DMR is a technology invented for commercial use, meaning it wasn’t originally made for ham radio operators. Why is that important? DMR uses unique numerical IDs for each radio on a particular network. This is bad for Ham radio operators as our callsigns have letters in them. When a DMR radio gets programmed, an ID is required. This ID is arbitrary, but must be unique with each system (or network) the radio is a part of. If you bought 2 DMR radios to use in a simplex fashion, meaning no repeaters or internet linked systems, you can pick any number. However, when you join a worldwide network like DMR-MARC or Brandmeister, no 2 IDs can be the same. You can see how tricky this is without a central system to dull out IDs and manage them. Welcome to DMR-MARC and Brandmeister, the 2 biggest and only DMR networks around right now. Here is a good article with more information about DMR networks in general.
The main reason for the 2 networks is that DMR-MARC was created by Motorola hams with the intention of only using Motorola hardware. Meaning, repeater owners are not allowed to add homebrewed or non Motorola DMR repeaters to their network. This allows for stability and a lot of other good reasons. Brandmeister on the other hand was created after DMR-MARC to allow homebrewed DMR repeaters. The 2 networks are independent from one another but have overlapping talkgroups to help ease confusion. For example TAC310, TAC311, all the US States Talkgroups, and many others. Just remember, a talkgroup on one network is not always the same as the other.
How to register for your first DMR ID
- First register with DMR-MARC at https://www.dmr-marc.net/cgi-bin/trbo-database/userreg.cgi
- Fill out the information to include your callsign
- After completing the registration, you will receive an email within a few days with your new ID. It’s strongly suggested to not loose this email.
- For some, having only a DMR-MARC registration is enough. Many DMR repeaters are connected to the DMR-MARC network and this will suffice. However…….
- It is highly recommended to also register this ID with the Brandmeister network since the 2 networks are intertwined.
- Once you have your ID from DMR-MARC go to https://brandmeister.network/?page=register
- Fill out the information to include your DMR-MARC ID at the bottom of the page
- Once completed, you will receive a verification email within a few days.
- Program your DMR radio with the ID and enjoy the world wide communication.
I have my ID, what now?
Head over to our Buying and Programming a DMR radio page