HamNotes by Jim
How to use the Star*DV on Windows
Matrix Circuits Star*DV is a USB device that allows you to have D-STAR Digital
Voice QSOs over the internet using a speaker/mike, headset or PC
speakers/microphone. With the right software, you can also use it to adapt
an analog radio to be able to have D-STAR QSOs over RF (for example, D-STAR on
HF). The software can optionally work with a GMSK Modem to create a D-STAR
Compatible Hotspot that also supports in-shack QSOs using a speaker/mike rather
than a D-STAR HT.
This page shows how to install and configure the StarDV software on Windows. The open source software, StarDV, was written by Rick KD0OSS of Matrix
Circuits. He leveraged techniques and some code in the G4KLX suite, and
some GMSK Modem code by KI4LKF. StarDV works with the G4KLX ircDDBGateway
program, which manages linking and connecting to DPlus, DExtra and DCS
reflectors as well as callsign routing using StarNET, CCS and ircDDB.
You will be installing SDV for Windows and the G4KLX ircDDBGateway
Download SDV for Windows
If SDV has previously
been installed, go to Control Panel, Programs, and uninstall the Star*DV
to download the SDV install file version 1.56
(Note: some browsers block downloads of .msi installer files.
In that case, change the .msi part of the download name to .dat.
After download, rename back to .msi)
Navigate to where you or your browser saved the file and double-click to start the
Click Next, then agree with the license terms and click Next
Click on Complete, then Next, then click Install
You may need to
give Windows permission to install the program (and sometimes the
request is buried behind the main window, so if it just sits there,
look for a blinking window icon on the bottom bar)
Install drivers for Windows
to download the Star*DV drivers (Note: if your browser blocks
.zip downloads, while saving the file, replace .zip with .dat - after
download, rename the file back to CDM_StarDV.zip. Then unzip the
file and remember where the folder is located.
If your PC is running 64-bit Windows 8.1 or later, you will need to disable
Click here for how to do that. Note: You should also
come back and do this step if, in the following step, your 32-bit
Windows gives you an error about "The hash for the file is not
present in the specified catalog file."
Plug in your Star*DV to your PC. Don't let Windows automatically
try to install a driver. Instead, tell it you have the drivers and navigate to where the CDM_StarDV folder is located.
- Join the ircDDBGateway Yahoo Group if not already a member
- Log onto that
group's website, go the Files area, to the Beta folder and download the
latest ircDDBGateway_yyyymmdd.exe file. As above, you may
need to alter then download name from .exe to .dat, then after download,
rename back to .exe
- Double-click on the .exe file and run the
- Go to Windows or Start at bottom left, choose Programs and find the new
ircDDBGateway group. Select ircDDB Gateway Config
check out screenshots at here -- Skip the 1st 3 (about DStarRepeater) and look at the ircDDBGateway screenshots
- Replace the sample callsigns with your own
- On the Gateway
tab, normally set Type to Dongle. If you are also using the optional
GMSK Modem, set Type to Hotspot for simplex, or Repeater if duplex.
- Latitude/Longitude/QTH/URL are optional. This info will appear on APRS
status pages, if enabled, and on the ircDDB status pages, if enabled.
- Fill in
the first Repeater 1 tab. For Band, select B or C. You will
use the same value configuring SDV. Set Type to Homebrew. It’s not necessary to fill out the 2nd
Repeater 1 tab.
- Ignore the
remaining Repeater tabs
- Disable the
ircddb tab unless you have a gateway callsign (or “club call”), have
registered it with ircDDB and they have given you a password.
Alternatively, you can read the Gateway manual about using the Italian test
- If you want to link
to DPlus REF reflectors, enable the DPlus tab. For callsign, fill in
one that's a registered terminal at a US Trust connected D-Star gateway.
Often this is the terminal with your callsign and a "blank" initial, or one
with an N or R initial in the 8th position.
- The remaining
tabs can be ignored for now, except you may want to enable the Remote tab.
See notes below for more info.
- Go to File and
select Save, then exit the program.
- Configure SDV
SDV on Windows
- Plug in your Star*DV to a USB port on your PC.
- Start SDV. You will start out on the Main
- Choose Use PC Audio or Use Spk/Mic
- Fill in your own callsign for MyCall (this should
be registered as a terminal with blank initial/band module)
- Next field can be anything you like (only 4
- URCall should be CQCQCQ
- RPT1Call and RPT2Call should contain the
same callsign you entered in ircDDBGatewayConfig on the Gateway tab.
RPT1 also should use the same Band (B or C) you selected on the
Repeater1 tab's Band. RPT2 will use a Band of G. For example,
RPT1 = W1XYZ..C and RPT2 = W1XYZ..G where the dots mean
spaces so C and G go in position 8. (Sorry, for D-Star, this is
- Message can be anything you like (e.g. Bill in
Clearville or Star*DV with AMBE 3000
- Initially, don't check Use Modem.
Later, if you have a DUTCH*Star firmware-based GMSK Modem and want
to use SDV to control your Hotspot as well as your Star*DV, you can
enable that here.
- If you will use your PC's speakers and microphone
and have clicked the Use PC Audio button, to the right, select which speakers
or headset to use for listening and which input device to use as your
- Click the Configuration tab, check the Enable
- On Configuration Tab 2, you can change the default
behavior of the PTT button and/or define a keyboard key to simulate PTT.
Normal behavior is Momentary PTT is not checked, so if you are using PC
Audio, you click the PTT button once to start transmission and again to
stop. If you get this wrong, you could end up transmitting out to a
reflector for a long time and not realize it -- you won't be very
popular with other users, of course.
- Important! Go to Menu and click Save
Configuration, then Exit the program
Be sure the Star*DV is plugged into a USB port.
You may want to set up a shortcut on your desktop with the GUI parameter.
The target would be similar to "C:\Program
Select a Reflector and band module, then click LInk.
For testing, you may want to link to the E module of
an REF reflector, which will echo back your transmissions.
Speaker/Mike audio level (volume) controls --
There are two audio pots accessible on the back side of the Star*DV.
The pot near the center controls the speaker level. The pot
near the corner enclosure screw controls the mike level.
SDV Details -
click here for more info
Not needed for most installations
A few installations, mostly running Windows 7, have experienced timing
problems when having a QSO, where it takes longer and longer for your
transmission to be sent out to the reflector. The fix (starting with
version 1.56) is:
Go to SDV'S Configuration tab
Adjust the Time interval RX and TX values
Often RX of 12 ms and TX of 5 ms will fix the problem
StarDV is open source software published under the GNU version 2 license.
The source is available for download. Just join the
stardboardt Yahoo Group and go to the Files area of the website.
D-Star® is a registered trademark
used for communication equipment (repeaters and transceivers) for amateur
radio communications, and owned by Icom Incorporated.
Copyright © 2009-2017 James M. Moen. All