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So you’ve played with DSTAR enough that you’ve decided you want to host your own repeater. Well congratulations! Welcome to one of the most challenging and satisfying activities in your ham radio “career”!
Here’s what you’ll need if you want to build a DSTAR repeater.
3. Lightening protection (suppressor, in addition to a proper ground system)
4. Duplexer (a flat-pack mobile unit will work if you’re in a low RF environment. If there are other transmitters around, you’ll want larger cavities – a band-pass/band-reject unit.)
5. A repeater site – as high as you can get, with easy access for maintenance
6. Internet access – including a public facing ip address so users can route directly to you from other repeaters
7. Power supply – 12V at whatever amps you’ll need
8. Miscellaneous cables…all good quality!
As a quick side note, all of the principles for analog repeaters applies to digital systems. Checkout www.repeater-builder.com for tons of good information.
Phew. Now that you’re done with the antenna system and internet access, you’ll need to make a decision. Are you going to go with the ICOM system, or a home-brew system?
For an ICOM system:
1. Radio module for the band you want to be on ($700 for UHF)
2. Controller module ($850)
3. Computer running Linux to run the gateway software (figure $300 for a solid system)
That’s $1850 in addition to items 1 through 8 above.
The other option is a home-brew system. I’ve built two of these already – one from Kenwood radios, and one from Motorola radios. Either of these requires access to programming gear/software, so you may have other costs you need to consider.
For a home-brew system built on Motorola radios:
1. 2 CDM 1550 UHF radios (one for TX, one for TX) – $300 from eBay
2. Raspberry Pi with SD Card to run the G4KLX gateway software ($50)
3. DVRPTR modem – http://dvrptr.net/ ($120)
For the CDM radios, you can’t run them at 100% power – these are mobile radios, and they are rated at 50% duty cycle or lower at full power. I’m using 30 watt radios at 10 watts. The transmitter doesn’t seem to mind this power setting, even when run for 2 hours continuously. Because of the acknowledgement packets that are sent after user transmissions, duty cycles easily get 100% during normal DSTAR use. Hold a net, or a long QSO, and you’ll find your transmitter melted if you try to run it at too high of a power setting.
You can add a power amplifier after the transmitter if you need more power. I’ve not found this to be necessary with the proper antenna and site. If I can hear the remote units, they can hear me. More power hasn’t been necessary.
I’ve also had success with a Kenwood TKR-820 repeater. But….programming these for me is harder. Alignment is a bunch of coils and takes some time. They have a built-in power supply. You really need to narrow-band the units, as that’s what the users’ radios are expecting. It will work wide-band, but it won’t work as well. The system needs to be narrow on both the repeater and user side.
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D-STAR is an open protocol developed by the Japanese government and by the J. A. R. L. Icom is currently the only company manufacturing D-STAR-compatible radios. D-STAR radios can talk directly to each other without any intermediate equipment, or through a repeater using D-STAR voice or data transceivers.
The D-STAR system supports two types of digital data streams:
The Digital Voice (DV) stream used on 144 and 440 MHz which contains both digitized voice (3600 bps including error correction) and digital data (1200 bps). Using a DV radio is like having both a packet link and FM voice operating simultaneously.
The Digital Data (DD) stream, used only on 1.2 GHz, is entirely data with a bit rate of 128k bps. The data connection to a radio that uses DV is via an RS-232 interface or USB 1.0. An Ethernet connection is used for high-speed DD D-STAR data.
The Icom D-STAR repeaters and modules below are available to the customer only from Icom directly. They are shown here for informational purposes only.
He recognized his old school friend. At that moment, when friends joyfully greeted each other, Julia anxiously felt that her vacation plans were crumbling. She saw that another man was sitting with a man. Both looked like drunken office plankton, who, being on vacation, found nothing else but to continue drinking, since their three-day searches.
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I, if I follow the principle, all, drain the water. In general, they kicked me out of the factory with a bang. Okay, I can do without you, I think I will not be lost. I'll go to prostitutes. Let's see who will earn more: I am at Intourist's overnight or the factory for a shift at the lathe.LCARA HAM Radio: D-Star Repeater Maintenance
Kog They had been in the cocoon for the tenth day. At first, having come to their senses, they could not understand where they were. It seemed to them that this was a continuation of a terrible dream, a nightmare. Although - where does the night come from.
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Yes very. - Thick. - Both thick and long. He pushed me into the womb, oh, how is it.