Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-04-2019, 09:03   #106
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto
Boat: Sandpiper 565
Posts: 3,662
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
If you are curious, I am an active ham radio experimenter. Here's a link to a presentation I gave to my ham club today: A JS8 Receive-only Gateway | WB6CXC

[electronics derail! Wheee! ]



Yes, neat project and a solid presentation. Re the aliasing problem, have you tried using an "upconverter" (mixer) instead of the direct injection? I know you are aiming for a low-cost receiver option, but it seems that the parts cost and potential signal loss from a sharp enough anti-aliasing filter would justify the added cost of an upconverter (or a packaged SDR unit that contains an upconverter).
__________________

Lake-Effect is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2019, 10:07   #107
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 5,106
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

There is a thing called Ham-it-up that can up-convert.
__________________

transmitterdan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2019, 13:01   #108
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,567
Images: 4
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Yes, I looked at the up-converter (like Ham-it-up), but by the time I added one of those the cost would be around that of a SDRPlay or Funcube SDR (both much better receivers than the RTL-SDR I used). As it turns out, for my single-frequency receiver the cost and difficulty of making the pre-filter was minimal -- under $5 for parts -- and the performance was quite good. If I wanted a multiband receiver the upconverter would be a much better way to go.
__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 07:21   #109
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Portsmouth, UK
Boat: Feltz Scorpion II 12m bermudia rig pilothouse
Posts: 42
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Well all I can say is I hope it has a positive effect on the shocking price of Pactors Modems which clearly has nothing to do with the technology or hardware (they probably cost about $20 to make).
I presume its down to one of the following:

Some patent that negates all competition
Small niche market that no other company will bother investing in.

Either way its all good for me as if it drastically drops the price I may get one and if it stops their manufacture it makes no odds to me as they are well outa my price range anyway!


Dave
davefrediam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 07:35   #110
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Currently Laying Chesapeake Bay, USA
Boat: Tennant Cordoba Catamaran 60'
Posts: 14
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

I've been following this discussion and all of the diversion to side threads but I'm still a little confused. The proposed rule making appears to be driven about making something FREE versus available. To participate in HAM radio, we either have to build or buy our equipment. I've been doing this a long time and have both items that I have built and things that I have bought because I either am not smart enough or dont have the time to build. As far as I know, Winlink isn't encrypted and i am a huge fan from a safety at sea perspective and it's value to RACES/ARES. Being able to participate is not restricted other than you have to be have an appropriate amateur license. If I choose to use a valid mode, signalling digitally, and meet the criteria for the involved stations, I should be good to go - I may have to make/buy a piece of hardware that is available to the public to enable this (I don't speak digital nor at 9600 so need something). Making this an SCS issue appears to be crying because good gear is expensive. Amateur radio is about experimenting and pushing the envelope of what can be done via radio. The sunspot cycle is hard enough to work around without QRM from people.
MSVAthenea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 07:45   #111
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,567
Images: 4
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davefrediam View Post
Well all I can say is I hope it has a positive effect on the shocking price of Pactors Modems which clearly has nothing to do with the technology or hardware (they probably cost about $20 to make).
I suggest that you consider the skill, research, time, and testing that was needed to develop the PACTOR modem. Then look at the relatively low production volume. Then compare the cost of the modem to other commercially-available high-performance HF radio modems. I suspect that you might change your mind as to how shocking the price is.

The PACTOR modem intellectual property is protected by "trade secret" which means that the SCS company has not revealed the critical details of the design (they have revealed the basics of the modulation technique.) Yes, this means they can charge a "what the traffic will bear" price for it. This also means that anybody else can develop a competing modem and sell it for much less if they so desire. Or do it in software (if they can get the performance) and give it away.

I too wish the PACTOR-4 modem was $150 instead of $1500. But it's not, and having helped run a telecom equipment company I can understand why.
__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 07:59   #112
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,567
Images: 4
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSVAthenea View Post
The proposed rule making appears to be driven about making something FREE versus available.
Yes, that's one of the complaints driving the proposal. And I agree with you that it's pretty silly. I think that Rappaport and his supporters aren't exactly demanding "free", as much as "reasonably priced" which as we have seen is an ambiguous target.

To be fair, the proposal is more driven by the claimed need for an average ham operator to be able to monitor in plain-text the full content of both ends of a digital conversation, and this complaint isn't limited to PACTOR. Other free, open-source modes such as ARDOP also are targeted by this proposal since they also use a sophisticated error-correction scheme that makes it difficult for a third-party to intercept. It's been shown that at least under good conditions this interception can be done, so to me that kind of kicks the props out from under that complaint.

The whole complaint and proposal is full of red herrings and while it actually raises a few interesting points I think (hope) that the obvious flaws in the proposal will get it tossed out.
__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 08:23   #113
DoÖ or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,389
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Those pesky HAM's !

What are they thinking doing things like Pactor or calling stupid CQ using radio waves! Why can't they just post that on their Facebook like everyone else?! Or buy a 5G hyperjetpack to call their buddy at the other side of the world?! They are so privileged with their HAM bands so that normal people are not even allowed to use them! It's time to finish them and get all on 5G made in the USA!
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 08:34   #114
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,567
Images: 4
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Yes, those darn hams! One other complaint in the proposal is that cruising hams are using Winlink to avoid buying the necessary gear and paying the subscription fees for available commercial services such as satellite or Sailmail. (Sailmail is non-profit, but still charges an annual fee -- a quite reasonable fee IMO.)

As we have seen here this is a contentious issue, and probably one that should be resolved (or at least clarified).
__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 08:55   #115
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 195
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
Yes, those darn hams! One other complaint in the proposal is that cruising hams are using Winlink to avoid buying the necessary gear and paying the subscription fees for available commercial services such as satellite or Sailmail. (Sailmail is non-profit, but still charges an annual fee -- a quite reasonable fee IMO.)

As we have seen here this is a contentious issue, and probably one that should be resolved (or at least clarified).
Yes, the assertion, without proof or data, is that sailing hams (how many of them are there?) are using Winlink to avoid paying fees. I could make the same assertion of land based Hams using Winlink to avoid paying fees to commercial providers. Until there is some data to support these assertions, neither is supportable.
Pitchondesign is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 09:28   #116
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Oakland CA, boat on the hard in Panama
Boat: Morgan 46 ketch
Posts: 676
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toolbar View Post
Hmm, I don't really see the problem with the second item. Apparently this forces a company to open their specification, which should promote interoperability and competition.

After all their product is using a public resource.

Paul
Absolutely correct. Ham radio transmissions should always be open to the public. Secret codes have no place in amateur radio culture. The FCC is taking a long overdue step to open up advances in digital techniques to the public.
None of this prevents SCS or anyone else from selling hardware and software at a profit.
Doug Clark, KG6U
waterman46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 10:11   #117
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,567
Images: 4
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
Absolutely correct. Ham radio transmissions should always be open to the public. Secret codes have no place in amateur radio culture. The FCC is taking a long overdue step to open up advances in digital techniques to the public.
None of this prevents SCS or anyone else from selling hardware and software at a profit.
Doug Clark, KG6U
It's not a secret code, at least not when used on the ham bands. The compression is public-domain. It may be difficult to decode without skill and resources, but it's definitely not the same as encryption or a "secret code".

And let's say that SCS discloses absolutely everything about their modem. Why would a company even put in the effort and expense to develop a cutting-edge low-volume product if someone (say in China) could make a clone and sell it for much less? Even patent-protected disclosure is no barrier to illegal copying as we have seen many times.

If you think it's too expensive, then design a substitute. Or there are free options -- use them. I'm sure that Sailmail and Winlink would love to have a cheaper modem that works as well or better than the SCS ones.
__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 10:17   #118
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 5,106
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitchondesign View Post
Yes, the assertion, without proof or data, is that sailing hams (how many of them are there?) are using Winlink to avoid paying fees. I could make the same assertion of land based Hams using Winlink to avoid paying fees to commercial providers. Until there is some data to support these assertions, neither is supportable.

It isnít really a question of why people are using unreadable means of sending messages. Itís a question of interference and compliance with rules.

Itís also a red herring to divert the discussion to whether or not certain people are saving money. Neither is it important whether a few or a lot of people do it. The plain language of the amateur radio rules are pretty clear and should be followed else hams may lose their protected status altogether.

Personally, I think the rules need to be changed. In todayís world there needs to be a way to send a control message securely and reliably send longer data messages in the presence of high QRM. But the present rules donít make that easy. This proposed rule would solve one part (high QRM) but not the other. Making ham radio use open source encoding is one solution but not the only one. My prediction is the FCC will not adopt the proposed rule change as written. But something is definitely needed. So if you donít like this proposal then make a better one. The commenters are allowed to offer improvements.
transmitterdan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 11:08   #119
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 29
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

There is so much mis-information on here that I wonder if most of those posting even understand Pactor. As Brian D. stated, Pactor is a binary file. It is NOT encrypted. It is obvious that most of you who posted do not understand that. The FCC wouldn't have allowed it to begin with if it was encrypted. Get it? Get it? One of the issues with Pactor is the bandwidth. It takes up a lot of room on an already crowded amateur band. That is something to consider. I see that several of the commenters mention P4 on the amateur bands. This has never been allowed which again makes me wonder about the knowledge base of those commenting. The petitioner in this case is hanging his hat on the fact that Pactor messages cannot be "easily" copied. So what? The FCC monitors it or can. Isn't that enough for God's sake? I will acknowledge that the bandwidth is a debatable subject. Pactor is a great mode for passing and storing messages. It is extremely valuable in emergency situations, hurricane in Puerto Rico. It is used by SHARES, a DHS agency. It is NOT used by the military contrary to what the moderator stated. It isn't used by MARS although it could be. They stopped using it because it wasn't compatible with the military. In terms of sailors, instead of sitting around and worrying about Pactor going away on the ham bands, why not get a Sail Mail account, pay for it and not worry about all of this? I have no interest financially in Sail Mail, have never had an account. Could it be that many sailors don't want to pay for Sail Mail is the same reason that when they visit a restaurant, all the salt and pepper and toilet paper disappears??? You can't deny that.
gatorman49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2019, 11:32   #120
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 26
Re: pactor banned from the usa?

Speaking of “misinformation,” according to all the information I’ve seen, PACTOR 4 was designed to work well with the standard 2.4khz filters used by SSB radios. So it apparently doesn’t take more bandwidth.
__________________

Bycrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
pactor

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Upgrade Pactor 2 to Pactor 3 ?? pjandart Marine Electronics 15 06-11-2014 11:54
For Sale: Pactor II modem with Pactor 3 firmware seamaster Classifieds Archive 10 30-11-2013 19:32
For Sale: Pactor 2 Pro with Pactor 3 license installed s/v Holiday Classifieds Archive 1 28-07-2012 22:24
For Sale: Icom 802, AT 140, Pactor 2 w Pactor 3 lic Vyndance Classifieds Archive 10 02-06-2012 17:38



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:54.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.