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Viewing the New Star of Ham Radio

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  • Mark Thompson
    http://www.arrl.org/news/features/2010/02/05/11327/ Surfin : Viewing the New Star of Ham Radio By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU Contributing Editor February 05, 2010
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 7, 2010


      Surfin': Viewing the New Star of Ham Radio

      By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
      Contributing Editor

      February 05, 2010


      This week, Surfin' explores D-STAR via the telescope known as “the Internet.”


      Surfin473
      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.

      Another place to stop is the Independent Radio Club D-STAR Tutorial Page http://www.ladstar.org/tutorial.htm has a short and simple guide that explains the basics of D-STAR.

      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'!

      Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, is decidedly digitally disposed. To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to hisblog.



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