For years I have enjoyed exploring the magic of wireless and much of the electromagnetic spectrum. The hobby has rewarded me with opportunities both professional and personal. As a way to give back to the Ham Radio community, I will compile a list of resources to help others in their pursuits in this hobby of Ham Radio. I hope you find it as enriching as I. If you are not sure what it is, here is some info on what D-Star is, and why it is such a fun mode.
Locate the position of my last transmission on D-Star
First thing you need to do to start, is locate a nearby repeater gateway to register your callsign on. You only need to be registered on one gateway. If you don’t register, then your calls will not egress from the gateway you are using and only people on the local repeater will hear you, rather than anyone else on the greater D-Star network. To register, find a repeater/gateway near you. NOTE: not all gateways allow open registration, so try several near you, preferably in your state or county.
Ok, so you got yourself registered on D-Star, but where are the repeaters?
Here are some other ways aside from repeaters to connect to the world-wide D-Star network:
- hotspots – These can be built using commodity radios & a DV modem like the DVR PTR V1
- DVAP – a more portable short range USB device you can take along
- DVMEGA – You can use this add-on board with a raspberry pi & Linux
- DV Dongle – While not really a radio device, this does let you access radio systems via your laptop
So you decided to try one of the 4 methods listed above, now where do you connect to join the fun? Most of the time you will want to connect to reflectors. A reflector is a spacial server where dozens of radio systems are linked to. The idea is, if you talk on a linked system or on the reflector itself, you are talking across a much wider audience than a traditional single stand-alone repeater. There are different types of reflectors:
- D-PLUS (also referred to as REF)
- DCS (these started in Germany, but this technology is catching on in many countries including the USA)
- XRF (also known as dextra)