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Old 04-07-2017, 07:53 PM
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Im reaching out to those who are interested in networking via D-star.

Let me know and we can set up a sked.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:15 AM
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If more than a few people jump in, I'd be down.
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:45 AM
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If more than a few people jump in, I'd be down.
Sounds like a plan.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:10 AM
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Is D-Star the means by which you can hit distant repeaters via the internet? I've heard about it and seen the radios for sale on QRZ, but haven't looked into it yet.
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:42 AM
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Is D-Star the means by which you can hit distant repeaters via the internet? I've heard about it and seen the radios for sale on QRZ, but haven't looked into it yet.
D-star is more then that but in a nutshell....id have to say yes.

I was on two net's last night with people all over the US and even one operator from South Korea...all by using 440 from my qth.

A few years old but still relevant.

Discover D-STAR from Icom
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:22 AM
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No D Star repeaters within 120 miles of this part of Texas, but I use the DVAP plugged into the usb port on my laptop, with an Icom ID 51 HT, works just fine as long as there is internet available. I'd most likely take part if I'm available at the time.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:41 AM
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D-star is more then that but in a nutshell....id have to say yes.

I was on two net's last night with people all over the US and even one operator from South Korea...all by using 440 from my qth.
That sounds like irlp or Echolink, and I've used those a lot so please tell me more about DSTAR.
  1. Is DTAR for Icom radios only?
  2. What would I need to join the network you spoke of?
  3. How much does the hardware cost?

Thanks!

William Warren
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:05 AM
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Only problem is D-Star is internet dependent. If the internet goes down so does D-Star.
I've enjoyed fusion also for the digital gang its not internet dependent.
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:27 AM
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dstarinfodotcom seems to be geared towards explaining things.
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:28 PM
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That sounds like irlp or Echolink, and I've used those a lot so please tell me more about DSTAR.
  1. Is DTAR for Icom radios only?
  2. What would I need to join the network you spoke of?
  3. How much does the hardware cost?

Thanks!

William Warren
I have two dstar capable radios....the Icom ID-51a HT and the Icom-7100. The Kenwood TH-D74A is also D-star capable but a bit pricey at over 600+.

Aside from that Kenwood I dont know of any other non-Icom rigs that can access Dstar.

Honestly the radios are not cheap by any means. I got the 7100 a few months ago and its my main rig here at home....It does HF plus 2m/440 and Dstar so its worth the price for its capability.

As far as accessing the network....youd need to be either near a dstar gateway (a repeater with dstar capability) or use a DVap or DVdongle from home.

You can search for repeaters here.
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:37 PM
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Only problem is D-Star is internet dependent. If the internet goes down so does D-Star.
I've enjoyed fusion also for the digital gang its not internet dependent.
So Fusion does not depend on internet access at all?

Im asking because I am not that familiar with it.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:57 PM
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Default D Star Yesterday

All the buzz now is DMR. Yes it is TDMA, cell phone tech, in a cyber denied environment it aint ****, but you should have ur HF 40 meters, or 6 meters to talk to the Army all set up. For 95% of emergencies the DMR will work. Learn CW, first digital communication out there. You can work it 10dB below the noise level. All good preppers should know CW for COMSEC.

See you on the 40 meters. QRS 7.114 W0ANG

Keep your head on a swivel and powder dry.

73

Last edited by MikeK; 04-10-2017 at 01:01 PM.. Reason: Do not bypass the language filter. Reread site rules for clarification.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:45 AM
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Default Digital Repeaters (DMR, D-Star, P25, System Fusion) not widely available

I'm not knocking the technical folks that enjoy any of the digital modes that are now available to ham radio preppers (like myself), but for those of you just looking into it, please realize that the vast majority of areas within the U.S. have very few (if any) amateur radio digital repeaters. Those that do tend to be primarily located in large urban areas, not exactly high on the ideal prepper location list.

Another problem is that MotoTrbo DMR isn't compatible with D-Star, and neither of those are compatible (in digital mode) with Yaesu's System Fusion or APCO P25. There is a company that will sell you a third-party device for around $250 that claims to have found a way to patch audio between all these types of digital modes, but I keep coming back to my "Why Bother?" question.

If you already own an analog VHF or UHF ham radio, and have at least a tech license, you can easily link your existing radio worldwide using either IRLP or EchoLink - without having to spend $400 (or more) to get a digital radio from Icom, Kenwood, or Yaesu.

Yes, you can access DMR with a relatively cheap $100 TYT MD-380, but programming DMR radios is not for the faint of heart, plus DMR repeaters tend to be few and far between.

If you want to check for digital mode repeaters in your area, try the website repeaterbook.com.

In my state of AZ, we have 33 D-Star repeaters, 25 DMR repeaters, 22 System Fusion repeaters, and 3 APCO P25 repeaters. For some that may seem like a lot, but we also have 492 analog repeaters.

If you have the extra cash on hand and wish to experiment with digital, at least check the status of available digital repeaters within your state to see if coverage for your area is even available, but also consider that of the 575 repeaters in my state, over 85% of them are analog and work just fine with my existing equipment. Your state's existing repeater infrastructure is probably very similar.

Digital is clearly the wave of the future, but until the various digital modes all agree to a common standard, plain old analog radio will be here for many years into the future, especially when considering digital radio price points vs. analog, and the coverage areas you need to be radio prepared if the SHTF.

Last edited by AZ Radio Prepper; 04-10-2017 at 01:46 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:28 PM
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Default DMR Hotspot

Oh, goodness, with a DMR Hotspot and a $100 radio you can get on DMR for 1/10 the cost of your cell phone and package. Don't need a repeater, just a hotspot. No would not own that kind of junque if you gave it to me. Old war vet that still uses CW. That will work till the last free electron

You should have seen what the VC used to transmit over the hill. Car coil, sparking relay, and an AM radio. Just get online and educate yourself. So simple a disgruntled Vet can use it. **** **** ****
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Old 04-10-2017, 08:40 PM
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I'm not knocking the technical folks that enjoy any of the digital modes that are now available to ham radio preppers (like myself), but for those of you just looking into it, please realize that the vast majority of areas within the U.S. have very few (if any) amateur radio digital repeaters. Those that do tend to be primarily located in large urban areas, not exactly high on the ideal prepper location list.

Another problem is that MotoTrbo DMR isn't compatible with D-Star, and neither of those are compatible (in digital mode) with Yaesu's System Fusion or APCO P25. There is a company that will sell you a third-party device for around $250 that claims to have found a way to patch audio between all these types of digital modes, but I keep coming back to my "Why Bother?" question.

If you already own an analog VHF or UHF ham radio, and have at least a tech license, you can easily link your existing radio worldwide using either IRLP or EchoLink - without having to spend $400 (or more) to get a digital radio from Icom, Kenwood, or Yaesu.

Yes, you can access DMR with a relatively cheap $100 TYT MD-380, but programming DMR radios is not for the faint of heart, plus DMR repeaters tend to be few and far between.

If you want to check for digital mode repeaters in your area, try the website repeaterbook.com.

In my state of AZ, we have 33 D-Star repeaters, 25 DMR repeaters, 22 System Fusion repeaters, and 3 APCO P25 repeaters. For some that may seem like a lot, but we also have 492 analog repeaters.

If you have the extra cash on hand and wish to experiment with digital, at least check the status of available digital repeaters within your state to see if coverage for your area is even available, but also consider that of the 575 repeaters in my state, over 85% of them are analog and work just fine with my existing equipment. Your state's existing repeater infrastructure is probably very similar.

Digital is clearly the wave of the future, but until the various digital modes all agree to a common standard, plain old analog radio will be here for many years into the future, especially when considering digital radio price points vs. analog, and the coverage areas you need to be radio prepared if the SHTF.
I live rather rural. i can hit with an omni co-linear at 18ft 5 repeaters 4 of which are linked to the dstar system spending most of their time all connected to the reflector which Alabama ares, se weather net and a few other nets. I have a hotspot so that i can private convo people without tying up a repeater when it is not necessary. Dstar is the most widely used for emcomm related organisations. if the internet goes down the repeaters will work but lose the internet link. They can link to other repeaters directly just like analog, simplex or repeater dstar's codec usually can be used and still be intelligible 20% further than most fm setups.

This said if you live near a population center DMR is taking off, but can also be as frustating and expensive as dealing with a cellphone. I just purchased a yaesu ftm 100 dr so I could take advantage of a nearby repeater system in full digitial. Now with a dstar radio or c4fm based radio if you have a hotspot you can interact with dmg, c4fm and dstar seamlessly. That goes for dstar and c4fm. Im not sure about dmr being able to do the same but it would make sense the same hardware would. a dmr person can chime in here.

When I first started exploring digital voice I assessed which of the three networks would be best to start with. If you are following the theme of the forum I would highly suggest dstar to start with. This is where you will find ema's , state ares and regional weather nets and other similar interesting nets. Next I would suggest assessing the accessibility with c4fm/fusion and dmr. Some areas will strongly favor one or the other. With at least one you can talk to the other 2 via brandmeister infrastructure. And with a hotspot you can host private conversations.

Now for my subjective opinion. DMR is expensive to get into even with used hardware. C4FM is about as much as an analog radio and with a hotspot you can talk to dstar or dmr. Dstar radios new have been predominately priced at a premium.

IF you want to get on dstar watch qrz or qth for used. I have bought an 800h a 5100a and an 880h. I picked up the 5100a with all factor boxes and paperwork for $350. The 800 I picked up for 125. And the 880 was about 250. ALL on qrz.

If you want to start with c4fm I would look at hro right now they are selling the ftm 100 dr an amazing dualbander for 299.99 new. That's with free shipping.

I have yet to see anything DMR related priced even used to facilitate taking a shot with it. It has some great positives and some major drawbacks just like any of the other two. The issue is the initial investment, and that in my area I have 5 or 6 c4fm and 5 dstar repeaters among those are many analog. There is one dmr repeater 40-50 miles away and given the initial cost FOR ME I choose to go else where. From my research dmr is the most popular near major cities and pretty scarce more so by orders of magnitudes of c4fm and dstar.

C4fm does not need internet access, and the yaesu repeaters can do simultanious analog and digital on a single repeater. Wiresx does require a net connection. This is replacing the very crappy echolink, and the quickly becoming extinct irlp nodes.

YMMV - But if anyone has specific questions I will do my best to answer them.


PS

Dstar's codec is opensource always has been. It was created by the JARL. The ambe chip needs a $10 license. The reason icom can charge for their equipment what they do is because it has been popular since 02 in the states.

As far as one standard. Kenwood has moved into this market. Soon other will as well. And as these things grow each company will lose market share and profit to whoever starts including the major 3 codecs with an ambe chip. It is just a matter of time. If you want to wait for that I respect that.

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Old 04-13-2017, 10:52 PM
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Yes, you can access DMR with a relatively cheap $100 TYT MD-380, but programming DMR radios is not for the faint of heart, plus DMR repeaters tend to be few and far between.
No offense, but I don't think it's that bad: I have an MD-380, and other hams helped me to set it up and to learn how to use it when I bought it a few months back. The learning curve isn't that steep, either: I just re-programmed it myself, using a "code plug" that I downloaded from a club website.

There's a lot of help available, and if DMR is the technology that's most common where you live, a Tytera rig can get you on the system without breaking the bank.

Of course, as AZ Radio Prepper points out, it all depends on what is closest to you. In North Carolina, it's all DMR, and although I don't like TDMA, it's what everyone is using. C'est la vie!

William Warren
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:39 PM
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Got my 70cm DVAP today.

Even though I can hit 2 dstar repeaters I wanted more flexibility...meaning not tying up a gateway if I want to jump around to different reflectors etc.

Btw I usually monitor 20A...if anyone is interested.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:39 PM
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Got my 70cm DVAP today.

Even though I can hit 2 dstar repeaters I wanted more flexibility...meaning not tying up a gateway if I want to jump around to different reflectors etc.

Btw I usually monitor 20A...if anyone is interested.
Anything interesting on 20a? or just because
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:11 AM
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Anything interesting on 20a? or just because
Its just local for me....NJ/PA/NY.
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by William Warren View Post
No offense, but I don't think it's that bad: I have an MD-380, and other hams helped me to set it up and to learn how to use it when I bought it a few months back. The learning curve isn't that steep, either: I just re-programmed it myself, using a "code plug" that I downloaded from a club website.

There's a lot of help available, and if DMR is the technology that's most common where you live, a Tytera rig can get you on the system without breaking the bank.

Of course, as AZ Radio Prepper points out, it all depends on what is closest to you. In North Carolina, it's all DMR, and although I don't like TDMA, it's what everyone is using. C'est la vie!

William Warren
I travel western NC a LOT and I drug up repeater book on my phone last week. I was startled by the number of uhf dmr repeaters. I really wasn't aware it was that popular for ham, thought it was just a popular mode for emergency services.
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