The demo DMR repeater has been setup and installed at Station 720. It is operating in dual mode and will work with both Analog and Digital radios.
It requires a 100 Hz CTCSS encode tone on the radio to be set. The repeater does not transmit a 100 Hz CTCSS tone so tone squelch or decode tone will not work with it in analog mode. It has been added to the Ohio codeplug on http://arrl-ohio.org/digital/digital.html
There will be an additional talk group added to the next code plug release that will allow open spot users to connect to the repeater directly without being on a talk group that will bring up other repeaters. Ed, KE8ANU has modified the current code plug and has added that talk group to it. If you would like him to email you the modified codeplug, let him know.
Since the repeater is a Demo repeater, we need to make an effort to put it through its paces and address questions and issues that come up with it. It seems to be getting a fair amount of use since it was installed on Sunday May 21st, especially when there were some issues with the 2 meter repeater controller causing it not to operate correctly. The 2 meter repeater is in operation without the controller so there are no announcements or courtesy tones. We also still need to sell raffle tickets to raise money for the purchase of the DMR repeater.
One issue with the DMR repeater is hearing all the digital noise from it when using an analog radio. DMR is known to open tone squelch when the CTCSS tone is set between a certain range and 100 Hz is in that range. To resolve this issue, the CTCSS tone on the repeater would have to be changed to a higher frequency and the repeater set to transmit tone when its in analog mode. This would allow analog radio to use tone squelch and not have to hear all the digital noise.
Another issue with the DMR repeater is it doesn't have large range or coverage area. This has been an issue with the ailing Kenwood repeater too and has to do with the repeater antenna height at EMA station 720. We are planning on raising the antenna height in the next few weeks or so when we can get our ducks in a row to do that and some other work that will require a lift.
We still need to test it in analog mode, looking past the digital noise issue, and see if it an improvement compared to the ailing kenwood repeater.
Anyone can monitor the DMR repeater from this link https://brandmeister.network/index.php?page=repeater&id=313966
without the need for a DMR radio. I also added this link on the K8JWL DMR repeater page, K8JWL Repeater is now a 70cm DMR repeater on the Brandmeister network .
Anyone can see who has used the repeater and on most talk groups, the speaker by the talk group in the last heard window can be clicked on and anyone will be able to listen to it on the computer. When listening to a talk group, you can click on archive and play back recordings from that talk group. This is useful if you want to go back and re-listen to something or if you want to listen to a net on a talk group from a previous time. I believe the recordings will be available for 180 days.
Anyone can also listen to other talk groups on brandmiester from the hose. The hose has a scanner feature where you can type in multiple talk groups in text boxes, press apply and it will scan for those talk groups, stop on the first one it picks up activity and play the audio. If it displays offline at the top of the page, just click on it and it will go back to online mode.
If someone doesn't have a DMR radio or are out of range of a DMR repeater, they can monitor live or listen to what has been recorded to stay updated on what is talked about or discussed on the repeater or on a net they may have missed.
There is no need for anyone without a DMR radio to feel left out. The brandmiester hose also a good way for someone to get an idea of what type of traffic is on DMR and help them decide if they want to invest in a DMR capable radio, hotspot, etc.