Product Review Videos
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Video 1: Introduction to the DMX-40
This is the first in a series of 8 videos designed to give the viewer a overview of the operation and function of this very unusual transceiver. Unlike most transceivers, the interface is a keyboard and a color touchscreen. Its operation is unique – it has no direct competitor.
This series will help you understand what makes this product a very attractive option for a radio operator looking for an opportunity to operate on the HF bands with Morse Code without having to learn it first. The DMX-40 will help you learn, if that is your goal, or it will allow you to operate on 40 meters (or any other band if you have a base station) with only a Technician Class license and no knowledge or experience of Morse Code. It enables infrastructure-free communications alternative for preppers bound to a fallible repeater with their handheld VHF/UHF transceivers. Fun to use, powerful 3-microprocessor automation and power!
Video 2: Transceiver Setup and Typing Speed
This video covers the initial setup steps that are needed prior to operating a DMX-40 transceiver. Initially, in the Local Station Setup option from the Main Menu, you enter your call sign, your handle, your QTH (location), rig (usually the DMX-40 unless you are operating with a base station. In that case, the base station transceiver), your antenna, and finally your license level.
This information is used to set your call sign, to load the “INFO Macro” for sending your information to other stations with a single keystroke, and to set limits on your allowed transmitter frequencies, based on your license. This means you can’t transmit accidentally where you are not supposed to.
The typing speed system enables you to set your comfortable typing speed, so you can keep ahead of the transmitter while using the outgoing type-ahead buffer. This allows you to correct typing errors before they get transmitted, and annoys the transmitter to send perfect code. Without the type-ahead buffer and speed control, you could be in the position of starving the transmitter and thus messing up your transmitted code timing.
Help System, Gain Controls, and LED Functions
n this video, we explore the built-in Help System for the Receive and Transmit Mode. Additional help is provided via printable keyboard layouts in the Reference Manual Appendices.
The DMX-40 has two digital gain controls: one for the headphones, and one for the Morse Code decoder. Both are controlled via the keyboard, as shown in the video. Finally, the function and operation of the receiver and transmitter LED’s is presented.
Receiver Tuning Controls and General Calling (Calling CQ)
As you can see from the photos, this transceiver does not have a tuning “dial.” Rather, it uses the keyboard 4-way controller to control the tuning of the receiver. The left-right arrows control moving up and down in frequency, and the up-down arrows control the step size, from 1 Hz to 10,000 Hz steps. To enable you to keep track of your step size, the display shows small zeros indicating your steps. Thus, for example, a step size of 100 Hz will show two small zeros, as in 7.0300oo, for example. Using the auto repeat function of the keyboard, it is very easy to do a band scan.
The CALL button has 3 states: BLUE = not calling. RED = repeated calling CQ with your call sign. AMBER = completing the current repeat and then ending the call with a single K for “come back.”
Calling is a very simple procedure: Press CALL once to start, press it again to start the ending process. And then listen for a response!
Video 5: Directed Call and Answering
Besides calling CQ, you also will want to be able to call a specific station. This is accomplished using the same CALL button, but with an important difference. The “NO CCS” spot between the CALL and ANS (Answer) buttons is actually a button, as well. CCS stands for “Captured Call Sign.” There are two primary ways for a call sign to be “captured” by the system. This call sign is essentially the “other” station you are listening to or want to call or answer.
The first way the CCS can be captured is via the receiver decoder. When the receiver sees the proper sequence of characters from the receiver containing the call sign, it is recognized and then appears automatically by replacing NO CCS.
The second way is for you to touch the NO CCS button, and enter the call sign of the station you want to call or answer from the keyboard. If there is a station call sign displayed in the CCS button, when you press the CALL button, you will get a Directed CALL to that station. Otherwise, it works just like the General Call. Clearing the CCS button is accomplished by touching it.
Video 6: QSO! An Example of An On-Air Conversation
The previous five videos have covered many basics. Now, let’s demonstrate how it all comes together in a sample QSO. A QSO is “ham talk” for a conversation over the air. In this video, we have a very short conversation with another station, demonstrating the use of the VALIDATE-ANSWER function.
Both the CALL and ANS buttons have two functions. In the case of the CALL button, it is General CALL and Directed CALL. For the ANS button, it is Validate-Answer and Answer,.
Validate-Answer is used when you need to establish a two-way communication with the other station. Note that if you do a call, and another station answers, you have, by definition, a two-way communication established. After all, they heard you, and you hear them. When answering someone else calling, or trying to call a station via the ANS button after they have completed a conversation with another station, you only know you can hear them. The Validate-Answer function is used to find out if they can hear you, in a quick and painless manner.
Watch carefully in the demo as the receiver decoder captures the call sign of W2OL and automatically puts it into the CCS button. Pretty cool. No longer having to remember their call, write it down quickly, mess it up and ask for it again… Like I always had to do…
Video 7: Frequency Memories
There are ten frequency memories available on the DMX-40. But how they are available and how the editor works is quite interesting.
First of all, there is a Frequency Memory List. This is accessible from the Main Menu, but is also available using the F key. F pressed twice gets you back to the Main Screen. Of course ESC also does that… The list shows all ten of the memories, either by label or by frequency (your choice). Or blank, if nothing has been set. There is also a EDIT button next to each. But you can also “execute” a frequency memory by touching the frequency or label. In other words, you can “load” the VFO (Variable Frequency Oscillator) with the value by touch.
There are also keyboard shortcuts. Pressing a digit from 0 to 9 also “executes” or loads the VFO with the stored frequency. Shift-number goes directly to the editor for that memory.
The Frequency Memory Editor allows you to use your current frequency, or any frequency within the tuning range of 4.9 to 10.2 MHz you enter from the keyboard as the value to store.
Pressing the right arrow key moves the blue rectangle – indicating where the keyboard is active – to the memory label field. Up to 9 characters can be typed for the label. If no label is used, the frequency is displayed in the field.
Hit STORE to save. the current value, CLEAR clears the current value so you can type a frequency, or you can just hit backspace to delete the current frequency before you enter the desired frequency. Very easy to use, very effective. The Frequency Memory List is useful for those of us who can’t remember which number we put that net frequency in when we need it…
Video 8: Microprogramming: Customizing & Expanding the DMX-40
The DMX-40 has 3 built-in microprograms: the CALL button, the ANS button, and the INFO Macro. The INFO Macro allows you to send the typical information normally shared between operators, such as your name, location, rig and antenna. All from a single keystroke, the tilde (~) key.
Microprogramming allows you to customize how your DMX-40 operates. The microprogram system includes Help in the Help System, and a layout with a list and editor similar to the way Frequency Memories are arranged.
Each microprogram can have up to 60 characters, and uses the RPL (Rig Programming Language). This is a series of commands, typically single characters, that control the operation of the DMX-40. This includes substitutions, function calls and inserts, loops, timed loops, delays, and if statements, along with transmitter controls, and more.
The Starter Set is suggested to simplify your use of the transceiver in many different situations. Of course without them, you have basic operation just using the CALL and ANS buttons. But with the Starter Set, the BK abbreviation and ESC key, you have the ability to interact with other stations in a much faster “station ID free” mode (Station ID’s not required on every back and forth).
Going farther, you can customize your rig for net control operations, or contests, or other special cases, simply by creating your own microprograms. Appendix V in the Reference Manual describes all of the RPL commands.
AmRRON Product Demo
The video below was created by our partner, AmRRON. It includes a live demo of the DMX-40 … in snow!
KE7FEI DMX-40 Intro
We found this unsolicited video showing the DMX-40 on YouTube. Close-ups of the screen are a little blurry, but good show. Well Done, Bobbie!