[aprssig] D-Star replacement for APRS: [Was: D710 GPS Port]

Stephen - K1LNX k1lnx at k1lnx.net
Tue Aug 14 13:34:13 CDT 2007

On the topic of D-Star, I saw this in one of their advertisements in the
September QST:

"HIPAA-Compatible Wireless Communications"

If they are referring to the medical term, I can't see their products being
"HIPAA" compatible, as we all know encryption is not allowed on the ham
bands. Are they simply referring to the fact that just because D-Star is
digital that means the information being conveyed using it is safe?

Looks like a marketing ploy to me.

I have nothing against Icom or D-Star, personally it looks pretty cool, but
I agree with Stephen, it will never catch on fully....


On 8/14/07, Stephen H. Smith <wa8lmf2 at aol.com> wrote:
>  William McKeehan wrote:
> Has anyone looked at D-Star as a potential replacement for APRS?
> It seems to have a lot of the basic functionality.
>  There are a LOT of technical, organizational and political obstacles to
> this ever happening.
> Partly as a result of the APRS founders shoe-horning and somewhat kludging
> APRS into the protocols, hardware and infrastructure of the preceding
> connected-packet era (do I dare use that over-used buzzword "leverage"?), APRS
> has succeeded because it has allowed us to do a lot of "neat stuff" with
> really cheap existing hardware.    This will *NOT* be the case with
> D-Star.    A migration to D-Star will be a wrenching total transition to
> *ALL NEW* base stations, mobiles, hand-helds and repeater infrastructure.
> D-Star is not a short-burst packetized transmission format. It's primarily
> a digitized voice format that can carry a limited amount of other data
> embedded in the main voice data stream.   As a result, the simple
> single-frequency store-and-forward "digipeaters" we use on APRS won't work
> with it.   You would be faced with coordinating a traditional full-blown
> two-frequency "repeater pair", along with using a separate receiver,
> transmitter and duplexer, just like present voice repeaters.    Further ,
> getting more than one repeater hop isn't a matter of the second repeater
> hearing the first one, and then retransmitting what it hears a moment later.
> It involves a complex land-mobile-style backbone of links on another band,
> usually 1200 MHz to connect repeaters together in real time.
> Further, no manufacturer seems to have adopted it, except Icom.
> While the only mfr to officially support APRS is Kenwood, at least you
> *CAN* add APRS hardware (TNCs, TinyTracks, Open Tracks, etc.) to other
> radios.  This is not going to be the case with D-Star which is an entirely
> digital modulation technique totally different from the analog FM we use
> with APRS packet, that is built-into purpose-built radios.  It is very
> unlikely you would be able to add D-Star to any existing radio, especially
> hand-helds.
> Achieving anything remotely like the coverage of  the current
> analog-FM-packet-based APRS network (where just about any FM radio made in
> the last 30 years or so can be pressed into duty as a digipeater by adding a
> $50 TNC). Duplicating this coverage with D-Star would require literally tens
> of millions of dollars of brand-new infrastructure.
> Further, the present network reflects the sum total of a lot of small
> steps made independently by clubs and individuals.  A nationwide D-Star
> "APRS- replacement" infrastructure would require a degree of coordination
> (and financial commitment) by clubs and individuals unprecedented in amateur
> radio.
> My guess is that we will get "islands" of D-Star activity in major
> metropolitan areas (where the population density of hams is great enough to
> support the major infrastructure investments required) , surrounded by
> hundreds (or thousands) of miles of non-coverage.   I.E. the individual
> ham or small club in a small mid-western town or rural Kentucky that threw
> up an old hand-me-down 2-meter rig and a TNC to fill in  the APRS network at
> almost no cost, is NOT going to lay out the several thousand dollars minimum
> to put up a D-Star repeater, let alone the backbone to link it to other
> D-Star systems.
> Before they make this major investment, users are far more likely to use
> Internet access from their cellphones to send/display GPS position reports
> and send/receive short text messages.  (Envision an APRS-like application
> overlaid on Google Maps running on an iPhone-like device.]
> --
> Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
> EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
> Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com  --OR--   http://wa8lmf.net
> NEW!   World Digipeater Map
>   http://wa8lmf.net/APRSmaps
> JavAPRS Filter Port 14580 Guide
>   http://wa8lmf.net/aprs/JAVaprsFilters.htm
> "APRS 101"  Explanation of APRS Path Selection & Digipeating
>   http://wa8lmf.net/DigiPaths
> Updated "Rev H" APRS            http://wa8lmf.net/aprs
> Symbols Set for UI-View,
> UIpoint and APRSplus:
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Stephen Brown - ARS K1LNX
Johnson City, TN EM86uh
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