Hints N Tips

This is a running file that will be used to mention the little things that pop up on the network that could be helpful to the wider network of users.  Hints, programming tips or odd-ball pieces of helpful but minor items may appear on this page. 

Some hints may go stale as time goes by, so the more recent entries are the most accurate.  Old entries will not automatically be deleted simply because they have gone stale.

If you have a tip you'd like to pass along, please do, let us know if you wish to remain anonymous, Email your tip

5-10-2011:  Legacy: No Longer Valid: The "Parrot" TG (ID#: 3153191) will soon be active on Time Slot 1; the Parrot is a store-n-forward device that enables checking your audio or confirming that your repeater is on the network and operating properly.  Add this TG on TS1 when next mucking around with CPS.

5-04-2011:  With the use of c-Bridges and more users having direct access to multiple IPSC networks, it is ever more critical that we all be using the correct setting in our subscriber radios.  This includes an assigned ID via the N6DVA/DMR/MARC database,  90 second messaging delay, compressed UDP Data settings and the correct talkgroup ID's on the correct time slots to mention a few.

5-17-2010:  Links page added for Users and Owners/Trustees

These pages help to consolidate the various links of interest to our users and owners.

4-20-2010:  Dayton and London Zones Added to Sample Codeplug

The zones are San Diego, Los Angeles, London and Dayton along with sample zones for FRS and GMRS.

the plug also has Rx Groups and Scan Lists.  Each TG name now has the repeater suffix added to aid in adding/deleting modes in the Scan Lists.

2-27-2010:  Comm 1 and Comm 2 are now 2 different Talkgroups

The Comm 1 Talkgroup ID is: 03777215 and the Comm 2 Talkgroup ID is: 03777216 Comm 1 is for TS1 use only and Comm 2 is for TS2 use only.  We initially only had a single Comm Talkgroup and it was used on both Time Slots.  But that has changed to allow determination of which TS is active when a user is Tx'ing on  a "Comm" Talkgroup.  Roundtable and EchoLink are used the same way though obviously not "routinely" used on Time Slot 2.  The ID numbers are simply an increment of 1 for all 3 new Talkgroups.  The latest User Sample Codeplug already has these changes made.  The 2-19-2010 Tip is now out of date.

2-26-2010:  Latest Codeplug now for XPR-6500

This codeplug now includes the new Comm 2, Roundtable 2, and TRBO-Link 2 (aka EchoLink) modes and complete Zones with the new modes for San Diego and Los Angeles repeaters.  It contains more than 76 Aliases in the Contact List.  While not necessary to immediately update your plugs, it should be on your list of things to get done, especially if you want the most access to the system. Check it out

2-24-2010:  EchoLink Possibilities / Discussion

Randy, WB0VHB, tossed out the idea of connecting an EchoLink station to his TRBO control radio (4300) and restricting or whitelisting it to select users only.  The audio quality would be very high and this would greatly expand our "coverage area".  Here's the concept in more detail.

2-23-2010:  Latest User's Codeplug now has LA and SD Zones

I have programmed the Sample User's Codeplug with zones for both San Diego and Los Angeles repeaters and have removed my zone.  It includes Rx and Scan groups to match.  If you have V.01.06 6550 firmware, then you can clone your radio with this plug.  Always better to clip n paste though to be extra careful.  As always, it has GMRS and FRS zones at no extra cost to you the user member of TRBO-6.   ;-)

2-23-2010:  Talkgroup Discovery and Change

Gary, N6LRV suggested a way to enable our display radios to show the Time Slot while a user is talking.  This is very handy when making use of Rx and Scan Groups, as you don't necessarily know which Time Slot a user may be talking on when looking at the display.  It requires creating a new TG for TS2 for each of Comm and Roundltable, updating the modes.  The Users Codeplug has been updated.  This works well on the non-display mobiles also.

2-20-2010:  Need an Out-of-Band Hack for your T-Split Radios?

Snatched this info off the net and will get it posted soon.  I've done 2 T-Split radios so far, the 6550 worked perfectly, the 4550 has a hitch (but makes a nice receiver out of band, no harm done to the radio).   Out of Band Mod (file removed as Mom got a bit testy about it)

2-19-2010:  Why "Comm" rather than "ALL Call" on TS1

Currently, "Comm" and "All Call" are the only talkgroups allowed on Time Slot 1, with "Comm" being the preferred talkgroup, All Call only if you don't have "Comm".

The "All Call" talkgroup has unique properties that over-rides selective listening capabilities programmed into other user's modes (channels).  "All Call" also over-rides the settings of "Rx Groups" to do it's selective work.  An analogy would be making every channel a "Priority" in a cheap scanner, simulcasting or turning off PL decode in a receiver and putting it into "carrier squelch".  "All Call" is the only talkgroup that enables a user to over-ride everyone elses radio settings.  It was designed to be much like field supervisor's channel to all the troops.

For these reasons, the "Comm" talkgroup was created as a replacement for All Call and the default "1" talkgroup in a new unprogrammed radio.  So ideally "Comm" should be used to replace "All Call" on Time Slot 1.  "All Call" should NOT be used on Time Slot 2 if your local repeater has Time Slot 2 on the IPSC network.  See: Repeater List to learn if your local repeater has network traffic on Time Slot 2.

If you do not have "Comm" in your radio, then "All Call" is permitted for now but make an effort to have "Comm" added to your radio.  The Comm talkgroup ID is: 03777215   BTW, if you in your plug, add "Roundtable" also.  It is a spare talkgroup, no need to add a mode for Roundtable if you don't wish to.  So simply add the talkgroup now, for use in the future.  The "Roundtable" talkgroup ID is: 03017500.

2-19-2010:  I'm a new user, so talk!  ;-)

That's rather much it.  If you just got your TRBO  radio up on the network, the best way is simply come up on the air and find someone to talk to.  Ask questions and get your feet wet.  Everyone was new at one time or another.  Just do it.

2-19-2010:  Hot Audio / Mic Gain

Some radios are hot, some mics are hot and some users speak loudly or close to the mic.  Digital processing is more sensitive to extremes, both high and low.  As a general rule, not knowing anything about your radio, try 4-6" away from your mouth at a 45 degree angle.

We have found the touch tone mics to be very hot.  Use them a foot away from your mouth.  Base mics are typical of the analog, you can hear a mouse squeak from across the room but 1-2 feet or so from your mouth is fine using a normal voice.

People tend to speak louder when on a cell phone, many do the same on TRBO.  It doesn't help and certain voice characteristics and wind noise cause the Vocoder to do nasty things.  The most annoying is Super Loud burst of noise on the first syllable or word.  So try to speak softly and optionally, carry that big stick.

CPS programming has some capability of dealing with voice ranges but we have not fully tested the "best" setting as yet.  Please enable AGC on digital mode for now.

If you have a tip you'd like to pass along, Email your tip

Revised: 09/18/2014