Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ID-51 Short Review

It's been a couple days and I've been playing with the ID-51 WITHOUT reading the manual.  I'm familiar with D-Star so I know all the terminology, programming, etc. so it's not that hard to pick this unit up and get started.

I like testing products without reading the manual.  I'm a software developer and my feelings are...if you need a manual, then you're doing something wrong.  Think of your smartphone (iPhone, Android, etc).  You can give that to your 2-year old and they can pick it up and start using it right away.

The ID-51 is pretty close to that.  It's pretty easy to pick up and start using.  Here it is below sitting on my desk connected to reflector 30C.

Some people have reported "muffled" audio.  The ID-31 had this issue before a firmware update fixed that.  Some say this unit has muffled audio also.  So a couple of hints for TX Audio.  I changed my setting from the factory setting of "2" to a setting of "3".  I also turned down the Bass, and turned up the Treble and that seems to sound pretty good. 

Remember - with D-Star, the sound is encoded directly at the time of transmit and only data bits go across the air/wire.  So any sounds issues have to be fixed at the source before encoding, or at the destination during decoding (but most receiving users aren't going to touch their settings so it's up to the transmitting station).  Do some tests and play with what sounds good.

I wish the unit shipped with a programming cable and a microSD card.  It's kind of a pain to swap the SD card to/from the computer to get it programmed, but frankly, I haven't done that yet - all hands on programming - and so far it's pretty intuitive.  It's not necessary to get up and running, but would help.

More reviews and helpful hints to come.  Stay tuned.


Zack - N8ZAK

Friday, January 25, 2013

Moved the Blog

Moved the blog from my hosted CMS platform to Google's Blogger platform.  I've always been pretty happy with Blogger, but I hated the CMS platforms.  Not one, of them have ever got it right.  So I'm back.

This site will be dedicated to my ham radio adventures.