Suggested guidance for D-Star use.
Check the status of the repeater you are working through before transmitting, if you only want to call local stations disconnect the repeater from a reflector.
If working through a reflector leave at least a 2 second gap between overs so that other users can call in, or disconnect.
If all stations in a QSO are working through a local repeater and it is connected to a reflector, disconnect the repeater from the reflector.
Don’t run radio tests, microphone tests etc over the reflector, use one of the chat modules.
Locally it may be the norm to have repeaters linked to REF079D or other available reflector giving Northwest coverage during the week Monday to Friday 9-5 for those mobile who like to keep in touch.
It is frowned upon to link a repeater to a reflector just to listen and monitor for your own use, it is fine if you wish to join in and have a QSO.
It has been known for repeaters to be left connected to the USA REF001C overnight, this increases operational costs ie data and electricity. With transmitters being in use unnecessarily this is obviously not a good situation.
It’s fair to say that D-Star throws up some tricky and sometimes contentious operating issues. As D-Star sometimes links many repeaters together, a long QSO between multiple stations will be broadcast across as many repeaters and nodes as are connected to the reflector. Be aware of the situation, and remember there could be 30 or 40 repeaters or nodes all relaying what you are saying to a waiting World, and it’s almost a given that not everyone is interested in what you have to say.
D-Star is a fun mode, international QSO’s can be both interesting and informative. Using the system responsibly, for the good of all, brings the ham spirit to the fore.
Connecting Dongles, DV Mega, minis etc can enhance your use of the system. Remember your local repeater may have limited network bandwidth i.e. via cell phone, dongle or limited ADSL plan. In such cases it may be better to connect via a reflector (which by nature has high bandwidth capabilities)
Whenever using a repeater always have the RPT2 setting for gateway enabled even if you intend to talk to someone locally on the repeater, as people monitoring on Network devices or other connected repeaters / reflector may think that the repeater is not in use and make a call thereby disrupting the conversation you may be having.
Enjoy D-Star, remember it is the only Digital system designed by Radio Amateurs for Radio Amateurs.