Hams are notorious for being “frugal” (which is just a nice way of saying “cheap”). What could be better than a way to try out a new mode of communication and it doesn’t cost anything? If you’ve ever wanted to try DMR and have an android phone (you iPhoners will just have to go to Starbucks and talk about us), have I got good news for you. As the saying goes…”There’s an app for that”.
There’s a free app called “Droidstar“, and it will do lots of things…fun things like Fusion, DMR, P25, NXDN and others. But, since our ARRL WCF PIC (which is a whole lot easier than saying “Amateur Radio Relay League West Central Florida Section Public Information Coordinator”) and resident digital mode expert Mike Lunsford, KB4FHP gave such a great talk about DMR at the April LARC meeting, let’s go there.
Before you do anything else, go ahead and go to www.radioid.net and create an account there and request a DMR id. If you already have one, you’re ahead of the game.
Next, go to the Play store on your android phone (while the iPhoners are still on their first latte) and search for Droidstar. There is one option so select it and download it. You should get something like this (except the boxes will be empty):
Click on “Settings” and you should see something like this:
On this screen, enter your Callsign, DMR ID (which you probably have by now) and your Brandmeister Password (BM Pass) in this appropriate boxes. If you don’t have a Brandmeister account, go to www.brandmeister.com and set up an account with your new DMR ID and set a password. Don’t worry about entering anything in the other boxes, because there aren’t any instructions for this and your resident blogger doesn’t know what to put there 😉
After this is done and the screen looks something like the one pictured above, go back to the main screen. If you select the “Mode” box, a list of modes will open up. For this exercise, select “DMR”. Under host, again if you select the box, a list of hosts will pop up. Select 3102, 3103 or 3104 for the United States. Once this is done, change the TG ID (talk group) to 91 for Worldwide.
After all of this is done, hit “Connect” and hold on tight! If you’ve done it right (and the ghost of Hiram Percy Maxim is smiling upon you), shortly you will hear hams from all over the world talking to each other. What’s even better, by hitting the blue “TX” button on the bottom of the main screen, you can talk to those hams. Just be advised that the TX button toggles on and off and if you transmit and then walk away while still transmitting…
Try it out and let us know what you think on the LARC email list at firstname.lastname@example.org, and most of all HAVE FUN!