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New firmware adds analog APRS to the DMR-6X2 handheld radio

BTECH recently released version 2.0 firmware for the DMR-6X2 handheld, and the most exciting new feature is analog APRS support. Previously, the DMR-6X2 could send APRS packets via DMR, but now it can also do analog APRS, making it more versatile than ever. Here’s how to set up analog APRS on your DMR-6X2. First, you’ll have to upgrade the firmware. Go to the DMR-6X2 Software and Firmware Repository and download CPS & Firmware 2.01. This package contains new firmware for...


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Program your UV-5X3 with CHIRP

One of the most frequently asked questions that we get here at BTECH is, “How do I program the channel memories in my UV-5X3?” The answer is, “Get CHIRP!” CHIRP is a free, open-source application for programming many different radios from dozens of manufacturers. You can use CHIRP to program 11 different BTECH models, including our amateur radios and our GMRS and MURS radios. In this post, we’ll show you how to program a BTECH UV-5X3 with CHIRP. CHIRP runs...


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Why can’t I hit the repeater?

One of the first things that many new radio amateurs do is to purchase a handheld radio, like the BTECH UV-5X3 (right), to talk with their friends on a local repeater. After programming the radio, they're often able to hear the repeater, but not access it. When this happens, the first question out of their mouths is, “Why can't I hit the repeater?” This is such a frequent problem, that there's even a question (T2B04) on the Technician Class exam...


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Get your CTCSS tones right to access repeaters

One of the things that many newcomers to FM and repeater operation fail to do when programming a radio is to program the CTCSS tone properly. There's even a question on the Technician Class exam that addresses this issue, question T2B04: QUESTION: Which of the following could be the reason you are unable to access a repeater whose output you can hear? ANSWER: All of these choices are correct Improper transceiver offset The repeater may require a proper CTCSS tone from...


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Amp it up!

In some situations, the 5W output of a handheld transceiver just doesn't cut it. You may be too far away from a repeater to hit it consistently, or you may want more range for simplex operation. One solution to this problem is to get a mobile radio with more output power. Mobile radios, such as the BTECH UV-50X2, have an output power of up to 50 W. Some mobile radios are even higher-powered. A 50 W radio, especially when used...


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Using the DMR-6X2’s built-in GPS receiver

One of the cool features of BTECH's DMR-6X2 is the built-in GPS receiver. When enabled, it gives you your latitude and longitude, height above sea level, date, and time of day. And, if you're moving, it will even tell you how fast you're walking or driving. To enable the GPS receiver manually: Press (Menu) to enter the main Menu. Page down and select GPS. Select GPS On/Off. Select GPS On to turn the GPS receiver on.   This can also be done using the Customer Programming...


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GMRS meets short-range communication needs

According to the FCC, the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is “a licensed radio service that uses channels around 462 MHz and 467 MHz. The most common use of GMRS channels is for short-distance, two-way voice communications using hand-held radios, mobile radios and repeater systems. In 2017, the FCC expanded GMRS to also allow short data messaging applications including text messaging and GPS location information.” GMRS licenses are available to individuals for short-distance, two-way communications that facilitate the activities of...


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Who’s Calling? Setting Up the Digital Contacts List

Whenever you transmit on a digital channel, the BTECH DMR-6X2 sends not only what you said, but also your Radio ID (also sometimes called your DMR ID). This allows stations who are receiving your transmission to know who's transmitting. Likewise, when you receive a transmission, you're also receiving the Radio ID of the station transmitting. That ID is shown on the radio's display, along with the talk group. In addition, the BTECH DMR-6X2 can also display the name and callsign...


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Hear Everything with Digital Monitor

A helpful feature of the BTECH DMR-6X2, especially for amateurs using a new repeater, is Digital Monitor. Sometimes called “promiscuous mode,” Digital Monitor allows you to hear all of the activity on a particular repeater, no matter what time slot a talk group is on or what color code a repeater might use. Simply put, Digital Monitor allows you to use a repeater even if you do not know how it is configured or what rules the repeater has...


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Build a DMR-6X2 Code Plug: A Basic Code Plug for your DMR Radio

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU Now that you know the lingo, it's time to build a simple code plug. (If you haven't read the blog post, Build a DMR-6X2 Code Plug: Learning the Lingo yet, please do so.) The first thing that you need to do is to download the customer programming software, or CPS. You'll find the CPS for the DMR-6X2 here on the BTECH website. The download includes Includes a USB driver,  the latest firmware for the DMR -6X2, and the CPS...


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