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TYT MD-380DMR1111

DMR (Digital mobile radio) is an open digital radio standard defined by the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) used commercially around the world.
The protocol was developed in 3 tiers.
Tier 1 intended for simplex use, i.e. PMR 446, low power commercial.
Tier 2 for commercially PMR use with advanced features and data services. Able to use the two slots in the 12.5Khz bandwidth.
Tier 2 is for trunking radio services, such as Tetra. Using SMS (Short message service) and various packet services.
For amateur use we are mostly interested in the 2 tier products.
Not all DMR amateur repeaters are connected to a VOIP network, those that are will connect to a 'taklkgroup' Although it's technically possible to talk one-to-one on the network, this is usually prohibited as it would tie up too many time slots.
There are competing networks to join, the BrandMeister network (can be viewed here) and the MOTOROLA DMR-MARC network (can be viewed here) and the HYTERA DMRplus network.
This alone makes DMR rather confusing and less attractive to the newcomer, as network names and allegiances between the networks seem to be permanently in flux.
DMR has less glossy features than Dstar and Fusion, however the attraction of being able to use commercial, possibly surplus equipment appeals to the more experimental amateur. The price of basic radios from amateur emporiums also holds an attraction.
First time use will require the use of a 'code plug' This is basically a file containing all the network settings, frequencies, etc that would take many hours to assemble without. (Similar such files are also the best way to get started with Dstar or Fusion)

Those who have no local repeater of simplex gateway nearby can use a DV-dongle, DV-Mega, Blueshark, or similar device to work the network. These are like your own private 2m/70cm RF simplex node you can work with a handie/mobile/base rig. Most of these devices can also be used on Dstar and Fusion networks.


A few connection devices for PCs shown below

DV dongleDV dongleDV mega

It is now possible to obtain a device integrated or powered by a Raspberry Pi or similar small computer board, removing the need of a PC.

 


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