Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WinDV - an alternative to DVAP Tool

I was looking around for some information on DSTAR repeaters and the alternatives to commercial equipment when I happened across the Dutch*Star site.

The site is entitled 'D-STAR for the rest of us' and in the words from the introduction to the site is about 'about making your own equipment for the D-STAR communications system for Amateur Radio operators, ranging from simple GMSK node adapters ("modems") to complete transceivers, repeaters and so on'

What particularly interested me was the WinDV software. It's an alternative to the well tried and tested 'DVAP Tool' by Robin AA4RC. I have to add that DVAP Tool has always worked well for me but it's always interesting and fun to try out new software.

WinDV can be downloaded here Installation is very straightforward and really consists of unzipping the file.

Configuration too was straightforward. The only 'challenge' was to find out what COM port the DVAP was resident on. My DVAP Tool configuration told me that. I plugged my callsign and the COM port (COM10, in my case) into the settings and the program came up.

One thing that I liked about WinDV compared to DVAP Tool was the ability to connect to a reflector or repeater from the software - which is perhaps quicker than fiddling around in the menus on the E92 (in my case!). You can also configure WinDV to automatically connect to a particular reflector or repeater when it starts up which is a nice touch.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so I connected the software to REF001C and switched my E92 on. Reflector traffic was audible as expected and I found that I was able to transmit as expected - I had a nice QSO with KJ6MOH in Austin, Texas.

The software is described as beta, but on the basis of a few minutes 'testing' seems to work well, so if you have a DVAP, you may well be interested to try this software and see how you get on.

3 comments:

Fenris said...

So, how long until such devices can ditch the proprietary AMBE codec and we can finally have an open system?

Codec2, you know it makes sense.

Tim said...

I think we'll get there!

g4fre said...

hopefully we should find out more next weekend when the man behind codec2 gives his talk at the dayton hamvention

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