Humble Beginnings

On Wednesday, August 1, 2007, D-Star went on the air in Lincoln Nebraska. At that time, the D-Star 2m 145.250(-) repeater was ID’ing N0CRL and was operating at approximately 30′ off the ground on the North side of Lincoln. The repeater was operating without an Internet connection at that time. During the first month, certificaction began with Icom for both a system operator and the repeater itself. Once the repeater was certified, it was moved to its permanent location and attached to the Internet.

NEMA D-Star Repeater

W0MAO at N0CRL's house

 

On Saturday, September 1st, the repeater was moved from the QTH of N0CRL and was installed inside the dome of the Nebraska State Capitol Building. It is now operating at a height of 380′ above the ground, ID’ing as W0MAO ( Nebraska Emergency Management Agency ) and has a gateway attached to the Internet. It is both a VHF (145.250-) and a UHF (442.150+) repeater.

Once WØMAO was online Carl Morones began working with Bob Eastwood (WØRJE) at NEMA (Nebraska Emergency Management) to bring more repeaters online across the state.  After some initial planning and brainstorming, Carl and Bob began working with others to further the idea of a state-wide system.  Those collaborators include Art Zygielbaum (KØAIZ), John Gebuhr (WBØCMC), Greg Babbitt (WØAAI).

The group met on a regular basis and helped to steer the direction and formation of this, the Nebraska D-Star Club.  The goal remains the same as the day Carl and Bob started dreaming of a state-wide link.  Just last week (July 23rd, 2011) a small crew installed NEMA’s second D-Star repeater into the system.  A group of hams near the Grand Island area met a small group from Lincoln and we installed the KDØPBV repeater in Grand Island, NE.

As time progressed, and call-signs were needed, it was learned that a club had to be formed.  With the help of KØAIZ and the group, the Nebraska D-Star Club was born.  Our first club-owned call-sign was KDØPBV.

The Omaha Digital Communications club also has a repeater that they will be connecting to the Nebraska Perma-link, its call-sign is KDØCGR.  This brings our current total to three repeater systems, with a fourth nearly ready for prime-time.  I’ve also been told that a couple of counties in southeast Nebraska have also purchased D-Star repeaters.  At this time I do not know what their plans are, but I hope to see them on the Nebraska Perma-link.

Sometime in 2009 (I think) Robin Cutshaw (AA4RC) developed and began testing a concept called Reflectors.  Just as it sounds, a D-Star reflector operates similar to an IRLP reflector.  However, a D-Star reflector has three different “channels” that D-Star users can connect to.  Once I heard of the opportunity, I immediately volunteered a server-class computer to test the new concept.  I was hoping to get slot number one, but I missed it by a bit.  However, Lincoln is now home to the second D-Star reflector ever in existence.  How cool is that!?  Reflector Two is in a safe and all-around cool place.  The Nebraska D-Star Club will be using Channel “C” for the Nebraska Perma-link.

Thank you for reading about the origins of the Nebraska D-Star Club.