NE4SC repeater Guidelines
Understanding PTT, Full Time and Hold-Off
There are three terms that are used in DMR you won’t hear about on any other digital mode. They are PTT, Full Time and Hold-Off.
Scan before you call:
It is good practice to scan all TG on the repeater and listen for any local activity before you begin calling on the TG that you choose to. If you don’t, you may inadvertently disconnect another TG that someone else is already using. Some radios like Connect Systems and Tytera radios have a "Monitor" function. Make sure you are on the TG you will be calling on, then press your monitor button and listen for a miniute or so to see if anyone is on another TG on the same TS .
Pause Between QSO's :
As with all communications on large networks, ALWAYS give a 3 second pause after the other operator releases their PTT and Pause for 1 second after you key up before you begin speaking so all can hear your full QSO.
When announcing your presence:
Because many DMR users are either scanning or using receive groups, you should always say what talkgroup you are on. Otherwise even though they heard you, they will not know how to call you back. If you are announcing on a very wide area, give your city and state.
“This is WB4XYZ listening Southeast”
“AA4ABC, AA4ABC this is WB4XYZ on Statewide”
When the party you are talking with un-keys the microphone, you will normally hear a beep. This is NOT a courtesy tone, indicating you are good to go! It is the channel free indicator. In commercial services this is useful, as it is normally a dispatcher and a mobile talking, and they can call right back with no waiting. On ham radio we MUST LEAVE A GAP so others can break in. Since it takes a few seconds for a breaking party to key up and get a good tone, it is critical that you leave gaps. Count “One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand”. That will give you a rough idea how long to wait.
Move off a busy talkgroup if it is just two people talking
As DMR grows, the talkgroups will get more traffic. If you are just yakking with another local ham, consider moving to either “local” or one of the “TAC” channels. Of course “local” only works if you are on the same repeater. It is important to remember that even on Southeast, you may be keying up repeaters in potentially 4 states!
Do not rag-chew like you are on the HF bands
If you are prone to HF, you may tend to key down longer and get close to repeater time outs! Remember that VHF/UHF stuff is a more quick back and forth style of QSO. We have to do this to let others break in. This applies to analog repeaters as well.
Please ID as you would on analog
Even though the displays of many radios will show the calling station, assuming you have programmed it in, there is no exception to the ID rules. Follow FCC Part 97 rules on station identification.
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