On Friday morning, there was an D-Star workshop put on by the Georgia D-STAR group which went over the basics of how D-Star works and was well worth the time. Video from the workshop is coming online soon.
D-Star is a digital format that can be used simplex (radio to radio) or can involve a repeater (radio to repeater to other radios) and can also link repeaters and devices called reflectors (which can host lots of people on one channel).
I think I’ve got this right even though technically it might not be right on.
I also attended the Friday afternoon D-Star Forum at the Hara Centre which was on advances in D-Star technology.
To say I understood everything would be an overstatement but here’s what it comes down to: some of the guys in D-Star development want to introduce more human connection into this automated digital world.
I’m thinking we’re going to see a lot more integration of other technology like BlueTooth and smart phones and the D-Star network. We’re likely going to see multiple format platforms running that can accept any digital signal coming at it.
One really exciting development was a commercial product called the DHAP by Hardened Power Systems. Checkout the video on this site.
One issue that D-Star has made worse rather than better is now repeater trolls can be heard on 30 machines at the same time as opposed to one.
You may have heard a repeater troll. They live on the local machine and anytime you sign on they either offer a comment (usually without identifying) or they engage you in the same conversation you had yesterday and the day before with them. Sort of like Ham Radio’s version of Groundhog Day.
With D-Star, the repeater troll is now heard all across the system. When I was down in Dayton I was scanning the local D-Star repeaters and sure enough on two machines was the same repeater troll I hear at home.
Of course this is more of a social issue than a technological one but it the reason some people dropped the D-Star system in favour of other formats like Motorola’s DMR.
With more equipment being built for all the digital formats and with prices coming down we’re going to see a lot more activity everywhere. Remember these are early days.