[amsat-bb] Re: Icom D-Star -to- A-STAR Gateway

Tony Langdon vk3jed at gmail.com
Thu Apr 28 14:17:36 PDT 2011

At 06:38 AM 4/29/2011, Bob Bruninga wrote:
> > Tell that to the likes of G4KLX, KI4LKF, the ircDDB team,
> > PA4YBR, the designers and builders of various GMSK modems,
> > and even AA4RC and Moe, who designed the DV Dongle hardware...
>The real thing that would explode D-star onto the world stage would be if
>they implemented an A-STAR gateway into the D-STAR system.  That is a means
>to gateway to existing analog users with existing radios.  Then everyone
>everywhere could participate in callsign-to-callsign voice contact just like

Bob, you're going to get a LOT of resistance to this from the D-STAR 
community.  The idea has merit, and APRS could provide a data channel 
for passing routing information.  Unfortunately, there's a lot of 
"purists" out there in the D-STAR world.  You might get more traction 
for the idea by going to the ircDDB community, where there's a higher 
proportion of experimenters.  Your A-STAR gateway would likely need 
to be registered with ircDDB (USTRUST/K5TIT certainly wouldn't 
register it), so it would look like a D-STAR gateway to the 
network.  The more I think about it, the more I think there's 
something in this.

>The A-Star gateway does this.  It uses the built-in (APRS) digital signaling
>in any of the 8 current models of Kenwood and Yaesu APRS radios to provide
>the seamless interface.  The APRS radios can be configured to send out their
>CALLSIGN with each release of PTT, thus giving the automatic callsign
>identification (Like Dstar).  Further, APRS radio users can signal who they
>want to talk to by simply entering an APRS message to the intended callsign

Can the message be sent on every key down?  i.e. store the message 
and then program the radio to repeat the same message every time you 
hit PTT?  This is what would be needed to use D-STAR's callsign 
routing.  I noticed there's quite a few APRS capable radios out there 
now.  I was almost tempted to buy one, but that came after knowing I 
have to watch the budget for the time being.  It's on the wish list.

>This is all part of the Automatic Voice Relay Network concept that ties
>together all linked voice systems into a universal-by-callsign VOIP system.
>It is where APRS has been headed since 2001.  And it is why all the recent
>radios from Kenwood and Yaesu can include their operating frequency in their
>ID packet and why they can also QSY to a commanded frequency on an incoming
>message with the press of a single button.

Unfortunately, in Australia, we will have to keep D-STAR (and any 
A-STAR gateways would be considered as part of D-STAR for this 
purpose) separate to IRLP and Echolink, because bridging the two 
would lead to a very high risk of licence breaches, due to how our 
regulations work, combined with the bands that the IRLP and Echolink 
systems are on (A-STAR gateways would be advertised as such and CTCSS 
access to avoid accidental access by Foundation calls and the legal 
implications thereof).

>We just need someone to write the A-star gateway software into the D-star

I suggest you ask around the ircDDB community, as that's where the 
software development and home brew gateway efforts are centred, 
because there's much more room for experimentation there than on 
K5TIT.  The idea is interesting and certainly has merit.

73 de VK3JED / VK3IRL

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