Here are the terms I use:
Source - can be repeater, hotspot, other RF. The key is a "source" is what you program your radio to talk and listen to DMR signals.
Contacts - Talkgroups and users programmed into your codeplug. Some editors refer to TalkGroup and Contacts separately making TalkGroups just talkgroups and Contacts just people type information. If yours does this the hints here will still work.
Channel - part of the code plug where frequencies and color codes are specified for a source. Almost all codeplugs refer to them as Channels. There are other things in here too but primarily we are interested in frequencies, color codes, talk groups here (also TOT (Time Out Transmit), Admit Criteria, and power level - more on these another time)..
Zones are collections of channels - strictly for your convenience. You need at least one Zone otherwise the radio cannot display anything... it displays channels in a zone and you select the zone.
You can create channels that are not in zones... they are in the radio, in your code plug. But not being in a zone means you cannot select them, can't even see them. Another way to say this "they are not in your way".
Zones are easy to create - and delete - so I only keep in a radio zones I need - makes tuning things easier. Going to Florida? my radio would have only zones with Florida repeaters. There may be 500 channels in there but the zones will only make me look through the 40 or so I have programmed for Florida.
MD380 type software - tip on creating channels.
So updating a code plug is not all that hard. Enter a Contact (talkgroup or person) and that one entry can be used all over the place. The real time consuming part of code plugs is creating the Channels.
First you have to go dig out frequencies, color codes, and the talkgroups that you want to enter. Then enter all that information over and over for each talkgroup. Admit criteria, power level, talk time outs, all the other stuff you want to be not default.
For the MD-380 and other codeplug editors that look like it there is a shortcut. It may not work on your codeplug editor but try it, if it does it can save you tons (tonnes in Europe) of time.
First, enter your first channel for a source, be sure and get the frequencies, color codes, timeouts, power levels, all of it correct. Usually these editors want you to enter the data - no need to save - but save anyway once you're sure you got it right.
Then in the "navigation pane", usually on the left, right click on the one you just entered. If a popup menu appears you are probably good to go, click Copy - the menu will then go away. Add new, right click on the newly created navigation pane entry and "Paste". All you need do is change the name and talkgroup for the new entry. All the other settings are copied into it - you probably have to change the name and TalkGroup/Contact items
On the 380 I believe the newly added channel gets a name like DCHn where "n" starts at 1 and gets increased by 1 for each DCH created. Since you are going to copy a correct one then add-paste-change a channel, one at a time, you will never have but one DCH and that will be DCH1 and be a the bottom of the list.
Sometimes, if I have the new channels written out, I may create one, get it correct, then add add add add as many times as needed, then go back to the first added one and paste paste past to get the settings into all of them. THEN go back and change channel name and talk group for each.
Find a way that works for you.
AnyTone (at least for the 868)
Neat trick here is the editor opens up in what looks like a spreadsheet. It isn't, at least on mine I cannot edit it like a spreadsheet, clicking a line pops up a dialog box - can't avoid that.
But from that sheet form you can RIGHT click your mouse to Copy and Paste lines here and there. So the 380 trick of getting one right then copy-paste-change works, you just do the copy-paste from the sheet form.
One nice thing about the AnyTone software is you can leave spaces in the sheet to break the channels up into blocks - makes it easier to read. Those spaces get carried over into the radio, if line 200 is blank then channel #200 will also be blank. With thousands of channels in the radio you either have to have way too many channels or way too many spaces between them to have a problem. And the clarity of separating channels makes it easier to look at and work with.
Also in the right click menu for this codeplug editor is Cut... that means copy and delete in one step AND that means you can rearrange channels in the sheet.
Connect Systems (CS800D)
This is simple... the Connect Systems CS800D software looks similar to MD-380 - the same navigation pane copy-add-paste that works on this codeplug editor too.
Jeff Hochberg - W4JEW
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