All posts for the month March, 2015

Waratah advised that yesterday they installed all the new antennas and feeders at VK4RBY Mackay. The site is now fully functional with great coverage reports. Some Photos below.

They also installed a 23cm antenna with the hope to add dstar on 23cm some time this year.

VK4RBY is a worlds first as we have combined an Icom RP2C, Icom 2m repeater together with a Tait DSTAR repeater. All this runs off a raspberry pi running the VK4TUX minimal image. Internet access by a 3g modem.

D-Star news for all, from Bob Pittman VK4DA/VK8BOB ….a number of us  in Darwin are using the VI8ANZAC call sign in the 100 year commemoration of the landing of Gallipoli


VI8ANZAVI8ANZAC special event call sign from the North Darwin RSL on 26 Apr 15.

I plan to use a D-Star hot spot on REF023 C for the day.   April 26th 2015 Those that are not in a position to, make contact on HF using the call sign VI8ANZAC

Try connecting direct to me, VK4DA / VK8BOB, on  D-Star REF023C

I will answer with the special event call sign.


Editors Note

Brian VK2AH will also be listening for ANZAC calls….. Call Brian Direct on REF003C to co-ordinate


Recently, the Victorian D-Star Users Group ran a D-Star Education Day in Woodend,  Victoria last weekend  The event was held at the Woodend RSL and was hosted by The Macedon Ranges Amateur Radio Club.

As a presenter at the event, I found very few had any D-Star experience so we had a good audience to “educate”.  The RSL was well attended and MRARC put on a great BBQ Lunch

The presenters were Richard VK3JFK, Terry VK3BMX, Ian VK3FD and Myself


Richard VK3JFK presenting on callsign routing

The agenda included -: Theoretical and Practical Demonstrations of……..

  • D-Star History
  • Why D-Star was NEVER proprietry
  • How D-Star Radios interpret digital signals (A-D)
  • Callsign Routing
  • Callsign Routing Next Gen  (To & From)
  • Station calling, General call, Repeater, gateway & reflector  (G2, IrcDDB & FreeStar)
  • D-Star Bandwidth
  • D-Star Bandplans
  • Practicals – D-Star equipment
  • DV Dongles (USB PC/Mac Plug In)  Giving you D-Star Access
  • DVAP ( Digital Voice Access Points)
  • D-Star Hotspot  ( Looking at David VK3VCS B Hotspot)
  • D-Star Repeaters (Looking at VK3RWW B/A)
  • Mobile 3g/4g D-Star Hotspot in a small Pelican box from Ian VK3FD’s Landcruiser



FDs Hotspot
Dave VK3VCS B Hotspot from Little River an Icom IC208 analog rig running 10w D-Star integration with a DVRPTR PCB and a Raspberry PI, and an Optus 4G Dongle,   lower is Ian VK3FD’s Mobile Hotspot, gives him D-Star wherever a phone signal is, no need for repeaters !!!!

This was a full day of full on D-Star, most people who came in were very intrepid about D-Star, most who left were keen to give the mode a red hot go!    Greg Keegan VK3POP President of Shepparton Club and Wayne Cooke VK3XF from Cranbourne Club, came along to see what this D-Star was all about and were basically blown away with the growth of the mode, the experimentation factor and the hardware and software development within D-Star especially in the last 3 years.

World wide their are over 2000+ D-Star repeaters and it is unquantifiable the number of personal hotspots, D-VAPS and Dongles their actually are. The number of D-Star Reflectors are growing monthly and the world wide number is again unquantifiable.

The one thing is that there will always be someone on D-Star to talk to ..

Honestly, I am a HF analog mobile enthusiast and that’s a great mode, so is D-Star , it brings radio amateurs together, all over the world , it brings experimentation, access and flexibility for all…

Thanks go to Peter VK3RV, Jim VK3KA, Graeme VK3NE, Gary VK3GSG and Anneliese VK3FUZY …… for the great help with lunch

Peter Willmott VK3TQ  VP Macedon Ranges ARC

Some news from Waratah Swinston VK4BQ

VK4RBY is running under test 146.650MHz dashboard

VK4RUS Sarina DSTAR radio site commissioned 438.450MHz -5MHz. Home
brew dstar repeater using tait radios, raspberry pi 2, DVRPTRv1 modem
and VK4TUX minimal image. See for location info & also dashboard

vk4rus12 vk4rus11 vk4rus10 vk4rus9

Coming soon a DSTAR repeater on Blackdown Tableland west of Rockhampton near the mining town of Blackwater VK4RBD 146.6375MHz. This is also a home brew repeater using tait gear and an RF gateway

Koumala Hotspot VK4MKY 145.1125MHz south of Sarina

North Mackay Hotspot VK4DW 145.1375MHz with dashboard

Gympie Hotspot VK4GYM 145.150MHz located at the Gympie radio club coverage of the Gympie township, connected to REF3C

VK4RBX Ipswich has been offline for some time. Now its back online and using the VK4TUX minimal image

geagjiec edjbjeih jeadijdj

Welcome to the new website.  Several hours over the course of February and March were spent putting the content into this new site.  All repeater administrators were notified and requested to advise of any data updates and a few small amendments resulted.  Hopefully now content will be more fluid and dynamic.  Historical data was brought across so there are blog posts dating back to the early days of when the website was first established.

There was a period between July 2014 through to March 2015 where the website was not accessible so it was not maintained and no news updates were available.  Now with this situation rectified we moved quickly to get this new website built up and brought online and some of the missing news has been added.

I hope you find this new website format straight forward to use.

Dave, VK3LDR (