There are three main digital platforms used today by hams, these are D-Star, System Fusion & DMR. Below is some information and video links that might help you choose what radio will suit you.

What is DMR?

DMR stands for Digital Mobile Radio and uses the Motorola TRBO protocol for communications. Like other digital modes such as D-Star, C4FM and APCO P25, the TRBO protocol converts your voice into a digital form and sends it out via RF (with other bits of information included) and allows you to communicate to other DMR radios and also DMR repeaters, which are networked together around the world via the internet.

What makes DMR stand out from some of the other digital modes is that it utilises TDMA (Time-Division Multiple Access) to divide a single frequency into 2 distinct “channels” or time slots. By doing this, you can have two conversations going on at the SAME TIME, using one frequency.

What is D-Star?

D-STAR is a form of digital communications used for amateur radio. D-STAR stands for Digital Smart Technology for Amateur Radio and it is an open Amateur Radio standard for digital communications.

Although D-STAR is able to provide both data and voice communications, D-STAR is used primarily for voice, but the addition of data can provide some useful features.

Originally developed in the late 1990s by the Japan Amateur Radio League, D-STAR has been adopted by a number of manufacturers and there are not only simplex transmissions, but repeaters are also equipped for D-STAR communications.

What is System Fusion?

System Fusion is Yaesu’s implementation of Digital Amateur Radio, utilizing C4FM 4-level FSK Technology to transmit digital voice and data over the Amateur radio bands. In the early 2000’s GMSK emerged in the Amateur radio market as the dominant digital mode, however in 2013 Yaesu introduced “System Fusion” which quickly became the dominating digital format in Amateur radio because of quality, reliability and enhanced performance in a wide range of environments.

Below is a video that will help explain the differences between the radio’s and the digital modes if you are not familiar with them.

Below are some videos from you tube which feature reviews of some of the popular radio’s used here in Australia.

The Ailunce HD1 – DMR Dual Band
The Yaesu FT-70DR Dual Band
The Icom ID51 Dual Band