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Digital Voice for Amateur Use - Discuss use of digital voice technologies on the amateur radio bands. This is to include technologies such as VoIP, P25, DMR/TRBO, NXDN, D-STAR, etc.

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Old 02-18-2017, 7:58 PM
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Default Best dmr radio in 2017

Last year I got to looking into dmr and was looking at the cs 750 tyt md380 but money went short and that was about it for that idea. So now I'm back and ready to pull the trigger on my first dmr radio but my question is whats out there now that's better then these 2 radios but around or under 200. I know the moto and hyteras are way better but for one that's going to be doing more listening then talking I can't see me dropping big money for basically another scanner shall we say. Thanks for your answers in advanced guys and gals.
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Old 02-18-2017, 8:30 PM
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You have some good entry level radios right there. Another good one I would add is the CS 580.

The CS 580 is nice in the sense that it can act as "Scanner". The unit will find and display the color code, time slot and talk groups as it scans. You can even store or save that information into the unit. Making it extremely easy to operate without needing a computer to create a code plug for it.

I personally don't have the CS 580 yet as I'm waiting for the price to drop. It's due for a price drop.

Another interesting model that looks promising is the TYT 2017 (I think that's the model). Very little information is out there at this point. We'll soon find out though.

In the end with the price budget in mind, I would say you can't go wrong with any of those that you have checked out.

If you travel a lot go with the CS 580.

If you like hacked versions of original products go with the TYT MD 380. (MD380 Tools is very nice along with having the DMR MARC database in your HT is an EXCELLENT feature to have)

If you want a stand alone good entry level DMR radio as of this date, go with a TYT MD 380.
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Old 02-19-2017, 5:36 AM
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I see the cs 580 is only 130 so that's not bad at all. I may just end up grabbing a cs750 or the 380 hmmmm decisions decisions
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Old 02-19-2017, 7:33 AM
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I've got a CS-750 and a Moto XPR6550. Both work OK.

I've been happy with my 750 so I would recommend it, but you might want to consider the CS-760. Nicer display and doesn't cost that much more. I haven't read many reviews, but there is info on it here -> Connect Systems

What I like about Connect Systems is that they're based in the USA and easy to get in touch with should you need any support.
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Old 02-19-2017, 8:10 AM
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They are single band radios...so just make sure you know which band is more prevalent in your area. Here we have a mix of 2M and 440 DMR repeaters, so I have a CS700 (440) and later bought an MD380 (2M) as well.
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Old 02-19-2017, 9:00 AM
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All we have here is really uhf on the nc prn system but eventually I would like a duel and radio for businesses and such
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Old 02-19-2017, 9:06 AM
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The MD 380 has the most interesting months to it. The.CSV mod allows all do you more users on one contact sheet so you can see them display on a call
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:10 PM
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Having a lot of experience building and using Analog repeaters when D-Star came along and I got a mobile and portable. Voice quality was lacking overall. Then comes DMR and having worked in the TDMA and CDMA world for the last 20 years I saw DMR emerge but held off due to the initial high cost of equipment and not many repeaters active in my area. Now with the sub $100 radio's and several choices to choose from I jumped in. I have partial ownership of 2 Motorola DMR repeaters and now have an MD380, Hytera 782G portable, CS800 mobile, and a Motorola 7550E. This all occurred after I retired from TDMA and CDMA world. This is now my fun mode with HF SSB in second place. I now have a SharkRF Hotspot with a commercial mobile hotspot to take it with me anywhere.
Looking forward to the new Dual band DMR radio's which will still do Analog FM as this combo would be the next big step.
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:25 PM
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Yup I seem to think I would like dmr pretty good so thst I could listen all over the country. Another question I've pondered today is whats a good Hotspot to use back last year it was just dvmini and the dvmega. Now I see the blue spot and your shark. So what's best there?
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Old 02-19-2017, 4:22 PM
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Only the SharkRF (hard to get and coming out soon with WiFi built in so no external client is needed) has a BER Calibration routine to determine which decode mode it will use. You select DMR Calibrate and key your radio down for about 2 minutes and watch the bar graph go across the screen an it will then say which mode is best to receive your signal. It also has a much more stable internal reference frequency oscillator than some others. One brand has a noticeable drift issue as temperature changes. The more stable the unit, regardless of brand means better quality audio. Before I calibrated mine I could only key up the Parrot every third time and no audio went thru. After calibration it was 100%. Both the Motorola and the Tytera MD380 use mode D, so that means no re-calibration between changing radio's.
Good Luck with your choices. Reviews out on various Ham sites can help guide you.
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Old 02-19-2017, 4:53 PM
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I personally have the CS-750 and like it. I don't talk on the ham bands as I don't have my license yet so I use it with the buildings I'm in through out the day and the radio works well. It also can decode all DRM information except when there is encryption.


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Old 02-19-2017, 5:02 PM
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Right now the SharkRF Open Spot is the way to go. To this date, there is yet to be a customer that is not happy on the product.

The people at SharkRF are constantly putting out updates. That's a big plus.

The only negative I can say about them is the availability. They are on backorder with about 1.5 months wait time. You can view the actual times on there website. There is a pretty big demand for one of those blue pucks.

I ordered mine in late January with an expected ship date of mid March. Can't wait to have my puck!

As for the other devices out there. You'll see that they are not stand alone from a computer or pi, they disconnect pretty frequently without you knowing, not user friendly etc.. The list goes on and on.

After all the research I've done on these devices, I would HIGHLY recommend a SharkRF by Open Spot. You won't be disappointed.
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Old 02-19-2017, 9:28 PM
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Interesting any clue on a date for the wifi model? Would really like to grab one of these over a pic and dvmega and trying to keep it tuned and or restarting it and such
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:16 PM
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I have a CS750 and a CS580. They are both good, but the 580 is smaller and the search a little easier to use than the 750, which also has a search feature. One thing on the 580, you must provide the proper group info for the RX contact, which differs from other dmr radios code plugs. I also have the MD 380, but like the CS better and have very good responses in questions I have asked their support.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reconrider8 View Post
Interesting any clue on a date for the wifi model? Would really like to grab one of these over a pic and dvmega and trying to keep it tuned and or restarting it and such
A review of the SharkRF openSPOT:
Review openSPOT - Miklor
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Old 02-20-2017, 5:22 AM
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I like the idea of the portable router also
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Old 02-21-2017, 5:48 AM
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In the past three years in my experience in DMR/Digital Mobile Radio I had both XPR 6550 (First DMR radio) then I upgraded to the XPR 7550 UHF and a XPR 5550 UHF and they both work great. You got to love the professional sound of audio that the Motorola radio produces both when transmitting and receiving when someone is talking to you on a different/same radio as you are.
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Old 02-21-2017, 2:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N4CYA View Post
In the past three years in my experience in DMR/Digital Mobile Radio I had both XPR 6550 (First DMR radio) then I upgraded to the XPR 7550 UHF and a XPR 5550 UHF and they both work great. You got to love the professional sound of audio that the Motorola radio produces both when transmitting and receiving when someone is talking to you on a different/same radio as you are.
I agree with you on the commercial grade radios. They are best in class. One day I'll decide to splurge and get me a nice Hytera unit. ( no relation to Tytera). With my soon to arrive SharkRF an HT will be better than a DMR mobile.

Those radios, programming cable and software are not around or sub $200. And before Gary, aka Moonboots jumps in and says you can get them on fleebay for dirt cheap.... 3 WORDS.... THEY ARE USED!
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Old 02-21-2017, 2:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaximusTheGreat View Post
I agree with you on the commercial grade radios. They are best in class. One day I'll decide to splurge and get me a nice Hytera unit. ( no relation to Tytera). With my soon to arrive SharkRF an HT will be better than a DMR mobile.

Those radios, programming cable and software are not around or sub $200. And before Gary, aka Moonboots jumps in and says you can get them on fleebay for dirt cheap.... 3 WORDS.... THEY ARE USED!
I never had a SharkRF unit but i've seen them on Youtube and people say they are nice to have if someone can not afford a Motorola radio/price tag. Lucky enough for me my XPR 7550 came with a Motorola factory oem USB programming cable.

The remote speaker microphone that I use is Motorola NMN6261A impress xp that works really well the XPR 7550. For this microphone to work with the handheld needs to have firmware R02.40.02 or newer.
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:12 PM
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I recently read that Bridgecom (the repeater folks) have announced a DMR portable for not too much money. You'd need to pick either the UHF or VHF model. Web site says it does analog and DMR tier I and II. Product review in QST.

I have no other info, I don't work for Bridgecom, and I haven't yet seen any reviews as yet... but it looks pretty good on paper.

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