Lately, it seems there has been a new effort by DMR Master Server Admins to complain about long winded QSOs on common “static” talkgroups. Just check out the DMR Facebook pages to read some of them. Many of the examples being used are situations occurring between hotspot users.
Let’s chat about this and see if we can all get on the same page.
First, we need to examine the idea of Talkgroups (TG) and really what happens when we are talking on a TG which is a “common” and likely “static” talk group on several DMR repeaters.
For example, lets assume that most DMR repeaters in a particular state all have the State Wide TG programmed as a “static” TG on time slot 1. Anytime we key up our personal DMR radio on a single repeater in our hometown on the State Wide TG, we are actually keying MANY repeaters across the state. So, it’s possible that we are tying up at least 10 repeaters and 10 timeslots at once! Think about that for a minute.
Good practice is to make a contact on a common talkgroup to make contacts with other hams. Short QSO’s are fine! Those lasting just a few minutes, should be considered appropriate and not a bother to anyone. BUT if the convo begins to last more than… say a few minutes, you should discuss moving to a dynamic TG. Like one of the TAC channels. This will release the other 9 repeaters around the state to be free for others to use, while you only tie up one time slot on your local repeater to continue your conversation to the end. This is especially important if you are talking to someone in your own hometown. Why would you want to use a State Wide TG to talk to your neighbor? In this case, a Local TG (2 or 9) would even be better.
So, how do hotspots fit into this scenario? Well… they exacerbate the issue, especially due to their recent popularity and the fact that we are seeing a lot of hotspot users talking to one another and tying up many repeaters, of which, neither user is actually using. Honestly, this isn’t really a problem unless the convo is going on for quite a while.
Just remember to be mindful of how a DMR network functions and make an effort to only have short QSOs on common talkgroups. The TAC channels are there specifically for us to have longer conversations. Cheers!