[amsat-bb] Re: D STAR is here to stay

lucleblanc6 at videotron.ca lucleblanc6 at videotron.ca
Wed Nov 13 11:12:50 PST 2013

Hi Gordon

I give you my answers in your text.

> Okay, sell it to me.  What do you learn from DStar?

A lot:

A new communication digital protocol who make me contact the world while driving my car and sending my GPS position (DGPRS) at the same 
time like you do with APRS we both take a learning curve at the beginning but DSTAR give you an always 100% interference/noise free audio 
always within RF signal path limitation who can be overcome in part by using more than 10 watts of output power. If a power limitation can 
be a limiting factor for you due to the foundation licence this will give you the an incentive to get the Intermediate Licence or the 
Advanced Licence to overcome any limiting power issues. If you already get your advance licence you are probably aware how effective a 
DSTAR signal is compare to an analog signal but even with 10 watts you are about 30KM from MB6ICS C DSTAR repeater and power should not be 
an issue for you.

Here is a video testing FM versus D-STAR in weak signal path.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyYhLtS-0gE

Aside of giving an incentive to discover some other side of amateur radio like HF SSB transmission DSTAR can now be used on HF as many 
other digital mode even on satellite you can just hear my first ever recorded DSTAR transmission on AO-27 on my web page  

The programming of a DSTAR radio is quite challendging but it is fascinating how a digital encoding can make your signal travel all over 
the world as an APRS signal do. It's not much different than programming an aprs header but it gives you the possibility to some sort of 
selective calling when you program your other station call sign letter lets say in Australia and the Gateway system lets you contact him 
instantanly with the same audio quality as a local station.

In an emergency situation the chat option is a very powerfull tool just see this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v--nSTCSO64
And some more info's regarding an emergency DSTAR station  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8dUJp0rc0g

>What's so fun about it?  As far as I can see, it's a sealed box with no real opportunity to experiment.

On this question i will anwer you first the reverse way eg: by a question. Show and tell me in any modern type of transceiver how you 
experiment and what you do for experimenting. In my own case i sometimes open the casing for some very minor mods and all stops there. BTW 
the DSTAR boxes are no more sealed than any other type of transceiver?

I still don't get your point here? And please defined what you find fun for you in Ham Radio? HF qso's? Satellite QSO's? VHF/UHF direct 
contact? Repeater rag chew? probably something else? Is it possible someone only simply wants to talk on his sealed box? Do you talk in 
your analog FM transceiver? or on your HF radio in ssb or CW? Do you have fun doing that?

Could be this link can be of some sort of interest: http://k7ve.org/blog/2010/06/converting-the-kenwood-tkr-820-to-use-with-d-star/
And also just check this: one  http://www.papasys.com/showthread.php?t=1418

> Being taken to court for building your own doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me, although I guess you'd learn a lot about patent law. 

No one yet has been taken to any court but when the time come for someone to build any processor with a patent codec without permission 
into a transceiver we will surely hear from the patent owner. My Icom 756 pro II is full of microprocessor and i never hear someone asking 
Icom to disclose the coding in those chips.

Now lets ask the real question: What in the world an amateur radio operator can be so disturb about a codec up to a point to losing sleep?
I think we are facing here the same argumenting when the CW requirement has been waived to be able to obtain an amateur radio licence. The 
last country who adjust his laws regarding DSTAR was France but many never change a bit of their laws. If this codec proprietary issue is a 
so great concern in the amateur radio world why any governing and communication ruling body never act on this before?

If it's not open for all it's against amateur radio spirit!!! Don't mix open communication protocol and proprietary codec. DSTAR is open 
for all the AMBE codec is not eg: AMBE is used in D-STAR amateur radio digital voice communications. It has met criticism from amateur 
radio community because the nature of its patent and licensing runs counter to the openness of amateur radio, as well as usage restriction 
for being "undisclosed digital code" under FCC rule 97.309(b) and similar national legislation .


 Openness of amateur radio:  Yes DSTAR is an open mode any hams can use it.

 "undisclosed digital code" under FCC rule 97.309(b) and similar national legislation: If any enough legal ground ever existed as i said    
 surely someone should have been acting on it long time ago.

Just bear in mind law is often behind technology.

I'm using DSTAR every day with icom and non icom gear and there is more and more non Icom device who appears on the market probably one day 
someone will develop a non icom chip with this infamous protected codec who seems to offend some OFFENDED virgin.

There is a big YES for: telephone, Iphone, Ipad and so on communicating devices who offer as much and much more communicating capabilities 
than what we have on amateur radio. I believe an HEO amateur satellite is the way to go LEO are not a sustainable way to go but i respect 
those who work on LEO i personnaly make a lot of contact on them. I don't like fox hunt but i respect those who enjoy to play hide and seek 
that's what they like on Ham Radio. And YES I can have an unlimited conversation with ZELLO on my I phone but i'm still making QSO'S on the 

What we don't hear often now is the argumenting about Ham radio contact through the internet is not a valid contact for any certificate or 
contest (Aside of a DSTAR contest...) Yes but should we scrap all our DSTAR radio? Many complaints has been voice in the past about the 
internet who was supposed to killed ham radio.  Now we have a new transmission mode who use internet to communicate with our radio but no 
one speak about that!!! YES internet is and will be more and more a part of ham radio like it or not and it enhance amateur radio actually.

There will be always pro and cons but Instead of argumenting about what ham radio should be and what is not, why not concentrating on what 
we like in this hobby. If you don't like it don't use it.

It was my answers to your questioning Gordon and i just hope it will help others too.

Luc Leblanc VE2DWE

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