DPCN systems offload local one-on-one communications from other radio networks in order to free up resources on more mission-critical systems.
Most ham DMR networks discourage the use of private calling. Reasons vary but range from social norms to technical limitations. For example, on some DMR networks, private calls tie up all linked repeaters in the system, even though both parties may be on the same repeater.
Whatever your individual use case for private calling, it is a legitimate form of communication and perfectly legal on ham radio. DPCN allows and encourages the use of private calling on its systems.
Individual Use Cases
Here are a few examples of why hams may want to join a DPCN system. DPCN users may wish to:
- Maintain high personal availability via ham radio.
- Organize radio traffic by purpose or function and not by repeater system coverage.
- Play with the latest high-tech two-way commercial radios and system components.
- Gain real-world experience with modern digital two-way radio technology.
- Maintain emergency preparedness.
- Be on call for family and friends.
- Supplement unreliable cell phone communications, especially in poor coverage areas.
- Aleviate codeplug fatigue.
- Alleviate DMR terminology fatigue.
- Experience an easier-to-use digital radio system.
- Add some simplicity back to VHF/UHF digital communications.
- Use radios with RF that is second to none.
- Encourage verbose talkers to offload their conversations to DPCN in order to free up time on other repeater systems.
See the technology page for information on how DPCN implements radio systems.
Your club or association is welcome to use DPCN and it can have a dedicated talkgroup on the system. Just have interested club members join DPCN and administrators will add a talkgroup to the local system. DPCN's mission is to provide advanced and modern infrastructure support to ham radio organizations and individuals.
You are more likely to reach other hams in a true emergency if they leave their radios on. DPCN's quiet nature encourages hams to leave their radios on 24/7. You can call an emergency talkgroup and, depending on the system configuration, everyone's radios will hear you. This is an invaluable public and personal safety benefit.
Advanced network features
In addition to encouraging private calls, we support and encourage text messaging.
Because a DPCN repeater still operates on a single frequency, normal voice identification will suffice. Please include your callsign in any text messages you may send.
All transmissions on DPCN are identifiable, even if the operator does not use his callsign. Radio IDs are unique on the system and can be traced to individuals. If an operator is causing harmful interference on the system, his radio will be denied access to the system.
Ham radio has the potential to aid in disaster response, recovery, and everyday emergencies. A large DPCN system with many diverse users increases response capabilities.
Many hams are good samaritans and will gladly help out when they're able. For example, hams can be on the lookout for traffic troubles by monitoring the motorist assist talkgroup during rush hour.
DPCN will still work when the phone lines are jammed, allowing critical communications to get through. This can supplement public safety systems when they are busy handling critical life safety situations.
In addition, by using trunking, DPCN can increase the capacity of a single repeater, allowing more traffic to get through.
Practice, education, learning
Learn how to administer and maintain a modern digital trunked radio system. Ham radio is for experimentation and DPCN supports educating hams who wish to learn one or all aspects of modern digital radio system design, implementation, and maintenance.
DPCN is focused on local and regional communities where ham ties are strongest and tactical radio traffic is most useful. Other global networks such as BrandMeister exist for worldwide or long range communication. DPCN focuses on local and regional communications and does not typically link with other systems unless the users request it. This is handled on a local level with the system administrators and membership, so there is no hard and fast rule regarding this practice.