Sunday, March 22, 2015

Excitement in D-Star Increases with New Compatible Devices

NW Digital Radio DV3000 Add-On Board
I've hear it on D-Star a lot these days "it seems to be really taking off lately... lots of new users on the air, and online".

Well part of that excitement might be because of some new USB device announcements.
It looks like the DV Dongle and DVAP Dongle from Internet Labs have some competition

NW Digital Radio has just released their ThumbDV ($119) and DV3000 ($99)

ThumbDV Dongle from NW Digital Radio
 Designed to operate across multiple digital platforms as well as multiple devices.

Do you want to play with D-Star on your personal computer or laptop? The ThumbDV would be an excellent choice. Maybe to want to build yourself and D-Star Hotspot with a Raspberry PI, then grab yourself a DV3000 and plug them directly together for another solution.

An open platform radio from NW Digital Radio will support USB ports and internal add-on pins so that either of these new products can be plugged into the radio to add additional digital mode support.

Here's some specs on both products:
• The new DVSI AMBE3000 Chip
• USB 2.0 Low Power (<100ma br="">• FTDI FT230XS
• Windows, Linux, OS X support
• UART Packet Interface
• 230.4 kbaud

D-STAR Open Source Applications:
• ircddbgateway
• Analog Bridge (DummyRepeater)
• dvtool file converter
• Bi-directional analog to AMBE
• WinDV
• UDRX Support for D-STAR DV,
Check the website for availability

AMBE HW Vocoder For:
• DMR*
• dPMR*
• Yaesu Fusion
• P25 Phase 2

No SW Support for these protocols at this time

The DV3000U adds D-STAR DV capability to your computer or laptop. Allowing you to get on the D-STAR network without a radio. The FTDI USB to serial converter has preinstalled driver support for Windows and Linux. Mac OS X is available from FTDI. The DV3000U is sold as a tested unit with applications software offered by others. The DV3000U provides a Packet UART interface at 230.4 kbaud via the FTDI 230XS. Audio Data is sent as 16 bits pcm at 8kHz sampling rate. The AMBE Vocoder returns a 3600 bps compressed stream with FEC (Forward Error Correction) which is muxed with 1200 bps of ancillary digital data by the D-STAR protocol to produce a 4800 bps D-STAR DV stream. LEDs show Transmit and Receive.

Matrix Solutions & Moencomm have just announced the new Star*DV USB Dongle ($129)

Star*DV by Matrix Solutions and MoenComm

With the latest AMBE 3000 chip AND a built-in "sound card" codec for speaker/mikes. Not just an AMBE device! This also has a codec and speaker/mike connector. Introductory Price just $129
  • D-Star compatible QSOs without a D-Star radio
  • Use a PC with internet, plug into the USB port
  • Codec and connector for speaker/mike
  • Also available now: the new SDV app for Windows, Desktop Linux and the Raspberry Pi
  • Works with G4KLX ircDDBGateway to establish links to REF/XRF/DCS reflectors, ircDDB callsign routing or CCS callsign routing. 
Supports either a speaker/mike plugged into the Star*DV, or the PC's soundcard and speakers/microphone.

SDV will optionally work with a GMSK Modem - have QSOs in the shack without a D-Star radio while providing your own Hotspot for outside and mobile access to the D-Star network.

SDV on Windows and Linux Desktop has a great graphical interface -- supports DPRS maps, callsign and user message display, and easy linking and unlinking

SDV on the Pi uses an optional LCD plate with 5 control buttons for linking and configuration -- you can run the Pi headless if you want and still see callsigns, do linking

  • Available in White or Black 
  • Order the USB cable in your choice of different lengths and colors (does not come with Star*DV)
  • Inexpensive speaker/mikes available
  • LCDs for the PI (built, not a kit), monochrome and not expensive - coming soon