When it comes to using a DMR repeater, there are a few things to keep in mind. As DMR supports 2 simultaneous talkpaths, it opens up opportunities to repeater owners and they may choose how to use the features of DMR/TDMA.
DMR repeater owners more than often will dictate how they want the 2 time slots used and what talkgroups can be used. These just aren't suggestions from the owner, they are requirements to use the repeater and not wind up loosing repeater access.
So how do you find where the repeater owner has dictated which talkgroups can be used on the 2 time slots? This information can usually be found on Repeater Book, RadioID, network status page or a dedicated website set up by the repeater owner. Failing that, contact the repeater owner and ask for talkgroup and time slot preferences. Do your dilligent research before programming your radio and using the repeater! Don't just assume the owner doesn't care and follow some random suggestion you found on the internet.
Ex. All repeaters owned by Central Illinois Skywarn members follow the same talkgroup/time slot plan. Time Slot 1 is to be used for the Central IL Skywarn talkgroup only! There should be no other talkgroups used on Time Slot 1. Time Slot 2 is to be used for any other talkgroup.
This is not intended to be an in-depth/hand holding tutorial to DMR radio programming. There are plenty of YouTube videos for that.
At the very minimum, in order to get on DMR, you need the following:
After you have assembled all the items from the list, connect the radio to the computer and read it into CPS. Save the codeplug (file) somewhere as a backup incase something goes wrong.
Next step is to set your DMR ID in the CPS. In CPS, find the window called General/General Settings. Find the field Radio ID and enter your DMR ID you were assigned. Feel free to change any other settings if desired.
Then go to Contacts section and using the information you obtained earlier, program the desired talkgroups as contacts.
Next, go to Zones and create a Zone for the channels you are about to create.
Go to Channels and create a channel for the talkgroup you wish to use. First, enter the proper transmit and receive frequencies. Then, set the Color Code and Time Slot according to the repeater owner's instructions. Next, set the Contact name to the desired talkgroup.
Go back to the Zone window and add the newly created channel to the desired zone. Save the file and write to radio.
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