Colorado Group Receives D-STAR Equipment
The Colorado Council of Amateur Radio Clubs (CCARC) recently teamed up with Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) in Denver to donate a 2 meter, 70 cm and 23 cm D-STAR system stack. According to ARRL Colorado Section Manager and CCARC Board Member Jeff Ryan, K0RM, the two groups hit upon the idea of issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to Colorado radio amateurs. "The RFP required the D-STAR systems to be installed and maintained on-the-air for five years, after which the winning group would retain ownership of the equipment," Ryan said. "We received three excellent proposals, and on March 21, CCARC and HRO awarded the D-STAR system to the Colorado D-STAR Association, a consortium of Denver area individuals, clubs and ARES groups."
Ryan explained that the goal of the CCARC, which also serves as Colorado's frequency coordination body, was "to spur the interest and use of digital Amateur Radio technology. This is the first D-STAR system that will go on the air in Colorado. The hope is that it is the first of many such systems, ultimately linking the entire Amateur Radio community throughout Colorado and beyond."
The 3-band D-STAR system, serving the Denver Metro area and the Front Range of Colorado from Ft Collins to Castle Rock and points east, will be installed this summer at a mountaintop site. The system will have a coverage area of more than 5400 square miles, nearly the size of Connecticut. "The RFP requires the repeaters to be 'open' and available to the entire Amateur Radio community for the duration of the 5 year contract period," Ryan said. "The RFP placed special emphasis on the D-STAR systems being available to ARES groups in the served area, and also requires the host group to link to any other requesting D-STAR system that comes on the air in Colorado."