Here is a short blurb and a photo of my early attempts at DMR…
Top is a TGIF Spot hotspot with a Nextion display. These are made by Robert Bretzman K4WZV who lives just SW of us in Springhill, FL. He is also one of the originators of the TGIF DMR network. Since I am new to the DMR mode, I purchased this particular hotspot because I read that Robert has been a big help to others in setting up these fairly complex devices. I use this hotspot in my shack and it communicates via wifi through my home router.
Most hotspots use Raspberry Pie as the base computer, with a small tx/rx “hat” on top. About as many hams build their own units as those who purchase fully assembled units as I did. Hotspots receive and transmit voice between the DMR handi-talkie radio and your wifi connection. Pi-Star, an essential web-based app, makes everything work together. Programming the HT to communicate with selected talk groups, similar to chat rooms or informal net gatherings, is another challenging, but rewarding aspect of DMR.
DMR was attractive to me as a means of doing DX without worrying about long wires in a small, treeless back yard, big antennas or hanging off gutters at my age in an HOA. I did have an MFJ mag loop (a good stealth HF option) on order for several months but they were never shipped or even built. So I used that money toward exploring DMR.
For those wanting to explore a different aspect of ham radio or who want to get out beyond the second county without involving your HOA, DMR will be an educational, challenging, and worthwhile endeavor. I could still use help from DMR-endowed Elmers, hint hint