Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is DMR?
DMR, which is short for Digital Mobile Radio, is a published standard for digital voice communications utilising 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 Motorolas DMR capable radios.
3. What are the benefits of using DMR?
The common benefits of using DMR include:
Crystal-clear audio without background noise or static;, Text messaging capability, Integrated voice and data applications on one device, Up to 40% longer battery life as compared to similar analog FM operation.
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 by selecting one of the available talkgroups or channels. The most commonly used talkgroups include:
World Wide talkgroup, North American talkgroup, Local, UK-Wide, Europe-Wide, World-Wide, UK English.
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 special license will I need to be able to use DMR?
Users will only need their Basic Qualification license (Foundation M3/MM3/M6/MM6) to be able to use DMR on either the 2m or 70cm bands.
7. Is DMR compatible with D-STAR, Yaesus digital radio or NXDN?
No. These are separate digital technologies and are not compatible with one other.
8. How is the GB7DD DMR repeater linked to the global DMR network?
The GB7DD DMR repeater is linked to other DMR repeaters globally using the DMR-MARC network. This linking is accomplished using the Internet.
9. 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.
10. Will DMR radios work on analog FM also?
Yes. Most DMR radios will work on both DMR and analog FM.
11. Where can I buy DMR radios?
Often the people running your local DMR Repeater are the best people to speak to first about suitable radios and might actually be able to sell you a second hand radio and configured up for you ready to go as a good starting point.
12. What is a Subscriber ID?
A Subscriber ID is a unique identification number that allows your DMR radio to operate on the DMR-MARC network. All DMR radios require a unique Subscriber ID and they can easily be obtained by completing a request form. If you intend to have multiple DMR radios active at the same time, then you can request a Subscriber ID for each radio. Please do not transmit with your DMR radio until you have received a Subscriber ID and have this programmed into your radio. Using ad-hoc Subscriber ID numbers will cause conflicts with other users on the network.
13. How do you use TalkGroups
TG1 is for Worldwide Calling and for QSOs less than 2 mins. This is not a talkgroup to ragchew on.
TG13 Worldwide English for English speakers,.
TG10 for German speakers.
TG11 for French speakers.
TG14 for Spanish speakers.
TG15 for Portuguese speakers.
TG13 is available 24/7 on many systems and not PTT so for English speakers it will work if you want to make international calls and there is no time limit other than being courteous and not monopolizing the Talkgroup so others can use it. (That’s the advice of any wide area talkgroup including TG3 North America). Remember, TG13 is not for USA-USA or USA-Canada calls. TG3 North America is for that. If you want to call the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or even English speakers in other countries use TG13. PLEASE DO make those international English calls on TG13.
Make our fellow overseas hams feel welcomed to join us. Let’s key up on TG13 from time to time by announcing our call and asking for any international traffic using plain language. (Don’t call CQ CQ CQ – this is not HF).
You’ll also notice that there is a weekly net on TG1 – the weekly DMR-MARC . Please spread the word. Please do a better job educating people about how the talkgroups work. The DMR-MARC Network have many new users every week.