Ruled Out: Will DMR Repeaters be Replaced by Hotspots?

The author of is a Portlander and obviously experienced the Oregon North System.  Well written.

– Excerpt 

“Rules that promote good operating practices and promote a better a well-mannered community environment are important. The unfortunate part of some rules is that they sometimes go beyond the rules that help encourage good operating practices that we used to call “Elmering.” Instead, the promote exclusivity, classes, and cliques within the community. I often wonder, “if a repeater owner wants his system of repeaters to be quiet, why is it even hooked up to a c-bridge that connects to the rest of the world?” Just cluster them and wall off from everyone else.  It’s like building your house along the busy highway for good transportation access but complaining about the traffic.”

Link to whole article …..

3 Comments on “Ruled Out: Will DMR Repeaters be Replaced by Hotspots?

  1. Very nicely articulated, I agree
    I was told locally by the dmr-marc group that if I wanted to access NY TG ( to communicate with friends) to buy a hotspot
    why in the world do I want to support them and their only 11 allowed TGs across the system when my hotspot does 100s
    VTs dmr-marc system wanted to place hotspots at all VT interstate rest stops, until they learned most are brandmeister enabled devices, think about that entirely to have e a qso
    sadly its all about control, sad little insecure narcissist folks, these are the same ones that cant make a face to face conversation but act like god on the radio
    end of rant

  2. Good read! Here in the Pacific Northwest there is a group that has a great DMR linked repeater network and like many other “DMR groups” they do not want any QSO’s over 5 minutes. When I first discovered the group I learned that they have many DMR repeaters that are linked up and are available for use. I tuned in and put my call out there many times and only got a reply by email that I was tying up the system. Huh? I just put my call out there to learn more about the DMR repeaters and to discover what I thought (at the time) was a great idea. That was extremely discouraging for a relatively “new ham” Long story short, I had discovered by Email that I was not allowed to put my call out there in hopes of making a QSO. Isn’t that what radio is about? I guess they can keep their fantastic DMR repeater network to themselves for their nets and SARC. I have NEVER checked in or listened to the Nets or put my call out there ever since. Its a shame that a great network of DMR repeaters dont get used… ever! I must say this before I end my rant, Before I used the repeaters I had contacted one of the group hams by email and he did help me out with the TG numbers to program my HT. He was very helpful.

  3. Yep….

    “The Oregon North repeaters are operated primarily for Search and Rescue operations and routine use is discouraged; short QSO’s only on timeslot 1. Please read the Oregon North Users Guide before using these repeaters and contact Loren, KB7APU for additional information.”

    Oregon North DMR users guide

    Background—This DMR system was designed and developed for the purpose of supporting Search and Rescue communications and other Emergency communications. Several repeater sites, internet connections and equipment have been donated to support the SAR /ECOMM mission so that is the reason for the user guide.

    If the system is not being used for SAR or ECOMM it can be used for “regular” HAM radio traffic as long as the guidelines below are followed. This is a privately-owned system and all licensed HAM radios operators are welcome to give it a try. This system is NOT however to be used as a semi-private “chat line” or “rag chew” conversations, short QSO’s only.

    All the repeaters are current model Motorola TRBO repeaters, so I prefer you use a Motorola TRBO radio but realize for people trying DMR sometimes that is not an option. A TYT MD380, Connect Systems, Kenwood, Vertex radios will work fine but NO Baofeng’s or lesser quality radios are allowed on any of my repeaters due to quality control issues with the radios and some are not Tier 2 compliant.

    1. Local 1 should be programmed with all time slot 1 (TS1) talk groups in receive list. That way you will hear traffic on OR 1 or WA 1 and won’t key on Local 1 and disrupt an ongoing conversation. When you want to transmit make sure your radio is on the talk group you want before pressing the PTT.

    2. Use Local 1 for calling and short QSO’s 5-10 minutes. All users on the system should monitor Local 1 all the time. Local 1 should be in the receive list on all TS1 talk groups.

    3. Move to Local 2 for longer QSO’s. Local 2 should have all TS2 talk groups in receive list. Local 2 should be in the receive list on all TS2 talk groups.

    4. Even if you’re on Local 2 or any other talk group and you have been on the air for 15-20 minutes take a break and give the repeaters a rest.

    5. You’re on a repeater network with up to 10 repeaters on at any time and more if your using a regional or worldwide talk group. Keep QSO’s short as possible.

    6. Radio traffic can be restricted for Emergency Communications’ or Search and Rescue activities at any time.

    7. Keep HT on high power unless you’re not moving and line of sight to the tower.

    8. Keep an eye on netwatch, if you see SAR talk group being used that means TS2 is closed. SAR talk groups are not published and only to be used by approved SAR volunteers.

    9. There is NO reason to activate a PTT talk group unless you want to call a specific station and have made prior arrangements to do so on email or cell phone. If you have to only activate one PTT talk group at a time.

    10. If you activate a PTT talk group go ahead and make your contact/call your station. No CQ/Open call any available station. This is not an HF DX/IRLP/Echolink/DX contest channel! Call your station, have a brief QSO and be done with it. The less air time you take up the better.

    11. READ all the documents on the TRBO.ORG web site, learn how the system works by monitoring more than talking.

    12. Meet the folks who use the system on Local 1 mostly so they can help you navigate the DMR system. Contact me KB7APU or other experienced DMR users if you have any questions.

    13. If you want to listen to a Brandmeister linked talk group get an Open Spot, DV4 mini or other DMR hotspot device and talk all day long without tying up any repeaters. The key to the DMR network is use the talk group that uses the least amount of resources to get the communication through.

    14. No “Kerchunking” on full time talk groups.  “Kerchunking” is when you key up real quick and not say anything.  This causes issues due to hold off timers and it is unnecessary.  If you want to test the repeater your radio will tell you your connected by the go-ahead beeps.  If you want to test key up and give your call sign, talk group and location and say your testing so that way other users know what you are doing.  If you need to activate a PTT talk group, “Kerchunking” to turn it on is preferred, then listen for activity and make your call.

    Available talk groups on TS1—Local 1, OR1, I-5, SAR1, PNW1, PTT–PARROT1, WA1, TS2—Local 2, PNW2, SAR2, PTT—TAC310, WA2

    Tac310 is available for users who are from outside the local area and it gives them a way to check into their home network, it is not for local folks to use routinely to call out.

    There are 2 scheduled nets on the system. Wednesday’s 7pm on PNW2 good DMR info and discussion, Wednesday’s at 8pm on Oregon 1 a check in net and discuss DMR related activites.

    When testing or just want to announce your radio on Local 1 the preferred method is to say your call, your location and what talk group you’re on.

    The DMR system is designed for commercial and business use so we as HAM radio operators must adjust to how the system works and learn how to use it effectively and efficiently so we call all experience and enjoy it.

    I want to thank all the HAMs who have supported this system with access to radio sites, tower climbing, coverage testing, radio programming and much more.

    KB7APU-DMR System Administrator, Owner, Control Operator.

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