CCAR D-Star Repeaters

Pennsylvania's first coordinated D-Star repeaters

On the air since May 25, 2007

W3EOC at Pocopson, Pennsylvania, (Central and Southern Chester County) our "full stack" includes a gateway, system operational:

Call Sign Output Frequency Offset (MHz) Mode
W3EOC A 1255.5000 MHz +12 DV
W3EOC B 445.06875 MHz -5 DV
W3EOC C 146.4900 MHz +1 DV
W3EOC A 1299.5000 MHz simplex DD

KB3SLR at Bucktown, Pennsylvania, (Northern Chester County and beyond) there is currently no gateway, system operational:

Call Sign Output Frequency Offset (MHz) Mode
KB3SLR A 1255.6000 MHz +12 DV
KB3SLR B 445.08125 MHz -5 DV
KB3SLR A 1297.5000 MHz simplex DD

KB3SLS at Charlestown (Devault), Pennsylvania, (Northern Chester County and beyond) there is currently no gateway, system operational:

Call Sign Output Frequency Offset (MHz) Mode
KB3SLS A 1255.700 MHz +12 DV
KB3SLS B 440.00625 MHz +5 DV
KB3SLS A 1297.900 MHz simplex DD

Register to use the D-Star Gateways

Without registering, you can use our repeaters locally. If you want to connect to distant repeaters and users on other repeaters, you need to register as a gateway user. One registration at your closest repeater with a gateway is good for all on the worldwide network.

To register, read the instructions at
http://www.dstargateway.org/D-Star_Registration.html.
Then, go to https://w3eoc.dstargateway.org/Dstar.do to register if W3EOC is your closest repeater.

Setting Up Your Radio...

All the below information (and more) is reflected in the settings you can get from the "D-Star Calculator" at http://www.dstarinfo.com/Calculator/DSTAR%20Web%20Calculator.aspx. Give it a try!

By now you know that we need to program some information into our radios for them to work properly. ''MyCALL, UrCALL, RPT1 C and RPT2 C'' are the parameters we are going to set up. It is a good idea to set up a memory channel for each system and combination of cross band options you plan to use. This lets you get on the air quickly by having the info already programmed in your radio... just turn to a memory channel and go.

MyCALL

This identifies your radio. If you have more than one ham in the house, program each call into a different memory. That way, several users can borrow your radio and talk to their friends.

UrCALL

This is the station you want to talk to. Most of the time we set this to "CQCQCQ" as we will be calling "CQ" or doing ragchew/roundtable work. "But what if I don't want to listen to all the traffic on the frequency?" No problem, D-Star has the Call Sign Squelch (CSS) feature. It is similar to tone squelch (or PL or CTCSS) in that the radio is unmuted when a specific callsign is heard. So, if the station you want to contact has CSS enabled, set UrCALL to their callsign and they will hear you. Again, use the memories to save frequently used setups.

RPT1 CALL

This is the callsign of the local repeater you want to use. We need to enter more than just the callsign as most D-STAR systems have multiple ports. The 8th character in this field is the "switch", and routes your data to the proper port. Insert spaces as necessary so that the switch is in the 8th position. (The "-" represents a space below.) D-STAR "switch" convention designates 'A' as 1.2 GHz, 'B' as 70cm and 'C' as 2 meters. 'G' is for gateway and 'S' is for server. Here is the W3EOC system, a typical 4-port configuration with gateway:

1.2 GHz DIGITAL DATA W3EOC_ _A
1.2 GHz DIGITAL VOICE REPEATER W3EOC_ _A
70cm DIGITAL VOICE REPEATER W3EOC_ _B
2 METER DIGITAL VOICE REPEATER W3EOC_ _C
GATEWAY W3EOC_ _G

So, to call my friend who has CSS enabled, on our 70cm port, I need to enter his call in UrCALL and the repeater 70cm port call in RPT1 C like this:

UrCALL: W3WA
RPT1 C: W3EOC**B

To call "CQ" or for ragchew/roundtable/net work, enter "CQCQCQ" for UrCALL.

To call out to all the DV ports from the 70cm port, use / in front of the repeater callsign like this:

RPT1 C: /W3EOC*B
(Note that there is only one space before the 'B' this time. Eight characters total, and the 'switch' must be in the eighth position!) Pretty handy that /, now isn't it?

RPT2 CALL

Here is how you work crossband on your local repeater or use the gateway to contact your friend across the globe. To work crossband, enter the callsign of the other port you wish to use for RPT2 C. To use the gateway, enter G for the 8th character. The gateway accesses a database to find where the UrCALL was last heard and will send your data to that system... pretty cool, eh? Here's a trick... to call "CQ" on the 2 meter port of a distant repeater using the gateway, enter "/K5TIT*C" in UrCALL. Now you will be heard by all the folks listening on 2 meters in Texas! Again, the '/' comes in real handy.

Summary

Here is a table summarizing what we have just covered. The first three columns demonstrate calling "CQ" on simplex, the 70cm local repeater port and on both 70cm and the 2 meter port. The fourth demonstrates calling "CQ" on all the local repeater ports of the W3EOC system. The fifth demonstrates calling a specific station, AC5RA, using the gateway, while the last shows how to call "CQ" through the gateway to a remote system 2 meter port, in this case K5TIT. In each case you are transmitting on 70cm.

Setting MyCALL UrCALL RPT1 RPT2
SIMPLEX W3QA CQCQCQ off off
70cm REPEATER W3QA CQCQCQ W3EOC**B off
70cm / 2M CROSSBAND REPEATER W3QA CQCQCQ W3EOC**B W3EOC**C
REPEATER SYSTEM "ALL CALL" W3QA CQCQCQ /W3EOC*B off
GATEWAY W3QA AC5RA W3EOC**B W3EOC**G
GATEWAY CQ W3QA /K5TIT*C W3EOC**B W3EOC**G

'*' indicates a space.
Remember: Call sign fields have eight positions for characters, and the last one is where the 'switch' need to be. Adjust spaces accordingly, or be frustrated!

IC-800 DV Crossband Setup Problem

K3XT could not get the RPT2 setting to "stick." Since others may have the same problem as Sean, K3XT, I'll pass along the "solution".

It isn't obvious from the manual that after your set up the RPT1 and RPT2 and other call signs that you have to do a 'memory write' to store them with the other channel info. So crossband would work for a few seconds, then he would change to a different memory channel to check W3EOC B on 445.075 and lose the RPT2 programming again when he switched back to 2 meters.

Apparently the IC-800 manual implies that the call sign memory is separate from the frequency memory locations.

There are multiple separate memories for storing RPT1 and RPT2 call signs, as well as URCALLs. This IS separate from channel memories and is for convenience (saves you from manually entering each character in any setup). But channel memories ALSO save call signs along with other channel info like a 'snapshot' of a setup.

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