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

KD2FIQ

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I have tried out DMR (TYT MD-380), D-Star (Icom IC-7100) and C4FM System Fusion (Yaesu FT-991 simplex only, no repeaters). I did not like DMR one bit. It all seemed very back doored to make work for us. D-Star was OK. I think if I had to pick, C4FM System Fusion is the easiest and most intuitive.

I don't see the big three teaming up on one standard. However, Kenwood now has D-Star on some of their equipment.
 

AI7PM

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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...

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.
Beware the rumors, FUD (Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt), and expert opinions so often found in our hobby.

The "arrangement", IMO, was poorly explained and presented initially, leaving some members believing the unit was transitioning to DMR only, and that they would need to buy a DMR radio, which IS NOT the case or intention. State ARES and AUXCOMM leadership have designated DMR as the primary means of communication between the state EOC and other EOCs or ICPs. A couple of meetings later Joe did finally assure everyone that analog would still be the normal mode internally and that nobody needed to go buy new radios. Unfortunately the handling lead to much misunderstanding, mis-information and rumors getting passed around, and some fairly irritated hams.

There will be no patching between between ham and govt. radio systems. The patching refers to patching DMR talk groups and analog repeaters if needed. That capability exist now for the most part.
 

needairtime

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Yeah I think it may have been a fairly large mistake how it was presented, but the designation still holds and it still "adds" a vote for DMR. Because of this, DMR now puts a weight on people buying radios even if it's not required. Even if it's just at the upper levels and not the deployed, I suppose if hams want to "listen in" would now need a DMR radio. Clearly shows a bias towards DMR - and I suspect why so many hams want DMR over Dstar (or any other digital voice) because the persons they work with/for uses DMR.

I figure that the big three are probably already thinking about adding DMR but are at (price) war against the CCRs that already have DMR and they'd be following suit instead of leading, with a technology that's not well suited for amateur experimentation.

IMHO this shouldn't be a thing at all, just that licensing patents and validation are not cheap. Goes both ways and hence we're not seeing cheap Baofengs with Dstar which would favor Dstar use instead.

If I were to guess, Kenwood will be first to cave and have DMR. But that's just a blind guess.
 

buddrousa

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So far Kenwood would have the advantage they already have the NX5000 commercial line that you buy the mode you need and it would not be hard for them to migrate that into a armature version where you buy a basic radio then add on the modes you need. By going this route you are not forcing a user to buy a unneeded mode.
 

needairtime

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In my opinion, there's simply no economic logic to support such a decision.
The economic logic is that there are users who want it. The existence of this thread indicates at least one person, but more likely a lot of people wants the inferior (for ham use) technology - which was established solely because of interoperability. Now if people want it, there is a market for it. It's up to them to decide whether losing a sale due to someone buying a CCR to use with DMR is enough to offset the tremendous profit margin of Dstar.

On the other hand the cost of letting CCRs using Dstar is not helping the CCR manufacturer sell more units because there are more people buying for interoperability with commercial radios versus big three amateur radios. After all, you can always go back to analog to inter operate with the big three amateur radios, as for amateur use, nobody will be dropping analog.
 

kayn1n32008

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The economic logic is that there are users who want it. The existence of this thread indicates at least one person, but more likely a lot of people wants the inferior (for ham use) technology - which was established solely because of interoperability. Now if people want it, there is a market for it. It's up to them to decide whether losing a sale due to someone buying a CCR to use with DMR is enough to offset the tremendous profit margin of Dstar.

On the other hand the cost of letting CCRs using Dstar is not helping the CCR manufacturer sell more units because there are more people buying for interoperability with commercial radios versus big three amateur radios. After all, you can always go back to analog to inter operate with the big three amateur radios, as for amateur use, nobody will be dropping analog.
There is no such thing as ‘interoperability’ in ham radio. Please stop using the term. Who do we interoperate with?


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kayn1n32008

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The economic logic is that there are users who want it. The existence of this thread indicates at least one person, but more likely a lot of people wants the inferior (for ham use) technology - which was established solely because of interoperability. Now if people want it, there is a market for it. It's up to them to decide whether losing a sale due to someone buying a CCR to use with DMR is enough to offset the tremendous profit margin of Dstar.
Economic logic?

How do you figure it would be economical to to research and develop a radio for one sale?


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AI7PM

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Yeah I think it may have been a fairly large mistake how it was presented, ........ it still "adds" a vote for DMR. Because of this, DMR now puts a weight on people buying radios even if it's not required. Even if it's just at the upper levels and not the deployed, I suppose if hams want to "listen in" would now need a DMR radio. Clearly shows a bias towards DMR - and I suspect why so many hams want DMR over Dstar (or any other digital voice) because the persons they work with/for uses DMR..........
It only puts a "weight on people" if those people let it. Analog is what will be used in the field locally. The DMR will be primarily facility based for inter-facility comms.

As to the "listen in" part, let me address a point. In an ARES deployment many frequencies may be in use. There were 6 planned and published voice freqs on a recent exercise. A member should only be concerned with the particular frequency serving their post, position, or function and guarding that particular freq. I get that hams like to listen in and know what's happening, but I've heard the argument over and over that they need to know what's going on overall so they know what to do. What to do?! Do what was agreed to when when one volunteered for the position.
Many have also agrgued that encrypted law freqs also inhibit their ability to react as well. React to what? By who's direction? Is one going to change the plan based on overheard radio chatter, or follow the plan of the DEC, EC and A-ECs overseeing the incident or event? If an operator is trying to listen to 5 other freqs, Law and FIre, what are the odds they are paying attention to their duties at hand? Those positions and attitudes illustrate a lack of priorty, operational thinking, knowledge, and desire to operationally serve the mission at hand.

In R3D2 and other places, analog is still the primary mode in the field and that won't change. Even in federally directed wildfire incidents and exercises, the preferred and most used interoperability channels are still analog vs P25 digital. The only interop band that is purely digital is 700mhz, and that is pretty much all Law comms.

I agree there is a CO state AUXCOMM bias toward DMR, but that shouldn't pressure the field level operator to buy DMR. If someone wants to volunteer for a CO state AUXCOMM event support where DMR is the chosen tool, there is a DMR radio cache they can be issued a radio from. I'd recommend that as a good way to see if one would even be interested in dropping the coin on their own DMR radio.
In a major event, the RMHAM deployable assets are stocked with and will use analog, DMR, DSTAR, and P25, from 160m to 1.2ghz and above depending on the tool needed. Tools are good. Tools appropriate to the job are better.
 

AI7PM

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There is no such thing as ‘interoperability’ in ham radio. Please stop using the term. Who do we interoperate with?
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So,....your signature line says, "Interoperability is not a technology, it is an attitude!!!". I agree with that and have used similar words in correspondence many times.

I disagree with your above post, as do DHS and many other government emergency management units via the NIMS/ICS structure and their own documentation which addresses interoperability with various non government radio services, including amateur radio.

In amateur radio units that have had meaningful training, the attitude you address above is instilled. Thus, they can interoperate.

Let's take a look at the dictionary definition of Interoperability from a couple of sources.

Interoperability is a characteristic of a product or system, whose interfaces are completely understood, to work with other products or systems, at present or in the future, in either implementation or access, without any restrictions,.....a broader definition takes into account social, political, and organizational factors that impact system to system performance. Task of building coherent services for users when the individual components are technically different and managed by different organizations.
 

kayn1n32008

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So,....your signature line says, "Interoperability is not a technology, it is an attitude!!!". I agree with that and have used similar words in correspondence many times.

I disagree with your above post, as do DHS and many other government emergency management units via the NIMS/ICS structure and their own documentation which addresses interoperability with various non government radio services, including amateur radio.

In amateur radio units that have had meaningful training, the attitude you address above is instilled. Thus, they can interoperate.

Let's take a look at the dictionary definition of Interoperability from a couple of sources.

Interoperability is a characteristic of a product or system, whose interfaces are completely understood, to work with other products or systems, at present or in the future, in either implementation or access, without any restrictions,.....a broader definition takes into account social, political, and organizational factors that impact system to system performance. Task of building coherent services for users when the individual components are technically different and managed by different organizations.
Hams pass message traffic on behalf of other agencies, they don’t use their equipment and communicate directly with them OTA. Hams communicate with other hams. They don’t ‘interoperate’ with public safety/EMA/ect.


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AI7PM

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Hams pass message traffic on behalf of other agencies, they don’t use their equipment and communicate directly with them OTA. Hams communicate with other hams. They don’t ‘interoperate’ with public safety/EMA/ect.
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And in doing so the are not interoperating? Would you prefer "interfacing" as the term? BTW, hams can be, have been, and are used on other than just ham freqs as radio operators. Familiar with the term RADO?

Real Type 1 incident. Wildfire, and the state jurisdiction's 800mhz P25 system didn't cover the area. Hams were assigned to state police cars and provided 2-way radio communications back to the ICP. By DHS, NIMS/ICS definitions, what were those hams doing?
 

W9BU

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The economic logic is that there are users who want it.
And, there are radios they can buy to satisfy their wants.

Here's an example of why I don't think the Japanese Big 3 will develop and market an inexpensive DMR handheld. Kenwood currently sells three, just three, handheld amateur radios in the U.S.--TH-K20A 2m analog; TH-D72A 2m/440 MHz analog and APRS; TH-D74A 2m/222 MHz/440 MHz analog, APRS, and D-STAR.

When the TH-D74 came out, the price was close to $600 and many hams complained about the price. The price has since drifted down to closer to $500 and hams still complain about the price. It's a heck of a radio (I own one) with a lot of features and an incredible full-color OLED display, but it's darn expensive especially when compared to a CCR DMR radio.

Don't you think that if Kenwood thought they could sell the D74 for $400 or $300 that they would? Since they don't, that leads me to three conclusions: their R&D and manufacturing costs are so high that they have to keep the price up to recoup their investment, their manufacturing capacity would not keep up with the demand if they lowered the price (Yaesu has been fighting this problem the past few months--they discounted the FTM-400XDR mobile radio and couldn't keep up with demand), or they just don't care to lower the price because the economics of sales volume, hence revenue, vs. cost is satisfying the accountants and executives.

At the other end of the Kenwood line is the TH-K20A at $125. A single-band handheld for more than $100. The CCR fan boys must laugh their butts off at that price.

So, Kenwood has demonstrated, at least, to me, that they can't or won't compete at the low end of the market. Could they add DMR to the TH-D74A? Maybe, and there were rumors a year ago that the CODEC in the radio might support it. But, they'd probably add another $100 to the price. So, in light of the fact that you can buy a CCR DMR handheld for, what, $175, it makes no economic sense for Kenwood to try to compete.


Both Icom and Yaesu have put a ton of R&D and marketing into D-STAR and System Fusion, respectively. They aren't going to undercut their chosen digital voice mode, which they both think are better suited for amateur radio than a protocol developed for land mobile, just to jump into the inexpensive DMR mud hole.
 

W9BU

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Hams were assigned to state police cars and provided 2-way radio communications back to the ICP. By DHS, NIMS/ICS definitions, what were those hams doing?
Were these amateur radio operators using their equipment and using amateur radio frequencies to provide those communications? If they were using public safety frequencies, where they using their equipment or equipment provided by the served agency?
 

needairtime

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Here's an example of why I don't think the Japanese Big 3 will develop and market an inexpensive DMR handheld. Kenwood currently sells three, just three, handheld amateur radios in the U.S.--TH-K20A 2m analog; TH-D72A 2m/440 MHz analog and APRS; TH-D74A 2m/222 MHz/440 MHz analog, APRS, and D-STAR.

When the TH-D74 came out, the price was close to $600 and many hams complained about the price. The price has since drifted down to closer to $500 and hams still complain about the price. It's a heck of a radio (I own one) with a lot of features and an incredible full-color OLED display, but it's darn expensive especially when compared to a CCR DMR radio.
They don't need to sell a cheap DMR - They also have to consider people thinking "I paid $600 for this and it doesn't even do DMR? You mean I still have to buy (and carry) another radio to deal with DMR?"
It's clear they made a choice as of now to ignore the fact people today need more than one radio to use more than one digital voice mode.

The speculation is that someday one may support both, at a cost.
 

kayn1n32008

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Real Type 1 incident. Wildfire, and the state jurisdiction's 800mhz P25 system didn't cover the area. Hams were assigned to state police cars and provided 2-way radio communications back to the ICP. By DHS, NIMS/ICS definitions, what were those hams doing?
They were passing traffic on behalf of that agencies, not ‘interoperating’ with that agency.


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kayn1n32008

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And in doing so the are not interoperating? Would you prefer "interfacing" as the term? BTW, hams can be, have been, and are used on other than just ham freqs as radio operators. Familiar with the term RADO?
Yup. Still not ‘interoperating’.


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AI7PM

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Were these amateur radio operators using their equipment and using amateur radio frequencies to provide those communications? If they were using public safety frequencies, where they using their equipment or equipment provided by the served agency?
Amateur equip and freqs. VHF was pretty much needed for the territory.
 

prcguy

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Different law enforcement, fire depts or govt agencies working on a common goal or sharing information via a common frequency would be "interoperating". Hams are not law enforcement or govt agencies, so all they can do is pass traffic on behalf of law enforcement or agencies requesting their communications assistance.

Yup. Still not ‘interoperating’.


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