IP on packet - RFI

Dennis Rosenauer drac7ft at verizon.net
Sun Jan 31 18:11:39 PST 2010


Interesting.  However, the point I was trying to make was that in an 
amateur radio environment, a closed system is exactly what we don't 
need.  Amateur radio should be a learning environment!

I don't have a problem using software that is paid for.  The open source 
argument is about being able to inspect and learn from the 
implementation of others.  Open source software as defined by the GPL or 
BSD style license is narrower than what I was thinking.  The software 
could be completely copyrighted and as such have legal protection 
against exploitation by others than the author or his assigned agents.
I just want to learn something!

I have taken algorithms that I'm pretty sure are patented and written up 
the code and played with them.  I do that in the spirit of learning.  If 
I want to sell this I need to obtain a license from the author.

Taking things apart to learn what is going on is how I started doing a 
lot of hardware design work.  I could look at the schematic of an old 
Motorola VHF mobile radio, figure out how enough of it worked and put it 
on 2M.  Motorola was not particularly amateur friendly, they used 
internally numbers components, but the function could be deduced.

In software, it is a completely sealed black box, and there is no 
schematic available.

Dennis, AC7FT.


Don Fanning wrote:
> Dennis Rosenauer wrote:
>> I have to admit that I set a very very low value on closed source 
>> products for amateur radio purposes.  When the source is not available 
>> to me, I cannot learn anything about the theory and implementation of 
>> the product.  Imagine if you will, you buy a car, and the hood is 
>> welded shut and you cannot look inside to do anything. You have no 
>> idea as to how it works.
>>
> Many people every day go through their lives like this.  While I 
> understand your argument towards and do support it, it shouldn't be a 
> sole reason to guide you.  While Open Source is very noble, it also 
> leads to bankruptcy and doesn't feed kids.  No one gets into open source 
> for the money.
>> I have,and most likely will always speak with my wallet.  I will NOT 
>> buy any propriatary software for amateur or hobby purposes.  I have to 
>> some extent in the past, but not any more.  There are a few 
>> exceptions, buy a modern radio and the microcontroller is closed 
>> source, I reluctantly accept that, as I accept the value of the 
>> complete radio is sufficiently greater than the negative value of the 
>> closed source microcontroller SW.
>>
> I'm not sure that should even be acceptable in Ham Radio.  If I got a 
> radio and didn't have a schematic like most manufactures do, I'd be a 
> little suspicious.   But if you're willing to do it, I got a D-Star 
> system to sell you. :-)
> 
> Alot of times the people who do write software for amateur purposes are 
> just other hams supporting their hobby.  To me that's no different than 
> paying other hams for QSL cards or for embroiderer jackets.  While I'll 
> always give preference to any one offering source along with the code, 
> if it's just the price to pay for something worthy then I'll consider 
> it.  But yes, there are lines I will not cross and that means 
> proprietary hardware/software that is one-off specific like Clover or 
> AMBE.  The reason for that is that there's no certainty they'll be 
> around tomorrow when I need a replacement.  MFJ for instance has one (1) 
> guy who still repairs old TNC's.  If that guy goes... so does support.  
> That's the reality of the hobby.  Alright that's not a perfect example 
> but that's not to say that DVSI won't do the same or suddenly stop 
> supplying due to a production shortage in Shanghai...
>> With respect to modems and other software defined radios.  If it not 
>> open source, I can't learn from it.  It's value now approaches $0.00 
>> no matter how functional it is.  In fact I would argue that it has 
>> negative value.
>>
> This is why I would advocate that as a group we buy coder's time to 
> develop the software (or get our programming hats on) and develop it 
> with the intent to GPL the results.
>> On another thread regarding the throughput on simples radios.  Has 
>> anyone considered just building a QPSK modem to use with a 
>> conventional 2M voice radio.  Everybody assumes 1200 bps is the 
>> limit.  Far from it!
>> Shannon's equation for a 10 dB S/N AGWN channel says I can get 
>> 8.3Kbits/sec in a 2400 Hz wide channel (300 Hz to 2700 Hz).  1200 bps 
>> less than 15% of the channel capacity.  At least QPSK would be 4800 
>> bps (2 bits/Hz) and would be 58% of channel capacity.
>>
> Exactly my point of why we need to start building!
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