D-Star on Hermit Lake
This afternoon I took the kayak out on Hermit Lake. I worked
Orlando, Florida and
Worcester, Mass with an Icom 51AD d-star handie talkie.
The setup was pretty simple. I parked the camper at the edge of the
lake. On the front
seat I used a Raspberry Pi computer (credit card sized) connected to
a DVAP. A DVAP is a tiny
repeater. It's about 1 by 2 inches and runs a few milliwatts for
local access. I also had a mifi
card supplying an internet connection in the camper. This setup gave
me a range of about
a half a mile from the camper. I was connected to reflector 30 which
is like a conference
room comprising 50 local repeaters. One of the advantages of d-star
is that there's a lot
of activity and it's always easy to reach someone to chat with.
Out on the water, I talked with Dave KB1PVH in Worcester, Ma for a
few minutes and headed
over to an island to check out some wild irises.
This lake is also known for two varieties of carnivorous plants...
the pitcher plant and the
sundew plant. They aren't in bloom yet.
As I headed back toward the shore, I said hello to Mike KA9ZRZ in
Orlando, Florida. He was
also using a Raspberry Pi and DVAP. Suddenly, as I passed a
quiet cove on one of the islands,
a huge gray heron swoshed right across the bow of the kayak a few
feet above the water. I think
we were both startled.
I put the kayak back in the camper and listened to VK4TUX from
Australia chatting with another
station. International contacts on d-star are common.