Thursday, September 29, 2011

EchoLink or D-Star?

Over the last few days I have been running my EchoLink node #3098 connected into the IRELAND conference server. As I've been feeling a bit tired and lethargic recently it has been a way to pass the time listening to QSOs and making the occasional contact.

Apart from IRELAND there seems to be nowhere else on the EchoLink network where there is enough activity that you can guarantee something to listen to or that someone will reply if you call CQ. I know this is like talking of selling your soul to the Devil but would D-Star, which I have never experienced but which I gather has something called "reflectors", be any better from the point of view of making contacts with hams around the globe using a handheld?

10 comments:

tmw said...

I had a lot of success with EchoLink last year, picking a station around Cambridge, talked to several people who then later were talking to visiting parents of students, but you're right most are dead (seemingly) upon first connect. There are a couple of EchoLink-only conferences that had some classic rag chewing type conversations. My objection to D-Star is political, I'd like to see an open and widely adopted version of it, maybe. Thanks for such a great blog -KD8MEK

Paul PC4T said...

Hi Julian, this summer I use Echolink a few times when I was having holidays. More for talking over the Dutch repeaters. D-star is too expensive and I don't like to buy a Icom transceiver for it. I agree with KD8MEK. 73 Paul

Steve Bunting said...

I have a Dstar radio and it it works just fine. The callsign routing is very clever. The issues for me are that there are so many reflectors which dilute activity (perhaps like echolink? I use that with my Scouts). The political split between the US Trust and the IRCDBB/Freestar systems only further dilutes activity. I find Dstar interesting, but I am not convinced that adding new modes (be they Dstar or a new HF keyboard digimode) all over the place create more activity. 73 Steve M0BPQ

VE3WDM said...

Good evening Julian, first I hope your feeling better and I believe your treatments should be coming to an end soon?...that will help as well. As for Dstar I am listening to the answers very closely as I have the same question you do. I have used Echolink and gave up for the very reason you mentioned.

VE3WDM said...

Op's just read your other blog Julian good to hear the treatments are over for now.

DD5CF said...

Hi Julian, I am glad to see that your final radiotherapy session went well, I usually have echolink running in the back-ground on my old FT-790R via DL0DMK-L EL# 482519 during the evening, give me a call if you would like a rag chew. Vy 73 for you and Olga, Colin DD5CF/G1ZOS.

Julian Moss said...

I have political objections to D-Star too, but circumstances have changed my outlook on many things. I don't see an alternative digital voice system establishing itself during my lifetime, so the question is whether I am missing out on anything by not trying it or whether D-Star is really no better than EchoLink, just different.

Tim said...

Hi Julian,

It's a bit easier to keep track of DSTAR activity, because you can keep an eye on http://www.dstarusers.org which reports the latest activity. You can see what node or reflector they are on, and thus, if you wish, connect to that node and speak with them.

There are certain reflectors and nodes on which activity is excellent and you are more likely to have a QSO than not.

Vy 73, Tim

Julian Moss said...

The number of users listed on that site seems rather small, compared to the Echolink logins list.

Matthew N8OHU said...

Steve: There isn't a "political split" between USTRUST and ircDDB, as you can install the ircDDB add-on on an Icom G2 gateway machine; I'm not sure where Freestar stands in all this, but most of the early squabbles seem to have evaporated.

Julian: Good to hear that you're doing better for now. Get a DV-Dongle and you can listen in and talk to folks without having to buy yet another radio that does things your existing radios do.