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3758Re: [V4Protocol] V4 vs. Winmor

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  • Dean
    Dec 26, 2013
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      I am perhaps one of the most capitalistic people on this board. For years I worked in engineering and later in purchasing for a metal products manufacturing company with roughly 600 employees. My actual title was Vice President, Purchasing. One reason for my transition into purchasing was that I realized that every business in the world, regardless of how small or large, is in business for one reason and one reason only, and that is to make a profit. And I questioned every purchase very carefully and analytically by asking myself the question, "How will this purchase contribute to the our company's bottom line?" So I agree with you completely that SCS has every right to make a decent profit on their tremendous investment in order to be justly compensated and rewarded for their efforts.

      But we are hams, and this is not a business that requires and has profitability as a goal. As for myself, I enjoy the hobby, but I admit I have zero capability in electronic designs, mathematical algorithms, etc.  But at the same time, I repeat, there has to be a better way.
      Perhaps there needs to be a better quality more advanced SignaLink USB, I don't know! Surely we all know that something better, faster, and cheaper will replace the Pactor mode of communications, so why not do it now rather than waiting ten years for it? Winmor is certainly a step in that direction, but I'm trying to encourage someone, or maybe a group, to go on to the next step up, or two steps up.  That's why I was asking about V4 or H4.  When I was a kid, all radios had tubes in them that had to warm up.  Then came along transistors.  But never mind all that!

      (((73))), Dean


      On 12/26/2013 2:07 PM, Rick Muething wrote:

      Dean, All,
      One needs to understand what is really meant by DSP. The sound card (now days typically a $1-3 chip) simply samples the analog audio (or in some cases IF) from the radio and puts it into a stream of digital numbers (samples).  After that DSP means that all/most the conventional things done in a radio (demodulation, filtering, etc.) are all done digitally instead of using analog components.  The kind of things we do for digital protocols also includes other processing like decoding (e.g. Viterbi, Hamming, Reed-Solomon, etc.) and these things may be done with DSP or conventional programming.   The dedicated DSP chips simply do arithmetic  (mostly multiplies and adds) very quickly allowing more processing than is practical on a simple PC.
      When you talk about a SCS TNC or a WINMOR TNC or any other popular protocol the “smarts” or proprietary nature is not in the chips or even in the basic DSP code itself (e.g. Filters or FFT).  It is in the design of the protocol and the knowhow on how to implement it.    That is the same proprietary mechanism that protects any software, OS, etc.  Several years ago I was consulting for a Chinese company and was having trouble communicating (through an interpreter) to the owner why certain software costs so much.  He kept trying to relate the value of the software to the $.25 CD it was distributed on.  I finally made my point by holding up two CDs and saying one was blank and the other had the closing values of tomorrows stock market on it and asked him which he thought was the more valuable!  (No I don’t know how to predict the closing values of tomorrows stock market!)
      My understanding is that SCS is a private company.  It probably has employee shareholders (owners) and perhaps investors that put up money (bought stock) that helped finance the development of these proprietary protocols and implement them.   Those owners and stockholders have every right to charge for their product and to license it as they see fit.  The marketplace then decides if their product and price is competitive and if the company survives or makes money.  All this is basic capitalism.  I think some that complain about proprietary nature of Pactor or other protocols simply don’t understand the basics of capitalism and the value of intellectual property.   Anyone with the proper skills and willing to spend enough time can build a protocol and can then choose to sell it, license it or give it away.  But the reality of this technology is unless you are one of the relatively few that has the skills and knowledge to do this and are willing to donate all your time you aren’t likely to give it all away.  Protocols like Pactor 3 and Pactor 4 took MANY man years of professional engineering effort to develop, test and deploy.  Most companies that I am aware of that choose to do this as a business are not likely to donate this kind of proprietary technology so anyone that can copy a CD or memory chip can duplicate it.  I think those that complain about proprietary issues should ask what would I want if I were a stockholder in such a company.
      So it is not an issue of DSP or sound card chips  (there are many good low cost sources for these that can do what needs to be done) It is the effort of putting together every thing needed to make these work and implement a complex protocol.  This intellectual property is where the value is NOT the cost of the chips.
      Rick Muething, KN6KB
      From: Dean
      Sent: Wednesday, December 25, 2013 8:43 AM
      Subject: Re: [V4Protocol] V4 vs. Winmor

      Rick, is the DSP chip in P4 Dragons a unique chip make special for SGS?  Or is the same DSP chip commercially available, or is it also being used in other high-end sound cards?
      You say a computer sound card will not do it, but a simple search turns up all these DSP sound cards that are even *more* expensive than the P4 ... examples here:  http://www.zzounds.com/cat--DSP-Cards--2428   So, first, does anyone know exactly what the main DSP chip in the P4 is?  Do the high-end sound cards use a totally different DSP architecture or technology?  I'm asking questions to stimulate thinking.  When I was younger I was taught that no matter how something is being done, "there is always a better way". 


      On 12/25/2013 10:25 AM, RICK WESTERFIELD wrote:

      H4 is more robust than V4 and somewhat faster. It is for text chat messaging rather than for the email and file attachment methods that WINMOR supports.

      Winmor is faster mostly because it is wider though that is not the complete story here.

      It is going to be tough to beat Pactor 4 in an SCS modem with that rock crushingly powerful DSP chip at a competitive price. A computer sound card will not do it so do not hold your breath. Winmor and RMS Express do very well in that effort though.

      Rick KH2DF

      Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


      From: Dean mailto:dean243@...;
      To: mailto:V4Protocol@yahoogroups.com;
      Subject: [V4Protocol] V4 vs. Winmor
      Sent: Wed, Dec 25, 2013 12:02:11 PM


      How does the V4 or H4 protocol compare with Winmor 1600 in terms of speed and poor signal conditions?  And *if* V4 or H4 is superior to Winmor 1600, why are we still using Winmor?  And I'm new here, and know very little about these various protocols, but may I suggest that someone *please* develop a software based protocol that will be as robust as Pactor 4, or possibly even superior?

      (((73))), Dean

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