This topic is for DMR radio.
Why DMR Radio?
Q: What IS DMR?
A: Digital mobile radio (DMR) is an open digital mobile radio standard defined in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Standard TS 102 361 parts 1–4 and used in commercial products around the world. It is exploding in popularity in the Amateur (HAM) radio world.
Q: Why is it so different from the way we talked before.
A: Well, for one, it allows 2 simultaneous conversations on the SAME piece of RF hardware at the same exact time. Before we only had one. These conversations (QSO’s) are totally independent and do not interfere with each other.
With the problem of getting a single 2 meter repeater frequency pair in analog here in the southeast, DMR is a life saver. Even if you do not have a repeater in your area but you still have WiFi via your home or cell phone, you can still use DMR via device called a MMDVM hotspot. These devices allow you to even travel and still get coverage. All of this with a Technicians License. Pretty cool.
Q: What is all this color code and time slots and talk group mumbo jumbo?
A: Lets answer this one item at a time.
1) Color Code is just a fancy name for what would be “CTCSS” or “PL” in the analog radio world.
2) Time slots are what makes DMR unique. Your transmit signal is broken into 30ms digital packets and the transmitter switches on and off rapidly. Doing this allows two signals to share the same channel at the same time. One on Time Slot 1 and one on Time Slot 2.
3) Talk groups are the group calls so those listening to that group number can hear you. People have to have that group programmed in their radio and listening on THAT group and THAT assigned Time Slot.
Q: How do I know what time slot and talk groups to use?
A: The repeater owner (be it a group, club or individual) has the final say on what Talk Group is used on what Time Slot. You need to go to them and only them to find the info. Too many “Arm Chair Quarterbacks” who do not know if any changes have been made to the system can steer you wrong.