[aprssig] Did ICOM DSTAR ever take off ? can it be used for APRS ?

AE5PL Lists HamLists at ametx.com
Tue Jun 21 06:23:09 CDT 2005

Icom is still in the very early stages of the D-Star radios, but yes it
has generated a lot of interest (only Icom knows how much that
translates into sales).

As far as being used for APRS, there are multiple answers to this
question.  The radios can be used as standard analog radios and so, of
course, they can be used with a TNC or soundcard as a standard APRS

There are two different flavors of digital modes: low speed (VHF/UHF)
and high speed (1.2 GHz).  The high speed mode is a 128 Kbps standard IP
connection so an APRS client can be used with the 1.2 GHz radios in
digital mode and they would connect directly to an APRS-IS server if
there is a D-Star repeater connected to the Internet in your area.

The low speed mode looks like a clear channel 4800 or 9600 bps
asynchronous serial port to attached computers.  This allows an APRS
client to be connected like it was talking directly to a TNC2 TNC in
converse mode.  The VHF/UHF D-Star radios can be run in "GPS mode" which
is _not_ APRS compatible.  However, javAPRSSrvr has an interface for the
IGate function which translates the GPS information into an APRS packet
to pass on to APRS-IS (currently installed in Dallas, TX with another
known installation planned for Lubbock, TX).  The D-Star IGate will also
transmit the APRS packet back to the data channel so people with APRS
clients can also see the D-Star station's location.

Icom used "Enhanced APRS" in their initial brochures on the VHF/UHF
radios.  The GPS mode is neither "enhanced" nor APRS.  However, because
they provide a clear data channel which is compatible with almost any
APRS client, and because there is now an IGate interface for the GPS
mode data (which also acts as a normal IGate for TNC2 format lines), the
D-Star radios can be effectively used for APRS with the potential for
features not available in APRS (such as map downloads, etc.).


Pete Loveall AE5PL
mailto:pete at ae5pl.net 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew Rich
> Posted At: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 3:40 AM
> Subject: [aprssig] Did ICOM DSTAR ever take off ? can it be 
> used for APRS ?

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