DMR-MARC North America talkgroup now available for general QSOs

As with many New Year’s resolutions, January is the time for change. And change is what we saw today from DMR-MARC, regarding its policy governing the North America talkgroup. Essentially, DMR-MARC has decided to do a 180° by changing its position on how the North American talkgroup should be used. The longstanding policy was that it should be used as a calling channel only and that the actual QSO should take place on another more appropriate talkgroup. The basis for this policy was that traffic on North America is carried by many repeaters and that QSOs should be done in a way involved the least number of repeaters on the DMR-MARC network. With the recently announced change, users are now encouraged to carry out their QSOs using the North America talkgroup, thereby making it a meeting point for hams anywhere on the DMR-MARC network and the talkgroup to its best possible use. Of course, users who want to engage in extra long QSOs are still encouraged to make use of other talkgroups, such as the User Accessible English 1 (TG 113) and User Accessible English 2 (TG 123) talkgroups when appropriate, plus all users should make use of pauses between transmission to allow additional users to join the conversation.

You can find text from DMR-MARC below:

Effectively immediately, the North America talkgroup (TG3) will return to its original purpose as a wide-area talkgroup available to all North American hams for general QSO at any time. We believe that the North America talkgroup is more effective as a meeting place for all hams, rather than only as a calling channel. Accordingly, we encourage all hams to use this talkgroup for general QSOs spanning across multiple North American repeaters as a way to bridge the distance between us. In addition, we kindly ask that hams respect the fact that this talkgroup is widely distributed and that they keep conversations to a reasonable length and take regular pauses to accommodate others that might want to join the QSO. Remember, User Accessible English 1 (TG113) and User Accessible English 2 (TG123) are available on many systems as talkgroups to continue your conversation if you feel that it is going to be lengthy in nature.”

So we guess we will be hearing a little more traffic on the North American talkgroup going forward. Better get the batteries charged-up for that new DMR radio Santa left under the tree so that you can catch-up on all those missed QSO during the holidays using the North America talkgroup!

About Don Trynor, VA3XFT

Don Trynor, VA3XFT
Don Trynor is a 16-year veteran of the telecommunications industry and a licensed Canadian ham radio operator since 1988. He is passionate about VHF/UHF repeater communications, especially using digital modes and he has owned and operated a number of ham radio repeater installations over the years, including ones in both the provinces of Ontario (VE3/VA3) and New Brunswick (VE9). Currently, he maintains three UHF DMR repeaters - two in Toronto, ON (VA3XPR-1 & VE3YYZ DMR) and one in Niagara Falls, ON (VA3XPR-2), plus one Yaesu System Fusion repeater in Toronto, ON (VA3XPS) that operates in digital-only mode. In addition to ham radio, Don enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, biking and astronomy.