Upgrade to OpenGD77

This page is just a help to friends I have spoke to who are interested in upgrading the Radioditty GD-77 to the OpenGD77 software. This is not my work, however I really do appreciate Roger and his team have done to put this together. I claim no responsibility if it breaks your radio, however I have not hear this happen now in some time. I am not an expert at all with OpenGD77, I have just put this together to help people who have asked me how to do it. The OpenGD77 project is changing and being advanced all the time. I will try and keep this page up to date with the latest, and have put some links below. Regardless, even if the displays looks slightly different, I hope this information will be a great help.

Here is just one of the improvements, and what the display looks like:

Top line has mode top left, power middle, and battery power to the right.
Line 2 has a signal meter when there is a signal.
Line 3 is the talk group line when in channel mode
Line 4 is the channel line
Line 5 is the zone and the channel number in that zone when in channel mode.

To update to the latest OpenGD77 firmware:

  1. You first need to download to the latest PC programming software. This is not the Radioddity Software, but what is called a “Community Edition” which has a few extra features, including an “extras” menu. Otherwise it is almost exactly the same as the old program. You need to download and install this software from the following link (open the install.exe file: https://github.com/rogerclarkmelbourne/radioddity_gd-77_cps/raw/master/installer/. When installing, select Normal installation, Create desktop short cuts, then make sure both tick boxes are installed so you Install OpenGD77 Comm port driver. This comm port driver means when you attach you radio via the USB cable to your PC you will see it in the Com’s area in device manager. It will open a dos window, make sure it finishes before closing it – it should close by itself.
  2. Open the software you just installed, and make sure you have opened the new community edition by checking it has an “extras” menu at the top between the View and Language menus. After checking this, you should now make sure your OpenGD77 is up to the latest stable Radioditty firmware. To do this, first download the “GD-77_V3.1.8.sql” file from here (Make sure you get the GD77 one, either latest or stable). Then you can update your radio firmware. Turn your radio off, then connect it to your PC via the cable, then hold both buttons in below the PTT button, and then turn the radio on. The radio screen will be black with the green light on only, which means the radio is in firmware upgrade mode. Now go to the Extras Menu and select Firmware Loader. Select the file GD-77_V3.1.8.sgl you downloaded then select Upload firmware to GD-77. Once complete, turn your radio off, disconnect it and unplug it. Your radio is now upgraded to the latest stable Radioddity firmware. You may not see any, or little change, but if at least now it is now stable. If you are not aware, firmware is basically the software that controls your radio, but the codeplug stores the information such as channels etc.
  3. Now you know how to upgrade your radio firmware, you now want to install the latest OpenGD-77 firmware which comes with all the features and improvements. You will be amazed at the difference. First, download the OpenGD77 firmware from this link (on this page you will see the current releases available, click on the R202## heading, then down the bottom of that screen download the openGD77.sql file). Select the stable version at this point. You may wish to go back to this page from time to time to get the latest. As per step 2, turn your radio off, plug it in, and hold down the two buttons on the side and turn it on. Now via the extra menu, select the latest firmware software you just downloaded. It will upload slightly differently this time, but the same process will happen. Once complete, turn radio off, and on again.
  4. Now you should install a new codeplug. Have a look at my latest codeplug here (hover over the middle column for more information on each one), however this is currently very basic and made for Victoria Australia. Please come back form time to time also, as I will upload more advanced codeplugs in time that will include other states and even other things to listen to outside of Amateur Radio. Once downloaded, open in the Community Software as per point 1 & 2 and you will need to put your own information in it first via the “General Settings” tab, such as your own Radio Name and Radio ID. Leave all other settings for now and customise later. If you want to change any frequencies for your hotspot or repeater, do this now, otherwise upload to your radio as per normal. My code plug has the following zones:
    • HotSpot – this codeplug now has three hotspot channels on it, one for a duplex hotspot 438.8 / 431.8 called Duplex HS, a simplex one on 439.125 called Simplex HS1 and one simplex on 439.150 called Simplex HS2 – if your hot spot is on a different frequency, either change the codeplug or hotspot. There is also a simplex direct frequency of 432.220 called Simplex_Direct.
    • CB – this is all 80 Australian UHF channels which will not apply overseas. If your radio does not transmitt in this zone, you will need to press the green button on your radio, select options, go to Band Limits and change to OFF.
    • VK3 DMR – current VK3 DMR Repeaters. If you live else ware, you will want to update this. At least this give you an example of what they can look like. All my DMR repeaters have the call sign then an underscore followed by the frequency in the name.
    • VK3 2m Analogue repeaters. If you live else ware, you will want to update this. All my analogue repeaters have the call sign then an space followed by the frequency in the name.
    • VK3 70cm Analogue repeaters. If you live else ware, you will want to update this. All my analogue repeaters have the call sign then an space followed by the frequency in the name.
    • It now has VK2 and VK4 as per above VK3 zones. The rest will come soon.
      • Please note, I plan on upgrading this code plug to have all Australian DMR Repeaters and other things, so please come back to see if there is an update, or let me know if your after one.

Your done, just 4 easy steps. Now, have a good look through the OpenGD77 online manual that is updated as the firmware updates.

Here are some things I suggest changing in the radio’s settings:

  • Press the green button and go to options then turn band Limits off. Press green button to confirm. This will allow CB etc to work. Press green button to save.
  • Press the green button and go to display options then go to brightness and I like it about 70% and change the timeout to 5s. This will help with your battery consumption. Press green button to save.
  • Press the greeen button and go to sound options and put time out beep to 5 or 10 so you get a 5 or 10 second warning before you time out. I also set Beep vol to 0db as I feel it is too loud at the standard 3db. You can also turn on DMR Beep to start so the radio will beep before it is transmitting on DMR, this way you know you are transmitting and connected while using DMR and don’t need to look at the green light. I also change FM mic to 14, this is the FM mic gain (non-digital use), as on previous firmware’s the radio mic was extreemly soft so at my request Roger did this for me so. Press green button to save.

Remember, you can always reverse everything back to the way you had it by doing the above step 2, and then uploading your original codeplug.

I also recommend looking at the OpenGD77.com page and subscribing. Roger Clark is very active on this page, so you will be kept up to date with any upgrades or issues. You can even suggest ideas here. Roger has done some great video’s also, look up VK3KKY on Youtube for some of them.

Button layout for Open GD77.  This picture was taken from OpenGD77.com and may update as the firmware updates.
Button layout for Open GD77. This picture was taken from OpenGD77.com and may update as the firmware updates.
Here is Roger’s youtube video on how to program using OpenGD77.

Any questions, please let me know.  Don’t forget to put your email address in the Follow Blog Via Email if you want to be notified of any updates. Enjoy, Ben VK3TBS.

Further Reading

So now you have done the upgrade, and have saved time changing talk groups etc, below is some more articles you may want to read about in your spare time.

First some other GD-77 articles:

Other articles:

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