AOR AR-DV1 Receiver - UpstateHam.com Resource Page

The DV1 is the FIRST multi-mode digital voice receiver to receive and decode virtually ALL popular digital modes including: MOTOTRBO, DMR, dPMR, APCO P25 Phase I, NXDN, Icom D-Star, Digital CR, Yaesu, Kenwood®, and Alinco EJ-47U as well as conventional analog signals.

(page last updated 3/19/16)


I have been following this product since it was announced almost two years ago by AOR. I was very interested in the multi-mode digital voice capabilities that they advertised. The DV1 started shipping in May 2015 and had some initial "early" release issues. The on-line forums were loaded with complaints and questions from early customers. With this being a software defined radio, it has the capability to be easily updated with new firmware in the field. AOR has taken advantage of that capability and has listened to a vocal user community to take care of many of the early bugs and "quirks" with several firmware updates. Most people seem to be very happy with those updates from AOR so far. Also in late 2015, programming software became available from Butel for programming frequencies into the DV1.

After watching the many reviews and comments by on-line users, I finally pulled the trigger and purchased the DV1 in February 2016. The DV1 (with the latest fw version 1601B) came nicely packaged with a manual, SD card, telescoping whip antenna and power supply. I will have to say that I am very impressed so far! The selectivity and sensitivity on UHF and VHF is equal or better than many other amateur and communications receivers that I own. On HF/SW it seems to be better than average (compared to my Kenwood TS-2000), though many are suggesting trying a pre-selector on it. It seems to decode digital voice modes very well, though I have no local DMR signals to try in my area as of yet. This is not  a "run of the mill" wide band receiver or scanner, and note that it does NOT support trunking. This radio has so many capabilities that it really requires a thorough read of the manual (which is pretty good!) to really be able to exercise its broad functionality. Some of my favorite features so far; of course the digital voice modes, the SD card to backup frequencies as well as record audio, USB direct communications interface (no custom cable needed!) and a nice tuning knob. It also has a fairly straight forward keypad for manual programming and setting up of options and features. Note: the communications through the USB port seems to be a little clunky compared to other radios I use. I hope this is an area that AOR will continue to improve upon in future firmware updates.

[UPDATE] I also purchased the Butel ARC-DV1 PRO software (version 0.92, build 002, Full); that does works fairly well, but is a little is limited in functionality compared to Butel's other products. They do seem to be continually adding more functionality through firmware updates and hopefully that will continue (I sure hope so!). BuTel is a Dutch software company and the world's largest producer of software for scanners and communications receivers. I have used their products for over 15 years and have been generally very satisfied with their capabilities.

I have also purchased Jeff Marlbrook's AR-DV1 Computer Control Software which is pretty cool. Jeff is very knowledgeable about the DV1 radio and willing to answer questions about his software in a very timely manner by email. (you'll be hard pressed to find anyone more responsive out there) I have just started putting it through its paces so I can't give a full review of my experiences with it yet! Stay tuned!


My intent with this resource page is to document my DV1 experiences ("your mileage may vary!") along with other useful information that I find as I become more acquainted with this unique receiver. Please send your comments, corrections and suggestions to us at: UpstateHam@gmail.com.

AOR AR-DV1 information links:

- Most thorough DV-1 review so far: http://www.cotexfood-trading.com/radio/AOR_AR-DV1.pdf
- AOR DV-1 homepage (manual, brochure, etc.): http://www.aorusa.com/receivers/ar-dv1.html
- Butel DV-1 software: http://www.butel.nl/products/ardv1/arcdv1.html
- AR-DV1 (Marlbrook) Computer Control Software:  http://pat3380.wix.com/ardv1
- RadioReference AOR Receiver forum: http://forums.radioreference.com/aor-receivers/


Some Tips and Tricks from the on-line forums:

 - "Some folks are confused, because they expect to see a specific WFM setting on the radio. This is how it's been on many scanners and other receivers that accommodated the listening to FM broadcast stations. Therein lies the confusion for some folks. But I have found that the regular FM setting, along with 200 khz bandwidth sounds excellent for FM broadcast monitoring, as I previously stated. A few folks have mentioned that they use the 100 khz setting, but I find that to achieve the most fidelity, particularly when listening to music, that 200 khz works the best."

- "The DV1 has a number of different squelch modes--- I would start by making sure the channels you are monitoring are set for Level Squelch and not Noise Squelch. My limited experience has been (and I have also read in other posts) that Level Squelch is more dependable.The DV1 also has a Voice Squelch function".

- Clarification of the Operating Manual to initiate frequency offset (for repeaters - duplex). Once you have set the amount of your offset, in order to quickly monitor the offset frequency, you simply press the MONI button (like the REV - reverse function on many amateur transceivers).

For example, if you have a +3 mhz offset programmed into Offset 1, you simply program any channel in any bank of the radio that requires a +3 mhz offset to Offset 1, and when you hit the MONI button, you will go to the offset frequency for as long as you hold the MONI button.

In addition, for each channel which has an offset assigned to it, the indicator "DUP" appears on the lower left hand side of the display. For channels with no frequency offset assigned to them, the MONI button just "breaks the squelch" for that particular channel.

(From MSTEP on the RadioReference forum) Now that I am settling in with the receiver again, here are a couple of quick items that are covered in the manual, although it's easy to overlook them. These are especially applicable to folks who are using the receiver on the HF bands, and I found them to be particularly useful when monitoring on the low-band amateur radio frequencies. 

1) Tuning Increments - When using the receiver in small tuning increments, you can quickly multiply the step rate by a factor of 10 simply by pressing the Function key. As long as Function is active, the step-multiplier is in effect. To deactivate it, simply press the function key Function key again. It's pretty handy when you are using one of the finer tuning steps, but decide you want to get to another part of the band a bit more quickly.

2) One of the AGC functions that you may see is RF-G (RF Gain). When you are in this mode, the SQUELCH knob actually becomes the RG Gain control. You can sometimes "smooth out" reception a bit and cut down on some of the background noise for more pleasant listening by using this control.

I know that most seasoned users of the DV1 are likely familiar with these options; some of the folks just coming on-board with the DV1 may find this information helpful towards mastering the receiver.

I'll post more interesting tidbits as I find them. And here are a few items that I will open up to the forum and invite feedback about:

The MONI button is an interesting fellow on this receiver. It serves a couple of interesting functions which have been discussed both here and which are mentioned in the manual. One thing that it does is break squelch. The interesting thing that it doesn't seem to do is break is CTCSS code (or code search) implementation.

Folks familiar with the original purpose of CTCSS will recall from pre-trunking days, that all business base stations had a MONI button so that they could monitor other traffic on the frequency before transmitting, and thus prevent interference. One would think that this could be a useful function on the DV1 as well (albeit without the transmit option)--- I'm not sure why this has not been implemented as such. 

Here's another goodie related to the MODE button. This has something to do with the radio automatically selecting certain parameters when in AUTO mode, and some of you may not have experienced this yet. But if you have, you'll know what I'm talking about.

We've all noticed that the sound in AUTO mode is generally more pleasing (a bit more bass) than the sound in FM mode. 

Bandwidth - On occasion, while trying to program the radio on an FMN frequency but in AUTO mode, the 200 khz bandwidth will be selected by the radio when placed into one of the memory channels. As you manually step through your memory channels, if you encounter this situation (where you would prefer to have the "FM 15" bandwidth as opposed to the "FM 200" bandwidth), simply press and hold the MODE button for 2 seconds and the radio will automatically change and then rewrite the memory channel with "FM 15" bandwidth.


More DV1 receiver specs. & functional overview:

The AOR AR-DV1B wideband communications SDR receiver covers 100 kHz to 1300 MHz (less cellular on U.S. consumer "B" version) in traditional analog modes (SSB, CW, AM, FM, S-FM, W-FM) as well as various digital modes. In fact, we know of no other radio in this category that can decode Icom's D-Star mode, Yaesu's new C4FM mode, Alinco's digital mode, NXDN (note: 6.25 kHz only), P25 Phase 1, etc. Interesting features include:  2000 Memories (in 40 banks of 50), Memory Scan, AM Synchronous Detection, Noise Reduction, Notch, Digital Data Display, Clock, Calendar, Alarm, Timer. The SD/SDHC jack supports logging functions. There is also a micro USB port. This radio will support field firmware updating. High performance is achieved since the receiver employs direct conversion below 18 MHz and triple conversion superheterodyne above 18 MHz.

With this breakthrough development, AOR offers the monitoring community a powerful new tool that receives multiple digital formats in addition to traditional analog operations in a compact receiver built for high sensitivity and selectivity.




Main Features:
100kHz~1300MHz Wide-band reception
Multi-mode digital demodulation
All mode analog reception (AM/LSB/USB/FM)
Memory scan
NR, notch, digi-data display
Built-in SD card reader (audio recording, timer recording, CSV memory data upload/download, firmware updates)
Clock, calendar (sleep timer, alarm, timer recording, reception logging on SD)
Compact body 7 x 2 x 8 1/2 inches
Rear Panel: BNC antenna Jack, external speaker jack, aux jack


Receiver System:
100kHz~18MHz : Direct conversion
18MHz~1300MHz: Triple superheterodyne
Excellent image rejection and ultra-low
internal spurii thanks to 1st I.F
frequency set to 1.705GHz.













Display

1 (F) Function switch
2 (R), (P) (R) Recording (P) Playback
3 (S) Sleep timer
4 ***MIN Sleep timer (in minutes)
5 (A) Alarm function. Will blink while activated
6 (T) Recording timer. Will blink when recording timer is activated
 (Note: The backlit LCD will go off while activated.)
7 HH:MM:SS Clock 
8 VFO VFO mode (VFO search, Program search, Memory read, Memory scan)
9 FM xx Receive mode: FM AM SAH SAL USB LSB CW
 xx: IF BW (bandwidth)
 FM: 200 100 30 15 6 (kHz)
 AM: 15 8 5.5 3.8 (kHz)
 SAH, SAL: 5.5 3.8 (kHz)
 USB,LSB : 2.6 1.8 (kHz)
 CW: 500 200 (Hz)
 (Note: The IF-BW settings are available only in the analog modes. In the digital mode, the IF-BW is
 automatically selected.)
10 Dxxxx Digital decode mode
 In digital auto decode mode, xxxx indicates decoded mode.
 In digital manual mode, xxxx indicates selected mode.
xxxx Decode mode
ALIN Alinco EJ-47U digital
P-25 APCO P-25 Phase 1
dPMR dPMR
D-CR Digital CR / NXDN
DMR DMR
YAES YAESU digital
DSTR Icom D-STAR
11 DA Digital auto decode mode
12 xxx+ Frequency step “+”: Step adjust activated
13 A, B VFO-A or VFO-B
14 xxxx.xxx xx VFO-A frequency in MHz.
15 xxxx.xxx xx VFO-B frequency in MHz.
16 B “Busy” (Squelch opens)
17 “S-meter” Relative signal strength
18 xxx(x) Squelch settings
 NSQ (A) : Noise squelch in auto mode
 NSQ: Noise squelch
 LSQ (A) : Level squelch in auto mode
 LSQ: Level squelch
19 VSQ VSQ (Voice Squelch)
20 CTC In FM mode (IF-BW less than 30 kHz)
 CTC (CTCSS: Continuous Tone Code Squelch System)
 RTN (Reverse CTCSS)
 DCS (Digital Code System) 
 VI (Voice inversion) --- not available for USA consumer version
 In AM, SAH, SAL, USB, LSB, CW modes
 AGCF --- AGC speed fast
 AGCM --- AGC speed medium
 AGCS --- AGC speed slow
 In auto mode, LSQ is selected for all AM modes and NSQ is selected for all FM modes.
 RF-G ---- Receiver’s manual gain control by the squelch knob.
21 NT Auto Notch
22 NR Noise reduction (in AM modes)
23 Key lock
24 PRI Priority receive
25 DUP Frequency offset
26 PAS In VFO search mode, pass frequencies stored.
 In program search mode, pass frequencies are stored in the current search bank.
 In memory read mode, current receive frequency are set to pass channel.
27 HLD Delay time set to “HOLD” in VFO search mode, program search mode, memory
 scan mode.
28 FRE Free time set to other than “OFF” in VFO search mode, program search mode,
 memory scan mode.
29 C PC remote control mode
30 SD card inserted in the slot and recognized













FRONT PANEL KEYS

 [F] The [F] (function) key is used to select secondary functions on the keypad. When
pressed, “F” in reverse contrast appears on the top left corner of the LCD. The first
function of the keys are printed on their surfaces; the secondary functions are printed
in black directly above the corresponding key. To cancel the “F”, press this key again.
12
 LOCK Press and hold this key for two seconds to activate the key lock function.
While activated, all front panel keys are disabled to prevent accidental misoperation of
the receiver. However, volume and squelch controls remain operative. To cancel, press
and hold this key again for two seconds.
 MONI Press and hold this key to force open squelch. When frequency offset is activated,
pressing this key will display the offset frequency.
 VFO In VFO mode, pressing this key will toggle between VFO-A and VFO-B.
Press and hold this key for two seconds to activate VFO search.
In other modes, press this key to return to VFO mode.
 SRCH In program mode, press this key to copy the current frequency to VFO-Z and continue
receiving in VFO-Z.
 SCAN Initiate scan in the memory read mode. While in scan mode, press this key to copy the
current frequency to VFO-Z and continue receiving in VFO-Z.
In other modes, press this key to return to VFO mode.
 ● Start / Stop recording
 [1] Figure ONE for the numeric input of frequencies, bank, channel numbers, etc.
 [2] Figure TWO for the numeric input of frequencies, bank, channel numbers, etc.
 [3] Figure THREE for the numeric input of frequencies, bank, channel numbers, etc.
 [4] Figure FOUR for the numeric input of frequencies, bank, channel numbers, etc.
 [5] Figure FIVE for the numeric input of frequencies, bank, channel numbers, etc.
 [6] Figure SIX for the numeric input of frequencies, bank, channel numbers, etc.
 [7] Figure SEVEN for the numeric input of frequencies, bank, channel numbers, etc.
 [8] Figure EIGHT for the numeric input of frequencies, bank, channel numbers, etc.
 [9] Figure NINE for the numeric input of frequencies, bank, channel numbers, etc.
 [0] Figure ZERO for the numeric input of frequencies, bank, channel numbers, etc.
 [ENT] Confirm entry in most menus.
In VFO mode, press this key to go to VFO-Z.
In VFO search or program search mode, press this key to transfer the detected
signal or stopped frequency to VFO-Z. The operation will be invalid while search is in
progress.
In memory read mode, press this key to transfer the current frequency to VFO-Z.
In memory scan mode, press this key to transfer the detected signal or
stopped frequency to VFO-Z. The operation will be invalid while scan is in progress.
[PASS] This key is used to pass (skip over) unwanted active frequencies in VFO search mode
and program search mode.
In memory search mode, this key is used to switch on/off pass channel.
[MODE] This key is to select the desired receive mode. Press this key to access the receive
mode menu. Rotate the dial knob to select the desired mode. To accept the selection,
press the [ENT] key.
Holding this key for two seconds will signal the receiver to go into digital auto mode.
13
 [CLR] This key is used to cancel frequency entry during programming or exit from a menu.
 ▼ In VFO search mode or program search mode, pressing this key will change frequency
 upward or change search direction.
 In memory mode, pressing this key will move to next channel.
 In memory scan mode, pressing this key will change the scan direction or resume scan.
 ▲ In VFO search mode or program search mode, pressing this key will change frequency
 downward or change search direction.
 In memory mode, pressing this key will move to next channel.
 In memory scan mode, pressing this key will change the scan direction or resume scan.









2 comments:

  1. Dear Sir,

    Thank you for a most informative blog about the AR DV1 receiver. I have received a unit myself recently and I am trying to get familiar with it.

    I have managed to hear something digital, although they are all momentary bursts.

    The mode is AUTO and it is displayed ad DSTR or DMR. In all cases I hear a burst of voice that lasts about half a second and then static. Also the voice sounds like Aliens probably it is scrambled.

    My question is twofold:

    1. Can I do something to make the reception of the digital signal last longer?
    2. Can I de scramble the voice? Or is it encrypted?

    Thanks
    George

    ReplyDelete
  2. George - I sent you an email reply. Its a fun radio - Good luck!

    ReplyDelete