[aprssig] OT: DV Dongle a D-Star codec on USB.
k4rjj at bellsouth.net
Tue Jul 8 16:22:21 CDT 2008
Seems like we are on the same page Scott. I look forward to using my
new Argent dual band mobile! (Not kidding)
Scott Miller wrote:
> That's still missing the point. There is a LEGAL restriction here on
> the technology, not a technical restriction. It's not about parts, it's
> about on-air data formats and interoperability.
> This is a major problem for things like software defined radio. DVSI
> will NOT license a PC-based version of the CODEC, presumably because it
> would be too easy for someone to reverse engineer. If you want to build
> a D-STAR compatible SDR, you'll have to buy the hardware and physically
> install an AMBE2000 chip for each voice channel you want to decode, even
> if your SDR hardware happens to have enough processing power to decode a
> hundred channels at once.
> With the possible exception of Pactor III (which has never pretended to
> be an open standard) I know of no other area in amateur radio where
> you'd find this sort of intellectual property lock-in.
> Consider this unlikely scenario for a moment: If DVSI decided they
> didn't want to allow use of AMBE on amateur bands, they would be
> completely within their legal rights to stop licensing it that way.
> There would be no technical workaround, no substituting parts, no making
> due with some compatible solution. No matter what technical means you
> used to produce an AMBE data stream, it would infringe on their IP and
> they could sue your pants off.
> Where else in the long history of amateur radio do you find that sort of
> absolute dependence on the IP of a single vendor?
> I realize that to a lot of people there's a whole lot of magic in modern
> radio equipment. Much of that RF stuff is still magic to me, but I've
> made the effort to learn about the digital side, and much of the analog
> stuff. It's all out there in the textbooks, you can take classes on it,
> and you can build and experiment on your own. You can spend years
> learning it all, but it can be learned and understood, and more
> importantly applied, adapted, and improved.
> AX.25, HDLC, and Bell 202 hold no mystery for me anymore. I learned
> what I could from others, and then built my own devices from the ground
> up, with my own components and methodology. Given enough time, I know I
> could do the same with an FM transceiver. I think this is a critical
> aspect of amateur radio. But when you throw in something like the AMBE
> codec, you're leaving one inviolable block of magic in it. And it's not
> something minor that you can build around - it's an absolutely critical
> piece of the system.
> To commit to the use of AMBE in amateur systems is to admit that we no
> longer care about understanding how our equipment works. It's the
> surest sign I can think of that we've resigned ourselves to being
> appliance operators and consumers rather than experimenters and innovators.
> John Habbinga wrote:
>> You can build a D-STAR radio yourself. Yes you have to buy a chip
>> from a specific company, but that's not unusual in electronics. There
>> are all kinds of processors and integrated circuits that are patented
>> and only available from one source. Sometimes they'll stop making an
>> IC and you have to redesign or discontinue your product. I'm sure
>> that's never happened to you.
>> If you want to homebrew a D-STAR radio, you should check out
>> aprssig mailing list
>> aprssig at lists.tapr.org
> aprssig mailing list
> aprssig at lists.tapr.org
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