Friday, May 25, 2012
Yaesu FT1D digital FM handheld.
One of the most eagerly awaited products at Dayton Hamvention was the new Yaesu FT1D digital FM handheld.
It has, for an Amateur Radio rig, a number of innovations:
- A microphone that uses a mini-USB plug and has a built-in camera for low resolution (320x240) pictures,
- An 80 character group short messaging facility
- 9600 bps data transfer
- Micro-SD card slot
- E-GPS facility
Although the optonal extra microphone has a camera there appears to be no way to display the pictures on the radio which some may see as reducing it's usefulness.
The use of 9600 bps with 12.5 kHz channel spacing (is it 10 kHz in Japan?) was a surprise. Some had expected it to support 5 or 6.25 kHz channel spacing with a resultant data rate of 4800 bps (digital speech using an AMBE vocoder only requires a 3600 bps data rate).
The modulation used is what Yaesu describes as C4FM otherwise known as 4 level FSK or 4-FSK and is the same as that used for Digital PMR-446 equipment. 4-FSK has advantages over other types of digital modulation such as GMSK.
Both ICOM and Kenwood have been producing 4-FSK equipment for the PMR market since 2007 so in some ways it's surprising that Yaesu beat them both in releasing an amateur version of 4-FSK.
As yet Yaesu hasn't announced any mobiles, base stations or repeaters so it appears that FT1D's can only talk to other FT1D's in digital mode.
After Dayton some questions remain:
- Does it have APRS? The website of at least one amateur radio dealer had been saying the rig did APRS but the brochure makes no mention of it only refering to E-GPS
- Which Vocoder does it use? The AMBE seems the obvious choice but the brochure doesn't say
- What will it cost? Yaesu currently sell the VXD-10 high power digital handheld to the leisure market for 63,000 yen ($796) hopefully the FT1D will be cheaper!
- When will the FT1D be available? Well one Japanese retailer indicates that it could be another six months, see
The FT1DR/E brochure can be seen at
N9XLC Blog on FT1D
2005 Icom and Kenwood demo 'Very Narrowband Digital Communications Technology'
HOW TO READ PROPAGATION NUMBERS
The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 1 to 6 is BEST
- 7 to 9 is OK
- 11 or more is BAD
Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.
A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]
- 70 NOT GOOD
- 80 GOOD
- 90 BETTER
- 100+ BEST
The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.
Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
K index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 0 or 1 is BEST
- 2 is OK
- 3 or more is BAD
- 5 is VERY VERY BAD
The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.
A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
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