Last year I put an iCom ID-4100A in KF4LMT mobile so I would have DStar capability. Over the time I’ve had it in the car, I’ve noticed that there’s just not that much DStar activity around Savannah or the places I visit frequently. I’ve also noticed that the DStar repeaters in Savannah have limited range. On the other hand, my experience with DMR has been that the DMR repeater in Savannah has great coverage and that DMR is quite active in a lot of the places that I frequently visit. That drove my decision to recently replace the ID-4100A with an Anytone AT-D578UVIII Plus. I’ve found that although there is a gap between them, the Savannah and Kingsland DMR repeaters cover most of I-95 in Georgia and that the Kingsland repeater provides great coverage in Brunswick. It’s been fun having DMR in the mobile; I’ve had a number of QSOs on First Coast DMR and Kingsland Local.
I’ve been very pleased with the AT-D578UVIII Plus (henceforth referred to as the 578). It’s a sturdy little radio that seems solidly built. Like the Anytone DMR handhelds, there’s a bit of a learning curve because they operate and program differently than the Yaesus and iComs that I’m used to, but it’s nothing that I haven’t caught onto quickly. Another benefit of using the 578 is that I can easily import and export codeplug information from and to my Anytone AT-D787 handhelds, making programming the radios a simpler and more convenient process.
KF4LMT Mobile retains the Whistler TRX-2, which handles conventional analog and digital and non-simulcast trunking, and the Uniden Home Patrol 2, which handles military and civilian aviation as well as simulcast trunking. Both the 578 and the Whistler TRX-2 are fed with Comet CA-2x4SR antennas while the Home Patrol 2 is fed with a Laird ABSCANC antenna.