Welcome to the Manitoba Regional DMR Network website. Our progressive, competent group operates a system of linked repeaters, providing mobile coverage along Highway 75 from Emerson (international border) to north of Selkirk, MB. We also have a repeater in south-eastern Manitoba, providing coverage along Highway 1 East, Highways 12, 59, 311, 52 and other regional roads, into the greater-Steinbach region. Coverage in the greater-Winnipeg area is excellent, with portable coverage extending west to Headingley, south to La Salle, MB., north into Lockport, MB. and east into Transcona.
Unrelated to DMR, our group operates a second repeater in downtown Winnipeg on VHF (VE4WIN), supporting analog and P25 modes, connected to the P25NX network.
Why choose DMR over Analog, D-STAR, Fusion, P25 Phase I or NXDN?
There are many different digital radio products being used by hams, public-safety and commercial operators. DMR Tier II is currently the best conventional technology available. This is why:
There are more than 120 ham DMR repeaters in Canada (compared to other digital voice modes);
DMR uses two-slot Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) transmission technology. Two separate conversations can take place on a repeater at once. A DMR repeater sends a sync signal the radios use to reference their TDMA timing position. D-STAR, Fusion, P25 Phase I and NXDN are Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) carrier-based technologies. They are no different than FM in terms of spectral efficiency, battery life and implementation cost. For P25 fans, there is no P25 Phase II (TDMA) conventional standard. P25 Phase II TDMA is trunking-only;
One DMR repeater is equivalent to two FM (or other digital format) repeaters. There are two completely independent talk-paths. Double the capacity for the same cost. FDMA systems require separate repeaters, power supplies/consumption, duplexers and cabling;
Due to the pulsating TDMA modulation scheme, transmitters are much more efficient. Portable radio battery life is extended by at least 40%. Even more if battery-saving transmit pre-amble is used (radios can sleep/wake);
DMR uses the AMBE+2 (Advanced Multi-Band Excitation) proprietary vocoder. AMBE+2 is extremely efficient at low-bitrates and is superior at handling background noise compared to other vocoders. AMBE+2 was also selected for the APCO-25 Phase II vocoder (public-safety TDMA trunking);
DMR is an OPEN standard. Radios are available from many vendors, including Motorola, Hytera, Tytera, JVCKenwood, ICOM, Simoco, Tait, Harris, etc. There are dozens of brands;
Each DMR timeslot occupies 4800bps. 2450bps is reserved for the vocoder, 1150bps is used for Forward Error Correction (FEC) and 1200bps is used for embedded data, such as the Radio/Group IDs, emergency status, vendor ID, key ID, etc.;
The DMR FEC algorithm is very robust. DMR voice signals can be recovered down to -124dBm (0.141uV). These are very weak signals, when compared to FM analog voice. DMR uses superior FEC and Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) coders, compared to D-STAR and Fusion. When DMR signals are weak and drop out, voice calls are heard as soon as the signal strength improves. There's no waiting for a user to unkey and repeat themselves;
Linking of DMR repeaters is as simple as programming them to connect to a master/hub site. No server/computer or additional hardware is required. A no-frills internet connection at your site is all that's needed. The VA4WAN group may be able to assist with a free connection;
If you opt for a commercial DMR portable, there are much better battery/charger technology, audio accessory and antenna options available than amateur gear;
There are tens of thousands of other amateurs using DMR technology. It is the most popular digital format, with DMR repeaters in nearly every major city in the world;
Commercial DMR vendors are constantly adding features, improvements and fixes to their products'. Firmware updates are released 2-4 times per year;
Motorola DMR repeaters can be configured to link none, one or both timeslots; you may reserve a timeslot for local (coverage area of the repeater) club use;
Motorola DMR repeaters are continuous duty, public-safety-grade equipment. They do not "burn out" or have duty-cycle issues, such as what has been seen with $500 amateur-branded infrastructure. Not knocking, just stating the truth;
Motorola DMR repeaters can be remotely switched to analog-only operation with CTCSS, DCS or carrier-squelch support to assist with community events like marathons, parades and ARES operations;
Motorola DMR repeaters can be (securely) remotely programmed, firmware-updated, maintained and queried/monitored for performance issues. Alarm conditions can be automatically emailed to technicians;
If you're a scanning fan, there's plenty of interesting commercial DMR traffic to monitor outside of the amateur bands. The same cannot be said about D-STAR or Fusion;
The Manitoba Regional DMR Network is maintained by commercial/public-safety communications professionals. We care about the performance of our network and it's constantly improving!
How do I get on the Manitoba Regional DMR Network?
You will need a UHF DMR radio to access the network. For a listing of compatible radios, check out the excellent VA3XPR website. The best feature-for-dollar radio as of this writing is the Tytera TYT MD-390. They are relatively inexpensive and available on eBay, Amazon and other sources. Note this is a portable radio and it will not offer optimal performance in fringe areas. For Winnipeg, it'll work fine. If you have some extra money to spend on a performance radio, check out the Motorola XPR7550 (portable) and XPR5550 (mobile). All DMR radios (except the Motorola SL7550) also support analog mode.
Once you have a radio, You'll need a Radio ID to access the network. For amateur use, the RadioID.net group handles the assignments. You may request an ID at the RadioID.net website.
The following repeaters provide regional DMR access. When adding the "Manitoba" talkgroup to your radio, you'll need to make a "Group Contact" and define it as 3024. Make sure it's a GROUP contact and not a private or individual ID contact. You can name this group contact "Manitoba".
Configure your radio with the Radio ID you are issued by the RadioID.net group. Create three channels (one for each repeater) in your programming template/codeplug. Use the frequency information below. Set the "Contact Name" in the transmit field for each channel as "Manitoba" (as defined in your contact list). You can leave the "Group list" field set to "none" under the channel receive parameters. For each channel, define the timeslot as 1.
Timeslot 2 is reserved for encrypted admin/technician traffic. Please do not use Timeslot 2 unless you've been authorized to transmit there.
St. Jean Baptiste - VE4STJ (Omni coverage: Hwy. 75 from U.S. border to Hwy. 205)
444.4375+ MHz (input 5 MHz higher)
Color Code: 11
Please make sure you do not have Transmit Interrupt, Transmit Interruptible Frequencies or Allow Interruption enabled in your channel programming configuration.
If using a Motorola radio, please enable Enhanced Channel Access for each channel.
We use the Confirmed Private Call and Confirmed Data Call options. If you have those options, enable them.
If you see fields relating to Text Messaging, we use the DMR Standard for the Text Messaging Type and Compressed UDP Data Header fields.
VE4DMR, the Winnipeg site, is connected to the net via VA4WAN on 5.9 GHz (5cm ham band) backhaul. Our IP address is on the AMPR.ORG network, which is reserved for amateur radio! Thank you to our friends at VA4WAN!
Optional: If using a Motorola or Hytera radio, you may program a roaming list; all repeaters transmit a 1920ms beacon every 30 seconds.
Here's a video made by Derek, VA4AFK, showing how to program a radio for our network:
As if DMR isn't enough to keep you busy, we also have a VHF Motorola Quantar on the air in Winnipeg. This is a dual-mode, analog/P25 repeater which provides excellent coverage to the Greater-Winnipeg area. Here are the details:
Winnipeg - VE4WIN
146.985- MHz (input 600 kHz lower)
Analog DCS 143 RX/TX
Analog Deviation: 5 kHz
P25 NAC: 143
VE4WIN is connected to the P25NX network. This means world-wide coverage for P25 digital communications.
Traffic is routed via P25 talkgroups. You must program your radio with P25 talkgroups so the network knows where to route your traffic.