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Handheld and mobile radios

For voice conversations, D-STAR repeaters act just like familiar analog repeaters – everyone listening can hear your transmissions. Because your call sign is incorporated into every transmission, the D-STAR repeater “registers” your call sign and shares it around the D-STAR system. If you travel into a new D-STAR repeater’s coverage area, register with a short transmission and your location will be quickly updated around the D-STAR network. This allows you to call someone registered with any other D-STAR repeater, no matter where that may be. If you call someone registered elsewhere, your voice will be routed to the appropriate repeater in digital form, where it is then heard just as you would expect if you were both using the same repeater!

Many data communications needs don’t require high-speeds, particularly for emergency communications. Status reports, damage assessment, shift changes, resource requests – all they take are a few keystrokes. D-STAR combines voice and low-speed data into a single channel simultaneously. There’s no need for a separate TNC and radio. Just connect your laptop or PDA and go.

A high-speed D-STAR connection looks just like an Ethernet connection to your laptop or other network device. Why run cables for a temporary or portable installation when mobile rigs will do the job? Connect across miles instead of meters! If a D-STAR repeater offers a broadband Internet connection, you have worldwide connectivity through your radio.

Emergency communications managers can put D-STAR’s high-speed data capabilities to work building systems that support their “served agency” with IT tools they understand and expect; email, file transfer, and Web browsing. Spreadsheets, graphics, maps, lists, Web pages – all flow easily through the D-STAR system (see figure 3).

If a picture is worth a thousand words, why not use D-STAR to paint the image? Weather and traffic information from the Internet are available via a D-STAR repeater’s broadband connection. Add a digital camera to a laptop and your D-STAR radio becomes a Web cam. Emergency management is greatly enhanced when images are available. The next time your group helps out on race day, D-STAR can make it possible to send photos at the finish line, on the course – anywhere your operators are.



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*The contents for this fearure are authorised by Icom America