Finding a DMR Repeater

Finding your local DMR Repeater

OK so now you have your radio up and running, and you want to contact/talk/QSO with other friendly neighbors!

While you can talk directly, the power of the DMR network is that you can reach much farther with a repeater. Unlike most(?) analog repeaters, where you can only chat with other people who are accessing the same repeater, digital repeaters can connect thru the Internet to each other to create a huge network. For example, I can talk to someone in Boston from New York (normally not something a repeater could reach) by connecting to my local NYC repeater which then tunnels data to and from a Boston repeater.

So the most important thing is to find a repeater or two in your location that you can use to contact and program that into your radio.

Talk Groups

Since there's a huge network of hundreds of DMR repeater/routers and thousands of users, all essentially on one net, there's a desire to split off the groups so that when you send a message it goes to the smallest group necessary to still reach who you want. I think of it like a "chat room" channel

For example, if you want to talk to people in NYC only, you would talk on the NYC-local talk group. If you want to talk to people in New York state, join the NY talk group. Tri-state? yep. New England? sure! USA? North America...all the way up to worldwide. And of course each city and state and region has their own talk groups as well.

If you have a person in particular you want to chat with, you'll need to figure out the minimal talk group you share in common with the repeaters you have available

Ideally, you would not have to use a "North America" talk group if you can avoid it since every repeater in the US+Canada would have to transmit your message.

For example - Lets say I want to talk to my friendly neighbor in Philadelphia. Here's the repeater he can use:

This repeater WB3EHB carries 4 TalkGroups:

  • Group 1 (World wide)
  • Group 3 (US + English)
  • Group 3172 (North East)
  • Group 2 (NY-NJ Metro)

Lets look at the repeater I have in my backyard, K2MAK

This repeater carries even more talk groups:

  • Group 1 (World wide)
  • Group 13 (World wide English)
  • Group 3 (US + English / North America)
  • Group 3172 (North East)
  • Group 2 (NY-NJ Metro)
  • Two TAC groups (wont be covered here)

There's also a repeater near me in Brooklyn, NY4Z

This repeater carries similar, but not identical talk groups to the NYC one in midtown:

  • Group 1 (World wide)
  • Group 3 (US + English / North America)
  • Group 13 (World wide English)
  • Group 14 (Latin America)
  • Group 3172 (North East)
  • Group 4444 (Bronx TRBO only)
  • Two TAC groups (wont be covered here)

The difference between this repeater and the midtown one are that this one carries #4444 and #13 but does not carry #2.

Since my friendly neighbor is in Philly and the 'smallest group' we could both share is TG2 (NY-NJ Metro) I am best off going with the K2MAK repeater if I want to talk to him since its the closest repeater that shares that talk group

Next up we'll program that into our radio!

Last updated on 2016-05-22 at 05.21.51 PM Published on 2016-05-24 at 07.54.35 PM