Tuesday, December 2, 2014

DSTAR Commands - A Quick Guide

Reading through all of the DSTAR documentation can get a little crazy. Here is a quick reference on linking commands. 

There are four callsign settings on your radio that you can adjust. They are:

MYCALL: Should always be your callsign, like KG9DW

RPT1: Should be the callsign of the repeater module you're connecting to, with the callsign in positions 1 through 6, a space in position 7, and then the module letter. The module letter is B for UHF or C for VHF; So for Heyworth, that would be KD9AKF B. For Normal, that would be WX9WX  B. Notice that because Normal is a 2x2 call, you have two spaces between the X and the B.

RPT2: If you want to use the gateway (not have your traffic only stay local) then this should be set to the same as RPT1 but the module letter (position 8) should be G. So for Heyworth KD9AKF G or for Normal WX9WX  G. Almost always, you'll want to use the Gateway.

URCALL: This is where you put the command you want the repeater to do.


The fun is with URCALL:

CQCQCQ means let your voice be heard everywhere.

E in the 8th position does an echotest - it repeats your audio back to you.

I in the 8th position tells you if the repeater is linked, and what it is linked to.

U in the 8th position unlinks the repeater if it is linked.

L in the 8th position, with a callsign+module or reflector name in positions 1-7 links the repeater. For example, REF001BL links the repeater to reflector 001B. KC9YFXBL links the repeater to the Decatur repeater. 

*** IMPORANT *** : After you use the E, I, U, or L commands, switch back to CQCQCQ to carry on a QSO! If you keep sending a link command, the repeater will keep linking or relinking and no one will hear your call!

A typical use of the repeater to link to reflector 001B would be:

1. Key up with I to see if the repeater is linked
2. To link, key up with REF001BL
3. Switch to CQCQCQ and begin your call or QSO

A typical use of the repeater to link to Decatur would be:

1. Key up with I to see if the repeater is linked
2. To link, key up with KC9YFXBL
3. Switch to CQCQCQ and begin your call or QSO

Feel free to leave the repeater linked...linking invites more QSOs and more traffic! If you are working on your radio or want to just play, unlink the repeater so that only local users hear your testing.

Whew, that's a lot to understand. Not to try to confuse you, but you can use DTMF codes with our non-ICOM repeaters as well. This allows you to link without having to program up your URCALL. This is useful when you want to link to an odd-ball reflector. For information on those commands, visit: http://www.dstar101.com/DTMF_klx.html

Above all, have fun, and let me know if you need help!

73, Michael
KG9DW

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