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RE: TDMA - Reading the mail

> 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 
> above.

Agreed.  Any ham digital protocol should be able to do the one-many that is
possible with current analog FDM systems.

> 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 

Why not a tuning knob? :-)  Instead of selecting frequency slots, it would
select time slots or access code numbers, but from a human interface POV, it
would feel like a real channel selector, like on a CB.

> 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.

And "user terminal software" should include a conventional built in "radio
style" interface.  Not all of us will want to connect the rig to our
computers all of the time.

> 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.
Hey, that's called brainstorming!  A useful part of a design process. :)

> 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.

Indeed, or have both, the knob on the radio itself, and the click, if you're
running computer control at the time.  Can take the process further and
build in scanning, which would work more efficiently on a digital system
with out of band signalling, because the radio would already know which
channels were in use and scan those only.  

> 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 

Well, why not?  Part of a TDMA based system involves knowing how far it is
to the satellite, which implies positional data.  As I mentioned in an
earlier message, why not transmit this information to other stations and the
network (and from there, on to the APRS network, if desired)?

> 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.)

Hehe, indeed.

> 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.

One thing I would consider important is that the computer interface be an
_optional_ part of the system.  In other words, the radio would want to be
self contained, with an interface (serial/USB/etc) to attach an optional
computer.  As a portable operator, the ability to operate a rig without a
truckload of attached hardware is high on my priority list.

> 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.

Imagine contesting, all you'd need to do is confirm the QSO that the radio
had recorded, the serial numbers could be auto generated. :-)

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