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The shift to digital radio from analog has increased over the last five years. This is very evident in commercial equipment as well as ham radio from the traditional ham radio manufacturers, as well as exciting new products from entirely new vendors.
DMR is one of three competing digital voice standards, the other two being Icom D-Star and Yaesu Fusion. Fusion and D-Star are proprietary standards, which means that in order to use these, the equipment manufacturer must get approval from their owners, usually through the payment of royalties. DMR is based on a Motorola standard, but Motorola chose to release their technology to the public domain, which means manufacturers can incorporate the technology without paying royalties.
Several NARS members, particularly Marty Fitzgerald, W5MF, and Ron Matusek, WA6TQH, are actively working with DMR technology. In fact, there are now enough members to warrant starting a weekly net. For current net information, click on the DMR net link in the left menu. We have also applied for a NARS talkgroup!
Besides just getting together for a weekly ragchew, this net is a good place to pick up tips, hints, and general assistance from those who have gone through the process before you. This assistance is available to all interested Amateurs, whether you are a member of not.
Want to listen in and see what is happening? Easy! Fire up the old desktop, tablet, or phone and head over to Brandmeister talkgroups page. Search for one of the following groups:
- 91—World Wide
- 93—Known as North America
- 310—Known as TAC310. Lots of US activity.
- 98006—local AMSAT group headed up by K5WH
Click on the Hoseline link and listen.Couldn't be simpler. This is just half the cake becuse you will only be able to listen, but this could be the start of something great!
If you are intrigued enough, search for one of the many DMR-capable radios to get started there are many very capable radio available at unbelievably low prices.
For more information, see the articles listed in the menu on the left. One is an early presentation in PDF format. DMR tools includes a later presentation and some useful tools to work with DMR.