Paul, KB0P is sorta new to the Green Bay area. He used to live in the Upper Peninsula. He recently emailed me about setting up a DMR repeater back home in the U.P. (Ishpeming/Marquette).
He said a number of his U.P. ham friends have been getting on the air with DMR using hotspots as there are no DMR repeaters in the Marquette area.
Paul was writing to come up with the least expensive way to go this. He already had an fairly unused analog repeater and a site etc.
I replied and informed him that a good number of the Motorola XPR8200/8300 repeaters that hams have on the air were graciously provided as refurbs from a ham who works at Motorola. So Paul could reach to this guy, but these units have high PA failure rate. A surge suppressor and isolator are highly recommended if you are going to use them. And you'll want to crank the transmit power back if you are 24/7 linked to high transmit rate talkgroups like WW, etc.
With that in mind, and the headaches of having to swap the transmit and receive radios around when they blow-up (and it seems to be just a matter of time), I suggested he roll his own.
Paul has been in the hobby since the mid 80's I think, and I knew he had no qualms about using a soldering iron a service monitor.
I wrote, another option that might be better is MMDVM. And I am note referring to that flea power hotspot junk. I am talking about using an adapter like the INADVM MMDVM, or RB_STM32_DVM and using that to drive existing analog equipment. As a bonus you'll be able to support all the other digital modes if you take the time to set them up.
A couple weeks later he wrote:
A new DMR repeater has now been installed in Marquette, Michigan (da U.P.). It can be reached on the U.P. Talk Group 31268.
We converted a Yaesu DR-1X repeater to a DMR repeater using the STM32-DVM system by Repeater Builder consisting of a Raspberry Pi computer and a MMDVM Top Hat board, using the Pi-Star software.
Nice job Paul!