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WHAT IS D-STAR?

D-Star offers digital voice and slow and high-speed data communications. Slow-speed digital voice and data are transported at 4800 bps, of which 3600 bps is used for voice transmission and the remaining 1200 bps is used for synchronization and general use. Of that 1200 bps, around 900 bps is available for the transmission of data. High-Speed digital data communication is transported at 128kpbs and is capable of supporting Ethernet packets and also is fast enough to use for Internet applications such as displaying web pages. D-Star is capable of connecting repeater sites using the Internet and forms a world-wide radio network. This state-of-the-art system has a tremendous amount of functionality not available with less sophisticated linking system like IRLP and Echolink. One of the biggest benefits are that most repeaters are connected to D-Star Reflectors. These are basically network servers. Once a ham is registered with a repeater gateway, they can connect to D-Star users beyond the local repeaters. You do not have to be registered with a gateway to use a local repeater, only if you want to make use of the D-Star network. If you do register with your local gateway, you only have to register with one gateway as your registration information is propagated to all other gateways and reflectors in the D-Star network. This allows retired and older hams who have had to move into apartments and retirement homes to still talk to their ham friends around the world using only a D-Star capable handheld radio! No large special antennas are required. If the ham does not have a D-Star capable handheld, or does not have a local D-Star repeater yet, no worry, several U.S. amateurs developed and manufacturer a little device known as a DV Dongle. The DV-Dongle connects to a Personal Computer which needs to be connected to the Internet with a high-speed DSL or Cable Modem connection. Dial-up just does not cut it. Then with a standard computer audio headset with microphone and headphones, the DV Dongle allows the user to connect to any of the D-Star reflectors on the network and carry on conversations with other DV Dongle users or radio users through the repeaters connected to the various reflectors! This allows every ham, no matter how they are housing and antenna restricted, to again communicate with hams around the world.