Viewing the New Star of Ham Radio
Surfin': Viewing the New Star of Ham Radio
Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
February 05, 2010
This week, Surfin' explores D-STAR via the telescope known as “the Internet.”
The D-STAR Information Site is an excellent place to start learning about the Digital Smart Technology for Amateur Radio.
Digital Smart Technology for Amateur Radio -- better known as D-STAR -- is a means of transmitting and receiving voice and data digitally, rather than via analog means. Developed by the Japanese Amateur Radio League (JARL) and championed by ICOM, the system first hit the airwaves in late 2004.
Like most things that were "new" in ham radio (such as SSB, FM and packet), D-STAR grew slowly at first, but began taking off during the end of the last decade and now has approximately 11,000 users today. Most of those users are on the air using D-STAR repeaters, which number more than 500 worldwide. Linking repeaters over the airwaves and via the Internet provides long range communications far beyond the normal boundaries of 2 meters, 70 cm and 23 cm, i.e., the bands where D-STAR operates.
If D-STAR is of interest to you, there are some Web sites that you should check out. Your first stop should be the D-STAR Information Site http://www.dstarinfo.com/ you will find D-STAR news, applications, maps and a FAQ, as well as many other things that are D-STAR-centric.
D-Star Users.org should also be on your D-STAR tour. There you will find lists of active D-STAR users and repeaters, as well as applications that interact with D-STAR http://www.d-starusers.org/solutions.html
Last, but not least, be sure to check out the D-STAR hardware http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/dstar/dstar/ from ICOM. Their site also has more details about the mode, as well as a FAQ.
Until next time, keep on surfin'!