D-Star + DVMEGA = DV Hotspot

Ever since Hamvention I have been intrigued by digital voice and the ability to set up a Hotspot.  Like a WiFi hotspot, one could connect to the DStar network and connect with reflectors from something resembling a wireless AP.  Rather then transmit and receive the 802.11 standard maybe it could perform GMSK modulation on the 440Mhz, 70CM band.  This is very possible and luckily for us people have built Raspberry Pi images supporting this functionality.  The fine folks at dvmega.co.uk make a great kit for this.  Karl will even send one pre-programmed for those who aren’t comfortable using Linux or Raspberry Pis.

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Hamvention: New Toys and Learning to use them

The 2015 Dayton Hamvention is in the books!  It was a wonderful time.  This year truly proved the popularity and wild growth of digital forms.  Even in a hobby, one can relate the lessons learned to the workplace.  I’m quite fortunate, being a HAM and a Network Engineer I can really study both in tandem.

I finally have a good 2 Meter and 70CM kit!  I decided to splurge and purchase an ID-5100a giving me the capabilities of Digital Voice and hopefully soon Data.  I don’t see a problem with this “newfangled” methodology of radio.  The POTS line is dying and frankly maybe too should FM.  Digital Voice ushers in a new age of radio with less static and more efficient use of precious bandwidth.  In terms of business Digital Voice means replacing multiple DS3s with single OC circuits.  IT calls this Converged IP.  It’s here to stay so maybe the old HAMs need to embrace it.  It’s evolution and I believe it’s here to stay.

Where HAM radio falls behind the professional world is the lack of inter-operable communication methods.  Yaesu’s System Fusion and ICOM’s D-STAR are not able to talk.  Even being in the same family tree these two versions lack what FM will always enjoy.  DMR, P25 and other forms exist too in the professional space with walled gardens between vendors.  For the professional world the lack of is less of a big deal as businesses choose a single vendor for standardization.  In the Amateur world there must exist basic inter-operability.  A major purpose for HAM Radio is to perform public service.  In an emergency we as HAMs must be able to communicate.  If we cannot communicate, than we aren’t doing out job.  I hope the systems of future are inter-operable, without this functionality FM is here to stay alongside.

I can’t wait to send pictures using Data and Bluetooth.

73,

-WA8LIV