[amsat-bb] Re: D-STAR experiment on Cubesat

David B. Toth ve3gyq at amsat.org
Mon Jun 9 08:55:49 PDT 2008

At 01:59 AM 6/9/2008, Mark Vandewettering wrote:

>Sadly, it's basically impossible to make a software version which
>interacts with D-Star because of the fact that the vocoder they chose
>to use is encumbered by patents.   This is one of the principle
>reasons that I can't generate any enthusiasm for D-Star, despite
>having a number of interesting capabilities that would be useful for
>amateur radio.

Mark: I had raised some of the same concerns as you have, but let us 
put this into perspective.
We (hams) needed something in the form of a chip to go into portable 
radios. It already existed in the form of a chip that does AMBE, and 
it IS cheap (less than $20) ...

Even if ham radio had waited for an Open Source Vocoder, we still 
would not have it and certainly not in chip form.

Other manufacturers CAN get the chip, there is no lock on it. In 
fact, Kenwood makes a D-STAR radio in Japan, like the ID-1 ...

That being said, I know that Bruce Perens is pushing for an Open 
Source standard for HF and VHF (different ones if necessary) and I 
agree we should work towards that goal. That does not mean that we 
should categorically ignore D-STAR ... as others have pointed out, 
almost EVERY development in radio was patented, and in comparison, 
this is nothing. If I recall correctly, people had to pay royalties 
to build regenerative receivers, and that didn't stop anyone.

Your mileage may vary ...


Spencerville, OH

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