Re: D-Star/Icom 5100 ?


Wa4kfz
 

Andy,

Welcome to DSTAR. DSTAR is alive and well and doing nicely in the world of amateur digital communications.

Most DSTAR users still focus on DV mode. The digital data stream is still primarily GPS-derived position data and user messages that scroll across the screen. Only occasionally have I heard of any real use for digital data modes. Most recently, I have seen DRATS used for large events such as the Marine Corp Marathon, but the growing interest in HSMM and the like has begun to cut into the digital data aspect of DSTAR. There is some DSTAR on HF activity, but it's primarily conducted during weekly nets or when people list their spots on web sites.

The nice thing about DSTAR is all of the experimentation that has come to the market in recent years. There are now several options available for DSTAR hotspots and DV adapters (DV Dongles). DSTAR allows you to access the network in multiple ways, which really adds to its power and versatility. The list of DSTAR-compatible reflectors also continues to grow. ircDDB has also improved access to the DSTAR trust servers.

The DSTAR community is waiting (with great anticipation) for the release of a Kenwood radio that will support DSTAR. Hopefully more news will be released closer to the Dayton Hamvention.

Yaesu Fusion has made some inroads, but not necessarily in the DV market. When Yaesu offered $500 repeaters, many clubs bought the repeaters as replacements for their existing analog machines. Only recently has Yaesu offered a "stable" version of their WIRES X interface that would allow a repeater to be connected to the internet. Some people have purchased Fusion-compatible radios but, without the WIRES X interface, communications are confined to simplex or repeater-only operation.

DMR has shown growth as well, but I foresee challenges. DMR Is an offshoot of commercial systems that work with a repeater-centric configuration. There have been a few recent hotspots on the market, but they are not compatible with the DMR MARC system which is focused on Motorola equipment.

The plethora of multiple DV systems has left hams confused as to how to chose "the right one" when looking to buy a radio. It's probably going to take a few more years for hams to begin to coalesce around one standard and make DV as commonplace as analog FM.

The future looks bright for digital voice technology in ham radio!

73,

Mark WA4KFZ

---- "'Andrew O'Brien' k3ukandy@gmail.com [digitalradio]" <digitalradio@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Took me years to get in to D-Star, but I finally got around to adding a
Icom 5100 to the repertoire this week . It has been a long time since I
tried digital voice, way back when using Peter G3PLX's work with the MELP
codec! That was HF of course.

Anyway, I am wondering if any others here are using Dstar or have a 5100
? Also wondering about data communication via D-STAR rather than just
simply DV. Anyone doing anything innovative ?

Andy K3UK

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