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Author Topic: Selecting a digital mode for a repeater  (Read 33633 times)
W2RWJ
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Posts: 188




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« on: June 22, 2013, 07:17:13 PM »

Our club has an option to add digital capability to our existing system.   At this time, we have options for P25 and DMR (MOTOTRBO).   D-Star is not on the table at all due to a lack of equipment.

Questions:
  • * Other then a straight-up vote by the users, what other technology selection methods have been used by system owners ?
  • * How does your club address running in mixed mode ?

73 Martin Flynn
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6042




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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 07:25:02 AM »

May I suggest that the best way is still to get a survey (or hold a special meeting) to let the USERS of the repeater pick the mode they want to see in use.  If the owner picks the mode, it may not be the one that is in greater use.

Running in mixed mode can be accomplished in two ways--either by tone selection of the mode or automatically--if the receiver is so equipped.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 07:27:16 AM by K1CJS » Logged
K4JJL
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Posts: 498




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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2013, 05:39:28 PM »

Linking and cheaper equipment makes the case for DMR. Several friends here in south Florida have jumped on it.
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KS4VT
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 09:51:53 AM »

Linking and cheaper equipment makes the case for DMR. Several friends here in south Florida have jumped on it.

I would agree.  After being an advocate for APCO25 and have numerous repeaters in service that is capable of it, I now have a Trbo radio and very impressed. But if they have no want or need to link to others and just want to be a single site, then P25 provides a wider variety of used end-user equipment on the market.
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W5LZ
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Posts: 477




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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2013, 11:38:57 AM »

I would think that the mode of use depends on what the members of your club have at present.  Sure, they could always get something that would use that mode later, but that doesn't make up for the inability to use it now.  If that particular mode isn't that popular, or people decide they would rather have something else later, are you able to change modes?
 - Paul
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K4JJL
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Posts: 498




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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2013, 02:55:55 PM »

All of the aforementioned digital modes have repeaters currently manufactured capable of mixed mode. So if someone doesn't have a digital radio, they can still use the repeater, granted it's set up that way.
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W2RWJ
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Posts: 188




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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2013, 04:35:06 PM »

The club board made a decision to go with the Quantar for the primary (VHF) machine and use the receiver portion of another Quantar as the UHF control receiver. 

Initial setup will be analog / P25 (mixed mode).

73 Martin Flynn
W2RWJ
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W1MSG
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2013, 11:08:43 PM »

Cost me $119 to convert my 440 repeater to D Star. I guess it depends on what kinds of radios your users want to use Motorola or Icom.
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K4FMH
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Posts: 255




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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2013, 06:19:03 PM »

W1MSG:

Would you enlighten us on the particulars of your inexpensive conversion?

73,

Frank
K4FMH
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W1MSG
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2013, 03:33:38 PM »

W1MSG:

Would you enlighten us on the particulars of your inexpensive conversion?

73,

Frank
K4FMH

Sure Frank, there are quite a few DStar modem boards that can be adapted to a regular analog repeater. I am using a TKR-820 because there are tons of them around and they are cheap. I have the MoenComm board connected to the accy plug and this does the digital conversion. It requires software to run it so I am using a Raspberry Pi computer, a whopping $35 bucks plus the cost of a 8 gig SD Card. I downloaded a complete linux setup off the web set it all up and now I have a 440 D Star repeater. You still need a DStar radio to use it, but you can find used HT's for around $250 and mobiles for around $350 to $400. Yup still expensive but DStar is pretty neat the way you can connect to other systems all over the world.
I wont entertain arguments about Icom & Proprietary etc etc, but there are people making actual DStar capable boards to convert your regular analog radio to DStar and a few smaller companies making small transceivers that are also DStar, so I dont know where the Proprietary thing comes from.. Anyway I enjoy it, lots of fun but your mileage may vary !

73,   Craig
 
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12892




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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2013, 04:25:38 PM »

It isn't DSTAR that is proprietary - it's the vocoder chip that is used in DSTAR. If another company want's to build a DSTAR compatible radio they can do it if they purchase and use the same vocoder chip in their design that Icom used.
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W1MSG
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2013, 06:20:33 PM »

It isn't DSTAR that is proprietary - it's the vocoder chip that is used in DSTAR. If another company want's to build a DSTAR compatible radio they can do it if they purchase and use the same vocoder chip in their design that Icom used.


Yup and they are doing it and selling the modem boards for $100 or less, so my guess is its pretty cheap to do so.
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WB6DGN
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Posts: 619




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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2013, 09:52:24 PM »

Quote
The club board made a decision to go with the Quantar for the primary (VHF) machine and use the receiver portion of another Quantar as the UHF control receiver.
Initial setup will be analog / P25 (mixed mode).

Wise choice, in my opinion.  Lots of good quality commercial grade equipment available at good prices.  Wish I was in your service area; I've been wanting to reprogram my Spectras (Astro) for digital but nothing I know of around here.
Tom
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W2RWJ
Member

Posts: 188




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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2013, 08:52:29 AM »

The club board made a decision to go with the Quantar for the primary (VHF) machine and use the receiver portion of another Quantar as the UHF control receiver. 

Couple pictures of the install underway:
http://sarex.us/temp_pix/thumb_img_5815.jpg Heliax entering the shelter
http://sarex.us/temp_pix/thumb_img_5781.jpg N2MO rack with the VHF duplexers and Quantars installed (UHF cavity, controller, and battery box not in place yet.

N2MO/R is located in Wall Township, NJ  145.110 MHz PL:127.3, NAC:$293
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