UDRC

2018 – State of the Union

NW Digital Radio has been evolving over the last few years.  Our initial focus was to develop a 70cm radio focused specifically at higher speed digital communications for the amateur radio market.  This is still a goal, however, due to a series of conditions we cannot predict when this will happen.

While working on the various aspects of the radio we have been able to produce a series of products that have sustained the ongoing efforts of the company.

We have learned a lot in the process and will be taking that knowledge into new products going forward.

We at NW Digital Radio are problem solvers, and like the process of assembling a project from components, both hardware and software, and have delivered products based on that model.

For some products this model works very well, like our ThumbDV™, which has been very successful when used with software like BlueDV, WinDV, AMBEserver, DummyRepeater, XLX/ambed, and more.  Thousands are finding that the ThumbDV™ is just the right product at the right price point and are successfully using it to communicate from computer, over the network, to Digital Voice protocols such as D-STAR, DMR, and more.

Other products, such as the UDRC and UDRC II, have allowed the creation of digital communications systems whether D-STAR repeaters,  fldigi workstations, Direwolf sound modem TNCs, or other soundcard DSP based systems.  Many of these projects have come about by experimentation and integration by individual amateurs working with open source software and our boards.

However, as we talk with customers and potential customers, we find that many are more interested in solutions that are prepackaged with hardware, software, and a case.  Basically, they want a “plug and play” solution that requires little to no integration beyond basic cabling to radios and some minor, guided, configuration.

In 2018, you will see NW Digital Radio evolving from a component provider to a solution provider.  We continue to be dedicated to products that leverage open source software and standard platforms, but will be focusing on delivering solutions that are pre-integrated with hardware, software, and packaging.

We will also continue to provide the experimenter and developer a platform that they can access and build upon.

Furthermore, we intend to use the kick starter model on some products where there appears to be an interest in the community, but where we need to know the level of that interest before proceeding with full inclusion of an idea into our product line.  If you find a product on our kick starter list, please support it, the risk to you is minimal, while helping us bring out innovative solutions.

Some of the projects we have under design at the current time include:

  • A networked, multi-speed, TNC for packet radio
  • An Emcomm workstation
  • A device for combining multiple SDR-RTL dongles into a single platform
  • An integrated low power radio/TNC

and more.

Look for these projects to roll out over the next few months.  We think 2018 is going to be a great year to continue to put “The Amateur back in Amateur Radio” —

Your NW Digital Radio team.

UDRC D-STAR and the Yaesu DR-2X

At the current time the Yaesu DR-2X is not supported for D-STAR using the UDRC/UDRC-II.

Universal Digital Radio Controller

Please use the DR-1X for D-STAR with the UDRC/UDRC-II

UDRC II – Notice of Possible Programming Error

We have discovered that some UDRC IIs have shipped with a EEPROM programmed to identify it as an original UDRC.

Please review the wiki post at https://nw-digital-radio.groups.io/g/udrc/wiki/UDRC-II-EEPROM-Flashing for details on identifying and correcting this error.

Pi Cases are back in Stock!

The new supplier has shipped cases so we’ll fill all of our backorders this week.

The price has increased to $15 for new orders.

Thanks for your patience.

Pi Cases – Delivery Update

We received the first article from the new supplier and the design needs tweaking so that the tabs will assemble correctly. We have a new sample in process and I’l keep you apprised.

The UDRC-II Enables D-STAR on Many Repeaters

In case you missed the updates on the UDRC Wiki, there are now examples of adding D-STAR using the UDRC-II on many different repeaters:

Universal Digital Radio Controller

Yaesu DR-1X (currently available directly from Yaesu on a special promotion)

Kenwood TKR-750/850

Bridgecom Repeaters (including the 220 band)

Homebrew Systems

Use the message board to share your repeater and hotspot implementations using the UDRC or UDRC-II

If you can get at the discriminator and true FM modulator of a repeater, the UDRC-II gives you a way to add D-STAR.

Pi Cases for the UDRC-II

The Pi cases were designed and supplied by Budd Churchward, WB7FHC. Budd laser cuts the acrylic at a local DIY cooperative here in Washington.

Over the holidays the coop moved and they’re not back on line yet so we are working on alternative suppliers. We should have a first article next week and will be back in stock mid February.

If you have a case on backorder or order one now with a UDRC-II, it will be shipped for free as soon as they arrive.

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.

UDRC-II and the Process of Continuous Development

The great thing about Software is that you can improve it continuously. Here at NW Digital Radio, we view Hardware the same way. Each time we build out a PCB Fabrication run, it’s only engineering time and new solder-paste stencil charge to make any improvements. So we re-evaluate each product, looking for ways to make it better or appeal to a broader market.

Now that we’ve shipped hundreds of units, we’ve updated the UDRC based on feedback from the field.

UDRC-II Changes:

  • PTT and SQL are now independent and buffered on both ports making it a true 2 port controller
  • LEDs have been added to both PTTs and the 5V converter (only lights if wired to 12V)
  • The 12V to 5V converter has an RFI Filter and Transient Protection for Mobile Applications
  • The Audio Inputs and Outputs are now 100 ohms to improve cable matching
  • The EEPROM version allows the driver to auto-configure for the UDRC or UDRC-II

The UDRC-II starts shipping once we have all the documentation updated. All existing backorders will ship UDRC-II. The original UDRC will be obsoleted.

Limited Time Offer for all UDRC Owners!

If you’ve already purchased a UDRC, place an order for a UDRC-II by the end of September and receive a $20 Rebate. Just write UDRC Rebate in the comment field. Your email address must be in our Customer Database to qualify.