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Install and Configure DVAR Hot Spot software

DVAR was written by Mark McGregor, KB9KHM.  It's easy to install and use, and is very stable.  It was the first hotspot client program for GMSK Node Adapters.  It's primary purpose is to support D-Plus linking of your hotspot to repeaters or reflectors, however, since many XRF reflectors support the DPlus protocol, DVAR can be used to link to most XRF reflectors also.  That is explained below.

This page assumes you have installed and configured your Modem using Steps 1 through 4 at http://www.k6jm.com/hs-setup.htm.  This is, in effect, Step 5 (installing Hotspot software).

Here's how to install and configure DVAR Hot Spot:

  1. If you want to allow other DVAR HotSpots or DV Dongles to link directly to your HotSpot, update your router/firewall so port 20001 UDP will allow incoming connections and port forward to the PC running DVAR Hot Spot.
  2. It's useful to have a copy of D-Star Hot Spot documentation from http://www.w9arp.com/hotspot/.
  3. Download the DVAR Hot Spot software from one of two places: 
    1. Log onto the Yahoo Group gmsk_dv_node and go to Files section.  Download the latest version from the D-STAR Hot Spot folder.
    2. If you are not a subscriber to the above Yahoo Group, get version 2.61from here.
  4. Install.
  5. Start DVAR Hot Spot.
  6. Select Edit/Settings Fill in Node Callsign, Band Module and Gateway Auth Callsign.  If you want other DVAR Hotspots (and in some cases, possibly DV Dongles or DVAPs) to be able to connect, the Band Module should be A, B or C. 

    For Gateway Auth Callsign, there are two common approaches, but this is entirely up to you as long as whatever you use is a registered terminal:
    • Simply use your callsign without a trailing letter or Band Module.  This is easiest.
    • Use a registered terminal with a trailing N for simplex hotspots or R for full duplex repeaters.  As always for D-Star, the Band Module letter goes into the 8th position, so use the proper number of spaces.

    For this configuration, ensure the following are checked:
    • Simplex Node
    • Transmit Mode: Enable GMSK Node Adapter
    • Receive Mode: GMSK Node Adapter
  7. Click Save.
  8. If you want other DVAR Hotspots (and at some point perhaps DV Dongles and DVAPs) to be able to connect to your Hotspot, do the following:
    • Make sure to open up your firewall's port 20001 UDP to allow incoming connections.
    • Configure the router to port forward 20001 to the PC running DVAR Hot Spot.
    • Configure DVAR's Callsign Server Settings window to select the alternate callsign server.
    • Set Max Inbound Connections > 0 in Linking Settings. 
  9. First select Edit/Callsign Server.

    You may choose "DUTCH*Star NLroot", but if you experience problems with REF reflectors, an alternative is the FREE STAR callsign server.  Click here for how to configure to use that.

    After selecting your preferred callsign server, click Save. Then select Edit/Linking Settings.

    Set Max Inbound Connections to something great than 0 and the other boxes as appropriate.  Click Save.

  10. Now click the Configure button.  This window lets you configure repeaters or reflectors you can have your DVAR Hot Spot connect to.  The drop-down listbox for Select Repeater should soon populate with DPlus-connectable repeaters and reflectors.  If this doesn't happen, your Gateway Auth Callsign (with A, B or C) may not be registered, or may not have yet populated throughout the network.  This can take up to 24 hours.
  11. Typically you'll have your favorite repeater or reflector saved in Quick Tune Slot #1, and your Hotspot will automatically connect to that when you start up.  You'll also be able to unlink and link with standard DPlus commands from your DStar radio, but it is convenient to also be able to do those things from the PC.

  12. Save each one and create up to ten of these Quick Tune settings.  On the main window, test by clicking one of these and click Connect. This is what the Hot Spot looks like in normal operation.

That's it!  Enjoy your hotspot.

Linking to XRF Reflectors

Although DVAR was written to link only to DPlus reflectors, it turns out most DExtra reflectors (those named XRFxxx) also support the DPlus protocol.  So most likely, you will be able to use DVAR to access XRF reflectors:

D-Star® is a registered trademark used for communication equipment (repeaters and transceivers) for amateur radio communications, and owned by Icom Incorporated.

Copyright © 2009-2017 James M. Moen. All rights reserved.