OVMRC – Week 17

This Week:

*Regulations Part II by VE3QMC
*Station / Operating Procedures by VE3EJJ

Michael (VE3QMC) spent another weeknight with the course to further discuss the topic of regulatory policies in the Amateur Radio spectrum. There was a lot of very good discussion on finer details of what is and is not allowed in Amateur Radio. Of particular interest was the topic of the D-Star proprietary Codec & whether it intentionally obscures the meaning of a message through a non-open source protocol. We worked through the discussion and came to the agreement that while it is a less than agreeable arrangement, because any Amateur can purchase the equipment necessary to receive the transmissions, the radios do not effectively use a secret cipher. The only sticking point is that the Codec is covered by Intellectual Property laws, making home-brewing a receiver illegal. Now that is just dirty!

The second portion of the night was a visit to VE3JW to have everyone try out HF communications under the guidance of Ernie (VE3EJJ). A visit to the station is always a welcome addition to our curriculum. I think that the course would benefit from more practical radio work – to offer some first-hand exposure to the world of radio. By putting into practice the theory and operating procedures we’ve learned, it allows a more profound understanding of the course material. Another great OVMRC course night!

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2 Responses to OVMRC – Week 17

  1. Mathieu says:

    You can still homebrew a d-star receiver but you must buy the IP protected chip from DVI inc with the AMBE 2020 codec on it. If you look around the net some expirementers have been homebrewing d-star radios and made d-star contacts on 10Meters. There is also a lot of interesting work being done on a open source low bit rate codec that is comparable to AMBE 2020 but not compatible called codec2

    • James says:

      I stand corrected. I was under the impression that the codec was not available outside of purchasing a D-Star radio – this should help to slow the misinformation out there concerning D-Star. I am glad you posted this comment because I would have continued under the hearsay understanding that homebrew was impossible. I had known of the other similar codec (codec2) but did not bother mentioning it as it is still in its infancy – and lets face it, unless something has some form of industry backing, it is unlikely to succeed beyond a niche market. I really hope codec2 -can- (out)compete D-Star since I am an open-source advocate. Thanks again for the correct information in regards to D-Star!

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