Amateur radio has taken the inevitable digital route. The SW DMR group is an attempt to look at a new way of funding amateur radio repeaters.
GB7KM was our first digital repeater in the South West and is connected to the Phoenix UK DMR CORE. Our second repeater was GB7WW which was installed in central Wiltshire and also offers connectivity to the Phoenix UK DMR Core. By the time we had this installed and in test phase, interest was gathering for a D-Star enabled repeater. We tried offering GB7WW as a multi-mode repeater offering both D-Star and DMR but this caused frustration from users on both sides as only one mode was available at any one time so the plan for GB7SW was born. GB7SW is our first VHF D-Star repeater and is also sited in central Wiltshire.
Our aim is not to compete with fellow amateurs or repeater groups but to provide more of what the amateur radio community wants, through crowd-funding. We appreciate the work the repeater keepers and their groups have put in to provide their repeaters, but our efforts should be seen as an extension to and not in competition to that work, after all the repeaters are there to be used by everyone.
We have taken the DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) phrase and interpreted it in its broadest term. The SW DMR Group supports all Digital Amateur platforms. With sufficient funding a D-Star or Fusion repeaters could also be added to our sites, but this will need to be driven by feedback and ultimately your financial support.
We are a non-profit group and any money donated will be used to buy equipment, support running costs and fund future investment.