You may be as excited about DMR as we are- it is a great new mode that has amazing capabilities. This page exists to provide information on how to work the N4GAS repeater.
PLEASE READ DOWN THE PAGE FOR A LINK TO A MODEL CODE PLUG AND A CODE PLUG EDITOR
We are operating a Hytera RD-622 repeater at 25 watts.
We are on the BrandMeister Network, which is global in scope. Our repeater ID is 313759.
Some necessary soap-boxing:
Before you use the N4GAS repeater, please remember that courtesy is paramount. Although the repeater is capable of accessing any talk group on the Brandmeister Network, it only has two time slots, meaning: at most, two hams can talk on the repeater at functionally the same time. Therefore, thoughtfulness is important- keep your QSO’s reasonable in length. Excessive monopolization of a time slot by a ham will deny use to others who may want have a QSO. Also, please do not link reflectors (talk groups are ok) to the repeater without obtaining permission from a repeater sysop.
Use good judgment- take breaks between transmissions- longer than you would on a 2 meter repeater- and give other users a chance to break in or key down on other talk groups. Also, if you are on a large talk group (like World-wide TG91 or Nation-wide TG3100), be mindful that you may be keying down hundreds of repeaters and affecting thousands of other hams. If a user displays an inappropriate level of consideration, you may get an email from a sysop or a private call or text on your DMR radio. Needless to say, if a ham violates the FCC rules for proper operation, he or she will be asked to quit using the repeater. Spoofing another ham’s DMR-MARC number will not be tolerated.
Our BrandMeister-based repeater is set up as follows:
Repeater Transmit (TX) frequency: 445.7250 MHz
Repeater Receive (RX) frequency: 440.7250 MHz
THEREFORE, YOUR USER RADIO TX/RX FREQUENCY WILL BE SET UP IN THE REVERSE : User radio RX: 445.7250 MHz; User Radio TX: 440.7250 MHz
Repeater Color Code: 1
Time Slot 1: Talk Group 91 (World-wide) -STATIC
Time Slot 2: Talk Group 9 (Local)- STATIC
STATIC means that BrandMeister servers will send audio through the N4GAS repeater any time a user on that talk group keys down. This will be then transmitted through the repeater, whether or not other users are listening. Notwithstanding this set up, hams using the N4GAS repeater can activate all other Talk Groups as DYNAMIC talk groups, and layer them on top of the STATIC talk groups. This means that you have to KEY DOWN to activate the talk group, which will remain active (audible) on the time slot until 15 minutes after the last key down from a local user. Accordingly, if you want to monitor a DYNAMIC talk group, you need to key down once every 15 minutes on that talk group to keep it active.
CODE PLUG INFORMATION (keep reading for a link to the downloadable code plug):
What is a “code plug”? Simply put, its a set of instructions for the individual user’s radio necessary to access a given repeater. The key concepts are: 1) Digital Contacts 2) Talk Groups 3) Channels and 4) Zones.
Go to this address to get a DMR-MARC number (absolutely necessary):
A “Talk Group” is a numerical address that will link a user, via internet server, to a number of other users in a “group call”. Think of it as a “chat room” or a “party line” of sorts- but absolutely half-duplex in nature- only one user talks at a time.
“A Channel” in most DMR capable rigs is best described as a programmed position on the users radio- on most radios, a notch on the 16 position dial on the top of the rig (some radios have less- and some have more). This “channel” can be used to access a “talk group”, a “reflector” (a multi-talk group link) a special function (such as “parrot”- audio self-feedback) or even an individual user for a one-to-one private call. It also has the function of defining the frequency of an accessed repeater- meaning, different “channels” can either access talk groups on the same repeater or on different ones.
A “Zone” is simply a collection of programmed “channels” than can include any of the following: digital or analogue “channels” either on the same repeater or on different repeaters. A “Zone” is typically limited to 16 channels in number given that most DMR HT’s only have 16 positions on their rotary channel dial.
Now that you have the run-down on DMR code plug theory, you can download a MODEL CODE PLUG for an TYT MD-380 radio here to access the N4GAS Repeater, as well as a CODE PLUG EDITOR for MD-380 and MD-390 radios:
Feel free to modify the code plug- actually, YOU WILL HAVE TO PUT YOUR DMR-MARC number into the code plug in order to use the Brandmeister network. You will find the place to put your DMR-MARC number on the “General Settings” page of your code plug editor/loader, or you can manually program it in your rig.
The “Zone” for the N4GAS repeater is labelled: “Gastonia NC”. It will be your default zone on radio power-on. Please note that there are other repeaters in other zones on the code plug- an extensive list. If you use your radio on those other repeaters, be mindful that you will be under the rules of other repeater operators and sysops- please respect their wishes.
The sample code plug has a mix of local, regional, national and DX talk groups. The “channels” described by their labels, with “BM” meaning “BrandMeister.” In addition, the “Zone” has the “Parrot” talk group (310997) so that users can check the audio coming from their radios. Key it up, talk, wait a couple of seconds, and then listen to yourself. The “Monitor Gaston” “channel” is a receive-only channel that allows you to scan multiple talk groups instantly, but will work most effectively when the DYNAMIC talk groups are activated. This means that if you just dial in the “Monitor Gaston” channel, and do nothing else, you most likely will only hear TG9 “Gaston Local” and TG91 “World-wide”.
Still want to learn more? Click Here:
For a link to GCARS presentations (in a Google Drive folder) and select the “June 2017” presentation on DMR.
We at GCARS hope you will enjoy DMR. If you have any other questions, please contact me at the email address below (remove the special characters and only use my call sign in the email address- sorry- anti-bot defense).
a%j$4&j%z (at symbol)earthlink.net