Sub $200 D-Star radio in the making?

This was spotted on a D-Star Yahoo group:

Hi Everyone,

In case you do not know me, I am President of Connect Systems Inc. and I am responsible for getting to HAM market a commercial grade DMR radio for $180. This is about 1/4 the price you would pay for a New Motorola 6550 MotoTRBO radio. Beside running the company I am also a design Engineer.

I few days ago I had a long conversation with Mark Thompson (WB9QZB) and he convinced me I should seriously look into developing a DSTAR radio in competition with ICOM that has a selling price to HAMS for less than $200. He supplied me with three Documents named “D-STAR Uncovered”, “D-STAR System”, and “D-STAR radio packet structure for the Digital Voice (DV) mode. I studied the documents and at first glance I came to the conclusion that the development of this type of Radio is much simpler than either NXDN or DMR. So now I am seriously looking to develop the radio.

I have four questions I would like to ask. Put on the subject matter the word D-STAR someplace if you would like to e-mail me at jerry _at_

Question 1
What features would you like me to add to this radio that is not already in the ICOM radio?

Question 2
Given a choice for a commercial grade D-Star radio for about $200 (Such as Motorola or Kenwood quality) or an amateur grade D-STAR radio for about $30 less (Such as Wouxun) quality), which would you pick?

Question 3
Is there any software (Source Code) available that I could look at that would show how to design the radio part of a DSTAR System. Even better if someone made a working breadboard of a D-STAR radio.

Question 4
Is there anyone who completely understands the protocol of D-STAR down to the bit level?

Thanks in advance for answering these questions.

Jerry Wanger


Connect Systems Inc

Connect Systems CS700 DMR handheld

When you focus too much on Chinese radios, which are supposed to be cheaper than anything else, you might miss something. I did miss something indeed, but thanks to Jason KC5HWB (click here) I can make up for my apparent tunnel vision.

I never heard of Connect Systems before, which caused me to miss a potential gem: the Connect Systems CS700 DMR handheld. This radio, fully compatible with Motorola and Hytera DMR radios, changes hands for around $180. I discussed the radio with PA0ETE, who is now in the process of acquiring two samples.

If all goes according to plan, we will share our findings with you as soon as possible.