DStar 101, or How do I do that in DStar?

Raspberry Pi with Debian Linux with DStarRepeater Controller and IRCDDBGateway software.

The Raspberry Pi is a small low powered low power consumption computer about the size of a pack of card.

Raspberry Pi
The media for the Pi is in the form of an SD memory card.

You will need a Raspbian Linux "image" for the card and a card reader/writer to write the image to the card before you use the Pi.
I won't go into how to do this here, as it has been documented so many times all over the internet, there are youtube tutorials if you need them. You will have to set a computer name and password, make a note so you don't forget them.
Connect up the Pi to a keyboard video device and mouse, and boot it up, make sure it all works before proceeding.
Using the PI configuration page, enable SSH (secure shell) and have the Pi bootup in a none GUI mode.
Reboot back into the Pi now in Terminal mode.
If you have not already done join the Yahoo Groups pages for IRCDDBGateway and PCRepeater Controller.
NB the PCRepeater controller group is where you can get the source files for DStarrepeater should you need them.

Go to the files page and download the PDF.
Read carefully before proceeding.

If you are new to Linux, this may all look a little like gibberish, don't worry.

These are the commands you need to do to install the DL5DI iplementation of the DStarrepeater and IRCDDBGateway. However I must once more advise you read the instructions from the downloaded PDF.

sudo curl -o /etc/apt/sources.list.d/opendv.list
cd /tmp
sudo apt-key add dl5di.pk

sudo apt-get install repeater

sudo apt-get install ircddbgateway

Now you need to configure the software for your system. The DL5DI implementation has a script type program that allows you to walk through the various steps.

sudo ircddbgw_conf

This starts the script.
Start ircddbgateway_conf

ircddbgw_conf startup page

Select 2, Initial Setup.

Enter callsign

If you have an NOV (required in UK) for a publicly accessible gateway, enter that, if it's to be a private gateway use your personal callsign.

Longtitude and Latitude

If you want your gateway to appear on aprs.fi, enter longtitude and latitude, or just ignore.


Enter a description of your gateway.

More details

Gateway URL.

The script will create a URL for you if you have entered station callsign.

G2 setup

As you are not using an Icom repeater you can ignore this section.

DVRPTR config

Press 1 and enter, then accept the default ports.
DVRPTR config

We only have one module, although the software will support up to 4, enter 1 to config module 1.


1st question on this page you can ignore.
Repeater band option A for 23cm, B for 70cm and C for 2m.
For Repeater type enter 0.

DVRPTR config

Repeater type is Homebrew.
Callsign is the callsign of your Gateway, if you a creating a private Gateway ie without an NOV, use your own callsign here.

DVRPTR config

Callsign is the callsign of your Gateway, if you a creating a private Gateway ie without an NOV, use your own callsign here.
Mode is 1 for a simplex gateway.


Ack-Setting can be whatever you wish, usually 1.
Restriction, this depends upon whether this is a public or private gateway, Off 0 for Public, On 1 for Private.
Repeater Validation is usually as the default 1.


All of the above can be accepted as default.


Timeout is maximum number of seconds you want the transceiver to transmit for, this is exactly like the Timeout on a repeater, 3 mins, 180 seconds is a fair value.
Ack-time leave at the default of 500.
Beacontime, is the amount of time between beacon announcements by your gateway. Recommended that you make this between 15 and 30mins, ie 900 to 1800 seconds, this is purely a personal choice.


Enter the beacon text, and select voice announcements or not as preferred.
Select the type of DVRPTR board, in this instance it's 1.


Select whether you want Modem RX and or TX inverted. This will very much be determined by the transceiver in use. In the case of the FT7800 these can be left as the defaults of 0 = Off.
Other transceiver will be different, the Icom IC880 requires the TX to be inverted but not the RX. You will either have to experiment or consult the manual.
Modem Channel is default of 0.
Modem Modulation Level in this instance is set to 30, the default is 20, again this very much is determined by the transceiver in use.


Leave all the above as default.


Frequency is self explanatory.
Offset is 0.00Mhz because this is a simplex gateway.

Range of the gateway will depend upon power output and antennas.

DVRPTR config

Enter antenna height above ground level.

Enter the Reflector (if any) to connect to at startup.

DVRPTR config

Do you want the reflector connected at startup, 1 = Yes, 0 = No

The reconnect setting needs to be thought about carefully.
0 = the gateway will not reconnect to a reflector or repeater once it has been moved to another repeater or reflector.
1 = the gateway CANNOT be connected to, or disconnected from a repeater or reflector.
2 = 5mins before reconnection if there is no other traffic.
3 = etc.

DVRPTR config

You can decide to set the extra options as and if you wish.

Enable ircddbgateway

For this you will need an ircddbgateway user account, (for which you need an NOV in UK)


ircddbgw username and pw

Enter the password you were supplied with, don't lose it. If you do lose it, you will have to request an update at http://regsrv.ircddb.net/index.htm


Acccept the default

CCS enable

Which CCS host you use is not critical.

Dextra enable

Enable Dextra, this will allow you to connect to the xReflectors, not to be confused with DCS reflectors as can be seen on xreflector.net.
Will give you more information on xReflectors.

DCS enable

This service allows access to the DCS reflectors, that somewhat confusingly are on xreflector.net.

Miscellaneous settings

What remains are miscellaneous settings that you will have to decide for yourself, if you don't understand it, best not to enable it.

Finally you will come back to the original ircddgw_conf screen.

ircddbgw-conf startup screen

Enable autostart of the ircddbgateway service by typing in 20.
Reboot the Pi.

That should be it, the Pi is now ready to connect to the DVRPTR board and your transceiver.
Connection from the Pi to the DVRPTR board is via USB and the connection to your transceiver is usually a 6 pin Mini Din plug to 6 pin Mini Din plug cable, these are readily available on the internet for a few pounds.