[amsat-bb] Re: Icom D-Star

don donmc at xtra.co.nz
Fri Apr 29 01:23:51 PDT 2011

Hi Greg,
         Sorry to say this, but your analogy to "just another component" 
is plain wrong. The vocoder cannot be replaced by another generic 
component as far as I can ascertain. I cant' even find the algorithms 
that would allow me to program a DSPIC or fpga at home in my meager lab 
to perform any of the functions in the codec.
If they are available (I have searched the US patent office records and 
came up with nothing of substance) please point me to the information 
that I could use to produce my own version for "one off, private use, 
that a competent artisan could make" from the patent office application.
Taken from your own patent office's requirements for a patent to be granted.
I'm certainly not against using modern technology in ham radio, but if 
it is to be used, all aspects of the technology should be on public 
display, so  any one "could":
1: Understand how the technology worked
2: Attempt to build something or code something that would enable them 
to communicate using the technique.
3: Advance the "art" by understanding and may be even using the latest 
I have no problems with the use of "digital" systems on the ham bands, I 
use FLDIGI for receiving all sorts of signals, and have modified the 
open source code (waterfall) for a totally different interest.
I could do this because the information was freely available.
On another, probably more contentious, issue that you raised you 
mentioned that of operating systems! and choices.
As you so correctly pointed out most people don't care, and probably 
wouldn't even know what system was giving them their internet access or 
email or poetry writing ability or photo sharing or.....

Isn't ham radio a little different?
Are we not interested in the nuances of the closed source versus open 
source systems that we may choose to use?
I certainly know where my interest is, and it is most certainly not in 
closed source systems.
Want to know a recent reason why closed source software is a 
REALLY,REALLY bad idea? Try Googling Stuxnet and then follow the leads 
from there.
Really scary, if you live in a country that uses an internet based 
control system...USA,GB, France, Italy, Germany,etc
Open source, or at least scrutiny would have identified the stupidity of 
global passwords and non changing access passwords!

  Another point that you inferred (and I could be wrong here) that we 
should accept and use commercial systems (DSTAR?) because they are 
available and are being pushed (hard) by one....ONE ONLY... manufacturer 
, well I don't subscribe to that mindset.
I fully understand that JARL instigated this system for their own 
reasons, but I fail to see why the rest of the world should be captive 
to a system that has to use closed source components to function.
Which is where we started I think.
Cheers and (open source wishes!)


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