rig questions

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Prycer

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Fort Worth, Tx
Howdy,

I am going to sit for my Technician license in a few weeks and thought that I should go ahead and look into getting a mobile rig soon while I still have Xmas money :cool:

I picked up a FT-270R a few months ago thinking I would take the exam a short time after but I had academic obligations to take care of first. So I was all set on getting the Yaesu FT8900R because it seems to have all the features I am looking for in a price range I can afford and I am fairly familiar with Yaesu already, at least on the receiving end. This was until I started looking into D-Star and then discovered there are APCO25 ham repeaters.

I searched this a some before posting but couldn't really narrow down what I am looking for so pardon any of my questions that have previously been answered.

Now I understand this jumps into a whole different price range but curiosity has the best of me.

Does a D-Star rig only work in "D-Star" mode? Would I be able to use it through "conventional" repeaters to contact other "conventional" rigs? My understanding is that D-Star and APCO25 are two different things, correct?

If this is indeed two different things what are some examples of APCO25 rigs, would a Technician class operator be able to utilize such system, and would such rig be able to communicate with "conventional" systems?

Also, would one be able to RECEIVE digital law enforcement comms that fall within the receiving scope of such rig? I have zero interest in the ability to transmit on such frequencies but if I had the ability to listen to them on a HAM rig I'd love to dial in from time to time.

Thanks!
 

SCPD

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Feb 24, 2001
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I can't answer the question about the D-Stars, but I would wager dinner for two that they do. Don't make sense that they wouldn't.

But let me suggest that you buy what you are going to use. Are there D-Star machines in your area? If not, don't go there. Are there six meter and 10 meter machines in your area? If not, don't bother with the 8900. Get what's active. Fire up a scanner and find out what machines are up. Are there 440 machines active? If not, why bother with a dual bander?
 

davidbond21

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Firstly, yes D-Star and (APCO)P-25 are both digital voice formats, but they are entirely different from one another; that is to say they will not work with one another.

Now, I haven't messed with any D-Star, but I'm almost positive in saying that yes, a D-Star rig will also do regular analog. I do have some P-25 radios and this is exactly how they work, and while I'm aware of many differences between public safety radios and ham rigs, I don't see how they would perform any less in this one regard(Analog+Digital).

Yes, you as a license-wielding ham can utilize P-25, providing there is a repeater and/or other hams with the proper equipment in the area to talk to. And if there isn't, at least with P-25 equipment you can monitor any public safety that happens to use it(conventional only) in whatever band you purchased the radio in. In Bryan/College Station, that means you'd at least be able to hear DPS, but a quick look at the database reveals nothing else as P-25 conventional there in Brazos County(which I assume is what your primary public safety listening area would be). It's been a few since I've been up there, but the last time I visited my buddy at A&M, most everything interesting seemed to be on various trunking systems, so no help from your P-25 ham rig here.

I did a quick search of Brazos County on the TX VHF FM Society's "Repeater Search" page(by all means not definitive of what's out there either). There seem to be quite a few 70cm machines, and a few 2m, and one 6m (and one 23cm machine, but I don't think there are any multi-band rigs that would go that high). If your looking to get a Yaesu, I might recommend something like the FT-7900R for your area. You may or may not want to spend (significantly) more money to get 6m capability as well; I'd recommend doing what Wyandotte suggested, and bust out the scanner and start listening. If the 6m machine is active and interesting, you may want to spring for it, but if you don't ever hear it keyed up from now til when you receive your license, that extra money might be better spent on an antenna or other equipment.
 

kayn1n32008

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Howdy,
I am going to sit for my Technician license in a few weeks and thought that I should go ahead and look into getting a mobile rig soon while I still have Xmas money :cool:
Good luck on your test.

Does a D-Star rig only work in "D-Star" mode? Would I be able to use it through "conventional" repeaters to contact other "conventional" rigs? My understanding is that D-Star and APCO25 are two different things, correct?
No D-STAR equiped radios are both analouge and digital voice.

A D-STAR radio in analouge (not conventional) mode can be used to talk to other analogue users on analogue repeaters.

An analogue repeater cannot used to pass digital voice traffic. To repeat digital voice you need a digital repeater.

Correct APCO 25 (P25) and D-STAR are different and incompatible digital formats

If this is indeed two different things what are some examples of APCO25 rigs, would a Technician class operator be able to utilize such system, and would such rig be able to communicate with "conventional" systems?
There are alot of P25 radios out there. The most common band split that a ham operator can use, are

136-174Mhz, for 144-148Mhz ham band.

380-450Mhz, or 400-470Mhz. for 430-450Mhz ham band
Each maufacturer has their own variations of these splits.
Motorola, Vertex(Yaesu), Icom, Kenwood, Harris, Tait, and Thales. Each company offers at least one P25 capable radio, most offer multiple models.

There are no true 'ham' P25 radios, just commercial P25 radios that cover the ham bands

Also, would one be able to RECEIVE digital law enforcement comms that fall within the receiving scope of such rig?
Thanks!
If the law enforcement comms fell with in the band split of your P25 radio, AND it was conventional digital voice then yes you could. it really is easier to use a digital scanner to listen to P25 trunk systems.
 

fineshot1

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NJ USA (Republic of NJ)
No D-STAR equipped radios are both analogue and digital voice.
I think you may want to add "at the same time" to the end of that statement to make it more accurate.

All of my DStar radios have both analog and digital voice modes and can actually be programed to
receive in both digital voice and analog mode for each memory although its not a commonly used setting.

A D-STAR radio in analogue (not conventional) mode can be used to talk to other analogue users on analogue repeaters.
or via simplex as an alternative to repeaters
 

kayn1n32008

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I think you may want to add "at the same time" to the end of that statement to make it more accurate.
Sorry, my bad grammer. It should have been:

No. D-STAR equiped radios are both analogue and digital voice.

or via simplex as an alternative to repeaters
Lol. yea was trying to keep it to the scope of the op question. In hind sight i should have included it though.
 
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