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

Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr) ldeffenb at homeside.to
Fri Jan 6 14:11:18 UTC 2012

This just reminds me of the moving beam barcode scanner patents and 
licensing from years ago.  Symbol owned the patent and manufactured 
barcode scanners.  They offered licenses to others, but what competitor 
in their right mind would tool up a manufacturing plant that paid 
royalties to their competitor?  So, everyone used Symbol's scanners.

Fast forward to Dstar.  iCom developed it and owns the rights.  I 
imagine that to appease the powers-that-be, they had to offer licenses 
so that they could call it "open".  But, again, what major equipment 
manufacturer is going to tool up and pay their direct competitor license 
fees for Dstar?  If anyone was foolish (aka stupid) enough to do so, 
iCom could drive them out of the market by dropping the price of their 
own equipment.  Remember, they can play numbers games such that they 
don't have to include license fees in the cost of their own radios, but 
their new competition still has to pay them.  iCom gets a win-win by 
having an "open" protocol that they are still marketing as a sole supplier.

Until a FREE and "Open" digital voice protocol hits the amateur bands, 
there won't be any real competition nor multi-vendor solutions, IMHO.

Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32

PS.  But what does Dstar have to do with APRS?  And is the new Yaesu 
digital voice radio going to be APRS-capable as well?

On 1/6/2012 8:57 AM, Eric Lorenz K9LGE wrote:
> Duffy,
> It is all about perception though...yes, Dstar is an 'open' protocol. 
> Yes, anyone can license and manufacture equipment for it. So who (of 
> the major ones) has done it? Icom. So yes, regardless of the 
> reality...Dstar *appears* to be an Icom protocol. All that has to 
> happen for that to change is for another manufacturer to get in the 
> game. It would *appear* though...that this is going to remain Icom's 
> thing for now.
> Eric K9LGE
> On Dec 29, 2011 7:59 PM, <duffy at wb8nut.com <mailto:duffy at wb8nut.com>> 
> wrote:
>     Icom gave away repeaters to help continue D-Star's growth. So what
>     is the
>     big deal with seeding equipment? Companies do it all the time.
>     The Codec is proprietary yes. The Codec is available to anyone on
>     a chip
>     for around $25 in quantity one. Buy more and I assume there is a
>     discount.
>      Our radios use proprietary chips all the time with proprietary DSP
>     firmware. P25 manufacturers use proprietary technology in their
>     radios.
>     >From what I have seen so far, D-Star radios are much less
>     expensive than
>     P25 radios.
>     What do we need cross-compatibility for with Public Service? You think
>     Police/Fire/Government are going to allow their systems to link to
>     amateur
>     systems? Hardly. And just like the differing P25 systems, the
>     manufacturers have allowed for interoperability, but I hardly think
>     government systems will tie into amateur systems.
>     Icom trademarked it to protect it. Just like WB4APR trademarked
>     APRS. No
>     one is charging anyone else to use those names.
>     D-Star is not an Icom protocol. It was developed by the JARL and
>     it is an
>     open technology available to anyone. Only the Codec is proprietary as
>     discussed before.
>     Duffy
>     www.wb8nut.com <http://www.wb8nut.com>
>     > If D-Star is such a raging success in the amateur market, why
>     was Icom
>     > giving away repeaters?  The codec is proprietary. It is not used
>     by any
>     > other radio service so there is no availability of equipment
>     with cross
>     > compatibility (for those amateurs who are authorized to use public
>     > safety frequencies, or have access to used PS equipment).  Icom
>     > trademarked the D-Star name, so how much are they going to
>     charge other
>     > manufacturers to use it?  I suspect D-Star will remain an Icom only
>     > protocol.
>     >
>     > Brian Clark, AG4BC
>     >
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