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.

1 comment:

James said...

I have a 2 page copy of a brochure in English for this radio. I'd put it up on my Google Docs and link it but I don't want to risk my Google account in case some stupid copyright infringement claim was made. (Though I would hope Yaesu would see it as free advertising) I could probably email it to you if you like.

The webcam idea is a new one on me, I hadn't heard that anywhere else. The USB port is also suppose to be used for firmware updates. I'm really hoping that Yaesu is going to open that up for user-made firmware that will allow people to add Codec2 and different protocols in the future.

I thought about trying to find some of the Digital PMR446 stuff once. I don't know if that could almost legitimately be considered encrypted communication given the relative difficulty of getting the equipment here in the states and the inability to decrypt the signals any other way. Very few people, if any, would be able to listen in on your communications.

The FT-1DR supports a text messaging mode so maybe it has more to do with the Tier II coverage than Tier I?