I Am Assimilated

Well I am on D-Star!
My DVAP dongle arrived about an hour ago and I was on the air almost instantly. Setting up the dongle on the Mac was dead-drop easy. Thanks to the terrific programming software from RT Systems I quickly reprogrammed my IC-31a to use my dongle as its primary point of contact to the digital system and then I waited.
For awhile there I was thinking that maybe I was just communicating with the dongle on a UHF simplex frequency and then suddenly WS4FSM came on calling CQ from Florida.
Using a simplex 440 frequency and about 10 mw of power both ways I walked out to the main road from my house which is easily 100 meters with absolutely no drop in signal strength until I got to the very end.
The DVAP was sitting on my work station table at ground level and the IC-31a was using its standard 6″ rubber duck antenna. Amazing!
As I listen I learn more and more. Like I connected to the reflector, in this case, REFOO1B using the memory allotment and then when the system prompt says “link connected” turn back to the radio’s T (for talk) memory allotment to avoid triggering the system prompt on each transmission.
Duh! I wouldn’t have known but for the conversation between two other new guys on the reflector.
The DVAP dongle couldn’t have worked better. It truly opens up the digital system especially if you’re running a handheld or if your local digital repeater is just a little too far away for reliable communications.
Working digital repeaters locally was a lot of fun but now thanks to the dongle I’m connected to the digital world (which is more than just Icom’s D-Star) and I’m very happy with the dongle.
Next trick is to plug it into the X-200 VHF/UHF antenna which is on the roof and maybe add in a Raspberry Pi computer 🙂

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