BlueDV Windows 10 GD-77

I found it hard to find useful information on how to run the OpenGD-77 hotpot mode with Windows 10. At the time of writing this, there is a lot about this topic using a pistar and even android or ISO, but not much with Windows 10. This is my experence with BlueDV and Open GD-77 using a Windows 10 PC.

Someone once asked me after reading this page, why would you want to do this? So I have added this paragraph to try and explain. One reason is to extend your hotspot range. For example, if you use a normal regular hotspot, it will only have a small range around or in the house. If you want to go for a walk or dig in the garden, you either have to take a battery pack to plug your hotspot in and your mobile plus your radio. This is something I have done many time, especially while camping and in outback Australia – I have added a photo of it below. However if you have a spare digital radio, then you can plug in your GD77 into an external antenna and via BlueDV as explained below, and then almost run your own 5W repeater into the talk group you want. I have done this and been able to walk several kms from home and still have full access yet only taking my GD77 radio with me. The other reason you can do this is because you can. To make your own repeater is a bit of fun.

Hotspot with battery pack and mobile phone on a park bench.

Before you read on, it should be noted that the Open GD-77 firmware and software is changing all the time, so some of the steps below may change. I will do my best to keep this page up to date, however please message me or leave a comment if you have any suggestions.

First install the Open GD-77 firmware and comm driver. There are instructions on my other post here.

Then once complete, make sure your GD77 is plugged into your USB on your PC. Then type in Device manager in the Windows 10 search box to open the Device Manager. Go to Ports and there you should see OpenGD77 followed by a COM number. If you do not, then you need to install the Comm Driver again. Take note of this Com number.

Now open the GD-77 CPS Community Edition and once loaded make sure it has an Extras menu between the View and Language menus. Click on the Extras menu and select OpenGD77 support. Click on Read codeplug and make sure that works. Obviously you need the radio plugged in and turned on to do this.

Now download the latest BlueDV install file from the following web site. Make sure you select the Windows version. There may be beta versions available if you want to try them.

Download and then install the msi file inside the zip file.

Keep the radio plugged into the USB port on your PC. Turn on the radio and press the green button to go into the OpenGD77 menu. Scroll down to options and then go up to Hotspot and when on hotspot press the right button until it changes to BlueDv. Press the green button to save.

Next open BlueDV and once opened, click on Menu then Setup. Put in your callsign, then change the serial port radio to the Com port noted earlier. Tick on RX/TX Colors, enter in the Frequency you wish to use, enter your DMR ID in both boxes, then select the Brandmeister DMR Master server you want to connect to and put in your password. Select Save to save these settings and close the setup box.

Now turn on Serial (top left under menu) by pressing the slide switch to the left, and DMR in the BlueDV interface. If you can not turn on DMR then you have the same problem I did, then you have not turned your radio on correctly or turned the hotspot mode on. If you have not turned on the hotspot, see two paragraphs above. Then, make sure the radio is in VFO mode by pressing the red button, you should see two lines of frequencies. Make sure they are both the frequency you are using in BlueDV. Turn your radio off, connect the cable and plug it into the PC, then hold down the small black button above the blue button and PTT button, and while holding the button, turn the radio on. The radio should say Hotspot along the top of the screen.

It should now work. Adjust your power level on this radio and plug into a nice antenna, then you can use another DMR radio on the same frequency and you now have your own hotspot that will cover an area that your GD77 will cover.

If you put in the DStar or Fusion settings, you can cross mode across to these networks also if you use the latest BlueDV version.

For more information, here is a video I found that got me going with this project. If you look at this video from 6:34 you can see how to do it without BlueDV and using MMDVMHost instead.

I hope you have found this useful. Please see below some other similar articles I have written that might be of interest. Please leave me some feedback if this has been of some help.

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: