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Amateur Radio
Digital Voice and Data

 

 

 

Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio

The first Maryland D-Star repeater was placed in service on 70CM in Harford County in 2007. ThisRegionMap was followed in 2008 by a 2M, 70CM and 23CM repeater in northern Baltimore County. The Baltimore County repeater joined the gateway system in August of 2013 and the Harford County repeater joined in January 2014.

There are now six D-Star repeaters operating in Maryland providing direct RF coverage to users in all but the far western region of the state. However, users in the far western region of the state are not without options. They can use D-Star transceivers with a Local Access Point and link to the Maryland reflector or repeaters and reflectors in other regions of the country and world

With D-Star the possibilities are endless..

Active Repeaters / Reflectors

Repeater / Reflector

Primary Coverage Area

Location

North /  East / Central

Baltimore County

North East, North Central / Upper  Eastern Shore

Harford County

North Capital / Western to Hagerstown, East to Carrol County

Frederick County

South Capital, South Central, Portions Upper Eastern Shore

Montgomery County

Lower Eastern Shore / Portions Upper Eastern Shore

Wicomico County

Southern / South Capital, Portions Lower Eastern Shore

St. Charles County

State Wide Reflector

Baltimore County

Brief Overview of D-Star

D-STAR is the term used to designate a digital voice and data protocol specification developed by the Japan Amateur Radio League for amateur radio. It is an open standard and not owned by any manufacturer. D-Star capable transceivers use a vocoder chip, the AMBE 2020, which was developed by Digital Voice Systems, Inc. The chip is also used to support digital voice and data in commercial transceivers.

Digital voice modulation uses less bandwidth than analog voice modes and the quality of the data received is also better than an analog signal at the same signal strength.

D-STAR compatible radios are available for 2M, 70CM, and the 23CM bands. In addition to the over-the-air protocol, D-STAR also provides specifications for network connectivity, enabling users with D-STAR transceivers  to  be connected to over users throughout the world via the D-Star gateways.

The primary manufacturer of D-Star equipment is ICOM. However, a number of  startups are offering boards that can interface analog radios to D-Star repeaters.

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Maryland Auxiliary Communications Service
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