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Linking to Reflectors or Repeaters D-Star Compatible Hotspot using GMSK Node Adapter setup guide by K6JM

 

Most of the fun from using D-Star comes from the ability to link a repeater (or DVAP, or DV Dongle, or Hotspot) to other repeaters and to reflectors.

 

Reflectors are really conference servers.  A transmission on any one of the connected systems is repeated on all of them.  This means there are more people out there to talk to than just the people within RF distance of your closest repeater.

 

D-Star Linking and Reflectors were invented by Robin Cutshaw AA4RC.  His system is called D-PLUS.  This has really become the "killer app" that has caused significant D-Star growth throughout the world.  D-Plus reflectors are named REFnnnx, as in REF001C.

 

Two other linking systems have since been written -- DExtra creates XRF reflectors and DCS creates DCS reflectors.  They all operate in similar ways.

 

Linking is pretty easy.  The Administrators for most ICOM or G4ULF repeaters allow registered users to issue link and unlink command over RF just put the link or unlink command into the URCall of your radio and hit PTT. For example, if you want your repeater to link to REF014C, just put REF014CL in URCall.  The first 6 positions are for the name of the reflectors or the callsign of the repeater to be linked to.  The 7th position is the band module (normally A, B, C, D or E) and the 8th position is the D-Plus command.  L is the link command, U is the unlink command.  A common way to do that is to program your radio with several memories. Users who have an ID-31A or ID-51A have some other options.  Heres an example of some memories you could set up. The name of the memory isnt important and is just to remind you what that memory is used for.

 

Let's assume your are in RF reach of ICOM repeater W6CX module C on 2 meters:

  1. Name = W6CX (Normal operating mode)

  2. Name = UNLK (Unlink)

  3. Name = L012A (Link to REF012A)

  4. Name = L014C (Link to REF014C)

  5. Name = L030C (Link to REF030C)

  6. Name = Info (Ask for link status info)

To be sure the repeater isn't already being used, give a call to ask if the repeater is busy and that you plan to link it.  If its not busy, you can then switch to the Unlink memory, hit PTT.   Then switch to the link memory you want and hit PTT.  Then immediately switch back to your normal operating memory, so the repeater isnt trying to re-link every time you hit PTT.

 

That's all there is to it.