MARCO Digital Voice – Tutorial by KD4IZ

In a recent zoom meeting, Jack Spitznagel, KD4IZ presented a brilliant tutorial on the subject of Digital Voice.  While the technology itself has been around for many years, DV is still in its infancy as it emerges in the circles of ham radio.  At present, the landscape is filled with many alternatives and few standards.  Jack does a wonderful job of providing context for DV in ham radio and hints on how to get started.

Jay Garlitz, AA4FL, follows up the tutorial with a discussion of how he plans to access digital mode.  This information was sent to the membership via the google groups reflector and is reproduced below for convenience.

Video Recording of Zoom Session with KD4IZ


Supplemental Resources

N.W. Digital Radio “Thumb DV”

The KE0FHS Blog website called  for a great tutorial on DV

The K3NXU Miklor Website: for great amounts of information on Chinese Radio and a good section on DMR.

Post by AA4FL on December 11, 2020

The following link will bring up a pdf of graphics to assist you in the following explanation:

I do own a DMR radio but for the digital modes I am using a USB DVstick that allows me to use the computer to operate DMR, D-Star and other modes.   Christmas did not come early but my birthday was late October and my wife supplied the new toy!

This USB-stick facilitates the use of a PC to communicate on Dstar and DMR. The DVstick 30 is a AMBE-3000 vocoder and USB interface. Using BlueDV software and the DVstick 30 you can make a QSO without a radio. All you need is a Windows PC with a sound card, microphone, speaker, and a DVMEGA DVstick 30.

Hardware–DVMEGA DVstick30:  (Other brand sticks are available)

Software–BlueDV-Windows (also available for other OS)

My set-up.  Some of the issues I had in set-up were solved by looking at YouTube videos.  By opening device manager and inserting the DVstick I was able to determine the COM port.

I had already had a DMR ID since I own a DMR HT and had applied for an ID earlier.  I had no problem getting on DMR

I did not have a Brandmeister ID for use of The Brandmeister Network (a digital repeater network consisting of master servers and peer repeaters all over the world). I registered at

Note after registering you need to go back into your selfcare page and create a master password (hotspot security) to enter into the software to use the network. This information was not on any of the YouTube videos I watched, a recent change to the network in November 2020.  Use

I had no issues getting onto D-star reflectors.

73, Jay AA4FL