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Has digital voice fulfillled its promise to "bring life to dead repeaters everywhere"?

Discussion in 'Survey Center' started by KC2SIZ, May 15, 2020.


Has digital voice fulfillled its promise to "bring life to dead repeaters everywhere"?

  1. Yes, it has.

    1 vote(s)
  2. No. People use the internet to access reflectors / groups....not repeaters. DV is a repeater killer.

    32 vote(s)
  3. I don't know.

    25 vote(s)
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  1. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have many local rptr freqs programmed in my scanners and hardly ever hear anything on 2 M and hera a digi moce on 440 now and then.
    All the Tech licensees are on HF now trying to work DX and the V/U FM rigs are gathering dust.
    K0UO likes this.
  2. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    They can't make anyone buy the radios.

    If people see value in them then they will buy. If there's no value then there's plenty of FM radios to buy. I'm sure that the same was said of FM long ago, that the radio manufacturers were just looking to make money on new hardware because the new FM radios were not compatible with AM.
    K3XR likes this.
  3. G0KDT

    G0KDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The C4FM repeaters, there are 2 in receive range are simply an irritating 'farting' noise while scanning 2m or 70cms here.

    Most that use digital locally use hotspots, reduce power to 1w or less and use a dummy load for an antenna.

    I played with digital, simply because it was in the IC9700, and to find something to play with (assembling the hotspot) during lockdown. Now the hotspot is a paperweight and isn't used.

    Repeaters were killed off more by CTCSS and losing the ability to simply scan find a repeater while travelling or mobile and use it without needing internet to lookup offsets and tones etc.

    I simply don't see the point of the other added aprs stuff with digital, that simply seems to have fragmented what ax25 packet once delivered.

    The lack of consistency driven by the 4 modes c4fm, dmr, dstar and p25 further fragments users. Transcoding seems a total mess with zero clarity clarity and control leading to what seems like anarchy linking reflectors, (ysf) rooms and other nodes together in aconfusing disfunctional way that I can't be bothered to faff with trying digital unless I am really bored.
  4. W5UAA

    W5UAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are several protocols on the internet that "auto negotiate" codecs for the best possible one given the bandwidth currently measured. Easy peasy. Just double click it and wait a second or two. Then it works. Most people are unaware of the "auto negotiation" that happens. And we accept the momentary frozen video, the occasional broken audio and occasionally the spinning hour glass.

    The ham digital voice modes today are different in that the codecs and framing are chosen for you based on which one you want to try based on what your fellow hams are saying and doing.

    Fusion, DMR, DSTAR and a couple of other lesser known digital voice modes are your current choices. In my area, there are repeaters, each one, that does only one of these. (DMR-MARC, not Brandmeister) So someone goes out and buys a radio that does one of these. Figures out the "code plug" or "programming" and talks on it. I don't know how much talking there is. I hear the screeching sounds occasionally and that's all I hear. When I hear a screeching sound on my scanner, I delete that frequency from the scan list.

    I refuse to buy all three (or four) radios so I can participate in all three (or four) digital voice modes. I'm an Icom guy and I even refuse to buy an Icom radio that does DSTAR. If it does DSTAR, that's a deal killer for me. (So, I'm no longer an Icom guy now?) I make this choice on a matter of principle. Currently, the digital voice modes are only dividing the local ham community. If you don't participate in the digital voice mode of choice of a club, you're functionally cut out of that club.

    So, in answer to the original question of this thread, from what I see, digital voice is just creating more dead repeaters every where.

    Back on my original point: Until a manufacturer creates a radio that will "auto negotiate" the digital voice mode its hearing, I'm staying away from all three (or four... or five...) As with many other electronic devices today, you update the firmware as the protocols migrate. A radio with updatable firmware as the digital voice modes migrate is not outside the state of technology today. So why hasn't this happened yet? When I mention some protocols are proprietary, some people are quick to say no they're not. So, again, I ask, why haven't we seen a radio come on the market that does "VHF/UHF ham digital voice modes" with "auto-negotiate"?

    (I would buy ONE of these radios.)
    G0KDT and VE3CGA like this.
  5. W2TXB

    W2TXB Ham Member QRZ Page

    As was Flex. ;)

    Much of the audio quality issues and problems with digital voice modes are similar to those which have existed with the analog voice modes... (too) many folks do not use their readios' menus to set up their transmit and receive audio to best advantage. Many do not adjust the transmit audio gain sufficiently high, so those listening are forced to "ride the pot" (constantly adjust their receive volume). The first thing I did with my ICOM (ID-51/5100 transceivers was to set the mic audio gain at "3" (default is "2"); that brought much better audio reports. Then, I opened up the bass and treble a bit on transmit and receive to make everything sound better and more effective.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
  6. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was gonna go digital but bought a hamfest digital radio that was "taken out of service still working" by some ham. I eventually fired it up at home and before I could do much it went all wonky. Sent to mfr repair and it was rated beyond economical repair so I let the shop keep it for spare parts to nullify the assessment fee. The fact that it was such a complicated radio is part of the reason it was too expensive to fix. Like needed a board worth more than the radio.
  7. K8BZ

    K8BZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Couldn't agree more. The only packet activity in my area are malfunctioning Pi based JNOS stations being installed in remote locations and then completely ignored by the installers/sysops. Semi functional is the best I have ever seen, and they are a minority.
  8. G8FXC

    G8FXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Around here (southern England), it has produced a small increase in repeater activity - but nothing dramatic.

    I have to say that I'm always puzzled by all the criticism of the audio quality - we are not commercial music broadcasters, you know! Amateur radio is all about communication - a couple of kHz bandwidth and distortion less than 10% is good enough!

    Martin (G8FXC)
  9. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good enough for some, offensive to others.

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