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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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  #141 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2012, 2:57 PM
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Give me a break, and you think *DSTAR is easy to program*.... Who ever thought up *callsign routing* should have been lined up and shot IMHO. Even with the additions that Robin has made, it still requires you to *diddle* your radio from a keypad to *hookup*, and then reset to normal and then diddle it again to *unlink* and then back to regular.

And one of my *biggest* issues with D-STAR isn't even radio related... Well, actually it is, it the fact that it's taking radio out of radio. I'd dare say that *most* D-Star hams use a dongle on their PC and don't even bother with the radio aspect. Curious isn't it.

Closest thing I've found yet on D-Star to how it should have been is *freestar* and it's use of DTMF (digital DTMF in DSTAR) to hook up to connect to things and disconnect to things. At least it allows you to program the UR, RPT1, RPT2, MY one time and leave them alone.

I can't begin to tell you how many *clubs* that I know of down here in the SE that went D-Star crazy with repeaters, etc... Just to pull them out, sell them and leave it. In one case for NXDN, but mostly to stay with analog. It's easier to *link*, easier to setup, easier to control etc. I'm not saying it has the *cool factor* that D-Star does.... But if you've ever listened to a well setup analog repeater with either AllStar link or IRLP on it.... there is simply no comparison.

I too strayed into D-Star, but quickly gave it up... it was TOO much of a PITA to deal with. I've since gone to NXDN, I have 2 repeaters up, one in mixed analog, one in mixed digital. The Mixed analog is linked to IRLP/AllStar the mixed digital is linked to FL, and OH with IP digital linking. No codes to enter in the later, just press the mike, talk and poof, everyone hears you that's on any of the 3 repeaters.

And while we are on the topic of *pre-setup* using commercial radios... it's really no different than having to pre-program your D-Star setups for where you want to go.... Or have to know all the *codes* and the 5/6 sequence programming to get in/on and out of things along the way.

Why do you think Icom came out with a new radio that had that all built in... that's the major issue with D-Star and yet that new radio was obsolete the day it came out as the D-Star environment changes and evolves.

Anyway, as you can tell I'm just not a fan for a whole bunch of reasons - all of them I've personally experienced.

And while on the topic, there is some misconceptions about NXDN, the spec was released last week, it's fully open, the only part that isn't is the codec but at least it uses the same one that P25, pDMR, etc use so the volumes keep the prices down... And Icom/Kenwood did it right they fully utilized the FEC in NXDN so no more R2D2... yeah!
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  #142 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2012, 3:38 PM
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Originally Posted by n1ip View Post
Give me a break, and you think *DSTAR is easy to program*.... Who ever thought up *callsign routing* should have been lined up and shot IMHO. Even with the additions that Robin has made, it still requires you to *diddle* your radio from a keypad to *hookup*, and then reset to normal and then diddle it again to *unlink* and then back to regular.
Linking isn't in the D-Star Specs; it is something created by AA4RC as a supplement to D-Star (at least Robin's DPlus implementation is). Callsign Routing is what D-Star was designed to do and it does it well.

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And one of my *biggest* issues with D-STAR isn't even radio related... Well, actually it is, it the fact that it's taking radio out of radio. I'd dare say that *most* D-Star hams use a dongle on their PC and don't even bother with the radio aspect. Curious isn't it.
Which Dongle? There are two of them from Internet Labs now and the one I use most is used in conjunction with my IC-91A.

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Closest thing I've found yet on D-Star to how it should have been is *freestar* and it's use of DTMF (digital DTMF in DSTAR) to hook up to connect to things and disconnect to things. At least it allows you to program the UR, RPT1, RPT2, MY one time and leave them alone.
Freestar isn't the only one that supports DTMF; PC Repeater Controller from Jonathan Naylor G4KLX does too. But, to me, using DTMF is more complicated than pre-programmed memories is.


Quote:
I can't begin to tell you how many *clubs* that I know of down here in the SE that went D-Star crazy with repeaters, etc... Just to pull them out, sell them and leave it. In one case for NXDN, but mostly to stay with analog. It's easier to *link*, easier to setup, easier to control etc. I'm not saying it has the *cool factor* that D-Star does.... But if you've ever listened to a well setup analog repeater with either AllStar link or IRLP on it.... there is simply no comparison.

I too strayed into D-Star, but quickly gave it up... it was TOO much of a PITA to deal with. I've since gone to NXDN, I have 2 repeaters up, one in mixed analog, one in mixed digital. The Mixed analog is linked to IRLP/AllStar the mixed digital is linked to FL, and OH with IP digital linking. No codes to enter in the later, just press the mike, talk and poof, everyone hears you that's on any of the 3 repeaters.
My D-Star system will have AllStar Link when it's done. But again, linking isn't what D-Star was designed to do. Also, what if people want to have a conversation on the local repeater without tying up the network? At least DMR allows you to pick a time slot or talk group for local communications and I'm working on an idea to add the same sort of functionality to the Open Source side of the D-Star network.

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Why do you think Icom came out with a new radio that had that all built in... that's the major issue with D-Star and yet that new radio was obsolete the day it came out as the D-Star environment changes and evolves.
Icom anticipated that and the ID-31 can have its database updated as new repeaters are added to the D-Star network.


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And while on the topic, there is some misconceptions about NXDN, the spec was released last week, it's fully open, the only part that isn't is the codec but at least it uses the same one that P25, pDMR, etc use so the volumes keep the prices down... And Icom/Kenwood did it right they fully utilized the FEC in NXDN so no more R2D2... yeah!
Huh? D-Star is as open as DMR and NXDN; you just have to be able to read Japanese to read the full specification, since it was designed by the JARL and has only partly been translated into English. As for the FEC, don't mistake the fact that there is bandwidth left for the Slow Data mode in the 4.8KHz GMSK for an incomplete FEC.
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  #143 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2012, 4:34 PM
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Without Quoting all the above.

a) Linking isn't in the D-Star spec.... Exactly, and yet it's what *every wants to do* so having to deal with callsign routing and it's implications with linking, even with Robins advancements, still took what was awkward at best and made it slightly less awkward. I never said that callsign routing didn't work, what I said was it was a RPITA to use, deal with and have to understand. One of the reasons that some that try D-Star, give it up so soon.

b) Yes I know there are multiple Dongles... What I'm talking about is the one operation where you DON'T USE A RADIO. Most that operate in that fashion could care less what their audio sounds like, are either TOO low or TOO high and don't understand how to get it correct, nor do they understand what they are doing in general. BTW I have the same issue with EchoLink for the same reasons.

c) yes, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to leave Jonathan's work out... He's done some excellent things and they work very well.

d) Yeah, I'm very glad to hear that you'll consider Allstar and D-Star... while I didn't have any dog in the hunt, I understand that some who when that way in the past were banned from the D-Star Gods for doing so. It is my believe that people want to interact with other people and not in a one on one environment (callsign routing), but in a group environment (reflector, conference bridge, etc). To do so, you need to be technology agnostic. I as well have my NXDN repeaters setup with Allstar, IRLP, and digital IP NXDN. I could and may hang a GMSK repeater off one as well, it would be really easy. And I'm working to bridge an XRF reflector to allstar as well, just as another meeting place and to use if I go there.

Lastly, I didn't say D-Star wasn't open, it was another poster in the thread above that said that NXDN wasn't. Simply not true and never was from the beginning. Also I understand what Icom did to allow slow speed data in D-Stars, I just don't understand why they did it. NXDN for example does FEC (and uses it) *and* parallel data... Course it uses a faster bitrate than D-Star perhaps because technology advanced to allow it... Either way, in a forward looking fashion, NXDN is way closer to what I'm looking for going forward than any of the other technologies. And where else can you buy a complete, minus duplexor, repeater for $500 of commercial grade with 25W for full duty cycle output (that's with built in controller). Add power supply, and duplexor and you've got a 25khz analog repeater that can grow and evolve all the way to 6.25khz digital. That rivals even some of the home built D-Star repeaters.

I'm not trying to convince everyone to move to NXDN, I just can't see any advantage to D-Star as it currently sets, you are locked into one vendor, you have limited *linking* possibilities and probably the biggest negative is the DSTAR GODS and their approach to Governing.... Want to slow down technology advancement, just do what DSTAR is doing from a USTRUST standpoint.... Yep, they've got it right.... NOT.
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Old 03-23-2013, 2:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n1ip View Post
Without Quoting all the above.

a) Linking isn't in the D-Star spec.... Exactly, and yet it's what *every wants to do* so having to deal with callsign routing and it's implications with linking, even with Robins advancements, still took what was awkward at best and made it slightly less awkward. I never said that callsign routing didn't work, what I said was it was a RPITA to use, deal with and have to understand. One of the reasons that some that try D-Star, give it up so soon.

b) Yes I know there are multiple Dongles... What I'm talking about is the one operation where you DON'T USE A RADIO. Most that operate in that fashion could care less what their audio sounds like, are either TOO low or TOO high and don't understand how to get it correct, nor do they understand what they are doing in general. BTW I have the same issue with EchoLink for the same reasons.

c) yes, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to leave Jonathan's work out... He's done some excellent things and they work very well.

d) Yeah, I'm very glad to hear that you'll consider Allstar and D-Star... while I didn't have any dog in the hunt, I understand that some who when that way in the past were banned from the D-Star Gods for doing so. It is my believe that people want to interact with other people and not in a one on one environment (callsign routing), but in a group environment (reflector, conference bridge, etc). To do so, you need to be technology agnostic. I as well have my NXDN repeaters setup with Allstar, IRLP, and digital IP NXDN. I could and may hang a GMSK repeater off one as well, it would be really easy. And I'm working to bridge an XRF reflector to allstar as well, just as another meeting place and to use if I go there.

Lastly, I didn't say D-Star wasn't open, it was another poster in the thread above that said that NXDN wasn't. Simply not true and never was from the beginning. Also I understand what Icom did to allow slow speed data in D-Stars, I just don't understand why they did it. NXDN for example does FEC (and uses it) *and* parallel data... Course it uses a faster bitrate than D-Star perhaps because technology advanced to allow it... Either way, in a forward looking fashion, NXDN is way closer to what I'm looking for going forward than any of the other technologies. And where else can you buy a complete, minus duplexor, repeater for $500 of commercial grade with 25W for full duty cycle output (that's with built in controller). Add power supply, and duplexor and you've got a 25khz analog repeater that can grow and evolve all the way to 6.25khz digital. That rivals even some of the home built D-Star repeaters.

I'm not trying to convince everyone to move to NXDN, I just can't see any advantage to D-Star as it currently sets, you are locked into one vendor, you have limited *linking* possibilities and probably the biggest negative is the DSTAR GODS and their approach to Governing.... Want to slow down technology advancement, just do what DSTAR is doing from a USTRUST standpoint.... Yep, they've got it right.... NOT.
First, with the latest generation of DStar radios, you don't have to program anything but you own call. All repeaters are already programmed and it is easy to update. The GPS that is built-in will show you the closest repeater, select it and away you go.

Callsign routing is so easy I have no idea why anyone has an issue with this. I have seen what DMR requires and if you think DStar is complex, then DMR is a nightmare.

I use call sign routing all the time on trips from Ohio to Georgia and back. I can say it is so easy to use especially with the new 31A and 51A.
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  #145 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2013, 1:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n1ip View Post
Also I understand what Icom did to allow slow speed data in D-Stars, I just don't understand why they did it.
Because that's how the DV part of the specification is written, maybe?

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, I just can't see any advantage to D-Star as it currently sets, you are locked into one vendor, you have limited *linking* possibilities
Unlimited, actually, since unlike DMR and NDXN link designs, users and system operators are free to link to any system they want, whenever they want; yes, I know you based your NXREF on the KI4LKF DExtra code, but the biggest advantage I see with D-Star DV is the ability to link to any reflector you want, without having to keep your repeater or node conncted at all if you don't want it to be.

Quote:
and probably the biggest negative is the DSTAR GODS and their approach to Governing.... Want to slow down technology advancement, just do what DSTAR is doing from a USTRUST standpoint.... Yep, they've got it right.... NOT.
They want a stable system, which is why they are so particular; I know the DMR-MARC is kind of the same way as far as what firmware they allow for the radios and so on.
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  #146 (permalink)  
Old 01-16-2014, 9:40 PM
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D-Star sounded like a really neat mode. Icom even gave our club a D-Star repeater, as long as we had a number (maybe 10) of recognized users and kept it going for a year. So, I bought a new radio and D-star option.

What I am finding is that it has even less use than our regular 2-meter repeater (which is idle about 99.9% of the time).

I can even pick up the Chicago FM club's D-Star repeater very well here and you would think that large city would have lots of activity. NOT! All I have ever heard is the repeater IDing once in a while.

Randy
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by k8tmk View Post
D-Star sounded like a really neat mode. Icom even gave our club a D-Star repeater, as long as we had a number (maybe 10) of recognized users and kept it going for a year. So, I bought a new radio and D-star option.

What I am finding is that it has even less use than our regular 2-meter repeater (which is idle about 99.9% of the time).

I can even pick up the Chicago FM club's D-Star repeater very well here and you would think that large city would have lots of activity. NOT! All I have ever heard is the repeater IDing once in a while.

Randy
The quick answer is to link it to a reflector network; if you have a gateway with internet connection available, install the DPlus addon to it, as well as the ircddb addon. This will enable the ability to have other repeaters traffic come through and have more people to talk to; this will likely have the added benefit of increasing the use of the repeater.
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  #148 (permalink)  
Old 02-11-2014, 1:34 PM
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It's from my understanding that ICOM is not the proprietor of D-STAR. In fact
ICOM and KENWOOD engineers worked with the JARL to develop concept D-STAR. I don't
understand why ICOM remain the sole vender for US Market, I mean for radios. The other way is using a DV-DONGLE, but that require to at computer terminal.
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Old 02-11-2014, 2:12 PM
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Default Re: D-STAR Systems

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Originally Posted by Coffeemug View Post
It's from my understanding that ICOM is not the proprietor of D-STAR. In fact
ICOM and KENWOOD engineers worked with the JARL to develop concept D-STAR. I don't
understand why ICOM remain the sole vender for US Market, I mean for radios. The other way is using a DV-DONGLE, but that require to at computer terminal.
Oh ye of little research...

http://www.dvrptr.net DV-RPTR V1
http://shop.dvrptr.de DV-RPTR V3
http://www.nwdigitalradio.com Multiple digital modes, including D-STAR Digital Voice and Digital Data modes (not yet on the market, but should be out this year)



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  #150 (permalink)  
Old 02-17-2014, 9:49 PM
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Originally Posted by k8tmk View Post
What I am finding is that it has even less use than our regular 2-meter repeater (which is idle about 99.9% of the time).
I've programmed every FM amateur repeater from 6m through 23cm I can find in the Puget Sound (greater Seattle, WA) area (213 repeaters) into my Uniden BCD996XT scanner (about 100 frequencies per second), and yesterday afternoon (Sunday, 3pm PST) I let the scanner run with non-amateur groups disabled.

News flash: Nothing for 15 minutes. Later in the evening there was some activity, but in general, quiet. That was for FM.

Adding repeaters without adding new amateurs, just distributes the amateurs more thinly across the increased number of repeaters. Unless amateurs "crowd around" a favorite repeater, increasing the number of repeaters actually DECREASES the probability of a two-way contact.

This is not a complaint or suggestion; just an observation. The amateur world has a lot of competition from other (non-amateur) communications services (cell phone, Internet, etc). Just adding repeaters doesn't solve it.
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  #151 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2014, 9:10 AM
   
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I realize it has been several months since the last post on this topic, but, the folks who don't like the "programming nightmare" involved in DStar should be happy with the latest Icom radios to hit the market. The 880H and the 5100A. I currently have an 880. But in the next few weeks will purchase a 5100.
As I watched the "Smackdown" video on Icom America's website, I quite literally fell in love with the 5100A.
It appears to be a dream to operate.

In reading the posts on this thread, it looks like "conventional" FM repeater users have a bit in common with the Hams who are diehard CW operators, in that they don't like the newer technology coming into Ham radio.
Hey, it happens as time goes on. Imagine what Hiram Percy Maxim would think of the "lowest" tech transceivers on the market today. Compared to the spark sets in use in 1914, what we have now is like comparing travel by horseback to the flying cars in SciFi movies.
I was under the impression that advancing technology was a huge part of being an Amateur Radio Operator.
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Old 07-19-2014, 9:29 AM
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I find even the oldest and original DStar radios easy to program. The newest generation don't even require programming as the entire database of repeaters is built-in to the radios and easily updated. DStar is the easiest digital mode to operate and use.
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  #153 (permalink)  
Old 07-19-2014, 9:36 AM
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Originally Posted by beischel View Post
I find even the oldest and original DStar radios easy to program. The newest generation don't even require programming as the entire database of repeaters is built-in to the radios and easily updated. DStar is the easiest digital mode to operate and use.

Agreed, but setting up the routing is a pain. Programming analogue stuff is easy though.


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Old 07-19-2014, 1:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k8tmk View Post
What I am finding is that it has even less use than our regular 2-meter repeater (which is idle about 99.9% of the time).

I can even pick up the Chicago FM club's D-Star repeater very well here and you would think that large city would have lots of activity. NOT! All I have ever heard is the repeater IDing once in a while.
I guess every location is going to have it's own local usage patterns. I don't spend too much time on 2m or 70cm but the technology and linking ability of DSTAR intrigued me so I picked up an Icom 880h. The majority of 2m FM repeaters in the Sacramento CA area are quiet all day, the only thing you'll hear is the repeater IDing. In comparison, either of the 2 DSTAR 2m repeaters that I can reach from my home location have activity several times a day. Linking to a local/West coast reflector of course helps, but if that's what it takes to reach other users, then I'm all for it.

I've left my 2m FM radio on my club repeater monitoring for a whole day on several occasions while I've been working from home and never heard anyone on there (the only time it seems to be used is for the weekly club net). Switch over to DSTAR and there's several people on there at various times of the day.

If I'm looking for a quick QSO on 2m then I'll definitely use DSTAR and be guaranteed to get someone within one or two calls on the repeater/reflector. On 2m FM repeater... pretty slim chance of reaching anyone.
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Old 07-19-2014, 4:54 PM
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I find even the oldest and original DStar radios easy to program.
You find the Icom V82 and U82 easy to program???
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:21 PM
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Default Bought IC-7100, anyone else have one? We have D-Star here.

I bought the IC-7100, not because of D-Star, but it did play a very minor factor in the decision to buy this radio over a few others.
We have a D-Star repeater in the area, but the radio is still in the box. I plan to put it on VHF/UHF soon, and hope to let the D-star repeater to know I am here.

Can anyone share any interesting facts about D-star?

I know that if I interface a GPS with it, it can populate the radio with data, but I'm not sure how true that is. I also know that I can type a text message into my radio's D-star config, and it will appear with my transmission on other D-star radios.

I know that there are D-Star HF nets, but I don't know if that will interest me until I hear it.

What I am not sure of, is if the IC-7100 can do non-proprietary Digital Voice as well as D-Star?

I also know that a person can buy a box that will add D-star to any radio, and that other open source Digital Voice computer programs, that work with a PC and one or two sound cards is out there.

I hope to turn the 7100 on before the weekend is over.

I hope to hear from other D-star users here.

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Old 12-28-2014, 9:05 AM
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I have both the IC-7100 and the ID-5100, and I use both with D-star on two local repeaters. The same club has both VHF and UHF connected repeaters. There are also P25 in another clubs repeaters.

Here are my observations after having and using D-Star.

D-Star is one of the most active repeaters in my area. My D-Star radios have GPS built into them, I originally thought I had to interface my own GPS data.

The radio can send GPS data to other D-Star radios, and when my receiver gets that data, it displays a window with a compass that points in the direction of the other person, and shows me the distance they are from me. The data transfers in the background, it does not interrupt voice traffic on the repeater.

The ID-5100 has the Blue Tooth optional board in it. I can load apps on my Droid tablet, and droid phone that let me send text, and pictures through the repeater to any other D-star user who has the means to receive it.

The Bluetooth will also let me connect to a bluetooth headset to operate my radio hands-free in the car. I have not tried to connect it to the bluetooth in my car, but I may try it just to see what happens.

D-Star is NOT propriety, and Icom does not own it, they only use it. The reason that Icom is involved with D-Star is because the Ham organization in Japan that developed D-Star, was given Icom radios to help develop D-Star on. It was only a natural thing for Icom to take the almost free engineering that this group did, and integrate it into their new radios.

If I wanted to work with P25, I could do it the same way anyone could add D-star to their current radio. D-Star can be adapted to any radio with the use of a dongle. There are a few ways to do it, but as far as I know, one way is better then the others. Also, it isn't cheap, but like all new technology, it will get cheaper all the time.

I feel that it is only a matter of time before some company releases a radio that does the two digital modes, and auto senses it so the use of it is seamless.

Yaesu is so hard pressed to get more of their P25 repeaters out there that they work deals with Ham Clubs to get them on digital as cheaply as possible. This only makes sense, if they want to sell a lot of radios, they have to get more capable P25 repeaters installed. I don't know if Icom is doing the same.

My ID-5100 announces the call sign of anyone who keys on the D-star repeater, even if they don't say anything. The data that goes between our radios is up to us, but it is typical to see the other persons call sign, location, and radio model. It is also possible to see how much power they are using, local temperature, and a lot of other data, although I have not looked into how that is done, nor have I noticed it coming from any other radios.

From the research I did, D-Star repeaters outnumber other digital repeaters. Last I herard there are over 3000 of them across the US .

Further up in this post I used the word CONNECTED in relation to the D-star repeater. What that means is the same for Echo-Linked repeaters, it is connected to the Internet. When a D-Star repeater is connected, the user are then able to access the gateway. Once you can do that, you can operate a remote D-Star repeater just as you would access your local repeater, the clarity is identical, not like Echo-link, where you can tell most echo-link users are coming through the Internet.

We have one local ham that moved to the other side of the country. he participates in our local repeater nets using a dongle, and he sounds just as good as any local user. Our displays show us that he is in Washington State, and who he is.

I hear it is possible to place a call to one particular radio, and you can set your radio to only respond if the call is addressed to you. My radio has an Auto Response, it is like an answering machine message that I record in case I am not at my radio when the call comes in.

I have not tried that, but it is there.

I printed and bound the manual for the ID-5100, it is really thick on double-sided standard paper. Over half of it is on D-Star use and configuration.
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Old 12-28-2014, 10:17 AM
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Yaesu is so hard pressed to get more of their P25 repeaters out there that they work deals with Ham Clubs to get them on digital as cheaply as possible.
Yaesu System Fusion is not compatible with P25.
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Old 12-28-2014, 10:32 AM
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Yaesu System Fusion is not compatible with P25.
All the more reason to reject it. Having all the manufacturers trying to keep costs down by not adopting the same voice systems, is counter productive, and makes it hard for some hams to be loyal to a brand. I like that one Fusion Yaesu mobile, but my club adopted D-Star, so it was Icom for me.
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Old 01-12-2015, 3:46 PM
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You find the Icom V82 and U82 easy to program???
Yup, like all radios, you need a computer, a programming application and a cable and just about every radio is easy to program. I would NEVER try to program any radio manually.
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