DMR repeater on the playa

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RudolphDiesel
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DMR repeater on the playa

Post by RudolphDiesel » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:46 pm

Not sure if this is the right forum, if not, mods feel free to move, but since it has with resource sharing to do I thought here would be a good place to start.

The last years a few friends of mine had problems keeping in touch with folks from the camp and since some of us are hams we thought we might be able to solve some of the problems.

Usually/Normally two way radios are either not well received or simply don't work in BRC. Either because they are simplex (radio to radio) or because then one has to listen all day long to chatter on the radio that is not for me, and that gets old very quickly. We know there are a few FM repeaters on the mountaintops surrounding the playa, but they still have the problem that if one wants to stay in touch with your camp you'll have to listen to the repeaters to see/hear if there is a call for you.

Enter DMR radio: with DMR radio you can(but don't to have to) talk to everyone listening but you can also make "private" or better direct calls which only opens the squelch of the radio(s) the call is for and thus is much less intrusive on your general BM experience, because unless your friends really want to talk to you your radio stays quiet. DMR radios can be used on amateur frequencies and are perfectly legal to be used for every amateur radio license holder and have lately come down in price to well below $100 for some simple models.

THUS, our camp will be bringing and operating a DMR repeater on them playa for the event for all hams to have fun and communicate.

The data that you will need to program your radio:

RX/TX 441.175/446.175 MHz
CC: 1
Slots: 1 & 2, both slots will be active
TG: all (all talk groups are allowed and will be repeated, but we suggest to use TG 9 for local chitchat)
SMS: supported! You can send SMS messages to your friends radios if talking is not your thing.


There will be no backhaul to the internet to keep in the spirit of BM and keep the default world where it belongs)

With that you have plenty of combinations to play with and to communicate with your friends and everybody else on the repeater.
KA5PLE

ryfi
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Re: DMR repeater on the playa

Post by ryfi » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:47 pm

Well maybe it's time I finally got that HAM license I've been meaning to get since high school (was a part of the HAM radio club back then). Hmm...

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some seeing eye
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Re: DMR repeater on the playa

Post by some seeing eye » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:17 pm

The BRC WiFi List, despite its title, is the de facto spectrum coordinator on the playa. PM if you don't know how to participate with them.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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TT120
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Re: DMR repeater on the playa

Post by TT120 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:26 pm

Sounds like a fun thing to play with out there.

I have brought some of my shack out there before and found that I just didn't use it that much. GMRS radios work well for camp communications and can also be used to summon rangers or medical. There is also a 2 meter and a 70cm repeater in range of the Playa that you can hit with just about any HT. Those cheap little Baofengs hits them with no problem anywhere on the Playa.

Here is the repeater info in case you're interested:

UHF Repeater, EchoLink Node 7238 (W7BRD-R), and IRLP Node 7249
440.175 MHz (+), PL 100.0
VHF IRLP Node 3075
146.7 MHz, PL 100.0
Simplex
APRS Digipeaters GERLCH and RAZOR
144.39 MHz simplex
Gatewayed to the Internet (APRS-IS)
Life's a bitch, then you go to Burning Man - Unjonharley
We welcome the stranger, but that doesn't mean we have to like them, nor they us, and that's alright. - AntiM

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RudolphDiesel
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Re: DMR repeater on the playa

Post by RudolphDiesel » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:22 am

I am aware there are FM repeaters around, the problem as I have said is that you have to listen all the time to the radio, which takes away from the event. I was putting in some thought before going down that path. The ability of DMR radios to be programmed to be completely silent unless your radio is being called was one of THE major decision points to bring a repeater to the playa
KA5PLE

RudolphDiesel
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Re: DMR repeater on the playa

Post by RudolphDiesel » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:23 am

some seeing eye wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:17 pm
The BRC WiFi List, despite its title, is the de facto spectrum coordinator on the playa. PM if you don't know how to participate with them.
I have made BMORG aware of the fact that I will be bringing a DMR ham repeater. According to the org as long as we stay inside the ham bands we are good to go. Which, quite frankly was as I expected it to be.
KA5PLE

RudolphDiesel
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Re: DMR repeater on the playa

Post by RudolphDiesel » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:27 am

ryfi wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:47 pm
Well maybe it's time I finally got that HAM license I've been meaning to get since high school (was a part of the HAM radio club back then). Hmm...
Technicians licenses are easy to get. I even had my wife get one even though she had absolutely nothing to do with the hobby, but that way we can if we want to communicate and escape the high QRM on the FRS and GMRS bands. Add DMR to that and you have crystal clear communication, none of the usual FM scratchiness and abilities like sending SMS messages.

She studied for 3 days in the evening, then went to get the tech license and got it on the first run. easy peasy.
KA5PLE

ryfi
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Re: DMR repeater on the playa

Post by ryfi » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:01 pm

Does the tech license require morse? I could never find the will to learn it half decently. If not, well then, I'm great at the fact memorization, I could do the rest.

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TT120
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Re: DMR repeater on the playa

Post by TT120 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:35 pm

Nope, they dropped the morse code requirement for both the tech and general classes. You still need it for the extra class though.
Life's a bitch, then you go to Burning Man - Unjonharley
We welcome the stranger, but that doesn't mean we have to like them, nor they us, and that's alright. - AntiM

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RudolphDiesel
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Re: DMR repeater on the playa

Post by RudolphDiesel » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:59 am

Apparently there is already a TG for Burning Man amateur radio operators: 31326. I am of course going to statically carry that TG on the repeater while its not yet in BRC and it is also a good TG to chat with friends while in BRC.

See you folks in the dust!
KA5PLE

mrchiff
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Re: DMR repeater on the playa

Post by mrchiff » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:05 am

TT120 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:35 pm
Nope, they dropped the morse code requirement for both the tech and general classes. You still need it for the extra class though.
AE doesn't require code proficiency either.

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