[aprssig] OT: Yaesu to release digital amateur radio gear

Amateur Radio WB8NUT duffy at wb8nut.com
Fri Jan 6 14:41:52 CST 2012

Finally some reasonable discussions on this. So I admit not knowing much 
about the Yaesu Moto thing, but as already stated the Codecs for both 
the Yaesu method and the Icom method are both proprietary. So the price 
challenge or "tax" is going to exist for both systems.

What's next? Kenwood, TenTec and Elecraft potentially could enter into 
the markets with their own digital designs?

All that does is create confusion among we the amateur consumers and 
when that happens everyone suffers because market uncertainty delays 
adoption of technology. That benefits no one - consumers or manufacturers.

But it seems to me that D-Star is well established and growing. People 
have even created their own non-Icom D-Star repeaters. I even believe 
the D-Star gateway software in use throughout most of the world is 
mostly a U.S design enhancing what the Japanese created. We just made it 
better and added more functionality.

That being said, it would be better for Yaesu to build upon what is 
already there instead of trying to recreate the wheel. The time for 
trying to create a war of technologies to let the "best man win" so to 
speak as already passed. Yaesu should have tried this years ago when 
D-Star was first introduced, not after it has experienced significant 
adoption around the world.

For those "who don't get the whole D-Star thing" need to take a serious 
look at what it does and what it is capable of. I too was a D-Star 
nay-sayer until two years ago while I was on a trip visiting my daughter 
in Atlanta. I stopped by the Ham Radio Outlet store in Atlanta where 
Mark, KJ4VO spent about two hours educating me on D-Star and showing me 
what is was capable of for amateurs. I was blown away. I had no idea.

When traveling around to most areas of the midwest and southeast, it is 
hard to scare up a conversation on any of the local FM repeaters. But 
jump to a D-Star repeater and you can talk to hams locally or around the 
world. Seems like D-Star gives amateurs a reason to get back on VHF and UHF.



On 1/6/12 2:05 PM, Stephen H. Smith wrote:
> On 1/6/2012 1:30 PM, Daron Wilson wrote:
>>> While the protocol is open, the CODEC is not.
>> Just for the sake of discussion, is there a P25 hardware codec available for
>> free?  (since P25 is an open non-proprietary protocol by definition)
> NO!
> Only part of P25 protocol is open.  The over-the-air digital transport 
> of the data stream, error correction, selective calls to other 
> station(s), group calls addressed to multiple other stations , setup & 
> handshaking for trunking modes, console-to-transmit-site interfaces, 
> etc are open standards.
> However, the "secret sauce" AMBE (Advanced Multi-Band Excitation) 
> codec used for voice coding/decoding   (that compresses analog voice 
> to a 4.8 or 2.4 kilobits/sec data stream in P25 systems)  is NOT!      
> It is the proprietary intellectual property of DVSI (Digital Voice 
> Systems Inc) who collects a royalty of anywhere from $20 to $100 PER 
> Further, manufacturers are completely free to add all sorts of 
> proprietary bells and whistles extensions to the basic P25 standard 
> for things like vehicle tracking, messaging, etc.  I.e. the error-free 
> transport and delivery of data packets may be open, but the contents 
> of the packets can be locked up in intellectual property patents.
> This is a somewhat similar situation to the $40 to $100 per unit 
> "Microsoft Tax" that every computer buyer pays if Windows is preloaded 
> on a PC.    The computer hardware is essentially an open commodity 
> standard (that can be built by anyone from piece parts if desired), 
> but you are most likely going to be stuck paying the Microsoft tax to 
> make it useable.
> Or the way HTML is an "open standard" on the Internet, but Microsoft 
> then uses the strategy of "embrace and extend" to add all sorts of 
> proprietary extensions to HTML that only work with the Internet 
> Explorer browser.
>> And...
>> Is there any thing about the JARL Dstar protocol that prevents someone from
>> developing their own CODEC solution?
> It also uses the AMBE codec.  In principle, one could reverse-engineer 
> the codec and homebrew a compatible piece of software.  However this 
> is criminalized in the US by the vile DCMA (Digital Millenium 
> Copyright Act) that makes it a Federal Crime to reverse-engineer 
> proprietary software.  Even if you create completely new code to 
> duplicate the same function.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
> Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
> Skype:        WA8LMF
> Home Page: http://wa8lmf.net
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