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New D-STAR Repeater Now in Place in ARRL Laboratory

09/02/2010

The ARRL Lab has installed a D-STAR (Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio) repeater in the Lab at the ARRL Headquarters building. Operating with an output of 147.390 MHz, positive offset, the W1HQ D-STAR repeater is a local repeater with a modest footprint covering the Hartford-New Britain, Connecticut area. The antenna is on the roof of the Headquarters building with the repeater located in the Lab. With its gateway, the repeater is accessible to any D-STAR user on the planet. The Lab’s call sign is W1INF.

“The purpose of the repeater is to better educate the Lab staff on D-STAR technology,” explained ARRL Test Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM. “In turn, we will have the ability to handle some of our members' questions on the matter. We also intend to use this new technology when emergencies occur where D-STAR technology is deployed.”

In the near future, the W1HQ D-STAR system will also include 70 and 23 cm repeaters, as well as a 23 cm high speed data link, once initial frequency coordination is granted. “We’re especially interested in the high speed data link,” Allison said. “Though it will have a limited range, we can begin experimenting with its potential and use it as a training tool for Lab staff.”

Allison thanked Bill Unghire, N1CNV, for his contributions as the major motivator for the ARRL HQ D-STAR project. “Bill, an ARRL Life Member, also provided valuable IT support with setting up the gateway,” he said. Building Manager Greg Kwasowski, W1GJK, handled the installation of all of the hardware, and Allison and W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, handled the testing and coordination efforts. “Try giving the Lab a call -- during our noon lunch break, of course,” Allison invited.



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