Config file format
As mentioned above, the configuration file represents a generic configuration for a wide variety of radios. It is a simple text file containing simple key-value definitions like the DMR ID as well as tables like the table of channels, contacts, etc.
The aim of this config format is to be human-readable and writable. This would allow users to write config file by hand and share them easily, as well as enable users to modify shared configurations using a text editor. To this end, the format must be intuitive and to some degree self-documenting.
Within the following sections, I will describe that text format in some detail.
To document your configuration, you may use so-called line-comments. These comments start with the character '#' and end at the end-of-line.
# A comment, everything in this line is ignored ID: 12345678 # Another comment
The general configuration settings of some radios can be overly complex with a huge amount of options. The vast majority of these settings, however, are useless for ham-radio purposes. Thus the possible settings for the general configuration of the radio are reduced to 6 key-value pairs.
The DMR ID of cause, is absolutely necessary and specifies your personal DMR number. Keep in mind, that you do NOT need to get a unique DMR ID for each radio you own! All your radios can share the same DMR ID. The DMR ID is specified using the "ID" keyword as
In rare situations, where you actually need several different radio IDs (e.g., if you use the same radio for HAM and commercial applications), you may specify them as a comma separated list. The first ID in the list will be handled as the default ID for the radio.
The radio name is a string, that the radio may display somewhere on the screen. It does not have any effect on the behavior of the radio or gets transmitted. You may set this entry to your call-sign. For example:
The two intro lines might be shown on the screen of your radio on startup. You may set these to any string you like. They are also cosmetic and don't have any effect on the behavior of your radio. For example
IntroLine1: "Hello" IntroLine2: "MY0CALL"
The microphone sensitivity/amplification can also be set (on some radios) using the MicLevel entry. This entry is also a number between 1 and 10. The larger the level the larger the microphone amplification. This value may vary heavily from model to model.
The "Speech" option enables the speech synthesis of the radio if supported. Possible settings are "on" and "off".
# Speech-synthesis ('On' or 'Off'): Speech: Off
The contact table is a list of DMR contacts like
Contact Name Type ID RxTone 1 "DM3MAT" Private 2621370 + 2 "DMR All Call" All 16777215 - 3 "Simplex TG99" Group 99 - 4 "Global" Group 91 - 5 "EU" Group 92 - 6 "Regional" Group 8 - 7 "Lokal" Group 9 - 8 "Deutschland" Group 262 - 9 "Berlin/Brand" Group 2621 - 10 "Berlin City" Group 26212 - 11 "Brandenburg" Group 26209 - 12 "Sachs/Thu" Group 2629 - 13 "R Brandenburg" Private 4044 -
These contacts can be personal contacts like DM3MAT, so-called all-calls and group calls. The contact table starts with the "Contact" keyword and ends with an empty line. The remaining keywords ("Name", "Type", "ID", "RxTone") are ignored, however, they are part of the self-documentation of the config file.
Following the "Contact" keyword, each line represents a single contact in the contact list. The first column represents a unique internal ID for the contact. It must not necessarily be in ascending order, any unique number will do. The second column is the name of the contact. Any string can be used here. The third column specifies the type of the contact. This must be one of the keywords "Private", "Group" or "All", meaning private, group or all-calls, respectively. The fourth column specifies the DMR ID for the contact. Please note, that an all-call requires the specific DMR ID 16777215 to work as an all-call. The last colum specifies, whether an incoming call from this contact will cause a ring-tone. Here "+" means enabled/yes and "-" disabled/no.
RX group list table
RX group lists are simple named lists of one ore more contacts. These lists may include group, all or even private calls. RX group lists are assigned to channels. They form a group of contacts (e.g., talk groups) you may want to listen to on a particular channel. Usually these group lists form a collection of talk groups that are specific for a particular region.
RX group lists are defined within the config file like
Grouplist Name Contacts 1 "Lokal" 7,9 2 "Deutschland" 8 3 "Global" 4 4 "EU" 5 5 "Sachs/Thu" 13,12 6 "Simplex" 2,3,6,7 7 "Berlin/Brand" 9,10,11,13
The group list table starts with the keyword "Grouplist". The following keywords (Name & Contacts) are ignored, but form a kind of self-documentation for the config file.
Following the "Grouplist" keyword, each RX group list is defined by a single line. The first column specifies the internal unique ID for the group list. This can be any number as long as it is unique. The second column contains the name of the group list as a string. This can be any non-empty string. The third column contains the comma-separated list of contact IDs that form that group list.
Digital channel table
The digital channel table defines all digital DMR channels. As digital channels have some different options compared to analog channels, they are not defined within the same table. However, they share the same IDs. So be careful not to assign the same identifier to analog and digital channels.
The digital channel table has the form
Digital Name Receive Transmit Power Scan TOT RO Admit CC TS RxGL TxC GPS Roam ID 11 "DM0TT Ref" 439.0870 -7.6000 High 1 - - Free 1 1 7 12 - + - # Regional 12 "DM0TT BB" 439.0875 -7.6000 High - - - Free 1 2 7 15 1 + - # Berlin/Brand 84 "DMR_S0" 433.4500 433.4500 High 2 - - Free 1 1 6 9 - + - # Simplex TG99 85 "DMR_S1" 433.6120 433.6120 High 2 - - Free 1 1 6 9 - + - # Simplex TG99 86 "DMR_S2" 433.6250 433.6250 High 2 - - Free 1 1 6 9 - + - # Simplex TG99 87 "DMR_S3" 433.6380 433.6380 High 2 - - Free 1 1 6 9 - + - # Simplex TG99 88 "DMR_S4" 433.6500 433.6500 High 2 - - Free 1 1 6 9 - + - # Simplex TG99 89 "DMR_S5" 433.6630 433.6630 High 2 - - Free 1 1 6 9 - + - # Simplex TG99 90 "DMR_S6" 433.6750 433.6750 High 2 - - Free 1 1 6 9 - + - # Simplex TG99 91 "DMR_S7" 433.6880 433.6880 High 2 - - Free 1 1 6 9 - + - # Simplex TG99
The digital-channel table starts with the keyword "Digital" and ends with an empty line. The next keywords (Name, Receive, Transmit, Power, Scan, TOT, RO, Admit, CC, TS, RxGL and TxC, GPS, Roam, ID) are ignored and are maintained for the self-documentation of the configuration file.
Each channel is defined within a single line. The first column is the unique channel identifier (any unique number among analog AND digital channels). The second column specifies the channel name as a string. The third column specifies the RX frequency in MHz and the fourth column the TX frequency in MHz. Alternatively, a TX frequency can also be specified in terms of an offset relative to the RX frequency. In this case, the offset must be prefixed with either "+" or "-". The 5th (Power) column specifies the power level to use. Here, either the "High" or "Low" keyword must be used. The 6th (Scan) column specifies the ID of the scan-list (see below) attached to the channel. This list will be used whenever a scan is started on this channel. The 7th column (TOT) column specifies the TX time-out-timer in seconds or "-", if disabled. The 8th column (RO) specifies whether the channel is RX only ("+") or not ("-"). If enabled, you cannot transmit on that particular channel. The 9th (Admit) colum specifies the TX admit criterion for the channel. This must be either "-" or one of the keywords "Free" and "Color". "-" indicates that there is no restriction in transmitting on that channel. The radio will transmit whenever PTT is pressed. The "Free" keyword indicates that the radio will only transmit if the channel is free. The "Color" keyword indicates that the radio will only transmit if the channel is free and the color-code of the repeater matches the specified color-code of the channel (see next column). The 10th column specifies the color-code of the channel. The 10th (CC) column specifies the color-code of the channel. To avoid interference between neighboring radios and repeaters on the same frequency (in case of DX conditions), the repeater and radio will only react to tranmissions on a channel with the matching color-code. The color-code can be any number between 0 and 15. The 11th (TS) column specifies the time-slot for this channel. Due to the audio compression used in DMR, it is possible to operate two independent channels on a single frequency by using time-slicing. DMR uses two time-slots. This option specifies which of the two time-slots is used for the channel. On simplex channels, this time-slicing is irrelevant, as there is no central instance (the repeater) that defines what time-slot 1 or 2 is. The 12th (GPS) column specifies the GPS or APRS system (see below) to use on that channel. The 13th (Roam) column specifies the roaming zone. This can either be '-' meaning roaming disabled or an ID of a roaming zone specified below. Finally, the 14th column (ID) specifies the DMR ID to use with this channel. That is either '-' for default ID or an index (0-based) of the ID list above.
Analog channel table
The analog channel table collects all analog (FM) channels. As digital channels have some different options compared to analog channels, they are not defined within the same table. However, they share the same IDs. So be careful not to assign the same identifier to analog and digital channels.
The analog channel table has the form
Analog Name Receive Transmit Power Scan TOT RO Admit Squelch RxTone TxTone Width APRS 1 "Y07" 144.6750 144.6750 High 1 - - Free 1 - - 12.5 - 2 "S20" 145.3000 145.3000 High - - - Free 1 - - 12.5 - 3 "Mobil 2m" 145.5000 145.5000 High - - - Free 1 - - 12.5 2 4 "DB0RAG" 439.3000 -7.6000 High 1 - - Free 3 - - 12.5 - 5 "DB0LOS" 438.7750 -7.6000 High 1 - - Free 1 - - 12.5 - 6 "DB0LUD" 438.5750 -7.6000 High 1 - - Free 1 - 67 12.5 - 19 "DB0BLO" 439.2750 -7.6000 High 1 - - Free 3 - - 12.5 - 20 "DB0SP-2" 145.6000 -0.6000 High 1 - - Free 3 - - 12.5 - 21 "DB0SP-70" 439.4250 -7.6000 High 1 - - Free 3 - - 12.5 -
The analog channel table starts with the "Analog" keyword and ends with an empty line. The remaining keywords right after "Analog" (i.e., "Name", "Receive", "Transmit", "Power", "Scan", "TOT", "RO", "Admit", "Squelch", "RxTone", "TxTone" and "Width") are ignored but are part of the self-documentation of the config file.
Each line within the table specifies a single channel. The first column specifies the unique ID of the channel. This ID can by any number that is unique among analog AND digital channels. The second (Name) column specifies the name of the channel as a string. Any string can be used here. The third (Receive) column specifies the RX frequency of the channel in MHz. The fourth (Transmit) column specifies the TX frequency in MHz or alternatively, an offset relative to the receive frequency in MHz by prefixing "+" or "-". The 5th (Power) column specifies the transmit power. This must be either the "High" or "Low" keyword. The 6th (Scan) column specifies the scan-list ID for this channel or "-" if there is no scan-list assigned to the channel. A scan-list (see below) is just a collection of channels that gets scanned whenever scanning is started on a particular channel. The 7th (TOT) column specifies the transmit time-out in seconds or "-" if disabled. The 8th (RO) column specifies whether this channel is receive-only with either "-" meaning disabled and "+" enabled. If enabled, it is impossible to transmit on that channel. The 9th column specifies the admit criterion on that channel. This must be either "-" meaning that there is no restriction when to send on that channel, the keyword "Free" meaning that the channel must be free to transmit or the keyword "Tone" meaning that the channel must be free and the RxTone must match. The 10th (Squelch) column specifies the squelch level for the channel. This must be a number between [0-10]. The larger the value, the stronger the signal must be to open the squelch. The value 0 disables the squelch. The 11th (RxTone) specifies the receive CTCSS tone frequency in Hz. The squelch will then only open, if the signal is strong enough (see previous column) and the specified tone is received. If set "-" the RX tone is disabled and the squelch will open if the signal is strong enough. The 12th (TxTone) column specifies the CTCSS tone to transmit in Hz or "-" if disabled. This feature is used by some repeaters to open their squelch and to start repeating to avoid conflicts between repeaters operating on the same frequency (e.g., in case of DX conditions). The 13th (Width) colum specifies the bandwidth of the channel in kHz. This can be 12.5kHz narrow-band or 25kHz wide-band. Finally, the 14th column specifies the APRS system ID to use or "-" for APRS disabled.
Zones are just collections of channels. Typical radios can hold thousands of channels. To keep large numbers of channels manageable, they can be organized into zones. Usualy, these zones represent a geographical area and all repeaters in that area are then grouped into zones. Of cause, a single channel can be added to multiple zones. Please note that for many radios, channels can only be accessed via a zone. That means, a channel that is not a member of any zone may not be accessible.
The zone table is defined within the configuration file as
Zone Name VFO Channels 1 "KW" A 1,9,11,12,14,8,55,15,4,5,6,20,21,22,19,48 1 "KW" B 1,3,2,81,82,84,85,86,87,88,89,90,91 2 "Berlin DMR" A 10,9,11,12,34,35,31,32,33,27,28,29,30,38,39 2 "Berlin DMR" B 1,3,2,81,82,84,85,86,87,88,89,90,91 3 "Berlin FM" A 20,21,19,18,22,23,24,25 4 "Potsdam" A 42,43,44,45,46,47,40,41 7 "Leipzig" A 75,76,72,71,73,70,74,77,78,80,79,69 8 "Simplex" A 1,3,2,81,82,84,85,86,87,88,89,90,91
The zone table starts with the keyword "Zone" and ends with an empty line. The remaining keywords (Name and Channels) are ignored but are part of the self-documentation of the configuration file. The first colum specifies an unique identifier for each zone. This can be any integer as log as it is unique. The second (Name) column specifies the name of the zone as a string. Any string is valid here. The third column specifies the VFO (either A or B) for that zone. This allows to specify different channels for the two VFOs of the radio. For example, it allows to specify a list of repeater channels for VFO A and some simplex and calling frequencies on VFO B. The fourth column contains the comma-separated list of channel IDs for the zone anc VFO. A reference to any channel-type can be used here, analog and digital.
A scan list is list of channels, that are scanned whenever scanning is started on a channel the scan list is associated with. A single scan list might be associated with several channels. For example, all channels within that scan list.
The list of scan lists has the following form
Scanlist Name PCh1 PCh2 TxCh Channels 1 "KW" 1 84 Sel 1,84,2,9,11,8,14,4,5,20,21,19,6 2 "DMR Simplex" 84 - Sel 84,85,86,87,88,89,90,91
The list of scan lists starts with the "Scanlist" keyword and ends with an empty line. The remaining keywords (Name, PCh1, PCh2 & Channels) are ignored but part of the self-documentation of the configuration file format. A scan list is defined with every other line. The first column specifies the unique identifier of the scan list. The second (Name) column specifies the name of the scan list as a string. Any string will do. The third and fourth columns specify the first and second priority channels for the scan list respectively. These priority channels are visited more frequently during the scan. That is, the first priority channel is visited 50% of the time while the second is visited 25% of the time. These channels might also be set to "-" indicating that there is no priority channel. The 5th column specifies the transmit channel during the scan. Possible options are "Last", "Sel" and any valid channel index. The "Sel" keyword implies that the radio will transmit on the selected channel when the scan started. The "Last" keyword implies that the radio will transmit on the channel at which the scan stopped on, while specifying any channel index implies, that the radio will transmit on that channel. Finally the 6th column specifies the comma-separated list of channels that form the scan list.
The GPS system list just specifies the contact to which some positional information is send to (which usually gets forwarded to the APRS system) and at which period this information is send.
GPS Name Dest Period Revert 1 "BM APRS" 20 300 -
The first column specifies the ID of the GPS system. This can be any number >0. The second column (Name) specifies the name of the GPS system. The third column specifies the destination contact ID (see Contacts above), the position information is send to. The fourth column (Period) specifies the update period in seconds. The fifth column (Revert) specifies the revert channel. In amateur radio, this can be left blank ("-").
The APRS system list specifies the various informations for transmitting your position using analog APRS. As digital channels may use either DMR or analog APRS for position reporting, this list shares a namespace with the GPS system list. That is, the ID must be unique across both lists.
APRS Name Channel Period Source Destination Path Icon Message 2 "APRS APAT81" 103 300 DM3MAT-7 APAT81-0 "WIDE1-1WIDE2-1" "Jogger" "Y07"
The first column specifies the ID of the APRS positioning system. This must be unique across APRS and DMR position reporting systems. The second column specifies the name of the system as a string. the third column specifies the revert channel. That is, the analog channel the APRS information is transmitted on. The 4th column specifies the period with which the position gets reported. The 5th and 6th columns specify the source and destination calls and SSIDs respectively. The 7th column specifies the path string. This is list of calls and SSIDs stored as a string without any separators. The 8th column specifies the map icon name. The name does not need to match official icon name exactly. The icon is identified as the closes matching icon name with respect to the Levenshtein distance between the given and all icon names. That is, jogger and jogging will select the same icon. Finally, the 9th column specifies a freely selectable text to be send with the position report.
Roaming zones allow to stay in contact with a particular talk group when moving round and the current repeater gets out of range. In this case, the radio will search for the strongest repeater in a list (the so-called roaming zone) and switch to this repeater.
Roaming Name Channels 1 "Berlin/Brand" 3,7,13,17,19,23,25,29,33,37,41,49
Therefore, a roaming zone is a simple channel list. The first column specifies the ID of the zone. This ID can be used in the digital channel table to associate a channel with a specific roaming zone. The second column specifies the name of the zone and the third column holds the comma-separated list of channel in each zone.