Digital mobile radio (DMR)
By Bernard Falkin, KG6FBM, Updated October 10, 2021

The DMR standard operates within the existing 12.5 kHz channel spacing used in land mobile frequency bands globally, but achieves two voice channels through two-slot TDMA technology built around a 30 ms structure.

The modulation is 4-state FSK, which creates four possible symbols over the air at a rate of 4,800 symbols/s, corresponding to 9,600 bit/s.

After overhead, forward error correction, and splitting into two channels, there is 2,450 bit/s left for a single voice channel using DMR, compared to 4,400 bit/s using P25 and 64,000 bit/s with traditional telephone circuits.


Time-division multiple access (TDMA) is a channel access method for shared-medium networks. It allows several users to share the same frequency channel by dividing the signal into different time slots. The users transmit in rapid succession, one after the other, each using its own time slot.

CDMA is short for Code-Division Multiple Access, a digital cellular technology that uses spread-spectrum techniques. CDMA does not assign a specific frequency for each user placing or receiving a call. ... TDMA technology divides a radio frequency into time slots and then allocates these time slots to multiple calls.


Introduction to DMR

DMR Repeater ID registration
Your DMR ID is a 7 digit number.

DMR contact list

Talkgroups list (virtual radio channels)

AnyTone AT-D578UVIIIPRO Tri-Band Amateur DMR Mobile Radio

Radioddity GD-77 DMR Digital/Analog

Radioddity GD-77S DMR

AnyTone AT-D878UV GPS


MMDVM Hotspot


This is the radio I own, with GPS. You can set the time and date on the radio using the GPS. You can send the GPS data in a text. The radio is dual receive, but only one channel can be heard at a time. The radio has 4,000 channel capability, 250 zones (groups), and 200,000 DMR IDs in the contact list. You can program the two buttons yourself that are located below the PTT, using the software.



Changing DMR Talkgroups (virtual radio channels) on the fly, Alinco DJ-MD5, Anytone D878UV and Side Tone option.

Not only is DMR capable of transmitting voice, but the end-to-end digital nature of DMR enables data applications such as text messaging, GPS, and telemetry.



Peanut    App



Input Frequency (Offset), Output Frequency, PL


PAPA DMR Codeplugs

Welcome to the Western States DMR Network

DMR channels
Input Frequency (Offset), Output Frequency, Color Code, Time Slot, and a Talkgroup (virtual radio channels).
Some radios require a receive group list.

In the code plug (the radio file) define your DMR ID and call sign.


Every channel that you wish to have in your radio must be defined in a Zone, like a channel bank. Most radios have 250 zones available. Think of every Zone as a separate radio. One could be used for LA county fire, and another Zone could be used for frequencies when you visit relatives in another state.

Think of a "Zone" as a way to organize a group of channels. For most users there are several talkgroups (virtual radio channels) they wish to use, and several repeaters as well. Multiply that number of talkgroups by the number of DMR repeaters you want to use and this can make for a lot of channels.


Talkgroups (virtual radio channels) are also either "Always On" (Static for BrandMeister) or "User Activated" (Dynamic for BrandMeister). "Static" or "Always On" means just that, network traffic to this talkgroup is always on. "Dynamic" or " User Activated" talkgroups have a timer associated with them, Typically 10 minutes. The practical side of this is that after 10 minutes of local inactivity on a User Activated talkgroup, it is dropped from the network connection.
To start listening to a User Activated talkgroup, key up, and you probably want to talk at least once every 10 minutes as well in order to keep the network feed.


Time slots
There are 2 time slots per repeater frequency. Time slot 1 is reserved for talkgroups (virtual radio channels) that are far away like World 91. Time slot 2 is reserved for talk groups that are local like 310 & CA 3106. Only one person can talk on a time slot at a time. Many people can listen to multiple talk groups at a time.

Text messaging
You can send and receive text messages using DMR repeaters. I sent a text message to a station in Florida and he read it back to me.

Eliminates the need for a radio check. However, people ask for radio checks all the time to start a conversation. Parrot, repeats your voice through the repeater so you can hear how you sound.



PAPA Bridge: This talk group bridges to the PAPA D-STAR and analog repeaters. Now you can talk with your PAPA friends on any repeater.

PAPA Chat: This Static talkgroup links together the PAPA System DMR repeaters. The place for a QSO with other PAPA people.

Worldwide 91: Links BrandMeister DMR repeaters across the world.

Sound file, China Contact:

Current DMR Info…
For the most current DMR info, check into the DMR Roundtable, 8pm Pacific time Mondays on the California talkgroup, BrandMeister TG 31077.

This is the most dynamic part of the codeplug as here you find the radio ID aliases (Private Calls) and talkgroup numbers (Group Calls).



Simplex uses the talkgroup 99 and only time slot one. Transmitting using DMR is a lot more efficient than analog, the signal goes a lot farther. You can also send and receive text messages using simplex.

Amateur Radio Notes: DMR - 1

DMR 101

As with most of our radios that can receive frequencies out of band. You can listen to LA county fire, Sheriff's and other agencies.

HYS telescoping antenna

DHT Electronics 2pcs RF coaxial Coax Adapter SMA Female to BNC Female

DMR ID Password for a hotspot or Droid-Star





Other questions:
Are these radios capable of transmitting DMR on FRS/GMRS? Yes, but it's illegal.

Are these radios capable of transmitting DMR on MURS? Yes, but it's illegal.

Can I send a text message to a cell phone? Yes

Do I need a radio to operate DMR?

• Your questions?