Thursday
Feb062014

Icom ID-5100 videos

Some videos of the Icom ID-5100 have surfaced on YouTube (thanks to www.hamlife.jp). They are in Japanese, but you can see the main hardware features of the radio and get an idea of the menu structure.

A concern of mine is the apparent dropping of dual antennas/diversity option. The top YouTube video above you see the back of the transceiver with one one antenna socket.  Diversity works so well while mobile with the IC-2820H, reducing flutter on FM and improves decoding of D-Star transmissions. Not everyone can install two antennas on their vehicle, maybe Icom received feedback that diversity was not widely used.  There are some specification lists out on the internet that report that the ID-5100 has both diversity (two antenna sockets) plus a 1200/9600 baud data socket (also absent in the above video).  It is possible that the video is showing a pre-production prototype radio.

I'm also not sure if the built-in GPS receiver has an external antenna option.  From the video I can't see anywhere on the transceiver body where you might plug in an external antenna.

***edit*** I have since been told that the ID-5100 GPS receiver and antenna is in the control head.   GPS performance would be fully dependent on where you locate the control head.  I mounted my IC-2820H control head down low, near the gear shift. The ID-5100 control head would NOT get a very good view of the sky and so the GPS receiver would not work very well.  If you mount the ID-5100 control head high on the dash the GPS receiver would work a lot better.

I sure hope that big bright LCD screen can be dimmed enough for night operation.  If the display can be inverted to show white text on a dark background, that may also help with reducing the amount of light the screen generates.

Can't wait to see the user manual... it will most certainly answer some questions!

73

Thursday
Jan302014

New D-Star radio from Icom... the ID-5100

Naoki Matsushima posted an interesting link on the D-Star International Facebook page.  Icom has announced a new mobile D-Star radio... the ID-5100

 

The Icom press release for the ID-5100 can be found here :-

http://www.icom.co.jp/release/20140130/

Google Chrome will translate from Japanese to English.  Below is translated text extracted from the press release web page.  Japanese release date is late February 2014.

(: Osaka Hirano, President: Tsutomu Fukui headquarters) Icom Inc., will be released (20W type), ID-5100D the (50W type) for amateur radio transceiver ID-5100. Of course, digital <D-STAR>, ID-5100 is a vehicle-mounted transceiver that provides an advantageous evolve in operation in the analog mode of conventional. Touch panel that can be operated intuitively, nearest repeater search function first ever analog repeater, Android ® collaboration with terminal ※ 1 , Bluetooth ® support for ※ 1 ---etc. In addition, reception waiting two waves simultaneous DV (digital voice)-DV, display characters and also a variety suitable to play easy-to-read large LCD display, such as an SD card slot that corresponds to the data storage of large capacity, a new generation of in-vehicle transceiver I have an operation and excellent function. Of course, D-STAR user, ID-5100 transceiver is full of innovative and attractive also for analog legacy users.

[Main Features]

  • I adopt a touch panel that allows for intuitive operation.
  • First-ever ※ 2 installed, the nearest repeater search function in the analog mode.
  • I realize the concurrent reception waiting two waves, including the (digital voice)-DV DV.
  • Digital communication D-STAR popular ® It is equipped with a DV mode.
  • Android ® extension of the D-STAR function by the terminal can ※ 1 .
  • Bluetooth ® Compatible with headset VS-3 (optional) ※ 1 .

※ 1 Bluetooth unit UT-133 requires optional.
※ 2 Icom examined.

· Android is a trademark or registered trademark of Google Inc..
· Bluetooth ® word mark and logos are registered trademarks of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. owned, Icom Inc. has been used under license these marks.
· D-STAR is a registered trademark of The Japan Amateur Radio League.

 

New features include :-

Large high contrast LCD touch screen

Built in GPS (not an option as in the IC-2820H)

Dual DV (simultaneous 2m and 70cm D-Star operation)

SD Card slot

Bluetooth connectivity (with UT-133)

Android application for control.  As demonstrated at the 2013 Tokyo Ham Fair.

 

Well done Icom!!

 

73

Monday
Jan272014

ON8JL BabyStar HotSpot

It's been over two months since my last blog post.  D-Star has not been standing still so it's time for an update!

Jean-Luc ON8JL from Belgium has released a new and very compact 70cm D-Star Access Point called the BabyStar!

Two things are needed to get it operational.  Power and an Ethernet based internet connection. The BabyStar has an integral 10mW 70cm GMSK transceiver, a 2x16 line LCD display and custom firmware running on an ST Microelectronics STR912FW44 ARM based microcontroller.  Network connectivity is provided by a ST STE100P Ethernet controller.

A BabyStar would fit nicely into my Portable D-Star HotSpot. Although the G4KLX open-source software running on the Raspberry Pi can control more than one DVAP Dongle, the prospect of a completely separate D-Star system in the same box using the Mikrotik Router for connectivity is very attractive!

73

Sunday
Nov242013

A new Raspberry Pi & DVAP Dongle enclosure!

I saw a post for this amazing looking product on the Rasberry Pi D-Star Group.  I'm always encouraged when I see development for third party D-Star hardware. 

What you see here is the D-HAP (D-Star Ham Access Point) designed and built by Hardened Power Systems who are well known for their portable battery power systems.

The D-HAP is a small, rugged, self contained enclosure/power supply for a Raspberry Pi and DVAP Dongle. 

Watch this short YouTube video that describes the development of the D-HAP, how the internal components are laid out and it's features.

 

For what you get, I think it is well worth the money.  If you already have a Raspberry Pi and DVAP Dongle the D-HAP will provide a rugged, all-in-one solution for a D-Star HotSpot, complete with built in battery!  All you need to do is provide an internet connection.

Here is a link to the Hardened Power Systems D-HAP web page.

http://www.portableuniversalpower.com/DHAP.htm

73

Thursday
Oct172013

D-Star in Iceland!

Another country has become D-Star active with a brand new repeater!  I've always wanted to go to Iceland.  The 4WD adventures across the snow and ice look like fun.  I also once thought about a career move to Iceland. Being a fishing nation (like Australia), my experience with installing and servicing marine electronic equipment may have opened up opportunities for employment in Iceland.  I am too settled in Australia to be thinking like that any more, but I would still love to visit!

I've been in email contact with Ari TF3ARI for around a month, helping him with some questions about the Icom D-Star hardware.  Originally they were sent a USA version ID-RP4000V repeater which operates in the 440-450 MHz band.  Iceland, like Australia, uses the 430-440 MHz segment of the 70cm band.  The USA version ID-RP4000V cannot be modified to cover the different band segment.  Luckily Ari was able to source the correct version and with the help of Olafur TF3ML they have been testing the new D-Star repeater and gateway for a few weeks.

I was able to make contact with both Ari and Olafur via D-Star when their gateway was linked to REF001 C last week. 

After the testing period is over, the TF3RPI B repeater will be moved to it's permanent home high on a mountain top overlooking Reykjavik.  Ari told me this needs to be done within a few weeks as the cold weather is fast approaching and the repeater site looks like this during winter!

Make sure you keep an ear out for TF prefix callsigns on D-Star! 

Thanks to Ari TF3ARI and Olafur TF3ML for the use of the photos.

73