Fusion (vs DSTAR)
I have no knowledge of the Fusion repeaters. The Almonte guys have hitched their wagon to D-Star, and I have visions of activating the VE3STP Digital Mobile Radio ("DMR") capability on another 2M frequency pair using MotoTrbo (our present VHF FM repeater). We also own an FM-only repeater which we would operate on 146.46/147.06. There are many cheap handhelds and mobiles around for DMR, and we own a DMR repeater.
I don't know how many digital modulation schemes the world needs, but in the end, the overall communications system is comprised of many more portables and mobiles than repeaters - and we must not lose track of the fact that some months, some of our members cannot afford stove oil to heat with. On more than one occasion, the hat has been discretely passed to buy a tank of fuel, or heating oil for a member, or two, AND buy the odd breakfast. What this all means is that whatever else we do, we MUST continue to have a network with a healthy FM component. That being said, the Almonte group has been successful in finessing money from the province (Trillium Grants), but methinks that those days are gone.
Unless ICOM brings the cost of D-Star down, then it will be far more cost-effective to use DMR. As I've already mentioned we already own a MotoTrbo, but if a Fusion would work, with the DMR radios (my understanding is that it won't), it would be a good deal. My instincts tell me not to embrace Yaesu, or ICOM, because of their proprietary designs. In all my years in this game, Motorola has always come up the winner. Their radios are just more robust and better. The VE3STP D-Star Mod B UHF repeater at Kennelly Site-2 is made of two Motorola radios (more handiwork by Jeff VE3EFF)