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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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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2018, 7:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwienke View Post
All of the digital modes are narrowband...
To which I will respond, so what?

The land mobile radio service had a need to reduce bandwidth. Frequencies were very hard to get in the VHF and UHF land mobile bands and it was very difficult to design a system requiring multiple frequencies because the frequencies were not available. By reducing bandwidth, more frequencies were made available. That's why the FCC mandated that LMR go narrowband and any future narrowbanding will virtually require digital voice modes.

We have no such FCC mandate in amateur radio. And, while repeater pairs can be hard to come by on certain bands in certain areas (I'm a frequency coordinator, so I'm deeply involved with this situation), there are also a lot of coordinated repeaters that sit un-used. IOW, we don't have a need or a mandate to use narrower bandwidths.

I appreciate that some hams want to experiment with digital voice modes. More power to them. Aside from that, I see no real attraction to DV in amateur radio. And, the downside is that the small segment of hams who used FM repeaters has now been divided across multiple DV modes. I don't think that dividing the pie into smaller pieces makes amateur radio any stronger.
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Old 01-04-2018, 8:04 AM
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I was responding to this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9wkj View Post
i still dont get it
if any of the digital modes sound worse then analog what good are they?
none of them saves any bandwidth
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Old 01-04-2018, 8:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djs13pa View Post

2) I now find listening to static and repeaters that get occasional hash annoying. Something I never thought would happen.


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THIS.

Having used DMR for my job, it was an easy change. The consistent audio level, and the absence of static were two things I noticed immediately After using this one clients DMR trunk system, it was difficult to return to analogue on their site.(they ran both systems as they transitioned different business units to the DMR system)

The improved coverage was also a nice surprise. Getting full audio recovery at signal strengths that would have rendered an analogue signal unreadable was a nice bonus.
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Old 01-04-2018, 8:49 AM
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Dstar here in Brownsville Texas is not dead we have an public hotspot that covers all of Brownsville and also have a repeater in McAllen Texas that is at 500 feet they are connected to Texas Permalink Ref-004B full time......
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Old 01-04-2018, 9:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djs13pa View Post
Because of 2 things
1) I find you get used to the digital sound.
thats just silly
me: "this beer is skunked!" bartender: "youll get used to it"
Quote:
Originally Posted by djs13pa View Post
2) I now find listening to static and repeaters that get occasional hash annoying.
I like DXing and such so it doesn't bother me so much
but i get that

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwienke View Post
All of the digital modes are narrowband
that is correct
although in my feeble brain its about how much they need when fit in to our analog enviroment
without mode segragation there is no bandwidth savings
and mode segragation costs money, and we still have hams complaining that they need a tone encoder!

TDMA is how we should be doing digital
heck leave us at 25khz and run 4 or more time slots using a cross between FDMA and TDMA or even PSK


digital for the right reason makes sense
digital for the sake of digital makes less sense
there is room for all the modes, we dont need a "1 mode for all" as we already have that.... analog

Last edited by k9wkj; 01-04-2018 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:39 AM
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To answer the OPís question, yes, get a DStar radio and give it a try. If you have local repeaters, great. But you donít need repeaters as hotspots like the SharkRF OpenSpot give you access to all of the DStar repeaters and reflectors now available.
I currently use DStar, Fusion/Wires-X and DMR. I understand that people have different opinions about whatís best. But DStar is absolutely NOT dead or dying. It continues to grow worldwide with new repeaters, users and hot spots. DStar was designed for amateur use and as such has the best functionality as others have noted. Fusion use has grown tremendously since the last year or two, not only because of all the repeaters being added but the explosive growth of hot spots. And Fusion is very simple to use. DMR is the most limited of the DV modes.
Subjectively speaking, the audio quality of Fusion is by far the best to me. DStar can sound more processed, and some DStar radios have pathetic transmit voice quality like the 880 and 7100. DMR audio levels bounce all over the place.
Activity wise, I can always find a good QSO on Fusion and DStar. DMR is quiet, as I have yet to have anyone answer my call on the statewide, local or regional talk groups. DMRs National talkgroup, 3100, is busy but thatís it here. Iím actually selling my DMR HT because of lack of use.
I began using DV with DStar, but lately I find myself more on System Fusion. And I have also used analog repeaters a whole lot less because I find the noise/static on analog quite annoying - from weak signals to all the crud from ulitlity poles, traffic signals and such.
So, give DStar a try. And if you donít like it, sell the radio and try something else. But remember, you do get what you pay for.
BG..
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k9wkj View Post
thats just silly
me: "this beer is skunked!" bartender: "youll get used to it"
Not quite <G> Analog FM is more like Schlitz and PBR where as Digital is more akin to a nice Microbrew <G>

Quote:
I like DXing and such so it doesn't bother me so much
but i get that
I like DXing too but listening to crap FM signals on analog is not like listening to weak signal SSB.

Quote:

TDMA is how we should be doing digital
heck leave us at 25khz and run 4 or more time slots using a cross between FDMA and TDMA or PSK

Try out NXDN. It does 4 simultaneous time slots. There is another in Europe that does 8 time slots. Both are very slow but work.



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Old 01-04-2018, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchGone View Post
To answer the OPís question...
Thanks for the reminder. We, including me, have strayed from the OP's question, so let's get back to that. We have had these DV vs. FM and DV mode A vs. DV mode B debates in the past, most recently here: https://forums.radioreference.com/di...l-over-fm.html. The answers haven't changed, so I'm not sure I see the value in having the same discussion all over again.

The OP's question was about buying a D-STAR radio. Let's stay on topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchGone View Post
DStar can sound more processed, and some DStar radios have pathetic transmit voice quality like the 880 and 7100.
One of my D-STAR radios is the Kenwood TH-D74A. I have gotten several good transmit audio reports while using that radio. Makes me wonder what Kenwood knows about processing the audio that Icom doesn't.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W9BU View Post
To which I will respond, so what?

The land mobile radio service had a need to reduce bandwidth. Frequencies were very hard to get in the VHF and UHF land mobile bands and it was very difficult to design a system requiring multiple frequencies because the frequencies were not available. By reducing bandwidth, more frequencies were made available. That's why the FCC mandated that LMR go narrowband and any future narrowbanding will virtually require digital voice modes.

We have no such FCC mandate in amateur radio. And, while repeater pairs can be hard to come by on certain bands in certain areas (I'm a frequency coordinator, so I'm deeply involved with this situation), there are also a lot of coordinated repeaters that sit un-used. IOW, we don't have a need or a mandate to use narrower bandwidths.

I appreciate that some hams want to experiment with digital voice modes. More power to them. Aside from that, I see no real attraction to DV in amateur radio. And, the downside is that the small segment of hams who used FM repeaters has now been divided across multiple DV modes. I don't think that dividing the pie into smaller pieces makes amateur radio any stronger.
With Fusion, you can run AMS and continue to have analog and digital out of the same repeater. I and others have both capabilities and alternate between them to include those without C4FM transceivers. The other nice thing that's available is the Wires-X linking where you are now world wide and opens up possibilities for those that are HF challenged and when the bands aren't open.

What is System Fusion? | Yaesu System Fusion Customer Portal

http://www.tmrahamradio.org/files/D-...%20Hamfest.pdf

https://charlottedstar.org/Compariso...Radio%20DV.pdf

D-star, DMR, Fusion, Which is right for you?

https://www.hamoperator.com/Hamopera...sion_Help.html


Link to see if you have any nodes in area. If you don't, you can create your own node with an HRI-200 and either an FTM-400 or FTM-100.

https://www.yaesu.com/jp/en/wires-x/id/id_eu.php
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Last edited by CQ; 01-04-2018 at 11:16 AM.. Reason: Added Wires-X ID List
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W9BU View Post
Thanks for the reminder. We, including me, have strayed from the OP's question, so let's get back to that. We have had these DV vs. FM and DV mode A vs. DV mode B debates in the past, most recently here: https://forums.radioreference.com/di...l-over-fm.html. The answers haven't changed, so I'm not sure I see the value in having the same discussion all over again.



The OP's question was about buying a D-STAR radio. Let's stay on topic.





One of my D-STAR radios is the Kenwood TH-D74A. I have gotten several good transmit audio reports while using that radio. Makes me wonder what Kenwood knows about processing the audio that Icom doesn't.


To follow this up, just remember you can buy a rig that does DStar and never use that mode. Same goes for any DV mode, the rigs all do analog.

Get what suits your use case.


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Old 01-04-2018, 1:34 PM
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yes sorry OP
was just looking
the cheapest icom dual bander is $300
and the cheapest icom dstar dual bander is $389
and im betting you could get $275-300 for it used within a year if you couldnt find a use for that
extra $89
we have a Dstar machine thats tied in to the refectory things right here in town
and its pretty quiet

Last edited by k9wkj; 01-04-2018 at 2:14 PM..
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Old 01-08-2018, 1:44 PM
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If you asked what was the quickest way for for me to have a voice QSO and gave me the following choices:

A. Use HF radio to call CQ (free to choose any band)
B. Use VHF/UHF radio to call CQ simplex
C. Use VHF/UHF radio to call using a repeater (analog or digital)
D. Use my DVAP and radio to connect to a DStar Reflector and call CQ

I think D would win most of the time. The repeaters that are local to me are that slow most of the time.
Option A would win the next most frequently.
The only time C has a chance is during weekday morning and afternoon drive times when people are in their cars.

I can't speak to the other digital modes but I think they would have the same advantage on wide area groups, rooms, or what ever it's called.

Surely this will vary depending on the area where you are located and the population density.
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