How does your radio turn an analog signal into a digital one? Magic? Data trolls? Naw... it is done by circuitry and software in the radio.
"Codec" is an abbreviation for enCOder/DECoder. A codec is the circuitry or software that does analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion. It essentialy takes your voice and turns it into a data stream for transmission over the air, and turns received data back into sound.
Codecs are tailored to specific applications and environments. Some codecs are designed to compress data as much as possible to save bandwidth and transmission time. Others emphasise audio quality and fidelity, which is what you would want in a good sound system. For example, the codec we use for D-STAR is different from the audio codec used by your cell phone. They both do the same thing, they just go about it in different ways.
Now that you know more than you probably wanted to about codecs, let's get back to D-STAR.
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