Sunday, May 20, 2012

Yaesu Digital?

Back in September 2011 at the Tokyo Ham Fair Yaesu presented a new line of digital ham radios. Then a short time later in late 2011, a new page on the Yaesu website titled "The Dawn of Digital Communications in the Amateur Radio World" appeared.


So here it is, a FT-1DR:


Their PDF talked a lot about C4FM. So many hoped they'd use IMBE and let it work with P25 gear.

They also talked about DMR (compatible with MotoTRBO), and we know the Vertex Standard branch does have DMR radios like the VXD-720 DMR HT.

However, there are 3 tiers in the DMR standard (described in ETSI technical standard TS102 361):

DMR Tier I products are for license-free use in the 446MHz band.

Under Tier I, ETSI has also defined two Tier-1 protocols:

DMR Tier-1 protocol utilizes 12.5kHz FDMA <---- br=""> dPMR protocol utilizes 6.25kHz FDMA

Both protocols provide for consumer applications and low-power commercial applications, using a maximum of 0.5 watt RF power. With a limited number of channels and no use of repeaters, no use of telephone interconnects, and fixed/integrated antennas, Tier-1 DMR/dPMR devices are best suited for personal use, recreation, small retail and other settings that don’t require wide area coverage and advanced features.

DMR Tier II covers hand portables, mobiles and base stations operating in the VHF and UHF allocations for PMR.

The ETSI DMR Tier-2 standard is targeted to those users who need spectral efficiency, advanced voice features and integrated IP data services in licensed bands for high-power communications. ETSI DMR Tier-2 calls for two slot TDMA in 12.5 kHz channels.

DMR Tier III products will support trunking operation.


Most savvy hams are familiar with Tier-2. This is what the above mentioned Vertex/Standard VXD-720 uses, as well as MotoTRBO.

According to a Yeasu FT1D sales flier picked up at Dayton :

C4FM 12.5 KHz FDMA.

Peak data transfer rate 9.6 kbps.

It can send a 320x240 pixel picture using a camera speaker mic. (as eluded to on the universal radio page)

It takes 20 seconds to send the picture over the air at 320x240, and 4 seconds at 160x120.

Because of display limitations, it can only save it in JPEG format to the Micro SD card slot on the camera. It can't display it on the radio itself.

What is interesting is the radio has a USB connector. This is for accessing the camera speaker mic as a webcam, and for firmware updates.

So in effect it's not really compatible with anything other than the cheesy radios designed for the license free PMR 446 band in Europe. But never fear, keep your anticipating eyes open for the Yaesu radio that will be compatible with Tier-2 DMR:

---From Page 14 of the Yaesu PDF---
At this point in time, Vertex Standard believes the C4FM (4-level FSK) FDMA or TDMA are the most suitable selections for Amateur radio applications. In early 2012, we will release a C4FM (4-level FSK) FDMA Handy-Talky and a Mobile transceiver into the Amateur radio market.

After our initial introduction, we plan to introduce a C4FM (4-level FSK) TDMA (2 slots) or TDMA Handy and Mobile transceiver into the Amateur market.

This is from page 15 of the Yaesu pdf.   The receiver audio output is the same as the IC-92.  And that is my biggest grumble with the IC-92.  In digital mode you better be in a quiet room, close to your radio.  In analog, however the audio out is okay.

Friday, May 18, 2012

UDR56K-4 Universal Digital Radio

http://nwdigitalradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/UDR56k-4.pdf

Quote:
UDR56K-4 New Product Release
Posted on May 18, 2012

For Immediate Release

NorthWest Digital Radio Announces New Universal Digital Radio at Hamvention® 2012

Dayton, OH – NW Digital Radio introduced the UDR56K-4 Universal Digital Radio at the annual gathering of Amateur (Ham) Radio enthusiasts. The radio, which has been designed to support digital data and digital voice needs of both amateur radio emergency service teams and digital radio experimenters The radio will support data rates from 4800-56K+ bps with selectable modulation methods including GMSK, FSK, and 4FSK. The UDR56K will operate in the 70cm band (420-450 mHz.) at up to 25 watts.

Bryan Hoyer (KG6GEU), President of NW Digital Radio said, “The UDR56K is a radical departure from legacy commercial radio offerings and brings a new, open platform, to the Amateur Radio community by providing a stable, integrated, software managed radio for digital communications combined with a tightly integrated Linux based computing platform in a compact package.”

The radio, which measures 4×6 inches and is topped with an eye-catching red colored heat sink, has none of the usual switched, knobs, dials, buttons, or switches. It has one Ethernet jack, four host USB ports, power, and antenna connections. All radio functions are controlled by software, using either a web browser interface or custom application.

NW Digital Radio has already integrated the Radio Messaging System (RMS) and D-STARi gateway and controller software. They are also in talks with noted software developers to provide additional digital radio protocols and applications on the UDR56K platform. Common Linux applications are easily installed using package management tools or may be compiled for the radio. Some applications of interest to the amateur radio community have already been tested, such as AX.25 networking, gpsd, Xwindows, bluetooth integration, wireless 3G/4G broadband, USB sound, and others.

“As we have talked to amateur radio operators, who are interested in digital communication for emergency communication or the development of new protocols, vocoders, and networks, there has been universal excitement fot the UDR56K,” according to John Hays (K7VE), Director of Marketing. Mr. Hays further noted that “Many have said, ‘can we pay now, to be at the front of the line?’”

Mr. Hoyer added, “We think we have a winner in this design, and anticipate a series of new products from our company. We want to build on the resurgence of ‘do it yourself’ activity. We will put the Amateur back in Amateur Radio!”

This device is not offered for sale, pending certification and approval by the FCC.

The UDR56K-4 has an anticipated release in the 4th Quarter of this year, with a target MSRP of $395.

For more information contact:

Bryan Hoyer, CEO
kg6geu@NWDigital Radio.com

John Hays, Director of Marketing
k7ve@NWDigitalRadio.com

NW Digital Radio Corporation is incorporated in the State of Washington.
Friday Harbor, WA

D-STAR is a protocol of the JARL and is also a trademark of Icom Corporation.



I am glad to see things like this.

Pitty they are limiting themselves with the current FCC data constraints. I wonder if the speed would be upgradable if those change or for foreign markets.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More Band Plans and Comments

The ARRL just released a draft of their proposed 13cm (2.3/2.4 GHz) band plan.

They have been soliciting planned and projected uses of the amateur bands between 902 MHz and 3.5 GHz.

I applaud the effort, as this is long over-due.



You only have a few days left to comment on FCC proceeding number 12-91.

The FCC is asking for input on a number of items, including regulations governing data transmission that inhibit public service/emergency communications by Amateur Radio:

"Commission Seeks Comment on Emergency Communications by Amateur Radio and Impediments to Amateur Radio Communications" Dated April 12, 2012:
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/index.do?document=313370

Submit comments here by May 18th:
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/display?z=bmjqh

To look at what others have submitted, search for proceeding number 12-91 http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment_search/input.action?z=a5tml

If you don't plan to comment, then I at least encourage you to read what others have commented. Pay special attention to anything submitted from anyone in a leadership role (division director, frequency coordinators, club presidents, etc). These folks are supposed to be speaking on behalf of the amateur community.

Don't forget to thank them if they have done their part, or remind them if they haven't. Remember, things work better with input.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

5 MHz bandwith support for OpenWRT

A number of you are experimenting with 802.11 OFDM on 70 cm with the Doodle Labs DL-435-30 and/or Xagyl XC420M.

I've been asking around on this, and here is what I've been told:

1) Check out the openwrt code and set up the build environment:

http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/buildroot.exigence

Use this SVN repository: svn://svn.openwrt.org/openwrt/tags/backfire_10.03.1

2) Build the openwrt code and make an image:

http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/build

3) Install the image:

http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/generic.sysupgrade

Patch reset.c as follows, either using this patch or by editing it directly:

https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=27630


4) Rebuild the openwrt code and make another image.

5) Install the image on two APs and it should work!