Digital Ham for Trails | Ham Radio | Forum

Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

ChatBubble
Digital Ham for Trails
October 29, 2018
2:39 pm
Avatar
Newbie
Members
Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
October 21, 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I am getting more and more into the idea of digital voice for my Jeep. I have been researching a lot about D-Star, Fusion and DMR. Of course it is a lot of arguing back and forth about which one is better and claiming one is dead and the others are better. I haven’t seen any information about the use of either DV mode while on the trails.

I like the idea of having the digital modes tell you location and direction of the calling station, along with the call sign right on the radio screen. Whether or not this is as useful as it seems, I have no idea. Obviously the downside is the calling station must have the same digital mode as you to use these features. This may be something that can happen in clubs or groups of friends who wheel a lot together. 

Does anyone have any experience with digital out in remote areas? We have a lot of D-star and Fusion repeaters around, but I have no way to know how much chatter is on them, or what kind of coverage they have in the mountains, without purchasing a radio that can use them. 

 

KC5CD

November 19, 2018
8:00 am
Avatar
Sacramento, CA
Admin
Forum Posts: 72
Member Since:
June 8, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Good questions!

Digital is relatively new in the ham radio world. It is working out AMAZINGLY well in the HF bands, but repeaters are slow to be adopted. IMO digital is awesome, and soon (next 10 years or so??) it will be the default repeater communication mode. There is just so much more funationality that you can get out of digital vs analog.

There are 2 main issues with digital that we are going to have to figure out… one of which you already referenced.

1) is that there is no 1 system for all. There are currently something like 4 prevailing digital repeaters DMR, System Fusion, D Star, bridgecomm. And since ham radio isn’t regulated, and hams get to do whatever we really want… I don’t know if there will ever be a common digital type. It will be up to the consumers to choose which one they want to use. As far as I know (and don’t quote me on this, because I haven’t looked into it much yet because I want the market to stabilize itself before I make a decision lol), system fusion can’t talk to D Star. So, if you get a fusion radio, then you won’t be able to talk to d star repeaters, and vice versa. If someone else has info and/or confirmation on this, that would be awesome.

2) The old debate of digital vs analog. As you reach the edge of a repeater’s coverage, analog repeaters will picket fence their signals. That means the signal is very weak, and it comes through your radio as a broken signal (it sounds kinda like driving by a picket fence). Even though the signal is faded, and broken from being weak, our brains will still tend to put together words and assemble the incoming message, even though we may not hear all of it. With digital, you will get a nice, clean, crisp, clear signal ALL the way to the edge of the repeater coverage. However, once you go beyond the edge, the signal just drops without warning. So, if you are not paying attention, you may lose track of the repeater if you are relying on it for communications. You may also think that there is something wrong with your radio, or that you didn’t program the repeater properly. With analog, you can usually at least get a courtesy tone back if the repeater registers your signal. It may not be able to pick up your voice, but at least with the courtesy tone, you can know that your radio is configured properly. If you are beyond that coverage edge on digital, you get nothing, nada, non.

If you want to try out digital without going “all the way” yet, there are some decently priced handhelds from TyT, I wouldn’t recommend using them for long term, as their components just aren’t beefy enough to withstand long duty cycles, or multiple years of use… but it is a great option to get your foot in the door and see if digital owrks for you.

https://amzn.to/2Ts4gtg

General Licensed Ham
'85 #RunnerCrawler
Always getting lost

November 19, 2018
8:06 am
Avatar
Sacramento, CA
Admin
Forum Posts: 72
Member Since:
June 8, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It looks like that TYT handheld works with: Motorola, Hytera, Kenwood, and Vertex Standard radios.

So… not sure if it will work with DMR, Fusion, or D Star protocols.

 

Lol… see what I mean… too many different protocols makes it hard to figure out what to do/get. If you have a set group of friends you wheel with all the time, pick one of the top 3 and go from there.

General Licensed Ham
'85 #RunnerCrawler
Always getting lost

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 16

Currently Online:
2 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1

Members: 565

Moderators: 0

Admins: 1

Forum Stats:

Groups: 2

Forums: 12

Topics: 50

Posts: 136

Administrators: K6TLR: 72