What are User Activated Talk Groups
These talk groups can not be heard under normal circumstances. They require the user to press the PTT in order to activate them thus they are considered as alternatives for wide area talk groups as they are only active on the repeaters of each user. The only way you will hear conversations on of these talk groups is if someone else has activated it on the repeater you are listening to.
How do you use them – Best Practice – Revised August 2017
Since the recent migration of Phoenix servers away from the original C-Bridge configuration, there have been a number of changes to the way User Activated (UA) Talkgroups operate.
Select the User Activated talk group as you would any other talk group. Now the chances are you will hear nothing unless the group has already been activated on your local repeater. When a UA is initially accessed by a short PTT press, as soon as the PTT is released, if a transmission is already in progress on that Talkgroup it will be heard. The downside is that during that brief keying period, your transmission will temporarily ‘double’ with the existing transmission and may cause interference. It is therefore suggested that this initial key-up should be kept as brief as possible.
As with the previous configuration, hold-off timers operate to try to prevent these Talkgroups being over-ridden. The timer runs for 300 seconds (5 minutes) and resets at the END of each transmission. This reset occurs over ALL the repeaters that are currently linked in the chain. This means that providing conversations continue, there is no need re-key after a period of time in order to keep the link active if you’re participating in a large ’round robin’ group for example.
Because your local repeater will remain linked to a UA all the time a conversation is in progress, even if you have left the group and no longer wish to participate or listen, it is requested, providing no one else on your repeater is using the UA, that you select a non-UA Talkgroup on the slot you are using (TG9 is suggested) and briefly key-up during a pause. This will release your local repeater from the chain and allow others to use it.
For this reason, if nothing else, it is important that users get into the habit of leaving 3-4 second pauses between their overs, otherwise it makes it impossible to unlink the repeater or change Talkgroups.