Sunday, May 20, 2012

Yeasu FT-1D redux
Found a copy of the brochure on the FT-1D radio at the above website. No real surprises for me. It's fairly thin but really looks a lot like some of their newer handies. VX7R comes to mind.

  • data transfer speed of 9.6kbps - I would ask if it's compatible with packet but then I realize it doesn't really matter because there's no really a lot of the 9600baud packet stuff out there and it's surely not.
  • 1 button switch between digital and analog modes
  • Wide-band RX .5-999Mhz
  • micro SD slot seems to provide:
    • GPS log - location and tracking
    • picture image data
    • memory backup/clone
    • potentially other uses not listed in the brochure "and other useful information is stored on the micro SD card"
  • USB connector - this surprised me a bit. It seems the optional microphone plugs in here.
    • There's reference to a firmware update function available by plugging the PC into there.
    • I wonder if it's a USB2GO type of device. If the optional microphone plugs in there then I'd bet that it is actually using USB protocols to communicate.
  • optional microphone - I really saw this one coming.
    • NOT included
    • 320x240 or 160x120 modes
    • Image can not be viewed on FT1D, LCD limitation of course
    • Image is time and date stamped, has geotag from GPS
    • 20 seconds TX for 320x240, 4s TX 160x120
    • Jpeg format
    • I wonder how much this mediocre accessory will add to the cost of the radio?
  • Digital ARTS
    • Auto-Range Transponding System
    • A technology that lets you know when you move out of range of a sister station. I'm guessing it has a watchdog timer and sends a ping out every so often. If you get a ping, the watchdog is reset. If the watchdog runs out, you're alerted. Just a guess.
    • Does anyone use this? I have a FT-50R with the older ARTS and I've never once used it.
  • GPS
  • "E-GPS" a way to transmit GPS data to other users. Sounds like a proprietary version of APRS to me. There's a distinct lack of reference to APRS in this document.
  • GSM - Group Short Message
    • Texting for Ham Radio. But it looks like it has two major limitations: Your message goes to everyone in the vicinity/group and it's 80 characters. SMS is 160.
    • At least you can request a receipt response.
    • Maybe, maybe you can limit who is notified of a message. I know due to the nature of Ham Radio there's no expectation of privacy so you can't block other people from reading messages, but they could at least let you choose who is notified of a new message.
The last piece of the puzzle that I'm still waiting to learn is price. As of May 20 2012, universal-radio has yet to publish anything about MSRP:
I would note, one of their bullet points is APRS but I think that was an assumption on their part, there's no reference to it in the brochure.

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