In addition to my usual radio activities, this weekend I’ve been lent a 4m FM mobile radio, and a Motorola DMR handheld.
I’ve never tried 4m, I’m told it’s called the ‘friendly band’, as there is very little traffic, so when someone does make contact they are typically very happy.
DMR is interesting. I have a couple of dstar radios, which was specifically designed for Amateur radio, but unfortunately the dstar repeaters in my area seeming to be in decline, with Internet connections not being renewed etc. DMR is a technology used in the PMR world (i.e. mainly private radio system used by security guards, taxi companies, building sites etc). I’ve seen a demo of it, and in my opinion the audio quality is better than Dstar, and it has similar functionality. A benefit of DMR is that a number of manufacturers make DMR radios, although they tend to be single band, as they are designed for the PMR industry. There is talk of some of the cheap Chinese manufacturers bringing out a DMR radio, which if true could bring the price down significantly.
Anyway, Martin (M1MRB) from the ICQ podcast has lent me a Motorola DP3400, so I shall be having a play over the weekend.