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D-Star Hotspot/Repeater Software

Which one should I use with my GMSK Modem?
(see note at bottom about that)

D-Star Compatible Hotspot using GMSK Node Adapter setup guide by K6JM

We are fortunate to have many good choices for the software part of our homebrew D-Star compatible Hotspot or Repeater systems.  This page focuses on software that supports GMSK Modems.

App Setup GUI Windows Linux Mac DPlus DExtra DCS CCS ircDDB Inbound
WinDV(DV Node) Easy Excellent+ X     X X X   X  
ConDV Moderate No X X   X X X   X X
G4KLX Moderate Good X X   X X X X X X
FreeStar Moderate Good X X   X X X   X X
StarDV (SDV) Moderate Excellent X X   X X X X X X
DVAR HotSpot Easiest Excellent X     X         X
These are the personal opinions of K6JM.                  
G4KLX consists of 2 programs: DStarRepeater to manage modem & radio, and ircDDBGateway to manage linking.            
StarDV (SDV) functions like DStarRepeater and uses ircDDBGateway for linking            

WinDV (also called DV Node for Windows) is an excellent choice for WIndows.  It was written by Fred van Kempen, KA4YBR,  of DUTCH*Star.  It has a top quality graphical interface and is easy to set up and configure.  It supports the three major reflector types (REF, XRF, DCS) and can optionally create an ircDDB gateway for callsign routing.

ConDV has a beautifully simple command line interface.  It is easy to control linking that way, though most people use it "headless" where all linking is done via RF commands from the D-Star radio, just as with ICOM repeaters.  ConDV supports the major reflector types.  It is written by Fred, KA4YBR.  ConDV can be installed in Windows or Linux, and is pre-installed on the westerndstar Pi images.

G4KLX Hotspot programs
These are the most popular Hotspot programs, especially on Linux and the Raspberry Pi.  They are open source and written by Jonathan Naylor, G4KLX.  They support all linking and callsign routing systems, including REF/XRF/DCS reflectors, ircDDB and CCS7 callsign routing.  The suite comes with extra programs including a remote control program that allows linking from another computer.  There is also a mobile app (not written by G4KLX) that makes use of the remote control interface for issuing link request from your phone or tablet.  Setup is more complex than some other programs, but with how-to pages like on this website, it can be easily done.  For the Pi, there are several excellent images available with G4KLX programs pre-installed.  This site makes use of the westerndstar image.

This excellent suite is based on software written by Scott Lawson, KI4LKF and now enhanced and maintained by Ramesh Singh Dhami, VA3UV.  It has a similar architecture to the G4KLX suite, with support for all reflectors and ircDDB.  Documentation is excellent, and the Free*Star team provides images for the Raspberry Pi.

StarDV (SDV)
This newer program was written to support the Star*DV DV3000 dongle to allow a PC to link to D-Star reflectors and have QSOs without a radio using the pc's speakers and mike.  But it also supports a GMSK Modem to allow the pc "station" to talk over a Hotspot to other users and vice-versa.  And for Hotspot purposes, it also supports Modem-only operation without the dongle.  It has an excellent graphical interface and works with the G4KLX ircDDBGateway program for linking.  SDV is open source and was written by Rick Schnicker, KD0OSS.

DVAR HotSpot
DVAR was written by Mark McGregor, KB9KHM, who also started the gmsk_dv_node Yahoo Group.  DVAR runs under Windows, has an excellent graphical interface, is easy to install and configure, and is very stable.  DVAR allows linking to DPlus gateways (ICOM Gateways and other Hotspots running DVAR, WinDV or G4KLX).

Which one should I use with my GMSK Modem?
The real answer is -- they are all good and it's a matter of personal choice.  I can only give you my own choices, but you may find the other solutions are better for you. 

On Windows

On the Raspberry Pi

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.