Before my trip to Dayton for Hamvention, I was attempting to program my radio for my trip to Dayton. While, I know what the repeaters in Minnesota are and what talk groups are available on what time slots, I found that getting this information for other repeaters outside of my area was not all that easy. First to just find the repeaters I could use the DMR-MARC Repeater Map and that does list talk group information. Also, I believe in some cases there are links to the repeater/repeater group web sites, but in some cases these locations don’t list much information. Repeaterbook.com does have a location for DMR Talk Groups, but in many of the repeaters I have looked at this information is not filled in. I did find that one of the repeaters in Minnesota does have information filled in, but it is up to the community to fill in this information.
So with all of the repeaters where should the source of this information be and how do we ensure that it is up to date. I don’t know and that is one of the items I am thinking about how to solve. Without being in range of a repeater it is not possible to determine if a talk group is available and what time slot it is on without some form of documentation. Coming back to my trip when I got into the area I discovered that there were additional talk groups on some of the repeaters and when I went to program it, I had to guess which time slot it was on. So after some trial and error I was able to determine the information, but it should not require trial and error to access the system.
The bottom line is who knows what the information is and where should we maintain that documentation, hopefully in a location that is able to be imported into programming software easily.