GD-77 Firmware V3.2.1 released with frequency range limiting for FCC compliance

posted in: DMR, Ham radio | 31

Radioddity released a new version of the GD-77 firmware yesterday (31st Jan 2019)

 

Please note. I have added an update at the bottom of the post now that I have tested the firmware on my GD-77

 

This appears to be a firmware only change, and the CPS does not appear to be updated, and I expect the Community CPS will probably work OK with this firmware version.

 

However… There are only 2 changes listed in the “Update diary”

1. Lock frequency range to meet FCC rules
2. Solved GD-77 (INVERTED DISPLAY VERSION) screen flashing when turned on

 

And apart from those of you with a Inverted Display version of the GD-77 which has a black background with white text, there are no bug fixes in this release.

In fact this version removes some functionality (frequency range limiting) in order to comply with USA FCC certification.

 

I don’t have details of what limits have been placed on the operational frequencies, – I’m sure someone will be able to comment on this.

But since this version does not contain any bug fixes or enhancements for my GD-77, as its a normal non-inverted screen, I will not be installing it.

 

What is quite amusing, is that although this change has been made to comply with FCC regulations for hardware entering the USA, the Update Diary lists 2 methods to unlock the frequency range

 

Note: Two ways to unlock frequency range
I. Press “SK1” + “7” key to turn on the radio – Press “Menu” to select frequency range (after the selection, the radio will automatically restart)
II. Downgrade to old firmware version

 

However early reports that I have receive, seem to indicate there is a bug in the SK1 + 7 key method to unlock the frequency range, and that people had to downgrade back to 3.1.8 to reinstate the original operation.

 

I wonder whether by providing a way for users to immediately change their hardware to no longer comply with FCC regulations, will be judged by the FCC.

I remember reading the FCC directive ,when it was originally published, and I vaguely recall some language in the directive that seemed to indicate that that the radios should be designed in some way, that would make it impossible to transmit outside the authorised frequency range.
However this has always struck me as unworkable in practice, since radios like the MD-380 already have unlocked modified firmware which can be downloaded from the web, which let you do anything you like with the radio, and I have modified other radios (UV-82) and replaced the internal microprocessor with a different chip (STM32) which I can then load my own custom firmware, allowing full control of the RF hardware.

 

 

For anyone who wants to try the new firmware its available from Radioddity’s downloads page, and I have also archived into onto github

 

https://github.com/rogerclarkmelbourne/Radioddity_GD-77/tree/master/firmware

 

Update 2019/02/04 (4th Feb)

Following several comments about the frequency range not being limited by this firmware release, I’ve tested it on my non-inverted GD-77 and as far as I can tell, the frequency range has not been limited either when using the VFO or when using channels.

 

Its possible that the range limit somehow only applies to the inverted screen version – as commenters have noted that it does limit the frequency range on that model.

Or… I would not be at all surprised, if Radioddity had just screwed up, and this firmware was intended to limit the frequency range of all GD-77 models, but something in the codeplug may be confusing the firmware into not limiting the frequency range.

 

If its possible to permanently re-enable the full frequency range, by pressing some keys down while powering on the radio, this would imply the firmware must store the setting somewhere in the Flash memory, which is used by the codeplug and other things e.g. the display bitmap font and the Chinese language menus etc.

So its conceivable that whatever location they intended to use in the Flash memory, already contains data which the firmware things is the code to enable the full range. Because they may simply be testing for a non zero value at a specific memory address in Flash.

 

Anyway. As it stands, non-inverted display GD-77’s to not appear to be effected by this firmware.

31 Responses

  1. ken
    |

    thank you

  2. Roger Clark
    |

    No worries

    I’ll probably try installing it over the weekend as I have two GD-77, so I will risk permanently limiting the frequency range on one of them. But I think the risk is quite low, as it looks like I can simply upload one of the older firmware’s if this one can’t have its frequency range limiting removed using the key combination that Radioddity listed in their “Update diary” doc

  3. Brent D. Sutherland, RSE
    |

    Doing the update then the Sk1+7 then menu key when prompted solves everything and works like a charm on my GD-77 Inverted display… funny thing is though, my non-inverted display didn’t lock out the frequency ranges when I updated… only the Inverted display unit did…

  4. jps
    |

    Only semi-related: Do you know of anyone who has had a chance to look into the overlap between the GD-77 and the Baofeng DM-1801? I’ve got one on order, and have heard that they can use the same CPS software, and will be looking into firmware differences, but I wanted to see if anyone else had started digging into this.

  5. Roger Clark
    |

    OK

    Thanks

    I’ll try it on my Non-Inverted GD-77 today. (I don’t have the inverted version)

  6. Roger Clark
    |

    I’m not aware of anyone doing that

    I know someone else was looking at something like a DM-5D (I can’t remember the exact model number), which has a virtually identical CPS but uses a modified version of an old GD-77 codeplug format (more like the Version 2.x codeplugs)

    It will be interesting to know if it uses the same CPS and codeplug, and also if the firmware is compatible.

  7. Rolf -DJ7TH-
    |

    The vfo-mode (digital or analogue) works after the update to 3.2.1 without interruption from 136 MHz to 470 MHz, also in the range of 174 to 400 MHz. Is that permissible according to the FCC?

  8. Roger Clark
    |

    The RF (AT1864S) chip does not support that whole range. It has 3 distinct bands.

    See

    http://www.rogerclark.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AT1846S.pdf

    Support worldwide frequency band
    134MHz-174MHz
    200MHz-260MHz
    400MHz-520MHz

    But, I generally agree, that I can’t imagine what FCC license would cover that entire range (except perhaps military use)

  9. W.
    |

    Hi Roger,

    I do not know if this is a good place to write about it but we have some observations related to GD-77 and SMS. When we send an SMS from the GD-77 radio in htospot logs, it turns out that GD-77 sends an SMS to the recipient but then later sends a second SMS to TG3344556 !! and there is a message on the screen of GD-77 “Message send fail” Looks like we have a virus in GD-77 ??? who sends SMS copies or any other information to TG3344556 ??? . Roger, please check, send an SMS and see the MMDVMHost logs on the hotspot or you have an attempt to send an SMS to TG3344556. Perhaps it is a bug or a code in GD-77 which sends something to TG3344556 ???

    DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (6 to follow) from SP2ABC to SP2BCA
    …..
    DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (6 to follow) from SP2ABC to TG3344556

    The TG334 is Mexico DMR ID

  10. Roger Clark
    |

    I have not noticed this, but I don’t send SMS very often

    Which firmware version are you running ?

  11. W.
    |

    Hi Roger,

    We noticed this problem on a few radios GD-77 with firmware 3.0.6, 3.1.8

  12. Roger Clark
    |

    OK.

    I’ll try testing 3.2.1 but I have never seen this happening.

    Also, when you say “a few radios”, do they all do this, or just some of them.

  13. Waldek
    |

    Hi Roger

    Today I check on ther GD-77 with 3.0.6 firmware and send SMS to contact and in log information

    M: 2019-02-05 07:57:11.710 DMR Slot 2, received network end of voice transmission, 6.2 seconds, 0% packet loss, BER: 0.0%
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.048 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (19 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.106 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (18 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.167 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (17 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.228 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (16 to follow) from SP3DMRto SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.286 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (15 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.347 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (14 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.409 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (13 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.466 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (12 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.528 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (11 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.589 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (10 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.647 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (9 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.708 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (8 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.770 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (7 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.887 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (5 to follow) from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:18.946 DMR Slot 2, received RF data header from SP3DMR to SQ6JAR, 4 blocks
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:19.187 DMR Slot 2, ended RF data transmission
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:24.663 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (19 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:24.721 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (18 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:24.783 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (17 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:24.844 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (16 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:24.901 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (15 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:25.024 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (13 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:25.081 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (12 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:25.200 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (10 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:25.262 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (9 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:25.381 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (7 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:25.443 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (6 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:25.504 DMR Slot 2, received RF Data Preamble CSBK (5 to follow) from SP3DMR to TG 3344556
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:25.561 DMR Slot 2, received RF data header from SP3DMR to TG 3344556, 4 blocks
    M: 2019-02-05 08:11:25.802 DMR Slot 2, ended RF data transmission

    It is very strange that GD-77 send additional SMS ?? to TG3344556

  14. Waldek
    |

    At current, I have information from different five GD-77 users about the problem with send to TG3344556 with firmware 3.0.6, 3.1.8

  15. Waldek
    |

    I think of many users of GD-77 I do not know about this problem because it can only be debugged when the MMDVMHost log is seen

  16. Roger Clark
    |

    I think you should post this observation to the PiStar forum http://forum.pistar.uk/, where more people can help

  17. Mike Penny
    |

    Hello,please can you help, this fault is driving me round the bend, the GD-77 refuses to transmit whe the transmit frequency is different to the receive frequency or vice versa, in simplex all is ok.I have tried various firmware with different versions of CPS, and various combinations of them.As an example if I change either Tx orRx frquency for a pmr channel no transmit !! Any suggestions please, please to stop me going insane.
    In anticipation Mike.

  18. Roger Clark
    |

    I’m not sure if you mean on FM or DMR

    That would only work on FM unless you are connecting to a repeater.

  19. Mike Penny
    |

    Thanks for reply, this happens for DMR, as I say various combinations of firware and CPS, by the way I have two GD-77s both exacltly the same. I think I might try and downgrade to factory supplied firm` and start over again.Fingers crossed.

  20. Roger Clark
    |

    What you are describing is how DMR radios work.

    If you select a different Tx and Rx frequency, the transceiver presumes you are connecting to a repeater.
    It will transmit short pulses to the repeater and wait for a response.

    Only when it receives a valid response from the repeater will it appear that its fully transmitting

    Note. I’ve already posted about the incorrect default “Signalling System” “Tx Wakeup Message Limit” which is set to 1 but should be set to 3 or even 4.
    So your transceiver is likely to transmit just one short pulse unless that setting is changed.

    And will not go into full Tx mode unless it receives a valid response from a repeater or duplex hotspot etc

  21. John Grimaldi
    |

    My GD-77, in DMR mode when I transmit, shows “Private Call” and the number 1 in the lower left corner, and the icon of a telephone handset and arrow pointing away. I have looked at all software settings and cannot turn it off. It won’t receive unless I put monitor on, and it will show a transmit light but it won’t come thru the system. I even did a factory reset and reloaded the codeplug. No change. Then I did a factory reset and when I transmit without adding anything, I still get the same “Private Call” in the display. Any help is appreciated.

  22. Roger Clark
    |

    Sorry. I’ve no idea what that is.

    Perhaps you can post to a Radioddity support forum, but the only one I’m aware of is on one of the social media platforms.
    (And I do not use social media)

  23. Anonymous
    |

    Sounds good! Thank you Roger!

  24. Mike Penny
    |

    Thanks for reply, problem solved, the latest C P S used the Tx Wakeup was set to 0 dear, dear my fault for not checking.
    I would also like to thank you for your great amount of effort in turning a quite mediocre piece of kit into a very useable radio.
    So on behalf of all of us, many many thanks, (never know may catch you on hf one day).
    Cheers and bears.
    Mike

  25. Roger Clark
    |

    Mike

    Its strange that the value was set to 0. The default used to be 1, but it should always be at least 3.

  26. ESTEBAN PRADO
    |

    hello good to all this firmware is going to correct the problem that only 10,000 ids enter or is it a problem that has no solution?

  27. Roger Clark
    |

    This firmware purely adds restrictions to the “Inverted display” (black background) GD-77

    Radioddity have not done any bug fixes recently, and I do not expect them to fix any more bugs or do any enhancements, as its not economic for them to pay software developers to fix bugs, when people still buy the radio even though it has bugs.

    The reasons for the 10,000 ID limit are

    1. Radioddity only use a very small memory chip in the GD-77. Its only 1Mb, where as comparable radios like the MD-380 use a much larger memory chip (I think its 8Mb or perhaps bigger)
    2. Most of the memory chip contains font data for the Chinese language display, even though there is no way to switch to the Chinese display.
    If Radioddity modified their firmware, to remove the chinese font data, the radio could store about 70,000 ID’s with just the callsign, and about 50,000 with callsign and name.

    However as there are over 100,000 DMR IDs, the only solution is for Radioddity to make a new version of the GD-77 mk2 with a larger memory chip. Probably 128Mb so that all 100,000 IDs’ with callsign and name and other details can be stored.

  28. Rolf -DJ7TH-
    |

    Hi Roger,
    that would make the GD-77 at least 1 USD more expensive 🙂

  29. Anonymous
    |

    Hi,

    I would like to ask about advice on how to make upgrade firmware from 3.0.6 to 3.2.1 ?
    I need to upgrade sequentially
    3.0.6
    3.1.0
    3.1.1
    3.1.2
    3.1.3
    3.1.6
    3.1.8
    3.2.1

    or

    3.0.6 -> 3.2.1

    Do I need to make a reset to factory setting? before upgrade. I remember remarks that after upgrade to 3.0.6 recommended doing not make reset factory

  30. DAVID PARRA
    |

    John Grimaldi, have you programmed your radio? In DMR you’ll never listen to any TG until you add your digital contact into the RX group list. You must program: Digital Contact, then create a channel with the repeater frequency and the digital contact previously created, add the channel to a zone and finally add your contact to the Rx List.

    The private call to contact “1” looks like you’ve a new/empty radio

  31. Anonymous
    |

    Hi Roger! Thanks for following up. Yes, the issue was a lack of anything in the RX group. Works fine now! A learning curve. Take care!
    John

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