One of our local radio groups has put a 70 cm D-STAR repeater on the air here in Monument. Here’s the announcement from Elliot KB0RFC:
The W0TLM B repeater and gateway are on the air in their new PERMANENT home in monument near hwy 105 and I 25, coverage reports are needed. All gateway functions are operating please feel free to link to the repeater, or just call around.
The repeater is a joint effort between the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire radio association, the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Department Communications Auxilary, And the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District. The purpose of this repeater is to support emergency communications in northern El-Paso County. we will do what we can to create an environment conducive to training and support for actual emergency events.
We run a net on 447.725- 100.0hz tone every Monday night except the last Monday of the month where we have our monthly meeting at Tri-Lakes Fire station 1. All are welcome We hope to be participating in the CO-D-STAR net soon. W0TLM++B and W0TLM++G are on 446.8875- please check it out!
Please email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
I got a chance to try D-STAR out from a remote perspective when I was out in the San Francisco Bay area. I got on the W6YYY repeater in Oakland on 440.03750MHz and chatted with Elliot KB0RFC back in Monument. This is way cool!
OK, you may be thinking “I can do that with EchoLink or IRLP”, which is true (and that is also way cool). The benefits of D-STAR are still emerging, but one big difference is that each transmitted packet has callsign routing. One feature that I see as useful is the callsign squelch mode. I can keep my radio squelched expect for people specifically calling me. Other advantages of the “all digital” network are starting to surface, so stay tuned on that.
There are several D-STAR repeaters popping up in Colorado. The group leading the way is the Colorado D-STAR Association in the Denver area. The Cheyenne Mountain Repeater Group has a system on the air in Colorado Springs, currently in a test phase (limited coverage) on 446.9125 MHz (KC0CVU B). A group in Boulder is also working on a system but I am not sure of the status of that effort.
New technology, new learning, new fun.
73, Bob K0NR