I was going to post this to twitter, but it'll be longer than 140 characters, so I thought I'd put it here.

With Yaesu having began to advertise their C4FM and hopefully demoing it at Dayton in 5 weeks (from this post), and Icom having now 21,900 "registered users" worldwide (note that registered users ≠actual users, as I've heard via a twitter/D-Star user that people can register without actually owning any D-Star equipment).

Kenwood, based on their recent QST ads, appear to be ready to unleash another HF rig on us.  No telling what their plans are, but they could single-handedly destroy D-Star or C4FM by going with the competing technology.  They could also exacerbate the status quo by bringing out their own digital voice/data technology.

Of course, Kenwood probably doesn't want to get in between Icom and Yaesu by siding with one of them.  And I'm not sure if Kenwood wants to add another proprietary-feeling digital mode.  They may just be waiting this one out for a winner.

Or maybe we'll get lucky and Kenwood will figure out a way to build radios with FM, D-Star, and C4FM.  🙂


Category: Equipment

About the Author

Andrew is the owner of this blog and enjoys computer programming, building things, and photography. He's a pretty busy guy, which explains why updates to this blog are so infrequent.

2 Responses to Quick Post: On D-Star, C4FM, and Kenwood

  1. G0DJA says:

    I know this will sound like I'm a luddite, and people will quote the case of SSB over AM, but I can't get enthusiastic about digital audio on HF bands...

    I do like using digital modes like PSK and SSTV and even dabble with digital SSTV, but audio seems counter intuitive. It won't improve your "DX", in fact it might make it worse as you wont hear people unless they have an ecellent S/N+N ratio and you'll not decode anything that isn't almost perfect copy. That is, until some way of filling in the gaps is found.

    The commercial signals like DRM are not that good, although there's arguements that their bandwidth is too small for really good quality.

    In the past I've looked at D-Star and even without the cost and questions about the propriatorial nature of the software, I couldn't think of a use for it. FM is still fine on VHF/UHF for repeaters, marginal signals, even on FM, usually allow enough to say 'goodbye' before you really get out of range but digital signals are either there, or they are not. I was interested in the idea of data but it seems to be only on the 1.2GHz band in the UK and what are you going to send and receive with the other person, provided there's someone you want to communicate/swap stuff with?

    Dave (G0DJA)

    • ac8jo says:

      Dave, I'm with you. I think it is cool on VHF and UHF where there's room and less of a fight for contacts, but can you imagine what would happen if someone generated a digital pileup with digital voice? With V/UHF for me, I don't fight for contacts - I go to the repeater at the right times and strike up a conversation (generally with people I already know, but that's a different situation altogether!). Not to mention, getting 2 or 3 more "standards" for HF voice is the last thing we need!

      -Andrew AC8JO

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