HAM Radio operators using the latest digital communication technology.
D-STAR (Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio) is becoming more and more available for the HAM Radio community. The first repeaters are now operational in the Netherlands and across Europe a number of Gateways (to the internet) are available for D-Star equipped Radio Amateurs.
A good place to start exploring D-Star is www.d-star.cc. Here you can find most of the D-Star sites available right now.
There are some fora on Yahoo and especially Radio Amateurs located in Australia, the USA and Germany have generated a lot of info on the net including application programs using DD, the D-Star digital data mode.
I have also bought now a Icom ID-E880 transceiver. This receiver is much better to operate in the car. The display is bigger and you have also some more rf output power to put in the antenna! The transceiver is very suitable for D-Star but you can also use it for Analog activiteis and to listen to utility stations and airtraffic.
The software to program all the memory channels with the pc is free available and the cable can be made very easy.
ID-E880 data cable and icf file
Click on the picture to enlarge. Here you can download my E880 ICF file.
Surf to www.dstarusers.org/repeaters.php for the most actual status on repeaters including reflectors and stations heard.
My ICF file and the RS-92 software
I could get hold of the RS-92 software and RS232 interface cable. It’s RS-92 version 1.0 and looks like this.
It is basically a memory management piece of software, but you can also control the rig using the above left shown userinterface. The memory management module works very smart, with delete and insert functions and it’s very easy to add channels and to maintain all the relevant data such as name tags, repeater offset frequencies, tone squelch and specific DStar information like Repeater and Gateway names. There is also a simple message module build in and you can start a terminal (telnet type) session.
Here you can download my ICF file with frequencies used in the Netherlands, especially around Zwolle and some D-Star repeaters in Germany.
So far so good. It’s an interesting mode and due to this new mode my ‘mobile’ radio activity has gone up again. I had a very good experience while driving in Germany towards the Hamradio event and working for almost an hour or so while driving 160 Km/h and making solid copy qso’s with various German HAM operators. The repeater used was DB0HRF on mount Taunus near Frankfurt. I must admit, the Icom E-92D is a joy to use and the menu structure is workable in the car as well. (You need to know some functions out of the top of your head)
Also, as ‘out of the band’ receiver, the E-92D does do it’s job and having shortwave reception in the car of RNW is an absolut valuable asset.