How does D-STAR work?

There are a number of ways you can communicate on the D-STAR network. These include using D-STAR enabled radios that are capable of 3 digital communication streams.

  1. Digital voice
  2. Control data
  3. Data messaging

The occupied bandwidth of the digital signal is smaller than that needed in analogue transmissions and therefore more digital channels can be provided in a given bandwidth. To enable the repeaters to communicate with each other over the internet the repeater is connected to a PC running a LINUX operating system and Gateway software. This software connects to other gateways and keeps the user lists up to date and connects the digital streams between repeaters. All of the information is distributed within a network that is managed by a "Trust Server." We are currently in the same net as America, Australia and Canada.

D-STAR repeaters can be operated in the same way as existing analogue 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 web 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 repeater.