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The South Orange Amateur Radio Association, P.O. Box 2545, Mission Viejo, Ca. 92690, E-Mail: soara@soara.org
The ham radio club serving Southern Orange County, California.

 
 

 

 
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Welcome to the SOARA DSTAR web site.

[DSTAR News] [Previous News reports] [DSTAR Links] [DSTAR Transceivers] [DSTAR Antennas]
[Who's talking on DSTAR right now!] [K6SOA DSTAR Activity] [DSTAR Repeaters Around the World!]
[K6SOA DSTAR Status]

Who's on SOARA DSTAR Right now?

SOARA has entered the digital voice communications age with the implementation of an ICOM UHF DSTAR digital repeater system. Through a generous donation, additional funding from the SOARA budget, and an ICOM sales promotion, SOARA has aquired a 2m, 70cm, and 23cm ICOM digital voice and digital data repeater system.

SOARA DSTAR News

News - September 4, 2012

ICOM will be running its popular D-STAR QSO Party again this year. Details may be found at their web site. Click the Icon below for more information:

Best of luck to all those who enter!

News - June 2, 2012

At the 2012 Dayton Hamvention, John Davis, WB4QDX and the Georgia D-STAR group presented a comprehensive D-STAR Training Seminar that was recorded by ARVN/Ham Radio Now. If you find this helpful, please consider donating to Ham Radio Now so that they can continue to produce these excellent videos.

News - November 8, 2011

News - March 2, 2011

The Thursday evening DSTAR net has moved to Wednesday evening at 8PM. Mikkel, NR6E (Formerly KJ6EKX), will be net control. Please join us for the net!

News - November 4, 2010

Mikkel, KJ6EKX will be net control for the first ever SOARA DSTAR nets on Thursday evenings at 8PM local time. Please join Mikkel and the rest of the DSTAR gang for this informal net.

Please note that the 2m "C" module will be linked to "REF014A" on Sunady mornings at approximately 7AM for the Sunday Morning mostly west-coast net and to "REF001C" reflector on Sunday evening at 5PM local time for the net formerly known as the Ozark Mountain DSTAR net.

Feel free to connect the system to the various reflectors and join the nets!

For a list of nets, please refer to the following link: Nets

Documentation on how to install and configure your DVDongle on a Macintosh running OS/X Leopard is now available Here.

SOARA DSTAR Yahoo Group

Join other SOARA members in discussions about the SOARA DSTAR system. Learn about new features and how to use existing features.
SOARA Members (only) Subscribe to soara-dstar

Gateway Registration

  • SOARA members in good standing may register to use the SOARA DSTAR gateway system. Registration enables our members to communicate through the gateway system to other systems around the world. You must also be registered if you wish to use a DV Dongle through the SOARA or other gateway system.
  • Registration is through an online web-form.
  • Use the instructions here by Robin, AA4RC as a guide. DO NOT sign up with the Atlanta Georgia system as described in the instructions. Please read the following carefully.
  • Register your call sign with the K6SOA DSTAR system.
  • Once you submit your registration request, you must wait until your registration is approved. We'll do our best to approve registrations quickly, usually within a day.
  • Once you have been approved, you MUST set up a "pcname" that your radio will be associated with. You may use your call sign followed by a dash followed by your type of radio, e.g. "nj6n-2820" or if you have multiple radios, simply entering your call sign in lower case letters is sufficient. The "pcname" entry MUST be in lower case letters.

K6SOA DSTAR Repeaters
Temple Hill, Laguna Beach, CA

ModeCall SignFrequency
DDK6SOA..A1299.900 RPS
DVK6SOA..A1282.600 -12MHz
DVK6SOA..B445.700 -5MHz
DVK6SOA..C146.115 +600KHz

General information about DSTAR

DSTAR Transceivers

ICOM IC-2820H ICOM IC-92AD ICOM IC-91AD ICOM ID-1 ICOM ID-31A ICOM ID-880H

ICOM IC-2200H ICOM IC-V82/U82 ICOM ID-800H

DV Dongle DVAP Dongle

ICOM ID-RP2C Controller ICOM D-STAR Repeater

DSTAR 1.2GHz Base/Mobile Antennas

Previous DSTAR project status reports

News - June 19, 2010

ICOM is once-again sponsoring a world-wide DSTAR QSO contest. For complete rules and information, please visit http://www.icom.co.jp/D-STARsite/contestworld/

News - December 16, 2009

A map of the DSTAR repeaters in JAPAN is now available on the www.D-STAR.jp/ Japan DSTAR Users Group site.

News - August 26, 2009

New beta (windows) or (Intel mac) versions of the DV Dongle software are available from Robin, AA4RC. The new software does not rely on the Sun Java software as in previous versions.

News - August 22, 2009

ICOM has announced the results (pdf) of the world-wide DSTAR conest!

News - July 15, 2009

ICOM has announced a world-wide DSTAR operating contest. More information and rules are availble here

News - June 9, 2009

A Comprehensive DSTAR Operating Reference book is now available through Nifty Ham Accessories. Look for it at your favorite Ham Radio Dealer soon!

News - June 5, 2009

There are several alternatives available to ICOM radio programming software.
  • CHIRP by Dan Smith KK7DS (Free)
  • RT Systems sells programming software for just about every radio made!

News - March 24, 2009

ICOM has announced the new IC-80AD DSTAR handie talkie and the new ICOM ID-880H 2M/440 dual band DSTAR mobile rig. These new transceivers promise to be much easier to program and use and there will be free programming software available.

News - March 17, 2009

This years Dayton Hamvention is on May 15-17, 2009 and is dedicated to Digital Radio Enabling Amateurs to do More (DREAM). There will certainly be many DSTAR activities to enjoy while you're there. And, if you can't make it to the convention this year, you can live vicariously thorugh contact with other SOARA members who are in attendence. Tim, AF6GL, and Jeff, AD7YT will be taking DSTAR with them on their road trip to Dayton so stay tuned to the SOARA DSTAR repeater in the week before and the weeks following the Hamvention for some QSOs with Jeff and Tim.

News - August 11, 2008

  • Information on how to configure your DSTAR radio for sending out GPS position reports has been added to the Links section below.
News - June 20, 2008

News - June 17, 2008 - DSTAR Field Day 2008!

News - June 14, 2008

  • Users of the K6SOA 2m and 440 DSTAR systems have probably noticed the increase in activity on the system lately.
  • A new feature known as reflectors has been implemented for the new G2 gateway system by Robin Cutshaw, AA4RC that allows multiple systems (limited only by bandwidth) to participate in a world-wide system of networked repeaters.
  • There are currently 6 reflector sites around the world with 3 ports or "module designators" (A, B, and C) on each one. This provides 18 DV reflectors for various configurations of repeater systems around the world to interconnect for nets and casual conversation.
  • There are several nets being conducted on the REF001C. K6SOA port "C" (2M) is currently automatically connected to this reflector from 6:30AM until Midnight daily. K6SOA Ports A and B are not currently linked to other systems and are available for call sign directed or zone directed contacts.
  • On Thursday evenings at 8:00 PST, the W6DHS system in Volcano, California runs a weekly DSTAR net on REF001C. There are also nets that are conducted from Missouri, Texas, and other locations using the new reflectors.
  • A world-wide net was conducted recently with 17 systems participating along with 18 DV Dongle users.
  • Important Note: DV Dongle users wishing to participate in the nets or reflector conversations are advised to connect to the reflector directly and NOT to a participating repeater system.
  • Activity on the gateway and reflectors from RF users as well as Dongle users may be found on the DSTAR users web site: http://dstarusers.org
  • RF users may unlink the system from a reflector if necessary. Please make sure no other SOARA users are actively using the link before you do so. For instructions, please see Brian, NJ6N.

News - June 1, 2008

  • The Version 1 "Trust Server" has been decommissioned. All of the DSTAR gateways have been upgraded to the new Generation 2 version of the gateway software.

News - May 14, 2008

  • Dayton 2008 is just a few days away on May 16-18, 2008. If you're attending this years Hamvention, stop by the DSTAR users booth and say hi to Brian, NJ6N from SOARA. The DStarUsers booth will be located in booth numbers 96-98 in Audio Alley.

News - May 4, 2008

  • ICOM has just released a new video about DSTAR!

News - April 13, 2008

  • ICOM has introduced a new version of the software that handles communication between DSTAR systems over the Internet. The "gateway" software runs on a Linux operating system computer at each repeater site. The new version is known as "G2" which stands for "Generation 2". The previous version is known as "version 1".
  • The SOARA DSTAR repeater system was upgraded to the new G2 software on Sunday, April 13th and has joined the G2 network of DSTAR systems. Not all of the version 1 systems have been upgraded at this time. As gateways are upgraded, they will once again be reachable from the K6SOA system. Until then, you may not be able to reach DSTAR systems you used to be able to reach on version 1.
  • A list of G2 gateways can be found here
  • Please note: Some gateway owners have installed a new G2 gateway in parallel with their V1 gateway are have not moved their RF modules over yet.
News - December 29, 2007
  • The long-awaited DV Dongle AMBE encoder/decoder USB device is now available through HRO. The first batch has shipped and the next batch should be available in 3-4 weeks. More information on the DV Dongle is available here and here.

News - November 17, 2007

  • Howard and Brian gave a presentation at the Orange County RACES Academy on Saturday, November 17th.
News - September, 2007
  • Howard and Brian gave a presentation entitled DSTAR D-Mystified at the 2007 Hamcon convention.
News - April 16, 2007
  • Howard and Brian gave a presentation and live demonstration of DSTAR at the SOARA general membership meeting on Monday evening, April 16th.

News - April 9, 2007

  • The new ICOM IC-2820H 2M/440 dual band, DSTAR capable mobile transceiver has arrived! This powerful new DSTAR capable radio is now available through your favorite Amateur Radio equipment dealer. To use this new transceiver with DSTAR, you'll need to install the optional UT-123 module. More information, including a PDF format brochure and other information is now available on the ICOM web site.

News - March 16, 2007

  • The new ICOM IC-2820H 2M/440 dual band, DSTAR capable mobile transceiver has almost arrived! The expected ship date is early April, 2007. This powerful new DSTAR capable radio now appears on the various amateur equipment dealer web sites. To enable it for DSTAR, you'll need to buy the optional UT-123 module. More information, including a PDF format brochure and other information is now available on the ICOM web site.

News - January 31, 2007

  • We have joined the international DSTAR network! SOARA members will soon be able to talk with people in Texas, Northern California, Australia, Hawaii, Canada, and other locations as new DSTAR repeaters with gateways are established. Once our initial testing has been completed, we will be informing the SOARA members of how to use the new Gateway server.
News - January 25, 2007
  • The 23cm repeater is up! Point your ID-1 to 1282.600- with RPT1 of "K6SOA A"
  • Howard and Brian once again ascended the hill and carried out more installation work on the K6SOA DSTAR repeater system.
  • The 23cm duplexer was installed in the swing rack, custom cables were fabricated and the 23cm repeater was brought online.
  • Small notches were cut into the swing rack frame with a pneumatic shear to make room for the RF connectors on the back of the DSTAR repeaters.
  • The IP addresses of our network equipment at the site were changed to accomodate the DSTAR gateway server configuration.
  • A new network cable was installed between the gateway server (Linux) and DSTAR repeater controller.
  • The 23cm repeater was tested. Cross-banding between 2m, 440, and 23cm has been accomplished.
  • We have successfully configured out Linux based gateway server with the ICOM test server. We are now ready to join the Texas Interconnect Team national trust server. The initial several weeks of operation will be limited to the SOARA technical group so that we can iron out any issues that come up and allow us to prepare our documentation and procedures for the membership using the gateway.

News - January 14, 2007

  • The 2 meter repeater is now fully operational and available for use.
  • Four new LMR-400 interconnect cables were fabricated and installed on the new VHF repeater system.
  • The four twisted pair cables that interconnect the repeaters to the DSTAR repeater controller were replaced with custom cables of exact length and easier to remove RJ45 connectors!

News - January 5, 2007

  • Howard and Brian made more progress at the repeater site today.
  • The SOARA 2 meter DSTAR digital repeater is UP! To use the repeater, program a frequency of 146.115+, RPT1 parameter should be set to "K6SOA C" (note: insert two spaces after K6SOA such that the "C" is in the eighth character position.). Cross-banding onto the 445.70 DSTAR repeater is possible using the RPT2 parameter of "K6SOA B" and enabling the RP2 parameter. Note that the person on the other repeater has to set their RPT1 and RPT2 parameters in the opposite manner.
  • Brian has successfully operated cross-band between the 2m and 440 DV repeaters with voice and low-speed data.
  • The DSTAR Repeater controller, repeater modules, and 440 UHF duplexer were mounted into the swing-rack.
  • Custom antenna coax cables were fabricated for the UHF repeater system.
  • The 2 meter repeater was brought up quickly using coaxial cable assemblies of various lengths that we had on hand. Custom length coaxial cables with the proper right-angle type-N connectors will need to be fabricated for the final installation.
  • We have received the Gateway software from ICOM which will enable our local repeater to participate in the national network through the K5TIT "trust Server".
  • We will need to reconfigure the IP network at the repeater site to the IP numbering scheme required by the gateway software and then install, configure and test the gateway software. Once that is done we'll need to arrange a time to test our configuration with the ICOM test server. Once all tests are done, we will request that our local site gateway be added to the national system via the K5TIT trust server.
  • Once we receive the 23cm duplexer that we have ordered, we will be able to bring up the 23cm DV repeater system.

News - December 28, 2006

  • Brian & Howard successfully completed the Icom DSTAR gateway certification course. This was a prerequisite to receiving the gateway software.
  • We have received our DSL modem from our new ISP so that we can maintain a static IP address. The modem has been installed and integrated with the system router. As previously reported the acquisition of the gateway server, along with the static IP address and the gateway software, will enable us to start the installation and testing of Gateway System.
  • Brian, NJ6N and Howard, KG6GI conducted experiments on 1.2GHz using ICOM ID-1 tranceivers. Voice communications on digital simplex and through local analog FM repeaters was established without too much difficulty. Simplex high-speed digital data (DD) connectivity was achieved with limited range (about a mile) however "repeater simplex" (RPS) communications through the Digital Data repeater at the Laguna Beach site has still not been achieved.
  • A series of technical questions were submitted to Icom. The answers, unfortunately, still leave quite a few questions in our minds.
  • Version 1.0.55 of the NJ6N's dChat application are now available on Brian's web site. Several bugs including the jittery scrolling problem have been resolved. The documentation has also been updated with more detailed installation and program operation information.
  • Additional work has also been completed at the repeater site:
  • The overhead ladder-rack has been extended to provide cable management to the new DSTAR swing-rack on December 28th.
  • A 4 cavity repeater duplexer was acquired and tuned to our new coordinated 2M frequency. The new duplexer was installed using unistrut on the ceiling above the DSTAR swing-rack.

News - December 17, 2006

  • On December 17th, Horst, KD7JHR, Howard, KG6GI, Brian, NJ6N, and Mark, KD6WLY worked on the SOARA DSTAR installation at our Temple Hill site.
  • A splitable duplexer was installed on the 440 DSTAR repeater to enable us to separate the receive and transmit antennas to eliminate interference with weaker signals coming into the 2 meter (147.645) repeater. By moving the UHF DSTAR transmitter to the building-mounted antenna, away from the tower-mounted 2 meter receive antenna, we believe we have effectively eliminated the interference problem.
  • A new wall-mount, swing-out rack was installed to house all of our DSTAR repeater equipment including the repeater controller, 2m, 440, 23cm DV and 23cm DD repeater, 23cm duplexers, remote power management interface, and window filter (if needed for the 23cm DD repeater). There are still a few things left to do before we can install the DSTAR equipment into the new wall-rack.
  • A rack-mountable Linux server for our DSTAR gateway has been received and the Fedora Core operating system installed on it.
  • Howard and Brian will be taking the online DSTAR gateway certification course as soon as possible. This is a requirement from ICOM before they will ship us the gateway software necessary to join the national trust server and interconnect our DSTAR repeaters with others around the nation.
  • A diagram of the target final configuration is available.

News - December 11, 2006

  • On December 9th, Howard, KG6GI, and Brian, NJ6N completed additional work on the DSTAR installation at the Laguna Beach repeater site. The feedline to the building-mounted tri-band antenna for DSTAR was upgraded from Time Microwave LMR-400 to Andrew Heliax. Low-loss coax is critical to 1.2GHz operation. Two 2m/70cm/23cm triplexers were installed in preparation for separating the receive and transmit antennas on the UHF DSTAR repeater.
  • A splitable UHF duplexer has been ordered which will allow us to separate the receive and transmit antennas for the 445.70 UHF DSTAR repeater to eliminate the QRM problem with the 2 meter repeater. The receive antenna will be the slightly higher, tower mounted, Comet GP-98 tri-band antenna and the transmit antenna will be the building mounted Comet GP-98 tri-band antenna.
  • The 1.2GHz DD repeater was installed in preparation for initial testing. More work needs to be done before it can be enabled for general use.

News - December 5, 2006

  • We have received a test coordination from SCRRBA for our DSTAR repeaters in the 1200 MHz band. For digital voice (DV) we are coordinated at 1282.600/1270.600. For digital data (DD) we are coordinated at 1299.900. We have also received a test coordination from TASMA for the 2 meter band (146.115+) and permission from SCRRBA to use our existing analog repeater coordination on UHF until such time as a permanent coordination is assigned.

News - November 30, 2006

  • On Sunday, November 19th, we installed our new Andrew Heliax feedline connecting the tower-mounted GP-98 antenna to the UHF DSTAR repeater. Initial reports are that the coverage has been greatly improved. Pictures of the installation work can be found here
  • We've received a 1 year test coordination for our 2 meter DSTAR repeater. The coordination will enable us to start testing our 2 meter DSTAR repeater as soon as we aquire all of the necessary components.
  • Our 1.2GHz and 440MHz coordination requests have been submitted to the SCRRBA coordination organization.
  • Several members have aquired the 1.2GHz ID-1 mobile radio and we hope to begin doing some high-speed data testing soon.
  • NJ6N has written a simple DSTAR "chat application" that enables keyboard to keyboard chatting using the slow-speed digital data feature of DSTAR digital radios. For more information, visit http://nj6n.com/dstar
  • The SOARA UHF DSTAR repeater has been operational on 445.700- under the RPT1 callsign "K6SOA b" since October 15th. The repeater is open to all licensed amateurs. Please note that during the testing phases, the repeater system may be taken off the air for adjustments, testing, etc. with little notice. An announcement will be made on the repeater prior to taking it off the air.

News - November 10, 2006

  • On Friday, November 10th, a new Comet GP-98 2m/440/1.2GHz antenna was installed on the tower at our Laguna Beach site. Once we receive and install the heliax feedline, the new antenna will be connected to the DSTAR repeater.
  • We have successfully tested simplex file transfers using the ZMODEM protocol over DSTAR. We have discovered an issue with USB<->RS232 adapters and ZMODEM file transfers. Apparently the USB "dongles" consume XON/XOFF flow control characters that the proper communication relies on. We are still experimenting with file transfers over the repeater.
  • Several members of SOARA have installed and successfully tested the DStarLet application to send/receive text messages. The application uses error correction to insure error free transmission of textual data. We have used DStarLet via the repeater as well as on Simplex frequencies.

Copyright 2007 South Orange Amateur Radio Association
Webmaster E-mail: dstar@soara.org

 

 


    Last Revised: Monday, 01/05/2012,  nj6n