Showing posts from 2015

Bluetooth Programming for Motorola Radios

Motorola offers the ability to program some of their radios using Bluetooth instead of a cable.  This is a great feature that offers a lot of convenience.  But, there are a couple of little tricks you need to know in order to get this working.

To help people along, I created a video that demonstrates the process.  Here are the steps, watch the video for more specifics.

On the PC - Type "Devices" in the search box, click on "Devices and Printers" highlight and remove any Motorola iconsTurn on the Radio, go to Menu → Bluetooth → Find MeOn the PC, Type "Add a Bluetooth Device" in the search box.  In the list of devices you should see your radio.  Select it and click "Pair"On the radio, "Accept" will be highlighted, select "OK"On the PC ignore the code, select "Yes" to pairBack on the "Devices and Printers" page click your radio to highlight it and click on "Connect Using" then click on "Access Po…

DV4Mini - A Dongle for DMR, D-Star, and Fushio

The DV4Mini is a new device from a company called Helitron in Germany.  It is similar to the DVAP used for D-Star, in addition to D-Star it supports DMR and Fusion as well.  It's also much more affordable, about $100. This device is a USB dongle with an SMA connector for an antenna.  It has a low power radio, about 10mw.  Plenty for connecting with a nearby radio.  The provided software is for Windows, but it will run under Wine on Linux.  They even provide an image for the Raspberry Pi.  They have also made a commitment towards open source, so hopefully we'll see more versions of this an Android version. We are just on the edge of getting access to it here in the US, it's going to be interesting to see how people use it. My interest is mostly in it's DMR capabilities, at this time, it's a little unclear how this device will work with the Motorola network.  I understand there is a bridge that connects between a C-Bridge and a DMRPlus reflector.  Th…

Mobilinkd TNC2

APRS or Amateur Packet Reporting System is a perty cool system.  It makes it easy to send messages and position information over an RF link to others in the area.

With the MARC group ( we use APRS on our motorcycles and SAG (Support and Gear) vehicles.  This lets net control know where we are, but also makes it easier fro a SAG to find a motorcycle when when additional support is needed.

Some of our motors are equipped with a device called a tracker.  This is a transmit-only device that sends the rider's location at specific time intervals.  I have a couple of issues with this.  First, since it's transmit only, it can't listen first to make sure it isn't transmitting on top of someone else.  Second, it can't be a digi-peater.  A specialized device that extends the range of the APRS network.

The other thing I don't like is transmitting location information at fixed intervals.  This can lead to unnecessary transmissions (like while stopped), a…

Last Heard App version 1.04

Here is another update for the Last Heard app.  Version 1.04 adds in support for the Hoosier DMR group in Indiana.  It also resolves a problem experienced by people with smaller screens.  Scroll support has been added for the detail page and the about page.

Last Heard Updated

The Last Hear app has been updated to include the Illinois Chicagoland DMR and Indiana Crossroads DMR groups.

Last Heard App for Android

I finally did it.  I created an Android app.  What I've done is started to collect the same information used on the CalDMR page and present it using an Android application.

You can learn more about this app on the product page

Play store link:

Pryme Wireless Speaker Mic + Intercom

The idea here is simple.  Free yourself from the microphone cord while you're in the car.  You connect the little box to your radio, then you can use the speaker mic to hear and talk on the radio.

Interesting, but let's go a little further.  Let's say you are working an event and you have to get out of your car from time to time.  You can take the speaker-mic with you.  It is a SPEAKER-mic after all.  It also has a clip on the back so you can clip it to your clothing...very convenient.  The specs say you should get a range of about 50 meters.

Now, let's say you were working an event with another person in the vehicle.  Each of you has your own speaker-mic.  While you're out of the vehicle you discover you need the other person to bring something.  No problem.  You just press the intercom PTT instead of the radio PTT and you can talk to the other person.

I could see this working really well for ambulance drivers, paramedics, even team truck drivers.  Any situation wher…

Pryme Quick Disconnect For Speaker-Mics and Headsets

If you are like me you've purchased a number of different handheld radios over the years.  It's always nice to have some accessories for your radios, a speaker-mic or headset is a really nice addition when working events.

Personally, I like to have a stealth-style headset.  It allows me to hear the radio in a crowded environment and not bother the people around me.  It also provides some privacy to the conversation.

But, each time I purchase a radio it seems to have different connectors than my previous radio.  I finally got tired of having to replace everything when I get a new radio.

To make matters worse, I'm in a mode right now where I have multiple handheld radios from different manufacturers.  I'm also finding that I'm like the manufacturer speaker-mics less and less over time.  I want something I can hold on to, has a bigger speaker than the radio, and has a durable build.

The Icom speaker-mic I purchased for my ID-51a is small and frail.  To make matters worse,…

Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES)

Over the course of the last 20 years the communications systems used by public emergency services organizations (law enforcement and fire) have become very sophisticated and highly reliable.  Many of these organizations don't see the value of amateur radio.  What they fail to consider is their need to communicate with outside organizations during a major disaster.

Timeout Timers on Hytera DMR Radios

Most radios have time out timers, or TOT.  They are there to protect the radio, and to protect resources like repeaters and links.

A timeout timer will stop the radio from transmitting if the PTT is held down for too long.  How long is too long?  Well, that's up to each operator.  I use 60 seconds on most of my radios.

I recently started working with a Hytera PD782 DMR radio.  This is a commercial radio and offers some extra features related to the time out timer.

The think I want to highlight here is the pre-alarm for the TOT.  This is an alarm you can have go off a few seconds before the TOT cuts off your transmission.  I have mine set to 5 seconds.

Take a look at the video for more details.

Check back for more articles in the future.