Welcome to the SOARA DSTAR web site.
[Previous News reports]
[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
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 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
- Register your call sign with the K6SOA
- 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
K6SOA DSTAR Repeaters
Temple Hill, Laguna Beach, CA
General information about DSTAR
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
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
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
News - June 20, 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 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
News - April 13, 2008
News - December 29, 2007
- 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
- Please note: Some gateway owners have installed a new G2 gateway
in parallel with their V1 gateway are have not moved their RF modules
- 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
News - September, 2007
- Howard and Brian gave a presentation at the Orange County RACES Academy on Saturday, November 17th.
News - April 16, 2007
- Howard and Brian gave a presentation entitled
DSTAR D-Mystified at the 2007 Hamcon convention.
- 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
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
News - January 31, 2007
News - January 25, 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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