So far we have looked at how this digital thing works in the simplex environment.
The digital repeater environment is a bit different from the analog environment we
are used to. Again, we have the addressing information that makes sure our signal
gets to it's destination. In addition to "UrCALL", we will add "RPT1 C" for the
local repeater's callsign.
The local repeater, RPT1 C, is the one to which we talk to over the air. You can think
of D-STARs Area as the geographic area that RPT1 C, the local repeater, covers. So an Area
is the vicinity around the D-STAR repeater where you can hear and be heard by the repeater.
So far, not too different from an analog system.
Again, there is a packet radio analogy... remember digipeaters? To connect to your
friend on the other side of the hill, the command is, "Connect K6VE Via K6GLV".
Same thing with D-STAR... we enter the callsign of who we want to talk to, UrCALL, and the
callsign of the repeater, RPT1 C.
The D-STAR concept of "Zones" is analogous to a linked repeater system.
Just as a linked repeater system consists of two or more repeater sites connected by
an RF link, a D-STAR Zone is two or more D-Star repeaters linked by an RF
backbone, typically at 10 GHz.
Where all this digital stuff really get exciting is when we talk about Gateways.
For those of you who have used IRLP or Echolink, D-STAR "Gateways" will
seem real familiar. The Gateway is how your digitized voice gets from your
local D-STAR repeater to the Internet... from there it goes to another Gateway and out
over the air at some remote and, we hope, exotic location. This is where "RPT2 C"
comes in. And now for "Going Places...".
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