The DVAP Dongle, provides another way to connect to the international D-Star network.
Released in January 2010 by Internet Labs with similarities to their previous product, the DV Dongle.
The DV Access Point Dongle (DVAP for short) is used with a PC/Mac and an Internet connection.
Unlike the DV Dongle, this new product allows amateur radio operators to walk away from the computer and transmit/receive D-Star voice and data using a two meter D-Star radio.
The new red DV Access Point Dongle both connect to a USB port on a PC running Windows XP/Vista/7 or Linux, or an Intel based Mac running Mac OS X.
The DVAPTool software connects to the D-Star network via an Internet connection.
Both voice and data modes of D-Star are supported.
The DVAP is basically a GMSK modem with a two metre transceiver built in. GMSK (or Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying) is the protocol used by D-Star for the RF portion of the network. GMSK is probably best known for use in GSM cellular networks.
Using the DVAP hardware (designed by Moe Wheatley (AE4JY) and DVAPTool software (designed by Robin Cutshaw (AA4RC), the frequency agile DVAP is tuned to frequencies between 144 and 148 MHz in IARU regions 2 and 3, and 144 to 146 MHz in region 1.
Once the device is opened in DVAPTool, the amateur operator may then walk away from the computer and control the software using a D-Star radio such as an Icom IC-80/91/92 HT. The DVAP has a maximum power output of about 10 dBm (or 10 milliwatts).
This gives the unit a range of about 100 yards/meters using the included SMA based antenna. It is possible to extend the range using an outside antenna. The DVAP is designed for use around the house, garden and neighbourhood.
Current users of gateway connected D-Star repeater systems will feel right at home with control of the DVAP. Similar to controlling gateway based dplus software written by Robin Cutshaw (AA4RC), control commands are issued from a D-Star radio using the URCALL field. Set the URCALL field to “DVAP I” for voice response device information, “DVAP E” for echo test, and “REF001CL” or ” U” to link/unlink to reflector 001 module C (for example).
Once connected to a gateway or reflector, use “CQCQCQ ” to communicate with users on the target system. The DV Access Point Dongle is commercially available through amateur radio stores in the US and will soon be available in the EU. Quickstart guide found here