Welcome to DMR
This page is of interest to those
who have registered for a radio ID
in anticipation to becoming active
in DMR in our region and also for
those who are just entering this
digital mode and are interested in
getting a handle on the mode before
getting on the air.
PNW DMR encourages learning about
our operation prior to On-the-Air
DMR network actively supports our
new members. We have 3 major
areas that we hope to assist you
with developing your long term
interest in this digital mode.
entry radio to buy and how to
program it to work on our
repeaters and the larger DMR
network is a primary goal.
How to use
our resources best out the gate,
both at the repeater level and
then, out on the wider network.
Use of our
MMDVM portals if you do not have
access to our repeaters.
If you have used D-STAR, then you
you have some idea of how big and
maybe complex DMR may be. It
may appear daunting in fact...but
with some effort to understand the
radios and their programming, as
well as little bit of background on
the operation of those radios, we
hope that we can smooth your way
along this DMR journey. But
very simply if you just concentrate
your efforts to just a few specific
talkgroups (similar DSTAR Reflectors
or Fusion Rooms), it can be very
simple with little stress. In
other words, begin with your local
repeater and use the local
talkgroups first to get used to your
radio and a bit of the local
repeater activity and operation.
From there you can take on
DMR really can be
a easy as using a FM repeater but
DMR or MotoTRBO repeaters have a
cool advantage of 2 simultaneous
voice paths. That is like
having 2 FM repeaters in one
package. So for an average
cost of of $4,500 to put a repeater
up on a major mountaintop site, we
all have twice the capability, or
loosely, half the costs. But
more importantly, it enables much
more capability, most especially
with the networking capability.
This welcome page
is not really a the best place to
hit you with everything at once but
more our effort to begin small and
simple and grow into the advanced,
very cool stuff later. So with
that in mind, here is our effort to
help you to help yourself enter the
door to Pacific Northwest's DMR
PNW DMR consists
of over 30 repeaters and other
networking devices that are
available to you. Everything
is individually owned by our own ham
members and almost nothing is
subsidized by any non-ham entities.
We pay for everything we do to make
assets available to other hams.
We have a few
rules which are in place to help
keep order on the network.
Most of our member repeater owners
agree to the same "rules", though
some of our repeaters operate a bit
differently per the wishes of the
respective owners. The same
and different operating rules will
be pointed out a bit later.
But keep this in mind please, if you
feel you must go out without the
basic rules of the road under your
belt, you might get a bumpier ride
This might be loosely equated to
having a drivers license at age 16
but not yet having a commercial
driver's license or qualifying as a
NASCAR driver. FM repeater
operation is more the new 16 year
old driver while DMR is more akin
more to driving a big rig through
downtown Seattle. All drivers
might be able to navigate the road,
but some are likely to have some
bumps along the way.
We hope to smooth
out the bumps in your journey.
But we must emphasize that you must
meet us halfway. Diving right
into the wrong talkgroup, wrong
attitude or wrong repeater is a
formula for major bumps...if not
cliffs in your DMR journey.
Please invest some time in reading
through our resources on our web
site and join our
Yahoo group to learn more
sooner than later. You really
must invest more that $80 in a HT
and jumping in on PNW 2 or Oregon 1
without a seatbelt, which we hope to
provide you here.
There are 5 boxes
below. Please read them and
ask questions if you don't
understand. These boxes just
scratch the surface of the power of
the network. But you will be
well on your way to enjoying the
power given a bit of time and effort
using the resources that we have
available online, over the air, via
Yahoo and Email.
1: You need a
starting out begin with a handheld,
typically going with the least
expensive as they don't know but
cost as a criteria. So there
is the Tytera MD-380 at
around $80, which is they most
popular radio, due to being the
least expensive. It is well
supported and works well.
recommends the BFDX
CS-580 as a better
alternative for an entry radio at
around $120 to $140. We
support it with a regularly updated
codeplug. This 580
works well and objectively, has more
and better ham features built-in
without the need to use experimental
or hacked firmware. We can
point you to good pricing too if you
still need radio.
But either HT
will get you into the DMR door, so
pick one and get it programmed.
stock codeplugs we publish
to keep it simple. You can
customize extensively later but your
radio will work correctly with the
minimum of stress. Codeplug
creation can be a work of art and
certainly is time consuming.
Rolling your own without the basic
and advanced knowledge can provide
you (and the network) an
unsatisfactory experience. So
use ours for now.
2: If you can't
use our repeaters, consider a MMDVM
access to our DMR network via little
personal "repeaters". They
cost from about $110 to $500 with
the most popular being the openSPOT
at around $220.
PNW DMR has a
available to our members and one for
our non-members. More
information on our support at:
MMDVM at PNW
recommended are the openSPOT which
is plug n play, the ZUMspot which is
inexpensive but requires some
assembly skills or the Nano-Spot,
mid-range cost and the best for
mobile or portable use.
These devices run
on 5 or 12 DVC and are very portable
for automobile or portable use.
They typically get their Internet
connectivity from smart phones when
on the go via WiFi or can use an
Ethernet port on your home router,
same a a computer.
information, Google this:
Please invest 15 minutes and look
. It is our bare bones, get
rockin n rollin as quickly as
possible guide which lays out, in
order, what you are likely to need
to know to actually operate on the
network of repeaters. It
assumes you have your radio and that
it is correctly programmed.
Keep an eye on
homepage as you gain
experience. There is a lot of
information on that one page but
take all at once, without a
foundation, is not the best
approach. It is more a
reference page once you have become
comfortable with DMR and our network
4: On the Air
locally, get accustomed to using a
local repeater. Local 1 and
Local 2 are perfect to use, chat
with other locals, ask questions and
let our other users help. We
were all noobs at one time, so don't
be shy about asking for answers to
your questions. Use the Parrot
talkgroup, an Echo Server to test
out how you sound on the network.
No one listens to the Parrot.
:-) But honestly it is also a
good resource as it helps to pin
down audio issues and verifies that
your radio is programmed reasonably
just call out for a demo, a radio
check or just ask for a QSO and say
you are new to DMR. That
should generate the listener's
response. We would suggest
Washington 2 as a good wide area
talkgroup once you have tired of the
Locals, or if you don't find any
DMR is a
talkgroup based network and
talkgroups control everything about
Talkgroups are somewhat
similar to CTCSS muting, EchoLink
nodes, DSTAR reflectors or Fusion
rooms. There are many
talkgroups which have various
purposes, coverages, routing,
timers, and much more. If you
don't know the purpose of them, then
don't use them. Take the time
to read up on what they entail.
And as always, ask around for help
from our other users.
restrictive and/or have very
specific purposes, so stay away if
you haven't gotten up to speed on
talkgroups, where they go, why and
when. This is where DMR can
get fairly complex, so take your
5: More Online Help
Handy Links Table
at the bottom of our homepage is a
good place to look for more
information. The topics are
coded with blue basic topics and
gray for the more advanced topics.
Start with the basics first and move
up as you have time or the interest.
entry documents if you wish to get
up to speed as quickly as possible
Start and 3-PNW
If you bite off
more that you can reasonably digest,
the potential increase for mistakes
and stress. We have this
welcome page here to try to keep you
on a smooth path to understanding.
So don't get overwhelmed, stick with
your local and fellows you are
comfortable until you gain more
6: Other Resources
Our weekly over
the air Gathering is strongly
suggested. It is for our new
folks to use for interactive
questions and answers. It runs
Wednesdays at 1900 local on
Talkgroup PNW 2 for 1 hour.
We have a
Yahoo group which has over
250 members, use it as a resource
either by searching for past topics
or posting your questions.
We are happy that
you have taken the time to read down
here to the end of the welcome page.
We hope that you join us, stick with
us and learn much more about DMR.
If you find the going a bit to hard
or more than you can handle, we
encourage you to contact a repeater
owner or just send an Email to us
firstname.lastname@example.org. We will
respond and try our hardest to help
you out. We appreciate those
who invest some effort to learn
before forging ahead on their own.
aboard the PNW DMR Network!!!