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D Star... the latest and greatest for Ham Radio

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posted on Oct, 10 2011 @ 02:12 PM

I've been out of the Amateur radio scene for several years now but an interesting article caught my eye recently...
How can D-STAR help first responders using D-RATS

D-RATS is a multi-platform integrated tool for communication using D-STAR radios (read more here). With only a pair of radios (or an entire repeater stack) a variety of data transmission methods are supported, including:
■Instant-message chat
■Automatic beacon messages
■File transfers with error detection
■Structured forms
■GPS position reports
■And much more!

well now that is something and I had to look into it...
well D rats is an app for D Star... but what is D Star???

The system today is capable of linking repeaters together locally and through the Internet utilizing callsigns for routing of traffic. Servers are linked via TCP/IP utilizing proprietary "gateway" software, available from Icom. This allows amateur radio operators to talk to any other amateur participating in a particular gateway "trust" environment. The current master gateway in the United States is operated by the K5TIT group in Texas, who were the first to install a D-Star repeater system in the U.S.

or in other words... they have an Internet that also operates via ham radio... pretty cool...

Radios providing DV data service within the low-speed voice protocol variant typically use an RS-232 or USB connection for low speed data (1200 bit/s), while the Icom ID-1 23 cm band radio offers a standard Ethernet connection for high speed (128 kbit/s) connections, to allow easy interfacing with computer equipment.[8]

not blazing by any means but this is just getting started...

there is an even older standardProject 25 they are doing much the same and have since 95... the real question is D Star better???
I dont know but I'm going to do a little more digging into it...
Wiki on D Star
ICOM's D Star Page

posted on Oct, 10 2011 @ 03:10 PM
I like the look of this.. Im going to have a little look into it....

thank you )

posted on Oct, 10 2011 @ 11:47 PM
Yeah D Star is the wave of the future in Ham, like having GPS on a HT or Mobile for APRS operation. Or the Flex radio was a few years ago, New high tech transceiver that's 100 Microprocessor based. I myself an sort of Old fashioned as far as Hamming goes. Yeah i can see a lot of new areas in the Network based relay patch between Repeaters. Personally myself I'm into HF 160-10 Meters. I'll leave this new area of 2meter and 70cm to the newer younger and venturous hams. I like direct radio to radio contact.

There is a limited amount of Repeaters out there at are DStar enabled or linked. They are becoming more and more common, but Dstar originated with ICom, Kenwood now does have one or two transceivers now that are also DStar complaint. But as far as i know its mostly an Icom thing. So that kinda shy's me away from it as well. Yeasu, Alinco and other companies as far as i know are left out in the cold in this area. Yeasu's VX8DR and new GR series are neither comparable ether, though they are ARPS compatible.

edit on 10-10-2011 by Pegasus2000 because: Spelling

posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 08:52 AM
reply to post by Pegasus2000

your not the only old school ham...
it would cost me a ton of cash to upgrade my old gear...
Tucked away in the back of my workshop in my old YAESU FT-101ZD
was a great HF back in the day... wonder if it still works????

posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 09:09 AM
Although i am a ham radio user i have not entered the world of D Star yet. I am having enough problems trying out PSK 35. maybe one day though i will take a peek and see what it is all about.
Good luck to all of you that do try it though. 73's

posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 02:55 PM
It might be the latest, but is it really the greatest? To me, I think not.

First of all, to me it's similar to Echolink and the like. It's not, to me, *real* radio. First of all, with all that TCP/IP links, you can *see* the wires, if you get my drift. For me, a great deal of the charm of playing radio is the magic of signals being received or propagated into thin air. Radio -> Antenna and *poof* magic. And it need not be anything fancy either, again all part of the charm. Out back I've got a 100ft doublet strung out between the skylight and a shed, fed with about 10 yards of ladderline, 1:1 current balun and coax into my radios. Cheap, practical magic.

Secondly, digital radio, like this and DAB, just does not sound pleasing to the ear. You get that "bubble" effect when reception is a bit poor, and that total loss "cliff effect" loss of reception to which analogue is not prone. Plus, more importantly, there are no whines, squeals and hisses in the background. Nothing beats the sound of a heterodyne whine as you're twiddling the VFO and your bandpass filters, eaking out that faint signal from the noise.... All those swooshes and pops. Again, all part of the charm of analogue radio.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy playing with other digital modes on HF. RTTY, PSK31, SSTV and JT65/WSPR (which is amazing for QRP.. Work the world on a watt..) but D-STAR, like Echolink, just does not interest me in a radio sense and also, with being able to see the wires, and the expense of D-STAR equipment, I don't really see it as being HAM radio. Granted, traditionally HAM radio has always been at the forefront of new developments like this but me, I like to keep it simple. Throw some wire in the air, feed it some RF and the world is your oyster with no more than a mic or a morse key.


edit on 11-10-2011 by Lozzo because: typos

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