Adventures in Callsign Routing

Callsign routing has been around since the earliest days of D-Star. It has also been little used. However, with the proliferation of Pi-Star based hotpots, callsign routing and D-Star have been given new life. Your Pi-Star installation includes a piece of software called ircddbgateway. It truly is a gateway to a whole new way of looking at D-Star.

The first piece of the puzzle is to get comfortable with callsign routing. I invite you to give me a direct call on my D74A HT. To do that, you’ll need to configure your radio with a memory that is setup to use your Pi-Star as a gateway. While that is outside the scope of this article, the general idea of the D-Star configuration (using the ficticious callsign N0TME) is:

 R1: N0TME B ; For a B (70cm) module
R2: N0TME G ; To use as a gateway
MY: N0TME ; My callsign

Now for the fun part. Normally, you’d use CQCQCQ as the destination callsign. This is the standard if using a repeater or a reflector. But, you COULD put a callsign in that destination field. Put “K2DLS P” in the destination and if I’m around, I’ll answer. Note that the P identifies my portable and must be in the 8th character position of the destination (UR) field.

There are also destinations that are not individuals, but are Smart Routing Groups. Try DSTAR1, for example. That is a very active routing group operated by the folks at QuadNet and it offers a lot of multiprotocol connectivity. There is even a net where users check in from D-Star, DMR, and Fusion and everyone can hear everyone else! Be sure to disconnect when you’re done (DSTAR1 T).

You can also configure your own legacy Starnet group on your own Pi-Star for you and your friends to chat on. This can be found on the expert menu for ircddbgateway. We’ll talk more about this in a future post.

In the meantime, I’m waiting for your call.

10 thoughts on “Adventures in Callsign Routing”

    1. Technically, you don’t have to unlink if things are quiet at the remote end. The reflector won’t hear you if you change the callsign destination! But it is good practice to avoid confusion if you have both links and callsign routing at the same time.

      1. Is the “P” important? How do you know it is a “P”? If I overhear someone on a reflector and want to direct call them, can I go to the recent RX history to get his Call then use that in the To field?

        1. I’ll answer your 2nd question first. Yes, you can use the recent RX history to get their Call into the To field (URCALL).

          As far as the P, that is specific to my callsign, now K2IE. I use a P in the 8th position to identify a portable. Another portable is Q, my base is H (for home). So you’re able to call me on a specific radio. But for me, just my callsign would not work as I don’t have a D-Star radio configured with just my callsign and no identifier.

  1. Rilliant post. I know you said it’s outside the scope of the post, ut where can I find info on how to program a channel in my MD380 dedicated to use pi-star as a gateway? Hope to be calling you soon!

    1. So, if you’re using an MD380, that means you’d want to come in from Brandmeister. That is a totally different story. But, what you could do is to program a memory for your Pi-Star using TG 31012, which is gatewayed into the QuadNet array. There you’ll talk to users who are on D-Star, DMR, Fusion and the Peanut app.

      On DMR, there is something called “Private Call” where you can put in the CCS7 ID of the station that you want to reach. You might want to look into that if you don’t have a D-Star radio.

  2. Hi Dan. Thanks for the mention in your article. I wanted to add that if anyone is having trouble call sign routing or using one of the QuadNet Smart Groups you may need to forward UDP port 40000 from your router to your hotspot. Most of the time UPnP will take care of this for you but it will also close down the port if no activity is heard – Jeff VE6DV

  3. I have tried callsign routing through my hotspot to a user on local PAPA System repeater and it doesn’t work… nothing is heard either direction. I have newest zumspot… ircdbb gateway appears to be the rr.quadnet one in expert setup…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments Protected by WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam