Yesterday the local Dutch D-Star guys organized a second information session in my home town. Contrary to the first meeting, when only the basics were discussed, this information evening was 100% in-depth. The inner workings of networks were discussed, as well as the various systems D-Star relies on. Both William PE1BZF and Rutger PA3CQJ did an excellent job explaining how it works, but also what can go wrong and why.
Yes, D-star can be complex. Just when you thought you knew it all, you have to deal with providers, networks, servers, repeaters, hot spots, routers, switches, firewalls or port forwarding and triggering. Forgetting antenna theory for a while and diving into the world of bits and bytes can be challenging. If you thought that creating a good ham radio station could drive you crazy, try D-Star! Fortunately there’s always (analog) help at hand, and thanks to them you will end up being an expert yourself.
In spite of the fact that many think (including me) that merging two technologies waters down the essence of Ham Radio, I think D-Star is here to stay. Maybe, 50 years from now, we will look back at pictures such as the one below, and think “Yes, I remember, these are the guys who started it all.” Want to stay informed? Visit the website of PE1GDF, D-StarAlmere.nl.