Using networks other than the “DMR-MARC” (Digital Mobile Radio – Motorola Amateur Radio Club) or any other cBridge only network opens up your DMR experience to not just Motorola repeaters but repeaters from Tait Communications, Hytera, DV4Mini USB Dongles, MMDVM based repeaters (Home brew) and MMDVM based HotSpots connected to the DVMega. Droves and droves of DMR repeater operators and networks have been leaving cBridge and DMR-MARC for Brandmeister in 2016.
Brandmeister is one of the most popular and growing networks today. You can view what repeaters are online right now at https://brandmeister.network/?page=repeaters. You’ll be able to sort and browse all the different hardware supported on a single network.
I’d recommend you check out some of the options available to you for operating your own local appearance of the DMR network. Maybe you’re too far from your local repeater. Maybe your local repeater doesn’t carry all the talkgroups you want to use. Maybe the politics are too much and you’d rather access the network on your own. Maybe you travel and would like to take DMR with you. There are a thousand reasons you might want to explore these options.
- ShareRF openSPOT This little gadget can talk on DMR, D-Star and Fusion and claims you can communicate between the protocols, so for example use a DMR radio on the Fusion networks.
- DV4Mini 70cm UHF USB radio stick <– note these have been known to produce squeaks and squawks operating DMR mode and annoy some on the network. I own one, and they do work, but it’s far from perfect on the performance many have come to expect, at least by today’s version of their software and today’s expectations November 2015. I’ve heard no complaints about D-Star, but that’s not what this website is about.
- DVMega installed on top of a RaspberryPi single board computer. These can be used with a number of software packages to support D-Star, P25, Yeasu Fusion as well as DMR. Using MMDVMHost, you can actually run all those modes at the same time. In the near Future you can click here and I’ll tell you all about building this. It works beautifully and allows me stay in touch with Minnesota’s DMR activity.
- MMDVM Home brew repeaters. With a pair of radios, one for a transmitter and another for a receiver, along with a radio interface to an Arduino DUE and a spare computer (like the RaspberryPi) you can build a full sized repeater. Full sized repeaters can be a lot more involved so this isn’t for the faint of heart. You should already be an experienced repeater builder before taking on this project. But it’s really cool that this is possible. A heart felt thank you to those who support open source software and share their hard work with the community. Here’s a gem of a video that can lead to hours and hours of study in radio engineering.