Add a voice beacon to a D-Star gateway

(Originally written for version 1 gateways but I think this information is good for version 2 as well. See for more detail about the current dplus.)

This page contains instructions for adding one or more voice beacons to a D-Star gateway/repeater system. Change K5XYZ to the callsign of your gateway, and change any caret ^ to a space.

1. Install/upgrade dplus
2. Record a voice message
3. Save the voice message to a beacon file(s)
4. Add crond crontab entries to play the beacon file(s)

Step 1. If necessary, install/upgrade dplus to the latest version. Then stop any old versions and start the new version.

Login in as root or su to root privileges. Change to or make a dstar script directory, then download and run the NJ6N dplus install/upgrade script. Commands entered are in red:

[root@Pedro ~]# cd /dstar/scripts {or mkdir /dstar/scripts if needed}
[root@Pedro scripts]# curl -O; sh ./dplus_installer

If running NJ6N's gateway script version 2.9j or later, restart the gateway . Otherwise, manually start dplus (first kill any already running intances of decho or dplus):

[root@Pedro ~]# etc/init.d/dstar restart
[root@Pedro ~]# cd /dstar/tools
[root@Pedro tools]# nohup ./dplus -c K5XYZ >/tmp/decho.out 2>&1 &

Step 2. Record a message for a beacon using dplus.

Program your radio. Set R1 to K5XYZ^^A, K5XYZ^^B or K5XYZ^^C as appropriate for the band on which you will be transmitting. Next set R2 to K5XYZ^^G. Remember, D-Star callsigns are eight characters, so you will have one less space than shown if you have a six letter FCC callsign. Then set:

UR = K5XYZ^S0 (s-zero) to set/record a voice message, or
UR = K5XYZ^R0 (r-zero) to recall/play a voice message, or
UR = K5XYZ^C0 (c-zero) to clear a voice message.

The easiest way to do this is just program three memories.  Be sure to wait at least five to ten seconds in-between operations for things to settle down. When you are pleased (or at least satisfied) with your message, proceed to the next step below.

Step 3 . Save the recorded message (/dstar/tmp/vm-0.dvtool) to a different file so it won't be deleted by the clear function above and to clarify the file's function. For multiple beacons (e.g., one for each band module), repeat steps two and three giving the beacon files unique names.

[root@Pedro ~]# cd /dstar/tmp
[root@Pedro tmp]#  cp vm-0.dvtool beacon.dvtool

Step 4 . As root, add entries to crontab so the crond daemon will play the beacon file(s) periodically. There are different ways to do this. One way is to directly edit your (root's) table using the default EDITOR with the crontab -e command. Another way is to write your table using crontab -l > mycrontab, edit mycrontab (save the original for safety), then reload it using crontab mycrontab. A web search will return many simple tutorials on doing this. Here is K5CTX's crontab with different beacons for the 70cm and 23cm bands which play every 30 minutes:

[root@Pedro ~]# crontab -l
15,45 * * * * cd /dstar/scripts; /usr/bin/perl ./
7 3 * * * cd /dstar/scripts; /usr/bin/perl ./
7 4 * * * cd /dstar/scripts; /etc/init.d/dstar status > /dev/null 2>&1
0,30 * * * * cd /dstar/tmp; cp beacon70cm.dvtool play-b.dvtool
1,31 * * * * cd /dstar/tmp; cp beacon23cm.dvtool play-a.dvtool

Note the construct cp  beacon23cm.dvtool  play-a.dvtool. dplus detects when the files play-a.dvtool, play-b.dvtool, and/or play-c.dvtool have been created, plays them out the appropriate band module, then deletes them.

Last revised April 24, 2008 9:14 PM by KE5C