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Wide Bandwidth Digital Danger

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W6EM, Dec 25, 2018.

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  1. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    "Boating Bogeyman" is similar to the "CB Bogeyman". Some hams love to ruminate about non-existent problems.
    WZ7U likes this.
  2. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back to the original issue - I know hams fall over dead at the thought of "channels", but maybe wideband HF data needs to be corralled into a channel or 3????
  3. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    It may surprise you, but, ... most of those "Boating Bogeymen" are not on the water at all.
  4. KB9MWR

    KB9MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do you have an alternative idea on how to address the regulation problem them? Technology is progressing faster than regulations can be changed. It's unacceptable/detrimental to leave the Part 97 language the way it is.

    Just because something is openly documented doesn't mean other companies will not obey any intellectual property rights that might exist. They would still fear being taken to court.

    As I mentioned APCO required an open spec (even on the IMBE vocoder) for P25 dating back to the early 90's. (Research TIA 102 Series Documents - so it did already happen) This is precisely how DSD/OP25 was figured out. From the spec. There was intellectual property on IMBE till a few years ago, as well as all the IP Motorola has/had on the various trunking technologies.

    BTW: The newer Icom D-Star radios don't have the AMBE chip. They have since entered a licensing agreement with the IP holder and implement in software on a generic DSP chip that now does the vocoding and other things. Thusly taking up less space inside of the radio.

    Frankly though, I am not concerned about the commercial aspects. I just want to see the rules changed so we can monitor each other/keep each other honest etc. The fee for the hardware AMBE approach is not insurmountable. But Pactor 4 is.
    N0NB likes this.
  5. W3WN

    W3WN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    No, sorry. The lack of articles, or of any evidence, is only proof of... a lack of articles or of any evidence.

    So there is no evidence at all then? Nothing?
  6. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    PACTOR IV is a transmission protocol, not data encoding like AMBE or IMBE. The WINLINK data would still not be 'man readable' if it were sent over Packet radio protocol, because the WINLINK messages are sent as compressed binary objects. That's part of it's speed advantage. Even if it were sent as plain ASCII text, it would probably not be that easy to decode due to the ARQ nature of the transmission methods.

    The problems you all enumerate for PACTOR IV also exist for PACTOR 1 - 3 for the same reasons - the data is not ASCII.

    PACTOR I, II, and III are publicly documented, and I think IV is, as well, though it's not clear to me if there is enough information to reverse engineer it. IV is described as an enhancement to III. WINMOR is fully documented.

    Again, it doesn't matter to me. I won't be buying a Dragon modem for $1,500 so I can do WINLINK. WINMOR or ARDOP work just fine for my needs.

    I find it hard to believe that a lot of people would get the Tech license in anticipation of something they might never be able to use. If they can afford the marine radio, at $1200, and the $1500 for the PACTOR IV modem, I can't see them putting in the effort to get a Tech ticket just to avoid the minor cost of SAILMAIL. In truth, I have had a few Tech students who were sailors, and wanted to get their ham tickets before going on a long voyage - and I know they upgraded to General, too. But they already had SAILMAIL. If you object, call Gordon West - he is the 'sailor whisperer' of ham radio. My sailors all learned about ham radio from Gordon. If you look at his web site, you will see that his wife also coordinates Marine radio licenses for ships and land stations.

    And if it is done as one, continuous effort, the General is only slightly more work than the Tech.
    KX4O likes this.
  7. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think we could use some changes and updates, I don't want to see us (hams) restricted because of intellectual property issues. AMBE isn't an insurmountable cost, but I agree, Pactor 4 might be. But where do you draw the line? When RTTY first was allowed, you needed some heavy equipment and space to get on the air. Today, receiving RTTY is pretty trivial. One could argue that the high entry costs for an RTTY station (back in the day) was/is the same issue we're seeing with Pactor-4. I wouldn't be surprised that a few (or more than a few) stations would stream received Pactor-4 QSO's for this very reason. I would support a station/website that did nothing but publish all the e-mails that it received for anyone to view - that would make folks think twice about using it for anything but ham related uses!

    I like the idea of everything published and easily available, but that's just not how the world works. If we make rule changes that force this issue, I suspect hams will be left out of a lot of innovations that happen in the commercial world.

    So, how many folks are really going to go thru the trouble of setting up an HF station, with a $1500 modem just to send e-mail with (hopefully) zero security and several legal issues to watch out for, when they can buy a $500 Iridium hot spot and e-mail more reliably and securely with a device that fits in their briefcase?
    NL7W likes this.
  8. N0NB

    N0NB Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think a lot of the opposition is the "regulation by bandwidth" boogeyman. I think most hams are unsure of what would happen if the present band segments by mode in the USA were removed. Some are likely concerned that the bands would be quickly overrun by digital modes, but I doubt that would happen in practice. No question there would be an adjustment period and then I suspect that things would settle down much like they are now. 160M doesn't get overrun by one mode or another though there is some give and take during the couple of major CW contests and the lone major phone contest. I think some of this apprehension stems from a perception the US amateurs are a bunch of undisciplined rubes. A few are, most of us are not.

    As for the FCC and Pactor IV, I, for one, don't believe for a second that the FCC cannot receive Pactor IV transmissions for monitoring purposes. $1500 is chump change as far as the feds are concerned.
    KX4O and WZ7U like this.
  9. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    WINLINK is not SSB although it requires an SSB transceiver to operate. For most boaters, VHF is all that they need for voice communications and I can certainly see why a significant number of those persons feel that having SSB on board vessels where such is required is not deemed to be, basically, useless. However, for those vessels that go out of range of VHF, then there is a need.

    If the bandwidth changes are accepted, even if the Technician Class licensees do not have their privileges expanded, having a unit capable of communicating with WINLINK, allowing Internet access, then becomes an asset rather than an albatross. Of course, a General Class license would have to be obtained instead of the beginning Technician Class license.

    With the instant gratification mindset of many people these days, having to get a General Class license would deter a lot of people whereas getting a Technician Class license would appeal to the masses.

    Where the cost of Sailmail is concerned, if there is a way to reduce, even eliminate, this expense, you can be assured that there will be a LOT of people who will get on the bandwagon. As I posted before, it doesn't matter how much an individual spent on the boat, the majority, probably vast majority, will go through all sorts of hoops to reduce the operating costs.

    Remember, in general, a boat is a hole in the water into which money is regularly thrown and an airplane is a hole in the sky into which money is regularly thrown. I have never owned a boat. However, I did own a small airplane for a while and, as such, have experience in these matters!

    Glen, K9STH
  10. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is my shack, I am aware of the cost of boat stuff - and so is my wife :eek:
    I cannot imagine there is even ONE person "holding out" for more technician privileges. How hard is it to do a few more free online test reviews?

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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018

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