ThumbDV

Special Pricing on the Purchase of Multiple ThumbDV™

AMBE USB 3000 ThumbDV™

ThumbDV™ – DV3000U

AMBE USB 3000 ThumbDV™

ThumbDV™ – DV3000U

There are some projects that are using multiple ThumbDV™ to handle transcoding digital voice data from one protocol to another.

In support of these projects NW Digital Radio is offering a 5% discount on the purchase of 2 or more ThumbDV™ on the same order, to the same address, through the end of 2017.

To receive this discount, simply order 2 or more ThumbDV™ and in the shipping cart input the coupon code transcode and the discount will be applied to your order.

If purchasing more than 10 items (ThumbDV™ or UDRC) on the same order, contact sales@nwdigitalradio.com to inquire about quantity discounts.

NW APRS Summer Gathering 2017

NW Digital Radio team members will be presenting at The Northwest APRS Summer Gathering in North Bend (WA) on September 9th.

Topics to be presented will include:

  • UDRX™ Status Update
  • A Raspberry Pi Based ~1W Transceiver mentioned at the Dayton Hamvention® (Xenia)
  • NetTNC an EMCOMM Appliance
  • UDR-Tracker an APRS® Mobile Appliance
  • ThumbDV™ New SW and Applications

To learn more about the APRS® event, subscribe  to the newsletter.

Presentations will be posted on the web after the gathering.

Note: NW Digital Radio team members will not be presenting at TAPR DCC in St. Louis this year.

Holiday Sale on ThumbDV

The ThumbDV™ is on sale through December 25th for $99.95, that’s a savings of $20 over list price.

ThumbDV™ – See the Resource Page for SW

Check out the Wikis

Check out the Wiki pages for the newest documentation.

AMBE Wiki for information on the ThumbDV™, PiDV™, and AMBEserver

UDRC Wiki for information on using the UDRC™ for applications such as APRS™, dstarrepeater, direwolf, fldigi, and Xastir.

We have more information coming for application users, developers, and experimenters.

Club Discount

The UDRC-II has generated renewed interest in Digital Radio. We were recently approached by a local club that wanted to make a group buy, so we’ve put together a quantity discount program.

Buy 5 of any of our products (they don’t have to be all the same) and receive a 5% discount. Use coupon:

club5

Or receive 10% off on 10 or more. Use coupon:

club10

You must place a single order to one shipping address to qualify.

Putting AMBEserver on the Internet

If you have a low latency and responsive Internet connection, you can place an AMBEserver directly on the Internet and access it remotely through Buster, DummyRepeater, or any other program that provides AMBEserver connectivity.

Raspberry Pi with PiDV and ThumbDV

Raspberry Pi with PiDV and ThumbDV

The first step is to connect a PiDV™ to the GPIO of a Raspberry Pi or a ThumbDV™ to the USB port of a computer which will run the AMBEserver.  A Raspberry Pi is more than sufficient for this task and provides an economical platform for AMBEserver, however, the choice of computer is up to you.  Follow the directions on this page (updated instructions on the wiki) for a Raspberry Pi build and configuration.

Once you have built your AMBEserver, verify that it is working with the included Python scripts, ‘ambesocktest.py’ will test the UDP socket, it returns the AMBE-3000 model number repetitively until killed (with control-C) if the daemon is functioning properly on port 2460.

On your local network, configure Buster or DummyRepeater to access the AMBEserver on the LAN IP address of your AMBEserver. When you have a working AMBEserver, then it is time to make it available outside your LAN.

Picture of Buster Preferences

Buster Preferences for AMBEserver

DummyRepeater Select AMBEserver

DummyRepeater Preferences for AMBEserver

Since there are a variety of routers/firewalls/modems that connect you to your ISP it is beyond the scope of this article to provide specific instructions, but all that is required is to forward an external port (default 2460) on your public IP to the LAN IP address of your AMBEserver (e.g. 192.168.0.5) at the designated port (default 2460).  You may want to choose a different UDP port in your AMBEserver and for your public facing IP address.  If you use the same port for both, then you most likely can configure Buster or DummyRepeater once for use at home and away by using your public IP address (replace the LAN IP address or Localhost IP Address).

Now take your Buster or DummyRepeater system to a remote location and test accessing AMBEserver over the Internet using your public IP address.

Update: The PiDV is not currently in production.  Check out BlueDV for Windows and BlueDV for Android at http://www.pa7lim.nl/bluedv — the latest BlueDV for Android can use AMBEserver.

Native MacOS Application for ThumbDV™ and PiDV™

 

 

Buster on App Store

 

Jeremy McDermond, NH6Z, undertook writing a native application for Mac OS® and it is now available on the  Mac App Store.

Buster is not a product of NW Digital Radio and support requests should go directly to Jeremy.

Jeremy has stated that the source code will be made publicly available via GitHub and he is open to collaboration for future versions.

It works with a ThumbDV™ on a Mac OS® USB port and with AMBEserver™, locally or over a network.  AMBEserver can support either the ThumbDV™ or PiDV™.

This application has been in beta for several months and is both stable and feature rich.  It takes advantage of several Mac OS® specific services.  For example, it will use Apple Core Location service to determine your current location and reports it via D-STAR.  It also provides mapping of remote stations who are reporting position.

There is one known issue:  The way that Mac OS® powers USB ports during its sleep state may cause communication issues with the the ThumbDV™ upon wake up.  Most casual users will not experience this condition. The condition is resolved by removing and re-inserting the ThumbDV™ into the USB port.  Linux and Microsoft Windows sleep state does not exhibit this condition.  Since FTDI USB drivers are not written by NW Digital Radio, buyers of the ThumbDV™ should consider this when making a purchase decision.

All trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade dress, product names and logos appearing on the site are the property of their respective owners, including in some instances NW Digital Radio. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved.

 

FlexRadio Systems® and NW Digital Radio Offer D-STAR Compatible Solution

FlexRadio Systems®, the premier manufacturer of amateur radio SDR transceivers, will soon release an update to their SmartSDR™ software in support of the JARL’s D-STAR standard through installing the ThumbDV™ Waveform Module into SmartSDR™.

Owners of FLEX-6000™ Signature Series transceivers may add AMBE encoding/decoding to their radios by inserting the ThumbDV™ into one of the available USB ports.  Use of D-STAR digital voice mode will then be enabled through SmartSDR™ software.

“The partnership of NW Digital Radio and FlexRadio Systems forged at DCC last year has yielded a unique opportunity for FlexRadio owners to add the D-STAR mode to their FLEX-6000, as a component of our growing digital voice offerings.” said Steve Hicks, N5AC, VP Engineering for FlexRadio Systems®.

“It’s been great working with Flex to add D-STAR to their world class SDR and are excited about being a part of their ongoing development of digital voice modes.” said Bryan Hoyer, K7UDR, CEO of NW Digital Radio.

HF D-STAR is a growing mode with daily nets on all bands from 80-6 meters, as well as local VHF/UHF simplex and repeater networks.  For more information about HF D-STAR net operations please visit D-STAR HF Net

A real-time HF QSO finder can be found at HF D-STAR QSO Finder

The NW Digital Radio ThumbDV™ digital voice dongle will be available directly from FlexRadio Systems®, as well as from NW Digital Radio.

John Hays (K7VE) from NW Digital Radio and Steve Hicks (N5AC) from FlexRadio, will be available for questions, at the Huntsville Hamfest.

Press Contacts:
John Hays, Director, NW Digital Radio, k7ve@nwdigitalradio.com
Lori Hicks, Director Marketing Communications, FlexRadio Systems®, lori@flexradio.com


 

D-STAR is an open standard developed by the Japanese Amateur Radio League (JARL) under a grant from the Japanese Government
D-STAR is a wordmark of Icom Inc., in the United States and certain other countries.
AMBE-3000™ technology is developed and licensed by Digital Voice Systems Incorporated.
All other trademarks are registered to their respective owners.

ThumbDV™ – Model A

Beginning with orders placed after July 9th, 2015 a new revision of the ThumbDV™ will be shipped.

The only difference between the original ThumbDV™ and the new model ‘A’ is that the USB serial port will now operate at 460800 baud instead of 230400 baud.  Programs like WinDV, DummyRepeater, and AMBEserver have been updated  to support both baud rates.  It may take a few days for DummyRepeater to be pushed out with the change.

There is no change for D-STAR applications except selecting the faster baud rate.

Note: At this time we recommend using DummyRepeater with ‘AMBEserver -n’ (-n is for new baud rate) for best performance with model ‘A’.

The latest source for AMBEserver can be found at GitHub.

Why are we changing the baud rate?

NW Digital Radio has been working with some OEM customers who will be integrating the ThumbDV™ into their products, including DMR based systems, and their existing programs use the higher baud rate to communicate with the AMBE3000 chip.  Moving to the higher rate allows these customers to more quickly integrate these systems.

Will older ThumbDV™ devices continue to be supported and sold?

NW Digital Radio will support ThumbDV™ both original and ‘A’ models.

Our inventory of original ThumbDV™ dongles sold out on the same day that the new model ‘A’ was delivered from the Washington State assembly house.  We do not plan to manufacture any additional 230400 baud ‘original’ ThumbDV™ dongles.

All new orders will receive the ThumbDV™ model ‘A’

What about the PiDV™ (DV3000)?

There are no plans to move the PiDV™ (GPIO) to a different baud rate.  However, it is relatively easy for the user to modify the boards to support additional baud rates through trace cutting and jumpers. [Note: the PiDV™ is not currently being produced or sold. Please use the ThumbDV™.  If you need a large quantity of PiDV™, 50 or more, contact sales.]

There has been some confusion, hopefully the following will help clear it up.

The ability to do vocoding for DMR, D-STAR, Fusion, P25 Phase 2, etc. is built into the AMBE 3000 chip.  The new Model ‘A’ only changes the baud rate that the serial port passes packets to and from the chip.  It does not change any other capability between the original and Model ‘A’.

The 230400 baud rate is sufficient for all of these protocols.  The OEM(s) we are working with are swapping out another USB AMBE-3000 device with the ThumbDV. That other device was strapped at 460800 and they just want to swap it out.

It doesn’t make sense for us to make 2 models, one strapped at 230400 and one strapped at 460800 so we are now making all units strapped at the higher baud rate.

There is no secret, hidden, message here.  It’s a simple baud rate change that we wanted customers to be aware of, nothing more.

Here is the math:

The fastest input from one voice stream is 128 Kbps (8000 samples per second at 16 bits). So 230 kbps in is more than sufficient. The fastest rate out is full rate at 7.2kbps, DMR, Fusion half rate,  and D-STAR are at 3.6kbps. (This is for encoding, reverse for decoding.) There is only one packet stream, so you don’t get any doubling of these numbers.

There is literally nothing different than the selected baud rate, implemented in an update printed circuit board that changes what lines are strapped down.

The AMBE 3000 chip provides the vocoding, and only the vocoding.  The various protocols embed the vocoding in their respective data streams.  The ‘devices’ (e.g. AMBE 3000 boards, dongles, etc.) are not involved in the actual protocols, only in turning voice into AMBE and AMBE into voice.

Please view John Speaks on DV Modes at MicroHams to see how digital voice systems are built up.

John Speaks on DV Modes at MicroHams