SCRA now has a UHF (70cm) DMR repeater in service on English Hill in West Sonoma County. Coverage extends from Sebastopol and nearly all of Santa Rosa, Windsor, and Rohnert Park/Cotati.
Thanks go to our Repeater Committee and in particular Curt WA6TIP for spearheading the provisioning of the repeater.
Sonoma County DMR Net!
Did you know Sonoma County has multiple DMR repeaters? So of course when at least two people are using a mode, what do they do? They start a net, that’s what!
Every THURSDAY night at 6:30pm Pacific Time, Randy AA6RH gets on DMR and runs the Sonoma County DMR Net on the BrandMeister network, talk group 31707 (Sonoma County). If you have any device that can access DMR (and there are quite a few, have a look at DMR is Easy) and are not otherwise engaged on Thursday nights, why not come join us on this interesting and really high quality voice mode! We’ll see you there!
SCRA DMR (W6SON): 443.100 (+5 offset), Color Code 1
Photos and technical details of the repeater site will be forthcoming.
Status of the club repeater on the BrandMeister dashboard
Talk Group Plan
At this time, there is ONE static (full-time) talk group on the repeater. That is talk group 31707, which we use for the Sonoma County region. Otherwise, the repeater is open for general amateur use with the following usage guidelines:
Time Slot 1
- General Talk Group (TG) Use
- Avoid local and regional TGs (i.e. those TGs meant for Time Slot 2)
- Any BrandMeister TG is valid (just PTT with the TG programmed), including:
- USA (3100)
- California (3106)
- TAC 310 (310)
Time Slot 2
- Local and Regional Talk Groups (TG) including the SCRA talk group (31707)
- Northern California-related TGs welcome here, including:
- Cluster (2)
- NorCal (31068)
- Use Private Calls to AltParrot (TG 310997) to test radios on this Time Slot
An incomplete list of DMR Best Practices
A good starting point, and subject to revision and extension.
- Follow general analog repeater best practices according to club repeater guidelines.
- Avoid using Private Calls on the repeater (other than for the “Echo Test/Parrot” example above), as you tie up a time slot on the repeater for just two people’s private conversation. Private calls should be restricted to the briefest of occasions, or use a hotspot. The repeater is a shared resource and should be used as such.
- Be mindful of certain regional talk groups that are full-time on other repeaters; when you transmit, you may very well be lighting up repeaters all over the region with your conversation.
- When connecting to a dynamic talk group, first PTT to connect the repeater, wait a few seconds for the repeater to receive (and transmit) any current talk group traffic in order to check that the talk group is clear, then PTT and begin talking.
- When conversing on a popular or high-traffic talk group (e.g. Worldwide (91), TAC 310), remember to keep your conversations brief, or request to move the conversation to another open talk group.
- To announce yourself on a talk group, you should at least provide your call sign and what talk group you think you are monitoring or joining. It may also be appropriate to announce your QTH when outside the local area.
DMR Nets on BrandMeister
There are a wide variety of nets, some more traditional, some very casual, designed to either practice traffic handling, engage in conversation on a given subject, or ask questions and get answers about making your DMR radio work better for you. Here’s a rough schedule of some DMR nets that happen weekly. Note that sometimes there are websites used to “pre-checkin” to the net, but all of them allow stations to get on the air and communicate.
- 5pm PT: TAC 310 Net [TAC 310 – TG310]
- 5pm PT: Reddit Net [Reddit – TG98003] — informal, no net control
- 8pm PT: PAPA DMR Roundtable [California – TG3106] — informal, Q&A format
- 8pm PT: SNARS Net [SNARS – TG31328]
- 7pm PT: HamNation After Show [TAC 311 – TG311] — informal, no net control
- 6:30pm PT: Sonoma County DMR Net [TG31707] (NEW DAY!)
- 7pm PT: NorCal Net [NorCal – TG31068] — directed net
- 8pm PT: PAPA Tech Net (cross-mode, linked to analog and other digital modes) [PAPA – TG31078]
- 2pm PT: The Guild [TG31674]
- 9am PT (16:00UTC): Worldwide Net [WW – TG91] — directed net, time changes due to different DST start and end dates with Europe