eHam

eHam Forums => Digital => Topic started by: K9RUF on May 14, 2013, 03:30:14 PM



Title: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: K9RUF on May 14, 2013, 03:30:14 PM
Say Yes To D-Star


Well after reading an article on the internet titled “Say No To D-Star” I thought it was appropriate for me as a D-Star user to defend D-star.  These are some of the misconceptions people have about D-star.

1.   D-Star doesn’t work without the internet.  False.  First off D-Star can operate simplex or point-to-point like we use at hamfests to tell our friends about a hot deal we’ve spotted for them.  It can also function like an analog repeater re-transmitting signals using a specific frequency pair.  Now here’s where the internet comes in.  Since these are digital signals they can be routed through gateways attached to the internet to communicate to other D-Star repeaters around the world.
2.   D-Star isn’t radio.  False.  This is similar to point number one but I hear it all the time.  If you’re talking into a microphone connected to a radio with an antenna attached to it then you’re using a radio.  Period.  This is D-Star.  And yes there is a device that hooks to your computer called a DV dongle and it relies solely on the internet using your computer for the microphone and speaker.  This is actually a pretty cool device when you’re traveling so when you’re in a hotel you can work your home repeater anywhere in the world.  While this D-Star device connects directly to the internet it also connects you to repeaters that transmit RF.
3.   D-Star is just too “computery” for me.  I don’t want to mess around with computers.  I just like to pick up my microphone and start talking to people.  Hmmmm. I’ll bet you use a computer for logging contacts or maybe controlling your HF radio.  Actually if I put an analog and D-Star mobile radio next to each other and asked you pick out the D-Star radio you couldn’t tell the difference because they both have, a microphone.   
4.   D-Star is proprietary since ICOM is the only radio manufacture selling it.  False.  The D-Star format was developed by the JARL as an open standard protocol.  This means any radio manufacture can build D-Star radios.  The only part of D-Star that is proprietary is the digital codec or the Ambi digital encoder chip.  But if you want to go down that road I can open up any analog radio and show you custom chips they use as well.  Kenwood and Yaesu could have built D-Star radios but they chose not to take the gamble.  ICOM took the gamble and they are now reaping the rewards.  With the success of ICOM these other manufactures are now looking to develop their own formats to get into the digital radio business.  This is unfortunate and will only confuse hams since the D-Star format is already a very popular digital standard. 
5.   D-Star is too expensive.  Sort of, with two thoughts.  If Yaesu and Kenwood would simply humble themselves and build a D-Star radio giving ICOM some competition then prices would come down.  I agree that $600 for a dual band analog/digital HT is expensive.  However on the flip side we’ve been conditioned to think that a dual band HT should cost $50 with all the Baofengs being dumped on the market from China.  Try pricing a Japanese dual band HT for a better real world price comparison.  Also remember a D-Star radio does digital and analog so it should cost more.  You do get what you pay for.   Here’s an example of an economical way to get into D-Star.  If you own an analog transceiver with a built-in serial port connector such as a Kenwood TM-D710, An ICOM IC-7000 or a Yaesu FT-857 you can buy a $100.00 PCBA that will install between this radio and your PC with a USB cable.  This is one example of the many non ICOM D-Star ideas being created because of the nature of this open standard.  D-Star is exploding and I’m looking forward to seeing all the new ideas at Dayton.
6.   I’ve heard D-Star audio and when the signal gets weak I can’t understand anything at all.  It sounds like R2D2 from Star Wars.  That is true but in side-by-side test comparisons between and an analog and a D-Star radio with the same power, same antenna and the same distance the D-Star radio was more readable than the analog radio.  The difference is that when an analog radio signal gets weak it fades gracefully into the noise floor.  When the D-Star signal gets weak it starts breaking up and this sound can be a bit jarring.
7.   This D-Star stuff takes up a lot of bandwidth on the ham bands.  False.  Because the D-Star digital signal is compressed it takes up only 6.25 KHz vs. 25 KHz for a wide band FM signal.  If some of the dormant analog repeaters were switched to digital there could be almost 4 times as many frequencies available for the space taken up by one analog FM signal.  I’m not promoting this idea but in densely populated areas where frequency pairs aren’t as available this would be a good solution.
8.   I don’t like D-Star because it will replace analog.  False.  Both formats can and do co-exist.  Remember before FM came along on VHF and UHF there was only AM.  Keep this in the back of your mind with regard to D-Star as it grows more popular over time. 
9.   Why do I have to register my call sign to use D-Star.  I don't have to do that with analog.  When you register your call sign with the D-Star network the second you transmit the whole world knows you are on the air.  This is handy when you want to find your other D-Star friends.  There is also another function called call sign routing that allows you to work your home repeater through another D-Star repeater as you travel.  If you are only using your D-Star radio simplex then registration is not required.  Registration has its benefits because every time you key your mike your call sign appears on all the D-Star radios listening to that frequency.  Personally I think this accountability keeps jammers away.  Remember those anonymous crank phone calls we would get before caller ID came along?  I know, now we have the telemarketers calling but at least we know who is now calling so we can elect to ignore the call.
10.   The Audio on D-Star just sounds funny to me.  Sort of true.  Digital audio is compressed and as such is not as full sounding as wideband FM.  However after listening to it for a while you learn to appreciate the quietness between words and the overall clarity.  Occasionally some users of D-Star sound like they are underwater or are very muffled.  These are usually hams using their computers to get on D-Star and their computers have very poor quality microphones.  I recommend for those using their computers for D-Star to use a quality headset with a quality mike.  If you use the standard hand mike on the radio you’ll sound great.

In conclusion, say yes to D-Star.  Whenever something new comes along we tend to resist change.  Then after we use it for a while we wonder how we lived without it.  Remember that new thing called the internet!  I encourage everyone to learn more about D-Star by attending one of the free D-Star seminars being held every so often or talk to a D-Star user to experience it first hand.  My hope is when you hear derogatory comments about D-Star you’ll now know the other side of the story.  The nature of ham radio is learning and experimenting so keep an open mind as fresh ideas come along advancing our hobby.

Very 73,

David J. Holmgren
K9RUF


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: VA7CPC on May 14, 2013, 06:51:18 PM
A suggestion:

. . . Submit this to the "Articles" editor.  It's good, and it's just hiding in the dark, here.

The _large_ audience for D-Star isn't the people who are already committed to digital modes (which is most of the readers of this sub-forum).  It's the "great unwashed hordes" who are using analog FM.

.                   Charles


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: K9RUF on May 14, 2013, 07:32:00 PM
Thanks for the compliment.  I just got tired of people poking fun at D-Star like it's some kind of joke when it's really nifty.  Then after I read the article I reference by WB2MIC on the internet that set me in motion.  I've actually sent it to the articles area but he reply said it could take weeks (see below) for it to be published so since Dayton was coming up I thought it world be important to at least get it out some where so if hams are looking at D-Star radios they can make an informed decision.

David
K9RUF

Below is the eham response that prompted me to start by posting it here:

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Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: K0JEG on May 15, 2013, 06:02:08 AM
OK, first off, I agree with your points. When I have enough saved up for an IC-9100 (hopefully later this year) it will have the Dstar module installed (although because there's 0 Dstar activity around here I'll be on 10 and 6 meters mostly). I'm absolutely serious, I want a Dstar radio and have for some time now.

However, my main argument against Dstar is that it is primarily (and presented as)  a digital voice mode. Who cares about voice these days? I have a box in my pocket that can download 10Mbps and upload 2Mbps. It can stream (bidirectionally) HD video. Meanwhile, the Dstar folks want me to spend a few hundred on a radio who's latest innovation is a GPS and a repeater database? That can stream telephone quality audio at a paltry 128Kbps? Where's the camera? When will we see an Android OS built in? If you look at today's HTs, they look a lot like cell phones did in the 1990s, with blocky text LCDs, rubber buttons and very thick. I don't really care about radio thickness, but an all-in-one communications device that connects at a reasonable speed to repeaters or nodes or whatever we want to call them could really push clubs to build out useful networks. One just needs to look at the success of APRS and the nearly nation-wide coverage it offers to show what happens with a generic network (yes, most people just beacon their position, but there's a lot of IM style messaging and DX spotting messages too), and that's just 2 lines of text.

When packet first came on the scene, most computers connected to dial-up modems were running at 300 baud. 1200bps (while in reality due to all the handshaking and hopping was very slow), seemed like a major step up and was only possible because we had the bandwidth to do it (recall that phone systems were only 4KHz wide while our FM band was set up for (as you point out) 25KHz channels. And if you could do some surgery on your radio you could even get to 9600bps! (of course there was no one else to talk to). Dstar seems to be a major step backward. I had a cell phone that could do 128Kbps in the early 90s. We're supposed to be pushing the state of the art in radio, not sitting back and watching the rest of the world pass us by. I'd say the weak signal HF modes are doing more to push the state of the art than Dstar. And don't tell me the tech is difficult and expensive. I work in an industry that has seen a revolution in wide band RF chips that can send out channels as wide as 100MHz just as easily as a few kilohertz. If cost is a factor, just use last year's chip. If the tech is difficult to comprehend, just download the application sheet.

Digital networks shouldn't be pigeonholed into "voice" "video" "data" etc. It's all just bits and bandwidth.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: WS4E on May 15, 2013, 08:36:23 AM
>ICOM is the only radio manufacture selling it.---  False.
Buuzzz.. Wrong answer thanks for playing.  You ignored the actual question and gave a BS answer.  The answer to this is TRUE.

The very first month a non-proprietary digital system comes along that is available from multiple radio manufacturers and does not require a $300 patent encumbered monopoly chip in each device...D-STAR will be history, dust, and done for.  People will abandon it in droves.

I will save my $300 D-Star proprietary-chip premium feeds and wait for another option. 

What many D-STAR evangelists don't understand is, that its not that those of us not using it don't understand D-Star, or that we have some 'myths' we believe, or we are afraid of change.... its simple...we are simply voting with our pocket books against this particular digital option. 




Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: K9RUF on May 15, 2013, 10:48:01 AM
OK you're right that question could have been phrased better.  What I should have said is Are there other ways to get on D-Star other than buying a radio from ICOM?  I wasn't as so said creating a BS answer.  The chip as I'm told is like $20 not $300.  I really appreciate all of the perspectives on this issue and I am learning things too. That's the beauty of these boards and the thoughts from my other fellow hams. Just so everyone knows I love HF too and if you look at my QRZ page you'll see I'm heavily invested in HF. I just like learning new things and when D-Star came along about 6 years ago I wasn't too interested either but after I started exploring it in just the past year I'm liking it more and more and that's the reason I wrote this article. I'm not trying to troll, create propaganda, I don't work for ICOM or whatever people might think I just like D-Star. I'll be at Dayton so if you're there too look for me wearing my call sign hat.

Best 73
David
K9RUF


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: VA7CPC on May 15, 2013, 11:39:11 PM
The EmComm community is starting to adopt D-Star with a digital messaging layer called "D-RATS".  A Google of

D-RATS Emcomm

will get you started.

.             Charles


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: K0JEG on May 16, 2013, 06:15:36 AM
>ICOM is the only radio manufacture selling it.---  False.
Buuzzz.. Wrong answer thanks for playing.  You ignored the actual question and gave a BS answer.  The answer to this is TRUE.

The very first month a non-proprietary digital system comes along that is available from multiple radio manufacturers and does not require a $300 patent encumbered monopoly chip in each device...D-STAR will be history, dust, and done for.  People will abandon it in droves.

http://nwdigitalradio.com/ is ramping up production now. The Dstar dongles have been on the market for a few years now, although somewhat limited in what they do. Again, with the focus on voice, all the attention seems to come back to the AMBE chip, instead of focus on the radio side of it, being the GMSK modulation and getting a standard emission, like SSB or FM. The NW digital radio has a Dstar module (that has that chip in it because the protocol requires it), but the focus is on data, not voice.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KE8EC on May 16, 2013, 03:24:19 PM
Is this much like Echolink? Sounds like a lot in common. ???


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: AC2EU on May 16, 2013, 07:39:50 PM
>ICOM is the only radio manufacture selling it.---  False.
Buuzzz.. Wrong answer thanks for playing.  You ignored the actual question and gave a BS answer.  The answer to this is TRUE.

The very first month a non-proprietary digital system comes along that is available from multiple radio manufacturers and does not require a $300 patent encumbered monopoly chip in each device...D-STAR will be history, dust, and done for.  People will abandon it in droves.

http://nwdigitalradio.com/ is ramping up production now. The Dstar dongles have been on the market for a few years now, although somewhat limited in what they do. Again, with the focus on voice, all the attention seems to come back to the AMBE chip, instead of focus on the radio side of it, being the GMSK modulation and getting a standard emission, like SSB or FM. The NW digital radio has a Dstar module (that has that chip in it because the protocol requires it), but the focus is on data, not voice.

The only problem that I have with it is that any way you cut it, DSTAR is an ICOM proprietary technology. Even if they license it to others, it is still proprietary.
I am not that much into digital audio, but someone told me that there is a competing "open source: technology. I would prefer to go that route, then there is no single mfr pulling the strings. What if ICOM decides to drop it? Digital audio comes to a screeching halt!
Supporting DSTAR could be problematic.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KO3D on May 18, 2013, 09:04:08 AM

What many D-STAR evangelists don't understand is, that its not that those of us not using it don't understand D-Star, or that we have some 'myths' we believe, or we are afraid of change.... its simple...we are simply voting with our pocket books against this particular digital option. 


I love digital modes and integration with computers. But I am not paying $300 extra for a $20 chip, which is proprietary no matter what the original poster says. Icom is the only manufacturer and there is no reason or incentive for other companies to license their technology. Going to closed proprietary systems is not good for ham radio. Unfortunately, too many hams like the idea of D-Star filtering out hams they don't like based on price. Its becoming defacto encryption keeping most hams out of their playground.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KE7TMA on May 23, 2013, 06:50:34 PM
When do the misleading statements about D-STAR not being proprietary go from being simply mistaken, to being outright lies?

When the person has been corrected many times, and still refuses to acknowledge the truth.  That's when.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: PD0AC on May 26, 2013, 08:34:47 AM
If I remember well, D-Star was introduced in 2001. If it's so awesome, you would expect every ham to use it by now - and without the need for constant advertising during those 12 years that passed.

That's not the case. In the grand scheme of things, the percentage of D-star users is still marginal.

Hans


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: AA4PB on May 26, 2013, 11:16:24 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.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KC8HQX on May 26, 2013, 02:51:30 PM
Lets be clear here, the AMBE vocoder / D-Star essentially constitutes a mode. And unlike every other mode common to Hams, it is not an open standard. Yes, anyone can purchase the chip, but the difference between D-Star and every other common Ham mode is it is not free, but licensed, meaning you *must* pay a royalty to use it. Anybody can read the CW, SSB, PSK31, SSTV, RTTY, etc. standard and implement hardware or software any way they wish to use said modes.  D-Star on the other hand essentially ties one to a licencing scheme that is the antithesis of what Amateur Radio is all about; I can't legally home brew a D-Star radio without paying some company a royalty.

No sir, I'll pass,

KC8HQX


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: NM3G 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


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: AA4PB 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.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KE7TMA 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.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KE7TMA 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.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: W4KVW 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. {:>)  :D   ;D 

Clayton
W4KVW


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KE7TMA 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. {:>)  :D   ;D 

Clayton
W4KVW

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


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KA1NTG 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/ (http://xkcd.com/927/)


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on July 22, 2013, 03:13:03 PM
NO !


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KC2UGV 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.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: N5PVL 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?



Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: W1MSG 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


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KE7TMA 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.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KC2UGV 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.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: AA4PB 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.



Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: N5INP 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.  :)


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KE7TMA on August 12, 2013, 10:11:36 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.

One guy created a chip that is more functional and uses less bandwidth than the AMBE chip, in less than a year of his free time.  Most of the work for voice coding over radio was already done (watch the interview regarding Codec2 on Youtube) and in the public domain - somebody just had to put the code together and work the kinks out.  An outstanding job by this man, but this isn't the same as putting a man on the moon.

If Icom couldn't figure out how to get a quality engineer on the job, and if they didn't see a backlash against their proprietary mode coming, they need to connect with actual radio amateurs more than they currently seem to.  Perhaps ham radios are just a sideline to their marine and commercial businesses, I don't know.  But there's no excuse for making a proprietary mode which can not be used by experimenters without paying off some sue-happy company.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: W1MSG on August 13, 2013, 12:53:51 AM
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.

Wow you really wave that Experimentation flag pretty hard as a Tech .. The real Experimenters are in fact making DStar compatible boards and they work very well. Maybe Dead in the water in your opinion, but from the stats its growing daily all over the world.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KC2UGV on August 13, 2013, 05:31:06 AM
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.

Which flies in the face of technology's history:  Openness has always been the better market.

Are you locked into Microsoft PC's, if you want to run Windows?  Nope.
What is the most popularly used webservers, DB servers, DNS servers, etc etc?  Apache/MySQL/BIND (All open source).
Look at what happened to IBM once they certified their hardware for Redhat (An open source OS)?


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: AK4YA on August 14, 2013, 09:45:41 AM
Im sold.  Ill say yes if I can get an external adapter for a FT-897D.  Your article says these external adapters work for the 857.  What are different sources for these adapters?  Any kits?


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: W1MSG on August 14, 2013, 01:36:34 PM
Im sold.  Ill say yes if I can get an external adapter for a FT-897D.  Your article says these external adapters work for the 857.  What are different sources for these adapters?  Any kits?

http://shop.dvrptr.de/  Thats the link for the Version 2 boards from Germany

http://dvrptr.net  These are the guys in Canada

It depends on if you want to use the FT as a Hotspot or an actual DStar radio as to what you should get.. The German site is down till they come back from Holiday..

73,   Craig


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KC2UGV on August 15, 2013, 06:04:39 AM
Im sold.  Ill say yes if I can get an external adapter for a FT-897D.  Your article says these external adapters work for the 857.  What are different sources for these adapters?  Any kits?

http://shop.dvrptr.de/  Thats the link for the Version 2 boards from Germany

http://dvrptr.net  These are the guys in Canada

It depends on if you want to use the FT as a Hotspot or an actual DStar radio as to what you should get.. The German site is down till they come back from Holiday..

73,   Craig


I'll be sold once I can implement the who shebang in software, like Codec2.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: W1MSG on August 15, 2013, 09:44:00 AM
Im sold.  Ill say yes if I can get an external adapter for a FT-897D.  Your article says these external adapters work for the 857.  What are different sources for these adapters?  Any kits?

http://shop.dvrptr.de/  Thats the link for the Version 2 boards from Germany

http://dvrptr.net  These are the guys in Canada

It depends on if you want to use the FT as a Hotspot or an actual DStar radio as to what you should get.. The German site is down till they come back from Holiday..

73,   Craig


I'll be sold once I can implement the who shebang in software, like Codec2.

Gee Whiz Codec 2 still requires a Modem for VHF/UHF and guess what modems it uses, you guessed it GMSK Modems, same ones used for DStar.

A little quote " Using a GMSK or C4FM modem for VHF/UHF " 

Its interesting, curious to see where it goes. I know Motorola has the TRBO systems for Amateur Radio, its all Motorola equipment and haven't seen any 3rd party development yet.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KE7TMA on August 16, 2013, 10:56:16 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.

Wow you really wave that Experimentation flag pretty hard as a Tech .. The real Experimenters are in fact making DStar compatible boards and they work very well. Maybe Dead in the water in your opinion, but from the stats its growing daily all over the world.

Even as a tech I have enough sense to know that there's no place for proprietary, patented modes on my airwaves.  If you are the holder of a higher license, why can't you see something that's so obviously a threat to the future of our hobby?

I have to question your motivation if you say things as silly and unsupportable as what you just did.  It's not within my powers to comprehend your motives, and makes me question whether or not you're fit to hold a license.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KE7TMA on August 16, 2013, 10:58:02 PM
Im sold.  Ill say yes if I can get an external adapter for a FT-897D.  Your article says these external adapters work for the 857.  What are different sources for these adapters?  Any kits?

http://shop.dvrptr.de/  Thats the link for the Version 2 boards from Germany

http://dvrptr.net  These are the guys in Canada

It depends on if you want to use the FT as a Hotspot or an actual DStar radio as to what you should get.. The German site is down till they come back from Holiday..

73,   Craig


I'll be sold once I can implement the who shebang in software, like Codec2.

AMBE's lawyers will be all over you like flies on poop if you try to implement their codec in software without paying your 30 pieces of silver.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: W1MSG on August 17, 2013, 02:45:18 AM
Andrew, you have so much to learn. First off there are no Codec2 networks out there in operation and until that happens there wont be much of a change. There are no Radio's with the Codec2 standard either, you still need a modem ( which is HARDWARE ) to implement it.

Personally I would embrace the standard as it appears it will also work on the current DStar hardware, well at least the GMSK Modems and possibly even a firmware upgrade away on the radios.

Thanks for Trolling its been fun.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: W1MSG on August 17, 2013, 05:18:00 AM
A little more food for thought. DVSI Released the AMBE in 1994, from what I can find it was Patented in either 1994 or 1995 which means the Patent will expire next year or the year after. That will open it up for others to produce the chip. Of course that will shut the door on DStar proprietary chip debates, but I am sure they will find other things to bash DStar about.

I was not a fan of DStar for a long time as I drank the cool aid the haters were serving, but since I gave it a try I have enjoyed it. It continues to grow in use regardless of what is spewed on some of the forums, just check out some of the DStar info sites and look at the repeater lists for download, they actually are too large to load into any of the radios at this point and growing.

Anyway I am done with feeding the Troll's. They are also not very good ambassadors for the Codec2, the last thing you want to do is bash another product when you are trying to promote a different one.

73 All
I am usually on the XRF901A Reflector, I link my repeater there most of the time. You can also do a call sign connect for W1MSG and if I am on you will connect for a QSO .. You can directly link to my Repeater as well KC1ACI B .. Catch ya on DStar !

Craig
 


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: K0JEG on August 17, 2013, 08:02:46 AM
And the Balkanization of amateur radio begins....

http://yaesu.com/downloadFile.cfm?FileID=7146&FileCatID=151&FileName=DigitalCommunicationsGuide%5FE%5B1%5D.pdf&FileContentType=application%2Fpdf

http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=25F65DA12CA1FCB444A927CD14417BFD&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0

The pdf pamphlet makes some good points against D-Star but doesn't really get me interested in the Yaseu system either. It seems  to me they're stuck in the hardware world while the rest of us have migrated to software. Even the smartphone in your pocket uses SDR-like processes to modulate the "aether."

Speaking of which, where's my "smart radio" running Android?

http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/15/runbo-x5-x3-x1/


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KE7TMA on August 17, 2013, 07:19:57 PM
A little more food for thought. DVSI Released the AMBE in 1994, from what I can find it was Patented in either 1994 or 1995 which means the Patent will expire next year or the year after. That will open it up for others to produce the chip. Of course that will shut the door on DStar proprietary chip debates, but I am sure they will find other things to bash DStar about.

I was not a fan of DStar for a long time as I drank the cool aid the haters were serving, but since I gave it a try I have enjoyed it. It continues to grow in use regardless of what is spewed on some of the forums, just check out some of the DStar info sites and look at the repeater lists for download, they actually are too large to load into any of the radios at this point and growing.

Anyway I am done with feeding the Troll's. They are also not very good ambassadors for the Codec2, the last thing you want to do is bash another product when you are trying to promote a different one.

73 All
I am usually on the XRF901A Reflector, I link my repeater there most of the time. You can also do a call sign connect for W1MSG and if I am on you will connect for a QSO .. You can directly link to my Repeater as well KC1ACI B .. Catch ya on DStar !

Craig
 

Codec2 is not a product, it's a technology.  It's free.

Anyway I believe that the DVSI chip used in DStar is the AMBE2 codec, which has a patent that will not expire for some time yet.

With RAM as cheap as it is these days, there's no excuse for making a radio that can't handle tens of thousands of memories anyway, especially if the proprietary mode is meant to be worldwide unified.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: W1MSG on August 17, 2013, 11:12:40 PM
Actually AMBE2 wasn't released until late 2006, Icom had DStar radios in early 2004 under the original AMBE. Not sure what's in the latest releases but the original radios still work so when the basic AMBE Patent Expires it will be open for the Experimenters to dissect.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KC2UGV on August 18, 2013, 09:52:14 AM
Im sold.  Ill say yes if I can get an external adapter for a FT-897D.  Your article says these external adapters work for the 857.  What are different sources for these adapters?  Any kits?

http://shop.dvrptr.de/  Thats the link for the Version 2 boards from Germany

http://dvrptr.net  These are the guys in Canada

It depends on if you want to use the FT as a Hotspot or an actual DStar radio as to what you should get.. The German site is down till they come back from Holiday..

73,   Craig


I'll be sold once I can implement the who shebang in software, like Codec2.

Gee Whiz Codec 2 still requires a Modem for VHF/UHF and guess what modems it uses, you guessed it GMSK Modems, same ones used for DStar.

A little quote " Using a GMSK or C4FM modem for VHF/UHF " 

Its interesting, curious to see where it goes. I know Motorola has the TRBO systems for Amateur Radio, its all Motorola equipment and haven't seen any 3rd party development yet.

Yes, I understand Codec2 still needs a modem.  In fact, one can even use soundmodem to use Codec2.

And, again:  I'd be onboard once I can implement the entire shebang in software.  I don't need another black box on my desk.


Title: RE: Say Yes To D-Star
Post by: KC2UGV on August 18, 2013, 09:52:59 AM
Im sold.  Ill say yes if I can get an external adapter for a FT-897D.  Your article says these external adapters work for the 857.  What are different sources for these adapters?  Any kits?

http://shop.dvrptr.de/  Thats the link for the Version 2 boards from Germany

http://dvrptr.net  These are the guys in Canada

It depends on if you want to use the FT as a Hotspot or an actual DStar radio as to what you should get.. The German site is down till they come back from Holiday..

73,   Craig


I'll be sold once I can implement the who shebang in software, like Codec2.

AMBE's lawyers will be all over you like flies on poop if you try to implement their codec in software without paying your 30 pieces of silver.

Which is why I'll never use the AMBE codec.