DMR-MARC - Any Current Users?

A forum for the discussion of all aspects of amateur radio, but with emphasis on amateur radio operation in our coverage area. HF, VHF, UHF, P25, DStar, packet, anything amateur radio related is welcome here.
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Scott
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DMR-MARC - Any Current Users?

Post by Scott »

I am considering taking the plunge, however the closest repeater to me is NE1B's 2 meter in Eastham. I expect that wouldn't be an issue connected to an external antenna as I can receive it fine via DSDPlus and a SDR, but thinking that portable use is not going to go too well from my location.

Also wondering what people are using for equipment; it would appear that the Connect Systems and TYT offerings seem to offer the most bang for the buck although the latter does not appear to have any VHF equipment.

Thanks in advance.
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w1wra
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Post by w1wra »

I am not overly active on DMR , but I have a Connect Systems UHF ht. For the price it seems to work well. I should add VHF capability. There are more repeaters there.

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Post by ScanBoston »

I just sold one of my VHF XPR4550's but I still have one in my car and an XPR6500 VHF portable. When I first had them it was pretty active. But they have added so many talkgroups that it really spread out the local group. I moniter MA most often but it is very quiet. When both NH folks and MA folks were on the old NNE there was more life. In NH there is a good side group of people who use it regulary but in MA there are so many active UHF and VHF analog repeaters that folks usually go there before they try DMR. Also with the whole South Shore using NXDN there is a large hole. I personally prefer listening to P25 audio but there is no real networking option there. The out of the box seamless IP netwoking with DMR is what makes it a tasty option to hams. And though the codec sounds better than ugly Dstar it falls far short of P25 which is as close to Analog of any of the digital codecs I have tried.

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Post by Scott »

Thanks guys. I actually stumbled on the NE1B repeater by accident last night. We were testing DStar (which does sound lousy IMHO too) with the AOR AR-DV1 and I wanted to show my friend Bob what the data sounded like in analog mode, so I went to click on 145.210, the local repeater. Somehow I zigged when I should have zagged and landed on 145.360 instead. Lo and behold I had DSD+ running at the time and all of a sudden I had amateur radio comms from two gentlemen in Indiana streaming loud and clear.

I'm used to listening to DMR through PC speakers via DSD+ and to me it sounds every bit as good as P25 does. However I must agree that P25 through a "real" radio such as a Motorola does sound absolutely fantastic. But this thread isn't a debate about that. I'm interested, but I may wait in the hopes that perhaps one of these manufacturers will see a need for a dual band DMR radio. I have uses for it in both VHF and UHF, obviously amateur radio use and also monitoring some of the DMR signals here on Cape Cod that are on UHF such as Eversource, a few hospital security frequencies, etc. Via DSD+ I can obtain the programming info I need, or so I think, to be able to monitor them. I really don't want to buy two HT's. I know CSI is supposedly coming out with a multi-MODE HT that may do DMR and DStar or DMR and P25 (depending on the info source) as well as perhaps a few other modes, but I think it will be monoband as well.

Maybe a wait and see approach in this case is best.
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Post by JBP »

Scott SNE Webmaster wrote: I'm interested, but I may wait in the hopes that perhaps one of these manufacturers will see a need for a dual band DMR radio.
If a dual band DMR were to be made, there would have to be enough demand from the Amateur market. My guess would be CSI would be the most likely manufacturer to go for it, but I've yet to see evidence that it's being considered.

The current solution to strictly mono band hardware on the amateur side has been generally sticking to one band regionally. CT is all UHF DMR, the rest of New England is primarily VHF, though some 440MHz is being built out.
Jeremy
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Post by wb1hbu »

Hello,

There are a couple of Hytera Networked DMR Repeaters in RI.
W1DMR – Cumberland, RI (146.625 -600KHz CC1)
KB1ISZ – Smithfield, RI (446.425 -5MHz CC1)

There is discussion about putting a DMR repeater on the South Shore. There are some UHF DMR repeaters under construction in Metro Boston, but not near Cape Cod.

73 Eric

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k1miz
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Post by k1miz »

I run a Vertex Standard EVX 539 HT and a Motorola xpr5550 . There is plenty of NH activity that can be heard via talk group "Regional" (or Region 8). Most users have regional set as a priority so if on the NH talk group and anyone keys up on regional, we will know someone is there and switch over to that talk group. i am not to sure about the MA talk group. i never heard much on it when i commuted to that state daily.

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Post by wb1hbu »

Hello,

As far as equipment, I use the XPR4550 Mobile and XPR6550 Portable. Some good deals on Ebay if you are patient.

73 Eric

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Post by JFR »

Another DMR user here. I've actually had a repeater ready to go here in Walpole since last year but can't get a 2M freq coordination. It's just sitting in my shed at 1 watt. I have a Hytera PD762 and CS 701. Once I get the repeater online, you might be able to hit it with a 50W and an external antenna?

Here's diagram of the common talkgroups you'll see on each timeslot with DSD, etc..

-JR
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Post by Scott »

I'm considering the Connect Systems VHF mobile unit and I'm undecided on if I even want to bother with a UHF model. It could turn into an Eversource receiver; there's not much else on DMR down here on UHF that I'm interested in, and no amateur repeaters largely due to Pave Paws.

Still contemplating taking the plunge. At least with the Connect Systems unit I have the DMR capability, some horsepower, and a modern analog rig as well, although I must respectfully comment that I have little interest in talking on 2M analog repeaters these days. The Connect Systems units seem to get constant attention and firmware and CPS updates. I'll steer clear of Mother M given the complexities and restrictions of the radios and the difficulties in obtaining the correct CPS. Just not interested in fighting that fight; it seems to me like Connect Systems is taking it in the right direction, and if something goes gaga I don't have to ship it to China or throw it in the wastebasket.

Time will tell.
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Post by AJ1L »

I don't think Connect Systems has come out with the VHF mobile yet, only UHF.
Jeff Lehmann - AJ1L (Formerly N1ZZN) WQDJ863
Hanson, MA

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Post by Scott »

N1ZZN wrote:I don't think Connect Systems has come out with the VHF mobile yet, only UHF.
Correct, I confirmed that via Jerry at CS. He says about 30 days for the 801.
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Post by AJ1L »

I have the CS750 and 751 portables and have been happy so far, though not having a local repeater, I don't use them everyday. Maybe that has prevented me from seeing bugs, but they seem to work well whenever I use them.

FYI, there will be repeaters on site on both VHF and UHF at the Boxboro convention August 21-23. VHF will be the Chelmsford 145.180, and UHF 441.4625 Amherst, NH.
Jeff Lehmann - AJ1L (Formerly N1ZZN) WQDJ863
Hanson, MA

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Post by Scott »

I don't think I even need a UHF version down here on Cape Cod, although it would be a viable receive only option for Eversource (formerly NStar) and a few of the local hospitals, and some UHF analog stuff.

I could probably get away with a 751 connected to an external antenna. For the limited use it would get it might actually be my best option. I'd expect with an external antenna and 5 watts I'd get into the NE1B repeater from here without a great deal of difficulty.

Still considering options. Thanks for all the info.
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Post by JFR »

Hey Scott,
Had the radio on in the background and heard you talking with Bill. What radio did you end up getting? Was that just 5W into his Eastham machine?

-JR

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Post by Scott »

It's the Connect Systems CS751 and a side mounted Comet GP-3. I expect I'll do better with the GP15 at the top of the tower but it's primarily a receive antenna and I need to remove a few filters from the mix before I do that. I may do a little cable re-routing to better accommodate that. Maybe a weekend project if I can find the time, or the following if not.

I also picked up a Tytera MD-380 for UHF. Can't test that in transmit from here obviously but it'll be a good travel radio as well as a receiver for Eversource etc.. I already have it programmed and working in that regard.

Very cool stuff indeed. I may also grab one of the Connect Systems CS801's when funds allow so I have a little more punch to my signal. I chatted briefly with NE1B, the trustee of the Eastham repeater, which does not offer wide area coverage. Using DMR Watch it was pretty evident that I had a lot of packet loss.
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Post by JFR »

Cool.

Interested in your thoughts on the TYT-380 as it compares to the the CS751. It looks flashier but I think I trust Jerry more than TYT.
Key it up anyways to piss off the PAVE PAWS kiddos!

-JR

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Post by Scott »

Nah, I'll refrain from that... :)

I've thus far only used the 380 to receive and it seems to do that quite well thus far. I will say that DSD+ is a must to puzzle out color codes, group ID's, and slots, but once done it's fine. The color display is nice but the font is horrible. Maybe a firmware update will fix it, but it's a minor thing.

The quality of the digital audio on both of these radios is very good.
Scott
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