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When I hear this question, I find myself trying to provide some context first. First and foremost, I am dismayed by the fragmentation of our relatively small Amatuer Radio market by three (or more) competing technologies whose similarities outweigh their differences. This seems counter-productive.

Second, although digital modes are sometimes promoted as beng useful for emcomm, it's hard to see that digital voice is a net plus, at least until there is some kind of convergence. For emcomm, we want the broadest pool of available operators, the widest degree of interoperability, and minimal reliance on commercial infrastructure. Admittedly, some of the tools, like the optional camera that works with some Fusion radios, could be useful for damage assessment.

Third, linked repeaters may be useful in some georgraphies and for some purposes, but in an emergency, it might be counter-productive to tie up multiple repeaters that could be better utilized for parallel communications.

That said, pick the mode that your friends or other local hams are using. If your primary operating interest is ragchewing, it's hard to see how you could go wrong with any of them. I'll leave it to others to argue the technical merits of the competing technologies.

73,

Al, KN3U

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11 hours ago, KN3U said:

When I hear this question, I find myself trying to provide some context first. First and foremost, I am dismayed by the fragmentation of our relatively small Amatuer Radio market by three (or more) competing technologies whose similarities outweigh their differences. This seems counter-productive.

Second, although digital modes are sometimes promoted as beng useful for emcomm, it's hard to see that digital voice is a net plus, at least until there is some kind of convergence. For emcomm, we want the broadest pool of available operators, the widest degree of interoperability, and minimal reliance on commercial infrastructure. Admittedly, some of the tools, like the optional camera that works with some Fusion radios, could be useful for damage assessment.

Third, linked repeaters may be useful in some georgraphies and for some purposes, but in an emergency, it might be counter-productive to tie up multiple repeaters that could be better utilized for parallel communications.

That said, pick the mode that your friends or other local hams are using. If your primary operating interest is ragchewing, it's hard to see how you could go wrong with any of them. I'll leave it to others to argue the technical merits of the competing technologies.

73,

Al, KN3U

I'll expand later with my own thoughts, but for now I just wanted to say about @KN3U's comment... what he said! 👍🏻

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My current choice would be DMR.

 

I love the fact DMR is open source, with inexpensive mass produced hardware.

The proprietary modes by specific manufacturers limits the scalability, and interoperability.

Recently I see lots of DMR growth, probably for these reasons.  

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I own a D-Star handheld and it works great. I just bought a Yaesu mobile that I’m going to install this weekend and get my feet wet with Fusion. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 
 

My biggest hurdle where I live, is that there are no D-Star repeaters in my area, and I have to rely on a hotspot. For QTH operations, that’s not really an issue, but when it comes to mobile operations, I either have to use a hotspot connected to the wifi on my phone, or stay in analog mode. There are a lot more Fusion repeaters in my area, so I’m going to give it a try. 

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@AE2A, I am about to promote this response to an editorial pick because it does, indeed, explain the digital voice options all so clearly. Thanks for this.

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