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Author Topic: Say Yes To D-Star  (Read 30454 times)
NM3G
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2013, 06:04:59 AM »

For those who dislike D-Star, but think the world of P25 ... remember that P25 uses an earlier model silicon-based CODEC manufactured by DVSI ... but not a word about P25 being closed.

C4FM FDMA ... the Yaesu/Vertex/Motorola venture. Sure sounds nice ... but guess who builds the silicon-based CODEC for this mode? ... Yep, DVSI. Not Motorola, not Yaesu/Vertex.

***

Open DV was a project to create an open-source alternative to the DVSI silicon-based CODEC, which is at the heart of the ICOM D-Star protocol implementation ... here's the link:

http://opendv.berlios.de/index.html

You can take advantage of John, K7VE's work of porting this software to the Raspberry PI for a DVSI-free D-Star communications system.

Lets move beyond the "it's not open" discussion.

73
Rick
NM3G
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AA4PB
Member

Posts: 13032




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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2013, 06:32:49 AM »

Yep, same argument as used by those against Pactor II and III. Personally, I think we'd better get used to it. As new "modes" become more and more complex the developers have to invest more engineering man hours into their development. It is only natural that they want to recoop their investment and make a profit (i.e. they don't want to give it away). Of course hams can just refuse to use the new technology and continue to operate in the past.

The other option is for hams to make the investment to develop the new technology and then give it away as an open standard. That's getting harder to do in terms of the knowledge, time, and test equipment required.
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KE7TMA
Member

Posts: 472




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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2013, 01:35:07 AM »

When do the misleading statements about D-STAR not being proprietary go from being simply mistaken, to being outright lies?

I think you misunderstand. Icom has purchased and used an AMBE vocoder chip that is patented by DVSI. Icom pays for the chips they use just like any other mfg would have to. If Yaesu wants to build a digital voice system they can do so without paying any royalties to Icom. Of course, if they want it to talk to Icom DSTAR units they will have to purchase and use the same AMBE chip. Because DVSI owns the patent no other mfg can duplicate that chip.

So, DSTAR is not owned Icom. The AMBE VOCODER chip design is owned by DVSI. Anyone is free to purchase chips from the chip mfg. It's the same with thousands of other chips used by mfgs every day. The difference is that the VOCODER is such a key part of the system that you can't make a compatible radio without one.


Who is the world's sole supplier of FM voice chips?  SSB chips?  AM chips?

There is no such thing.  Just imagine, a whole radio mode that is totally proprietary, where the experimenter can not implement a compatible system without either buying the chip from the sole supplier, OR risk being sued into oblivion for intellectual property rights violations.  This mode is DStar.

The solution is to either re-implement the system using an open source voice codec, or forget about DStar completely.
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KE7TMA
Member

Posts: 472




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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2013, 01:40:23 AM »

For those who dislike D-Star, but think the world of P25 ... remember that P25 uses an earlier model silicon-based CODEC manufactured by DVSI ... but not a word about P25 being closed.

C4FM FDMA ... the Yaesu/Vertex/Motorola venture. Sure sounds nice ... but guess who builds the silicon-based CODEC for this mode? ... Yep, DVSI. Not Motorola, not Yaesu/Vertex.

***

Open DV was a project to create an open-source alternative to the DVSI silicon-based CODEC, which is at the heart of the ICOM D-Star protocol implementation ... here's the link:

http://opendv.berlios.de/index.html

You can take advantage of John, K7VE's work of porting this software to the Raspberry PI for a DVSI-free D-Star communications system.

Lets move beyond the "it's not open" discussion.

73
Rick
NM3G

No, let's not move beyond the "it's not open" discussion.  This is the discussion.  While many people want DStar's critics to shut up on this topic, this is the one thing that is worth talking about regarding this effectively proprietary mode.

For what it's worth, I think all of these digital proprietary non-open codec based modes are doomed.  K7VE's work is laudable but until some manufacturer makes a nice HT with the open codec, it will be a difficult sell.
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W4KVW
Member

Posts: 508




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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2013, 08:13:53 PM »

If you don't have the money to join those of us using D-STAR then that's OK.Myself & many thousands of others that are using D-STAR are having a great time with it.I will continue using it as an additional for of communicating & having FUN & is that not what Ham Radio is all about? I don't care for CW but sometimes use it for a contact with a RARE country but that does not make me like it.It's your money & your choice as it is mine  my money & my choice as well so I choose to be a D-STAR user!FYI: You do NOT have to spend $500 for a D-STAR radio.I spent just $225 for a like new ICOM IC-91AD & it looks & operates as if it just came out of the factory.You just have to shop around for a DEAL like I did. {:>)  Cheesy   Grin 

Clayton
W4KVW
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KE7TMA
Member

Posts: 472




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« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2013, 03:51:02 PM »

If you don't have the money to join those of us using D-STAR then that's OK.Myself & many thousands of others that are using D-STAR are having a great time with it.I will continue using it as an additional for of communicating & having FUN & is that not what Ham Radio is all about? I don't care for CW but sometimes use it for a contact with a RARE country but that does not make me like it.It's your money & your choice as it is mine  my money & my choice as well so I choose to be a D-STAR user!FYI: You do NOT have to spend $500 for a D-STAR radio.I spent just $225 for a like new ICOM IC-91AD & it looks & operates as if it just came out of the factory.You just have to shop around for a DEAL like I did. {:>)  Cheesy   Grin 

Clayton
W4KVW

My objections to DStar have little to do with the price, it's mostly due to the proprietary AMBE voice codec used.
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KA1NTG
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2013, 08:50:11 AM »

For anyone who doesn't read XKCD (hilarious tech/science/math based comic), here's the obligatory one on 'Standards'- http://xkcd.com/927/
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STAYVERTICAL
Member

Posts: 875




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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2013, 03:13:03 PM »

NO !
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KC2UGV
Member

Posts: 441




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« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2013, 10:39:57 AM »

...
Lets move beyond the "it's not open" discussion.

73
Rick
NM3G

Let's not, because it is the crux of the issue most hams take with it, moreso than costs.
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N5PVL
Member

Posts: 210




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2013, 06:48:41 AM »

When do the misleading statements about D-STAR not being proprietary go from being simply mistaken, to being outright lies?

I think you misunderstand. Icom has purchased and used an AMBE vocoder chip that is patented by DVSI. Icom pays for the chips they use just like any other mfg would have to. If Yaesu wants to build a digital voice system they can do so without paying any royalties to Icom. Of course, if they want it to talk to Icom DSTAR units they will have to purchase and use the same AMBE chip. Because DVSI owns the patent no other mfg can duplicate that chip.

So, DSTAR is not owned Icom. The AMBE VOCODER chip design is owned by DVSI. Anyone is free to purchase chips from the chip mfg. It's the same with thousands of other chips used by mfgs every day. The difference is that the VOCODER is such a key part of the system that you can't make a compatible radio without one.


Who is the world's sole supplier of FM voice chips?  SSB chips?  AM chips?

There is no such thing.  Just imagine, a whole radio mode that is totally proprietary, where the experimenter can not implement a compatible system without either buying the chip from the sole supplier, OR risk being sued into oblivion for intellectual property rights violations.  This mode is DStar.

The solution is to either re-implement the system using an open source voice codec, or forget about DStar completely.

DSTAR? - What is that?

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W1MSG
Member

Posts: 111


WWW

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« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2013, 06:07:14 PM »

So I guess what the nay sayers are saying is even if Kenwood or Yaesu or any other radio manufacturer bought the AMBE chip for use in their radios they still wouldn't use it. Is that a correct assumption? All because DVSI owns the patent on the chip and won't make the code available or allow anyone else to make their chip? Sounds kind of one way to me, do you think the computer you are using has open architecture on the processor? How about that Apple iPhone, or the Verizon Cell phone.

Its a $20 chip that enables Dstar protocols, Get over it ! There are already boards being made that will allow any Analog radio on Dstar, yup they buy the chips and are able to make their own stuff work just fine on Dstar. 

I just recently got into Dstar and I am enjoying it, I was a hold out as I thought it was an Icom thing, which it is and it isnt, but I didnt go around bad mouthing it.

Anyway my 2 cents worth if its even worth that ...

73,   Craig W1MSG
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KE7TMA
Member

Posts: 472




Ignore
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2013, 03:36:58 PM »

So I guess what the nay sayers are saying is even if Kenwood or Yaesu or any other radio manufacturer bought the AMBE chip for use in their radios they still wouldn't use it. Is that a correct assumption? All because DVSI owns the patent on the chip and won't make the code available or allow anyone else to make their chip? Sounds kind of one way to me, do you think the computer you are using has open architecture on the processor? How about that Apple iPhone, or the Verizon Cell phone.

Its a $20 chip that enables Dstar protocols, Get over it ! There are already boards being made that will allow any Analog radio on Dstar, yup they buy the chips and are able to make their own stuff work just fine on Dstar. 

I just recently got into Dstar and I am enjoying it, I was a hold out as I thought it was an Icom thing, which it is and it isnt, but I didnt go around bad mouthing it.

Anyway my 2 cents worth if its even worth that ...

73,   Craig W1MSG

You're laboring pretty hard to miss the point.  Imagine if you could only use CW if you paid me $20.  You can take an iPhone and tak to somebody using a Droid phone.  You can use a Macintosh and talk to somebody with a Thinkpad.  You can not use DStar without paying the fee to AMBE.  You are completely confused when it comes to this issue.  DStar's use of the proprietary codec runs afoul of the spirit of openness and experimentation that is one of the defining aspects of amateur radio.

DStar is dead in the water anyway.

And yes, it's still an Icom thing.  Even if every manufacturer offered a DStar set most thinking hams would eschew it.  Once the Codec2 radios start appearing DStar will go from merely dead to stinking of decomposition.
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KC2UGV
Member

Posts: 441




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« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2013, 05:13:34 PM »

do you think the computer you are using has open architecture on the processor? How about that Apple iPhone, or the Verizon Cell phone.

Actually, it is.

Note, you are not locked into AMD's and Intels anymore?  Both are interchangeable?  Or, the entirety of the ARM procs and all clones?

Yes, even the iPhone and Verizon Cell phones use the ARM procs, and any manufacturer can make a basic drop in replacement.
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AA4PB
Member

Posts: 13032




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« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2013, 05:31:59 PM »

The only thing I can say in Icom's defense is that they are not in the business of developing chips. AMBE comes up with a CODEC that works well and Icom used it rather than paying the big engineering costs of developing their own CODEC chip.

I expect that this issue is something that is going to happen more and more. As digital protocols become more complex they take more time to develop and test so the engineering investment goes up. Most companies are not going to invest that much money into development and then give it away (open source) so that others can compete with a less expensive product because they didn't have to pay development costs. Look what happened with IBM and their PC.

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N5INP
Member

Posts: 1323




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« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2013, 06:13:09 PM »

I don't think I'd want to use D-Star for the following reason.

If it merely links repeaters over the internet then why not just get on the internet and talk to people on your computer?

I'm a Big Fan of the internet and computers, and I use Skype and forums and all the rest. But why would I want to use a radio to get on the internet when I can just get on the internet directly?

Maybe I'm old school but I prefer playing with RF and not having the internet between me and the other player. But to each his/her own I suppose.  Smiley
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