THE BASICS

A few of the basic steps to creating a code plug – do not rush it as it does take time to understand. The zone and scan list layout will also be dependent on the number of channels that each can hold. Zone capacity can vary from 16 to +100 channels and likewise with the Scan list.

Do the basic/optional settings – DMR ID, Menu Layout, Button Allocation, Audio etc. You might find you will go back to this several times depending on the options as once you start to use the radio, you may decide some parts need amending. Ensure you use the echo server to check your audio settings once up and running.

Add talk groups (group calls) – These may be under the contacts or talk group menu. The number of tak groups you add will be dependant on the DMR channels you will be adding.

If you don’t have promiscuous mode, set up your Rx lists. For Phoenix, I tend to setup a list for all TS1 and TS2 channels, each containing the talk groups used on each TS.

Setup your scan lists – Do your draft on paper first as you might decide to change this a few times. I tend to have Hotspots (as I have a few), 2m FM simplex, 2m DMR simplex, 70cm FM simplex, 70cm DMR simplex, FM repeaters and DMR repeaters.

Setup your roam lists (if supported) – Do your draft on paper first. Consider TG235 if using Phoenix, TG75 if using the SALOP Cluster and TG950 if using the SW Cluster. For Brandmeister, this will be dependent on what is static on the repeater and what reflector is linked by default to TG9 TS2.

Create your zones – Do your draft on paper first. Zones will cover simplex, analogue and DMR. Depending on your channel capacity, you may find that a Phoenix repeater needs to be split over 2 zones.

Create your channels – work in sections such as simplex, analogue repeaters then DMR repeaters. As mentioned earlier, you will have a common section then a section for either analogue or digital settings – in some code plugs, within the common section you define if the channel is analogue or digital and the non-relevant sections of the screen will blank out.

Add your channels to the relevant zones, scan lists then roam lists (if applicable) – this is the final step and can also take a little time to complete. The G4EML tools mentioned earlier can help especially when duplicating VFO A channels onto VFO B.

Before writing the code plug to your radio, you may want to add contacts from the DMR ID database. This may be within the contacts section that contains your talk group or a section specific to DMR contacts. Also, depending on the radio and firmware will depend on how many contacts you can upload.