My D-STAR Information

Some information on D-Star along with links to other D-Star and Digital Voice sites.

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DMR, Fusion, MMDVM Information

D-STAR Digital Voice NEWS:

2017-03-03
The second production run of ZUM modems now v1.01 is available and works well in all Digital
Voice modes. It can be used as a high-power Hotspot with a xcvr or with a full-duplex repeater.
More about this on my DMR-Fusion-MMDVM page.

2017-01-31
Most of my work lately is with Multi-Mode DV systems like MMDVM, DVMega and Openspot.
As such, the update info will be mostly posted on the DMR-Fusion-MMDVM page.
Since ALL of these DV Multi-Mode systems do D-Star perfectly, you will not miss anything
by using a multi-mode device instead of a dedicated D-Star one.

For a low-power Hotspot, I reccomend the DVMega.
It is available in UHF-only or DualBand (VHF/UHF). As you can read on the MMDVM page,
the DVMega on boot-up can run either the standard G4KLX D-Star package running dstarrepeater 
and ircddbgateway, or the MMDVMHost software with ircddbgateway as the networking service.

The Openspot is more expensive but easier to setup and run,
plus it can do cross-mode DMR<>Fusion.

For a Homebrew D-Star repeater or high-power Hotspot, I previously recommended the
DVRPTR-V1 modem combined with the same G4KLX D-Star software on RPi.

That modem is out of production, and only 1 GMSK modem is still available from Europe.
Instead, the MMDVM modem replaces it but adds the ability to do multi-mode if you desire.
This package of Arduino Due+ZUM modem can directly replace the DVRPTR_V1 mode for D-Star and
it will do the other modes if you desire with the MMDVMHost software.
(MMDVM firmware comes installed in the Arduino Due+ZUM modem package from VE2GZI.)




2016-09-23
Last week I received the latest multi-mode Digital Voice Hotspot device.
The OpenSpot by SharkRF is a self-contained Digital Voice 
10mW Hotspot similar to DV4mini except it contains its own micro-computer. 
All setup and most control is done via the internal web page. It has only wired 
ethernet so that's the only drawback. Its also a bit pricey ($300 cdn) and in high 
demand as there is limited production runs.
It does work very well in cross-mode operation between DMR & Fusion (FCS not Wires-X).
Unlike the DV4mini, its DMR works great, in fact the D-Star, DMR and Fusion modes 
worked as they should. D-star connects to REF,XREF and DCS Reflectors. DMR connects 
to BM Reflectors and Fusion(C4FM) connects to the FCS Reflectors on servers FCS1,2 and 3.
More on this exciting project as testing continues.

2016-08-12
The new Kenwood dual-band APRS/D-Star HT shown at Dayton is about to be released.
Here is the brochure from Kenwood:
 New release of 144/430 MHz dual bander TH-D74

2016-08-01
A lot of new things happening with the DV modes DMR and C4FM(Fusion).
I've added a separate page to display news about these modes.
DMR, Fusion, MMDVM Information
	 

2016-05-03
I got a good deal on a battery pack for my Pi-DVAP. The Pi-2 specs reccomend a 2A 5V
power source but my USB-Doctor test unit says that even with the LCD screen they
draw just over 1/2Amp. As long as the RED LED stays lit the Pi-2 internal supply
is happy.
DVAP with 2A 5v battery pack

2016-04-06
The software for the DV4Mini Hotpsot as developed by DL2MF had undergone a number 
of upgrades in the past few months. As mentioned earlier, this provides the network
interface and control panel for the DV4 mini. This software continues to develop and 
refine the popular modes of D-Star, C4FM and DMR. You can get the latest versions
from the author's site DV4MF2 – V2.

Here is a screenshot of the current version (2.0.0.11) in DMR on the BM Network.
DV4mini, PI2 running MF2v11 software in DMR


2016-03-28
Some exciting news on the development of open DMR in Canada.
See the links below for info on new DMR Repeaters connected to the BrandMeister
Network. I've had some great QSOs with VE3's and VE2's on the two repeaters.
I can easily work them with either my DV4Mini Hotspot or my MMDVM DMR Repeater.
My Repeater has changed its default connection because of this, it's now
normally linked to TG-4326 SL2 the Canada-English Reflector.

Links to articles on VA3XPR and VE3YYZ:

Brandmeister-Canada-network-debuts-Toronto-Montreal
 
VE3YYZ DMR Blog

OK, so D-Star is still my preferred digital radio by far...but new shiny things are
interesting too...especially when it allows easy user access and home-brewing.
I will soon create a separate DMR page so updates to my MMDVM homebrew DMR
Repeater project can be displayed there. (DMR Page)

2016-03-06
The DR-1x has become a great platform for digital radio projects.
My latest was the third of the popular digital-voice platforms being DMR.
The 'modem' for DMR is a lot more complicated than the DVRPTR for D-Star but
the package shown below seems to work well once all the coding, compiling and
testing is done. It takes a ZUM modem board, an Arduino Due micro, and a
Raspberry Pi2 computer for the Host software by G4KLX of D-Star fame. 
These pieces cost about $250 and that plus the DR-1x makes a good DMR repeater 
for less than half of a commercial unit.
(and you get the fun of building and operating it)
BTW, this modem also does D-star as Repeater or Hotspot and C4FM is supported 
as well..but needs a lot more work on that front.
I was pleased to be able to monitor the repeater with my DV4mini while connected 
to the BrandMeister Canada network. 

MMDVM DMR modem, Arduino Due, and RPi-2


2016-01-21
After running the DR-1X as a D-Star repeater for the past few weeks, I am pleased
to say it works 100%. Just wire the remote cable to the DVRPTR_V1 modem. 
(The modem is the yellow box sitting on top next to my IC-80 HT)
The previous D-Star repeater was the MSR2000 below. It still works great and was
also just a direct hookup of the same modem for D-Star.
DR-1X REPEATER with DVRPTR_V1 modem

2016-01-16 With the arrival of my Tytera MD-380 DMR HT, the 3 digital modes of
the DV4mini was complete. The MD-380 was easy to program a Local codeplug and
it works well with the DV4mini. Unfortunately all 3 digital modes need buffering
and will suffer some audio drop-outs when the internet traffic is congested.
This is still an experimental system, the software very much 'beta' versions,
but fun to use nonetheless. The image below shows all 3 digital HTs and the
DV4mini in operation.
DV4 Mini 3 modes


2016-01-03 Over the past few weeks I have been working with the DV4mini.
This is a new DVAP (Digital Voice Access Point), that not only works with
D-Star signals, but also C4FM, DMR, P25 and experimental modes.
It has been working well on D-Star Reflectors of all types, DPlus, XRef and DCS.
I was able to QSO with stations using C4FM via the FCS001 Reflector using a
Yeasu FT1DR digital HT. I am still waiting for delivery of a DMR HT, but will
be able to work DMR+ Reflectors as soon as that arrives. Reviews will follow.
A group of VE2's are very active with this and other projects. They have some
good info and videos on their website.
laboenligne.ca(Lab OnLine)

My Red UHF DVAP by Internet Labs works very well but only does D-Star.
Both DVAPs connect to a computer via USB and onto the Internet.
Both DVAPs also have a 10mw UHF xcvr, and both are about 3 in long.
Price is a big difference, the Internet Labs unit is about $240 US,
while the DV4mini is $130 US. (Wireless World)
However, keep in mind the older DVAP is a proven reliable product that does 
D-Star very well and works with a number of powerful software packages for 
Linux, Windows and Mac.
The software for the DV4mini right now is only one basic Control Panel program 
for Windows, but runs well on Linux under the Mono program. The control panel is 
shown below. You need to use the current Test/Beta versions of this software in
order to reliably receive D-Star. The G4KLX gateway and repeater software used
by my existing DVAP and the 2 D-Star repeaters will NOT be supporting the DV4mini.
However, there are so many rapid developments in the digital modes over the past
year that who knows what we'll have access to in the future.

Here is a picture of my DV4mini connected to a Raspberry Pi2.
DV4mini and RPi2

This is the DV4mini Control Panel screen, using the latest Beta version 12-15-2015.  
DV4mini Control Panel


(LINKS to other D-Star info are listed below.)


2015-10-01 After some testing and experiments the VE1DSR Icom D-Star Repeater
is back on with a new Raspberry Pi as it's Gateway controller.
VE1EJB Joe and I were able to wrangle a new configuration that gives the
Icom repeater DPlus, DExtra, and CCS/DCS linking.
The repeater has one VHF port on 145.290- near Bridgewater, NS.
You can see its status at:http://ve1dsr.dyndns.org/

Also Joe has his own D-Star Hotspot using a DVAP and Raspberry Pi on 145.670 simplex.
Look for VE1EJB-C.	


2015-07-08 A new D-Star Repeater/Hotspot in this region is almost finished.
VE1JSR-B is a HomeBrew D-Star Repeater on 441.800+ operating near Antigonish.
Its very local right now, but owner James, VE1JCS, is working on a new antenna.
You can find him on Reflector 001C, or XRF005B most times.

Also in Nova Scotia, is a new D-Star user with his own DVAP. VE1ILD, Brian
in Dartmouth is active on Reflector 001C.

I talked to Rick VE9MTB in St. Stephen NB by linking to the Cooper ME D-Star 
repeater W1SCV on 146.985.

There may be others who have D-Star gear but not very active. If you wish to be
listed here, just drop me a note. 

A reminder to all D-Star users to ensure that you have your radio programmed
properly when using a repeater. The setup when you have your own DVAP/Hotspot
is quite different, and varied.

If you don't input the proper YourCall, RPT1 and RPT2 fields, then
you will not be heard, repeated or sent out the Gateway(across the internet).
As indicated in the image below the settings for VE1UHF-C, the VHF repeater are:
YOURCALL = CQCQCQ
RPT1 = VE1UHF C  (Note one space character after the callsign)
RPT2 = VE1UHF G
(The freq is 146.715- )

FREQ      DUP   OFFSET  MODE  NAME     YOUR    RPT1       RPT2  
146.715  -DUP   0.600   DV    DRPT CQ  CQCQCQ  VE1UHF C   VE1UHF G


Do not confuse YOURCALL, sometimes shown as URCALL, with MYCALL..that being
your own personal callsign. The YOURcall or URCALL can be used with callsigns 
for direct callsign routing although that is rarely used lately.

In most cases, that field is used for CONTROL commands.
CQCQCQ   =no command, just talking.
.......I =INFO command, gateway responds with link status.
.......U =UNLINK command, disconnects gateway from a Reflector or other repeater.
.......E =ECHO command, the gateway will store and playback your transmission.
       ( Note: Single letter commands must be entered with 7 leading spaces.)
REF001CL =A LINK command for the gateway to link to REFlector 001 port C.
       ( Remember to switch back to CQCQCQ after the commands are complete.)

You can program your radio using different channels with these commands as
shown in the example image. Then just turn the channel knob to select the 
YOURCALL you want. Another way is to use the "DR" mode on your radio, if it
has that. The DR mode brings up a list of YOURCALL commands to select from.
Read your radio manual for details.
Remember to return YOURCALL to CQCQCQ when your command is complete in order
to properly talk on the repeater.



If you are using the UHF port, the RTP1 = VE1UHF B (again one space after 
the callsign), and freq=443.300+ mhz.
 

2015-06-07 Again this year I took my trusty D-Star DVAP and IC-80AD with me to 
the Halifax Flea Market. It worked very well in the Hotel using the Wifi but 
when I got to the Flea Market building, their WiFi signal was very poor and 
unreliable. I was prepared for that,  so I just activated the AP (Access Point)
in my Samsung phone which had a very good LTE signal. 
The DVAP's Wifi connected to it and worked great. 
The DVAP stayed connected to some Reflectors that gave good demos of D-Star 
and the DVAP in action. There are a number of HAMs using DVAPs
while mobile, using an AP from their phone or a dedicated wireless device.
This is a great feature for areas that do not have D-Star Repeater coverage.


2015-05-01 After waiting for months to get into the repeater site, 
the VHF D-Star Repeater was installed today. It was running from my home QTH for
the past few months and is now fully operational as VE1UHF-C on 146.715- mhz.
The analog repeater will be QRT for the time being.

VE1UHF-C repeater will normally be linked to either Reflector 030C or 69C.

VE1UHF-B repeater will automatically link to Reflector 069C.(New England).

You can view the D-Star Repeaters status at:
VE1UHF D-Star Dashboard.

You can monitor the Reflector 69C audio feed online at:
REFLECTOR 069C AUDIO FEED. 

Here is a sample programming section for VE1UHF-C. You can program just
the CQCQCQ entry and use the DR mode to select other commands as needed,
(ie E, I, U, REF001CL etc)
(Note: Single letter commands must be entered with 7 leading spaces, 
ie the 8th posn. The Icom programmer image makes it look incorrect.)

VE1UHF-C Programming

2014-12-29  An overnight trip to Halifax gave me a chance to try out my portable
D-Star station again. The 70cm DVAP and Pi using a Wifi connection worked great.
While having dinner in the restaurant, I had good signals from the DVAP from 
my room that was 9 floors above me and could talk back with just 100mW.
DVAP-Portable


2014-12 My UHF D-Star repeater on 443.300+ has been working well over the past 
month or so with HT coverage about 15km using the dual-band  vertical at home. 
The VHF repeater project was delayed a bit due to reliablity problems that 
showed up with the digital modem. It was found that the Raspberry Pi was not
up to the workload of the D-Star repeater for long term operation. It works 
great on my DVAP though. The solution was a new D-Star server that was installed
today. It's actually smaller than the Pi, but more than twice as powerful.
I was lucky to get the new Heliax runs done before the cold wx, so the VHF 
D-Star repeater project can resume and will be completed soon.
 

2014-11 The VE1UHF D-Star duplex repeater has a new full-size duplexer for 
443.300+ that gives it improved coverage with 25watts out. The GE Pheonix now 
acts as an uplink to it using a dummy load until the repeater is moved to its 
final site.


2014-10 My D-Star DVAP hotspot with Wi-Fi worked great on my trip to
Greenwood. From the Aurora Hotel and the Greenwood Flea Market the Wifi 
connection allowed me to have portable D-Star coverage with my IC-80 HT.
DVAP-VE1UHF-B


2014-09 My D-Star DVAP hotspot on 445.800 simplex has been rebuilt with a new
Raspberry Pi B+ version. The unit is configured for portable use and has Wi-Fi.


2014-08 Some HAMs in the Truro area on on D-Star. There are Hotspots using
DVRPTR and DVAP in use. Frequencies mentioned are 145.670 and 144.950 simplex.

2014-07 My D-Star Hotspot is capable of running as a full-duplex repeater.
At this time it is running in half-duplex from my QTH in Cornwall.
A remote D-Star repeater has been built and tested, but awaiting a decision on site location.

The VE1UHF-B Repeater is now on 443.300mhz with +5 mhz offset and runs 15 watts to a dual-band vertical.
VE1UHF-B_Repeater

Here is the programming information:
Icom-pgm-VE1UHF



2014-06 I have a D-Star DVAP hotspot for local use. The DVAP runs on 445.800 simplex.
With only 10mw into a stubby antenna, its range is about 1km, for around-the-home use.

D-STAR FREQUENCIES The following frequencies are used in Canada and US for Digital Voice Simplex, (Hotspots). Band Frequency 2 m 145.650 MHz 2 m 145.670 MHz 2 m 145.790 MHz 70 cm 433.300 MHz 70 cm 445.800 MHz 70 cm 446.500 MHz 70 cm 446.800 MHz

MARCAN D-Star Repeaters

Callsign Location                      Frequency

VE1DSR-C   Church Lake, NS               145.290 -
VE1JSR-B   Antigonish, NS                441.800 +
VY2DSR-C   Kensington, PEI               147.315 +
VY2DSR-B   Hazel Grove, PEI              441.850 +

VE1UHF-B   Cornwall, PEI                 443.300 +
VE1UHF-C   Churchill, PEI                146.715 -




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