D*Star FAQ (What can I do with it?)

What does D-STAR* stand for?

D-STAR stands for Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio.

D-STAR* only works on 1.2 GHz?

Low-speed DV D-STAR* voice and data works just fine at 144 and 430-440 MHz. 1.2 GHz supports the bandwidth needs of high-speed DD data. Choose the technology that satisfies your needs.

There’s no difference between D-STAR* and packet?

Even D-STAR*’s lowest speed is competitive with the highest-performance packet systems available today. D-STAR*’s simultaneous digital voice and data at 4800 bps is beyond the capability of any packet technology. High-speed D-STAR* systems are ten times faster than the highest packet speeds.

D-STAR* is no different from IRLP or Echolink?

VOIP systems like IRLP and Echolink® are only capable of routing voice signals. They don’t support data exchange at any speed. Calls targeted to a specific user are not possible by any amateur technology except for D-STAR*.

D-STAR* is just a digital party line!

The ability of D-STAR* repeaters to route data and digitized voice worldwide sets it far apart from a simple party line. Sophisticated D-STAR* controllers and gateways implement modern telecommunications functions in an amateur package.

Will I be locked into Icom equipment forever?

While Icom is the first manufacturer to support D-STAR*, any manufacturer or amateur can use the JARL standards to create equipment – transceivers, repeaters, and gateways – compatible with the D-STAR* system. As the D-STAR* system grows, look for other manufacturers to join the fun.

What can I do with the D-STAR* radio?

4.8kbps digital voice (DV) mode and 128kbps data** (DD) mode communications are available. When using DD mode with a PC and the D-STAR* radio, high speed data communication is possible. ** DD mode is available with ID-1 only.

Can I send data with a voice transmission?

Yes, you can. In DV mode operation, you can simultaneously send up to 950bps of data, such as call sign, short data message or GPS position with a voice transmission.

Can I use the D-STAR* repeater without connecting to the Internet?

Yes, you can use a D-STAR* repeater as a local repeater. You can also communicate with other D-STAR* radios directly.

Can I make a call with foreign countries?

Yes, you can**. The Internet gateway allows you to relay your call to a remote D-STAR* repeater over the Internet. The D-STAR* repeater call sign and IP address must be registered to the gateway server. ** Some restrictions may apply depending on specific countries’ regulations.

Can I receive a call only when the call is intended for me?

Yes, you can. The call sign squelch function opens the squelch only when your call sign is received.

How do I set a repeater call sign when I make a call to a desired station using a D-STAR* repeater?

When you communicate with other D-STAR* stations using a D-STAR* repeater, it is necessary to set the repeater’s call sign in RPT1/RPT2 as well as the desired station call sign and your own call sign. For example, when you make a call in the same zone (without using the Internet gateway), set the uplink repeater call sign in RPT1 and the downlink repeater call sign in RPT2. Set “CQCQCQ” for the desired station call sign, when you make a CQ call. When you make a call in another zone using the Internet gateway, set the uplink repeater call sign in RPT1 and the gateway call sign in RPT2. The gateway repeater has “G” setting for the 8th-digit. Set “/” plus downlink repeater call sign at the desired station call sign, when you make a CQ call.

What range will the system offer?

Range always varies due to terrain and antenna height, but 20-40 miles* from the repeater is normal. Due to digital technology, benefits of up to 20% have been experienced over comparable analogue systems. *20-40 miles is a best case measurement, distances will vary based on frequency used and other terrain obstacles. 23cm can easily be only 2-3 miles based on topography.

What is Protocol?

“In computing, a protocol is a convention or standard that controls or enables the connection, communication, and data transfer between two computing endpoints.” Essentially, protocols are the “rules of engagement” between two devices that allow them to connect to each other and exchange data. Protocols don’t guarantee that the data exchanged is correct or has meaning, they just describe how the data gets from one point to another. There are two D-STAR* protocols; one for the air link that controls over-the-air transmissions and one that controls how information is exchanged between gateways. If you can create a radio or a program that plays by those rules, you can connect to the D-STAR* world. Because D-STAR* is an open protocol, all of the necessary information to play by those rules is publicly available.

One thought on “D*Star FAQ (What can I do with it?)

  1. You have created a really nice,informative website. Excellent! I wish all repeater groups provided as much information about their system and D-Star for beginners.

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