Thanks to Ted, W1GRI, Pete, W1LAB, John, K1JSM, and Bob, WB4SON, who have spent every Thursday in September working on the DSTAR repeater hardware, and to those same fellas that funded some software and hardware upgrades, NCRC members now have access to all the latest and greatest DSTAR extended linking features, callsign routing, and more convenient touch-tone control of the repeater.
The team hired an expert out of Australia, Adrian, VK4TUX, who has impressed repeater owners on this side of the world with his ability to do the near impossible — making the Icom Gateway software co-exist with the ircDDBGateway software, enabling the new features. Adrian worked his magic via the internet over the period of a couple of days, and by today at noon, everything was up and running. Adrian was a saint and worked his schedule around ours. For example he was working on the system today from 9:30 AM to noon our time, which was 11:30 PM to 2:30 AM his time.
While the original DPLUS Gateway page still exists at w1aad.dstargateway.org, a more complete ircDDBGateway + DPLUS status page can be found on port 40001 (w1aad.dstargateway.org:40001). Use any browser to see the new status page:
If you scroll down you will find the original DPLUS Dashboard (or you can click on the “DPLUS Dashboard” link that shows on the banner at the top of the page.
Hardware changes involved a new UPS (the repeater LOVES to eat up UPS units due to heat), a replacement monitor and display designed for rack use, and a new disk drive.
In addition to all the new software features, the group worked on making sure we had a valid backup HDD, an image of the disk, and have setup a process to automatically backup the critical User Registration Database. Finally a comprehensive Supervisors Manual was written.
For a high-level review of DSTAR, we recommend starting with the DSTAR101 website.