Oregon North User Guide  PDF

Background—This DMR system was designed and developed for the purpose of supporting Search and Rescue communications and other Emergency communications.

If the system is not being used for SAR it can be used for “regular” HAM radio traffic as long as the guidelines below are followed.  This is a privately-owned system and all licensed HAM radios operators are welcome to give it a try.  This system is NOT however to be used as a semi-private “chat line” or “rag chew” conversations, short QSO’s only.

Conversations should be focused on DMR or HAM radio related activities.  We all have aches and pains but I don’t want to hear about them on the radio.

All the repeaters are current model Motorola TRBO repeaters so I prefer you use a Motorola TRBO radio but realize for people trying DMR sometimes that is not an option.  A TYT MD380 radio will work fine but NO Baofeng’s or lesser quality radios are allowed on my system.


 1. Local 1 should be programmed with all time slot 1 (TS1) talk groups in receive list. That way you will hear traffic on OR 1 or WA 1 and won't key on Local 1 and disrupt an ongoing conversation.  When you want to transmit make sure your radio is on the talk group you want before pressing the PTT.

 2. Use Local 1 for calling and short QSO's 5-10 minutes. All users on the system should monitor Local 1 all the time.  Local 1 should be in the receive list on all TS1 talk groups.

3. Move to Local 2 for longer QSO's. Local 2 should have all TS2 talk groups in receive list.  Local 2 should be in the receive list on all TS2 talk groups.

 4. Even if you’re on Local 2 or any other talk group and you have been on the air for 15-20 minutes take a break and give the repeaters a rest.

 5. You’re on a repeater network with up to 10 repeaters on at any time and more if your using a regional or worldwide talk group. Keep QSO's short as possible.

 6. Radio traffic can be restricted for Emergency Communications' or Search and Rescue activities at any time.

 7. Keep HT on high power unless you’re not moving and line of sight to the tower.

 8. Keep an eye on netwatch, if you see SAR talk group being used that means TS2 is closed. www.trbo.org  SAR talk groups are not published and only to be used by approved SAR volunteers.

 9. There is NO reason to activate a PTT talk group unless you want to call a specific station and have made prior arrangements to do so on email or cell phone. If you have to only activate one PTT talk group at a time.

10. If you activate a PTT talk group go ahead and make your contact/call your station. No CQ/Open call any available station. This is not an HF DX/IRLP/Echolink/DX contest channel! Call your station, have a brief QSO and be done with it. The less air time you take up the better.

11.  READ all the documents on the TRBO.ORG web site, learn how the system works by monitoring more than talking.

12.  Meet the folks who use the system on Local 1 mostly so they can help you navigate the DMR system.  Contact me KB7APU or other experienced DMR users if you have any questions.

13.  If you want to listen to a Brandmeister linked talk group get an Open Spot, DV4 mini or other DMR hotspot device and talk all day long without tying up any repeaters.  The key to the DMR network is use the talk group that uses the least amount of resources to get the communication through.

14.  No “Kerchunking” on full time talk groups.  “Kerchunking” is when you key up real quick and not say anything.  This causes issues due to hold off timers and it is unnecessary.  If you want to test the repeater your radio will tell you your connected by the go-ahead beeps.  If you want to test key up and give your call sign, talk group and location and say your testing so that way other users know what you are doing.  If you need to activate a PTT talk group, “Kerchunking” to turn it on is preferred, then listen for activity and make your call.


There are 3 scheduled nets on the system.  Sunday’s a 5pm-TAC310 net, Wednesday’s 7pm on PNW2 good DMR info and discussion, Wednesday’s at 8pm on Oregon 1 a check in net and discuss DMR related activites.

When testing or just want to announce your radio on Local 1 the preferred method is to say your call, your location and what talk group you’re on.

The DMR system is designed for commercial and business use so we as HAM radio operators must adjust to how the system works and learn how to use it effectively and efficiently so we call all experience and enjoy it.

I want to thank all the HAMs who have supported this system with access to radio sites, tower climbing, coverage testing, radio programming and much more.


KB7APU-DMR System Administrator, Owner, Control Operator.


For more information, please email the Oregon North DMR Administrator


Revised: 02/18/2017 22:24