April 22, 2012
I just installed the latest update to the Dplus software package for the D-Star repeater. The biggest improvement is that it is now possible to connect multiple modules on the same repeater to the same reflector. I've tested and it's working well.
March 13, 2012;
The new hardware for the 1.2GHz D-Star should be arriving any day now. I just wanted to discuss a few items. Someone had mentioned to me (perhaps it was Darcy?) that the mast we currently have for the antennas was flexing quite a bit during a recent windstorm. Is this something we want to replace? If so, what should we replace it with. It's currently an aluminum 2" mast. Do we want to replace it with steel? Or thicker-wall aluminum? Or leave it the same? We will need to take the mast down in order to install the 1.2GHz antenna, so that would be the best time to replace it if we were going to. If anyone has any suggestions on the mast, let me know.
November 6, 2011
This afternoon, a small work party installed the new UHF D-Star module. It is operating on the frequency of 440.950 + 5.0 MHz. When program this in to your D-Star radios, you will need to identify this module as VA7DIG-B in the "RPT1" field, and you should also program VA7DIG-G in the "RPT2" field. The location on top of Landmark 2 should provide similar coverage as does the VHF module. Your reports of coverage would be appreciated by this group of local D-Star users.
Thanks to Chris VE7EQN for installing N connectors on the coax this afternoon, and thanks to as well to Ian VE7BST for his continued efforts in getting this project toward completion.
October 30, 2011
Ian and I made the long arduous trip to the top of Landmark 2 today and mounted the UHF antenna to the existing mast. We will still be waiting for a few more days for the UHF duplexer to arrive by courier before the UHF D-Star module will be working.
Stay tuned for further updates.
October 28, 2011
As of 12:00 noon today, the Kelowna D-Star VHF module is now on a frequency of 145.030 MHz + 600. This should be it's long term home. This comes after spending a considerable amount of time trying other frequencies, In the near future, probably a couple of weeks, we will be installing a UHF D-Star module. It's planned that it will be on the frequency of 440.950 + 5.0 MHz. The UHF repeater module will be called VA7DIG-B and this will need to be programmed into the appropriate place in your radio if you wish to use this UHF frequency. The location on top of Landmark 2 will be the same as the current VHF module. Thanks to Chris VE7EQN for tuning the VHF duplexer, and thanks to Ian for his continued efforts in getting this project toward completion.
June 30, 2011
Alan VE7MET installs the UT-118 D-Star board into the ICOM IC-2200H at the Ellison station.
June 21, 2011
A work party assembled in the evening to mount the antenna and run the coax back to the repeater;
Alan VE7MET adds this comment on his experience with the new antenna;
White driving around in the Dodge shuttle this afternoon, I was able to work the repeater and carry on a conversation with a chap in the eastern USA. My location was south of Bertram Creek Park near the corner of Rim Rock Road and Lakeshore Road. I had to get out of the vehicle, and found a sweet spot so that my handheld was able to do the job. Time of contact approx. 5:00 PM. The 2-bay Sinclair on top of LM 2 is now in service. With a mobile, or a handheld with a magmount on a vehicle roof, this should work fine. Distance south of Landmark 2 was approximately 18 kms.
Good work Ian and all.
June 12, 2011
The repeater hardware arrived and is now programmed and installed in the rack. Ethernet has been run from the rack to the 6th floor, and is now connected back to the gateway server and firewall server which is located in LM3 data center.
The gateway server software is installed. The gateway is registered and is part of the D-Star network - it's visible on the D-Star pages. The 2" conduit has been installed across the roof and has been secured to small concrete blocks to lift it off the roof surface. Fred completed the tuning of the duplexer and finished modifications to the antenna brackets. Fred and I went on-site to deliver the duplexer and antenna mast on Saturday evening. The antenna mast assembly wouldn't fit in the elevator, so we had to carry it up 13 flights of stairs. The duplexer is installed in the rack in a temporary fashion until we can get some proper brackets. It's all wired up, and connected to a temporary 1/4 wave mag-mount on top of the rack, just for testing. If you're in range you may be able to tune up the repeater and listen. It's linked to REF001C at the moment just so there's some traffic and I can make sure that the data side of things is working fine. It's set for low power at the moment and the antenna is very poor. Nevertheless I can pick it up at home with my handheld. I can't key it up without an eternal antenna.
All we need now is an antenna install party and we should be good to go! Hopefully this will happen some time this week. If you're interested, you can go ahead and register your callsign with the repeater - this is where we need to get registrations to meet our target. The URL is:
There's a "Registration" link un the upper left corner. You can only register each callsign once in the entire network, so if your callsign is registered somewhere else, you may want to attempt to get it removed from the other server before registering with our server. The system will email me when someone registers, and I'll log in and authorize them.
Let me know if you have any questions. I'll compose another email with details about how to link, unlink, etc. as well as instructions on how to register properly. Otherwise, feel free to experiment.
May 29, 2011
Attached is a photo of the two servers that are being used for the Dstar project. The top server is the gateway server, and the bottom server is the firewall. Yes, the bottom server does say "Google" on it - Google makes servers for internal indexing of business documents, and it's being recycled as a firewall. For the technically inclined, we're running CentOS 5 as the gateway (as recommended by Icom), and we're running Astaro Security Gateway as the firewall software.
After some reflection, I decided to install these servers inside the data center, instead of in the penthouse, due to better environmentals. The gateway connects to the Icom ID-RP2C controller via a Ethernet.
Friday, May 6, 2011
A field trip was arranged to view the Landmark 2 and Landmark 3 building facilities for a future D-Star repeater. Decisions were needed to me made regarding the amount of space available, power, antenna location, and anything else that could impact our installation.
A D-Star photo page can be accessed here;