DStar and Digital Networks

If your pockets are deep and your mind open then DStar offers some useful opportunities to connect to other amateurs via a very robust network. I on the other hand am a cheapskate with very shallow pockets and a healthy distrust of proprietary stuff. So how does one get involved in a changing view of amateur radio? There seem to be a few options that are more that dongles for your PC.

FreeDV is one way. It promises a way of connecting up your existing analogue radio to the digital networks. A very brief look at it this afternoon gave the impression that if there was a signal to be heard (On 14.236Mhz) then it would decode it and display the QSO on the screen. Trouble is there where no HF signals.

DV3000 bridge is another way to connect your radio to and existing set up (Analogue VHF)

Jonathan Naylor, G4KLX also has spawned a range of hardware and software that makes use of digital voice that appears through the link.

All these little bits of knowledge came from an a hour or so when the kids were at their quietest (which is not often) so there’s clearly a bit to learn. I hadn’t paid much attention to DStar or its friends as at face value it was asking me to buy more stuff at £300+ . That was a turn off. But if there are options at a lower price point then I could be persuaded to join in the digital voice game.

Alex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “DStar and Digital Networks”

  • me1me dirk:

    look at the dvrptr board and its associated ambe daughter card, they combine to transform ur std analogue radio into a dstar compatible rig.

  • Phil N4LNE:

    Hello

    Here in the USA the DSTAR ID-880h dual band mobile radio is going for
    just over 300.00 which makes it cheaper than many non DSTAR dual band radios.

    73’s
    Phil

  • Alex, g7kse:

    I’ll take a look at that board Dirk thanks

    Phil, unfortunately the UK proces seem to be (in general) much higher than the US. The mark ups tend to include customs, shiping and taxes as if they were individually imported, which we know doesn’t happen. USD proces tend to have the same numbers as GBP… I once bought an antenna for £80 in the US (this included taxes etc). The same thing here £250!

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