DMR and other DV (Digital Voice) modes in Skywarn Spotting & Chasing

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KD0DWV

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What is every ones thoughts on Digital mode in the Skywarn setting. (IE. Spotter to Spotter communications or Spotter to Net control). The reason I ask is with the popularity of the digital modes growing how feasible would it be to have a room on the Fusion network or a Talkgroup on DMR network for spotters to use during a weather event. If you have a DV Frequency in your area what are the Pros & Cons to it and what mode do you use or like. Trying to get some feedback to see if it is something to look into for my area
 
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If your going to do it, it can be networked the calls just don't need to be routed outside of the area of interest. Should also go without saying a network of that type would need to follow standard redundancy practices (which at that point you might as well take it Part 90 through an appropriate service).


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KD0DWV

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Our Coverage area for Skywarn is rather large and they run on three or more repeaters to cover the area. Right now we are only able to talk to net control, there is no formal spotter chat frequency during an event. I might also be nice to talk to spotters in other parts of the state when the storm might have already gone thru to get a heads-up. Again just throwing the idea out there.
 

teufler

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Equipments costs, users would probably need mobies, not ht's, so $300 or so each. It could be a statewide TG, or even the state as most in he state are interested in wx. Storm stuff for the wx buro around here, is on vhf, then some use Echolink to get messages that normally would go on 80 meters but static is usually to much. A few are mobile but caution sometimes prevails, just spotting from your house, wx reports, wind, etc, can aid in weather warning being generated or being held as conditions are not strong enough yet,
 

reedeb

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ALSO remember, SKYWARN has a large following on scanners from nonSKYWARN folks especially in bad weather.

Keep it clear, keep it friendly, and you will get much more supportfrom the the public.
 

NC1

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ALSO remember, SKYWARN has a large following on scanners from nonSKYWARN folks especially in bad weather.

Keep it clear, keep it friendly, and you will get much more support from the the public.
Given the nature of SKYWARN, analog voice should be the only option. There are a multitude of reasons for this, and I don't think I really need to spell it out.

Moving to DMR seems kind of (for lack of a better word) "unfriendly".
 

AK9R

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The reason I ask is with the popularity of the digital modes growing how feasible would it be to have a room on the Fusion network or a Talkgroup on DMR network for spotters to use during a weather event.
You don't need digital voice modes to link repeaters or assemble a "network". You can link analog repeaters and connect to a network using IRLP or Echolink.
 
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You don't need digital voice modes to link repeaters or assemble a "network". You can link analog repeaters and connect to a network using IRLP or Echolink.
You can even link some of the DMR and P25 repeaters on analog using the manufacturer's NIC.
 

RodStrong

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Unless you are working on one standalone repeater in the coverage area of an incident, I assume in most cases you would rely on the internet to keep DMR talkgroups up and running. I suppose it might work, but during a weather emergency..........not so sure I'd want to rely on the internet, data, etc.

I dig DMR ham, and think it's neat and refreshing for the hobby. That said, not so sure it has a major public safety advantage over old school stuff. I hope DMR ham popularity continues to grow.

Great question.
 

NC1

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Unless you are working on one standalone repeater in the coverage area of an incident, I assume in most cases you would rely on the internet to keep DMR talkgroups up and running. I suppose it might work, but during a weather emergency..........not so sure I'd want to rely on the internet, data, etc.

I dig DMR ham, and think it's neat and refreshing for the hobby. That said, not so sure it has a major public safety advantage over old school stuff. I hope DMR ham popularity continues to grow.

Great question.
I do believe you hit at the core of the issue. The key word here is "Reliable". I would define that as being things which are under your control. Internet and computers are unreliable even under good conditions.

In times of an emergency, your resources are intermittently stretched and stressed which leave the weakest link vulnerable to failure, so the more things that are involved, the more likely you are going to have those failures - which will probably come at the worst possible time.

Keeping things as basic and as failure proof as possible is absolutely key and paramount in any emergency situation. Even a well planned field day event has issues, now imagine being thrown into a dire situation with absolutely no notice, warning, or planning.

People who have never been in the situation simply don't know how that works and all the planning and practice still do not measure the seriousness of whatever calamity has occurred. Theory is great but reality is the best teacher. Keep it analog and keep it simple.
 
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Unless you are working on one standalone repeater in the coverage area of an incident, I assume in most cases you would rely on the internet to keep DMR talkgroups up and running. I suppose it might work, but during a weather emergency..........not so sure I'd want to rely on the internet, data, etc.

I dig DMR ham, and think it's neat and refreshing for the hobby. That said, not so sure it has a major public safety advantage over old school stuff. I hope DMR ham popularity continues to grow.

Great question.
Depends on the person designing the system. Those with experience in public safety systems would use redundant microwave links to link. If they were really anal, they wouldn't even let the internet be involved.

I do believe you hit at the core of the issue. The key word here is "Reliable". I would define that as being things which are under your control. Internet and computers are unreliable even under good conditions.

In times of an emergency, your resources are intermittently stretched and stressed which leave the weakest link vulnerable to failure, so the more things that are involved, the more likely you are going to have those failures - which will probably come at the worst possible time.

Keeping things as basic and as failure proof as possible is absolutely key and paramount in any emergency situation. Even a well planned field day event has issues, now imagine being thrown into a dire situation with absolutely no notice, warning, or planning.

People who have never been in the situation simply don't know how that works and all the planning and practice still do not measure the seriousness of whatever calamity has occurred. Theory is great but reality is the best teacher. Keep it analog and keep it simple.
Eh, it really depends. Amateur radio operators (unfortunately) are notorious for doing things half way and/or cheaping out. What makes things simple to one person or another really depends. For example, a RF linked analog repeater network...sounds fairly simple but once you introduce the linking radios, the controllers and interfaces it becomes more complex but it is no more complex than IP based microwave linking which can done quite cost effectively using routers, SBCs and radios from vendors such as Mikrotik, Ubiquiti, Compex, Mimosa, etc and sometimes can even be cheaper than traditional RF linking (of course assuming you already have your streams in an IP format which is something many vendors are providing these days).
 

amphibian

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Food for thought. In our area we use both GMRS & Amateur radio operators for storm spotting. Our policy here pretty much says that when a weather net is called -- the assigned specified channel(s) at that point are for storm spotting information and nothing else. If I/we want to chat, we carry it to another channel and leave the storm spotting to those that are serious about storm spotting. We monitor weather coming from other counties to ours (on their channels) and hear all what those spotters have to say about what they are seeing and experiencing so as to be somewhat prepared when it (the bad weather) gets to our county. We don't make direct contact with those counties, we use our net control channel admin to ask their net control for additional information that may be needed. If any one individual(s) feels the need to "chat" with other like storm spotters while out and about than that person(s) is not actually storm spotting and needs to either take their attention somewhere else or get back to the required subject at hand, that being, storm spotting for the good of the community. DMR is great and has its place within the different bands of the communications society and may one day be good for storm spotting when all communications operators share the same type of technologies and can communicate together between bands. Until then, DMR and storm spotting are not made for each other. We must remember, when we signed up for, trained, and agreed to get out storm spotting we did so to storm spot and not carry on rag chew conversations while doing so. So I personally feel, in my opinion, DMR presently would not be a good fit for the storm spotters as a communications tool.
 
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