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Digital Voice for Amateur Use - Discuss use of digital voice technologies on the amateur radio bands. This is to include technologies such as VoIP, P25, DMR/TRBO, NXDN, D-STAR, etc.

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  #101 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2018, 8:43 PM
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Isn't TETRA the public safety standard for most of the world?
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Old 03-05-2018, 8:59 PM
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Gotta say I'm proud of you guys.

Really easily could have turned into an amateur radio needs to have P25 because amateurs are "practically public safety", and:
Special P25 channel to talk directly with public safety dispatchers/public safety professionals.
Copious amounts of red/blue/amber/green/purple/clear blinky lights on your wife's minivan
Sirens on your wife's minivan.
Amateur radio badges.
Uniforms!
Orange safety vests, preferably with call signs and "amateur radio emergency communications" in big letters on the back.
Door emblems on your wife's minivan.
Arrow sticks on your wife's minivan.
And of course lots of magnetic mount antennas because your wife won't let you drill holes in her van.
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Old 03-05-2018, 9:10 PM
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And, honestly, wondering how long before some amateur radio operators start claiming they need access to FirstNet?
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Old 03-05-2018, 9:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N4KVE View Post
Isn't TETRA the public safety standard for most of the world?


Depends. TETRA’s big downfall is it’s only available in UHF or 800 MHz. It is commonly utilized for public safety (subscribers are 1/4 the cost of P25 subscribers typically) in areas. It’s also beginning to become phased out in favor of cellular PTT solutions from what I hear. I also believe it is only designed to operate in terms of wide-area multi-site systems where P25 still has conventional, standalone operational capabilities.

I’m not too overly familiar with TETRA, just what I’ve heard from manufacturers dealing with TETRA.


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Old 03-05-2018, 10:38 PM
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From what I've read, TETRA is the public safety standard in most continents except for North America. Also they Hytera is the largest TETRA mfr in the world.
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Old 03-06-2018, 8:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmckenna View Post
Gotta say I'm proud of you guys.

Really easily could have turned into an amateur radio needs to have P25 because amateurs are "practically public safety", and:
Special P25 channel to talk directly with public safety dispatchers/public safety professionals.
Copious amounts of red/blue/amber/green/purple/clear blinky lights on your wife's minivan
Sirens on your wife's minivan.
Amateur radio badges.
Uniforms!
Orange safety vests, preferably with call signs and "amateur radio emergency communications" in big letters on the back.
Door emblems on your wife's minivan.
Arrow sticks on your wife's minivan.
And of course lots of magnetic mount antennas because your wife won't let you drill holes in her van.


That’s the bane of any emergency manager. Juggling the need for communications operators with the wish to not deal with that type of mentality.

I am a state employee, work in direct connection with emergency management, and REFUSE to put lights/siren/etc in my work vehicle or POV even with the authorization letter saying I can. My thought being “if I do it... they’ll always expect me to do something with it”. My agency’s vehicle shop one day took my truck for an oil change and it came back with a hitch and brake controller. Guess who tows the communications trailer during drills and disasters now...
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Old 03-06-2018, 9:02 AM
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Originally Posted by NavyBOFH View Post
My agency’s vehicle shop one day took my truck for an oil change and it came back with a hitch and brake controller. Guess who tows the communications trailer during drills and disasters now...
Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt. Already washed it.

Took our mobile command post to get new tires. They changed the oil
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Old 03-06-2018, 9:34 AM
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Yeah, our fleet guys keep wanting to add amber lights to my truck, says I "need them", but they haven't been able to explain why. I might consider it if they did halfway decent installs, but they don't.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N4KVE View Post
From what I've read, TETRA is the public safety standard in most continents except for North America. Also they Hytera is the largest TETRA mfr in the world.
Tetra may be common in in western Europe but I don't think most of the world has the infrastructure to make it worth while.

Like with Russia, most of that seems to be VHF FM with there being some P25.
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Old 04-06-2018, 1:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N4KVE View Post
Isn't TETRA the public safety standard for most of the world?
Parts of it. Most of Europe has its emergency comms between 380-400mhz using TETRA, some large cities use it for what you would call city services in the 400mhz range. 800 & 900mhz TETRA systems can be found splattered around the world.

TETRA I think is older than P25. It was developed in Europe in the early 90s as a digital version of a standard called MPT1327 which is a trunked standard. TETRA promiced a lot as it has 4 time slots in a 25khz space, but by the time it was being rolled out things like DMR were already on the near horizon.

Incidently, the TETRA base TX signal is continuous and very diffrent from the mobile TX.
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Old 04-06-2018, 1:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete_uk View Post
Parts of it. Most of Europe has its emergency comms between 380-400mhz using TETRA, some large cities use it for what you would call city services in the 400mhz range. 800 & 900mhz TETRA systems can be found splattered around the world.

TETRA I think is older than P25. It was developed in Europe in the early 90s as a digital version of a standard called MPT1327 which is a trunked standard. TETRA promiced a lot as it has 4 time slots in a 25khz space, but by the time it was being rolled out things like DMR were already on the near horizon.

Incidently, the TETRA base TX signal is continuous and very diffrent from the mobile TX.
If it is only by a few years. Project 25 was guided by Project 16 though (which sets access time requirements, etc). Both systems were 1990's era developments. DMR Tier III signalling is almost identical to that of MPT-1327 (per engineers at Simoco). TETRA has a much different infrastructure though that isn't recognizable to many of us traditional two way guys as it's packaged more similarly to cellular solutions in the deployments I've seen (remember, American so there are only a handful of TETRA systems here and some have been abandoned) with the closet thing LMRish I've seen being similar to the resemblance of MA/COM's Open-Sky, more commonly known by another name.

The largest difference between TETRA and P25 is the availability of equipment in specific spectrum. TETRA is a UHF protocol (either ~400 MHz or 800/900 MHz). P25 on the other hand can be found in VHF-Hi (136-174 MHz), UHF (380-512 MHz), 700 MHz, 800 MHz, and occasionally (though rare these days) 900 MHz. If you want to get very technical, there is even some availability in VHF-Lo (30-50 MHz).
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Old 04-07-2018, 6:39 AM
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Going to spill my true feelings of digital in the vhf/uhf ham bands. Unless one wants to shoot data experimentally in a sub band for experimentation, why?????? Admittedly I have been away from the hobby for quite some time, have long since tired of the club politics and such. Icom has D Star, Yaesu has Fusion, Alinco has something else. Why??????

Old man is sticking with analog. Works fine for me. Not going to get into the Public Safety mess, was a cop for many years and not going to throw on a HT, speaker mike and deal with Joe & Jane Idiot public again. Unless you are a Volunteer Fireman and have a lawful and legitimate need for emergency lighting equipment, stay away from it. I'm simply going to laugh my *** off at the radio police clowns.

In conclusion, this digital B.S is simply another way for the Big Three to make money. You don't need it.
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Old 04-07-2018, 9:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast1eddie View Post
Going to spill my true feelings of digital in the vhf/uhf ham bands. Unless one wants to shoot data experimentally in a sub band for experimentation, why?????? Admittedly I have been away from the hobby for quite some time, have long since tired of the club politics and such. Icom has D Star, Yaesu has Fusion, Alinco has something else. Why??????

Old man is sticking with analog. Works fine for me. Not going to get into the Public Safety mess, was a cop for many years and not going to throw on a HT, speaker mike and deal with Joe & Jane Idiot public again. Unless you are a Volunteer Fireman and have a lawful and legitimate need for emergency lighting equipment, stay away from it. I'm simply going to laugh my *** off at the radio police clowns.

In conclusion, this digital B.S is simply another way for the Big Three to make money. You don't need it.
It's tough to disagree with you, especially the last line.
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast1eddie View Post
Going to spill my true feelings of digital in the vhf/uhf ham bands. Unless one wants to shoot data experimentally in a sub band for experimentation, why?????? Admittedly I have been away from the hobby for quite some time, have long since tired of the club politics and such. Icom has D Star, Yaesu has Fusion, Alinco has something else. Why??????
I've always been fascinated by marketing. Sorta wish I'd taken some marketing courses in college. Specifically, the way Costco can trick you into buying a bunch of crap you never intended, in bulk, so easily. The other part would be how companies can trick people into buying technology they don't need, and shelling out lots of money for it.

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Originally Posted by Fast1eddie View Post
In conclusion, this digital B.S is simply another way for the Big Three to make money. You don't need it.
I agree.
Amateur radio operators want to experiment, and that's OK with me. "Experiment" means a lot of different things to different people, though. For some, it's building a radio from scratch. For others, it's taking commercial gear and making it work in a way the manufacturer didn't necessarily intended. For others, it's buying the latest radios to try out.
Nothing wrong with that, it takes all kinds.

But, yeah, the radio manufacturers using marketing to sell equipment. Add in peer pressure to buy into a specific digital mode. Clubs don't help.

Until there is a "standard" for amateur radio digital (ha!), I'm not buying. Analog works fine for me. I'm not buying into the random digital mode du jour.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:37 PM
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As I composed my somewhat snarky reply, running thoughts in my mind of "Follow the crowd" mentality and the fads we all went through as teenagers came to light. Now that I am getting older (58!!), I evaluate my purchases much more carefully than I used to. Yes, technology is cool and that is what attracts us to our radio hobby, but if a older device can do the job and remains functional, then why dump it???

Bought a Icom 8600 several months back from Universal Radio, very nice folks and enjoy doing business with them. A super nice receiver, but sadly, I am nowhere to exploiting it's many advanced features, mainly because I don't have the time and admittedly do not have the level of understanding I should have.Not going to part with it, but I've found I prefer my R 9000 instead mainly because control functions are up front and ready to go, not much button pushing. It works. Just a old analog dial turner monitor guy. Still have a Realistic portable crystal control scanner (air band!) which sings just fine, and several J.I.L SX 200 scanners, goofy things. Always a place in my heart for those!

Recently acquired a Drake TRC-33 and had a ball recrystaling and aligning it. Loaded it with (too many) AA batteries and flashback to the 70's...No doubt one's purchase is one's private business and I am not berating anyone, it's just the advanced technology I see little (I'm being polite) use for in the vhf/uhf ham bands. There was a beautiful wide multi county coverage repeater in Seven Springs Pa, W3WGX machine, super good analog 2 meter coverage but now it spews digital vomit. But I remain a free marketer and believe in capitalism. It's not my machine so the owner is more than free to do as he wishes with it.

I wish him well, perhaps he'll convert it to do proper analog and ahem, digital voice.

So, thanks for the thought provoking replies and for now I'll let it rest.

Think I'll now turn on the Galaxy R-530 and once warmed up, readjust the Wadley Loop type tuning and park on the lower end of 9Mhz. Interesting voice traffic.

Pleasant Day!
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Old 04-07-2018, 1:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Fast1eddie View Post
As I composed my somewhat snarky reply, running thoughts in my mind of "Follow the crowd" mentality and the fads we all went through as teenagers came to light. Now that I am getting older (58!!), I evaluate my purchases much more carefully than I used to. Yes, technology is cool and that is what attracts us to our radio hobby, but if a older device can do the job and remains functional, then why dump it???

Bought a Icom 8600 several months back from Universal Radio, very nice folks and enjoy doing business with them. A super nice receiver, but sadly, I am nowhere to exploiting it's many advanced features, mainly because I don't have the time and admittedly do not have the level of understanding I should have.Not going to part with it, but I've found I prefer my R 9000 instead mainly because control functions are up front and ready to go, not much button pushing. It works. Just a old analog dial turner monitor guy. Still have a Realistic portable crystal control scanner (air band!) which sings just fine, and several J.I.L SX 200 scanners, goofy things. Always a place in my heart for those!

Recently acquired a Drake TRC-33 and had a ball recrystaling and aligning it. Loaded it with (too many) AA batteries and flashback to the 70's...No doubt one's purchase is one's private business and I am not berating anyone, it's just the advanced technology I see little (I'm being polite) use for in the vhf/uhf ham bands. There was a beautiful wide multi county coverage repeater in Seven Springs Pa, W3WGX machine, super good analog 2 meter coverage but now it spews digital vomit. But I remain a free marketer and believe in capitalism. It's not my machine so the owner is more than free to do as he wishes with it.

I wish him well, perhaps he'll convert it to do proper analog and ahem, digital voice.

So, thanks for the thought provoking replies and for now I'll let it rest.

Think I'll now turn on the Galaxy R-530 and once warmed up, readjust the Wadley Loop type tuning and park on the lower end of 9Mhz. Interesting voice traffic.

Pleasant Day!
You are not alone.

I think age has something to do with it.

Many years back my manager told me that you get to a point where keeping up with technology gets difficult. At that point, it's time to become a manager and let the younger crowd take over.
When he retired, I was promoted into his position. While I still do my best to keep up with emerging technologies, I'm not as good at it as I used to be. I can't quite focus on all the technology, so I've had to become a little more specialized, and let some of the stuff go. I've also become the "legacy equipment" guy, which I'm good at. I'm fortunate that I've got a mid 20's engineer/analyst working for me that is really good at keeping up with the latest technology. I have no idea what he's doing most of the time, only that he gets the work done, and in creative ways I would have never thought of.
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Old 04-07-2018, 1:24 PM
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I have to join in with you guys. At 74, I'm not patient enough to learn the ins and outs of my radios, particularly the portables. I put the frequencies in and they do what I want. While I do embrace some technology, other falls by the wayside.

I have a smartphone and I get email, text messages and junk notifications, But, I also use it for weather, checking Braves scores, banking, paying for my coffee at Starbucks, checking shipping progress on packages and lord know what else. I do my own computer repairs, set up my own Wi-Fi, and program my ham radios and scanners.

At my age, I get to pick and choose now and i see neither P25 nor digital ham radio on my horizon. If it gets to that, I can see myself walking away,
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Old 04-07-2018, 2:54 PM
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I put the frequencies in and they do what I want.
You are treating your radios as tools...communications tools. For some amateur radio operators, that's all they need. They want to communicate whether it be with their friends, to distant countries, or to help the public. Radio technology is not the reason they got into amateur radio. They got into amateur radio to communicate. Some folks call these people "appliance operators". I say these people are being realistic about their needs, expectations, and abilities.

OTOH, you have hams who want to experiment, build, and increase their technical knowledge. That's great and I say "more power to 'em". But, don't tell me that I have to buy a digital voice radio just to communicate...especially when I know that there are still plenty of people I can talk to with my analog radios.

Whenever someone comes on here asking about a buying a digital voice radio, the first question that pops into my mind is "why?". What do you hope to accomplish with this purchase? Who do you plan to talk to? Is owning a digital voice radio essential to your enjoyment of amateur radio? Often times, we find folks wanting to buy digital voice radios for the reasons mentioned in previous posts. It's cool. It's new. That's fine, but you still gotta ask yourself "why?".
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Old 04-07-2018, 4:04 PM
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In conclusion, this digital B.S is simply another way for the Big Three to make money. You don't need it.
Well the lack of static on digital is sorta nice.
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Old 04-07-2018, 4:31 PM
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Digital radio is just another form of communications that Hams can use. Regardless if its DMR, Fusion, DStar or P25. Lets face it folks we don't have tube radios and all of us use a web browser to get to the forums. I remember the days of packet and BB before websites were there. I also remember my home phone and not having a computer in my pocket. There are many facets of amateur radio and if we want new younger folks to get involved in our hobby digital is what will make it happen. Yes there are some kids who enjoy HF or something analog but 99% of the kids in the world now have an IPhone at 6 years old and dont want to hear static on a radio....

Myself I enjoy the clearness of P25 and DMR and also like the ability to link stuff via internet vs analog statewide systems that are basically useless when interference is on a system. to each his own....
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