Digital Radio (DMR, D-Star, YSF)
I have acquired many radios in this first year, mostly to experience the different digital modes. I did start with DMR, and have DMR mobiles in the car as well as a DMR handheld. I really enjoy DMR, and its multiple uses, plus the FDMA use of the frequency (2 simultaneous slots) just makes sense to me. My first hotspot was the simplex hotspot, seen below. This worked well, and I had a blast talking all around the world.
Then I had the urge to buy another radio, which brought me into D-Star. I quickly realized simplex is NOT ideal for these hotspots, so I pulled a Pi3 off the shelf and ordered a duplex board. Oddly enough, the first duplex MMDVM board I bought was lost in the mail, and I ordered a second from a different source. Both showed up, and I set the second one on my parts shelf, unknown if it will ever be used. A quick program and testing, and duplex D-Star was a whole new world. I used it for quite a while.
Most recently I dabbled into Yaesu System Fusion, which is a FMDA, but instead of two voice slots, there is a voice narrow on what would be slot 1 and a data stream on what would be slot 2. Most interesting, you don't pre-program your radio to access the groups/reflectors/rooms you want to talk to. Instead, you just program uplink and downlink frequencies, and let that data stream do the rest of the work. Immediately after getting into this mode, I remembered the spare MMDVM board sitting on a shelf collecting dust. I quickly ordered another Pi3 and put together my third hotspot.
I do continue to use all three modes regularly, and intend to add other modes as I acquire radios. P25 and NXDN are within the shortlist, though they are commercial modes and do tend to cost a bit more to get into. Both are supported by PiStar, the software that controls the hotspots, and would likely build additional hotspots to cover these additional modes.
I understand that digital modes tend to scare some licensed amateurs. If you have any questions, do not hastate to email me. I would be happy to help answer your questions.
Usually Connected to XRF330 (#83603)
Usually Connected to XRF330 (XLX330A)
Connected to many full time talk groups on the Brandmister network
311070, 3139, 31390, 31391