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Latest VK DMR Newsletter

This may of interest to those playing with this digital mode

VK & ZL DMR Network Newsletter October 2015

Welcome to our Second VK DMR Newsletter, as we are moving forward we would like to explain a few things about the DMR Network for VK & ZL

In VK we currently have 242 Registered users and in ZL they have 152 Registered users, and we are growing all the time.

We have a Network in place to connect the DMR Network world wide, and also to allow a connection for VK & ZL uses to chat all the time, and this is called the VK/ZL Talk Group.
To make things simple to understand we will use TG as the meaning of Talk Groups & TS as the Meaning of Time Slot.

Talk Groups are as they are named as Groups, and we have a few already in place, So I will use our VK / ZL TG 5 & TS 2 as an Example as follows, with Time Slots.
TG 5 and using the Time Slot 2 as this is our Regions connection for us.

In VK Currently we have the following Repeaters in operations
VK2RCG in Sydney, Coming Soon VK2RPH in Sydney ,VK3RSU in Melbourne, VK3RAD in Melbourne not on-line yet, VK3RZU on Mt Buller, VK3TE in Mornington Peninsula, VK4RXX in Gold Coast Moving to a New Location, VK4RMC in Brisbane, VK3DU in Cairns, VK6RRR in Perth.

I have heard that there is possible a VK1 Repeater coming on-line soon.

These are all on UHF 70CM Band, we do not currently have any on VHF, as there is a request from WIA to have all digital Repeaters on UHF only.

We will be having a Sunday Evening Group call in on TG 5 / TS2 Time will be 19:30 Local NSW/ACT/VIC +10 (09:30 UTC)

Also the DMR Mobiles and Portables on the network are from different manufacture’s as well, We have Motorola, Vertex Standard, Hytera, CS, Simoco, Tait.
So you are not locked into 1 brand of radio to purchase, as DMR is a Truly OPEN Standard.

All of the Repeaters currently in VK are all Motorola type.

See more of the news letter about our DMR Network with Links and our Yahoo Group information, we are all here to help.

VK & ZL DMR Network Newsletter October 2015

So you ask, what is so special about DMR ….. well a DMR Repeater is basically like an analogue repeater but is digital and has two time slots, so basically it is like having two digital repeaters in one – on the same frequency. This means you can have two separate conversations going on at the same time using the same repeater frequency.

One local amateur can hold a QSO with someone on the Worldwide Talk Group 113/123 at the same time as another local amateur can hold a QSO with another local amateur on Talk Group 9.
This is all possible due to the two different digital encoded time slots and the different Talk Groups; Local, Regional, National and International.

Everyone is welcome to use the repeater at any time as long as you are a licensed radio amateur! Just please ensure you disable GPS if you have that in your radio as it creates unnecessary data traffic on the network. Also, NO DIRECT CALLS are permitted. Please also stick to the Recognised Talk Groups and do not make up your own (See the last page)

We have a Net meeting on TG 5 / TS 2 every Sunday Evening.
It is not formal, and anyone can join in, to hear about DMR and what is going on in the world about DMR
We do not have a fixed person to conduct the net each week

VK DMR Simplex Frequencies

The following is the frequencies for operating a DMR radio in Simplex mode in VK are: Digital Simplex – 439.200 MHz Digital voice calling frequency

Channel spacing is 12.5 KHz
Channels reserved for special purposes should be kept clear of other operation.
Colour Code = 1
Talk group = TG 505
Admit Criteria = Always
In Call Criteria = Always
Just remember when you put your call out to state what Simplex Channel you are calling on as this will allow anyone who has their radio on scan to know what channel you are TX on because if they do not press their PTT within a couple of seconds their radio will drop back into scanning mode and they will have to wait until you transmit again.

VK & ZL DMR Network Newsletter October 2015

I have been contact by a few of the Amateurs in VK about been able to supply a repeater for other areas of Australia.
I then asked do you have a Internet connection for a repeater and the answer is normally NO, and do you have a Duplexer for the Repeater and again the answer is NO

The DMR Repeaters needs a Internet connection on site as the Repeater has an Ethernet connection on the rear, and you need to also have a router to connect between the Internet connection and the Repeater.

VK/ZL Link TG 5 TS 2

So you need a DMR Repeater & Router and Internet Connection to connect into the VK/ZL Network, and then you local DMR Connection is done.

Clubs can get involved as well, as they can conduct net meeting on a Talk Group for there local use as well, and this will not be passed around onto other DMR Repeaters.

DMR makes use of Time slots so the repeaters can also have other repeaters connected at the same time and not getting in the way of local traffic use.

VK & ZL DMR Network Newsletter October 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is DMR?

DMR, which is short for Digital Mobile Radio, is a published standard for digital voice communications utilising TDMA technology. There are several manufacturers that build DMR radio equipment, including Motorola, Vertex Standard, Kirisun, Hytera and Connect Systems to name a few.
2. What is MOTOTRBO or TRBO?

MOTOTRBO, or sometimes called TRBO for short, is the brand name for Motorola’s DMR capable radios.

3. What are the benefits of using DMR?

The common benefits of using DMR include:
Crystal-clear audio without background noise or static;, Text messaging capability, Integrated voice and data applications on one device, Up to 40% longer battery life as compared to similar analogue FM operation.
4. Who can I talk to using DMR?
Using DMR, you can talk to other thousands of other DMR users world wide using hundreds of DMR repeaters located all over the globe. Unlike using IRLP or EchoLink where other repeaters are dialled-on- demand using a node number, DMR users can communicate with one another simply by selecting one of the available talk groups or channels. The most commonly used talk groups include:
TG 1,World Wide talk group, TG 3, North American talk group, TG 5 Local, VK-ZL, TG 13, World-Wide English. 5. Does DMR provide better coverage than analogue FM?
Not really. While DMR communication is completely static free, once it reaches the threshold of coverage, it will become unusable, whereas with analogue FM, users may continue to be heard even when the signal is mostly noise. As such, usable coverage is very much subjective from one operator to another.

6. What special license will I need to be able to use DMR?

Users will only need their Advanced or Standard Licence Qualification (Foundation Licences are not permitted Digital communications) to be able to use DMR on either the 2m or 70cm bands. Currently in Australia (VK) we are only on UHF (70CM)

7. Is DMR compatible with D-STAR, Yaesu’s digital radio or NXDN?

No. These are separate digital technologies and are not compatible with one other.

8. How is the VK/ZL DMR repeaters linked to the global DMR network?

The VK/ZL DMR repeater is linked to other DMR repeaters globally using the DMR-MARC network. This linking is accomplished using the Internet.

9. Can I use my DMR radio if I travel outside of my local area?

Yes! Users with DMR radios can use any repeater on the DMR-MARC network when they travel. You just simply need to add the frequency and channel information specific to other DMR-MARC networked repeaters into your DMR radio. Please note that DMR repeaters are available around the world on both the 2m and 70cm bands, so you would need a DMR radio on the appropriate band to access repeaters in these areas.

10. Will DMR radios work on analogue FM also?

Yes. Most DMR radios will work on both DMR and analogue FM.

11. Where can I buy DMR radios?

Often the people running your local DMR Repeater are the best people to speak to first about suitable radios and might actually be able to sell you a second hand radio and configured up for you ready to go as a good starting point.

VK & ZL DMR Network Newsletter October 2015

12. What is a Subscriber ID?

A Subscriber ID is a unique identification number that allows your DMR radio to operate on the DMR-MARC network. All DMR radios require a unique Subscriber ID and they can easily be obtained by completing a request form. If you intend to have multiple DMR radios active at the same time, then you can request a Subscriber ID for each radio. Please do not transmit with your DMR radio until you have received a Subscriber ID and have this programmed into your radio. Using ad-hoc Subscriber ID numbers will cause conflicts with other users on the network.

13. How do you use Talk Groups

TG1 is for Worldwide Calling and for QSOs less than 2 mins. This is not a talk group to ragchew on. TG 5 is for VK/ZL Calling and general chatting
TG 9 is the Local Calling Group
TG13 Worldwide English for English speakers,.

TG 505 is the Group calling Talk Group for VK and is not passed outside of VK, and this is also used for Local calling if you want to call on a Simplex Frequency.
TG13 is available 24/7 on many systems and not PTT so for English speakers it will work if you want to make international calls and there is no time limit other than being courteous and not monopolizing the Talk group so others can use it.

PLEASE DO make those international English calls on TG13.
Make our fellow overseas hams feel welcomed to join us. Let’s key up on TG13 from time to time by announcing our call and asking for any international traffic using plain language. (Don’t call CQ CQ CQ – this is not HF).
You’ll also notice that there are two nets on TG13 – the weekly tech net and the UK net.

Just remember we have our VK/ZL Net meeting on Sunday Evening.

Please spread the word.
Please do a better job educating people about how the talk groups work. The DMR-MARC Network have many new users every week.


Time Slot

Talk Group





World Wide calling channel.




All regional repeaters – only Australia & NZ are currently active.

This is the main talk group for local contacts




Local traffic,




World Wide English language talk group

This is the main talk group for worldwide contacts




Tech talk group




World Wide English language user activated talk group




World Wide English language user activated talk group




VK-wide Network

VK & ZL DMR Network Newsletter October 2015

Now for our current TG for VK below.
Please only use these configurations only, and do not make up any other TG, as we have just added TG 100 Tech Group, and this linked to the TG 100 Group from the USA, for you who want to know more about DMR and the rest of Technical people on DMR.

Contact People in Australia below.

Peter Brennan Joe Nevin
Danny Ainsworth

Yahoo Group:


If you have any Code Plugs (Program files to share upload to here please.)

Various Links: – VK cBridge status MD380%20AUSTRALIA.TXT


ACMA SPECTRA has licence changes

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has commissioned the new SPECTRA system for Apparatus Licences, and thanks all for their patience during the recent two week shut-down.

Under its Project Helm (Holistic Engineering and Licence Management), the ACMA has transitioned from the old RADCOM platform that has been in use since 1996.

The SPECTRA system means a number of changes to the WIA Exams Service that will affect both the assessors and candidates. These may take a few weeks to fully filter through and assessors have been alerted to the new simpler system. The more efficient SPECTRA Enterprise platform is now handling all data for both Apparatus and Spectrum licensing. Broadcast Licences are due in early 2016.

There are a number of changes to Amateur Radio licence processing and recording, some not obvious while others reflect the new ways of doing things. No longer will specialised blue licensing paper be used but they will be on plain A4 paper, contact with licensees will be through email if that is the communication preference chosen, and the station location will be in the ACMA licensing database. The station location details, and any special conditions, were previously only included on the licence itself due to some privacy concerns.

New application forms are specific for the Foundation, Standard and Advance licence, with a single application only containing the fields relevant to Amateur Radio licences. There is also a new ACMA licence application form for repeater licences. The simpler station licence application form will be in WIA Exam Service assessment packs but the WIA will no longer collect ACMA licence fees from candidates. However, when the ACMA receives a WIA-processed licence application and callsign recommendation, it will issue an invoice to the candidate and a licence will be issued on payment.

The ACMA has discontinued its licence variation for those seeking to upgrade. Appling for a new licence is the only option. Those upgrading can keep the existing licence until it is surrendered, expires or renewed.

The WIA will also change its publically available listing of callsigns to comply with the format of the new system.

The ACMA will send a Validation Notice 90 days before licences are due to expire (not sent under RADCOM). This will be emailed if provided, and come as a CSV file. A Renewal Summary is sent for licences which have been renewed.
Project HELM, announced earlier this year, provides the ACMA with a system and tools to enhance support of its spectrum management activities.


Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC

WICEN NSW News for Sunday, 30th of August, 2015

The results of the Annual General Meeting, held here at Amateur Radio NSW last Saturday, are:
President: Steven Heimann VK2BOS
Vice President: John Harper VK2LJ
Secretary: Steve Diekman VK2MCA
Treasurer: Doug Rosser VK2DCR
Committee Members:  Jan Van Ekris VK2FEB, Al Hirschel VK2KAM, Irene van Ekris VK2FIRV, Eric van de Weyer VK2VE.
The Northern Rivers region is supporting the Paddle for Life” canoe event on the Richmond River, on the 12th and 13th of September.
The Barrington Tops SAREX, built around the search for the missing light aircraft, VH-MDX will be over the weekend of October 17 and 18.  A significant amount of research and modelling has resulted in a refined search area.
The Hawkesbury Canoe Classic, one of the largest events on WICEN’s calendar, will be on October 24th and 25th.
Caves Rescue Squad, a sister VRA squad, will be Operational Exercise at Jenolan Caves over the weekend of 31st October and 1st November.
The WICEN New South Wales’ website at includes contact details, including the new postal address, a contact form, useful links, and a printable membership form.
WICEN has a twitter account:  @wicennsw
It can be viewed at:
Facebook users will find the official WICEN New South Wales page, and an informal national WICEN group.
WICEN ACT is part of the Canberra Region Amateur Radio Club, and supports events in the ACT and Capital Country.  The club’s website at includes details of both WICEN and general events.  The group is supporting the ACTERA Brookvale Horse Enduro on the weekend of the 26th and 27th of September, in the North West of the Territory.  The BMSC – Tumut Valley Rally is on Saturday the 17th of October.  Fitz’s Challenge is a long distance cycling event held on Sunday 25th of October.
WICEN Victoria’s website lists the Mini Marathon at Moama, NSW on Saturday, 17th October.  The Stockmans Rally is on Sunday the 25th of October in the Big River State Forest.
Coming events include:
Paddle for Life on the Richmond River, on the 12th & 13th September
Brookvale Horse Enduro, 26 & 27 September
BMSC – Tumut Valley Rally on 17 October
Mini Marathon at Moama on 17th October
Barrington Tops SAREX on 17 & 18 October
Hawkesbury Canoe Classic on 24th & 25th October
Fitz’s Challenge on the 25th October
Stockmans Rally in Victoria on 25th October
Jenolan Caves Operational Exercise on 31 October
Prepared by Julian Sortland, on behalf of the WICEN State Management Committee.

ACMA releases response to the Spectrum Review

From IT Wire:

The Government has announced its response to the Spectrum Review undertaken by the Department of Communications, in conjunction with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The Government says it will implement the recommendations of its review of the way Australia’s spectrum is managed.

The review is now complete and is available here.

Undergrad Radio Amateur Uses Reverse Beacon Network in Research Project

From the ARRL newsletter
A Virginia Tech undergraduate researcher and radio amateur has used Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) and Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) data to study how solar flares impact HF radio propagation over the entire dayside — the time Earth is in sunlight — with communication loss related to both flare intensity and distribution. Carson Squibb, KM4MBQ, recently summarized his findings in a poster presentation, “Dayside Ionospheric Response to X-Class Solar Flare Events Observed with Reverse Beacon Network High Frequency Communication Links.” As most HF operators understand, higher-intensity flare events can cause complete signal loss on HF, while weaker flares may only partly inhibit radio propagation.

According to Squibb’s poster, a solar flare is an event in which the Sun emits high levels of ultraviolet and X-ray radiation, resulting in increased photoionization in the ionosphere, primarily in the D-layer, which is largely responsible for absorption of HF radio waves. So, as ionization increases during flare events, communication can be diminished or lost completely. Such fadeouts can occur in minutes, while subsequent recovery can take hours, “which is why understanding these flare effects is of critical importance,” Squibb said.

According to Squibb, the rate of communication loss is related to the increase in X-ray intensity, and the period of recovery is influenced by both flare intensity and the rate of decline in X-ray flux after peaking. Squibb determined that lower frequencies experience fades in propagation prior to the flare peak, with recovery taking longer, while the degree of loss is more severe as frequency decreases.

Squibb’s poster explains that SuperDARN detects a ground-scatter band that results from waves reflecting from the ionosphere and ground, and that this band is degraded during solar flare events. To determine the spatial distribution of flare effects, Squibb used data from four radars across North America. He used the RBN — an array of passive receivers which detects Amateur Radio signals and posts identifiable call signs on the Internet — to measure HF communication. Squibb chose 3.5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 MHz for study. X‐ray flux data within the 0.05-0.4 nm and 0.1-0.8 nm ranges were taken from the GOES-15 geostationary weather satellite.

Squibb said future research should focus on quantifying the relationship between flare characteristics and HF signal fadeout.

Squibb conducted his research under the guidance of graduate student Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, and SuperDARN group supervisors Jo Baker and Mike Ruohoniemi, as part of his participation in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program sponsored by the National Science Foundation and hosted by the Center for Space Science and Engineering Research (Space@VT). His co-authors included Magda Moses, KM4EGE, of Virginia Tech, and Robyn Fiori of the Canadian Space Weather Forecast Center.

Antarctic Activation to commemorate ANZAC

This very special activation of the ANZAC callsign is expected to happen over this weekend. There will be a level of uncertainty in being able to operate mostly due to the Antarctic weather. Currently there is a blizzard occurring with 100 knot winds. I will keep sending information via email and WIA web site

Fred Swainston VK3DAC WIA ANZAC Event Co-ordinator

The activation of VI0ANZAC on Casey Station in the Australian Antarctic Territory is due to start operation, as part of the Wireless Institute of Australia ANZAC 100 program.

Doug VK0DMV is working at Casey Station and has great pleasure in activating the VI0ANZAC callsign. His role keeps him extremely busy and can only operate when his duties allow. This will mean that some published operation time may not occur due to operational requirements and the weather conditions.

VI0ANZAC will use the commercial Qmac HF90 transceiver with an output power of 50 watts into a dipole antenna.

Doug thanks both the WIA and the Australian Antarctic Division for this opportunity in this the 100th Anniversary year of the Gallipoli campaign in WWI. QSL in strictly eQSL.

Fred VK3DAC, the ANZAC 100 coordinator will be on air as a control station. Potential operating dates are the 8th and 9th of August, start time at 0000UTC which is 10am AEST,8am at Casey Station and operate for 2 hours, and then stop.

Doug is and experienced radio man but has had little experience in amateur radio, Patience is required

To set up a contact you can email

Proposed schedule for Saturday the 9th August and Sunday 10th August the UTC times proposed are: are:

0000 to 0200

0400 to 0600

0900 to 1100

The frequencies are:

0000 to 0030 on 7.095MHz

0030 to 0130 on 14.250MHz

0130 to 0200 on 21.250MHz

0400 to 0430 on 7.095MHz

0430 to 0530 on 14.250MHz

0530 to 0600 on 21.250MHz

0900 to 1030 on 14.250MHz

1030 to 1100 on 3.585MHz