After reading this document the reader should read other articles, books, and web pages to learn the finer points. So you just bought a fancy new radio that happens to have D-STAR, and you want to check out this new digital mode. D-STAR is a lot of fun. On most D-STAR repeaters an ordinary user can link to another repeater, or to a "reflector" that has many other repeaters linked to it already. No matter how many repeaters are linked, there is no delay to key the other repeaters, no need to key up for a second or two before speaking.
The system was developed in the late s by the Japan Amateur Radio League and uses minimum-shift keying in its packet -based standard. There are other digital modes that have been adapted for use by amateurs, but D-STAR was the first that was designed specifically for amateur radio. Several advantages of using digital voice modes are that it uses less bandwidth than older analog voice modes such as amplitude modulation and frequency modulation. The quality of the data received is also better than an analog signal at the same signal strength , as long as the signal is above a minimum threshold and as long as there is no multipath propagation. In addition to the over-the-air protocol, D-STAR also provides specifications for network connectivity, enabling D-STAR radios to be connected to the Internet or other networks, allowing streams of voice or packet data to be routed via amateur radio.