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TYT MD-UV380/390 advanced hotspot codeplug

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Maker of fjords.
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 178
Topic starter  


This is a monster codeplug I've been using the past year or so. It's built for dual-band TYT radios and pi-star hotspots. Don't know if the MD380 CPS can read it or not, but G6AMU's awesome DMR Codeplug Editor can. Cathy's editor is a must-have for TYT owners as it allows reordering and insertion of contacts, channels, etc.

So what makes this CP a monster? For starters, the contact list includes every Brandmeister Talk Group, every DMR+ reflector, every XLX reflector, every YSF room, as well as all the RMHam DMR talk groups.

But wait, there's more. Well over 2,000 channels are pre-built, including all front-range analog repeaters, all 2m and 70cm simplex frequencies (per CO band plan) plus FRS and GMRS frequencies, as well as full pi-star implementations of Brandmeister DMR, DMR+, XLX, and DMR2YSF, which was recently added to pi-star. Local DMR zones are also pre-built for the K0PRA, W0TX, and RMHam's DMR repeaters for when you're on the road.

I'm not a big fan of RX Groups, but stubs are pre-built for each of the local repeaters as well as a special one for the pi-star so you can hear its status and link messages. Scan Lists also pre-built for the analog repeaters.

For all this to work properly, your pi-star must be running 3.4.14 or later and be configured to use DMRGateway. All that's left to do is update your call and radio ID, build zone(s) to preference (use my "Personal" zone as an example), set your hotspot frequency to 434.950, and load the whole mess into your UV380/390. (If you take advantage of dynamic talk group linking on K0PRA or W0TX via TS1, you'll need to set up channels for those too as the permutations are infinite.)

Note this was all done with TYT CPS 1.07 and 17.005 Firmware. 

  • To use Brandmeister: Simply key up on the "HB" prefixed talk group of your choice. You'll see the connection reflected on the pi-star dashboard. To leave the talk group, key up on "HS TG Unlink".
  • To use DMR+: Key up (private call) on the "H+" prefixed reflector of your choice. You'll see the connection reflected on the pi-star dashboard. Switch to channel "HS DMR+ Talk" to talk. There is no way (yet) to leave a DMR+ reflector, but if you've configured DMRGateway as recommended on the pi-star forums, after 60 minutes of inactivity, the reflector will unlink automatically.
  • To use XLX: Key up (private call) on the "HX" prefixed reflector of your choice. You'll see the connection reflected on the pi-star dashboard, attached to the default module for that reflector. To switch to a different module, key up (private call) on the "HX Mod" prefixed desired module A-Z. Switch to channel "HS XLX Talk" to talk. To leave the XLX reflector, key up on "HS Mod Unlink". Note pi-star will eventually re-attach to whatever default XLX Master you have defined in pi-star.
  • To use Brandmeister reflectors: I wasn't as interested in these but the process is similar; you'll need to set up channels for private contacts matching BM reflectors in the 4001 -> 4999 range. Private call to the reflector of choice, then move to "HS BM Talk" to talk and "HS Refl Unlink" to leave.
  • To use YSF rooms: Make sure the DMR2YSF module is enabled. For now, the room must be selected via the pi-star configuration. Hopefully pi-star will be updated soon so switching rooms via HT is possible, like the other modes. This is why I went ahead and added contacts for all YSF rooms. For now, simply key up on any "HY" prefixed room (it doesn't matter) and switch to "HS YSF Talk" to talk. For now, the room is permanently connected so there is no leaving.

Please note all of this could be completely wrong tomorrow as pi-star is a very actively developed program.  https://forum.pistar.uk/  is the place to be for pi-star knowledge and questions. Lots of good info there.  https://amateurradionotes.com/pi-star-notes.htm  is another fantastic resource for DMR / pi-star configuration.

Lastly, yes, a couple of the simplex channels have 'funny' names and DCS enabled. I typically use my Kenwood TM-V71A in crossband repeat mode at the home QTH so I can wander about with my TYT and a tiny rubber ducky antenna. Thats what the "XBND" stuff's about. for DMR I normally connect direct to N0KEG's XLX376 reflector - it's far more reliable than Brandmeister these days. Here's the relevant pi-star settings:


AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver

KC5DP reacted
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1

Thanks for the Code Plug and the link to the Editor.


David KC5DP

Maker of fjords.
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 178
Topic starter  

@kc5dp - My pleasure.

Good reminder, I should update it as there's been a few local repeater changes in the past year.

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver

Maker of fjords.
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 178
Topic starter  

Time to update this pig...

First some general notes for you TYT fans:

  • If you haven't already, go get G6AMU's latest DMR Codeplug Editor. This is an absolute must. LOADS of bug-fixes. This is the REAL codeplug editor for TYT radios.
  • I still run CPS 1.06 and 17.005 firmware on my GPS MD-UV380. There is newer firmware with minor fixes around squelch settings, etc. but I haven't bothered as 17.005 works good enough. Note if you do go with newer firmware, you'll have to unlock your phone to get full access to the ham bands.
  • As you no doubt know, the DMR ID database is well past 160K entries, world-wide. The TYT tops out at ~100K (assuming you're running the non-voice recorder firmware version). If you're like me and don't own Microsoft Excel, which the TYT CPS uses for parsing the DMR ID database, getting the data into the phone can be a real hassle. No more. Go download the UserDB FlashTool. It will download the complete current DMR ID database from the Internet (as a .bin file, strangely.) Rename the .bin file to .csv and prune away in your spreadsheet editor of choice. Once you're under 100K, save it, rename the file back to .bin and load it into the UserDB FlashTool. Hook up your TYT with the programming cable and hit "flash". No more Excel error nightmares!

So, here's what's going on in my MD-UV380 now. This is important as it's quite a departure from the old setup above. I realized I never used real DMR repeaters. I'm too far away from them, and even when I travel with my radio, I take the hotspot with me. So, no more zones or channels for repeater-based DMR. This "monster" codeplug is now laser-focused on Colorado Front Range analog repeaters and Pi-Star based hotspots.

Let's start with analog. I've done my best to create channels for every front range repeater. I'm sure I missed some. I have no doubt some of them in here are dead. What I do know is I've got all the repeater networks I normally use all nice and tidy in the Personal zone. Those include: PRA, CRRG, RMRL, DRC, CRA, and RMH. On the odd chance I need to access some other rando analog repeater, I've got all of them loaded in the Analog and Radio Service zones. The Analog zone also has all the Colorado simplex channels in slot B. The Radio Services zone has all the MURS, FRS, and GMRS channels in slot B.

OK, now for digital. Here's where things get sporty. My old Pi-Star setup supported Brandmeister TGs, BM reflectors, DMR+ reflectors, XLX reflectors, and sorta-kinda one YSF reflector. Starting with Pi-Star version 4, things have gotten a lot more interesting. DMR+ TGs are now supported. The spiffy new TGIF TGs are supported. DMR2YSF gateway actually works now, and not only for YSF but also FCS Yaesu reflectors. That's all well and good, but wait, there's more! The version of DMRGateway built into Pi-Star 4 added support for two more DMR networks. This means leveraging DMRGateway, one can use Brandmeister, DMR+, TGIF, plus link up XLX and YSF/FCS reflectors - all at the same time, and operate 'em all from your favorite recliner on a lowly DMR radio. Sweet.

Don't forget to update the DMR ID number and tweak the Personal zone to your liking. You'll find everything else pretty vanilla. Digital Contacts are prebuilt for every possible supported TG and reflector. There's only one Rx Group. It's so you can hear any messages from the hotspot regardless of what reflector you're attached to. Unlike Motorola, TYT radios implicitly include the current channel's contact in Rx. None of that silly having to make an Rx group for every damn contact just to hear incoming traffic.

For channels, the MD-UV380 has a 3K channel limit. I had dreams of pre-defining channels for every possible TG and reflector in this setup but alas, that's well over 4K possibilities. I made a couple of tough calls; excluding all Brandmeister reflectors (they're going away by the end of the year anyway), and I don't really use any YSF or FCS reflectors so the only one I defined was YSF23160 (PRA). That got me down to 2998 channels - whew! You may have to prune more if you want to add channels for local DMR repeaters, etc.

There are a couple "weird" analog channels worth explaining - A* 47818 is for my portable Allstar node that operates on 444.800 simplex. XBand 2m and XBand 70cm are channels I use to communicate with my Kenwood TM-V71A in crossband mode.

One final point before moving on to configuring the hotspot. All my channels are defined to use a hotspot frequency of 434.950 MHz. This frequency is CCARC compliant, avoids all the no-no areas like satellite, and still sits in the sweet spot of the Jumbospot's radio range. If you really want to change this, you'll need to use the DMR Codeplug Editor to export the channel list to .csv, do a find/replace on the frequencies, and import back. Not hard, just be aware.

Now, before we jump into configuring your Pi-Star for this hot mess, let's talk about dragons (there's always dragons.) Pi-Star doesn't directly support this configuration yet. To pull it off requires direct editing of the DMRGateway config file. Save ANY changes from the standard Pi-Star configuration page and it will blow away the custom DMRGateway setup as Pi-Star doesn't understand it yet. So, the best way to approach this is to get Brandmeister, DMR+ and DMR2YSF all working first and save TGIF for last as it's going in the DMR Network 4 config.

Ready to get started? Make sure you're running the latest version of Pi-Star. Has to be at least version 4 or higher. Note V4 has a minimum MMDVM firmware requirement (DV-Mega 3.07 or equivalent for your board.) If you haven't updated your hotspot firmware in a while, I highly suggest it. On my Jumbospot, bumping to the latest MMDVM firmware made the massively annoying screech that happened every single time W0SUN keyed up disappear completely. My cats all did a happy dance for this.

OK, here we go... First, make a backup of your Pi-Star config and then open up the configuration page. Here's my full Pi-Star configuration to match to. Obviously you'll need to change the General Configuration section to your info...

Screen Shot 2020 07 10 at 5.33.28 PM


Screen Shot 2020 07 10 at 5.33.40 PM


Screen Shot 2020 07 10 at 5.34.03 PM

Save the config and if you already have the new codeplug in your radio, test Brandmeister TGs, DMR+ TGs, and make sure XLX720 D shows under DMR Master and the YSF Network shows Room: US Colorado.

OK, now it's time to bring up the TGIF DMR network. Go to Configuration, Expert, Full Edit: DMR GW. You should now be looking at the DMR Gateway configuration file. Here's mine with the key parts to add TGIF highlighted. Note Id= should be your DMR ID. Those uber-secure passwords are legit - don't change them. It's worth going through the whole config, comparing to yours and understanding what's different. They should be close. One area that will likely differ is Network 2 (DMR+). My rewrite rules are the very latest from the Pi-Star developers. I know one of the things they fixed is TG 9990 parrot support. 




Location="Elizabeth, CO"
URL= http://www.qrz.com/db/AB0L

[XLX Network]

[DMR Network 1]

[DMR Network 2]

[DMR Network 3]

[DMR Network 4]

Save the changes and hop over to the Pi-Star admin page. Should look pretty close to this:

Screen Shot 2020 07 10 at 3.18.57 PM

As you'll see, Pi-Star fully understands TGIF - even displays a management UI via the TGIF APIs. Pretty slick! I couldn't get the 9990 parrot channel to work on TGIF; might be something I set up wrong. If I figure it out I'll update this post appropriately. One really cool thing you can do on TGIF is connect to the Monitor channel 777. If your radio is in promiscuous mode (GroupCallMatch OFF in TYT speak), you'll hear the next person to talk ANYWHERE on the TGIF network. It's receive only but a good test to verify everything's working. It seems like there's more activity on TGIF than the older DMR networks. Dunno if it's "shiny new thing" syndrome or because the talkgroups aren't all lame, generic countries and states. There's all kinds of interesting TGs to explore and from what I've gleaned, anybody can request a TG for their group / special interest. This is more what DMR should be like, in my opinion. Audio quality seems better than Brandmeister too.

If you're still reading at this point, you're either really bored or a true ham. 🤣 

I'll close by reminding you to make backups of your Pi-Star config regularly. Sooner or later, you will forget and hit save on a config change, tearing out the TGIF setup. I've done it a couple times already. If you do get into the weeds with your Pi-Star setup, you know where to find me. I'll do my best to help.

73, and happy digital radio - AB0L.


P.S. Forgot to mention: Reflectors work like they always did in Pi-Star - just key up on the desired private reflector channel and switch to the appropriate Talk channel (XLX, YSF, DMR+). You should see the change reflected on the Pi-Star dashboard.

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver