Imagine a group of 100 people with a common interest, each one has his own ideas and each one thinks its idea is the best one compare to the others. Now imagine each one of these individuals starts to develop its own idea without sharing, at least the concept, among the group. The group will end up to have 100 different projects not compatible between each other or, maybe, interchangeable but all of these projects are having a common line: the ether, the wave lines.
Now apply all I wrote above to the Amateur Radio Community: in the last 10/15 years we have developed (or used) new technologies and each one absolutely not related to another one. Some of them, such as Echolink, cannot be compared as they are a different way to communicate (for which, in my honest opinion, I’m not seeing it as Ham Radio) but we also developed or adopted new digital technologies. Nowadays we have D-Star, DMR, C4FM along to their respective “via-the-cable” connections such as Wires-X, Reflectors, X-Reflectors, Echolink,, etc…
Inside that we have the additional features allowing people to interact with the systems when they are not geographically close between each other, so like Wires-X interconnects a Japanese node to an Italian node, on the same way X-Reflectors can interconnect a Brazilian D-Star node to a Finnish D-Star node.
D-Star “new” capability is now the CCS7 protocol, nowhere defined as such, but (will be) de facto an additional feature to the D-Star world.
So where is the problem in all the above ruminations I wrote above? None of these systems is interconnected or can be interconnected to the others, A D-Star repeater cannot communicate with a C4FM repeater, despite the fact Yaesu is calling “Fusion” their system, and all because of royalties on their respective protocols (Icom for D-Star, Yaesu for C4FM, Hytera for DMR) not counting the wannabe digital radios the Chinese marketers are selling now on almost any online platform.
We all need to focus on the fact that, by the time goes by, there are less and less Amateur Radio aficionados, look at your local Ham Radio Fests, look at your hair colour, look at your son/grandson how interested they are in our technology and think about it and for how long we can be “a single piece” if we continue to fight for our and just our idea without sharing it.
Life is too short.