DMR repeater page can be found at https://www.repeaterbook.com/dmr
Please read the document here. All admins should have a basic understanding of DMR, how it works, and how it is set up.
DMR is particularly challenging for Hams as it is digital technology playing in an analog world. Hams are used to just dialing in a frequency, tone, and offset and getting on a repeater. This is not how DMR works. DMR was designed for the commercial and government world. With the next generation of DMR hitting the market, the older generation equipment is flooding the secondary market and being snapped up by Hams. It used to be cost-prohibitive to purchase DMR radios, but plenty of discount radios are being brought to market now. DMR requires a “code plug,” which is essentially a memory of the radio's settings, modes, channels, and other parameters needed to access the repeater. These code plugs can be a challenge to create as the learning curve is steep.
There is a lot of peer pressure within the Ham community for new Hams coming into DMR to learn how to create their own code plugs. To create one, the Ham needs to know the repeater's input and output frequencies, the color code (like PL tone), and the available talk groups. The talk groups each have an ID code, and the correct ID code must be entered to access that talk group. DMR is also divided into two time slots. Two time slots can be used at the same time. Talk groups are usually assigned to one talk group or the other, so knowing which time slot a talk group is on is important. The final parameter is how the talk group is activated. It can be full-time, only come up when someone activates it by bringing up that talk group on their radio and keying up, or during a scheduled time.
Most DMR repeaters are Internet-connected back to a c-bridge. A c-bridge dynamically connects all repeaters that are using the same talk group at the same time through that c-bridge. It just gets more complicated from there as c-bridges can also be interconnected.
RepeaterBook attempts to gather the information needed for Hams to create their own code plugs.
On Repeaterbook.com, we use certain nomenclature that match the DMR community to reduce the probability of confusion. It is important to know these terms and what they mean.
IP Site Connect is a way of connecting a DMR repeater “site” to the Internet. The connection is handled by a c-bridge. In the Ham world, IPSC refers to the entire network from the remote repeater to the c-bridge. System admins give their connections names, which are referred to as IPSC networks.
This is like a server. The Local Networks connect to the c-bridge, which handles the routing of talk groups. The c-bridge can route talk groups to other repeaters within the same local network or send it out to other c-bridges or even cross over to other Wide Networks.
We don't track c-bridges per se but wrap up the entire network infrastructure into the IPSC name.
Talk Groups are completely administered by repeater trustees or system admins on one of two websites, depending in their IPSC connection. Id they are a BrandMeister repeater, then RepeaterBook uses the BrandMeister API to automatically display the currently connected (live) talk group connections to that repeater. Other details about the repeater are also gathered through the API.
For repeaters connected to the traditional c-bridge based networks, radioid.net can track talk groups. Many repeater owners mistakingly only use radioid.net to obtain a DMR ID, but they are so much more than that. Repeater owners can go to their account on radioid.net and use their tools to add information about the talkgroup deck and other details they may want users to know about their repeater. RepeaterBook then uses radioid.net's API to display that data on the repeater's Details page.
There is a third way to add talk groups. This way may be preferred by larger DMR systems. We can accept a CSV file to sync the talkgroup deck as described here. The CSV has a very simple and consistent format. The file can be placed on your own website, and RepeaterBook can grab and process the file at whatever interval you would prefer.
In summary, talkgroup data is now handled completely by repeater owners and DMR system admins. RepeaterBook cannot add the data directly but pulls it from radioid.net, BrandMeister, or a CSV file. We believe this is a win-win as the process is simpler and puts the repeater owners in complete control over what information gets published on RepeaterBook.
IPSC networks do need to be assigned. This can be done by a RepeaterBook admin or a Repeater Record Custodian (RRC). When adding or editing a repeater we can perform a lookup of radioid.net to see what the current IPSC is listed there, but we may not know when you change it. Be sure to let us know.