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Pacific Northwest DMR Best Practices

 

Most Washington repeater owners support this policy and will work together to insure the best operation across all our networked assets.  It is our hope that users embrace our approach as it has been formulated to be in the general best interests of all network users including those who tend to monitor the talkgroups.

PNW DMR is a system of networks of repeaters open for use to all users, travelers and visitors in our region.

There are no dues or fees for use, few restrictions but liberal suggestions on how to best make use of our resources.  We of course certainly appreciate our donating members.

As a user of the PNW DMR repeaters located in Washington as well as much of it's network infrastructure in Idaho, Oregon and British Columbia, we hope that our users know the contents of this page and as much as possible, try to adopt our best practice expectations as described below.

 

Reminder:  Please use High Power by default, most especially for handheld radios inside vehicles.  Please use an outside antenna with your HT's, or better, use a 40 watt mobile radio.  Our listeners will appreciate this!

 

Radios: Our endorced list of client radios:

  • Motorola MotoTRBO, including all original generation 1 handhelds and mobiles

  • Hytera PD series HT's and MD series mobiles

  • Vertex-Standard VXD series HT's and EVX series mobiles

  • BFDX CS580 (the lowest price point $110-$139 on this preferred list available with a complete network codeplug)

  • CSI's 7xx series HT's and 8xx series mobiles

Do Not Use:

  • Baofeng; any model including the DM-5R and DMR-5R Plus model

  • Koytone

Note: Motorola MotoTRBO radios are the ONLY fully compliant radio with our MotoTRBO IPSC repeaters.  TXI is missing from ALL on-MotoTRBO radios  and roaming, SMS and other data services are not not necessarily fully compatible, so your mileage may vary.

If a radio is not on the Do Not Use list, then those "generally" can be used but we encourage your use of the radios on our endorsed list.  Many inferior radios are rebadged, so it can be a whack-a-mole process to maintain the Do Not Use list.  Only the worst or least appropriate radios tend to be blacklisted in the red box above. 

NOTE:  CSI's (BFDX) CS-580 is arguably the best low end having the highest value to cost ratio and is preferred over any other Asian radio for on the PNW DMR network.  Superior audio quality both Tx and Rx, large color display, excellent user interface, small form factor, easier factory CPS programming, better specs and many innovative digital features...best value for $110 to $139.  PNW is supporting the codeplug and it will be constantly updated to keep up with PNW growth. Please use HIGH Power with any HT, especially if operating from inside a vehicle.

A big consideration overlooked by new DMR users is that the low end radios tend to have very POOR programming software and much less codeplug support.  You may be be on your own without any support building a codeplug.  It is a daunting task that can take many hours and easily be done incorrectly.  That is a recipe both to give up prematurely on Ham DMR as well has have substandard operation on our networks.  Please consider our support already in place by your use of the better radios.

If you have not yet purchased a DMR radio on our approved list, and you do find something in the no-man's land to get you on the air and on our network, please consider it to be a provisional radio while you learn DMR and before you are ready to invest in radios for permanent use on our networks.  In other words, that it be for temporary use or evaluation and well may become a spare or glove box radio as you invest in the endorsed models from our list above.

Listing of Chinese radios purely for reference and convenience:  Here  ///  Radios Reviews

 

Bullet Points

  • Traveler's and visitor users of PNW have a bit more latitude in their radio selection.

  • 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.

  • Brandmeister conversations should be kept to a minimum and moved to a TAC talkgroup as soon as convenient.  PNW DMR 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.

  • Please maintain minimum signals 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 stronger -110 dBm.  If any doubt, use High Power Please!

  • Always when calling, say the talkgroup you are on as many users scan or 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.

  • Remember to leave a few seconds between transmissions to allow other users to PTT into or out of the talkgroup.

  • Become a "Gathering" regular for our Not-a-Net (net: Wed 1900 local PNW 2).

  • Codeplugs and MotoTRBO CPS are available to members only who have agreed to abide by our best practice expectations.  See last line of this page.

  • 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 radio.

  • 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 chances or a response.

  •  Mostly missing...is our member's participation in our interactive Yahoo Group to help make PNW DMR better.

  • PNW DMR virtual "Hallmark":  "I-5 Coverage"

A LAST FEW THOUGHTS:  Our repeater and c-Bridge owners have invested or contributed well beyond $60,000 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). 

At a minimum, please seek out to support them 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 relationship.

If you have question, please Email PNW, any repeater owner (click on the Color Code link on the home page), post your question to our Yahoo Group or ask during our weekly Not-A-Net Gatherings. 

Lastly, 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 or respond to the Yahoo Group Poll.  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.

Terms of Service

Revised: 06/13/2017 17:33

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