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D-Star. Is it worth is?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by W7ND, Feb 21, 2012.


Is D-Star upgradeability worth it?

  1. Yes, it is worth it

    17 vote(s)
  2. No, save your money

    40 vote(s)
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  1. W7ND

    W7ND Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hope this is the right forum for a discussion like this...

    Let me preface by saying I'm not trying to start a D-Star war with this thread. I just want some info regarding my specific situation. I am in the process of setting up a mobile radio in my vehicle. I've decided to stick with a 2M only radio at this point. There's no 70CM repeater coverage within 100 miles of me, and the added cost of a dual band radio is a little more than my budget allows at the moment. One of the radios I have been looking at is the Icom IC-2200h. For 2m FM, it really offers nothing more that the competing units. But with the optional board, it can do D-Star. I have to admit I like the idea of D-Star, at least what I've read and seen. I'm even further from D-Star than I am 70CM so it would only be used out of town (if I get the board). Disadvantages is of course, cost (I would add the digital board later), and I really don't see D-Star becoming available in my area anytime soon. With this in mind, is the D-Star option enough of an advantage to try and get a 2200H (They have been recently discontinued and I notice they are getting harder to find new)? Or would I be better off with either the offerings from Kenwood (the TM-281A) or Yaesu (FT-1900 or FT-2900)?
  2. WB0VHB

    WB0VHB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would say yes. Since there isn't any Dstar repeaters in your area, build your own. It really isn't that hard.

    Here is a link to help you get started.
    Build Your Own Dstar Hot Spot.

  3. W7ND

    W7ND Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for that info! Im wondering if I could get one of those interface boards to work with the data jack on my 746pro. Anyways, between the D-Star adapter the radio and then the equipment required for the hotspot, it's gonna be a while before I could scrape together the cash to do it all. I think I may just go ahead and get the 2200H since it's pretty much the same price as the other radios I've been consitering.
  4. AG6JU

    AG6JU Guest

    I have heard rumor Yaesu is coming up with digital radio which are not compatible with D-star, but it is similar to motorola digital radio ( MOTO TRBO ? ) , I understand it is TDMA, so it can repeat 2 voice condensations on one repeater ? I would be very interested in some digital radio, but I just can not buy much more expensive ( twice or more ) radio right now. probably need to wait until price come down.
  5. AC0H

    AC0H Ham Member QRZ Page

    If Icom wants to ensure the future of D-Star they need to cut prices by 50%.
    Buy a brand new IC-2820 dual-bander and outfit it with D-Star.....thats $1,000.00
    Ridiculous for a dual band VHF/UHF rig.
  6. KW4HKY

    KW4HKY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why not get the 880H? $480 Same price as any tribander. If you want the dual display and more bells & whistles, spend the $1000.

    Just thinking, those that voted no, do you own a Dstar radio? I use Dstar more than 2m/440 now, but I can use all three on the 880H. I really got tired of the occasional QSO during the day, and checing into 2m nets at night. Now I can talk to people all over the world with digital clear signals.

    I really love having the other stations call sign, name & location showing in the display too.
  7. K7CJ

    K7CJ Ham Member QRZ Page


    Also, their early d-star programming/implementation was horrible. A monkey could have designed a better user interface. I'm a very technically capable person and it took *me* over an hour to figure out the silly d-star programming. (This was with a 2200H and option board.) The Icom manual assumes that the user knows what d-star is all about and how it works. There's no mention of this at all. I had to resort to Google to learn how/why to setup d-star.

    Icom must have listened because their 2300H (new model) doesn't even support d-star.

    The Icom IC-92AD is much easier to setup and the manual does a much better job at explaining how d-star works...

    Too bad it costs $600 for a 5w handheld. :rolleyes:
  8. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can do that with Echolink too -- and it costs nada.
  9. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was in Ely a couple weeks ago, and heard some guys ragchewing on 146.52, I believe it was. There was also a live repeater - don't recall which one. The K5EHX repeater listing shows a UHF machine on 444.575 in Ely, along with three 2 meter machines. One listing shows that some of these machines are linked to each other, but I don't see any high level linking to the outside world.

    I have a DSTAR rig, and it's fun, but to be brutally honest, I get more out of IRLP or EchoLink. As I was driving towards Ely from the west, I listened to some guys chatting about setting up Allstar nodes in Nevada - which is another VoIP repeater linking scheme. If you had an IRLP node - simplex or on a repeater - you could be connected to the Western Reflector or the WIN System most of the time, and have lots of QSO's, or perhaps link with some of the other IRLP nodes around Nevada. You can work linked repeaters all along I-80 to your north, but I was amazed at how much of U.S. 50 was covered, too.

    Now, if you're going to travel much at all, a nice dualbander would be great to have. I find as much or more action on UHF as I drive around the west, and some of the most interesting stuff is definitely on UHF.

    You could consider setting up your own IRLP, EchoLink, or Allstar node in Ely. This is a pricey solution, but neat:
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I tried D-STAR stuff on 70cm locally as there is a whole linked repeater system offering it.


    I HATE that a signal just drops out if it's not strong enough. No analog hysteresis squelch system that lets the repeater ride a weak signal down into the noise while you're still copying it.

    I thought it actually sucked. It's a "strong signal" mode and I couldn't care less about strong signals.
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