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Author Topic: D-STAR for the Second Century of Amateur Radio  (Read 739 times)
VE7TKO
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Posts: 15




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« on: October 13, 2005, 11:39:00 AM »

There is a new webpage called "D-STAR for the Second Century of Amateur Radio." You will find it at: http://www.icomamerica.com/amateur/dstar/ . I think that most hams will appreciate this document because it is not an "ICOM Only" document. It covers all aspects of JARL's D-STAR, including home brewed repeaters, Digital Voice (DV) and Digital Data (DD). There is already a home brewed D-Star repeater in Portland Oregon.

I only wish that the complete document were available in PDF format, so that any interested ham could download it for easy reference.
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N5PVL
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Posts: 209




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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2005, 07:57:37 PM »

The jury is still out on D-Star, except perhaps in really crowded-up metro areas where it can function as intended. Then there is the expense to consider.

I don't see where it is the ARRL's business to promote any manufacturers product, and frankly I'll be wondering about how objective thier equipment reviews are now.

The ARRL has been blowing an awful lot of smoke in relation to ARESCOM/WL2K, and there is an appearence of impropriety there as well, including reports of 'conflict of interest' issues in relation to SCS corporation, and WinLink 2000 legal issues pertaining to providing a communication service in direct competition with existing commercial services.

D-Star looks like something the ARRL HSMM group and TAPR ( What's the diff? ) would go for in a big way. When you look at the hot air / tangible result ratio of these two outfits, that doesn't speak well of the future for D-Star here in the USA. - It will be hyped endlessly while only a few showpiece implimentations will ever see the light of day, if they are shooting thier usual game.

It will end up with disgruntled D-Star purchacers deciding to ( you guessed it ) blame other, completely blameless aspects of the hobby for thier failure to be the next big thing in ham radio.

"Those stupid meteor-scatter guys are on another band, never cause problems and do not prevent us from doing anything we want to, but amateur radio will not advance until thier legacy mode activities ( using radio to communicate ) are finally eliminated altogether!"

An exaggeration? Yes of course - but not by as much as you might think.

I have followed these two group's activities for some while, and thier failures are always taken as an occasion for antisocial, nihilistic behavior directed toward both thier fellow hams, and the hobby in general. When hams do not follow their dopey pipe-dreams, it's because they ( all those other hams ) are stupid, and stuck in a rut. The only way to save the hobby is to go into a destructive frenzy, dissing anything and everything that is not on thier crackpot agenda.

... Like "IP Only" for an example of a totally out of touch idea, blatant in its disregard for the actions, opinions and enjoyment of the hobby by thousands of thier fellow hams, the overwhelming majority of them in fact.

When "IP Only" went over like a hairball in the punchbowl, guess whose "fault" it was?
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VE7TKO
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2005, 03:11:27 PM »

Charles Brabham

Did you read the article that I tried to direct you to? D-STAR is not the property of any manufacturer. D-STAR is an open protocol; all of the necessary information to play by those rules is publicly available. D-STAR is a standard that was designed by amateurs; for amateurs. The D-STAR standard was first published in 2001 and is the result of three years of research funded by the Japanese government and administered by the JARL to investigate digital technologies for amateur radio.

I took the time to read your biography and you say that you tune away from pileups, generally down toward the digital part of the band. You also say that you would like to eliminate some of the problems and influences that have held back digital amateur radio in the US for the past ten years. If you really mean that, than you and I are on the same wavelength. Guess what! D-STAR is a 100% pure ham radio only product that happens to be designed for VHF, UHF and SHF ham radio. It can be 100% implemented by air link, including the IP portion of the protocol. But if you are like me, and have limited finances, you would be more than happy to link the repeaters using the Internet.

I am eight years older than you, and am living on a small disability pension. I have studied everything that I could get my hands on, regarding the D-STAR protocol. I really enjoy ham radio, and have chosen the D-STAR portion of this hobby as my personal focus and goal. That doesn't mean that I am narrow-minded. Like you, I have found my preference in this hobby.

I have personally taken on the job of being a PR agent for the D-STAR standard. I used to be in the appliance repair business, and my customer would jokingly ask if I was "the Loneliest Man in Town". Remember those Maytag ads? Today I have become "The D-STAR Man" and soon I hope to become "The Most Connected Man In Town".

I urge you to look past everything negative that you have heard about my favourite portion of our hobby. Go to D-STAR: For the Second Century of Amateur Radio at http://www.icomamerica.com/amateur/dstar/ . This is a very honest representation of the facts about D-STAR.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2005, 08:33:45 PM »

I have read all of the articles and I cannot think of one reason why I personally would go to the expense of purchasing 'D Star' compatible gear except for EMCOMM.  In that case, since it would have no other use to me, I would expect the agency that required this equipment to pick up most or all of the tab.

Dennis KG4RUL
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N5PVL
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Posts: 209




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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2005, 08:05:56 PM »

VE7TKO:

I'm sorry old man, but I judge these things strictly by actual results, not by the fact that somebody does or does not promote whatever it may be, hoping that by doing so their investment will not be wasted.

I noted how you went on at great length about how D-Star *can* be used with radio but in the end, you had to admit that the Internet alternative is pretty much inevitable if it is to "perform" at a reasonable price and level of difficulty.

My way of looking at amateur radio applications is that if you have to put aside the use of radio in order to make it "perform", then it has no creditable performance at all as an amateur radio application.

D-Star, like Packet Radio and other digital ham radio setups, is subject to the same old laws of physics. You can get more speed at higher frequencies, where the expense and complexity rises in a geometric progression. Long before you get the kind of performance that is being hyped, those factors go way beyond what the great majority of amateurs would ever consider. - So you end up copping out on ham radio and hooking your new miracle digital setup to the Internet instead.

I'm only really interested in digital amateur radio, and if you stick with that, D-Star does nothing that Packet Radio cannot do far cheaper and with a good deal more flexibility.

My feeling is that you've been sold a bill of goods and hope to have company in this, so you won't feel foolish for having paid so much extra only to end up with yet another digital system that is subject to the same laws of physics as all of the rest.

I would wish you luck in your promotional endeavor, except for the fact that it would mean that other innocent hams would have been hoodwinked and ripped off as well.

If I were you I would ask for my money back... I sure would not try to save face by "promoting" the same misfortune upon my fellow hams.

The really good stuff does not require any significant promotion, in my experience.

No hard feelings OM, and there is certainly nothing personal to it, but this how I see it. I am well known for calling them as I see them, so don't let my opinion upset you. - Just see if there's any way you can get your money back.

Charles Brabham,  N5PVL


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VE7TKO
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2005, 12:48:50 AM »

Charles Brabham, N5PVL said:

I'm only really interested in digital amateur radio, and if you stick with that, D-Star does nothing that Packet Radio cannot do far cheaper and with a good deal more flexibility.

This is a myth!

Even D-STAR's lowest speed is competitive with the highest-performance packet systems available today. D-STAR's simultaneous digital voice and data at 4800 bps is beyond the capability of any packet technology. High-speed D-STAR systems are ten times faster than the highest packet speeds.

You can not do packet and voice over the same frequency at the same time. For you to do this, you would need 2 radios and a TNC. I need only 1 radio and no TNC.

You say:

The really good stuff does not require any significant promotion, in my experience.

What experience is that? SSB was patented in 1922 or 1923. It wasn't until the fifties that it was commonly adopted in HF ham radios as a standard feature. Why? The self professed experts said that it was not worth it. See the parallel in your thinking. No problem. You can have fun with your motorcycle while I have fun with my D-STAR radios. I only ask that you follow the experiences of others, and learn from them. Some day, you too will want to join in the fun. D-STAR works for me every day. I have 3 D-STAR Radios. I just love to be on the leading edge of technology. Some people prefer to let others do the ground work, and only follow when the price has come down. Others never follow, because they are used equipment junkies. That is not a real problem. This hobby has room for all of us.
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KJ7YL
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2005, 04:39:11 PM »

VE7TKO:


I think you can have all the fun you want. THe change to digital will in my opinion be a slow one. Analog repeaters will not be able work with DSTAR.

Most ham radio clubs are limited in budget and will not have the funds to change the machines over to DSTAR. That is alot of work

Secondly I am not willing to get rid of all my analog radios just to go digital.

I have alot a money tied up in the equipment that I already have, and it works. Really well. So at this point I have no real reason or incentive to change.

I hope you do have fun with the hobbie. There is no question DSTAR Technology works. It will just cost me to much to change.
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VE7TKO
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2007, 10:29:56 PM »

You said that the change to digital would be a slow one. It is not a change to, but an addition to the analogue system. D-STAR Radios are backwards compatible and work on both systems.

Today there are more than 65 D-STAR repeaters in North America. Many of them have all 4 bands installed. All bands can cross-band within their own system, plus they can also cross band with any other system that is connected to a gateway. The average growth seems to be 1 to 2 repeaters per week. At that rate, it will not take long for D-STAR to cover all of North America.

In my area alone, there are 3 D-STAR repeaters to choose from. I have had the opportunity to try all the available bands and must say that I found it interesting to cross-band from 1.2 GHz to 2-meters. Today I heard 5 new call signs on the VE7RAG D-STAR repeater. Almost all of the production of IC-91AD dual band HT radios, for the next two months, is sold before the dealers can get them. Because of the entry of Britain, Germany and Italy into the D-STAR users group, there is a worldwide shortage of the IC-91Ads. If other manufactures were going to take advantage of this new trend, now would be the time to join in.
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NQ5L
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2008, 01:12:53 PM »

I have followed the "debate" on D-Star with some interest.  The technology is interesting, the uses (in the real world, or at least my real world) are far less obvious.  One item I have yet to find is the published "open" standard for D-Star.  I have spent several hours doing google searches but so far I have not found an English language version of this standard.  The best I can find is an ARRL page but the "standard" there is so incomplete as to be laughable.  If the proponents of D-Star want to proclaim this as an open standard, then they owe it to the rest of us to produce the document.  I have found the "standard" in Japanese, but it does me little good since I have now way to translate it.  Otherwise, this looks like promotion of an Icom specific protocol (the only vendor so far in the US market).
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