• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Which Of The Big Three Japanese Amateur Radio Manufacturers Will Start Adding DMR First?

JASII

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,263
As posted above, which of the big three Japanese amateur radio manufactures will add DMR to their existing line of transceivers first? I get how Yaesu is all about System Fusion and Icom is all about Death Star. I also know that Kenwood has equipment with Death Star in it. If any of them added DMR as a second digital mode to some of their equipment, could it be attractive to potential buyers? Would Kenmore be a likely one to do that? After all, they do have commercial gear that will do analog and a couple of digital modes.

Or, to take this is a slightly different direction, would the Icom/Kenwood/Yaesu folks avoid DMR all together and start offering NXDN as a second digital mode? Would Icom or Kenwood be the likely one since NXDN is available on their land mobile side of the house?

What about Yaesu/Vertex/Standard? Would adding regular APCO P25 be a possibility for them? It is available on their commercial gear and so is DMR, too, of course. Could they offer a dual band with analog, YSF, APCO P25 and MOTO TRBO/DMR? I do think the definitive answer isn't if they could, but rather would they? As we all know some amateur radio operators are extremely tight with their money. The big question for the business folks is what the margin of profit would be.

Could any of the big three Japanese companies Icom/Kenwood/Yaesu add sort of a built in digital hot-spot, with cellular connectivity, much like the RFinder devices?

And, all of the above is just speculation, of course. Is the more likely possibility one of the Chinese companies? Obviously they have enough sales of DMR radios around the world top make a profit. Could an AnyTone offer an 878 with a second digital mode in it? If so, what would be the most likely second digital mode? Would it be selected based on current numbers around the world? Or, would they select based on an standard? (Does that rule out Yaesu System Fusion, then?) Death Star is an open standard. Would an AnyTone with both DMR and Death Star sell enough to make a profit for them?
 

needairtime

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2018
Messages
303
Location
CO, USA
The worry right now IMHO is hams are trying to carry only one equipment - that's compatible with whatever service that their day job is.

This is sad. Not even considering the codec patent restrictions.

Really ham radio needs an open standard, free codec, that can be tailored to transmit any kind of data that hams may want to transmit whether it be voice or APRS or SSTV or whatever. Actually DSTAR is close, except for the codec patent restrictions. However this is not compatible with Motorola or whatnot their day job/whatever requires.

I was kind of dismayed when the local ARES group was sort of compelled to go to DMR because the local government is on DMR service and to inter-operate with the local government emergency services, they were pushed to go that route or ARES would not be called/asked to help. Case in point...and sad...
 
Last edited:

JASII

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,263
I going to go out on a limb and say that NONE of the ‘big three’ will ever add DMR, NXDN or P25 to their hammy junk.

None of those protocols were developed for amateur radio...
I think it would be interesting to know some numbers. For example, of the new equipment being purchased today, what percentage is capable of a digital mode? Are newly licensed hams buying analog only, to start, and holding off before they go digital? Or, are a lot of new hams buying digital transceivers as their first purchase? I also wonder how many of the newly purchased radios are used in the digital mode. I have heard that a number of System Fusion repeaters purchased end up being used analog only.

I would anticipate that if the Japanese manufacturers are losing enough business to their competition, then they might consider adding a digital mode. I agree that both APCO P25 and NXDN is a small enough piece that they will likely disregard it.
 

cognetic

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 29, 2012
Messages
106
Location
Indianapolis
IMHO, DMR is not all that appealing. DSTAR seems to be more popular among many, particularly with certain brand/quality loyalties, and to some extent along certain "classes" of AROs. Recently, an older ARO commented to me that as radio quality has eroded (referring to CCRs), so have the quality of users, and the masses of CCR users seem to be those wanting/using DMR the most. I found that somewhat offensive, though he had not meant it to be at all; it was just his observation.... as I reflected later, I now kind of get what he was saying. Although, I have radios capable of DSTAR and DMR, I never use those modes. DSTAR was a poor substitute for HF in my experience.
Something about "open access" echoes in me in preference for non-digital modes for voice.

You do raise an interesting consideration with regards to the broader consideration of digital modes.

-cognetic
 

JASII

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,263
It is, indeed, interesting to hear the opinions of others on this. When I was first licensed, I was steered towards a "private" 2 meter repeater years ago. The trustee/owner worked for a city radio shop. While the PL wasn't published, it was not all that difficult to determine what it was back then. Virtually everybody on that repeater was an Amateur Extra and involved in public safety professionally. It was police heavy, but there were some firefighters and paramedics on there, too. I know it probably sounds "elitist" when people read this. The operating habits and discussions on there were very technical and professional. I know because I would listen to other repeaters from time to time. Many users were on Motorola equipment, which further caused others to perhaps think of us as "elitist".

Once that one vanished, I did some serious searching in my area to find a suitable replacement. Of course, for a replacement to do much good, you have to be within range of it. I eventually found another and pretty much stayed there for a number of years. It, too, had some people using commercial gear. It, too, had a falling out of sorts with some of the membership and I went looking again.

The next one had excellent coverage and is very public service oriented. They like to serve at parades and marathons. I ended up with some Motorola gear myself. I had four Yaesu FT-8800 transceivers at one time. I actually sold them off in preparation for the coming digital wave. When Yaesu announced CFM was forthcoming, I incorrectly assumed that they were referring to APCO P25. As it turned out, of course, it was System Fusion that they were referring to.

That, along with some other reasons, caused me to use my equipment much less often. I was generally aware of the various digital modes, but didn't jump on the bandwagon, so to speak. I did eventually use my Motorola gear on an APCO P25 Quantar repeater. I was very impressed with how it performed. Then, I found out the trustee/owners were going to emasculate it disabling the APCO P25 access! That sort of further ostracized me from the hobby.

About a year or so ago I decided it was time to find out a bit more about the other digital modes. Like analog days, you pretty much needed to be within range to access a repeater via RF. I went with a CS750, which was UHF only on analog and DMR. I was generally pleased with the unit, but knew that at some point I would get a dual-band as more dual-band portables became available.

I did also dip my toes in the System Fusion water and had a portable for a year, give or take. I get how the mixed-mode operation works and it seemed okay.

Much more recently, this past winter to be exact, I decides to give try a digital hot-spot. The Shark Open Spot 2 did not work well for me and I now have a raspberry pie hot-spot. I do really like having the ability to use an HT on very low power and access whatever DMR talkgroup I want. Generally, the folks on Minnesota State behave very professionally. I am also well aware of the "race to the bottom" with the so-called Cheap Chinese Radios at $29.00. Those have been problematic.

I have no experience with D-Star. A co-worked has one and tells me it is dying off in our area. My general impression, though, is things of that nature can vary a lot depending on location and time. One part of the county may have a lot of professional sounding users on one mode and another part of the country can have some were unprofessional users in that same mode. That, obviously, doesn't mean that mode is the culprit.

Since so much of my professional career, prior to my first retirement, was out in a city or county car, I often focus on how easily something can be changed when mobile. To the credit of someone involved in designing DMR/MOTO TRBO, I find it dead simple to switch talk-groups "on the fly" with DMR. A change of a channel position is all that is needed. From what I gather with D-Star and System Fusion, it is a bit more complicated to switch rooms or reflectors "on the fly." For many, I suppose, that is a non-factor.

It would be nice if there was a way to accurately predict how this well eventually all shake out. Will one of the digital modes eventually rise to the top and the other fall by the wayside? Could two "duke it out" and one other vanish? Like many consumer grade electronics the "best" isn't always the winner, either. I know I would be hard pressed to find anybody near me with a Sony Betamax. Was it superior or inferior to VHS? I have sometimes selected the eventual "winner" of certain electronic device battles and sometimes not. Does anybody remember Prime Star DBS? I had it years ago, but I don't any longer and neither does anybody else!

...Although, I have radios capable of DSTAR and DMR, I never use those modes. DSTAR was a poor substitute for HF in my experience.
Something about "open access" echoes in me in preference for non-digital modes for voice...
I didn't even realize that Icom was marketing D-Star as a substitute for HF. However, I also realize that engineers do what they do and marketing folks do what they do.

I think I get what you are saying about "open access". As some have quipped regarding analog, analog already IS inter-operable. I do sometimes wish there was only one digital mode, but I also get how using the various digital modes gives each to be used in such a way that they can be evaluated on their own merits.

Some other competing platforms seem to co-exist for quite a while, though. Apple and Android both seem here to stay, at least for now. As for the other mobile platforms, check with Blackberry and let me know!

...I was kind of dismayed when the local ARES group was sort of compelled to go to DMR because the local government is on DMR service and to inter-operate with the local government emergency services, they were pushed to go that route or ARES would not be called/asked to help. Case in point...and sad...
That one surprises me. So, are you saying that some government entity allows amateur radio operators on their DMR public safety channels with amateur radios or commercial DMR radios? I guess if the radios are FCC certified and the host agency wants to let them do it, good for them.
 
Last edited:

ko6jw_2

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
743
Location
Santa Ynez, CA
Why should ham radio have one standard? There is no standard in public service or the private sector. There is no standard in HF digital modes either.

The big three will not add DMR, NXDN or P25 nor will they use D-Star or Fusion in their commercial radios.

The Chinese radio manufacturers of "hammy junk" are making lots of DMR radios.

Our local EOC could care less what form of modulation our ARES group uses. We don't operate on their frequencies and they certainly don't operate on ours. For the time being they are all analog anyway.
 

MTS2000des

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
2,803
Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
DMR is a commercial standard, an ETSI one at that. Unlikely to see any Japanese amateur equipment makers dabble into DMR anymore than they would P25 or NXDN.

Kenwood is about the only one who has an LMR presence with DMR these days. Yaesu is a separate company, and MSI has pretty much buried the Vertex Standard brand as of last year. Icom is committed to NXDN.
 

AI7PM

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Messages
450
Location
The Intermountain West
.........
I was kind of dismayed when the local ARES group was sort of compelled to go to DMR because the local government is on DMR service and to inter-operate with the local government emergency services, they were pushed to go that route or ARES would not be called/asked to help. Case in point...and sad...
I'm curios which ARES group you are in, and more on the above. PM if you prefer. I'm in R3D2. (as well as WY ARES/RACES). I've found the explanation of the Colorado DMR use varies from one district to another, one EC to another, and the fish just gets bigger with every beer.

My understanding was DMR was only going to be the preferred mode between EOCs, ICPs, etc. when communicating with the state EOC.
 

JeffDS3

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
538
Location
Kings County, CA
Now that more radio equipment is going with “entitlements” I wish a company would just make a single radio line (a single band, a dual band and a quad band) and sell it for cheap but you have to buy the software keys to unlock what you want. No keys gets you a basic analog scanner but then you can add P25, DMR, NXDN, wide band, narrow band, APRS, encryption, OTAR, OTAP, etc for a fee.
 

W9BU

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
5,773
Location
Brownsburg, Indiana
Why should ham radio have one standard?
In addition to this question and the rest of your post that I agree with, I'm not sure that Icom and Kenwood care about losing sales to other digital voice modes.

Icom's amateur radio division is fully entrenched in the higher-end, base radio world and I just don't see much interest from them in lower-end handhelds and mobiles. Also, their commercial, public safety, and systems product lines are doing well, so trying to be competitive in the lower end of amateur radio the VHF-UHF mobile and handheld market is probably not a big concern.

Kenwood is also doing very well in commercial, public safety, and systems and in automotive entertainment systems. Their entire amateur radio line is kinda sparse, but many of those products are well-regarded, so why try to get down and dirty at the low-end of the market.

That leaves Yaesu. Outside of amateur radio, they have a few aviation products and a few marine products. I believe that amateur radio is a lot bigger slice of their revenue than it is with Kenwood or Icom. And, they are trying to compete at the low end with the FT-4 and FT-65 analog handhelds. But, when it comes to digital voice, they are fully committed to System Fusion and WIRES-X. Right or wrong, that's the direction they took and I would not expect them to adopt a different mode.
 

kayn1n32008

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
5,492
Location
In the 'patch
Why should ham radio have one standard? There is no standard in public service or the private sector. There is no standard in HF digital modes either.

The big three will not add DMR, NXDN or P25 nor will they use D-Star or Fusion in their commercial radios.
Bingo. I don’t get why hams think there should only be one digital voice format.

The Chinese radio manufacturers of "hammy junk" are making lots of DMR radios.
Hold up. The vast majority of Chinese radio manufacturers, mass produce garbage. The vast majority of the crap they produce is no where near the quality of even the big three hammy manufacturers.

Our local EOC could care less what form of modulation our ARES group uses. We don't operate on their frequencies and they certainly don't operate on ours. For the time being they are all analog anyway.
Although I don’t think you said it, I will reiterate:

Hams don't ‘interoperate’ with public safety, so what mode ARES, RACES etc used is irrelevant.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kayn1n32008

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
5,492
Location
In the 'patch
DMR is a commercial standard, an ETSI one at that. Unlikely to see any Japanese amateur equipment makers dabble into DMR anymore than they would P25 or NXDN.

Kenwood is about the only one who has an LMR presence with DMR these days. Yaesu is a separate company, and MSI has pretty much buried the Vertex Standard brand as of last year. Icom is committed to NXDN.
Spot on.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
7,822
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
I would bet my spare TYT MD380 that Yaesu, Kenwood or Icom will not offer an amateur radio with DMR in the next few years. It would not make any business sense for them to do that. They each have a huge investment in their pet digital mode and except for maybe offering DMR in a receive only device its just not going to happen.

BTW, here in So Cal I run into way more DMR radios than Fusion or D-Star. Seems like D-Star is a little more popular than Fusion but for every Fusion or D-Star I see several DMR radios. There are lots of Fusion and D-Star repeaters within range of me but way more DMR repeaters. I have all three modes plus P25 on VHF but I use Fusion the most as I have a Fusion repeater being tested at home before it goes on a local mountain top.
 

JASII

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,263
So, just out of curiosity, how many people here are running ALL five digital modes?

By that I mean the following:

-Icom D-Star

-Yaesu System Fusion

-DMR

-APCO P25

-NXDN

Or, since APCO P25 and NXDN are so uncommon in the amateur world. who is running the following three digital modes:

-Icom D-Star

-Yaesu System Fusion

-DMR

Part of me thinks is is simply a Coke Vs. Pepsi/Chevy Vs. Ford/Android Vs. Apple situation and another part of me thinks/hopes that the best mode(s) will rise to the top. We have that with cell phone carriers right now in the United States. With Verizon Vs. AT&T Vs. T-Mobile Vs. Sprint there are some choices. As time goes on there may be fewer choices. I do like having choices.
 

kayn1n32008

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
5,492
Location
In the 'patch
So, just out of curiosity, how many people here are running ALL five digital modes?

By that I mean the following:

-Icom D-Star

-Yaesu System Fusion

-DMR

-APCO P25

-NXDN

Or, since APCO P25 and NXDN are so uncommon in the amateur world. who is running the following three digital modes:

-Icom D-Star

-Yaesu System Fusion

-DMR

Part of me thinks is is simply a Coke Vs. Pepsi/Chevy Vs. Ford/Android Vs. Apple situation and another part of me thinks/hopes that the best mode(s) will rise to the top. We have that with cell phone carriers right now in the United States. With Verizon Vs. AT&T Vs. T-Mobile Vs. Sprint there are some choices. As time goes on there may be fewer choices. I do like having choices.
I have capabilities to operate:

-VHF&UHF D-Star
-VHF NXDN
- UHF DMR


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Lead Database Admin
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
4,302
Location
Ohio
So, just out of curiosity, how many people here are running ALL five digital modes?

By that I mean the following:

-Icom D-Star
-Yaesu System Fusion
-DMR
-APCO P25
-NXDN

Or, since APCO P25 and NXDN are so uncommon in the amateur world. who is running the following three digital modes:

-Icom D-Star
-Yaesu System Fusion
-DMR

Part of me thinks is is simply a Coke Vs. Pepsi/Chevy Vs. Ford/Android Vs. Apple situation and another part of me thinks/hopes that the best mode(s) will rise to the top. We have that with cell phone carriers right now in the United States. With Verizon Vs. AT&T Vs. T-Mobile Vs. Sprint there are some choices. As time goes on there may be fewer choices. I do like having choices.
I can operate DSTAR, DMR, P25 and NXDN. Of the big three, I don't expect any of them to jump on the DMR bandwagon any time soon, although you never know about Kenwood; they finally came out with a DSTAR capable radio (the TH-D74, which is a heck of a nice little box) so it's entirely possible they could jump on the DMR bandwagon too.

I would prefer everyone settle on a standard (and logically it would be DMR which is the most "open" of the bunch in addition to being more spectrum-friendly). However, I can understand the desire of the manufacturers to go with their pet mode. So, it will probably be up to the amateur radio community to at least select one as a standard for specific things, such as emergency operations; for that I would strongly recommend DMR.

As regards cellular. . . my feeling is that GSM (the mode used by AT&T and T-Mobile) will probably win out in the end; it's the mode used in almost the entire rest of the world.
 

needairtime

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2018
Messages
303
Location
CO, USA
So, are you saying that some government entity allows amateur radio operators on their DMR public safety channels with amateur radios or commercial DMR radios? I guess if the radios are FCC certified and the host agency wants to let them do it, good for them.
I'm not exactly sure what the arrangement is, but I heard that they wanted to patch into ARES or something and they don't want ARES to be using analog. It doesn't make any sense to me personally. I don't think the government wants hams on their network either, nor can they use the ham frequencies (of course they're not all ham licensed) but there's some weird requirement and likely as simple as government radios not supporting analog perhaps?

Road goes both ways...

I'm curios which ARES group you are in, and more on the above. PM if you prefer. I'm in R3D2. (as well as WY ARES/RACES). I've found the explanation of the Colorado DMR use varies from one district to another, one EC to another, and the fish just gets bigger with every beer.
Yeah we're talking about the same entity, and you'd definitely know more than I do - maybe I got my facts mixed up - I'm just a bystander. I just feel like it shouldn't matter what mode hams use, makes no sense to me other than simplification of someone's equipment requirements, enough to force Joe's decisions.
 
Last edited:

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
790
Location
California
D-Star using Icom and Kenwood
Fusion using Yaesu handhelds & mobiles (I use these daily)
DMR using a BTECH and Motorola
P25 using a Motorola handheld & mobile (Almost as much as the Yaesu)

D-Star is big in Japan, so no surprise that Kenwood supported that on the D74A. I would love a mobile version of the D74A.
 
Top