Timeslot 1 and 2
are completely separate talk paths and to not
interact with each other.
New users should
consider using Local 1 or Local 2 for
testing until they learn
how the network interoperates. Chat with other
local users, seek out your Elmer.
and Washington 2 have the most listeners, so
if you want to try a QSO, try these talkgroups
first. Ask for radio check, identify that you
are new user or say something that will garner a
likely response. Don't be shy as we already
have many more listeners than talkers.
Check out the
network diagram for Washington.
Check out the
some talkgroups are special and not QSO talkgroups
so become familiar with the purpose and special
conditions on some of our talkgroups.
Talkgroup Matrix for
the repeaters you want to use to learn which
talkgroups are available on those repeaters of
interest. Do not use talkgroups not published.
Some valid talkgroups are not published and are for
EmComm or Admin use.
Use Polly, our echo server Parrot or
PNW Regional 2 with Hoseline. This is a significant, longtime, ongoing
issue...please be aware of your loud or soft audio
levels or breath puffs into the mic port that
confuse the vocoder. Check out this
mic information if you have never used a
2-way radio. It can very hard for
other users to listen to, adjust your mic gain if
the radio supports it or move closer/away from the
microphone port. CS-580's are hot!; try 6 to
12 inches and check via the
Parrot talkgroup or ask
other users. Hot Audios are far more
objectionable than soft audios.
No Quick Keying:
allow 1-2 seconds between transmissions to allow
other users to key into or away from your talkgroup.
or Resources: Be considerate of
your use of wide area talkgroups, especially on
timeslot 1, remember that Local 2 or timeslot 2
talkgroups have less impact on our
primary timeslot 1 networked talkgroups. Study
the talkgroup list to learn the purpose and impact
of each talkgroup that you use.
conversations should be kept to a minimum and moved
to a TAC talkgroup as soon as convenient. PNW
is not a Brandmeister network but a c-Bridge network
that supports some of the Brandmeister talkgroups.
Use the Parrot
talkgroup to test your audio levels and quality to
confirm it is within norms. How well you sound
is important to other users who hear your
transmissions. Excessively hot or soft Tx audio
makes it difficult for the listeners.
have different goals, please read their
before use. QSO's are limited to 10 minutes
minimum signal levels into the repeater to minimize
obnoxious noise impact to other listeners.
That means use your highest power setting available
unless you are reasonable certain that your signal strength is
-110 dBm. If any doubt, use High Power Please!
Remember to leave a few seconds
between transmissions to allow other users to
PTT into or out of the
When making a call, say the
talkgroup you are using as many users scan, use RX
Groups or can't see their display and then
otherwise, will not know which talkgroup on which to respond. Mentioning which repeater you are using
is handy as well and it provides a bit more time for
listeners to glance at their displays.
When calling to strike up a
conversation, it is helpful if you say something
more than your call sign. Let people know you
would like to converse. Mention your location,
the repeater you are using, etc. We have many more
listeners than talkers, so try say something compelling
to increase your chances of a response.
"Gathering" regular for our Not-a-Net (Wed 1900
on Washington 2). This is designed for new users and
we want to help our new users first, so please ask
Loaner radios may
be available. Contact your
repeater owner directly via the repeater's CCx link
on the PNW homepage
if you are interested in trying out a particular
participation in our interactive
is encouraged to help make PNW DMR better.
Please NO or very
limited conversations related to polarizing subject
such as politics or religion.
Please do NOT
use talkgroups not on our published list, especially
not All Call.
Please do NOT
enable encryption or active data services (GPS data
sends). SMS text messaging is fine.
MotoTRBO CPS and
firmware are available via our club license to members only who have
agreed to abide by our best practice expectations,
are members of our IO Group and have introduced
themselves to the network administrators via
PNW DMR virtual "Hallmark": "I-5
Coverage" Most of Oregon and
Washington and well into British Columbia is
covered. California also has hundreds of miles
of coverage on this talkgroup. Please don't
use this talkgroup unless it is I-5 related as we
don't want our friendly repeaters to drop full time
status of this
talkgroup. That will simply reduce overall
effectiveness of our I-5 corridor coverage.
will help get your rolling on our network rapidly
with fewer hiccups.
MORE THAN A FEW THOUGHTS:
The PNW DMR network
is very complex, yet it really can be very simple to
use. Listen first or reach out locally.
Start out small on the Local talkgroups, get to know
your local hams, ask questions and come up to speed
slowly before venturing out into the larger arena of
wide area talkgroups. It is very hard to make
operational mistakes when using the local talkgroups,
but some hams may be quick to blast away when you muck
up a wide area talkgroup. We cannot control
everyone's behavior so don't get discouraged. Just
reach out to your local guys and ask for more
information to help you get up to speed. Don't
toss the baby out before contacting your repeater owner
about any issues. They are there to help you, so
jettison the bathwater but give us a chance to address
your issues or experiences.
Our repeater and c-Bridge owners have invested or contributed
well beyond $100,000 in repeaters, site rent, Internet,
insurance, Heliax, commercial antennas, commercial tower
stand-offs, gasoline, networking and hundreds of hours
of labor in the design, programming, installation and
maintenance of this network as well as time away from their
family. There is no such thing as a 2 hour hill
trip, 2 typically can be 8 (our record is 17 hours).
This is under appreciated by some insensitive users or
they feel they can do what they wish on "their" open
repeater. Please don't take on their sense of
Our network is a
collection of many individually owned assets.
While we try to have uniform rules or expectations,
there are some variations between single repeaters,
areas and states. Every repeater listed on our
homepage has the Email address (click on the color code)
so that you can contact the repeater owner for questions
on use of their repeater(s). Or simply seek them
out over the air, introduce yourself and express your
appreciation. They will appreciate it. It
might be the beginning of a new friendship.
If you are going to
use any of the Oregon state assets or their talkgroups,
you SHOULD read their
policy first, as their operation is
significantly different from the rest of the PNW network
especially for conversations beyond 5-10 minutes.
At a minimum,
please seek out to support
your repeater owners by acknowledging their contributions on behalf of the
network and ultimately to you, the user of the network.
Any repeater owner can be Emailed by clicking on the
Color Code of the respective repeater or say something
to them when you hear them on the air.
Maybe said another way, think about taking
your spouse out for dinner 1 night a year
and tell her that PNW DMR suggested that an
annual night out was a good investment in
your continued relationship. Or maybe you
could do both and thereby, pay it forward.
Something to consider, the value of a
If you have question,
PNW, any repeater
owner (click on the Color Code link on the
repeater page), post your
question to our
PNW IO Group or ask during our weekly
Not-A-Net Gatherings. This is your change to get
input or help from other members. Do not be shy,
if you agree and wish to become a supporting member of
PNW DMR, then send an
Email indicating you agree in
principal with our best practices. If you think
we have this hopelessly screwed this up (FUBAR
comes to mind), well you can tell us that as
well...and maybe provide some insight on how
we may be able to do better.