Jailbreaking DMR

MD-380One of the discussions that came out of class after the antenna building and demonstration was a quick rundown on some of the digital options available. DMR and some of its lesser-known offshoots can be very interesting, offering a big step up in privacy and security over your average Bubba. While it won’t mask your signal from interception and most newer and higher-end scanners can easily decode the audio, when used in conjunction with some of the methods taught in the RTO course it becomes another layer of capability.

Many look down on the lower-end DMR radios especially in areas with heavy repeater traffic. This is largely because the radios themselves have had issues in the past with the way in which data is sent between the two generations of DMR technology. Mike Bishop wrote a great rundown of how it works. For simplex operations this is irrelevant. But the neat thing about inexpensive kit is that it gives a testbed for experiments, especially when working with open source and modifiable firmwares.

The hack itself of these radios has been around for a while now but it’s an important one to note for anyone who’s considering these or is currently running them. The original mod allows monitoring of all talk groups and color codes, which has great utility in and of itself, and the ability to configure your own firmware as documented on Github. With a little work and some field time, it might be a good option for inter-squad communications.

14 thoughts on “Jailbreaking DMR

  1. Fun fact.

    If you’re willing to troll auction sites/Hamfests, or can score a deal from Gigaparts, some of the professional DMR radios (Motorolla, Hytera, etc.) have the ability to provide BFT.

  2. Virgil

    Can someone point me in the correct direction for all of this? I have a tech license but still new to all the various options. Thanks

      1. Daniel

        It’s been a while since I’ve said thanks. You, Mosby, Max, Morgan and a few others are gifts from the gods to those of us on a crash course on holding our own as the empire comes down around us. I’ve copied and stored every page you’ve done here for close study as I climb the curve. I take the Technician test next month at the latest, as next Saturday may be too soon to have at it this month, then on to the General.

        TC3, verbal judo, unarmed fighting, concealed pistol, combat rifle, comms, rucking, lifting, more PT, rainwater collection systems, food gardens, etc, etc, etc – it’s a lot to chew while running a struggling small business and having a family but I am enjoying every minute of this “becoming a real man” process.

      2. I thank you- for reading and for acting. None of this means anything without praxis.

        Any questions you may have, always feel free to ask.

    1. Dom

      The direction is forward, lol.

      There is no end to all the learning; ask any Elmer.

      Go back and read all of NC Scout’s posts. Get out of your comfort zone and ask questions @ your local club or on your local repeater.

  3. Dom

    Good info; soaking it up like a sponge, because today’s hobby can be tomorrow’s life-saver.

    Working on getting SSTV up and running with a Yaesu FT2D (ham fest raffle prize).



Comments are closed.