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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 07-17-2006, 7:26 PM
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Default DSTAR will work on Analog Repeaters

Well,

Some of the information posted here in regards to DSTAR not working on analog repeaters is not 100% true. I have been using DSTAR on 144 and 440 Mhz using Motorola Maxtrac, GM300 and ICOM F320, F420 radios. There are some limitations however. USing this methos allows for all analog and digital conversatiions to be passed thru this repeater. In order for this to work the RX audio must be flat (Discriminator) audio and the TX audio must be flat as well. A very simple audio level adjust circuit must be built to limit the gain out of the transmitter. I have been successful in passing P25 VSELP, IMBE and DSTAR using this method. In fact I have even been able to pass DSTAR thru an unmodified ICOM analog repeater as well.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 12-12-2006, 10:56 PM
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Default more dstar

KD7BWB says:

I must tell you, after talking to a Icom rep (at ICOM America) about D-Star, and getting few good answers to my questions, I must tell you this is going to be an enourmous boondoggle. For one thing, there is no question of D-Stars' increased cost, for zero voice communications gain.

For one thing, while performance for digital radio is quite good, at normal signal levels, poor signal levels begin to show real problems. Digital voice either works or it doesn't, and the drop out generally occurs sooner than analog total unintelligability. Marginal signal for Digital, is normally quite readible at the same level on analog (if you allow the same amount of noise to be present that might be present in a SSB shortwave signal). This is not an exageration, it is simple fact.

On average, D-Star voice over 2-meters (the cheapest of the bands for performance/dollar) is more than 100% more expensive to install than a good quality analog 2-meter repeater. This is no joke, for the average repeater club. I can read a price list from any retailer for D-Star. Just for a 2-meter repeater requires at least three(3) basic components, totaling more than $4000, and we haven't even gotten to power supplies, duplexers and antennas.

A good Hamtronics repeater is less than $1600 for the basic chassis. And they've got hardware in orbit. Trying to do D-Star in space will require much more cabinet space, power and weight.

The other major problem is the vocoder codec is proprietary, requiring (some time in the future, you know, when JARL figures there's real money in it) a use license for each radio maker/user. Like P-25 (a competing vocoder) the license is beyond the price range of even the largest Ham club. What this means to the average user is that there is no way a Ham can design/build his own D-Star hardware. Some people are still building their own repeater hardware (Hamtronics still supplies receiver/transmitter kits for repeaters, and they are the best analog repeater RF equipment available [don't get me wrong, I don't own any Hamtronics]). This kind of hands-on experience will be impossible via D-Star. After all, people are still building transcievers for VHF, and Ten-Tec still produces the T-Kit 1220 2-meter transceiver. I built one of these and it works quite well, into all of the most popular repeaters in my area.

I like toys, I even like expensive toys. But D-Star is a STUPID expensive toy, that will tend to destroy more of VHF ham radio, because of its' proprietary nature. Ham Radio is about radio communications, not sending voice by any means possible.
IRLP and like systems are NOT Ham Radio expanded by Internet, it is Internet with a radio gateway. And D-Star is not radio expanded by digital, it is contract digital transcievers/repeaters paid for by Amatuers. Commercial Radio would love to have such a technological diversion.

D-Star is a long way from a good idea.
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D-Star is an expensive joke!

HAM RADIO STUFFING SAYS:

Paul, you have made the point quite well. It is cheaper to get a used hand me down VHF anaolg repeater from the public service agency then it is buy a DSTAR reapeter.

How many clubs have the budget to buy a DSTAR system. Secondly who wants wants to obsolete there current working anolog equipment and throw it away.

KD7BWB SAYS:
It is cheaper to buy a BRAND NEW analog repeater, than a D-Star product. And that's the point. I haven't seen a single NEW repeater that even gets close to the cost of a D-Star repeater (althoug some can approach $3000).

Don't get me wrong, Digital audio radio is coming. I am especially excited by the notion of digital voice radios for shortwave ham bands. This doesn't work very well when you operate digital audio with an analog radio; but a specialized digital radio would work quite well.
Alinco already has a protocol that works and is built into some of their VHF/UHF radios, it also works fine through the analog repeaters as long as you still send the PL-Tones properly. But these radios really shine between radios simplex.

D-Star is mutually exclusive. It requires its' own repeaters, and analog radios cannot travel via D-Star repeaters, while D-Star radios cannot use an Analog repeater. That's how picky they are. I think there is room for digital audio, but making them inoperative with analog repeaters makes the whole proposition very expensive and time consuming. It also means there will be multiple effort expended (one an already present system of analog repeaters, and the other will be the growth of a D-Star system; fighting over the same spectrum). This is NOT going to be a pretty picture.

I live in Arizona, and there is already over 100 repeaters in this state. This means there is two problems, frequency spectrum AND places to put repeaters. Many Amatuer repeaters in Arizona have to share physical space with public services, which brings into play jurisdiction problems with access to facilities that are also shared with government. Government facilities managers are going to have very little sympathy for Amatuers wanted to install another system of repeaters for the same radio spectrum with zero voice advantage.

In my view, the digital data advantages require an enourmous commitment of resources that have absolutely nothing to do with Amatuer Radio. Facility conveniences are a nice idea, but cellphone already supplies them already, and none are required for emergency situations. They are all fun stuff that requires a lot of Human hand-holding. Cellphone companies already has commercial and manpower resources to provide these services. Re-inventing this wheel misses the point of Amatuer Radio. We are precluded from commercial investment or profit. And carrying out these features on a day-to-day basis is going to make Amatuer Radio look more and more like something that needs FCC commercial service supervision.

What Price Glory?

Thanks for your input, it was a great post <grin>!
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D-Star is an expensive joke!

KG7HQ SAYS:

The D-Star system is a nice arrangement. Unfortunately it's out of bounds price wise for most in the area allowing it's implimentation to stagnate. It's also a proprietary format which closes out others from developing further to reduce the over all cost.
Maybe Icom will re-evalute this in the future and provide a better cost effective means for digital communications.

73's de KG7HQ
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KG7HQ SAY MORE:
It's too bad that Icom tried to monopolize the market in this area instead of making it open source. I recently saw where they upgraded the firmware for addtional and improved features. But since the price is still up there, most hams will just thumb their nose at it and maintain normal FM communications with the continuious experimentation using sound card interfaced systems for digital support.
I'm seeing the Terminal Node Controller (TNC) communities take a hit as more look for a less expensive means of facilitating digital comms.
Open source software defined systems are the new rage... I hope the big "3" amateur radio companies pay attention and get invovled soon.

73's
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2006, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4voxgill
The Icom DStar radios have the ability to operate in both digital and analog modes. If you want to transmit via an analog repeater, you put your radio in analog mode. To transmit in a DStar repeater, you put your radio in digital mode.
Thank you, N4voxgill. I don't know why this thread was started. Yes, to hit an analog repeater you switch your D-Star radio to analog mode. To hit a D-Star repeater, you switch your D-Star radio to digital mode. How simple is this? The title of this thread is just plain false.

I think there is just WAY too much anti-D-STAR in the amateur radio community. The bottom line is that D-STAR is growing rapidly and is here to stay and the amateur radio community should embrace this innovative technology. We now have a D-STAR repeater here in Indianapolis! I also just ordered an Icom 91AD. I can't wait to join the D-STAR community!

Also, Icom does not have some monoply on D-Star. D-Star is open to any radio manufacturer. Icom just so happens to be the first to implement the D-STAR technology. Some of you really need to do your homework about D-STAR before commenting.

One other thing, regarding cost. Yes, D-STAR repeaters are not cheap. However, if you want to innovate, you must pay the price. Instead of complaining about the costs of D-STAR, why don't some of you Hams penny-up and donate some cash to your local clubs? Are you tellling me that local clubs can't raise $4,000 or $5,000 for a D-STAR repeater? If you can't raise that little cash, why do these clubs even exist. I'd like to know how many of the Hams on this board actually contribute financially to fund your local repeaters and equipment? I know I may be pissing off some of my fellow Hams, but really, you anti-D-STAR people need to get real and quit the *****ing.
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Last edited by racin06; 12-15-2006 at 3:19 PM..
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2006, 4:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raccon
Since TETRA is a standard then why would it be allowed to use anything but TETRA? Wouldn't that conflict with the idea of a standard? And naturally vendors want to protect their investments, so if they gave out the technologies for others to use it doesn't seem like a wise business decision to me.
Uhh...interoperability?

Imagine if there were no open network protocols. We would not have the internet as we know it today if somebody had patented and restricted the licensing for TCP/IP. Look at how successful other proprietary network protocols were (in the long run). Not very...at least not compared to TCP/IP. Used Appletalk lately? What about Vines? Imagine in this day and age, somebody trying to market an operating system that didn't have an IP stack.

Commercial land mobile radio is different in many ways because it's a closed access system, however, when building really big systems, it's highly beneficial to have a set of standards that *anybody* can use, so that everybody's equipment plays nice together. A manufacturer would be shooting themselves in the foot nowadays if they were trying to jump on the digital bandwagon but reluctant to incorporate APCO25 compatibility into their products. Most customers don't want to be locked into one vendor, and this is exactly what proprietary technology leads to.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2006, 6:46 PM
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Sounds like we need to build our repeaters as linear translators. Mix the signal down to an IF freq, buffer it, mix it back to the output freq and amplify. Trouble is, I can't do this with a set of cheap radios. I have an Icom V82 and an Icom U82 but no digital boards since no D-Star repeaters are in range.

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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2006, 8:35 PM
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apco 25 is an almost open standard, manufactuers do have to pay DVSI for one component that they have patent on.

D Star is an open standard. Any manufactuer can use it for free. With a D Star radio you have interoperability by using it in the analog mode.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 12-21-2006, 8:31 PM
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Default more dstar

KI4FZT wrote:
It is NOT proprietary and it IS open source. At least one other manufacturer (Kenwood) has gone on board with some hardware. But read one of the first posts in the group... it is OPEN code developed by Japan Amateur Radio League. It is not owned by Icom and never was.


This is were the Icom advertising machine is in full gear. Yes, DStar is an open standard, and free to anyone to impliment. But don't confuse a standard with complete code, a standard simply says what "items" are to be used.

If you read the specs, one of the standards is to use the AMBE vocoder from DVSI, which is NOT Free and must be licensed for use.

Want to make free software to decode D-Star, sorry the vocoder is not available for licensing for software use, and you can not legally try to reverse engineer it.

So yes DStar is an open standard, but the standard includes an item that is not open source and not free. The advertising machines are leaving out this small but very important fact.

for more info: http://technocrat.net/d/2006/4/5/2084

I was a huge believer in D-Star until I found this out.
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hamradiostuffing1 wrote:
It is still too Damn Exspensive.


No argument there! Often an issue with new technology... for a while. Then a common blessing of new hardware - especially that made of open architecture stuff - is that the cost begins to drop. And when it begins to drop, it often starts to drop a lot after another little while.
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73 DE KI4FZT

I repeat again, D-Star is an open standard.

This is not the same as Open Source, Open protocol, or Open architecture.

The codex is owned by DVSI, and it will continue to cost whatever they want it too. You can't make your own, it is proprietary. Sorry, they alone can sell you the key part of DStar.


If you have watched since the very beginning you would see the price of the UT-118 DStar board has actually doubled in price.
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 01-21-2007, 8:50 PM
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Default dstar cost working on an anolog

DSTAR not working on an anolog is completely true. By the way here is what ICOM has quoted for a system:

There are two pieces of equipment you would need from Icom to setup a 2 meter D-STAR repeater. You would need the RP2000V which is the repeater and the RP2C which is the controller.

Ham Radio Outlet has the RP2000V listed for $1399.95 and the RP2C is listed for $1459.99.

You will also need antennas, feedline and probably a duplexer to complete the system but Icom does not manufacture and sell these items.


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