"Key Up" Check-Ins On Digital (DMR, D-STAR,P25, NXDN, etc) Nets

Discussion in 'Digital Radio, DMR, Fusion, Wires, DSTAR' started by KB0OXD, Oct 2, 2019.

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  1. KJ7OTM

    KJ7OTM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Everything I've seen is that on DMR, you are STILL required to station ID as per FCC regs, regardless of the fact that your call shows up on other radios.

    One reason is, I'm guessing, that not everyone running DMR has downloaded an entire contact database into their radio. Without that, all you see is a DMR registered ID number.

    Also, I think some folks aren't keeping track of which TGs are static and dynamic, and are "kerchunking" to make sure they activate a TG.
  2. W4EAE

    W4EAE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The legal requirement to ID actually hinges on whether or not your are transmitting your call sign in some render-able form. It doesn't really matter whether or not everyone else out there can render it or not.

    If I am transmitting (on a clear frequency) in SSB and other stations happen to be monitoring on FM, my SSB voice ID is perfectly legal--even though no one rendered it.

    Many FM repeaters only ID in CW. Since the code requirement was completely eliminated more than a decade ago, the likelihood is high that few (if any) of the people listening can actually copy it. Even so, this is a legal ID.

    The issue is that a 7-digit DMR ID is not a call sign.


    I believe some/most DMR's using codec-2 will 1) transmit your "operator" callsign, and 2) won't key up on DMR w/o a callsign entered into the radio. If the callsign is transmitted in codec-2 when keying up in DMR, then there is no FCC requirement to verbally call-out your callsign. I think FCC Rule 97.119 (b) (3) covers this. Caveat though - it appears that not every implementation of codec-2 will do it, which seems to be indicated in the text of Rule 97.119, so you still need to verify if your specific DMR will or will not do #1 and/or #2 above. Dstar and Fusion apparently does #1 above, I just not sure every Dstar or Fusion capable radio will enforce #2 above. And as noted many times in this thread, the DMR ID does not meet FCC Rule requirements, it has to be a "station" or "operator" callsign to identify the transmission.
  4. KJ7OTM

    KJ7OTM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Me? There is no way I'm ever going to just PTT a TG for ID, even on a check-in net, I will always self-ID.

    I don't see why anyone would ever not, unless they were specifically directed by a net control to only PTT, and I've never encountered such a thing. It would seem idiotic to me.


    I think this question is in the realm of "do I have to per FCC rules?". In this context I believe the answer is no, as long as the radio codec-2 is shoving operator into the stream upon PTT to identify the transmission.
  6. VE3TMT

    VE3TMT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nets..we don't need no stinkin' nets.
  7. AC5A

    AC5A Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have to agree with you on the "silent" check-ins. Nets are usually there to check the operation of your equipment and somewhat fellowship with the other hams who took their time to participate. Also, to let the others know their setups are working correctly. If I was a net control station, simple digital key up and unkey would get ignored. I feel the same way about hams that check-in via email and sms too, so there's that. lol
    KK9W likes this.


    "check-in" is rules of the road, but proper display or your license plate is a required rule of the issuer.

    check-in vs transmission ID are not the same. One is requested, the other is required. The consequences for breaking the rules vary.

    So if a digi kerchunk is violation for no-ID for NCS, so be it. But the kerchunk (transmission) would still be valid under FCC rule (as long as the radio did the right thing).
  9. WA4YIH

    WA4YIH Ham Member QRZ Page

    As someone who probably started the quick-key net, let me give some insight.
    Quick-key started before there was ever a DMR specification or YSF. This was about 15 years ago.
    The D-STAR protocol, built for hams by hams have the callsign defined in the data stream. This generally will appear on all radios listening to your signal.
    There are two programs that are built for displaying this information, DPLUSReport was written and runs on a repeater. It shows the information that the repeater sees, such as call sign, repeater, 4 character message and 32 character message. The other program, DV pro, that I wrote, runs from Windows computer connected to a D-STAR repeater. It is explicitly built for the net control operator, doing things such as QRZ lookups.

    One of the first D-STAR nets, the Southeast D-STAR Weather Net has used quick-key check-ins for 15 years. When a stae is called, the stations quick-key and the net control see the stations appear on the screen. The net control then will go back and confirm the check-in and ask for any comments (hams like to hear themselves talk).

    D-STAR and YSF are the only modes that transmit a call sign and a single kerchunk is therefore a legal identified transmission.

    DMR sends a user ID which while it can be translated into a callsign, isn't a callsign. The field does not support the alpha characters needed.

    A quick-key check in can be legal in any mode (although it honestly doesn't make sense in non-digital modes) because a you do not have to identify at the beginning of your transmission in the US, only at the end and every 10 minutes. So stations can quick key to check in, but then need to have a chance to identify themselves legally. The idea is that a quick-key check-in is not the ONLY transmission that the operator may make.

    So D-STAR and YSF can have a net where users only quick-key. This can be useful for emergency operation where you are just checking to see if operators are alive or in range. But in general use, a check-in is followed by an exchange of information that often includes a call sign transmitted with voice. It's a good habit so that you don't forget when using other modes.
    NO9X and KN4SKF like this.
  10. DL2JML

    DL2JML Ham Member QRZ Page

    The problem on DMR repeaters is that you need to press PTT to activate a talk group (TG), but you don't know whether there is a conversation going on that TG before pressing PTT.

    Let me give an example: suppose I want to connect to TG 2628, which is not connected by default on my local repeater. I don't know whether there is an active conversation going on that group, because I don't hear the group before I connect. If I announce myself, I may interrupt the conversation. A quick PTT press will not. Only after the TG is connected can I hear whether the TG is free or if there is an active conversation going. I may then elect to participate in that conversation or not. Often, I cannot, as most users do not leave sufficient pauses for anyone to come in, but that is a different problem.

    Please also note that the requirement is that I give my call sign on the first transmission, not on the first transmission with a given TG. I am legal if, in the 10' prior to activating the TG, I identify myself with a test with the echotest user. I routinely do that, because I like to be sure the repeater actually hear me before I transmit. For users in the TG on other repeaters or on the same repeater but on another time slot, it may feel as if I just pressed PTT.

    On the Yaesu C4FM system, which I also use, there is a "X" key to press to connect to various "rooms", which are the equivalent to TG. Pressing that key and following the menus does not allow me to speak, but I understand that my call sign is transmitted digitally by the radio. Other users will still not be able to see it, though. The radios list the call signs of talking users, not the one of users using the data channel.

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