I’m spending a lot more time on DMR thanks to the portable hotspot I assembled a few weeks ago. The 20,000mAh battery powers it all for more than 48 hours per charge making it easy enough to just leave on most of the time.

I’ve been loitering a lot on the TAC310 talkgroup. It’s like a very large area repeater with plenty of traffic to listen to in the background when busy with other things and you can always raise someone to chat with when you’re ready - like local FM repeaters before they became ghost towns.

DMR adoption has been rapid fueled by interest in digital voice and by inexpensive hardware. A single band handheld can be purchased for less than a hundred dollars while DMR repeaters continue to pop up like weeds in a garden. Add a hotspot and no repeater is required.

I’ve encountered an eclectic mix of radio enthusiasts using DMR. There are plenty of newer hams who find the idea of working the world with a handheld radio mesmerizing, but I’ve also run across a surprising number of those who I know from the HF bands.

Perhaps DMR will become the much needed ‘intercom’ system for the hobby. A medium where we can remain in contact with each other when band conditions are less than favorable. A convenient spot where we can enjoy roundtable conversations without having to leave some out due to the vagaries of propagation.

Look for me on TAC310 and tell me where you think the future of digital voice is headed.