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

John Gorkos jgorkos at gmail.com
Mon Jan 9 09:53:40 CST 2012

On Monday, January 09, 2012 09:29:02 AM Tim McDonough N9PUZ wrote:
> On 1/9/2012 9:17 AM, John Gorkos wrote:
> > <soapbox>
> > 
> > I am aware of no other situation like this in amateur
> > radio:  If you built an FM transmitter, then anyone in the world with
> > the
> > correct knowledge can build an FM receiver that converts your RF signal
> > into something anyone can receive.  Same for SSB, AM, even PSK31 or
> > WSPR.  I can think of no other transmission that is legally made on the
> > ham radio bands that I can't build a receiver or decoder for legally.
> Pactor III?

I'll grant you that.  OTOH, I know of no ARES groups or other emergency 
operations agencies that have entire operations plans built around PACTOR II 
or III.  But I think we've established that I really don't know MUCH, and it's 
possible there are entire emergency networks waiting to spring into action 
during the next Joplin Tornado/Hurricane Andrew/Fukishima Power Plant event 
and coordinate responses and get information to family members, etc. using 
You raise an interesting point, though.  PACTOR modems are extremely 
expensive, for no good reason other than that they are a proprietary, single 
source item.  There's no reason that Byon or Scott or one of our resident 
electroics gurus couldn't make a DSP based PACTOR modem for $100-$200, given 
access to the proprietary algorithms that SCS uses.  But SCS continues to 
charge outrageous prices for a fairly simple technology, limiting their 
penetration into the market.  Also, they have commercial entities willing to 
pay that much for the modems, for commercial uses, so they have no incentive 
to drop the cost.  How are DVSA and their AMBE chips different?  The chances 
that DVSI will raise the cost of AMBE is easily as good as the chances they'll 
lower it.  And I don't deny that they have a right to make money on their 
research.  Again, my core beef isn't with DVSI, or even ICOM, it's with the 
ARRL and ultimately the FCC, for allowing commercial interests to buy their 
way into amateur spectrum with proprietary compression algorithms that are de 
facto encryption protocols.

John Gorkos

> Tim N9PUZ
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