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Modems, codes, and the future of Digital Voice: 2017 DCC on HamRadioNow

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KN4AQ, Oct 19, 2017.

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  1. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

  2. KC9BUH

    KC9BUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    id'ing on fusion,you mean like id'ing,on jt65,rtty ,cw,packet,aprs,am,usb,lsb? just because you don't hear it doesn't mean it's not there.
  3. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you are hearing Digital Fusion from the Wires-X node, the call sign of the Wires-X node should show up as the repeater the calls you see are from. W8*YZ > K8*BC should flash back and forth with the K call as the node/repeater. If the node you are hearing is analog the node is supposed to put in the recorded voice ID or CW ID.

    If you see no Node ID along with the IDs of the folks in QSO, it might be an FCS reflector hot spot and not a Yaesu wires-x node. In that case the hotspot is to ID in CW. The aftermarket non-Yaesu Openspot hot spot IDs in True CW carrier wave, not FM audio CW tones and so you would need a CW radio to hear that device, or if a real Pirate, they could have turned the CW ID on the hot spot off. Yaesu C4FM Nodes and repeaters using the HR-200 node device require registration with Yaesu with your call sign, and force the ID into the data stream and you can see them on C4FM radios.
  4. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    ^ Edit to above as it wont let me edit it anymore. It seems the node info has changed since earlier software in nodes vs repeaters. The Node ID while in the data stream is not showing up on the display of the client radios like the repeaters do. The Node ID will show up when you connect with the "DX" button to identify the node Id. Try seeing if you can connect to the node withe the DX button.
  5. NK9Y

    NK9Y Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks again friend. As I sell the business to prepare for retirement, will be reading up on all of this. Plan to run the home shack off of internet, and am sure state of the art will change greatly in the next couple of years. The only repeater that comes across the screen is 120 miles away in Chicago, and I seldom hear any 2 meter repeater from that town out in the sticks. This signal is full scale all the time, and local rumors put the station across the river. I will put my all mode rig on cw for awhile, and give that a try.
    N3MLB likes this.
  6. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Also try holding down the "DX" button when a lapse in traffic happens to see if it will connect to the Wires-X HRI-200; if it connects its a Node and the ID should show up.
  7. NK9Y

    NK9Y Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ok, but the station appears to be off air right now. Perhaps he reads the zed. hihi
  8. N3MLB

    N3MLB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I've been spending the last month trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. Every YouTube video I've watched where the operator after a FM vs Digital QSO is completed, and then says how great the digital quality was (DMR, Fusion or whatever acronym you want to assign to it) makes me think there's something wrong with my computer. So I go to the next video and the same thing occurs. The quality of digital is exactly, and I do mean "exactly" like the early days of the Internet Telephone. If you've ever experienced the poor quality in the early days of RealPlayer and Internet Phone software, you know what I'm saying. I can't understand a word their saying. It sounds like someone has a stuffy nose.

    What also bugs me is, these manufacturers are have found an audience that's willing to buy them at some degree; where the rest are settling for cheap radios. Then I see Ham Nation and others push these rigs on people and some do. Great. That's all well in fine if you're into that. But for me personally, I refuse as many others do, to spend $500 plus on a handheld walkie-talkie. I don't care how many features you put in it (APRS, Text Messaging, Dual Monitoring) or multiple colors and variations of it. It still sounds horrible no matter how you slice it.

    Wow! Now I'm fired up. Back to HF.
    W2THC likes this.
  9. KN4AQ

    KN4AQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's one of David Rowe VK5DGR's goals for CODEC2. The performance part, at least.

    I'm not sure about the contesting part. Contesting with the DV mode might be more like contesting with PSK-31 than like SSB. You'd see a signal on a waterfall that could even have a call sign attached to it (and maybe decoding the voice using 'speech to text'), click on it and work'em. I don't know how well it would work to have DV signals falling all over each other like SSB. You wouldn't be hearing multiple voices, using your ears and brain to (try to) filter them and work one at a time. At least I don't think so, but who knows how the mode might shake out?

    Anyway, David's goal (and he's getting close, from what I hear), is to have FreeDV with CODEC2 degrade 'gracefully' when signals are weak and/or noise is high, relying on the ham to put the usable sounds together and ignore the garble, very similar to understanding weak signals on SSB.
  10. KN4AQ

    KN4AQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    I suppose validity is in the mind of the beholder, but here's what I like:
    • Zero noise. No picket-fencing, no hiss. 50 dB S/N all day, every day.
    • Embedded data. I can see call signs, GPS info (distance and direction to stations), short messages, etc. on my screen.
    • Embedded signalling and control. I can cause a repeater to link to another repeater or network using data I programmed into a memory.
    • Networking. Hams are going nuts with networks. This exists in FM as well, and they're pretty good when signals are strong, but the audio can really be bad if the repeater-builder didn't interface the network well, and when signals are noisy. The DV network audio is generally perfect end-to-end (but see 'R2D2 below).
    • The future. David Rowe VK5DGR, inventor of CODEC2, is working on a VHF version of FreeDV that will (he says) be 10 dB better than DMR, Fusion, D-STAR (due to bandwidth, and because the modulator will be tailored to the DV signal, not an analog FM signal). And he's working on a TDMA version that will allow an on-channel repeater (input and output separate by time, not frequency), so no duplexer. Uli at Wireless Holdings (the DV4 folks) says their DV4mobile will do that, too.
    And here are some things I don't like:
    • Fidelity. K2WH says "it sounds like crap." Well, not to me. But it could sound better. Yaesu's Fusion has the 'wide' mode that uses more data (more spectrum) and hams say it sounds pretty good. I played with some early Yaesu Fusion radios when I wrote a QST review, and I heard a little difference. I didn't try lots of 2-way with other hams, and better speakers. But the engineers seem to aim for 'communications quality' on DV and on FM, all the way thru the audio chain (mic, modulator, demod, audio amp, speaker). When I'm not trying to pull one out of the muck, I wouldn't mind a bit more broadcast quality.
    • Complexity. You can take an all-day class on D-STAR (I've recorded a couple on just to learn how to program and use a radio. A hamfest forum on DMR just gives the headlines. Is there a ladder or stairway to get hams over the wall?
      • You can start with a radio that a friend programmed and get on the air right away, then learn the details yourself over time.
    • Walled gardens. I don't think we should have 'just one' digital mode, because the engineers will keep developing better stuff. We should have SDR radios that can use most or all of the available modes, and be upgradable to add new modes, codecs, features. They won't cost $35 on Amazon... at least not for a while. Wireless Holdings has a radio in development that promises that, but it's way late in delivery. And it's $1200. But it's the first one. The next one will be cheaper. Flex... where are you?
    • R2D2. I'm told that ICOM deliberately set the D-STAR decoding level very low because (they thought) hams wanted to copy the weakest possible signals. So D-STAR repeaters (but not user mobiles and HTs) will emit a long string of garble when the repeater can't quite lock onto a signal (and for seconds after the signal is gone). Some of it can be really loud, and it's all annoying. This doesn't happen with DMR and Fusion. So in theory, a D-STAR system will work with weaker signals. Hard to tell in the real world.
    This is a pretty good list, but it's not exhaustive. I'm sure other hams who operate DV have something to add to both sides.

    As for the population being small... that's true. And it doesn't help that DV users are artificially segmented by the incompatible modes. OTOH, the easy, ubiquitous networking of the digital systems can bring plenty of traffic to a local repeater (I know, 'it ain't ham radio'... but plenty of hams are having fun with it).

    I hit ham radio in 1965. SSB was about 15 years old, and was still less than half the signals on most bands, despite having obvious advantages over AM (no heterodynes, smaller bandwidth, better signals with less power.. but it didn't sound very good and still doesn't). By comparison, FM works pretty well and has a huge installed base. The advantages I listed are intriguing, but not always compelling. They are not nothing.

    So, valid? They sure are to me.

    73, Gary KN4AQ
    KC9BUH likes this.

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