Category Archives: D-Star

Wardriving and D-STAR Digital Data

I’m slowly working towards doing some experiments with mesh networking (OLSR) and Icom ID-1 D-star Radios in Digital Data mode.  I’ve been wondering what coverage I would (should) see from a vehicle, back to one of the locations where I have an ID-1 in a fixed location (thanks EI3JB/EI8JA).

I got back from a trip today, grabbed an ID-1, an Omni Antenna, Laptop, a short bash script I wrote to ping and record replies along with a GPS position, and an old GPS-18 puck.   All the nodes have fixed IP addresses so the script is quite simple, ping host A, if A replies within 2 seconds, record the next position output from the GPS, try the same with host B, loop forever, nothing fancy or terribly accurate.

As I only have two nodes set-up, and without much preparation (shutting down chatty applications), I persuaded SWMBO to do a short (war)drive, while I kept an eye on the laptop.

This first picture below shows (the red dots) the coverage from Nicky, EI3JB’s place (roughly at the 8 in the R708 closest to the top). Note the few packets recorded in Tramore, shortly after I left my own place.

The second is obviously from my place, as it is much more centred on Tramore.

Nothing really ground-breaking in either picture, but useful to help visualise potential coverage nonetheless. There is a huge black-spot on the section of road just leaving Tramore, as far as Ballykinsella (L4061 on the map).  This is of no surprise, as it is a tough location  for 430Mhz signals to get out of. What was surprising though is the packets received from EI3JBs location out in Tramore.

Next steps are to get EI8JA up and running, and complete a more thorough survey.

Now though, it is time for a beer!

Radio-Active weekend

In between cleaning the rubbish off the deck, entertaining my cousin Saturday afternoon, getting the tables and chairs out, putting the glass back into the glasshouse (literally), and getting the lawn cut. I got some time to look at some digital modes for Amateur Radio.

First up was getting my tunnel set back up to AMPRNet. That took a bit longer than expected, but I finally got it all sorted and have rip44d (Written by Heikki, OH7LZB) running, with a slight modification to use a separate routing table for the “44” Network. More on this below.

Next up, was to get my 4m (70Mhz) AX.25 port back running. Then configure LinuxRMS to allow the port to be used as a Winlink Gateway.  This will allow anyone that can connect to my 4m port to use it for sending and receiving email over radio (just like a smart-phone, only much more slowly 😉 and much larger range between base-stations).

Now, the only real way to test it properly was to connect to it from another machine which meant configuring paclink-unix on my (recently re-installed) Linux laptop.  So I unpacked my Emergency Communications Go-Kit, plugged it all in, downloaded and installed the latest version of paclink-unix. Configured it up and tried to connect.  Lo and behold it all worked.

While I was as it, I tried out the wl2kax25d daemon and the peer-to-peer mode of paclink-unix and it also seemed to work quite well (for instances when no Winlink gateway is available).

Now that I had the tunnel to AMPRNet running, I though I’d test it out some more so configured up a second ethernet port on the machine with my AMPRNet address of, and configured the (same) laptop with the address of  Once it was all set up I tested the wl2ktelnet daemon which is the paclink-unix mechanism for directly connecting to the Winlink servers when Internet connectivity exists. Much to my surprise (that I hadn’t stuffed something up) it worked first time.

Now that it all seems to work, I’m going to bring it all along to Tankardstown Geopark next Sunday (17th) where SEARG will be operating for a few hours (80m Counties Contest) The priority will be voice on Sunday, but I may get time to “go digital”.

If your passing, drop in and say hello. Club members will be there from about 10 in the morning until after 6 in the evening.





I’m not long back from the DCC, and I thought I would comment on it while the memory is still fresh. I had never been before, so I was wondering what I had let myself in for. Well I have to say I had a blast. From my accidental meeting of Larry WR1B on the shuttle to the hotel, to having lunch with the TAPR folks just before I caught my flight home, the atmosphere at the event was all about the sharing of knowledge. Like all good events, most of the really good discussion goes on in the corridors between presentations. Over breakfast, lunch, or indeed in the demo room.

Coolest presentation for me was the HPSDR, Modular Software Defined Radio, and the sheer enthusiasm of the guys was infectious (I want one!).

The picture below shows the set-up (belonging to N8ZM I think) for the tutorial on Sunday morning.  The intention was to monitor the transmitted waveform from the transmit side on the spectrum analyser (large box to the right of picture) and also to receive and decode transmitted signals from Larry WR1B’s recently constructed NEU-PSK (small flat black box). All great fun.


I may not make it next year, or indeed the year after, but I will make it back.


I was reading the July edition of Monitoring Monthly and came across an article by Paul Marsh. In it he mentioned a home-brew D-Star transciever designed and built by Moe, AE4JY and detailed here. Thanks for the info Paul, kudos to Moe and his buddies for a very interesting prototype and some excellent information. Is it the future of Amateur Radio? who knows, but the work done my Moe, his buddies, and others like them will definitely shape it.