DMR Best Practices – A California View Point

The North America Talkgroup is again going through a discussion

The North American Calling “Rule” is not a hard and fast rule.  It is a common sense understanding of your impact while communicating.  Be reasonable.   In DMR, we are only asking that you use the minimum amount of spectrum, i.e. pick the appropriate Talk Group that minimizes the # of repeaters needed for the QSO.

The North American “rule” is a BEST PRACTICE.  That document is posted on the front page (Home page) of  at the top right corner under “Member Toolbox”.

Basically my viewpoint is that if you look to DMR to ragchew with DX stations then use D-Star and choose the general use reflector. DMR is a great mode but the North America talkgroup keys up over 300 repeaters at once so your rag chew can be heard everywhere and you will be asked to keep it short. The purpose of the NA talkgroup is really more of a calling channel and then move to a local talk group. However, If I leave the NA then the K6xxx station cannot talk to me on any other talk group unless both repeater access points support the talkgroup. A great example is that the Canadian repeaters do not have access to 1776 and the US repeaters don’t have access to Canada wide.

What is meant by Best Operating Practices? CAL DMR’s Definition

  • DMR does not belong to one group, rather it is a network that belongs to all that use it. With this privilege come certain responsibilities. These responsibilities are not codified in a set of rules; rather they are outlined in a set of principles and guides for best practice.
  • Operators should respect the intended usage of Talk Groups and utilize the systems so that the minimum amounts of resources are used on each transmission.
  • Training, Mentoring, Understanding (user comprehension) is what leads to “best practices”!

Wide Area VS Local VS User Activated

  • Wide Area Talkgroups include those talkgroups that are  available on a network or repeater 24/7 and cover wide areas including World Wide, Continent Wide, Nation Wide, Regional Wide
  • Could even include State Wide in those states with a lot of repeater

Local Talkgroups

  • Can be that repeater, or a group of repeaters on a town or city

User Activated (UA)

  • Usually not operational 24/7 but available for use with a simple PTT
  • Network administrator programs how long it stays active since last local PTT
  • Usually User Activated activation only controls one repeater or RPT group on a manager… typically this provides active talkgroup audio on just 2 or a few repeaters while local PTT activity remains active

Best Operating Practices

  • Requires Training
  • Knowledge of radio & system
  • User Competency & Understanding



The North America Talkgroup is connected to the central bridge and every other connecting bridge that has added the talkgroup to its zone list

dmr marc


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