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Radioddity db-20g rookie set up


WRPE755
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Din’t  read this if you aren’t a rookie! I don’t want to be sued for boring anyone to death! 

I have noted that there are a lot of people like me out there. I have been using GMRS HTs for a couple of years, but am now getting a bit more into the hobby. For those other newbies out there, this is an account of setting up my DB-20g.

The physical set up was easy. I have a mag mount antenna outside my window, so I hooked it up to the radio. Next I plugged the radio into my Jackery power station. Rather to my surprise it started right up. I then tested it by transmitting on one of my HTs. The radio received just fine. But when I tried to transmit nothing happened. Sigh. It came with CTSS codes installed on all channels. No problem. I booted my computer and downloaded the CPS. After unzipping the files I hooked up the included programming cable. Once again, everything worked fine. The software loaded and ran, no problems, and it detected the correct com port. Having used CHIRP, the software wasn’t hard to figure out. Let’s face it: GMRS makes it easy. I set up my preferences, programmed in my local repeaters of choice, and wrote it all to the radio. No issues. I put the mic back on and asked for a radio check on my favorite repeater, located 25-30 miles away. I got a report back right away. Not bad for a 15 watt radio and a cheap dual band mag mount antenna! Everything was nice and clear. All in all, a very easy install. Far easier than I expected. 
So now  I need to set up my usual receive only frequencies: Marine VHF, MURS, several local ham repeaters. And figure out how to set up channel B! The manual is now 27 pages, and generally useful, but I can’t figure out how to set channel B up. Oh well, something to work on!

I would like to thank all of those who recommended the DB20g to me. It certainly does what I need it to do. It used very little power, and runs cool to the touch. I like that I can choose any of the repeater frequencies I want, unlike my HTs, which only let me  choose from banks of frequencies. I wish that CHIRP worked with it, as inputting all of the programming data was a minor annoyance, but other than that I am happy with my new radio. 

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21 hours ago, WRPE755 said:

And figure out how to set up channel B! The manual is now 27 pages, and generally useful, but I can’t figure out how to set channel B up.

I'm not exactly a rookie, but I read it anyway, and I have a solution to offer you.

I assume by "channel B" you are referring to the second VFO, shown on the lower half of the radio's display. The easiest way to set this to your liking, is to make it the main VFO by pressing the "MAIN" button. You can then configure it to your liking. Then all you have to do is press "MAIN" again to set the other (first) VFO as the main.

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The one snag I had in setting up my DB20g is getting the programming software to run. Apparently it needs admin privileges, so if you are on a regular user account on a windows 10 computer, you'll need to right click and "run as administrator".

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4 hours ago, WyoJoe said:

I'm not exactly a rookie, but I read it anyway, and I have a solution to offer you.

I assume by "channel B" you are referring to the second VFO, shown on the lower half of the radio's display. The easiest way to set this to your liking, is to make it the main VFO by pressing the "MAIN" button. You can then configure it to your liking. Then all you have to do is press "MAIN" again to set the other (first) VFO as the main.

It wasn’t quite that simple. First I went into the CSP and set both the A and B channels up to be in channel mode, but when I loaded the data back into the radio the changes didn’t take, and B was still in VFO mode. I then used the function button (after making channel B the main channel) to go through the menus, and B was indeed supposed to be in channel mode. I set it to frequency mode and then back to channel mode, and voila! It came up in channel mode. Weird,  but whatever. You have to expect some glitches when working with an inexpensive radio with lousy documentation. Good radio, though!

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6 hours ago, WRPE755 said:

It wasn’t quite that simple. First I went into the CSP and set both the A and B channels up to be in channel mode, but when I loaded the data back into the radio the changes didn’t take, and B was still in VFO mode. I then used the function button (after making channel B the main channel) to go through the menus, and B was indeed supposed to be in channel mode. I set it to frequency mode and then back to channel mode, and voila! It came up in channel mode. Weird,  but whatever. You have to expect some glitches when working with an inexpensive radio with lousy documentation. Good radio, though!

My radio actually does weird things like that too. I tell it to display the channel name, but it displays the frequency. It doesn't seem to "take" until the second time I change the setting. I've found that I have to make the change from the front panel twice, too, because whatever I do in the software doesn't work correctly when writing to the radio. Basically, the only place it's been an issue is with the second VFO.

I typically use that VFO to monitor a local ham repeater, so if I forget to reset it after powering down the radio, the only thing that happens is that I don't get to hear that repeater.

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