1. What is DMR?

DMR, which is short for Digital Mobile Radio, is a published standard for digital voice communications utilizing TDMA technology. There are several manufacturers that build DMR radio equipment, including Motorola, Vertex Standard, Kirisun, Hytera and Connect Systems to name a few.

2. What is MOTOTRBO or TRBO?

MOTOTRBO, or sometimes called “TRBO” for short, is the brand name for Motorola’s suite of DMR capable radios.

3. What are the benefits of using DMR?

The common benefits of using DMR for ham radio users include:

  • Keep in contact with your ham radio contacts using hundreds of interconnected repeaters world wide;
  • Enjoy static free communications using the latest in digital voice technology;
  • Talk longer with extended battery life, allowing up to a 40% improvement in talk time as compared to FM;
  • Choose from a wide variety of radio models from a growing list of manufacturers;
  • Take advantage of global text messaging capability;
  • Enjoy automatic roaming capability, allowing operators to keep in contact with one another hands free while on the move.

4. Who can I talk to using DMR?

Using DMR, you can talk to other thousands of other DMR users world wide using hundreds of DMR repeaters located all over the globe. Unlike using IRLP or EchoLink where other repeaters are dialed-on-demand using a node number, DMR users can communicate with one another simply my meeting one of the available “talkgroups” or channels. The most commonly used talkgroups  include:

  • World Wide talkgroup;
  • North American & English speaking countries talkgroup;
  • National, regional, state or provincial talkgroups;
  • Local communications talkgroups.

For Canadian DMR users, the following talkgroups are also available:

  • Canada-wide talkgroup;
  • Provincial/territorial talkgroups;
  • Regional talkgroups (i.e. the Greater Toronto Area).

5. Does DMR provide better coverage than analog FM?

Not really. While DMR communication is completely static free, once it reaches the threshold of coverage, it will become unusable, whereas with analog FM, users may continue to be heard even when the signal is mostly noise. As such, usable coverage is very much subjective from one operator to another.

6. What Canadian license will I need to be able to use DMR?

Users will only need their Basic Qualification license to be able to use DMR on either the 2m or 70cm bands.

7. Is DMR compatible with D-STAR, System Fusion or NXDN?

No. These are separate digital technologies and are not compatible with one other.

8. Is DMR compatible with P25?

No. P25 is a digital standard used for public safety and is not compatible with DMR.

9. How is the VA3XPR DMR repeater linked to the global DMR network?

The VA3XPR DMR repeater is linked to other DMR repeaters globally using the DMR-MARC network. This linking is accomplished using the Internet.

10. Can I use my DMR radio if I travel outside of my local area?

Yes! Users with DMR radios can use any repeater on the DMR-MARC network when they travel. You just simply need to add the frequency and channel information specific to other DMR-MARC networked repeaters into your DMR radio. Please note that DMR repeaters are available around the world on both the 2m and 70cm bands, so you would need a DMR radio on the appropriate band to access repeaters in these areas.

11. Will DMR radios work on analog FM also?

Yes. Most DMR radios will work on both DMR and analog FM.

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