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Digital voice on GMRS

Scott73

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I wish they did digital. Having the ability to go digital for better range and encryption for privacy would be great.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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With digital you don't lose audio quality until the signal is too weak to decode.
The same thing applies to DMR and P25.
With narrowbanding analog FM from 16K0F3E to 11K3F3E voice quality and range are lost. DMR and P25 do recover the coverage range however there can be no argument that 16K0F3E FM sounds far better than the IMBE and AMBE vocoders in most conditions.

I dusted off some Securenet 12KBPS DES CVSD and compared it to P25 with IMBE and the old Securenet sounded far more natural .
 

iMONITOR

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With digital you don't lose audio quality until the signal is too weak to decode.
The same thing applies to DMR and P25.
I know digital sounds better when within range, but I wasn't aware it increased range. When digital is out of range you get nothing right?

Isn't this one of the reasons aircraft still uses AM analog?
 

mmckenna

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I know digital sounds better when within range, but I wasn't aware it increased range. When digital is out of range you get nothing right?

Isn't this one of the reasons aircraft still uses AM analog?
Digital sounds good if it's set up correctly. Often the complaints about digital audio quality stem from someone setting up the radios incorrectly.

As for digital sounding 'better' than analog, that's going to be one heck of an argument. If you compare a properly set up digital system to a narrow band FM system, it gets a bit difficult for most to tell the difference. If you compare it to 25KHz FM, well, that'll win easily.

AM analog for aircraft? Tradition. Trying to get all those aircraft radios changed out, running analog/digital mixed systems, that all takes a lot of coordination. Remember, these are the same folks that cannot get baggage to the same airport as it's owner.
 

mrweather

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I've also heard that AM is still used for aircraft because there's no FM capture effect and if an aircraft is transmitting an emergency there is a better chance of getting through even if there's heterodyning with another signal.
 

iMONITOR

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I've also heard that AM is still used for aircraft because there's no FM capture effect and if an aircraft is transmitting an emergency there is a better chance of getting through even if there's heterodyning with another signal.
That is my understanding 'from what I've read', but I'm not smart enough to know for myself if that's actually true.
 

vagrant

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I would blast away with P25 via simplex and a repeater, but I am doubtful digital voice will be permitted anytime soon. Is anyone knocking on the FCC’s door asking for digital?
I wish they did digital. Having the ability to go digital for better range and encryption for privacy would be great.
 

mmckenna

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Is anyone knocking on the FCC’s door asking for digital?
I do know of one group that has an experimental license for DMR on GMRS. They've been renewing every year for the last couple of years.

Not sure what their long term plan is, just seems to be a "lets try it and see how it works" sort of thing, not any concerted effort to change the rules.

I think the FCC setting the rules to require one sort of digital mode is unlikely. Considering the rules were overhauled just recently with no mention of digital, I don't think there is anything on the horizon. But there's nothing to stop someone from filing with the FCC and requesting it.
And we know that FCC rules don't stop some from doing whatever they want.
 

vagrant

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Hmm...that would be cool, even if just an experimental license. We have the room for it, repeater pair wise, in my area and beyond to reduce interference. I need to read up on how to obtain that and any data they may need for the system area and the system itself such as the Quantar etc.

I too doubt the FCC would allow only one digital mode. As to the FCC rules, I don't need to add problems to my list of things. @mmckenna do you have any info on that group? It may accelerate my research if I can get some insight from them.

UPDATE: Well, I found the FCC experimental licensing system easy enough. Time for some reading.
 

bharvey2

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Hmm...that would be cool, even if just an experimental license. We have the room for it, repeater pair wise, in my area and beyond to reduce interference. I need to read up on how to obtain that and any data they may need for the system area and the system itself such as the Quantar etc.

I too doubt the FCC would allow only one digital mode. As to the FCC rules, I don't need to add problems to my list of things. @mmckenna do you have any info on that group? It may accelerate my research if I can get some insight from them.

UPDATE: Well, I found the FCC experimental licensing system easy enough. Time for some reading.

The person you're looking for is a member on this site. He goes by the name "intermod". You might be able to PM him.
 

mmckenna

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UPDATE: Well, I found the FCC experimental licensing system easy enough. Time for some reading.
.

Not sure what the requirements are. I doubt that "I just want to play around with it" is going to fly with the FCC, but who knows, maybe it will if you word it correctly.

It's also limited to certain locations, frequencies, pairs, power level, and having to list out the exact equipment used.
It's not a blanket authorization to use it where ever/when ever.
 

mmckenna

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Here's the justification for the experimental license that was used:

07/29/2019​
New emperimental at 462 MHz to further determine how modern narrowband digital systems might co-exist with traditional analog FM systems on shared channels in the GMRS in a metropolitan area.​
 

vagrant

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Fantastic! That license info is exactly what I need to make scoot this along and save time on research. In addition, it identified two sites (high & low) which is what I was also thinking for some initial testing which we may reduce to one later. A chunk of us that use GMRS already have and use P25 equipment on amateur, so we just need to re-align and program the spare repeaters and duplexers. We will need to buy and cut/tune a couple of antennas, but the ERP would also be just under the 100W as well with the Quantar turned down to 50W and the gain of antenna after duplexer and coax loss. Our maximum mobile ERP would be 50, but typically 20 or less.

This is definitely better than cracking out a 900 MHz P25 system as it allows GMRS holders to join in on the fun...if they grant the experimental license.
 

prcguy

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There are several people licensed for digital on GMRS. A friend of mine had dinner with an FCC person a few years back and he brought up the question and was told to just apply for it and it would probably be granted as an experimental license. At the time we didn't have any suitable radios and it never went anywhere but we have lots of P25 radios now and P25 capable repeaters on GMRS in analog only mode. I will bring this up with him again and see if we can get something going.
 

vagrant

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If this endeavor succeeds, I will start a thread and note the steps for the application. From what I have read on the FCC website, it looks pretty straight forward. Still, I have reached out to intermod and will keep reading as there are some things such as experiment duration I am unsure of how long would be accepted. I observed the 24 months on that license and renewal would be routine using the web based forms, unless denied for some reason. Still, if I can get 36 or 60 months each go...why not.

@prcguy That is encouraging to know. We have plenty of sites here that cover a good chunk of central California in order to increase potential users for the "experiment".
 

12dbsinad

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I've also heard that AM is still used for aircraft because there's no FM capture effect and if an aircraft is transmitting an emergency there is a better chance of getting through even if there's heterodyning with another signal.
I had a dog and his name was Bingo. "Capture effect" plays a role in communications for sure.

The thing is, the same thing happens with any digital system. 2 people trying to talk at the same time, and you get nothing at all is a huge deal. It's just accepted in public safety nowadays. Not accepted in aviation for obvious reasons.
 
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