A zone can have multiple channels.  Each Channel has a 1 Talkgroup or Contact

The biggest issue I hear regarding DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) is I don’t understand how to program the radio. There are numerous issues, first among them is the CPS (Customer Programming Software). This is unique to each manufacturer. Unlike most of the analog radios being supported by CHIRP. DMR Radios seem to require software specific to the manufacturer. So Motorola Radios need their CPS, TYT need their branded software, etc.

The graphic shows how I think about a DMR Code Plug. The highlights are:

  • Zone I think of zones as a logical box for all the channel/talkgroups in a given area. This may be a town, an individual repeater, or a hotspot. A zone can have many channels. It is simply a way to organize a group of channels. It seems most radios are limited to 16 channels per zone.
  • Channel A channel is the rf frequency and admittance criteria needed to talk to the repeater. You can also program an analog FM channel. For DMR these include
    • Transmit Frequency
    • Receive Frequency
    • Color Code this is similar to PL Tones or DCS. To add to the confusion the color code is a single digit from 1 to 5.
    • Contact is the id of the Talkgroup you want interact with. It seems the most popular Amateur Radio talkgroup network is Brandmeister. Talkgroups or Contacts are a series of digits that identify the Talkgroup or Radio ID.

Hopefully the graphic and this short explanation helps with understanding DMR Codeplug programming

By ka9kqh

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