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Opinions on APRS & D-Star equipment

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK4CAQ, Dec 3, 2012.

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  1. KK4CAQ

    KK4CAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I operate mostly on 2m. I have numerous radios for that purpose including a cheap HT.

    My question revolves around whether it is worth getting a APRS radio or D-Star radio. Although I see clear advantages of both, I am not sure that I would really use the functionality or even need it.

    Can anyone shed some light on it?
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  2. N8MSA

    N8MSA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just out of primate curiosity, did you do a search? Neither of these technologies are new, and there has already been a lot of discussion about both...
  3. KK4CAQ

    KK4CAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    actually I did but did not come up with anything I thought was relevant
  4. N8MSA

    N8MSA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  5. NA0AA

    NA0AA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I assume you know that those are two different technogies/applications right? They don't overlap except that you can use APRS on D-star.

    APRS is interesting and useful for some operators - myself, I don't care to broadcast my physical location to the world, but it has other very useful application apart from that.

    D-Star is digital voice - you might check where you are, but there are several flavors and adoption varies by area - more densely populated areas are more likely to have d-star repeaters available to you.
  6. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    APRS just tells folks where you are, and in some cases the direction and distance other stations are from you. If you get a fancy radio and plug in one of the compatible GPS units, you can see it all on the map. From some casual surfing it appears D-Star has D-APRS, but I think it is exclusive to D-Star and doesn't report to the regular APRS website.

    D-Star is kinda cool if you want to talk to someone out of RF range -- assuming they also have a D-Star radio and both of you have access to a D-Star repeater or an access point. If you travel a bunch and want to keep in touch with other D-Star folks in another area, it is a good deal. The D-Star radios will also work with normal FM repeaters and simplex as well.
  7. KC2SIZ

    KC2SIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not long ago I was shopping for a new HT. I'm not really an "HT guy". Still, I thought I'd enjoy having a new one so long as it offered me something different, something in addition to all of the kerchunking and fart noises on the local repeaters, which I can already hear just fine 24/7.

    One possibility was to get a D-Star radio, but D-Star just doesn't interest me very much. Then I noticed the (relatively pricey) Kenwood TH-D72A. It has a built-in TNC. So, you can use it for APRS or packet. Packet, however "outdated" it may be, interests me a lot, and to be able to do it with just an HT was a very appealing idea. So, I got the TH-D72A and I am definitely enjoying it. And I have used the APRS from time to time, due in part to the fact that the International Space Station has an APRS digipeater! More generally, the D72A is a good choice for satellite work (something I hope to do more of in future) since it has dual receive capability.

    In the end it all boils down to what interests you and what kind of operating you hope to do. Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
  8. KK4CAQ

    KK4CAQ Ham Member QRZ Page


    Yes I know they are different thanks... Just trying to see if if i really want to spend the $ to get either/or.

    Thanks for all the responses! :cool:
  9. N5RFX

    N5RFX Ham Member QRZ Page

    D-PRS does report to the APRS-IS through D-Star repeaters and hotspots.

    Mark N5RFX
  10. NA0AA

    NA0AA Ham Member QRZ Page

    WRT to APRS, there are certainly some rigs better equipped from the factory for the addition of the APRS hardware. If you KNOW you will want APRS, you can save yourself some work by purchasing one of those models - I'm not that familiar with the specifics, but their ads usually mention that capability.

    The ability to use D-star for data transmission presents some interesting capabilities to be sure. In my QTH it's not even a blip on the radio radar however.
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