SSDR 1.10.15.43 - Is ThumbDV not supposed to be visible in the USB Cable window?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Answered
Well, I just updated my firmware to 1.10.15.43...

I opened the "USB Cable" and I can clearly see my CAT cable for my SPE 1.3K-FA, but no sign of my ThumbDV dongle. I unplugged it and plugged it back in, I powered down my 6700, unplugged it and restarted it, I removed my CAT USB to lessen the chance of collisions and such...

No joy!

I can select DSTR and run DSTAR Waveform and I have a UHF Repeater dialed up and I've gotten a text entry, but so far no real voice activity to see if the audio translation works.

Any ideas? Suggestions?

(Please, no "I don't know, it works great for me here on my 6300 with only one USB connection - I will assume that it is working very nicely for many, otherwise the alpha checkers would have noticed and fixed it)

Thanks!
Photo of Roy Laufer

Roy Laufer

  • 451 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Mack McCormick

Mack McCormick, Elmer

  • 519 Posts
  • 179 Reply Likes
Official Response
Roy,

The software team has deleted the dongle from the USB list. It should still work fine.

73,

Mack
W4AX
Alpha Team
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9198 Posts
  • 3558 Reply Likes
Actually, the ThumbDV is not a USB cable type device, which is why it is no longer showing up as a USB serial, parallel or BIT device in the list.  This is to minimize confusion because it had to be set to disabled in order to work properly and that is what resulted in the confusion.
(Edited)
Photo of Roy Laufer

Roy Laufer

  • 451 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
OK.

I assumed that since it showed up in the last 1.10 beta it was supposed to show up in future 1.10 betas...

I don' recall disabling it to receive DStar in the past, but DStar is kind of dead here in NYC (at least for me), so I haven't tried it that recently...
Photo of Roy Laufer

Roy Laufer

  • 451 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
Thanks!

Was that mentioned anywhere in the release documentation?

It is very telling that I still can't get a regular QSO on my local DStar Repeater to test the dongle.

If only FRS had invested the time in a DMR or Fusion waveform module instead...
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2314 Posts
  • 956 Reply Likes
I believe the issue with having those codecs in a waveform is the AMBE codec licensing, where you have to get a physical decoder chip. 
Photo of Roy Laufer

Roy Laufer

  • 451 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
The ThumbDV is actually a legitimate AMBE chip that is being used to encode/decode the DStar digital signal.

If someone was so inclined they could program the C4FM and DMR modulation modes and use the same ThumbDV AMBE chip to do the rest.

DMR is, unfortunately, more complicated since it utilizes "time slicing" Time Domain Multiple Access (TDMA) which would probably cause an early demise to regular power output modules, but receive should be doable...
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2314 Posts
  • 956 Reply Likes
But without the decoder chip, there would be no audio decoding. This is why you need the dongle and not just a waveform.

Only ham mfg I know of that got around it was icom, and they paid a hefty licensing fee to get the AMBE codec in their radios' firmware.
Photo of Roy Laufer

Roy Laufer

  • 451 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
But my ThumbDV has an AMBE chip and as far as I am aware it is NOT tied specifically to DStar decoding, but could, in theory, be called by library functions to decode all the other digital voice modes that use the same identical AMBE Vocoder chip!

All digital voice mode manufactures kiss the feet of AMBE's manufacturer (DVSI) by purchasing their vocoder/DSP chip at their price to enable DMR, Fusion, DStar and all the rest.

DVSI's press release from 2015 would indicate that not even Icom can pry the source code from DVSI, but they have to solder DVSI's AMBE chips into their boxes to get their DStar:

"iCOM originally introduced the DSTAR system based on the AMBE-2020TM Vocoder chip that utilizes DVSI’s AMBE+ technology. Since that time, DVSI has developed and produced the AMBE-3000TM Vocoder chip that implements DVSI’s latest generation AMBE+2 technology and is fully interoperable with the the [sic] AMBE-2020TM vocoder chip used for DSTAR."

DVSI may have made a secret agreement with Icom - I haven't ripped my Icom radios apart looking for something stamped AMBE/DVSI, but I think that I would find it somewhere inside them...


Only FreeDV utilizes a vocoder that is not AMBE.
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2314 Posts
  • 956 Reply Likes
OK I get what you are saying, we're making two different points here. I thought you were implying that Flex could just program a waveform instead of using the DV dongle. 

The ID-51 and newer radios implement the vocoder in the DSP. 
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9198 Posts
  • 3558 Reply Likes
The waveforms are an open API.  Anyone with the requisite programming skills can add one.
Photo of Cal Spreitzer

Cal Spreitzer

  • 449 Posts
  • 113 Reply Likes
I've recently reported a D-STAR issue found in Beta 1.10.8 which was entered into Flex's bug tracker as item #4400.  The latest change log does not show 4400 being fixed so I doubt D-Star voice works under the latest Beta 1.10.15??

Cal/N3CAL
Photo of Roy Laufer

Roy Laufer

  • 451 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
Quite right - I see the waveform, I receive the text, but the audio is "the sounds of silence"...

Geeezzz Louise...
Photo of David Livingston

David Livingston

  • 122 Posts
  • 28 Reply Likes
Same issue here...!!!