EchoLink or D-Star?

Over the last few days I have been running my EchoLink node #3098 connected into the IRELAND conference server. As I’ve been feeling a bit tired and lethargic recently it has been a way to pass the time listening to QSOs and making the occasional contact.

Apart from IRELAND there seems to be nowhere else on the EchoLink network where there is enough activity that you can guarantee something to listen to or that someone will reply if you call CQ. I know this is like talking of selling your soul to the Devil but would D-Star, which I have never experienced but which I gather has something called “reflectors”, be any better from the point of view of making contacts with hams around the globe using a handheld?

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

8 Responses to “EchoLink or D-Star?”

  • I have only been a ham for 3 years, but the best thing going for me is D-STAR. For me nothing else has made as a positive impact…I personally have enjoyed the people I have met on D-STAR way more than local repeaters….which includes echolink in my area…..I think all forms of communications have their place I have just enjoyed D-STAR way more…Thanks

  • Lew - KB5HPT:

    I have been in Amateur Radio for over 20 yrs, and tried many of the newer technological modes. If you can connect a computer to your radio I’m all for it. I have found D-Star to be much better than any of the other mixed modes. When you connect to other countries remember there is a time difference. I have found that when I link our local repeater, or my DVAP to another repeater or reflector, and announce my presence somebody is generally listening if it is a reasonable time of the day or night.
    Echolink or IRLP are analog/digital where D-Star is digital. Your mic cable is connected to the input of the vocoder chip which convert your voice to digital immediately. That is why D-Star voice always sound nice and crisp. Hope this helps…73, Lew

  • K4TOJ - Tom:

    My first radio was a DSTAR capable 92AD HT. Best thing I did while waiting to find an HF and build an antenna. The reflectors are generally busy with REF001 being the mega reflector where you will almost always find someone. If I wasn’t so in to HF, I’d be on DSTAR like crazy. It’s a cool technology and once you understand it, very easy to use.

  • Mike:

    Echolink has reflectors they’re called conferences. It all boils down to this…. People who are listening hafta answer your call! This is not a new problem. Back in the 80-90’s hams complained no body answered them on repeaters they accesses while driving cross country. That now happens on a world wide basis with VOIP linking. A reaccouring complaint on the Echolink email lists for the past several years has been that nobody answers random calls! D-Star has just made it ALL DIGITAL and added it’s own world wide network. You still need to get folks who are listening to take time to talk to strangers 🙂

  • W7FGS:

    How should I crack D Stra on my phone 7

  • W7FGS:

    How do I install Echolink and D Star on my Ifone 7 phone?

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