TYT MD380/390 DMR Codeplug Instructions

MD380/390 DMR Codeplug Instructions

I’ve spent some time putting together this codeplug that I would like to share with everyone.  Follow the DMR2instructions below to use it.  The plug will get updated periodically, so check back often for new repeaters and info to be added.  I datestamp all of my plugs with the date on the very back, so if you get one today (the date this article is being written) it should show “20160414” on the end of the name.  This means that the last update to that plug was 04/14/2016.  I find this format easier to sort chronologically in a windows environment.  I’ve also added ALL Regional, Statewide and Brandmeister Area talkgroups to this codeplug so that expansion later will be easier.

Follow the instructions below to use this plug.  The current version contains ALL repeaters in Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska.  Updates will be made as more repeaters are added, and I plan to add more States also.  Next on the list is Arkansas, then perhaps Kansas, and so on.  I also have the repeaters for the Dayton Hamvention of 2016 loaded into this plug; plus some random repeaters in Albuquerque, California and Seattle.


Feel free to make any changes you’d like to this codeplug for your own use.  My basic concept in writing this codeplug was to put everything in alphabetical order.  I’ve named the Zones for their State, then city, and arranged them in the correct order.  Example: “TX.Dallas” “TX.Southlake” “OK.Tulsa1” and so on.  Since each zone is limited to 16 channels, I generally separate each zone by repeater.  My basic reason for this doing is because this codeplug is for an HT, and usually an HT won’t reach out to multiple repeaters, due to distance.  I also add all 4 accepted Simplex frequencies to each Zone, when space is available.  For a listing of those Simplex frequency settings, follow this link.
***NOTE:  If you have a new radio, proceed to the instructions below.  If you have a current codeplug in your radio, I highly suggest READING your current codeplug into your computer and saving  that codeplug before making any changes.  That way, if you load this new plug and you don’t like it, or it doesn’t work for whatever reason – you can reload your original codeplug and not lose anything.
  1. Download and install the TYT MD390 programming software.  This software will work for the MD380 or MD390 radios.  Download the codeplug from this link (take notice of the date stamp, as stated above).  Also download the latest version of the N0GSG Contact Manager software (version 1.23 is used in this example)
  2. After the software is installed, open the codeplug and click on the “General Setting” option from the left-hand menu.  In this menu, enter your Radio Name and Radio ID.  Your Radio ID was supplied by DMR-MARC and is 7-digits long.  If you don’t have a Radio ID yet, follow this link.  For Radio Name, I usually enter my callsign, but you can call it whatever you’d like.
  3. At the bottom-right of the same window, find the Intro Screen section and fill out the “Intro Screen Line 1” and “Intro Screen Line 2” fields.  These can be anything you want, and it will be the message you see when you power on the radio.  If you don’t want to change this, then just skip this step
  4. Save the codeplug somewhere on your computer where you can find it later.  I suggest changing the name to something new.
  5. Open the N0GSG Contact Manager software that you downloaded earlier.  Once opened, click on File->Open Codeplug and go find the new codeplug that you just saved and named.
  6. Once the codeplug is open inside of the N0GSG Contact Manager, you should see only Group Contacts inside of the Contacts tab at the bottom.  These will be your talkgroups and are already set to each channel in the radio.
  7. This is the step that will differ for each person.  Click on the “Import Contacts from the DMR-MARC Database” button on the right side.  Once the new window opens, search the database by your State name.  Highlight all contacts from the search results and click the “Add Selected Records” button.  All other fields should remain at their default setting.  Repeater this step for other States you might want to add, but be aware that this radio will only hold 1000 contacts.
  8. Click “Done Searching” when you are finished adding all the contacts you’d like.
  9. Click File->Save As from the top menu and save the codeplug.  I will usually save it under another name, to just be safe.  But you can choose to save it as whatever you’d like.
  10. Close the N0GSG Contact Manager Software
  11. Open the MD390 software again
  12. Open the codeplug that you just saved from the N0GSG software
  13. Connect your radio to the USB cable and write the new codeplug into your radio.  After the radio reboots, you should have everything that this codeplug has to offer.
Comment and Suggestions are welcome.

Categories: DMR

2016 Orange Amateur Radio Club Hamfest Review

Orange Amateur Radio Club Hamfest in Orange, Texas

The OARC typically holds their Orange Amateur Radio Club Hamfest , commonly referred to as the Orange Hamfest, during the last Saturday of Orange Amateur Radio ClubFebruary.  For 2016, the date fell on February 27.  This was my first year to make this show – I had purchased tables and planned to attend the show in 2015, but that weekend saw a huge ice-storm in the DFW area, and I wasn’t able to make it out of town that day.  Back then, I didn’t even have a trailer to carry my inventory around, so I typically would load everything into the back of my pickup truck, cover it with a weather-proof tarp, and hit the road.  With the ice storm in 2015, it would have taken me an estimate 2 hours just to leave the DFW area and get out of the bad weather, all the while having my inventory in the back of the pickup truck.  I decided it wasn’t worth the risk and skipped the show that weekend.

So 2016 was my first time to attend the Orange Hamfest.  They had a good group of people there, with several vendors attending other than myself.  Houston Amateur Radio and Main Trading were both there.

We arrived Friday evening and they were having a dinner for the vendors and patrons of the show.  So our tables were being used to let people sit and eat – hence, it took us a while to setup, but we got it done.  We had 5 tables right inside of the back door, which was easy for loading-in, but we were at the back of the complex for the show on Saturday.  That is usually fine with me, I don’t tend to care where my tables are, but with this show I think it made a difference.  With Houston up front and MTC taking up the back wall, I was out-of-sight on the side wall.  Granted, I am not nearly as large as these guys, but I do like people to notice I am there 😉

Orange Hamfest

Over all the show was just OK.  I thought it was well-attended and we met some nice folks, and even sold a few things, but I haven’t decided yet if I will return next year.  Setup was somewhat hard to do during the dinner, and I’m not sure it is worth my time to attend a show like this (for a small vendor like myself).  No decisions yet, though – my inventory this year is much bigger than it was last year, so logically it should be even larger next year.  Perhaps by that time, it might be worth my time to revisit a few of these shows where I didn’t sell as much.

Some of the more popular items at this show were:

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Capital City Hamfest Review

2016 Capital City Hamfest Review:

The Capital City Hamfest was my first experience with this particular show.  I very much enjoyed it and I plan to attend again next year.

This Hamfest takes place in Jackson, MS and is very well attended.  I didn’t realize how large it was, in fact.  Several of the larger names were there, including Yaesu and MFJ.  Jackson, MS is only about a 6-hour drive from Grapevine, TX so the distance isn’t an issue at all.  This was the first time I ever drove to Mississippi, but I’ve been to Jackson in the past, always by plane.  It was a good trip and we met lots of good people.

Among other things, we have negotiated a deal with TN07 to begin selling their antennas on our website at Grapevine Amateur Radio.  I’m very excited about this and I will be testing/reviewing some of their antennas very soon on my Video Podcast series.  I also plan to use their 32′ telescoping flagpole antenna for 10-80 meters at this year’s Field Day event, and of course there will probably be a Ham Radio 2.0 episode come from that also.

To sum up:  I plan to attend the Capital City Hamfest again next year.  As soon as they have dates and sign-up forms posted on their website, I’ll be grabbing some tables.

Capital City Hamfest

2016 Cowtown Hamfest

Cowtown Hamfest

Cowtown Hamfest

2016 marked the 3rd year that I attended the Cowtown Hamfest, the 2nd year as a vendor.  Three years ago, it was still held at the old Lockheed Martin facility.  Since then it has been at the Forest Hill Civic and Convention Center.  The website for the hamfest is found at this link.

The convention center is a nice building, but honestly it is too small for this Hamfest.  Last year it was pretty full, but in 2016 it was so full that the vendor tables were packed-in too close together.  There was barely room to walk between the vendor tables, which were back-to-back to one another.  The aisles for patrons to walk up and down were a bit farther spaced out, but still crowded.  I don’t know the actual attendance number, but whatever it is, it must be about maximum capacity for this show.  Myself, I would like to have had a few tables against the wall, but all the wall room was occupied.  I don’t think any tables were empty during the Saturday show.  Several were empty on Friday, but attendance is always lower on Friday than it is in Saturday.  Saturday was full of vendors, tables and patrons.  This is a good thing, I believe – it shows support of Amateur Radio and support of the Hamfest itself.

Of course I will be returning to the Cowtown Hamfest in 2017, but I would like to have a larger building and a better table area.  My table was right at the front entry doorway, so I am not complaining at all – I was the first table seen when people walked into the front door.  But I suspect that next year, I will have more tables with more inventory.

2016 San Antonio Swapfest

It’s been a while since I wrote a review post about a local Hamfest.  The main reason for this is because I was doing review videos and posting them to my new Video Podcast blog called Ham Radio 2.0.  This videos post on YouTube, but I first blog about them and share a short snipet of information about the video, then a link to the video to watch directly from the website, or by viewing my YouTube Channel.  However, I was noticing that the Hamfest Videos didn’t get near the attention or views that the radio review videos get, so I decided to move the Hamfest review back over here to the written blog.  My first Hamfest for this year was the San Antonio Swapfest.

san antonioThis was my first year to attend this show in San Antonio, and after attending it once, I plan to go back again.  The show was good, it had some good items for sale, and lots of patrons who bought tickets and attended the event.  My only real complaint about the show (and this is a small issue) is that the Hamfest committee running the website posted that vendor load-in time was 4pm-9pm on Friday evening, or 6:30-8am Saturday.  We arrived at the show location at 7:30pm Friday evening, an hour and a half before their closing time, and we almost missed them.  They were packing up to leave and lock the doors.  I asked if we could load-in, and they let us, but they wouldn’t let me setup my table – I had to do that Saturday morning.  It only takes me about an hour to setup, so I would have been done around 8:30pm, a half-hour before their posted closing time.  But they wanted to leave early, so that forced me to just leave my inventory and setup the tables the next morning.  At least my inventory was locked away inside of a building safely, but if you don’t want want to stay until 9pm, you shouldn’t post the load-in time as 4pm-9pm.

That was a small issue, however.  I did well in sales at the show and it was a fun event.  Like I said, I am planning to go back next year.