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Welcome to the world of the CS800!
While the programming information presented here will mostly apply to the systems that are included in the K1TMM CT Codeplug, they can be applied to other systems as well.
We are glad you have found our codeplug and hope you get lots of use out of it. We do realize that what we have programmed may not be ideal for everyone, so we have provided these tutorials to help you to not only learn more about DMR programming, but to customize the codeplug to your own use.
The tutorials will be covering different programming topics related to the CS800 for the CT DMR systems. We have tried to write them very specifically with all steps (even the little ones!) included. If something isn't working right for you, double check, re-read the tutorial and make sure you didn't accidentally skip a step. When we wrote these tutorials, we actually went through the process while writing - so we've taken data entry points and menu labels / checkbox labels directly from the software as we go. If you find any errors or omissions or something that isn't clear, please let us know. We'll be happy to correct it. You can also ask questions on the K1TMM forum and we'll be happy to answer them. We prefer the forum versus email because if you have a particular question, chances are someone else will have the same question - so our answers will benefit everyone!
DMR-MARC Talk Group Protocol
In North America, the three major talk groups, Worldwide Calling, Worldwide English Calling and North America Calling have the broadest distribution. DMR-MARC makes these talk groups available so that any DMR MARC member can contact another member anywhere around the world. The Worldwide talk group is available to all DMR MARC member c-Bridges. North America Calling's distribution is limited to c-Bridges and repeaters on this continent. Because of the broad distribution of these three talk groups it is important that they be used appropriately. As such, DMR-MARC wants to introduce three important concepts to consider when using them.
Consider talk groups such as Worldwide Calling, Worldwide English Calling, North America Calling and even the regional talk groups as "calling channels." A calling channel is a talk group you would use to reach another DMR MARC member not available on your local network or repeater. When using these calling channels it is important to understand that they take up a great many resources across the DMR-MARC global network. So it is important that they be used only to reach another individual and to remember that they should not be used for longer rag chews.
When deciding which talk group to use, you should always use the talk group with the smallest footprint that would enable you to successfully accomplish the purpose of your transmission. For example, if you were looking to communicate with someone in Europe, the way to accomplish this would be to first use one of the global talk groups, Worldwide Calling or Worldwide English Calling. But if you were only trying to communicate with someone across the U.S. you might try North America Calling and conversely, if trying to contact someone in a neighboring state or province, perhaps one of our regional talk groups would be best. In the case of making a call to Europe on the Worldwide Calling channel you would potentially be using 1/2 of the amateur DMR resources around the globe. In the case of contacting someone in a neighboring state or province you would only be using the resources of the repeaters carrying that regional channel. Regardless of which talk group you end up using, limit your usage to reaching the person you need and then take the conversation to one of the "User Activated" talk groups.
These are talk groups that are carried on repeaters but are only activated when a user wants them turned on. Some have called these talk groups "push-to-talk" / "PTT" or "tactical" channels but DMR-MARC refers to them simply by what they are, "User Activated." These are the talk groups you would use if you want to carry on a longer QSO after reaching someone via the more broadly distributed talk groups such as Worldwide Calling or North America Calling. Unlike the calling channels, User Activated talk groups only utilize the resources of the single repeater on which they've been activated. So contact your friend via one of the "calling channels" but then take your QSO to one of the "User Activated" talk groups. While DMR-MARC encourages the use of these User Activated talk groups, be mindful that they are made available to everyone and as such ask that you limit QSOs to 10 minutes. Using these talk groups appropriately ensures your conversation takes place and frees up the rest of the network so that others may have one as well.
We strive to use publicly available software (read: free) to accomplish the majority of our CS800 programming tasks. Occasionally, we will use a commercial product, like Microsoft Excel. If we do use a commercial product that you don't have a copy of, a quick Google will more than likely come up with an open source (free) alternative.
We use the following software, and these software programs are the ones referenced in our tutorials:
- CS800 CPS (Customer Programming Software) Version 3.03.25 by Connect Systems - Available on the Connect Systems website on the CS800 page.
- CS800 Firmware Version 1.01.01 by Connect Systems - Available on the Connect Systems website on the CS800 page.
- CS800 Flash Burn software Version 1.10 by Connect Systems - Available on the Connect Systems website on the CS800 page.
- CS800 Boot Loader For Version 2.01S by Connect Systems - Available on the Connect Systems website on the CS800 page.
On the bottom left of each page (under the "Pizza Donation" section) are navigation buttons - Prev and Next. You can use those to go back and forth between our tutorial pages. You can also select a specific tutorial from the main page, or directly under the "CS800 Codeplug Programming" menu. (Under Radio Interests - DMR - Codeplug Tutorials)
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