How to use DMR D-DSTAR Digital Modes on iPhone and Desktop Computers

The open source DUDE-Star project enables the software to Rx/Tx to D-STAR, DMR, Fusion YSF/FCS, NXDN, P25, M17, and IAX (AllStar client) over UDP (Internet). It contains the source code to operate these ham radio digital modes on iPhones, Raspberry Pi, Linux, MacOS and Windows desktop computers. This app will be useful to those wanting to receive and transmit on these digital modes using just an Internet connected laptop, phone or desktop computer, without the need for any Pi-Star, hotspot or even any radio.

Android already has an app called DroidStar that fulfils the same purpose which can be installed directly from the Android Play Store.

Using DroidStar App on iPhone

There is a test version you can try on the iPhone by following this guide video at https://youtu.be/bIpRJKdgfSo – you will to have registered on the Brandmeister DMR network and obtained a DMR ID that matches your call sign. You also need to set a password on the Brandmeister network webpage under Profile/Services/Selfcare and set Hotspot security to on, and put a password in.

Just like with any DMR radio, after you have clicked the connect button, you need to quickly press the Tx button twice at the bottom (blue Tx button toggles between Tx and Rx) to just kerchunk it to connect to the talk group otherwise you won’t receive anything. The following image shows the app connected to Talk Group 91 and listening to KN4LSY speaking.

The iOS TestFlight invite link for the DroidStar beta app now appears to be https://testflight.apple.com/join/bYvpb8nG. The project is at https://github.com/nostar/DroidStar but they have no help on installing it for iOS so best is still to watch the video linked above. The Vocoder sound module had to be removed from the app due to licensing issues, so for sound you’ll also need to go to Settings in the app, and enable the Vocoder by downloading it. I got the Vocoder for iOS from this link at https://web.archive.org/web/20220125032857/http://pizzanbeer.net/plugins/vocoder_plugin.ios.arm64.

Using DUDE-Star on Linux, MacOS, Raspberry Pi and Windows

DUDE-Star is the upstream project of DroidStar so does exactly the same but will compile and work on desktop computers or even a Raspberry Pi. Windows users can get the standalone executables from https://github.com/nostar/dudestar/releases and just run it to use the application (no installation is needed). Other OSs will need to compile from the main project at https://github.com/nostar/dudestar. The only difference from the iPhone version is the Tx button is press-to-talk on the Windows version. The Linux version Tx button toggles between Tx and Rx.

Compiling DUDE-Star source code on Manjaro Linux

These are the steps I followed to create an executable Linux file, but it should be identical for Ubuntu Linux derivatives. It’s some extra steps but has the advantage of using the very latest code as it is published (no auto update, so you need to repeat the steps if the code gets updated, so I suggest subscribing to the project for notifications):

  • Created a new sub-directory under ~/Downloads and just name it DudeStar
  • Open a terminal window and change to that directory:
    cd ~/Downloads/DudeStar
  • Get/Download the source code to that directory:
    git clone --recursive https://github.com/nostar/dudestar.git
  • Change to that directory that was downloaded:
    cd dudestar
  • I needed to install qt5-serialport from my distro repo’s as it was missing when I tried to run qmake
  • Run
    qmake
  • Run
    make
  • Now you can execute the compiled application by executing
    ./dudestar
  • Once run it created a config folder in my Home directory to store its settings at ~/.config/dudetronics and if you clicked on update hosts file etc that is all stored in here too including the app’s own settings file called dudestar.ini
  • I actually copied the executable into the config folder, along with the icon images, and then created a menu entry to execute the app from here, so everything is in one directory for my backups to include it

Talk Groups in Use in South Africa

Generally timeslot 2 is used on the radio repeaters for these talk groups, but this is not relevant when hotspots or computer/mobile apps are used.

Talk GroupDescription
9Local
91Worldwide English
655SA Nationwidw / Linked to D-Star reflector XLX655D
6551Western Cape
6552Eastern Cape
6553Northern Cape
6554Free State
6555KZN
6556Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West
6558SARL Hamnet
65551Pretoria Region
655999APRS Gateway
6550087Hamnet Western Cape
9990Parrot (Echo test)

#hamradio #amateurradio #DMR #DSTAR #digitalmodes #fusion #YSF

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