Ham Radio – Exploring the digital voice modes – starting with DMR

DMR = Digital Mobile Radio – this open standard grew out of Europe, (ETSI), and was embraced by Motorola – originally for the commercial radio world.  sometimes you will hear it referred to as MOTOTRBO, but Motorola is just one of many manufacturers of DMR radios. Slowly, but surely it has been embraced and influenced by Amateur Radio.  Such radios vary greatly in price, and I have elected to go with two of the cheaper manufacturers from China to experiment with and start learning about this mode.  BUYER BEWARE – there are such radios out there that “claim” to be fully compatible – however it turns out they are only capable of a single time slot rather than dual time slot and therefore cannot do true Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) operation.  I have received a recommendation from a trusted source for an inexpensive DMR radio that *is* compatible for less than $100 each.  More on that later.

ICOM embraced D-Star, which is the oldest of the three digital voice modes I have considered – ICOM is the leading manufacturer of D-Star radios, however there are other D-Star manufacturers.  D-Star was designed from the ground up FOR Amateur Radio.

Yaesu embraces Fusion, (or “System Fusion”), which is also all for Amateur Radio, however, fusion is a closed standard at this point.

For a far better explanation than I can provide, recommend having a look at this page on “netnutmike’s”, (Mike Myer’s), blog.

The radio I have chosen to look at for personal training aid is the

TYT MD-380 – DMR/Moto TRBO Ham Radio

That embedded link are to current Amazon Prime pricing, however you can find each radio cheaper but probably not with free two day shipping if you happen to be an Amazon Prime member.

We have received both radios – each came with its own programming cable, charger base, cable and plug, plus the spring loaded belt clasp you install yourself.

If you should choose to follow this path, I would recommend getting on YouTube and searching for videos on the one you chose, DMR-380.  There are some excellent ones.  I would also encourage you to consider searching for blogs, etc. – plus recommend you consider joining the associated User Group on FaceBook:

Tytera/TYT MD380/390 Users Group

Why look at everything? Well, to put it simply, Amateur Radio’s digital voice modes are comparatively complicated over SSB and FM analog modes.  Programming and understanding a DMR radio is more difficult than D-Star or Fusion.  I look at that as good news – its a challenge to investigate yet another part of this wonderful hobby called Amateur Radio!

Much more later on…

This entry was posted by dave on Friday, September 22nd, 2017 at 3:16 pm and is filed under Amateur Radio, General Ham Stuff . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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