DMR Addendum: A knee-jerk reaction from the Ivory Tower …?

Before I start, I would just like to say I have no axe to grind with those who provide the network infrastructure for the various DMR networks, many at their own cost for which I applaud.  This post highlights just one example of the type of actions those pulling the strings take to manage the network on behalf of the users, often to the contrary of what the user would like or indeed common sense.

To give some background and context to the following, talkgroups 1, 2, 13 and 235 are designated as calling only, every repeater within the specified region carrying that talkgroup on an “always on” basis.  These *should* be used for a maximum of 2 minutes before a user “QSYs” to more appropriate, perhaps user activated, talkgroup so as not to tie up every repeater in the world (in the case of a QSO on TG1).

Yesterday, announced on their twitter feed that all talkgroups on the Phoenix UK DMR network on timeslot 1 would be user access, ie no transmissions would be heard from a repeater on a particular talkgroup unless a user had requested a connection to that talkgroup.


This includes the calling talkgroups 1, 2, 13 and 235.  Can anyone else spot the flaw in this?!

Today, this has been followed by an announcement on their website.


I’d like to thank everyone for their input into decision which was made yesterday to make all Talk groups on slot 1 UA. This was due to the continued abuse of certain talk groups which resulted in the blocking of slot 1 on every UK repeater. The feedback was overwhelming that users did not want to see this happen. These view points have been listened to and the changes to Slot 1 have been cancelled. This however does not address the root cause of why this was first announced. I have started a conversation with the repeater keepers about how we should move forward. Even if this means do nothing. I would urge people to make contact with their local keeper to express their views as users. This is to make sure your voice is heard directly by the person who is providing you the service locally and ultimately has the say as to what happens. If you have any issues finding contact information for your local keeper please contact me directly at and I will get you in touch with them.

One word immediately pops out at me – ABUSE.

Does the author of that notice really mean “abuse” or do they mean “misuse”?  I would like to think the latter was intended.

Aside from the rather aggressive choice of language, it would seem that common sense has prevailed – what use is a radio system where you cannot easily call someone knowing they can hear you?

Anyhow, what do you expect from a bunch of old duffers who are well known for being a bit doddery, sometimes cantankerous and occasionally obnoxious (yes that’s us radio hams, folks!)  Some of us have a knowledge-base that solely consists of “attach big aerial, apply power, press PTT” and judging by some of the other posts out there on the interweb, some of us have gotten hold of DMR radios!  Of course the system is going to be MISUSED, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say abused!

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