DX Radio introduced a digital/analog repeater that is a transceiver in a single module. The device is unique because it was designed “from the ground up” to be a digital base station, according to Frank Romanin, CEO of Australia-based RFTechnology, which has collaborated with DX Radio on product development for two decades.

“[It's] not like others, that have taken their old RF design and then added a circuit board that digitizes the baseband audio,” Romanin said.

Because the repeater leverages a software-defined radio, it is modular. “You can add blocks as you want,” Romanin said, adding that the radio is compliant with the U.S. military's digital modular radio standard. In addition, because the radio is software-upgradable, agencies that currently are operating analog systems could purchase the repeater in analog mode and then transition to digital mode later, letting such agencies avoid a fork-lift migration, Romanin said.

The radio's software has a “roll-back” feature that lets users revert to a previous version in case a glitch is encountered during a migration to digital. “Sometimes digital systems don't work when they're first installed. When that happens, they can be without communications for several days. Our software lets you go back to analog operation until the bug is fixed.”