Can't quite hit the D-STAR repeater with your HT from the backyard hammock? Traveling to a land without D-STAR? No problem... just pick up a DVAP. The Digital Voice Acces Point is a small tranceiver to interface your computer and D-STAR radio with the D-STAR network. Your D-STAR radio transmits to the DVAP which then takes your traffic and sends it out over the D-STAR network. Imagine a repeater that plugs into a USB port and you have the concept of the DVAP.
The DVAP really leverages your HT... it creates a "hot spot" for connecting to the D-STAR network wherever there is an internet connection. For up to the minute DVAP info and program update announcements, join the DVAPDongle Yahoo Group.
Plug in the DVAP to an available USB port on the PC/Mac. On Windows, wait for FTDI driver install prompt, then select “Find Automatically”. For XP, the driver install is manual; download from http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm. You may need to do the install twice. On Linux, the driver is built into the kernel so no installation is required. On Mac, go to http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm to download and install the driver for Mac OS X.
DVAPTool-1.02-mac.tgz for Mac (extract the DVAPTool app and place on the Mac. Only works on INTEL-based Macs)
Run DVAPTool, usually by just double-clicking on the application.
Enter your callsign in the callsign box. It is recommended that you go to the gateway where you registered and add a terminal entry with an "A" in the initial field (it may take several hours for the update to propagate to all gateways). Then enter your callsign with the "A" in the eighth character in DVAPTool. The "lock callsign" check box is used to prevent others from transmitting using your DVAP. If you want to allow other licensed amateur operators to use your DVAP, simply uncheck the box.
Click "Open". You can walk away from the PC/Mac now since all control commands are issued from your D-STAR radio.
Enter your callsign into the MYCALL field of your radio.
Select DV mode and configure simplex operation, usually by holding down the "DUP" key until there is no "dup+" or "dup-" on the radio display. You do not need to enter RPT1 nor RPT2 since the radio will place "DIRECT" in both when in simplex mode.
Enter the simplex frequency you programmed into the DVAP.
All commands are entered into the URCALL field as detailed below.
Use the lowest power setting on your radio to prevent overloading the DVAP front end.
Just like the gateway, the DVAP uses the URCALL parameter for linking and commands. For ease of use, program memories for your favorite calls, a "QSO" memory (CQCQCQ) and an "Unlink" memory ( U). The QSO and Unlink memories are generic, so you can use them with any DVAP link you make.
DVAP QSO: Set your radio to your link memory, then key up to connect… After you hear the "Remote System Linked" message, switch to your QSO memory for the duration of the QSO. When you want to drop the connection, switch to your unlink memory and key up.
DVAP COMMANDS (URCALL):
"DVAP I" (request voice ID from the DVAP)
"DVAP E" (key down and speak for echo test)
"CQCQCQ " (transmit to a connected system)
"xxxxxxmL" (to link to a repeater or reflector, place the callsign of that system
in the first six characters of the URCALL field, replace the "m" in the 7th character with the module you wish to link to, A, B or C. Use "L" in the 8th character to indicate the LINK command. For example, to link to Reflector 001 module C, use "REF001CL" in URCALL. To link to gateway W4DOC module A, use "W4DOC AL" in URCALL.
" U" (7 spaces before U. Unlink from a linked gateway/reflector)
Green: Slow pulse when connected to PC/Mac; when connected to a remote system, switches to show DVAP receive activity.
Red: DVAP transmit activity.
Yellow: Internet packet loss during transmission.
Blue: USB activity from the PC/Mac to the DVAP. You should see the blue light blink about once per second when connected to DVAPTool (keepalive packet), with fast flickering during transmit and receive activity.
Summary of Radio URCALL Settings for DVAP Use
Link to Reflector 001, Module C
Link to K6MDD, Module A
Transmit to the Connected System
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ U
Unlink form a Linked Gateway or Reflector
DVAP_ _ _ E
Echo Test. Key down and speak. Audio playback after unkey.
DVAP_ _ _ I
Request Voice ID from DVAP
Here are some DVAP setup and operating tips:
DVAP FREQUENCY / RF OVERLOAD: If the DVAP shows a received signal, but there is no data or audio, it might be that your radio and the DVAP are slightly off frequency. Change the frequency in DVAPTool by 1000 Hz in either direction (do not change your radio frequency). Key up and see if the problem is resolved. Also, run the lowest power you can on your radio to avoid overloading the front end of the DVAP.
SQUELCH: The squelch is used only when voice packets are received without a matching header to precede them. Observe the noise level from the received signal meter and set the squelch half way between the noise peak and the max level.
DVAP SPUR: A frequency range to avoid is from ~147.4 MHz to ~147.6 MHz. The DVAP has an internal spur at 147.456 MHz that mixes with the GMSK signal and produces spurious products within this range. Although they are not as strong as the main signal, and the DVAP is low power to begin with, you may want to avoid this range unless it is the only one available.
Open Nets Tuesdays and Wednesdays 8pm. All Are Welcome!