Saturday, February 13, 2016

Read and Backup Tytera MD-380 calibration settings.

On the Tytera MD-380 Yahoo Group, Stan G4EGH, posted that there is a hidden 'Test Mode' in the MD-380 CPS programming software. in this case 'test mode' is used for reading and writing the radio's calibration settings that are usually done at the factory, but might be changed by someone with a DMR-capable service monitor in the field when recalibrating the radio.  (This 'test mode' shouldn't be confused with any sort of debug mode.).

The important part about this find is that every radio has calibration settings that are specific to it. Think of it as a tuning/fine-tuning step that is done after manufacturing in order to make sure the radio is performing optimally. This step is necessary because the electronic components all have some tolerance (10%, 5%, 1%) for how close they come to their specified value.

Making a backup of your radio's calibration settings is a good idea. The settings are written into flash memory or EEPROM and could become corrupted or lost. If you don't know what the settings are, and don't have the proper test equipment you might have to send the radio in to be recalibrated.

The procedure to make a backup of your Tytera MD-380's calibration data using Tytera's MD-380 CPS v1.30 programming software is:

  1. Close the MD-380 software if you have it open.
  2. Find the setting.ini file.  On a default install, for Windows 7 (64 bit), the file location is C:\Program Files (x86)\MD_380\MD_380\SoftWare_EN\setting.ini 
  3. Edit the settings.ini file with a text editor like Notepad.
  4. Locate the line testmode=0 in the [setup] section.  Change the value to 1.  Save the file.
  5. Start MD-380.exe.  Starting it through the normal menu/shortcut is fine.
  6. Connect the radio with the USB cable and turn it on.
  7. Hit CTRL-T, to read the data from the radio.
  8. Click "Save Test Data" which will save a .test file with an 8 KB binary of the calibration data. 
  9. Put the .test file some place safe where you will be able to find it again when you need it.

Here's are two screen shots from my radio. Unfortunately, I couldn't resize the window to make it all fit:

I've opened an issue in Travis Goodspeed's md380tools github repo to track progress of adding this capability to md380tools.

Hope this helps somebody.

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