WHAT IS D STAR? Or if you like 6K00F2W! By Brian Farrar VK2AH.
Dstar. Digital Smart Technology Amateur Radio, that’s what Dstar is, or if you wish 6K00F7W.
6K00 Is the Band width 6kHz
F FM modulated carrier.
2 channels voice with data
W mixed transmission. IE voice and data
As you know, Dstar works very well on the repeater systems and it’s possible to talk ALL around the world in real time without ANY QRM (NOISE). Also Dstar works VERY well on SIMPLEX frequencies. I had a friend that moved about 30 Km’s south from me, and the local FM chat frequency was very noisy so we tried SIMPLEX Dstar on the same frequency and the signal came from S1 FM to S3 DV and NO DROP OUTS. Give simplex a try you never know how far you can get. But do you know that Dstar is also on the HF bands. There is also a URL where you can find out who’s on and what band they are on go to http://hf.dstar-relay.net/ log on and see if there is any one around. There are also frequencies there where HF Dstar could be happening. The UNOFFICIAL reflector is 30C for liaison.
I have worked about 6 states in the USA, California was first then Indiana , Japan, Marshall Islands New Zealand and of course Australia. I started out on 40 Meters up the top end around 7.215. The first contact was with VK3NUG and soon after wards VK3TOM. When the band is working 100% the QSO is just like on the repeaters, but it’s SIMPLEX. Dstar is a lot like digital TV you either have a signal or nothing at all. When the WIA broadcast went out about HF Dstar I had some stations send me E mail’s and asked if I had an experimenters licence or a special permit to use HF Dstar. When I E mailed, regarding to check out the LCD re Amateur radio. I got a reply ‘’’’ what’s the LCD’’’’. I was nearly going to say a Light Emitting Diode, but that may have confused them even more. When I explained to them it was the RULES which we Amateurs operate under. The next E mail was “I’ve NEVER HEARD OF THEM”
Dstar on the HF bands
I use an IC7100 so I can only give you how I do it for this radio. Most of my DX contacts have been on 29.480 DV HF. When it works it’s arm chair copy.
Before you start, any QSO LISTEN, on the frequency, for at least 2-3 minutes, before even tuning up. It’s also a GOOD idea to ask if the frequency is IN USE before doing ANYTHING. Do this on SSB and if clear it’s a good idea to announce that you will be calling CQ Dstar HF mode this frequency, just in case someone is listening, and wants to hear what Dstar HF sounds like! To change to DV mode touch the USB part on the display then touch the DV button which is bottom left of screen which has opened up. Changing modes is that easy.
I use filter THREE. Mike gain around 55 to 60%. Power, at 90% or 90 Watts. The aerial I use for 29 megs is a 5 element mono bander at 8 m. For all over contacts I use a G5RV. I’ve had some 7 meg contacts on this aerial and it worked well. As D star does not need a squelch that turned OFF. Some believe that having the squelch at around 10 am works well but I have it off. I normally KEY UP a few seconds before I start calling CQ and keep the call short and watch the TX/RX light. It could change from FM to DV and back again. This means that a signal is present but the radio has NOT locked on to it.
Maybe Australia should adopt the frequency 29.290 as the INTERNAL call frequency for Dstar HF and 29.480 for EXTERNAL DX. I believe 29.290 is also used in parts of Europe. In the USA they use 29.480, but looking at the out dated band plan this is in the satellite band. I sent an E mail to AMSAT Australia about 9 months ago and still waiting for a reply. Does anyone know if there are still 10 meter satellites? I would suggest that the 50 meg call frequency be 51.180 and if using 40 meter band around 7.215. BUT LISTEN TO SEE IF THERE IS ANY BROADCAST TRAFFIC BEFORE CALL CQ. Does any readers have suggested frequencies for Dstar??
Lets hope that the DX season starts up and we can ALL CALL QC DSTAR HF.
Check out this URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGF-qkdoid4. The views expressed are those of Brian Farrar and MAY not be those of the readers.
Brian Farrar VK2AH September 2014. Vk2ah@wia.org.au If you would like to E mail me.
Below is taken from the LCD’s. Some bands have been removed as I’ve only included the bands used more often.
Frequency bands and permitted band width.
1.800 MHz–1.875 MHz Any emission mode with
3.500 MHz–3.700 MHz with a necessary
3.776 MHz–3.800 MHz band width no greater
7.000 MHz–7.300 MHz than 8 kHz.
10.100 MHz–10.150 MHz
14.000 MHz–14.350 MHz
18.068 MHz–18.168 MHz
21.000 MHz–21.450 MHz
24.890 MHz–24.990 MHz
28.000 MHz–29.700 MHz Any emission mode with
a necessary bandwidth no greater than 16 kHz
52.180MHz Any emission mode with a
144.000 MHz–148.000 MHz. bandwidth no greater
than 100 kHz
420.000 MHz–450.000 MHz Any emission mode.
Just a small update about the Vic D-Star Users Group, an interim committee has been established and the Next meeting will be on October 25th @ EMDRC clubrooms at 11am. No December meeting planned at this stage due to Christmas conflicts but we may slot in a BBQ
You can now officially and financially join the Victorian D-Star Users group and support VK3RWN for $40 per year.
More details to follow and website updates to include this information in future.
The WIA Board had asked David VK3RU to provide an update on the handover of WIA held DSTAR repeaters and he advised the following:
Back in May I wrote to clubs known at the time to be custodians of the equipment with a view to hand over ownership. This came about because the DSTAR agreement between WIA (Wireless Institute Of Australia) and ICOM had expired and to maintain a DSTAR service in Australia, a new arrangement was required.
The original agreement was signed with ICOM in November 2007 to support the establishment of a DSTAR network for a period of not less than 6 years. This agreement included the donation of six repeater systems to the WIA supported technically by ICOM with full equipment warranty for the term. As part of this agreement the WIA was to establish equipment into each state through interested amateur radio clubs and by supporting the process together with licence and broadband costs. During the course of this agreement, some changes in interest occurred with some equipment being transferred between clubs and additional equipment being offered to clubs who had expressed interest to the WIA and ICOM direct.
The WIA Board has now agreed to hand over the WIA DSTAR equipment to respective clubs on the proviso they take up associated costs including licensing, power and broadband access. For their part, ICOM have kindly offered to extend existing warranty on the equipment for a further 5 years with back to base equipment repairs as part of this arrangement.
A letter has been forwarded to known custodians of original DSTAR equipment informing that the proposed handover date will be 30th September this year. It is therefore important that clubs confirm they can meet this target or let us know if they are encountering difficulties.
It is certainly not the intention of the WIA to cut off any DSTAR installations.
DSTAR enthusiasts might be interested in developments currently underway in Victoria where a DSTAR user group is coming together. This group has a website http://www.vk3.dstar.org.au
Not much there right now but keep an eye out as things are starting to evolve.
David VK3RU on behalf of the WIA Board