Icom's D-Star digital amateur radio is now on the air in Morristown. The unit will has both VHF and UHF repeaters and is connected to the US-Trust of D-Star repeaters worldwide. The repeater is located for the present time at about 1,450 feet on the west side of Morristown. This should have reasonable coverage for Hamblen County, with good mobile and base coverage of the Jefferson City, Talbott, and White Pine areas of Jefferson County, southern part of Grainger County. I hope to locate the repeater on higher ground as we learn more about the ability to supply internet access to other repeater sites in the Lakeway area.
Currently frequencies have been assigned by the Southeast Repeater Association (SERA). The UHF frequency is 444.475 Mhz with a standard split of up 5.0 Mhz to 449.475 Mhz. The VHF frequency assigned is 144.92 Mhz output with input being up 2.5 Mhz at 147.42 Mhz corresponding with the new band plan for SERA. I have aquired a nice set of duplexer cavities for the VHF repeater which arrive the first week of March and will require being tuned. VHF coverage is very limited until the duplexer can be tuned and placed in line.
I am very open to a team concept on this repeater to assist in all phases of its operation. I have written the checks, but I can use help, especially if we plan to move it to a mountain top. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about a growing area of our hobby especially if you are interested in digital operations in other areas such as computer communications, MESH, et al. The more help we have, the faster the machine will be in place and on the air for use. I am limited by my time and have to admit physical ability to complete some tasks.Contact me if you are interested. I plan to post manuals on this site for all to read and learn as much as possible.
If you plan to radio on D-Star, you will need a new radio with digital D-Star capiablity. I started with an Icom IC-2200H, a great single band 144 transceiver that allows the addition of a D-Star board and chip. For around $100 you more than double the ability of the radio. If you have an IC-2200H, you are almost there! I have been well pleased with mine. I later picked up an IC-92AD Hand Held Tranceiver that is D-Star ready. Great reviews on the analog portion and the D-Star Programming. I added a GPS and this unit can do sooo much. I have to say that in 30 years it is by far the best HT I have ever keyed or owned. I recently purchased an Icom IC-7100 HF, VHF, UHF with DSTAR radio. I used this radio at field and fell in love with it. That opened the door of desire for the new IC-5100 Dual band 144/444 mobile tranceiver and so far absolutely love it. More on this radio later. Icom is making available for direct sale from the factory to you, the close out of the
IC-80AD. This radio is priced at $329.95 This radio has many of the features of the IC-92AD at a lesser cost to you. I picked up a IC-31 UHF HT on eBay a few days ago for just over $100.00. I got a great deal by being in the right place at the right time.
I have added a DHAP device to my equipment inventory, streaching the abilities of DSTAR more. This little unit combines a DVAP dongle with a Raspberry Pi microcomputer and can operate off of a hotspot giving you internect connection to DSTAR from anywhere. Great aid for emergency communications.
We will learn more ways to get onto the air with D-Star and how to "fill in the holes" where the repeaters don't cover well with Jim Moen's Hot Spots. I have two of the hot spots now and they work great. I will post some reading materail below for you "self education" into D-Star Digital Radio.
See the links below for more
To register for gateway use through W4LDG, click here and complete the information. Your call should be setup and ready to go within 36 hours. You mibht like to watch this video on registration. Disregard the first 2:30 minutes as the link above will take you to the W4LDG registration site. Otherwise follow the nice sounding lady. If you have registered for DSTAR with your current call in the past, DON'T REGISTER again. You only need to register once in DSTAR for the whole international seen. Don't know if you are registered, click here and enter your callsign.
For more on operating on DSTAR, click here.