[amsat-bb] Re: Icom D-Star

Gregg Wonderly w5ggw at cox.net
Thu Apr 28 07:27:47 PDT 2011

One of the ways to look at the voice codec is as a "capacitor", "amplifier" or 
some other component of you circuit design.  Sure, it's single source, but if 
you are careful about how you put it in, you can provide a switched circuit, 
daughter board or some other path to alternative codecs.  It just depends on 
what your real desire is, and how complicated you want to make your system.
I.e; if you are worried about designing a system with a single source codec, 
don't design it that way.

Sure we have open systems, but we also have single source systems, like windows. 
  Many many people are content with saying, if it doesn't run on windows, I'm 
not interested in it because that's all they've ever used.  Or, even worse, I'm 
not supporting anything but windows because I don't know how to do that on 
Linux, or Mac or B-OS or...  Look at what is happening with Apple.  Every 
quarter they are reporting explosive growth in Mac sales (2x from same period a 
year ago for this past quarter) and other items.  That is completely single 
source stuff, but you can run windows or linux on a mac.  People are finding 
value in the package they see and are switching horses so to speak.

Everywhere in life we get to make choices, measure the good vs bad with our own 
skills and experiences etc. In the end, our choices and experiences are 
controlled if not limited by any decision we make.

Don't think about this from the single vendor perspective.  Think about this 
from the "what can I do with this technology" perspective that is that heart of 
HAM radio experimentation.

Clearly ICOM is now understanding that if you can't access a repeater with 
digital data services, then paying 2x the cost of an analog rig of the same 
caliber just doesn't make sense to most people.  Also, as this discussion has 
illustrated, some of us have no interest in the whole of digital coded data and 

Gregg Wonderly

On 4/27/2011 9:33 PM, Tony Langdon wrote:
> At 11:33 AM 4/28/2011, you wrote:
>> I'd like to point out that it's difficult, at best, to participate when
>> you can't "roll your own".  There are many codecs available out there
>> today that don't require purchasing a license to use.  The biggest
>> problem right now is that D-Star isn't backward compatible or you could
>> implement one of those freely-licensed codecs now and let people design
>> their own implementation.
> Tell that to the likes of G4KLX, KI4LKF, the ircDDB team, PA4YBR, the
> designers and builders of various GMSK modems, and even AA4RC and
> Moe, who designed the DV Dongle hardware (not to mention those who
> are building their own Dongles).  Sure, the codec is proprietary, but
> there are implementations available, from a bare chip (at around $20)
> to the DV Dongle for people to play with.  And there's a LOT of
> tinkering to be done without even decoding the audio, as many of the
> above people can attest to first hand.  As far as I'm concerned, this
> argument is a furphy.  There are open source implementations for just
> about everything else - gateways, repeaters, GMSK modem (using a
> soundcard), routing advertisements (ircDDB), everything except DPlus
> (though there is an open source functional equivalent - DExtra).
> 73 de VK3JED / VK3IRL
> http://vkradio.com
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