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Re: TDMA - Reading the mail

At 08:38 PM 12/20/2000 -0600, Jon Ogden wrote:
>One question about a TDMA or CDMA type satellite signal:  How would one go
>about "reading the mail"  or joining in a round table QSO?  The beauty of
>analog is we all share the same spectrum/time space.  That is also the worst
>part about it as well.

First, let me say that I believe it is extremely important that a system 
such as Phil has been describing should be able to do what you describe 

With today's Frequency-Division-Multiplexed signals, you grab that big 
round knob on your transciever and turn it to tune in the desired 
conversation.  That obviously won't perform the same function in a system 
that depends on a digital multiplexing scheme (be it CDMA or TDMA or 
AMSATDMA or whatever).  Therefore, the big round knob simply needs to be 
replaced by something that accomplishes the same thing.  In particular, we 
need two things.  First, the protocols (rules) that make the system work 
have to be designed to allow you to listen to and join ongoing 
conversations, and second we must design user-interface features into the 
user terminal software to let you perform these functions.

Because said protocols and software haven't been designed yet, I'll have to 
be a little fuzzy, but also because they haven't been designed yet I'm free 
to describe some wild blue sky ideas about how such a user interface might 
appear.  I'm not sure these are the right ideas yet.  They are just my 
first ideas about how it might appear to the user.  I don't mind sharing 
half-baked ideas as long as you understand these aren't product 
specifications or promises.

Lets consider voice conversations.  Suppose on your computer screen there 
appeared a list of ongoing conversations.  The list might show you the 
callsigns of the people involved.  Suppose you could click on one of these 
conversations and instantly the sound of voices would come out the speakers 
(or headphones).  You could click on a different conversation and the sound 
would instantly change to the sound of the voices in that conversation.

Clicking on a conversation in a list has replaced turning a big round knob.

Of course we could give you a big round knob if we wanted to.

Imagine ... The system might also know the location of the stations 
involved in the conversation.  (Perhaps that's transmitted as part of the 
protocol.)  One could have software where dots lit up on a map showing you 
the locations of the guys involved in the conversation as you clicked on 
them.  (Gee, your SSB radio can't do that.)

Keep in mind, this is just one idea for how it might work.  All the 
information would be there in your computer, so we could use all the power 
of modern software to interface with the human in a useful and pleasing manner.

You want pictures of the people talking instead of their callsigns?  Hey, 
it's just software.

Its fun to think about what one might do in such software.  With open 
protocol specs, various folks could create their own versions of such 
software and try to out-do the prior team.  (Much like what happened with 
satellite tracking programs a decade ago.)

Automated logging?  Hey, why type callsigns into logging software?  Your 
computer would already know who you are talking with.

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