Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let's not forget DV Data

My previous post on D-STAR <--> legacy interoperability focused on the voice side of things. However, D-STAR is more than just voice. There is also a data channel to consider, which could be useful. Now, what could we do with the data channel to interact with other systems?

1. Link the data channel to an EchoLink conference. If software such as D-RATS is mediating the link, text messages could be filtered out from other data such as file transfers and GPS co-ordinates and then passed onto the EchoLink side. And EchoLink messages could be converted to D-RATS text messages and sent to the D-STAR radio. Other options for bridging D-RATS messaging include Internet based services, such as a private Jabber server, open only to hams, APRS messages or packet radio converse bridges.

2. DPRS GPS data is already being gated to the APRS network, so there is already some interoperability with the data channel today.

3. File transfers and other non text data require a bit more thought. Some of this could be passed to a Jabber based system (since Jabber supports file transfers).

In any case, this integration of D-STAR and non D-STAR messaging and data transfer will require similar policies and access controls to that discussed for voice bridges.