The D-STAR system provides digitally modulated voice/data communication
and high-speed data access over the air. This project has been developed
in collaboration with JARL (Japan Amateur Radio League) and is supported
by the Japanese Telecommunications Administration.
D-STAR is an exciting new form of Amateur Radio that compliments
other parts of the hobby including VHF, HF operation, Contesting
and Satellite communications etc. Utilising digital communication
and the Internet, D-STAR allows you to communicate worldwide with
other operators who are connected to D-STAR repeaters.
D-STAR, a standard published in 2001, is the result of years of
research funded by the Japanese government and administered by the
JARL to investigate digital technologies for amateur radio. D-STAR
is an open protocol - published by JARL, it is available to be implemented
by anyone. Whilst Icom is the only company to date that manufactures
D-STAR compatible radios, any equipment or software that supports
the D-STAR protocol will work with a D-STAR system.
In a D-STAR system, the air link portion of the protocol applies
to signals travelling directly between radios or between radios
via a repeater. 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 gateway portion of the protocol applies to the digital interface
between D-STAR repeaters. D-STAR also specifies how a voice signal
is converted to and from the stream of digital data. The D-STAR
codec is known as AMBE® (Advanced Multiband Excitation) and
the voice signal is transmitted in the D-STAR system at 3600 bits/second
D-Star is constantly developing and lends itself to continual improvement
both in the ability to display information from over the Internet
and in the control of the radios connected to the system. We have
only scratched the surface with what has currently been provided.
D-Star is capable of carrying both digital voice and data. Already
there has been developed a number of utilities, a mail client that
uses the data messaging for the mail messages, a statistical program
for showing current users, GPS positioning and many more. To find
out more of the features of this exciting new protocol click the
D-Star repeaters can be operated in the same way as existing repeaters
except that they communicate using a digital transmission from the
transmitting radio through to the receiving radio. Unlike other
systems that have been developed that use the internet for linking
distant stations together, D-Star treats all repeaters in exactly
the same way. A local repeater is no different to a repeater 3000
miles away, you just have to route your call to the distant repeater.
You can connect to a local repeater and a repeater across the internet
and all participants will be treated as though they are on the same
From 'Who can use D-STAR equipment?' to 'Can I make a call with
foreign countries?', find answers to some of the most commonly asked
questions about D-Star.
D-STAR stands for Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio.
Low-speed DV D-STAR voice and data works just fine at 144 and 430-440
MHz. 1.2 GHz supports the bandwidth needs of high-speed DD data.
Choose the technology that satisfies your needs.
Even D-STAR's lowest speed is competitive with the highest-performance
packet systems available today. D-STAR's simultaneous digital voice
and data at 4800 bps is beyond the capability of any packet technology.
High-speed D-STAR systems are ten times faster than the highest
VOIP systems like IRLP and Echolink® are only capable of routing
voice signals. They don't support data exchange at any speed. Calls
targeted to a specific user are not possible by any amateur technology
except for D-STAR.
The ability of D-STAR repeaters to route data and digitized voice
worldwide sets it far apart from a simple party line. Sophisticated
D-STAR controllers and gateways implement modern telecommunications
functions in an amateur package.
While Icom is the first manufacturer to support D-STAR, any manufacturer
or amateur can use the JARL standards to create equipment - transceivers,
repeaters, and gateways - compatible with the D-STAR system. As
the D-STAR system grows, look for other manufacturers to join the
4.8kbps digital voice (DV) mode and 128kbps data* (DD) mode communications
are available. When using DD mode with a PC and the D-STAR radio,
high speed data communication is possible. * DD mode is available
with ID-1 only.
Yes, you can. In DV mode operation, you can simultaneously send
up to 950bps of data, such as call sign, short data message or GPS
position with a voice transmission.
Yes, you can use a D-STAR repeater as a local repeater. You can
also communicate with other D-STAR radios directly.
Yes, you can*. The Internet gateway allows you to relay your call
to a remote D-STAR repeater over the Internet. The D-STAR repeater
call sign and IP address must be registered to the gateway server.
* Some restrictions may apply depending on specific countries’
Yes, you can. The call sign squelch function opens the squelch
only when your call sign is received.
When you communicate with other D-STAR stations using a D-STAR
repeater, it is necessary to set the repeater's call sign in RPT1/RPT2
as well as the desired station call sign and your own call sign.
For example, when you make a call in the same zone (without using
the Internet gateway), set the uplink repeater call sign in RPT1
and the downlink repeater call sign in RPT2. Set "CQCQCQ"
for the desired station call sign, when you make a CQ call. When
you make a call in another zone using the Internet gateway, set
the uplink repeater call sign in RPT1 and the gateway call sign
in RPT2. The gateway repeater has "G" setting for the
8th-digit. Set "/" plus downlink repeater call sign at
the desired station call sign, when you make a CQ call.
Range always varies due to terrain and antenna height, but 20-40
miles* from the repeater is normal. Due to digital technology, benefits
of up to 20% have been experienced over comparable analogue systems.
*20-40 miles is a best case measurement, distances will vary based
on frequency used and other terrain obstacles. 23cm can easily be
only 2-3 miles based on topography.
"In computing, a protocol is a convention or standard that
controls or enables the connection, communication, and data transfer
between two computing endpoints." Essentially, protocols are
the "rules of engagement" between two devices that allow
them to connect to each other and exchange data. Protocols don’t
guarantee that the data exchanged is correct or has meaning, they
just describe how the data gets from one point to another. There
are two D-STAR protocols; one for the air link that controls over-the-air
transmissions and one that controls how information is exchanged
between gateways. If you can create a radio or a program that plays
by those rules, you can connect to the D-STAR world. Because D-STAR
is an open protocol, all of the necessary information to play by
those rules is publicly available.