The gateway computer, the gizmo that ties the repeater to the internet, is now upgraded for Dplus G-3.
Dplus G-3. What is it and why do we need it?
To explain the evolutlion we need to go back to the original Dstar concept. One of the more “attractive” features of Dstar is “call sign routing”. Supposedly this permitted a Dstar user anywhere in the world to call another user no matter where he or she was located. The system does this by keeping track of the repeater system where the operators were last heard. So if you are wandering around Miami or London and I am in Napa and want to talk to you, I don’t need to know what repeater you are using.
By calling you, using call sign routing, my call automatically goes to the repeater where you were last heard. Bad Idea! Here’s why. What if the last place you were heard was in downtown Miami and now you are on your way to Orlando and out of range of the downtown machine? You won’t hear me call. What if you are still in downtown but now other stations are using the repeater? My call won’t be allowed to interrupt. What if you are still in range of the downtown repeater and it is free? You will hear my call but you will have no idea where I am calling from so how do you return my call? The original concept called for me to simply press one button on my radio and I would instantly have all the right settings to return your call but I had to know that you were calling from a distant location and not from Miami.
Too complicated and confusing and as a result rarely used.
G3 requires the Dstar radio to have a couple of special features for the new and improved call sign routing to work. These new radios work by connecting them via a special cable to a computer.
The new modes are referred to as “Access Point” and “Terminal Mode”. In effect they are very much like a typical Dstar “hot-spot” except that they don’t require a second Dstar radio to work as is the case with a hot-spot. What they DO require, however is being in the proximity of a G3 enabled repeater and that is what the upgrade is attempting to do.
The ordinary Dstar user, with an older radio, will not have access to the new features and if he or she doesn’t care then they will notice very little difference in the repeater’s sound or behavior. more later