The MD 9600 is awesome! Whilst I have lost 6 metres and 10 metres by deciding to part with the Yaesu FT 8900R, I believe that the bi-modal equipment gives me what I need in this digital age.

Before I purchased it, I had already downloaded the latest CPS to see what I could achieve without the radio and found it very easy to use. It’s very similar to the MD 380 with significant increases in capacity.

However the basics are the same in the construction of groups and frequencies.

To simplify my code plug construction I opened N0GSG’s code plug manager and imported my current and very full code plug from my MD 380G. This app allowed to save both the frequency table and groups table as .csv files. It also allows me to copy and paste across two open copy of the manager, which is awesome and time-saving.

The rest of the activity was to construct the zones. Zone construction is made a little more complicated as there are now two banks to fill, but less limited to numbers of selector positions now 64 whereas the MD 380G had only 16.

Now because of the availability of 145 MHz, I had to created frequencies in the table for the VHF analogue repeaters and simplex, to widen the capability of the radio. DMR VHF is not widely used and I had not considered it prior to the MD 9600. So that might be an option later.

On the display, the MD 9600 shows the two banks of channels available in each zone, so I have elected to display DMR on the top line and analogue on the bottom. I created a “home” zone with my local DMR repeaters and all the normal talk groups both French and British in the DMR bank and the VHF and UHF simplex and duplex frequencies in the second bank. I then duplicated this arrangement in further zones for the stages of my Christmas trip to to UK.

So I have a zone for GB7SO and a zone for the route North as far as Northumberland, with all available talk groups, even the one for distant calls. For example I can call GB7SO on GB7XX if I need.

I practice what I preach so with every repeater frequency that I have included contains a channel TG4000, so I can kill any dynamic talk groups I might activate on route, as I finish with them.

What about reflectors? I hear you ask. Simply put I don’t use them. They are merely entries in a translation table that point to the appropriate talk group.

Fortunately my MD 9600 has an updated firmware ahead of the published updates V.6.0.0.3, and my CPS is the latest V1.26.

I have used it once enroute on GB7IN and it was excellent although I need to check the digital feedback tones setting, confirming handshake with repeaters, but that will come with use.

First impressions. Great.

Just need to find a good installation position, as it does not have a remote face plate like its predecessor in the car.

Features discovered:

1.64 selector positions in a zone.

2. Display two zones simultaneously in A and B. Possible to display the same zone simultaneously but in a different selector position. Or analogue in B and digital on A.

Take a look at Today on DMR…. Tytera MD9600G for a full working code plug.

 

P.S. I didn’t get rid of the Yaesu FT 8900 after all. It has its place amongst my equipment.

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