This is a term that is foreign to Hams who are not familiar with Commercial Radios. Despite people saying they have to “program” a Code Plug, I find that terminology misleading. For a radio like the AnyTone 878 there is no “Programming” taking place. The CPS Software makes it easier to “Configure” the radio thru a series of choices that can be made based on how the user wants to utilize the radio. There is no “Programming” taking place. You don’t have to learn a programming language. I wish that “Programming” was left to describe the making of the firmware and the CPS process was described as “Configuring” the radio. No new feature is created by CPS, only selecting options for the programming/firmware that is already in the radio.
You need the CPS Software for the radio and it can be downloaded from a number of places. Make sure the version of the CPS software matches the firmware version in the radio.
Please resist the urge to create the “Perfect Code Plug”. I’ve found there is no such thing. Code Plugs are personal. They describe how you want the radio to operate within the ways the radio is programmed.
The problem is that as a newbie to DMR and to this type of configurable radio, you don’t know what you don’t know. So it’s hard to make decisions about what you want. Therefore it’s hard to create a perfect Code Plug. So just create a Code Plug that allows you to get on and play.
As you play you’ll start thinking gee I wish I could do xyz or it’s a pain to switch talkgroups using these menus, I wish I could just spin the knob on top or I find that the callsign in red is really hard to read, etc. When you start doing these things then you can continue on your quest of the perfect code plug and start getting familiar with the CPS program.
So to summarize, DMR Radios typically function more like Commercial Radios than traditional Ham radios. By this I mean that most Ham radios have a common HMI (Human Machine Interface) and Ham’s expect to be able to set the frequency, have automatic splits for repeaters, etc. On a DMR radio, the radio has to be “Configured” using CPS software. Don’t worry, you’re going to change this many times as you figure out how you want to use the radio or as your use changes over time.