DMR RADIO IDEverything you ever wanted to know about the Radio ID Database and just how important this service is.
The Radio ID Database
The Motorola Amateur Radio Club World Wide Network has been in existence for many years. MARC was the first organization to get a foothold in the amateur radio world and as such, had at one time become the defacto owner of radio and repeater DMR IDs. The DMR-MARC network started out as a 100% Motorola equipment repeater network and has since grown to include a few other brands as well.
You can find out much more about DMR-MARC and its history here.
DMR-MARC is no longer the custodian or keeper of Radio IDs. It is now the sole purpose of RadioID.net to manage IDs for the World of DMR.
What Is A DMR Radio ID?
A Radio ID is a unique number assigned to you (and your callsign) by the RadioID.net Team. Like a telephone number or IP address, your Radio ID identifies you as a unique radio user on the various DMR networks and repeaters around the world. Because DMR is digital, we have so much more that we can do with the RF flowing to and from our radios. For example, because of Radio IDs we can see and display the callsign of the person talking to us on the radio face by the use of the RadioID.net Database. Every time you PTT your DMR radio, your Radio ID gets transmitted to the DMR network and everyone can see who you are. Pretty cool, right? BUT DON’T FORGET.. YOU MUST STILL ID BY VOICE TO BE LEGAL! Even though your callsign shows up in the network logs and on other users radios does not mean you are identifying yourself a licensed ham. You must ID like you do on analog.
So why else is this so cool? Identifying every radio and repeater uniquely with an ID enables the very essence of DMR networking to function. i.e making private calls to each other, organizing specific talkgroups for countries, states, regions, cities, clubs, special interest groups etc.
In short, a Radio ID enables you to talk to and hear only the people and traffic that you want to.
It’s totally free to get your Radio ID and you NEED ONE if you are going to have a DMR radio and use it. Is it the law? No. But you aren’t going to enjoy using DMR unless you have one, so do yourself a favor and get registered with RadioID.net as soon as you buy a DMR Radio.
How Do I Get A Radio ID?
It’s easy to register with RadioID.net and get your own Radio ID. Just click the button below, read the entire page to understand what you are about to do, then click the USER REGISTRATION button at the bottom of the RadioID.net page.
The procedure looks something like this:
- In order to complete the account registration and get an ID you must get the official FCC document to up load to their site to complete the registration.
- An original Government Document with your Callsign clearly visible. This is the only way to verify you are the License Holder. A ‘Screen shot’ of a webpage, or the ‘Reference Doc’ can be taken by anyone and are NOT acceptable.
For US Citizens, you can follow these steps:
1. Log into FCC system at https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsE
The FRN and password are the same you use when applying for Vanity callsigns and address changes.
If you don’t know your FRN number, go to FCC ULS License Search and search for your callsign. Your FRN will be listed in the column FRN.
2. On the left side menu, click on ‘Download Electronic Authorizations’.
3. On the new page, select the callsign you wanna print the license for and click on the button ‘ADD >’.
4. Now, on the bottom right of the page, click on the button ‘Download >’. Make sure your pop-up blocker is disable, otherwise you won’t be able to download the PDF for your license.
5. You will be asked to save a PDF file. Save it and submit it to RadioID, Simply login to your account and upload the License again.
That’s it. You will receive an email, usually within 24 hours, with your unique Radio ID, which you can promptly program into your radio(s).
*** You DO NOT need a Radio ID for each DMR radio that you own.
Since you are only transmitting on one radio at a time, your assigned Radio ID should be programmed the same in each radio that you use. Remember the Radio ID is identifying the USER on the network and not the actual equipment.
REQUEST A RADIO ID
DMR Repeater ID
Now we are getting a bit more complicated and need to talk in much more depth about joining a DMR network with a peer repeater. We’ll go into those details on another dedicated page.
BUT, the process for obtaining a Repeater ID is the same as requesting a Radio ID, you’ll just click a different button on the bottom of the DMR Registration page.
If you think you are ready for such a thing, click the button below.
REQUEST A REPEATER ID
Now that you have a unique Radio ID you are ready to use your radio on a DMR Network. There are several networks out there, but there are two that own most of the market share, so to speak. C-Bridge on the MARC Network and Brandmeister, which is quickly gaining ground.
Both networks are very large, with hundreds of repeaters networked together around the globe and thousands of users using them.
We’ll go into much more depth discussing each of these networks separately on their own dedicated pages. There are many similarities between how the two function, but a few major differences as well.
Your Personal ID Database
Most all DMR radios include their own internal database for holding “digital contacts.” This is another way of saying.. a database for your personal copy of registered Radio IDs translated into actual amateur radio callsigns.
This is the functionality that allows you to display another user’s callsign on your display when they are using the DMR system.
We’ll need to go into this in more depth later, but essentially you can build your own Conacts list for converting Radio IDs into callsigns.