Thursday, July 18, 2019

DMR Tip 5 Using a talk group on the fly or make a "private call"

Sometimes you just want to use a talk group once in a while.  If that's the case, why create a whole new channel.  Or, if you are going to travel to a new area, you can save yourself some time by not having to create a whole bunch of talk group channels, just use the "On the fly mode" as I call it.
This is also how you make a "private call" if that person is setup in your radio (see adding a talk group on the radio above).

Use the procedure below to use an existing channel on the radio but override the talk group.  I did this when I wanted to dynamically add the Hurricane net to a local repeater.  Have fun.

Required: The following assumes you have the talk group on your radio either via programming software or using the procedure "Adding a Talk Group on the radio" above.  You could also add the user to your radio via the CPS software by adding them to the list of Talk Groups and setting it as private.

  1. Select a current digital channel and time slot on a repeater that you want to use.
You may want to use a channel that you setup just for this purpose, e.g.  "WUD UserPrg".
  1. Click List (red button) from the main screen, or choose "Talk Group" or person from the menu.
  2. Find the one you want and Select it with the green button.
  3. Now you should see three options.  Highlight the "Select Contact" and press the green button. 
You should see a green check-mark with the message "Contact Selec"
(I think it should say ..."Selected")
  1. Press the red button to go back until you are on the main screen.
  2. Press the PTT to talk and look at the screen. 
You should see the display change to the new override talk group or private person rather than the one that was programmed for the current channel.   
  1. REMEMBER:  The radio will only stay this way until you turn the channel knob or power cycle the radio.  Once you do either of those, the override goes away and that programmed channel works as normal.  You will have to follow the procedure 1-6 above to enable the override again.
Try the above procedure,.  Press the PTT when you are done to confirm you did it right (by looking at the talk group ID during transmit), then turn the knob right one, and left one, to come back and then press the PTT again.  You'll notice the override no longer works.  

An easy way to make a "Private Call":
If you want to open a private call with someone that you you've recently heard on the radio, there is an easier way to do that.

  1. Select the Menu (green button)
  2. Highlight "Call Log" and select it (using the green button)
  3. Select  "Last Call" 
  4. Select "Last Call List"
  5. Highlight the person that you want to begin a Private Call with and press the PTT.  The current group is then set to that person's ID.  It will stay that way until you change the channel or power cycle the radio.
  6. The destination radio will also go into a private call mode (NOTE: I've only tested between Anytone radios).

A note about "Private Call":
  • A "private call" is where you are using the repeater system to directly contact another DMR operator.  Instead of using the talkgroup ID, you use the DMR operator's DMR ID (see "adding a talkgroup" above).  
  • If another operator is monitoring the repeater in promiscuous mode (she can hear all traffic on one or both slots), at least one side of the conversation will be heard.  (See "Monitoring" below).
  • If the destination operator is on a repeater for a private call, they MUST have used it at least once since powering up or changing repeaters because Brandmeister uses the "last call" data to figure out how to route the traffic.
  • I was told that the repeater owner needs to "allow private call".  I haven't used private call much so I'm not sure about this. 
Enjoy and 73,
Christian Claborne
(aka Chris Claborne)

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