Digital VHF/UHF Repeaters – VK5RWN D*STAR

VK5RWN System Summary

The Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group has been an active supporter and partner in the development of D*STAR digital voice repeaters for the Adelaide metropolitan area. In conjunction with the Wireless Institute of Australia, AREG built and maintained the VK5RWN repeater site overlooking the Adelaide plains.

DStar_Radios_2014102402

VK5RWN Digital Voice Radios

The system has ports currently on the following frequencies:

  • Port C DV 147.0375MHZ with +600kHz split, TX power 25W, co-linear antenna
  • Port B DV 438.400MHz with -5.4MHz split, TX power 25W, co-linear antenna
  • Port A DV 1273.700MHz with +20MHz split, TX power 10W, co-linear antenna
  • Wireless Link 5710MHz simplex, +/-10MHz BW, 4W EIRP, +25dBi dish
  • 200Ah battery back up system

(Note: the DD 1299.700MHz simplex 128kbit data port has been switched off and placed into hibernation for the time being to save at least a small amount on the electricity bill. In the entire life of the system it had been connected to only ~3 times (in 6 years!). If you do want to experiment with this aspect of D*STAR please contact the club and we can look at enabling it again).

To see how far the Banksia Park D*STAR repeaters cover, check out the coverage maps:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what is D*STAR you might ask? Take a look here!

To use the gateway you will need to register. Full details can be found by following this link to the www.dstar.org.au website

VK5RWN D*STAR Repeater’s FUTURE without the WIA?

In November 2014, the AREG took over over the full maintenance and financial support the VK5RWN D-Star repeater system in Adelaide after it was originally co-sponsored by the WIA.

Operating the system is the single largest operating cost the club currently has (the power bill alone is ~$600/year). Insurance, license fees, maintenance and rent nudge this figure closer to $1000/year. In order to maintain this system and cover the expenses of operating it, the AREG needs your ongoing support. The club is now actively seeking yearly donations or preferably more of the D*STAR user community to become members of AREG in order to offset the running costs and help keep VK5RWN D*STAR operational.

If you are a registered user of this system then please consider joining AREG and throwing your support behind it’s continued operation. You can also consider making a yearly donation.

What is AREG doing to try and secure the systems future?

Users should also note that AREG is not sitting idle in reviewing the efficiency of the operation either. So far the following cost reduction strategies have been implemented:

  • The ADSL Internet link and associated phone line have been replaced with a microwave system and donated internet bandwidth from a club member
  • The system power supplies were replaced with more efficient ones

The next areas being tackled include:

  • likely closure of the 1299.7MHz 128kbit/s data port (which records show hasnt been accessed since being commissioned
  • review whether the 1273.7MHz port remains on air
  • replace the current PC with one that consumes a LOT less power

These changes will occur over the next 6 months, and will go someway to overcoming the operational costs of the site. None the less, it will still remain the most expensive to run site on AREG’s books.