DMR Do’s, Dont’s & Best Practices

On this page you will find information on how the most popular talk groups are set up and how to properly utilize each one of these talk group on the PALS DMR Repeater(s). Both PALS repeater systems operate on the Brandmeister DMR Network.


Each talk group on the world wide Brandmeister DMR network has specific uses on the system. Some talk groups are “always-on” and are active all the time on a repeater, and some are “user activated” and are only active for a certain amount of time if someone keys up their radio on that particular talk group. With hundreds of repeaters and thousands of users, there needs to be some “traffic control” rules in place to make sure the network runs smooth and efficiently. If all the talk groups were active all the time on all the repeaters in the world, I’m sure you can imagine what kind of mess that would turn out to be. That’s why there are many different talk groups and uses for each one.

A talk group can be set up to be an “always-on” talk group or a “user activated” talk group. An always-on talk group is exactly that, it is always on and available on the PALS DMR repeater. A user activated talk group is always available but is not activated on the repeater until a user “turns it on.”  This is done by selecting the talk group and pushing your radio’s push-to-talk button.  The short transmission from your radio activates the talk group for 15 minutes. This “user activated” talk group will remain active as long as there is local activity on the talk group. After 15 minutes of local inactivity, the talk group goes dormant and back to a “user activated” status until it is activated again. Let’s take a look at some of the talk groups that are available on the PALS DMR Repeater Systems and what each ones use is intended for.

  • LOCAL 9 – Time Slot 2. This talk group is for local Peoria/Bloomington area traffic and QSO’s. If you are going to talk to someone that is located in the Peoria or Bloomington/Normal area and you both can hit the PALS DMR repeater, then Local 9 is the place for you to be. That way, you do not tie up another talk group that may have multiple repeaters coming up at the same time. There is no need to tie up multiple repeaters on the network when both of you are in the same area and can hit the same repeater. This way your local conversation stays local and only ties up one repeater.

  • CI-LOCAL – Time Slot 2 on 442.500 and on 442.200. This talk group is an “always on” talk group and connects both the 442.200 and 442.500 repeaters 24/7. It is used as a local/regional Illinois rag chew talk group for DMR users in central Illinois. Hop on and start talking!

  • ILLINOIS –  Time Slot 1. This talk group is active all the time on the PALS DMR Repeater and is “always-on” on for most DMR repeaters in the state of Illinois. When ILLINOIS is being used, your conversation is being broadcast on most every DMR repeater in the state of Illinois. Good for short statewide communications. Not really intended for long QSO’s.

  • MIDWEST – Time Slot 1. This talk group is active all the time on the PALS DMR Repeaters and is “always on.” It’s intended for short communications. Not intended for long QSO’s. It is primarily a call channel. Contact your party on this talk group and move to a “user activated” talk group such as any of the TAC channels where rag chew is appropriate.

  • NORTH AMERICA – Time Slot 1. This talk group is a “user activated” talk group and is on a 15 minute PTT timer on both the PALS DMR Repeaters. This talk group is for general QSO’s spanning across multiple North American repeaters. Remember, if you feel that your conversation is going to be lengthy in nature, it would be a good idea to take that conversation to a “user activated” talk group such as a TAC channel talk group.

  • TAC (310-319) – Time Slot 1. These talk groups are “user activated” talk groups and are on a 15 minute PTT timer on the PALS DMR Repeaters. theya re available to numerous other Brandmesiter DMR repeaters world wide. They are used as rag chew talk groups.

  • There are numerous other talk groups listed for use on the Brandmeister network. All of them are available for use on the PALS DMR repeaters. We ask that all talk groups other than CI-LOCAL be used on Time slot 1.

  • If you have any questions about any of these, or other talk groups please contact us and let us know. We would be more than happy to help answer any questions that you may have. Have fun and enjoy DMR amateur radio in central Illinois!