You could be right - the two systems I'm comparing are VHF vs. UHF, and UHF does work better for penetrating buildings. However, we had an analog UHF machine at about the same height as the current DSTAR one, and the DSTAR machine seems to greatly outperform the higher powered analog repeater it replaced. Unfortunately, the two repeater sites are a couple miles apart, so a direct comparison isn't possible. On the fringes of the coverage area, the DSTAR repeater does work better than the analog VHF repeater on the same site, which is also a fairly new, higher powered unit. Others on here claim that replacing their analog repeaters with DSTAR resulted in reduced coverage - and we certainly haven't experienced that here. As for the signal suddenly dropping off a cliff - that's true, but I find that the DSTAR is solid, and very quiet in places where the scratchy analog signal is marginal at best. Picket fencing is a disaster for DSTAR, though - I'd much rather be listening to a weak analog signal than the 'R2D2' noise. Some people find the R2D2 noise very objectionable. I really don't, but I put up with a lot of stuff that others don't. I'm sorry to say that I took my DSTAR rig with me on my last trip out west, but didn't even turn it on while I was there. I had plenty to keep me busy on analog radio. With all the brilliance that's gone into people building their own DSTAR hotspots, I'm surprised that we haven't seen anyone come up with a way to bridge from an analog system into DSTAR, at least not that I've seen.