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.
W6SON DMR: 443.100 (+ 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 the Sonoma County talk group 31707. Otherwise, the repeater is open for general amateur use with the following usage guidelines:
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/Unit 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 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 [Net 1 – TG31001]
- 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]
- 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
DMR-Related Links and Information
There is a wide variety of mostly up-to-date information on using DMR. Here are some links that can aid in your exploration:
- Beginner DMR Code Plugs! (look here for configuration files for some common recent DMR models)
- DMR Is Easy (presentation to SCRA members on January 2, 2018 by Randy AA6RH)
- RadioID (where you go to obtain an amateur DMR ID number for use on the networks)
- BrandMeister Network (our DMR network, with access to up-to-date and real-time usage information)
- NorCal BrandMeister (a local DMR network affiliated with BrandMeister — Several Sonoma County DMR repeaters are in this network)
- SNARS (Sierra Nevada ARS) (a Reno/Tahoe based regional DMR network)
- PAPA System (Southern CA) (main Southern California DMR network)
- DCI – Digital Communications Interconnect (DMR network in the Pacific Northwest)
- Miklor DMR Info (DMR radio and technology information, tutorials, and product reviews)