2019-03-30 Well, after playing with DMR (and D-star) for a little while I have to confess that I am becoming a little bored. Understanding it and getting it set up was exciting. And like all of ham radio it provides the thrill of that first contact. But I'm primarily a technical person and like to experiment, try new things, etc. Once it is working there doesn't seem to be much of that. It's about talking. It is fun to hear people from all over the world but a few of those conversations go a long way! And unlike most of the rest of ham radio there isn't that much ongoing challenge to keep one interested.
You can't homebrew a cheap rig. Not much you can do with antennas. And you are limited to very specific repeaters or hot spots, each requiring setup at home. So I'll likely keep my TYT for a while it may sit mostly off for long periods while I continue to play with hf antennas, build QRP stuff and work CW!
I'll continue the search for that illusive, perfect all band, all mode zero weight, zero power-consuming, microscopic sized backpacking portable HF package! And I'll continue being amazed and thrilled with one thousand mile plus HF contacts using five watts or less on a home built temporary antenna in the back yard or sitting in the room with me! And from time to time I'll even crank up my power to 25 or more watts, tune up the G5RV and have a relaxed SSB or CW QSO just because I can. Occasionally I'll turn on the D-star or DMR radio and enjoy a chat with someone in Indonesia or Kenya, which is also a thrill. After all, all of ham radio is interesting, fun and provides endless possibilities for enjoyment and time-wasting! That's what makes this hobby unique.
2019-03-14 I've had a couple more QSOs with the DMR rig. Like D-Star it sort of puts the world in your hand! But I also want to get this little rig on two meters simplex as well as talking with one or more of our local analog repeaters. The question is HOW? I've spent much of the day fiddling with that. I got it talking on 146.490 mhz, but it doesn't listen! Finally sent an email to TYT to see if they can/will point me in the right direction. That, after looking at many YouTube videos and reading pages of stuff on the Internet. Clearly it seems possible. But none of what I have seen so far has unlocked the door for me. I'm confident it is a simple setting or entry. But what, where?!
2019-03-13 Even as their is no end to antenna experimentation in ham radio, so their seems to be no end to modes of operation. CW, AM, SSB, PSK, RTTY, D-Star, Fusion, Winlink, DMR.... My latest of those is DMR. In fact just an your or so ago, with a lot of help from a friend, I got my new DMR HT all set up with my hot spot and had my first DMR contact!
This same friend got me into D-Star not long ago. Bot of us are using Zumspot hot spots since our D-Star repeater access isn't good. DMR is better but why not use your hot spot if it is just sitting there!?
DMR setup is not simple! It is a very structured system designed for commercial users. The HTs are not front panel programmable (not easily anyway) and the software uses quite different terminologies than at least I have encountered before. I don't think I yet have in mind an overall concept of how it all works and the role of the various "pieces" that make it up.