Update 22nd March 2018
This article has been superseded by the replacement version of the Radioddity GD-77 CPS (aka Community Edition), which I have created
Please see my posts about this new CPS
Following on from my initial post about the Radioddity GD-77 DMR transceiver, I’ve now found all the places in the CPS software, where it stores the frequency limits imposed on the “Basic information” screen
Normally the limits are
VHF 136Mhz to 174Mhz and UHF 400Mhz to 470Mhz, however these limits don’t seem to be the practical limits of the transceiver under normal domestic conditions, and by changing the PC CPS program DMR.exe the actual hardware limits can be extended (or reduced if required).
If you change these values in your DMR.exe and update your codeplug etc with frequencies outside the normal operational range, you do so at your own risk.
Also. The transceiver will probably not be FCC (or CE etc) compliant outside the original limits
In version 2.0.5 of the CPS, the limit values are held at the following locations.
UHF lower frequency is held in bytes 3e6d2 and 3e6d3 , with values 0x90 0x01 = 0x0190 = 400Mhz
UHF lower frequency is held in bytes 3e6ef and 3e6f0 , with values 0xD6 0x01 = 0x01D6 = 470Mhz
VHF lower frequency is held in bytes 3e6da and 3e6db, with values 0x88 0x00 = 0x0088 = 136Mhz
VHF upper frequency is held in bytes 3e6f7 and 3e6f8, with values 0xae 0x00 = 0x00ae = 174Mhz
Once DMR.exe has been modified with new values, in these locations, the “Basic Information” screen will check for these new value (limits), and if the frequency range is extended e.g. the upper UHF values changed to 0x08 0x02, the Basic Information panel will allow a frequency limit of 520Mhz to be entered,
Looking at the available data on the GD-77; it uses the AT1846S, Single Chip Transceiver. The PDF datasheet AT1846S shows the frequency range as
I have done some basic tests, and my GD-77 seems to be able to transmit on Australian UHF CB band (into a dummy load) on 476Mhz , and can receive on these frequencies
I’ve tested the reception below the frequencies specified for the AT1846S and I’m pretty sure it will receive on 132Mhz as I appears to be able to hear some local Air Traffic Control signals on 132Mhz, but it did not detect the weather broadcast from the local airfield on 120Mhz or any FM broadcast radio stations e.g. on 107Mhz.
Looking in more detail at the AT1846S, there seems to very little data on the internet about this device, but it seems virtually identical to the RDA1846, for which there is Programming Guide document RDA-1846_programming_guide
Reading the Programming guide, the 200 – 260Mhz band would not be accessible, because the AT1846S has distinct bands on which it operates, and which are delectable via its MCU interface, so I’m not sure whether the GD-77 would simply be able to use this band, without a major hack to the firmware.
I will need to look in more detail at the codeplug data in a hex viewer to see if the band value is encoded into the data or whether the firmware reads the frequency range and sets the band values in the AT1846 accordingly.
Update. 19th Jan 2018
Jason VK7ZJA, has let me know that the 200 – 260Mhz band does indeed work on the GD-77, by changing the UHF lower frequency to 200 or the VHF upper frequency to 260Mhz, However the GD-77 the receive sensitivity is not that good, as the receiver has band pass amplifiers for UHF and VHF and this falls half way between both filters.
The interesting thing about this, is that the firmware must be setting the appropriate “band” value into the AT1846S chip, and this must be independent of the codeplug and the CPS.
I’ve tested setting the VHF and UHF frequency ranges to (130 – 520) the same values and it everything seems to work fine.
Frequency Range 1 to 130 – 520
Frequency Range 2 to 130 – 520
This confirms that the values in the CPS are probably there to prevent people entering values outside of defined ranges, into the channels, and I think possibly some versions of the CPS have the Basic Information screen locked so that these values can’t be changed at all, let alone outside of the range by making changes to the EXE.
But as the software quality of the CPS is quite low, its really hard to know quite what the author was intending.
For those that feel like doing more hacking, there is an Arduino library for this device on GitHub https://github.com/phishman/RDA1846
Generally I think the best option is just to extend these values to the documented range of the AT1846S, which does give a useful addition to places which have UHF CB on 470 – 520Mhz (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UHF_CB – dependent on the specific licensing in each country)
However if you specifically wanted to receive on the 200 – 260 Mhz band, then just change the values so that both VHF and UHF contain the max range 136 – 520, and just be careful when programing the channel information or using the VFO, so you don’t end up transmitting on a frequency you are not licensed to transmit on.
For those who do not want to edit their own files, I’ve zipped up the DMR.exe and Default.dat that I’m using, and the need to replace your existing versions (in whichever folder they are installed)