Where is the Nearest Ohio DMR Repeater?
By: Gregory Drezdzon,
Do Ohio amateur radio operators wonder where the nearest Ohio
Digital Mobile Radio repeater is?
This question perplexes DMR users while driving or if the repeater
is in use, facilitating a need to look for another repeater. It is
similar to driving along the Interstate highway and needing to know
where the nearest rest area or fuel station is.
With 68 (and growing everyday) DMR repeaters in Ohio, according to
repeaterbook.com , this writer took it upon himself to research all
the DMR data coordinates, which then would be used to create a
Garmin custom points of interest file for GPS use.
Using Garmin’s “POI Loader,” the DMR information would appear under
the “Extras” menu of the “Where to?” section on the main GPS screen.
Within Garmin’s site, there is a sub-section called “Creating Custom
POI Files” and this link educates the user on creating a POI file:
The format for the POI file is “CSV.” The CSV format can be edited
with “Notepad,” and other similar text-based programs including
“Microsoft Excel.” So, if one does not have Excel, one can still
edit CSV files, as mentioned with a text base editor.
This graphic shows sample POI data areas with commas used to offset
data areas in their respective order.
(Longitude, Latitude, Data Remarks, Data Remarks)
Although this article is not a how-to-guide, by using the “
DMR RPTR Locations CSV and icon.zip ” file, one can easily create a
custom POI file for your standalone and handheld Garmin units.
There is a secondary file were all the work has been done at the
above linked page, too.
This file is “
DMR POI ready to copy to SD card 0705 2017.zip ”. The Garmin
folder contained simply needs to be copied to an SD card -- no extra
work is needed. But, if the user already has custom POIs loaded on
their GPS, this file could overwrite the file in the GPS. Also, the
“POI Loader” will not work with in-dash GPS systems.
Screen view from a Garmin handheld GPS.
Screen view from a Garmin automotive unit.
After creating and uploading the Garmin “Ohio DMR RPTR Locations”
POI file to your GPS unit, you will be able to view the nearest DMR
repeater information including distance, relative bearing, the Ohio
county, repeater frequency, frequency shift, color code, and
comments. There is also an icon graphic bitmap file to indicate
where the repeater is, within the folder.
Automotive screen showing a DMR repeater.
Automotive map screen of a selected DMR repeater.
The file is created with the “POI Loader” and can be installed
directly to the Garmin unit itself or directly to a SD card that can
be inserted into the GPS at a later time.
Since Garmin automotive and handheld (non-aviation) GPS units are
for land-based use, the distance indicated is statute miles. If you
want to convert statute miles to nautical miles, as used by mariners
and in aviation, use this basic formula: [statute miles x 0.85 = NM]
As you are aware, a nautical mile is 1/60th of a degree or one
minute of latitude, and this explains the difference between statute
and nautical distance. For more information, please check this link:
In real world usage, the “Ohio DMR RPTR Locations” POI file
correctly displayed up to four to five of the nearest DMR repeaters
at once on automotive units, and eight on the handheld GPS.
Horizontal or vertical orientation, plus screen size will determine
how many repeaters a user will view at once.
Even though there is an option to “Go!” to a DMR repeater, there is
not a need to do so. The purpose of the “Ohio DMR RPTR Locations”
POI file is to find or locate the nearest DMR repeater for better,
more reliable communications.
Having had the ability to verify where the nearest Ohio DMR repeater
is located, the Ohio amateur radio operator can have nearly seamless
transitions between repeaters.
Gregory Drezdzon is a news photographer. He has worked as team
photographer for the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Indians, and
for almost a decade as staff photographer for the Wichita Eagle
(Kansas). Drezdzon also holds B.Sc. in Journalism, and is a FAA
Commercial Pilot and Certificated Flight Instructor-Instrument.
NOTE: This writer, the Ohio Section Manager
nor the American Radio Relay League will not be held responsible or
liable in any manner for the usage of this data while driving,
walking, biking, etc. Your full attention to driving, walking,
biking, etc., is required of you at all time. This article is