Monday, March 1, 2010

DV Access Point Dongle (DVAP)




Unlike the DV Dongle, the new product allows Amateur Radio operators to walk away from the computer and transmit/receive D-STAR voice and data using a two meter D-STAR radio..... The DVAP is basically a GMSK modem with a 10 milliwatt two meter transceiver built in.


This is more crap for hard core D-Star enthusiasts. As if paying $200 for a regular DV dongle wasn't insane enough, just so you could talk AMBE over the internet using your PC microphone and speakers... now you can pay that plus the price of a D-Star radio, just to talk on the precious D-Star network.

Why in tar-nation Robin, AA4RC wasted any time designing the DV Access Point Dongle is beyond me.

It seems more logical to promote the GMSK node adapter hooked to a real retrofitted analog radio. Converting analog repeaters to D-Star at a fraction of the cost seems like something I'd get behind. At least then more than one person can use it.

This is another toy... that to me was a huge waste of engineering time. I thought Robin was going to work on a complete open replacement for the $300 Icom D-Star gateway software, hence www.opendstar.org.

All that has resulted is an add-on called D-plus, basically written to augment the DV dongle that Robin sells.

The AMBE decoder should be at the repeater end. Then users who want to talk on D-Star over their PC's can stream their voice using an open codec (no dongle) to the repeater, at which point it can be converted to AMBE with a community dongle.

Who is steering the D-Star boat? Will the D-Star newsletter ever promote such ideas? Or is it a mere advertisement to aid Icom and Robin in their financial endeavors?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

IMHO, AA4RC sold out the DVAR network community. Rather than doing something useful to truly advance DVAR such as lead an open-source effort to produce an open gateway (something he clearly could have done), AA4RC chose to not rock the yen boat so he could turn a quick profit on his toys. opendstar.org should be renamed to dvartoys.com.

Bob K0NR said...

I just picked up a DVAP and find it to be a nice add-on to the D-STAR network. No, it doesn't do everything for everyone....it basically gives you a pico-powered D-STAR hotspot. Oh, and it actually works. The last time I looked at the GMSK node adaptor, it was bogged down with IP issues.

I think Robin AA4RC created something useful. If you don't care for it, it is your right to not buy it :-)

73, Bob K0NR

kb9mwr said...

My point is for the $300 you could retrofit an analog repeater for D-Star. That way, more than one person can benefit from the $300 investment.

Anonymous said...

Well that is amateur radio for ya, Everyone wants to make a quick buck!

Rob W7GH said...

I hear what you're saying, that Robin could have developed a system that had an extra codec on the computer end, so that people wouldn't need a piece of hardware to connect over the internet.

Personally I don't have any problem with what Robin developed. He developed dplus for nothing, which was a tremendous improvement to D-STAR, and I think that he deserves our respect for that. Sure Robin makes money when people buy pricey Dongles and DVAPs. What's wrong with him making a living? I doubt that he's getting rich doing it.

Anybody that doesn't like Robin is free to not buy anything from him. Anybody with enough skill and motivation could make and sell such a piece of hardware containing a codec that would plug into a gateway computer to allow anyone to connect over the internet.

Eventually D-STAR (or a competing system) will take off, competitors will enter the market, and the hardware will get cheaper.

73 de Rob W7GH