Every day I see posts on social media and other places where folk have made a code plug and have various issues with it.

For the most part hotspot users need to program as many TalkGroups into their Contact List (TalkGroup List in the AnyTone range of radios) as they need. The choice of TalkGroups are many and various, but for the UK the choice is on the BrandMeister United Kingdom Wiki. If you have a special TalkGroup for Club or local use do not forget to add that as well.

The RxGroup List or Receive Group list catches many people out. Do not be tempted to add any group other than TG9, as doing so may render your radio difficult to manage in a Multi-TalkGroup environment. For the same reason do not be tempted to attempt to use a scanning group, for the main reason a device is likely only to transmit one TalkGroup at a time so scanning is superfluous in DMR. Having only TG9 in your list permits you to hear the server responses, when you disconnect.

Do not forget to add 4000 as a Group Call and Private Call 9990 (or MCC CODE +997 depending on your local server – for the UK Private Call 234997 can replace 9990).

As for your choice of frequency, you have only to avoid the other modes or satellite bands. If you have a duplex device then install a full repeater shift of 9 MHz, rather than just a few KHz. Once you have made your choice then create a number of identical channels, each with a different TalkGroup. If you ARE using a duplex device then pay careful attention to copying the channels and the use of TimeSlots. Check some of the repeaters on DMR to see what the protocol may be. For simplex devices use only TimeSlot 2. Even if you use DMR+ the network will accept your calls on TalkGroup 235 for example as if you are on the correct TimeSlot, normally TimeSlot 1 on repeaters in this network. On a simplex or duplex hotspot, add the RxGroup List you created for TG9 to every channel, so that you will hear the server report “Not Linked” when you apply the disconnect.

Once you have established a number of channels and their TalkGroups, then add them to a useable zone. Some radios only permit 16 Channels per zone. If you run out of room, make different zones for different aspects of what you want to achieve. For radios with 64 channels per zone in two banks, there is plenty of scope for adding more than the channels for your hotspot, but duplicate the A bank to the B bank so that you can take full advantage of both ends of the bank.

Do not be tempted to tick all the boxes all at once.

Once you have the zones configured, programmed the accessory buttons so that TG4000 and PC9990 (or the other) are available from there, rather than having a space allocated in the normal channels. It is far simpler.

What ever you do, make it fun. If it stops being fun you are trying too hard. Madness is doing the same thing time after time and expecting a different result.

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