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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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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2009, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by K2QI View Post
BINGO!!! We have a winner!

P25 unless there's an absolute need to run digital, is useless in amateur radio.

Just my opinion.

BTW, have a read here...
Is D-Star sole-sourced by ICOM? - QRZ Forums
D-Star, unless there's an absolute need to run digital radios from Icom only, is useless in amateur radio.

There's my opinion. I'm not about to go out and spend $1000's of dollars on all these Icom D-Star radios just to talk to 5 other guys with D-Star radios. I have P25 gear because there are far more people using that protocol, and I (and others) use P25 for work also so it makes to me to have everything I need in one radio.

If you and your boys want to run D-star, then by all means have at it. However, a lot of people will not just because right now it's an Icom-only protocol, and frankly it just doesn't blow my skirt up.
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Old 08-13-2009, 1:03 AM
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Originally Posted by SOFA_KING View Post
D-STAR is not really a Blu-Ray. It is an open standard. Blu-Ray is not...Sony just wanted the fees, and now gets them. They marketed mass appeal and took advantage of the public's ignorance to the fact it was proprietary. People don't care about the old Beta vrs VHS debate anymore.
For sure. I wasn't comparing Blu-Ray to D-STAR standard-wise... I always emphasize that D-STAR is an open standard. I just see the D-STAR vs. P25 debate as competitive as Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD. Oh, the joys of being an early adopter!

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Originally Posted by stateboy View Post
D-Star, unless there's an absolute need to run digital radios from Icom only, is useless in amateur radio.

There's my opinion. I'm not about to go out and spend $1000's of dollars on all these Icom D-Star radios just to talk to 5 other guys with D-Star radios. I have P25 gear because there are far more people using that protocol, and I (and others) use P25 for work also so it makes to me to have everything I need in one radio.

If you and your boys want to run D-star, then by all means have at it. However, a lot of people will not just because right now it's an Icom-only protocol, and frankly it just doesn't blow my skirt up.
WOW! When did D-STAR equipment jump in price? I picked up a ID-800H for $300 the other day. Single-band rigs are even cheaper. The most expensive is the ID-1, which I have seen go for $800. Yes, the ID-1 is overpriced for what you get, but the price is coming down. You can get into D-STAR relatively inexpensively.

I don't see any explanation of why P25 is more useful in amateur radio than D-STAR. I can't think of any possible reasons unless you just said it for the sake of saying it.

As others and myself have already said, it's not an Icom-only protocol. It is open. The plans and schematics are out there, people just have to build it. A ham here is going to have a homebrewed, non-Icom D-STAR repeater up by Christmas. Icom didn't even create D-STAR, the JARL did.

If you live in SD, I am sorry to hear that there aren't any D-STAR systems in the Dakotas. D-STAR is still new, don't count it out quite yet. I hope you have at least been exposed to D-STAR and tried it first-hand. It will catch on as more repeaters are established.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2009, 2:22 AM
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Originally Posted by KS4VT View Post
I guess you never heard of Soft ID.
No, I hadn't heard of it. I tried researching it, and found reference to it as a feature of the ASTRO line of radios. It is certainly not well documented on the Internet.

If you decode the data frame layer (non-ASTRO radio), is the SoftID clearly in the data stream or is it a lookup against the radio ID? I would like to understand its capabilities. No P25 advocates I have encountered have mentioned it, until you. Is it available in all P25 radios? All manufacturers? (Even by another name?) If so, I stand corrected.
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Old 08-13-2009, 2:28 AM
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Originally Posted by newsphotog View Post
As others and myself have already said, it's not an Icom-only protocol. It is open. The plans and schematics are out there, people just have to build it. A ham here is going to have a homebrewed, non-Icom D-STAR repeater up by Christmas. Icom didn't even create D-STAR, the JARL did.
A non-Icom D-STAR repeater isn't that difficult (basically has to pass GMSK - discriminator to modulator, possibly inverted) and something to insert a proper ID. A full up system with G2 compatible gateway is a bit more, but has been accomplished, see Linux DStar Development
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by newsphotog View Post
WOW! When did D-STAR equipment jump in price? I picked up a ID-800H for $300 the other day. Single-band rigs are even cheaper. The most expensive is the ID-1, which I have seen go for $800. Yes, the ID-1 is overpriced for what you get, but the price is coming down. You can get into D-STAR relatively inexpensively.
Sure, you can buy a VHF and/or UHF D-Star radio for $300, if D-star is used to it's fullest with the 1.2GHz data repeater, that's now two or three radios for about ~$1200. Even to buy a V/U portable and mobile, that's almost $700 right there. Have multiple cars, or a control base in the house? The price would multiply. It's no cheaper than anything else.

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I don't see any explanation of why P25 is more useful in amateur radio than D-STAR. I can't think of any possible reasons unless you just said it for the sake of saying it.
Again, I can't think of any reason to abandon all the commercial P25 gear that I or my associates have just get buy some hammy radios with a different digital format. Then all I get is a digital radio that is good in the ham bands only, that is not type accepted for Part 90 use and cost me additional money on top of what I've already spent. If my communications needs were solely amateur radio, then I think I'd be more open to the concept.

I'm not a D-star hater...if you guys like it and have D-star machines up and like using it, then knock yourselves out. My point is that just like the D-star users, there are P25 users and we like what we are doing. There are far more pieces of P25 gear available than not, and after spending the money on the gear I have I do not see a compelling reason to spend more money on a different protocol just for ham use. I've seen D-star in use and have had it's features explained to me. Right now, it doesn't appear to do anything I need that I don't already have with P25.
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Old 08-13-2009, 1:05 PM
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To stateboy,

Who needs P25?

What does P25 do that makes it better than analog?

ANSWERS:

NO ONE and NOTHING!

D-STAR actually does something...automatic seamless routing through IP and even data with voice (local or routed) at the same time. Easy computer interface and cheap or free open source software. P25 doesn't do any of that. It is just a glorified voice mode for local communications.

No one actually "needs" any of this stuff anyway, although the D-STAR data and voice do have potential for emergency operations traffic as it is integrated together. You would have less equipment and potential for interference as if you were running packet and analog voice on the same band. D-STAR is integrated. P25 is nothing. You got nothin'!

P25 equipment is not cheaper than Icom. Programming is a pain unless you are set up like a two-way shop...and pay the piper (mother /\/\) over and over again for software and updates...that is unless you have stolen copies, (you know what I mean) or a buddy who runs a shop who will do it for free. FPP radios are VERY expensive.

So, who needs P25? Phase II will obsolete it anyway! You got NOTHIN'!

Phil
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2009, 2:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SOFA_KING View Post
Who needs P25?
Mostly the agencies of the type that helped define it.

Of course others (like hams) are free to use it also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SOFA_KING View Post
What does P25 do that makes it better than analog?
Lots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SOFA_KING View Post
ANSWERS:

NO ONE and NOTHING!
Wrong and Wrong!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SOFA_KING View Post
P25 equipment is not cheaper than Icom.
Ham gear is cheaper then commercial gear, and commercial gear is generally less expensive than public safety gear.

I don't know how you compare a "brand" with a "standard" in pricing.

What about Icom P25 equipment??

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Originally Posted by SOFA_KING View Post
Programming is a pain unless you are set up like a two-way shop...and pay the piper (mother /\/\) over and over again for software and updates...
Again, your statements show more about what you don't understand than what you do.

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Originally Posted by SOFA_KING View Post
So, who needs P25? Phase II will obsolete it anyway!
Again, with the misunderstandings. Phase 2 is an extension of the standard not a replacement. (Isn't it a ***** when the facts done agree with your argument?)
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2009, 2:33 PM
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Some things you get with P25....

Call Alert (be able to page a radio & see if it is on)
Emergency Button (to be able to let everyone know in your group that something has gone wrong)
Soft ID (mentioned earlier)
Ability to create conventional "talk-groups" should you want to create groups for certain activities

You can't do that in analog and these item's aren't available in D*. No they are not all typical AR features, but you can come up with scenarios where they would fit different communication activities in AR.

Mark
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2009, 3:11 PM
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Originally Posted by KS4VT View Post
Some things you get with P25....

Call Alert (be able to page a radio & see if it is on)
Emergency Button (to be able to let everyone know in your group that something has gone wrong)
Soft ID (mentioned earlier)
Ability to create conventional "talk-groups" should you want to create groups for certain activities

You can't do that in analog and these item's aren't available in D*. No they are not all typical AR features, but you can come up with scenarios where they would fit different communication activities in AR.

Mark
Actually, some are in D-STAR, Mark. Soft ID ("mycall ID" and/or a short message text that scrolls on the display), emergency button and function are there (opens all filters too), and you can create talk groups with CSQL and page a person with DSQL. The Ack back is also available as a stored voice message or text that will play back upon targeting a call sign. It can do the same functions. Even a sort of private call, but nothing is really private except encryption. D-STAR doesn't have that, but you can't use it in AR anyway.

Have you really looked at what D-STAR can do, Mark?

N_Jay, I'm just having a little fun here (notice all emocations). No need to get your panties in a bunch. No "*****" here.

I have P25 equipment. I have had it for a while now. I have programmed it and explored just about every feature that is offered. Trunking too. I like it and all, but it really has nothing like D-STAR does. I wish I could get a D-STAR Motorola XTS5000 FPP. Not gonna happen! But don't worry, I have my facts straight just fine.

Phil

PS - Question for Mark...Will it be possible to use the curent IMBE radios with Phase II TDMA AMBE at all? Will you need hardware upgrades? Or maybe just the cost of a flash? How can you migrate to the new standard?

Last edited by SOFA_KING; 08-13-2009 at 3:24 PM..
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2009, 6:44 PM
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In reference to the Phase II TDMA question. Yes and No are the answers. There are requirements for backwards compatibility. But the radio would still be functioning as a IMBE.

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Old 08-13-2009, 6:57 PM
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In reference to the Phase II TDMA question. Yes and No are the answers. There are requirements for backwards compatibility. But the radio would still be functioning as a IMBE.

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Yes, No, Maybe.

Phase 1 is implemented in IMBE, but AMBE (specific versions) can be used.

Phase 2 includes Phase 1 modes, and the equipment (and many systems) will include both as appropriate.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:22 AM
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Thanks for clearing that Phase 2 IMBE/AMBE thing up. It still looks like there is potential for different system and equipment issues since there are differences in the standard that could exist based on the type of protocol being used. Maybe not today, but perhaps in the future. D-STAR is set...I do not think you have to worry about any migration. It would be stupid to change the protocol. The one feature I would like to see changed is the assumption of the last call upon reading a call sign with errors in the data. I would think that is an easy fix.

Actually, analog has most of those P25 features if you use MDC1200, Mark. No soft ID though.

I did a little more looking into the emergency function on D-STAR. It also overrides your volume setting and sets it at a medium to high level so you are sure to hear it (even with the volume set low). You know, they really did think this stuff out and incorporated some of the best features of commercial radio into the D-STAR protocol.

Now if only they could make the ham gear more like commercial gear (scan, easy interface, and audio volume).

Phil
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by SOFA_KING View Post
. . . I did a little more looking into the emergency function on D-STAR. It also overrides your volume setting and sets it at a medium to high level so you are sure to hear it (even with the volume set low). You know, they really did think this stuff out and incorporated some of the best features of commercial radio into the D-STAR protocol.

Now if only they could make the ham gear more like commercial gear (scan, easy interface, and audio volume).

Phil
Now you are mixing product features with functions in the standard.

That is a common problem when people discuss these issues.

Even in the P25 standards meetings this confusion creeps in sometimes.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:44 AM
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Now you are mixing product features with functions in the standard.

That is a common problem when people discuss these issues.

Even in the P25 standards meetings this confusion creeps in sometimes.
N_Jay, I do not understand what you just said. What am I mixing?

I was responding to what Mark said about D-STAR not having the same features as P25. It actually does. Emergency alert is there! That is what I was stating in what you quoted from me.

When I go back and read the comments the P25 proponents make, it becomes very obvious that many of them have not really looked into D-STAR and what it can really do. Just go back and read.

I like all the innovation, and like to experience it in the fullest (if I can afford it). I first started playing with P25 some 9 years ago. It's cool. But to close my mind to only one standard, however cool it may be, is not very educational or open-minded. When I opened my mind to what else is out there, and learned what it can really do, I found D-STAR to be miles ahead of P25. I also found out that some pretty advanced features were built into the protocol...many of which compare to P25 features. But of course some D-STAR features go way beyond what P25 does. That is all I am saying. And yes, D-STAR has most all of the P25 functions as well. The D-STAR boys did their homework!

Do what you want, but I would recommend taking an in-depth look at what D-STAR is really all about. Go download the IC-91AD PDF manual (for free) and check out all the things it can do. Jeeeez....for $369 bucks you get TWO bands (VHF and UHF) in one housing with FULL FPP...oh, and free programming and message software WITH the radio/computer INTERFACE CABLE to boot. How can you beat that deal? I mean, really!

Phil
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Old 08-14-2009, 1:45 PM
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Your comments about how emergency is handled by the user interface of the radio is a product feature and not a standards issue.

I was not commenting on D*, just a common point of confusion when discussing Standards, functions, and features.

It would be interesting to see if everything you have perceived as being in the D* standard is actually there or if certain functions are provided in non-standardized ways using D* signalling?
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Old 08-14-2009, 2:19 PM
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Your comments about how emergency is handled by the user interface of the radio is a product feature and not a standards issue.

I was not commenting on D*, just a common point of confusion when discussing Standards, functions, and features.

It would be interesting to see if everything you have perceived as being in the D* standard is actually there or if certain functions are provided in non-standardized ways using D* signalling?
That is a good question. Thinking about it a little, I would have to believe emergency signalling would have to be in the D-STAR protocol, but maybe not. I can research it. There has to be a flag or some other signalling indicator in the data to do that function. It strips all call sign squelch and coded squelch filters and turns the volume up. So, what is being sent to do that? It could be something as simple as changing "your call" to EMER or some variant, or maybe it is embeded in the datastream. Whatever it is, it is a good idea. Not original, but good to have for amateur radio.

Phil
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Old 08-14-2009, 3:48 PM
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I have thought about pushing the emergency button, but I am concerned it might make the world collapse.

Seriously though. No one around here uses callsign squelch anyways because we don't use the callsign routing feature to call a specific person in our area, we just set UR to CQCQCQ. I am interested though in how much louder the volume gets.
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Old 08-14-2009, 8:58 PM
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Originally Posted by N_Jay View Post
Your comments about how emergency is handled by the user interface of the radio is a product feature and not a standards issue.

I was not commenting on D*, just a common point of confusion when discussing Standards, functions, and features.

It would be interesting to see if everything you have perceived as being in the D* standard is actually there or if certain functions are provided in non-standardized ways using D* signalling?
Well it took me all of 30 seconds to google and answer the "Emergency" protocol question. It IS a part of the D-STAR standard! No confusion, just facts. It is Flag 1, bit 3. Check for yourself.

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/reg...har/D-STAR.pdf

You P25 guys got NOTHING!

Phil
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Old 08-14-2009, 9:24 PM
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You P25 guys got NOTHING!
I've got interoperability with a helluva lot more services than amateur radio, which is what I need.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:11 PM
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I have thought about pushing the emergency button, but I am concerned it might make the world collapse.

Seriously though. No one around here uses callsign squelch anyways because we don't use the callsign routing feature to call a specific person in our area, we just set UR to CQCQCQ. I am interested though in how much louder the volume gets.
Me too. I want more D-STAR radios to play with. If I sell more stuff on evilBay, maybe I can get a high power mobile. Very tempting!

Phil
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