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A ham friend loaned me a DMR hand-held radio to give it a try. It’s a Tytera, a whopping $99.99 with free shipping on Amazon.

It looks, feels, and acts like a much more expensive radio. My friend programmed it for me, so I have no experience with the software and programming, but I hear it can be daunting.

Basically, these digital radios are 5 watts, easily hit repeaters 15 miles away, and then via an Internet connection to the repeater, you can have comms world-wide. Sort of like Echo-link, but a lot more instant, more like the Nextel.

The audio is a little bit digital sounding, but not too bad.

I’m trying to think of a purpose well suited for this system, and wonder if Amateur cruisers around the world could benefit from such a system. You could have a world-wide cruisers net with VHF like quality but worldwide for a $100 investment. Of course, you must be within the range of a repeater, but that seems to be the only downside. Like the old Nextel system, you have private calls, as well as group calls. So one cruiser in the South Pacific could instantly call their friend in the States with a push of a button. Pretty amazing technology really. I keyed up the World-Wide channel, put out a quick CQ, and was talking to a guy in England like he was across the street.

You can get acquainted with the system by checking the following websites: http://www.dmr-marc.net/ In my area of Florida, he W4AC, Englewood system is connected to the Chicagoland bridge. Information regarding the channel lineup, DMR in general, and a wealth of other information can be found at http://chicagoland-cc.org/

To use the system, you must first get a free user registration number at http://www.dmr-marc.net/cgi-bin/trbo-database/userreg.cgi

I would appreciate cruiser’s thoughts on this.

Glenn Tuttle – Moderator (K9TUT)
E-mail: [email protected]
Cruisers Network Online
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