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qdmr - Manual

Screen-shot of qdmr in action.

This page contains a brief manual for the qdmr graphical user interface (GUI) application to program DMR radios. The aim of this application is to provide a simple to use, platform and vendor independent and well documented code-plug programming software (CPS) for popular DMR radios.

Content

  1. Introduction
  2. General configuration
  3. Creating contacts
  4. Assembling RX groups
  5. Creating channels
  6. Assembling zones
  7. Assembling scan lists
  8. GPS/APRS
  9. Programming the radio
  10. Config file format

Introduction

Before you start with programming your DMR radio, get familiar with this digital mode. I have also written a brief introduction into DMR in german. This manual only describes how program your radio using qdmr, not how DMR works and what all these weird terms mean.

Digital mobile radio (DMR) was not invented for the use in amateur radio. It was rather designed to be a radio standard for commercial applications in large companies (e.g., airports etc.). Therefore many features of this standard are of no use for ham radio or are even illegal (e.g., encryption). This complexity of the standard makes the programming of the radios cumbersome.

Moreover, the resulting configuration (codeplug) is highly device-dependent. These codeplugs cannot be shared between different devices let alone between different vendors. For commercial applications, this is not a big problem as a company will most likely buy identical radios at once from one company. Thus codeplug can be shared between all radios.

For ham radio applications, this incompatibility is a real issue. Since assembling a decent codeplug for one region is hard enough, doing the same work all over again for different models of different vendors is not manageable.

Finally, the typical code-plug programming software (CPS), particularly those for cheap Chinese DMR radios, is by no means user-friendly and seldom documented completely. Many options are named cryptic and it is not possible to identify which options are necessary for basic DMR operation. Moreover, the CPSs provided by the vendors usually only run under Windows.

The aim of the qdmr project is to overcome these shortcomings of typical CPSs. It has a reduced feature set only supporting those options necessary of amateur radio usage. It tries to be user-friendly by finding repeaters nearby and importing their input and output frequencies. Moreover, it stores the final codeplug not in a device-specific binary format but in a human-readable text format that is device independent and can therefore be shared across multiple device and even across vendors.

Finally, I try to keep the application well documented. This manual is part of this effort. It is a guide on how a codeplug is set up using qdmr.