XRF400 SYSTEM STATUS: RETIRED
Due to other commitments I have been unable to develop and maintain XRF400 since mid 2015. I kept the reflector coasting for almost a year however due to lack of use and community interest I came to the conclusion that it is time to move on: XRF400 is officially retired as of 16 March 2016.
Below are all my notes, I hope they will help others who wish to experiment with dxrfd.
The XRF400 D-STAR reflector is the result of an experiment that I started in Jan 2015, together with a team of radio amateurs in Italy and one of their local clubs (Gruppo Radio Firenze). When we first started building reflectors, our main objective was find a solution to some technical obstacles that we encountered with the connectivity platform we linked ourselves to until about the end of 2014. At that time I didn’t realise that such a random experiment could lead to such a robust service that would benefit a relatively large radio amateur community and become a point of reference to many. There are a few people who greatly contributed to the realisation of this project, all sharing my same view that the radio amateur hobby, on top of being an educational and fun activity at the same time, is a great vehicle to stay in touch with fellow radio amateurs worldwide. They all helped at some stage to get some bits and pieces of my equipment on the air and my way of thanking all of them is to help others to achieve the same – well in truth I hope people will get better than me at handling D-STAR technology.
Within a few weeks of the creation of XRF400, the system was developed from a random experiment running on small hardware to a point of reference to a small community of radio amateurs. Today XRF400 is part of a system of three reflectors accommodating a group of Italian speaking radio amateurs located both in Italy and abroad. Calls from Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, France (Corsica), and Greece have been recorded on module A of one of the reflectors belonging to this increasingly important small network. A relatively large group (I estimate about 30 people) is currently linked to module A of XRF077, XRF400 and XRF911, however other smaller groups are establishing themselves, one of them linked to XRF400 C. Module D of XRF400 is linked to core reflector XRF727 A which is managed by the Amateur Radio Experimenters Corner, a keen group of radio amateurs testing the bridging between analogue and digital systems using this D-STAR reflector as a main element of their infrastructure.
Whether you speak Italian or not, these reflectors and their support pages/websites are a good source of D-STAR information. On this blog you can find simple yet useful pdf documents written in layman language that may help you setting up your own gateway and RF system controller, quickly getting you up and running on D-STAR. On the Gruppo Radio Firenze (Florence Radio Group) website you will find great content and thorough explanations on a number of D-STAR related subjects, I strongly recommend browsing through. There may be a language barrier, however the usual online translation tools can be great help.
The XRF400 D-STAR reflector is now live, activities can be monitored via the live reflector’s dashboard. There currently is one STARnet, STN036 A (connection timeout time 15 minutes, or STN036 T for manual disconnection) running on the ircDDB network and linked to XRF400 A. A similar STARnet running on QuadNet and managed by Maurizio IZ5CMC is linked to the same module, XRF400 A, allowing bridging between the two networks; people using either of the two STARnets would be able to intercommunicate.
Linking details below:
- DExtra gateway list entry: [XRF400 xrf400.no-ip.org]
- Reflector’s Dashboard Link
If your gateway runs on a VK4TUX image, you can run the script openhost.sh to load the latest update of the DExtra_Hosts.txt file which includes XRF400. If your gateway fails to connect after you added the address, try entering a ‘L’ at the end of the address, in this format: [XRF400 xrf400.no-ip.org L].
For support and questions please add a comment to this page or, if you are CCS registered, dial DTMF 5100 in your D-STAR radio.
A big thank you to Adrian VK4TUX for his help diagnosing a technical fault of a software version that I previously used to build XRF400. Thank you Adrian for having provided a healthy software and for helping with the configuration.