Digital Voice

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KE7RUX, Jul 28, 2020.

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  1. KE7RUX

    KE7RUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Having used analog voice for basically my entire amateur "career", I am interested in your opinions and experiences using Digital Voice.
    I am looking into purchasing a system for conventional (non-internet) use.
    Having read several sporadic QRZ discussions or mentions on digital voice modes, I wanted to make a generalized post that encompassed all of digital voice with the focus of opinions and experiences.
    So far, I have personal experience only with P25 TDMA (Phase 2). I'm also aware of C4FM FDMA, DMR TDMA, D-STAR AMBE, NXDN FDMA, & TETRA TDMA, and I'm sure there's an infinite amount of digital voice modes you have used that I am unaware of.

    My concerns:
    1. Voice Digitization "Robot effect". Having used 2G TDMA on a cell phone, I know that these types of digital voice can sound like the natural voice. However, I can hear audible digitization in P25 Phase 2, and I've heard a friend's C4FM greatly digitize the voice audio. Does ham radio digital voice also come with gift of the audible digital?
    2. The argument that low quality analog is much more intelligible vs low quality digital

    Thank you & 73:)
  2. W5TTW

    W5TTW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What voice modes are available for amateur radio use? (I've never heard of it.)
  3. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    You just write this stuff to waste electrons right? Because you're right, only cbers use a voice mode. o_O
    K4AGO and W5TTW like this.
  4. M0IND

    M0IND Ham Member QRZ Page

    DMR is the cheapest to get into as it's a commercial standard with lots of manufactures producing everything from cheap Chinese radios to high quality Chinese or American radios.

    I find the voice quality good, but it will depend on their mic and voice.

    You will have a bit of a steep learning curve if you decide to program a radio yourself but I did it and it gave me a bit more understanding of how it all works.

    My .02$ worth!
  5. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a hard enough time getting my old fashioned analog stuff to cooperate, let alone delving into digital. You all that run that stuff have always amazed me. I think I would miss analog fade, among other things.

  6. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    FreeDV using Codec2 is well, free.
  7. N1VAU

    N1VAU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    For "conventional" use, use conventional FM.

    To my ears there's audio quality degradation in all the modes I've ever heard including P25, D-STAR, DMR and Fusion, as compared to good'ol wideband FM.

    My current digital voice mode favorite is Yaesu Fusion. Entry radios are reasonably priced. The mode sounds much better than D-star, is way easier to program, especially on the fly than DMR and pretty easy to use without the manual in your hands. It's made for ham radio!

    If you're not taking advantage of the wide coverage linking through the internet why bother with any of the digital?
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  8. G8ADD

    G8ADD Ham Member QRZ Page

    There has been a lot of discussion about DV modes on the SOTA reflector this year, because the annual SOTA Challenge includes dates for digital voice. After the first DV segment in March those who took part concluded that for simplex voice communication there was little or no advantage over traditional FM. One point made was that either DV is there or it isn't, borderline conditions for FM mean that you can copy with difficulty, the signal will be noisy and scatchy but readable, the same path at the same time DV was either inaudible or was audible in bursts as the path fluctuates.
  9. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    1. You can sure get what we call the "R2D2s," but keep in mind that if you were on analog, the signal would probably be unintelligible under similar conditions too.

    2. See 1.

    3. I don't know how you intend to use DV, but be aware that most of it is on VHF/UHF...there is some (infrequent) D-Star HF activity. Regarding VHF/UHF... If you don't want to use the Internet, you'll be limited to chatting on a local repeater just like with analog FM. You can connect to a Reflector with a local D-Star or DMR repeater, but <choke, gasp> it will be connecting to that Reflector over the Internet anyways, just like a hotspot would, so you might as well use a hotspot. ;)
    KJ5K likes this.
  10. KE7RUX

    KE7RUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    My purpose of using digital is not to take advantage of the wide coverage linking, but rather have a line of sight communications system for field use. I suppose I could use an internet hotspot via satellite...........:D
    With an analog system, the signal strength varies from S3-S7 depending on conditions. Since the antennas, coax, and equipment are as good as they're going to get given the circumstances, I'm looking into waveforms.

    WFM would be nice with the proper set up. I'm sure there are operators that have a rack full of equipment to run their F3E. I'm not that complicated, I just want one audio accessory, if possible.:rolleyes:.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020

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