HOME FREE STAR* RADIO SETTINGS STATUS

FREE STAR*

What is it?

www.gb7bd.org.uk

The following information is Copyright of Ramesh Dhami VA3UV and may not be redistributed without his express consent, which I sought prior to publishing it here.

FREE STAR* is an experimental approach towards the implementation of a vendor neutral digital communication network. FREE STAR* encourages experimentation, construction, testing, and all of the founding principles upon which, amateur radio was developed.

FREE STAR* systems are typically constructed using either a software or hardware based GMSK modulator/demodulator interfaced with FM radio equipment. The repeater control is provided by a choice of software applications.

Typical functionality, such as callsign routing, and repeater-to-repeater linking are supported by software applications known as g2_ircddb and g2_link respectively.

FREE STAR* is a Canadian initiative; it is accessible and open to any repeater owner that shares the above vision.

The biggest challenge plaguing D-STAR development is politics. It should be noted that the D-STAR protocol is an open protocol published by the JARL. The software components that comprise the FREE STAR* solution have been developed per the published D-STAR protocol. FREE STAR* administration therefore does not involve itself with any of the politics that currently plagues the D-STAR community and more specifically, the attempts by several groups and individuals to develop competing products.

Many home-brewed D-STAR repeater systems originally connected to the US root Trust server as an attempt to be on a single trusted network so that their home-brewed systems could connect with pure ICOM D-STAR repeater systems. Unfortunately, the US root Admin Team banned all home-brewed systems and consequently, an alternative solution was pursued.

The result of this was a separate Multi-Trust network. The Multi-Trust network was based on a network of distributed Trust servers. The FREE STAR* team built the NATRUST server, which was hosted courtesy of UVoIP communications in a data centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In October 2010, the Multi-Trust network fell apart; NATRUST was rebuilt to serve the FREE STAR* community and FREE STAR* gateways. In February 2011, we adopted the ircDDB model for callsign routing, enabling routing to users on USROOT affiliated repeaters and other networks independent of the underlying Trust server (where applicable). ircDDB gateways cache user / gateway information and therefore the need for a database and Trust server became redundant.

FREE STAR* encourages hardware rationalization. One of the models presented in this document is leveraging an existing Asterisk / app_rpt box and adding the FREE STAR* software on top. We do not impose any restrictions as to what you can or can not do with your hardware.



DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FREE STAR* AND ICOM DSTAR

So what can FREE STAR* systems do, or not do, in comparison against a ‘true-blue’ G2 system? – the table below summarizes the difference and at the same time aims to set expectations so that system owners know what is, and what is not achievable:

Functionality

ICOM G2

FREE STAR*

CONNECT TO XREF REFLECTORS

YES

YES

CONNECT TO REF REFLECTORS

YES

YES

CALLSIGN ROUTING

YES

YES

ZONE ROUTING

YES

YES

CONNECT TO ICOM G2'S RUNNING dplus

YES

YES

ACCEPT DVTOOL CONNECTIONS

YES

YES

ACCEPT DVAP CONNECTIONS

YES

YES

ACCEPT DVAR CLIENT CONNECTIONS

YES

YES

SUPPORT MULTIPLE BAND MODULES

YES

YES

ABILITY TO CONNECT MULTIPLE MODULES TO MULTIPLE DIFFERENT REFLECTORS OR DIFFERENT MODULES OF THE SAME REFLECTOR

YES

YES

CROSS BAND LINKING

YES

YES

DPRS SUPPORT

YES

YES

MULTI-CASTING

YES

NO

HIGH SPEED DIGITAL DATA ON 23CMS

YES

NO



HOME FREE STAR* RADIO SETTINGS STATUS