The DV MEGA Project

Interesting stuff for D-Star lovers: Guus PE1PLM is in the process of dismantling the D-Star protocol in order to create the first Open Source D-Star transceiver.


He writes:

The goal of the DV-MEGA project is to develop a KIT for a dual-band D-Star transceiver.
Because this can’t be done overnight different modules will be available all based on the D-Star stream. The D-Star steam is common to a DV-node adapter, radio hotspot and transceiver.

Project related documents and software will be available for download on this site under GNU GPL license. The whole project is open-source and free for everyone to copy or adapt to your own needs.

You can follow his progress at, or communicate with Guus on the pcrepeatercontroller Yahoo group.


12 comments on “The DV MEGA Project

  1. If it’s all totally open then fair enough, good luck to them.
    If it still needs a proprietary device, then…….. yawn….. still not interested.
    Would rather have an open standard or something the commercial world uses, like Moto.

    • No, it’s all in the voice “codec” – Death-Star uses a unique one, the open dPMR and DMR standards use different ones.

      • No I think you are not well informed. The d-star uses the Ambe 2000 or 2020. DMR uses a newer chip from the same brand. This chip has the same patent isues as the chip from d-star. In DMR and D-star this is the only part that is not open.

        I can not speak about dPMR because I have not enough knowledge about the protocoll they use.

  2. D-Star uses AMBE, not compatible with current euro digital standards DMR and dPMR using AMBE+2 (Moto/Kenwood/Icom equipment). It may be that they all use the same chips from DVS, but I still think it would be more ideal to use pro standard gear, benefit from decommissioned pro radios in years to come, etc.
    Even if it’s still a closed codec, at least the rest of it would be in line with pro standards and not out on a limb with hams doing their own thing. And possibly the Chinese cheap gear would all join in and we could benefit from that too.

    • @Transmogrification1
      You are more informed than I first thougt. And I agree with you that the amateur should benefit from abandoned pro radio’s.

      The real problem In my opinion with DMR lies in the fact that it is not developed for hamradio. But let us wait to see what hams are capable to change DMR to meet the demand for hamradio. Like hotspots, real callsign routing etc..

  3. The vocoder is not specified in the DMR spec, there are up to 41 different implementations beside Tier 1,2,3. Furthermore i din’t know that The D in DMR and D-star means Death. But it sound good Death mobile radio. This is ofcource a joke pointed in the direction of Mr. Transmogrification1.

    Almost every digital piece uses a proprietary device. If we take all our equipment out of the shack that has a proprietary device in it. I think we end up with our old fashion Crystal radio earpiece. But this is not the world of today. D-Star is just as open as DMR, no question about that.

    AMBE, AMBE+ and AMBE+2 are de-coding algorithms and AMBE2000, AMBE2020 and AMBE3000 are chips that make use of previous algorithms.

    Many people are complaining that it is closed and no experiments can be done. On the other hand approx. 10 people/groups worldwide have made software/firmware for a D-Star node or tranceiver. So it can be done. I know that it is much more complicate than the projects we did 10 years ago.

    Last week i have tried to read me a little in the DMR spec’s, but believe me this is far more complex then D-Star. In my opinion there is no perfect system. A perfect systems means end of our hobby. I see the next project already, a interface between DMR and D-Star. Because D-Star and DMR are more compatible as anyone think. The digital stream from the AMBE3000 can “speak” to the PCM3500 in the same way the AMBE2020 can. So link the digital voice, port the slow data and for D-Star we use VHF for timeslot 1 and UHF for timeslot 2.


    Guus van Dooren

  4. Digging a bit into the dv mega site shows that the “dismantling” includes a good reading of the available d-star protocol documentation and the open source hardware implementation includes use of the famous AMBE2020 codec chip.
    So when I peel away all the buzzwords used it is a new implementation of all the building blocks of d-star with the designs to be available, using the same chip all implementations use.

  5. Lot’s of people complaining about the codecs but none of them have made something available IN A CHIP…

Comments are closed.