More on the Digital Wars - Icom DStar versus Yaesu Digital

I recently saw that Icom has announced two more radios with DStar.

The first is the ID-51A which is a dual-band (2meter/440Mhz) FM and DStar radio with GPS built-in. The entire DStar repeater database is loaded in a memory card. The GPS allows you to find DStar repeaters that are close to your location. The GPS will also capture your location and send it automatically to the DStar repeater system and using DPRS, feeds the location to the APRS network.

The IC-7100 is another “DC to Daylight” frequency coverage radio that has the usual modes plus DStar. Even has a touch screen.

Yaesu, who first showed their FT-1DR at Dayton. The FT-1DR is a dual band handheld with yet another digital voice mode that is intended to compete with DStar.

Well here we are now almost to October and still no Yaesu digital radio. Frankly, this radio is probably pretty much DOA. I would advise anyone who may be considering such a purchase unless you are looking for a fancier FM radio than what Yaesu already offers.

The Yaesu effort on their digital technology was so lackluster at Dayton, it actually caused a flurry of DStar purchases at Dayton. Many vendors sold out of DStar radios by mid-day Saturday.

Plans for new DStar repeaters actually accelerated following Dayton. There was just no excitement for the Yaesu offering. With DStar exploding in usage and acceptance, buying a Yaesu radio for digital usage means no one to talk to. Just because they came to the digital table late, does not mean it is superior to DStar.

Yaesu has made a huge mistake in going against the tide. They can claim their stuff is newer and the other stuff is older, but DStar sounds incredible in terms of voice quality and handles data with ease with half the bandwidth of Yaesu.

The radios keep coming from Icom and it is just a matter of time before another manufacturer jumps on the DStar bandwagon because that is what hams are buying.

Look at Yaesu’s WIRES Internet linking. No one uses it….well, I think maybe five repeater systems in the U.S. Over here we use Echolink and IRLP. Kenwood implemented Echolink into some of their radios. Smart manufacturers either create a market or go with the market. Yaesu did neither.

Such a waste.
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