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D-Star across the Pond

D-Star across the Pond

Icom UK recently connected to Icom America using its digital radio technology D-Star at the Dayton Amateur Radio show. Bob Stockley (Sales & Marketing Director), John Turner G0KFO (Amateur Dealer Manager) and Steve Rooker G4UUI (Technical Specialist) of Icom UK were able to communicate with Don Turner G4TKR (General Manager) who was on the Icom America stand at the time.

Amazed at the quality of the transmission John Turner G0KFO said, 'When you use internet connections like Echolink there is a delay and poor audio but this was superb and almost instantaneous. The clarity of the speech was very impressive.'

The D-Star project has been developed in collaboration with the JARL (Japan Amateur Radio League) as an open protocol and is also supported by the Japanese Telecommunications Administration. The D-Star system provides digitally modulated voice/data communication, high-speed data access over the air, and has a close affinity with the Internet.

At the Dayton Radio Amateur show Icom America installed a D-Star repeater and 2 ID-1 mobile radios to demonstrate the digital capabilities of the system. The repeater was connected to the internet and this enabled other D-Star systems to be seamlessly connected together.The D-Star system offers digital voice modulation (GMSK). All of the transmissions including data and pictures are digitally encoded.

Digitally modulated voice is transmitted at 4.8 kbps and can send simultaneous low speed data. Digital high-speed data is transmitted at 128kbps (max.) from terminal to terminal or via the repeater or from a terminal directly to the internet or backbone. Furthermore, repeaters can be linked via the Internet or a 10GHz backbone, providing a multi-site repeater system. The transceiver has an Ethernet cable port, which provides direct connection to a PC, router, hub or other network devices.

On his return to Icom UK, Don Turner G4TKR said, 'The launch of D-Star will revolutionise the way in which amateurs communicate with each other. The clarity and speed of transfer of information is just amazing. Considering the distance I was from my colleagues it was like I was sitting next to them rather than several thousand miles away'.

Bob Stockley (left) and Steve Rooker (right) testing D-Star in the Icom UK Shack.

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