statement you summarized why I have little interest in Digital (pretty much anything) for ham radio. There are too many incompatible standards, and there isn't anyone using any of them, near me, anyways. I think my Anytone AT-D878UV supports something, but I have no idea what.

I am sort of interested in getting an APRS vehicle tracker working, but I have little interest beyond that. I teach computers and robotics, I think it is something I could get interested in. But with no local activity it just doesn't draw me in.

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On 7/19/2021 at 3:19 PM, Hasaf said:

Anytone AT-D878UV supports both analog and DMR. With an MMDVM (such as the SkyBridge) I can not only use DMR, but can also use my DMR radio to use NXDN, D-Star and System Fusion.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I'm waiting to get my latest radio acquisition, a Kenwood TK-5320. Its a dual mode analog/P25 radio, from an auction at a good price. I got the 400 MHz to 470 MHz band split version, perfect for Ham Radio.

https://pdfs.kenwoodproducts.com/18/TK-5220&5320Brochure.pdf 

I'm in the process of building a code plug for it using the KPG-112D V2.01 software. I have a few questions.

1. Is there any standard P25 simplex frequencies people use for P25?

2. Is a unique ID required to get on a networked P25 repeater? If so where do you get one assigned? I already have my DMR and NXDN ID's.

3. I see that talk groups are used like with DMR. Where are those listed? Are they the same as used for DMR?

 

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1 hour ago, Lscott said:

I'm waiting to get my latest radio acquisition, a Kenwood TK-5320. Its a dual mode analog/P25 radio, from an auction at a good price. I got the 400 MHz to 470 MHz band split version, perfect for Ham Radio.

https://pdfs.kenwoodproducts.com/18/TK-5220&5320Brochure.pdf 

I'm in the process of building a code plug for it using the KPG-112D V2.01 software. I have a few questions.

1. Is there any standard P25 simplex frequencies people use for P25?

2. Is a unique ID required to get on a networked P25 repeater? If so where do you get one assigned? I already have my DMR and NXDN ID's.

3. I see that talk groups are used like with DMR. Where are those listed? Are they the same as used for DMR?

 

2 & 3) check the PiStar website, it lists active P25 talk groups and how to get an ID ( I thin you use your DMR id)

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1 hour ago, Lscott said:

2. Is a unique ID required to get on a networked P25 repeater? If so where do you get one assigned? I already have my DMR and NXDN ID's.

 

I suspect this depends how the repeater is set up; the couple I've used didn't require a  unique ID, though one would prefer you request one from them, and provides you a list of other users on the network when they give you one. The two I've used, it was pretty much just setting the frequencies, mode (both are mixed mode) and NAC, as far as I remember...I'll try to post a screenshot of the CPS later today when I can jump on the laptop.

(One, the network had a better-sited analog machine for use from my home location, so I tend toward that one...the other, the repeater is pretty dead most of the time).

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2 hours ago, Lscott said:

I'm waiting to get my latest radio acquisition, a Kenwood TK-5320. Its a dual mode analog/P25 radio, from an auction at a good price. I got the 400 MHz to 470 MHz band split version, perfect for Ham Radio.

https://pdfs.kenwoodproducts.com/18/TK-5220&5320Brochure.pdf 

I'm in the process of building a code plug for it using the KPG-112D V2.01 software. I have a few questions.

1. Is there any standard P25 simplex frequencies people use for P25?

2. Is a unique ID required to get on a networked P25 repeater? If so where do you get one assigned? I already have my DMR and NXDN ID's.

3. I see that talk groups are used like with DMR. Where are those listed? Are they the same as used for DMR?

 

I get all my listing from web.RFinder.net

I have several DMR repeaters and 6 of them are linked in WNCDMR.net 

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I would like to thank everyone for the help!

One thing I found with the programming software was the various settings for ID's talk groups etc. was set to use Hex number entry by default! Dah! I couldn't figure out right away why I couldn't enter some of the settings, my DMR ID has 7 digits, but the software allowed only 6. When I saw a note in the help file about a setting in the "Tools" menu to change the P25 section to use a different number format then I could make the entries. I have no idea if other radios and their software does both decimal and Hex number entries.

New radio and a new learning curve. 8-/

Maybe my next radio will be a cheap HT with System Fusion.

Right now I have radios for D-Star, DMR, NXDN and now P25 when it shows up.

This is the nearest P25 repeater to me at the moment. Not many around MI, OH, IN or ILL. on 70cm.

https://www.repeaterbook.com/repeaters/details.php?state_id=26&ID=276

Repeaterbook.com is great for looking up repeaters to use BTW. Also there is a free app for the iPhone at least.

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48 minutes ago, Lscott said:

I would like to thank everyone for the help!

One thing I found with the programming software was the various settings for ID's talk groups etc. was set to use Hex number entry by default! Dah! I couldn't figure out right away why I couldn't enter some of the settings, my DMR ID has 7 digits, but the software allowed only 6. When I saw a note in the help file about a setting in the "Tools" menu to change the P25 section to use a different number format then I could make the entries. I have no idea if other radios and their software does both decimal and Hex number entries.

New radio and a new learning curve. 8-/

Maybe my next radio will be a cheap HT with System Fusion.

Right now I have radios for D-Star, DMR, NXDN and now P25 when it shows up.

This is the nearest P25 repeater to me at the moment. Not many around MI, OH, IN or ILL. on 70cm.

https://www.repeaterbook.com/repeaters/details.php?state_id=26&ID=276

Repeaterbook.com is great for looking up repeaters to use BTW. Also there is a free app for the iPhone at least.

I think I remember a hex/Dec setting in one of the cps, though I forget which of the four or 5 it was... my one gripe with vertex is almost every model of radio requires a different version of the cps, and some versions won't install if others are present 🤦‍♂️ most of it is on a stick of, but the p25 version had to be somewhere else, so it's on the laptop.

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40 minutes ago, wayoverthere said:

my one gripe with vertex is almost every model of radio requires a different version of the cps, and some versions won't install if others are present

I have so far, just for my commercial Kenwood radios, 14 different versions installed. Some the only difference is a different "market code", North American verses European models, that have different versions of the firmware too. Examples, I have the TK-3140K's and the TK-3140M's, different versions of the CPS required. And  Even the code plugs are not interchangeable, the radios have different feature sets. Then there are the TK-3170K's and TK-3170E's, same CPS but the code plugs are different, again differences in feature sets.

And for the Ham radios from Japanese and Chinese manufactures it's a big collection too.

I ended up doing a spread sheet showing which model radios use which CPS to keep things straight for all my radios.

Then there are the different battery packs and chargers....

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13 minutes ago, Lscott said:

 

I ended up doing a spread sheet showing which model radios use which CPS to keep things straight for all my radios.

Then there are the different battery packs and chargers....

Yikes, so it isn't just vertex; maybe i should do the spreadsheet thing too.

Half the reason I grabbed the p25 I did (vx-p824) is it was cheaper due to lacking battery, antenna and charger, but it takes the same battery, charger, and programming cable I already had for a vx-924. Had already been planning to grab an Antenna for one of the evx's anyway, so what's one more? I do want to get at least one more of each of the two battery types though.

One other nice bonus is discovering the 12v plug I bought for the wouxun base is the same polarity and voltage as the base for my yaesu ht takes

edit: here's the screenshot: https://imgur.com/ey3uf4K

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3 hours ago, wayoverthere said:

Yikes, so it isn't just vertex; maybe i should do the spreadsheet thing too.

Half the reason I grabbed the p25 I did (vx-p824) is it was cheaper due to lacking battery, antenna and charger, but it takes the same battery, charger, and programming cable I already had for a vx-924. Had already been planning to grab an Antenna for one of the evx's anyway, so what's one more? I do want to get at least one more of each of the two battery types though.

One other nice bonus is discovering the 12v plug I bought for the wouxun base is the same polarity and voltage as the base for my yaesu ht takes

edit: here's the screenshot: https://imgur.com/ey3uf4K

Yup, you’re not alone.

The TK-5320 has a used battery pack and charger base, but no antenna which I have plenty of anyway. I think I already have several battery packs that fit this radio I got with some of the other used radios I’ve purchased. The seller guarantees the radio is functional. I paid $110 for it on eBay, cheaper than just about any of the other P25 radios I saw.

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What do you use the VX-924 for? It has a listed band split of 66 MHz to 88 MHz. Unless you can get it to drop down to cover the 6M band, 50 MHz to 54 MHz I don’t know what else you could do with one in the US.

I know the UK has a 4M band around 70 MHz so it would be useable there. There was some talk at one point about a 4M band here as well. Don’t know where that went.

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2 hours ago, Lscott said:

What do you use the VX-924 for? It has a listed band split of 66 MHz to 88 MHz. Unless you can get it to drop down to cover the 6M band, 50 MHz to 54 MHz I don’t know what else you could do with one in the US.

I know the UK has a 4M band around 70 MHz so it would be useable there. There was some talk at one point about a 4M band here as well. Don’t know where that went.

The 924 was what I used in the truck (with an adapter cable and mag mount) for 70cm, until i picked up the 824 (which is similar, but not as tall)...think I need to adjust the mic gain on the 924 or something, though, as I tended to get reports of low audio, even with the noise reduction mode turned off.

Not sure which one you're looking at with that split; mine is a 400-470 MHz split (g6) version of this one: https://www.twowaydirect.com/vertex-standard-vx-924-radio-512-channels-uhf-vx-924-g7-pkg1/

Finally have something in the truck with a little more pep than an HT though.... got a deal on another vx4207 (which is 95a/90, 400-470 band split)...did the programming during the week, and installed it today. double checked swr on the browning mag mount today, dead on 1:1 on 445 MHz, and 1.04-1.05:1 in gmrs. 

Still tempted for some more p25 stuff though. There's some Midland stuff that comes and goes, both vhf and uhf versions, and a nice vhf vx-p829, but spendy. I've toyed with the idea of either d-star or system fusion in the truck, but there doesn't seem to be any repeaters with either in my area, strictly dmr with a little uhf p25.

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Somebody picked up two Motorola XTS-2500’s for a tad over $100. If they have battery packs, chargers, programming cables with software it was a super good deal. I don’t so I bid on the Kenwood radio, have the software, programming cable, battery packs with chargers for it.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-MOTOROLA-XTS2500-III-UHF-380-470-MHz-P25-Digital-Two-Way-Radio-H46QDH9PW7BN-/165026697807?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m2548.l6249&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-MOTOROLA-XTS2500-III-UHF-380-470-MHz-P25-Digital-Two-Way-Radio-H46QDH9PW7BN-/165026697807?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l44720.c10&nordt=true&rt=nc&orig_cvip=true

 

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Slightly off topic. Has anybody any experience with Kenwood’s KWD-AE31K optional encryption board? Seems to be a high end one using AES or DES for their different model digital radios.

https://csrc.nist.gov/csrc/media/projects/cryptographic-module-validation-program/documents/security-policies/140sp2200.pdf

Some of my radios have a cover plate on the rear under the battery pack to install optional feature boards. Some of the boards available are various voice scramblers, trunking etc.

I haven’t been lucky enough, so far, to buy a used radio where any option board was installed.

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I have not used the kenwood option boards but use the built in secure on all my motorola radios on services that allow it. I did use alot of those boards in the ICOM series when i was at the shop. We had an LTR system and used inversion on some channels. Being HAM and GMRS prohibit secure probably not worth your money...

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4 hours ago, kb2ztx said:

I have not used the kenwood option boards but use the built in secure on all my motorola radios on services that allow it. I did use alot of those boards in the ICOM series when i was at the shop. We had an LTR system and used inversion on some channels. Being HAM and GMRS prohibit secure probably not worth your money...

I know it’s not legal for Ham and GMRS. If I even got one I might sell it.

The D878UV claims to use DES-256 encryption on DMR I believe, and is already built in to the radio’s firmware, nothing else to buy or license.

On some of the analog Kenwood’s, that take optional voice scrambler option boards, require a few electrical mod’s to use them. Typical a resistor or few need to be removed. They are not just plug and play with a check mark in the CPS.

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In the amateur radio digital world I am a fan of Yaesu System Fusion (YSF)…

I have a Yaesu FTM-400 mobile unit at my home which serves as my 2 meter/70CM “base station”.  With 2 button pushes it can be switched to a YSF “Node” connected to “Al Gore’s amazing Interweb” through a laptop.  This allows me to talk directly in any of the hundreds of YSF “rooms”.  I can push 1 additional button and set it up to act as a repeater via my home antenna and provide access to all of the same YSF rooms using my Yaesu FT3D handheld or vehicle’s FTM-400 mobile radio.  

Another YSF connection option I have is an OpenSpot 3.  When I connect this garage door opener sized device to WiFi or tethered it to my phone, it allows communications access to many of the same YSF rooms.  I can use it to talk in the YSF network with my home, mobile, or handheld radios.  I can even make digital contacts while out hiking as long as I have a cell signal.

Lastly, there are several repeaters in my area which support YSF digital communications.  I can talk to other local stations just like on an analog FM repeater, but the digital audio is much cleaner and static free.  As others have said when in digital “voice wide” mode (VW), it sounds really nice with an audio quality almost as full as analog FM transmissions.  When I switch to “digital narrow” (DN), my radios include my GPS position information in the transmission.  The sound quality is a little more “digital”, but I can now see bearing and distance information to the other stations as they transmit.

Bottom line:  I have used YSF to talk to stations all over the world, often on a handheld while sitting in my backyard or out hiking.  It is an easy to use digital system and the number of Yaesu repeaters is growing daily.  I would say it is the “up and coming” digital format.

Edmo

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For now I would have to second Yaesu System Fusion. But that is base entirely on how easy it was to make it operational on first attempt. Quite the stark contrast to the stories from others I have heard regarding getting alternate digital modes usable. I must admit too, I love the repeater’s interop capability with standard FM. That is appealing.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM

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7 hours ago, mbrun said:

For now I would have to second Yaesu System Fusion. But that is base entirely on how easy it was to make it operational on first attempt. Quite the stark contrast to the stories from others I have heard regarding getting alternate digital modes usable. I must admit too, I love the repeater’s interop capability with standard FM. That is appealing.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM

Mixed-mode operation is a neat feature. I'm going to be pitching replacing an analog Part 90 repeater near me with a Quantar programmed for mixed-mode. Should improve its usefulness.

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I would think any digital mode that doesn’t use TDMA, like DMR, would work in a mix mode environment. I think FUSION uses FDMA as well as some less used modes like NXDN and P25 Phase 1 radios. Supposedly P25 Phase 2 will be TDMA, not FDMA.

One thing that has me thinking about DMR is the ability to run a single frequency repeater, which doesn’t require any cavity filters. That’s only possible because of the dual time slot nature of the transmissions. You can run two independent voice communications on the same frequency, each using one of the two available time slots. One slot is used for the input to the repeater (RX) while the other time slot is used for the output (TX). Since the radio is never transmitting and receiving at the same time, only one time slot is active at any moment, the need for duplexer cavity filters is eliminated. That makes for a very easy repeater to setup. Set your operating frequency, connect to the antenna of your choice, switch on the single frequency repeater mode and let it rip.

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If it isn't part of the standard it could be at some future point in time. The ability to do single frequency repeater operations is just to good of an idea to ignore.

Designers haven't used, mostly, relay switch for low to medium RF power in years. Looking at just about every HT for example they use PIN diodes to do the RF switching, which can be done much faster than any mechanical relay could do.

https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/166579/pin-diode-t-r-switch-for-use-with-rf-power-amplifier

https://www.richardsonrfpd.com/docs/rfpd/High_Pwr_Sw_Des_Guide.pdf

The rapid switching required due to the used of TDMA shouldn't be a problem.

Also I think the Anytone D575UV mobile has the single frequency repeater function in the firmware.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2mnsOla5fE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhX1_mEpJq0

Also with DMR you have DCDM, dual channel direct mode. This is where you can have two simultaneous voice communications occurring on the same frequency without the requirement of a repeater to sync the two time slots. the radios will figure it out on their own. Examples.

https://www.mototrbo.sk/en/mototrbo-systems/simple-connection-direct-mode-gb

https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/6512562680.pdf

https://mra-raycom.com/wp-content/uploads/simple-file-list/Specifications/DMR-Product-Overview.pdf

 

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