Icom gives 5 more D-Star repeaters to the WIA
Just over a month ago, the WIA announced the gift from Icom (Australia) Pty Ltd of a D-Star repeater to be located at Olinda in the Dandenong ranges, to serve the greater Melbourne area.
D-Star is a digital protocol developed by the Japanese Amateur Relay League (the JARL) and stands for Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio.
Now Icom and the Wireless Institute of Australia, concurrently with the official opening of the Olinda D-Star repeater VK3RWN, have announced the gift by Icom of 5 further D-Star repeaters to the WIA so that a D-Star repeater will be able to serve each of the other state capitals.
The experience in Melbourne has been used as the basis of formulating what is really a cooperative effort between a club, its individual experts, the WIA and Icom.
The WIA will consult with people in each state capital including the appropriate Advisory Committee to identify a club or group of clubs, supported by people with the necessary RF and computer skills, able to provide a suitable site and supply the ancillary equipment.
Icom will provide the D-Star repeater and provide general assistance, and will maintain and repair the repeater on a warranty basis for 6 years.
The WIA will licence the repeater and will meet the reasonable cost of broadband connection.
It is hoped that the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group in Adelaide will be able to establish a D-Star repeater to serve Adelaide under these arrangements, as the AREG group were already exploring the establishment of D-Star repeater with Icom.
The agreement between the WIA and Icom that forms the basis of these arrangements makes it clear that each D-Star repeater shall be open to all amateurs.
The WIA acknowledges with gratitude Icom's generous support.
Michael Owen VK3KI
Are you interested in learning more about Dstar and what this exciting new digital radio mode has to offer then visit the website http://ww.dtsar.org.au
And there is also a well established Australian Dstar news group, you can join the group from the link provided on the Dtsar website or by going directly to the following http://lists.wia.org.au/mailman/listinfo/dstar
Icom (Australia) Pty Ltd
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It seems that Icom has determined that in order to sell D-STAR radios, there has to be a repeater system in place to entice users to purchase their equipment. #More repeaters will encourage more radios sales. #
It is a win, win situation when the government and hams can use a radio system (albiet through the Internet) to communicate on a reliable basis and now Icom has found another way to sell their incredible product.
In 10 years D-STAR will be more popular than analog FM for VHF and UHF communication... IF ICOM can get the concept flying a bit longer and more creative folks can continue to expand on equipment and applications to make it even more appealing.
-- #Dear Icom,
If you are still giving repeaters away, we could use a pair of 1.2Ghz repeaters to augument the existing system we have in the area.
Originally Posted by [b
ICOM would cut the price of the add-on digital equipment in half.
Some other manufacturers would support the so-called "open" system.
The D* system had fully published open specifications without using proprietary CODECs or firmware so that it could be easily replicated.
OK, iCOM gives away repeaters that only work with iCOM supplied radios?
Icom currently charges ~$200 (HTs) and ~$350 (mobiles) more for a D-Star radio than the same non-D-Star radio. #Although I'm all for price cuts, I doubt that's what holds back the bulk of amateurs from getting a D-Star radio... but I'd concede I might be wrong here: amateurs historically are somewhat tight-fisted!
Originally Posted by [b
Yes, that would definitely help the standard gain acceptance.
Originally Posted by [b
I doubt the proprietary CODEC is going away any time soon -- the "problem" is that AMBE is pretty good, and so far attempts to replace it with an open alternative haven't fared so well. #It's really similar to, e.g., digital music standards -- there are some completely open standards such as Ogg Vorbis, but MP3 continues to dominate despite being a proprietary component requiring a license fee being paid to Fraunhoder for its use. #The D-Star standard itself allows any CODEC you feel like using -- but of course you need to get repeaters that support it, and as with MP3 there's so much momentum with AMBE that I think it'll stick around for some time.
Originally Posted by [b
Although potentially inconvenient for homebrewer, the fact that you have to pay DVSI for an AMBE CODEC is only different from paying, e.g., Analog Devices for mixers or Macom for power amplifiers in that it's a single-sourced component. #
Based on what people like Moe Wheatley are doing, I'm quite confident we will have homebrew D-Star systems either this year or next.
I couldn't even consider D-Star with the current ripoff prices in place.
IC-208H is $400 AUD ($350 USD)
ID-800 is $800 AUD ($700 USD)
It's a lot to pay for an extra mode that i hear from most local users is less reliable than FM over the same distance.
Localy, i have not met a satisfied D-Star owner yet.
Then again, i haven't met more than i could count on 1 hand, might be the price?
Don't mean to rain, just cant help being a bit sceptical.
If you'd like to sell more Fords, give away a lot of them.
There is NO plans to buy any D-Star equipment for my shack in the foreseeable future. Just too expensive. And I doubt that analog FM repeaters are going anywhere, just too many of them. And radios are cheap!!! There are 1 or 2 DStar repeaters on here but you can count on one hand the number of folks using them. The local DXers are the main users. I just cant get excited abt this mode. As for this mode becoming the ARES/RACES/EMCOMM standard..I dont think so. it will exclude LOTS of folks that can not or will not buy the high priced radios. Of course if the wannabees get on thats all that counts!!!
A bad day camping or playing radio is ALWAYS better than a good day working.
I am tired NOW! How come I have to RETIRE when I am older?
Yes the sticker price keeps most hams from owning any d-star equipment. That could be said about most equipment until there the reason for owning such expensive radios. I purchased a IC-D91AD from the shelby hamfest, cost $400. Alot of money for just 1 radio but inside that device holds alot beyond the price and glitter. This radio operates both analog and digital, digital data packet transmission up to 128 kbps, gps data. Main band A operates analog only while sub-band B digital or analog 2 meter / 70 centimeters. They put alot of technology inside this tiny package but perhaps still beyond the reach of those who cannot consider it for it's financial application. Going over the comparisons between analog verses digital has pros and cons. Digital offers a better bandwidth, current consumption but based on the current bandwidth offered for 2 meters and 70 centimeter with the advancement in narrowing the bandwidth would offer an increased in frequencies in the amateur bands. The interest in d-star just by talking with other hams who have added digital to their equipment has spoken for itself. Another mode additionally to the many we have in our amateur community and those who have like myself enjoy experimenting will decide for ourselves which is better. Hopefully south carolina will eventually join in the many states who have already both analog and digital repeaters and handhelds. I have been invited to join a membership of those in columbia and the low country who have an interest in putting up south carolina's first d-star repeater and currently considering both financial as well as the impact to the surrounding area that already offer analog repeaters. The results for either interests will be decided in the future of amateur radio but it's another mode of communications that is left up the amateur radio operator to decide.
Keith G. Wucherer, N2OBS
Echolink Station N2OBS-L
Echolink Node 99729
Repeater 146.865 MHz
Repeater 443.775 MHz 123.0 PL
Monitoring 145.67 MHz DV
Summerville, South Carolina
Ut Totus Alius Deficio
Sounds like they have learned from the razor manufacturing business. Low cost or free razors and then they stick it to you big time for the blades.