Georgia/Florida Exercise Features D-STAR

Posted by John Davis Tuesday, April 5, 2011 9:06:00 AM Categories: D-RATS D-STAR

The three Florida ARRL Sections and Georgia completed a Hurricane Exercise last weekend that utilized D-STAR voice and data capabilities extensively.  D-RATS was used as the primary data communications and messaging mode for much of the traffic between sections.  The North Florida group established a Ratflector in Tallahassee for use by all exercise participants and utilized several private channels for communicartions directed to specific groups.  For voice communications, Reflector 37B was used for Unified Command communications among the leadership of the sections.

Since Georgia would be les affected by a Hurricane simulated in this exercise, it created an opportunity to check participation in a voice net.  Most of the Georgia D-STAR repeaters have a module normally connected to Atlnata-based REF030C.  A voice net was established on D-STAR with a liaison to the Georgia HF net and to relay messages to the other sections via D-RATS. A total of 61 check ins were handled representing 40 counties across the state including several from county EOCs using the new D-STAR radios furnished under a grant from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

All of the Section Managers participating agreed that D-STAR adds some unique and very useful capabilities to Emergency Communicatons.  ARES in Georgia plans to add a D-RATS Net to it's weekly net to gain more experience with all of its features.  D-RATS is a free program written by Dan Smith, KK7DS, and is available at www.d-rats.com.