As a DMR User
So, you’re interested in getting into DMR, right? Why else would you be reading this? Lets start with what DMR is:
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. DMR, along with P25 phase II and NXDN are the main competitor technologies in achieving 6.25 kHz equivalent bandwidth using the proprietary AMBE+2 vocoder. DMR and P25 II both use two-slot TDMA in a 12.5 kHz channel, while NXDN uses discreet 6.25 kHz channels using frequency division.
Crossroads DMR is an amateur radio organization, thus information found here will only relate to using DMR in the Amateur Radio World.
To get started you need the following:
- A DMR repeater within range
- A DMR radio
- A DMR Subscriber ID
So lets start with number 1. There are many sources for DMR repeaters throughout North America. Unfortunately there isn’t a single comprehensive list due to various networks/affiliations. The repeaters we list here on this site will be ones that are connected to the Crossroads DMR c-Bridge. Since you’ve found your way here, we’re going to assume that you have a local machine. You’ll need to know it’s RX/TX Frequencies and what Color Code it uses. This information will be programmed into each channel in your radio.
Color Code? What’s a Color Code? To distinguish between adjacent and repeater stations with overlapping coverage, DMR introduces the concept of Color Code. This is very similar to how PL or CTCSS function on analog repeaters.
So let’s move on to number 2. A DMR radio….. That is a whole trick bag. There are many manufacturers out there and many different price ranges. Just make sure that your radio is DMR compatible. dPMR is not compatible, nor is NXDN. The best bet for an amateur looking to get into DMR is the Connect Systems CS-700. The price tag runs around $200 (special direct amateur pricing) and it is a good little radio to get started. As you become more familiar with the technology and decide that you like it, you may decide to upgrade to a more expensive, feature filled radio. Keep in mind that DMR is a commercial digital protocol, so the radios must be programmed with software and a cable. The cost of the software and cable vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. There are currently no DMR radios that are front panel programmable out of the box.
Lastly is a DMR Subscriber ID. The DMR-MARC organization coordinates worldwide Amateur Radio DMR Subscriber ID’s. You can go here to apply for one. The usual turn-around time is a few hours.
Once you have everything you can begin to program your radio. If you have any issues, we are happy to help.