The XRF223 FAQ
So, what is this thing anyway?
This is XReflector 223, a D-Star reflector running on the open source DXRFD 3.08 software. It's currently running on a virtual CentOS slice hosted by InterServer (www.interserver.net).
There are five modules standard on all XReflectors, including this one. The main rag chew module is module B. Modules A and C are voice modules, and module D is for D-Star data.
So, can I use this thing too? Can anyone talk on here?
YES! Make yourself here at home on 223, invite your friends, relatives and fellow hams. Although this reflector was created by and is maintained by a club (The Parker Radio Association - www.parkerradio.org), IT IS NOT A CLUB REFLECTOR - ANYONE CAN JOIN IN! We want the main rag chew module, XRF223B, to be a great place to hang out and make friends from all over the world.
Are you guys doing CW on D-Star? Why do I hear CW sometimes???
No. Our B module is bridged to our local 70cm analog FM repeater W0CFI. Occassionally you're hear the repeater's CW ID, and you may even be talking to someone from the analog side! You can also connect into the PRA Network on EchoLink using node K0PRA-L. The K0PRA D-Star callsign on XRF223B is the bridge to the analog/EchoLink sides – when you see this callsign you're talking to someone outside of D-Star. Have fun and enjoy!
So what's this PRA Network thing anyway?
The Parker Radio Association's PRA Network is an interconnected system bridging together analog FM, D-Star and EchoLink. Our network allows ham from all over the world to connect to our local 70cm club repeater by using our D-Star X-Reflector (XRF223B) or by accessing our EchoLink club node (K0PRA-L).
In the future we hope to bridge more protocols into our network, including the addition of an AllStar Link server. For more information on how it all works, take a look here.
Help! Why can't I connect???
Are you trying to connect with the command XRF223BL?
Don't forget the "L" at the end. You may need to change your TO callsign to CQCQCQ after you connect. For more on connecting to reflectors, read this.
Are you using a DVAP (red case) or DV Dongle (blue case) on a Windows or Linux PC running DVTool/DVAPTool?
If so, we advise looking at a Raspberry Pi based solution for the long-term. The author of the DVTool/DVAPTool software has prevented users from connecting to any reflectors besides REF reflectors in the latest version of the tool. Using your access point with any of the available Raspberry Pi images removes this limitation and open up a new world of reflectors and D-Star users.
Are you running a DVAP/DVMega Raspberry Pi hotspot?
If so, try updating your hosts file. This can be done on most images by sending the HOSTUPDT command from your radio to your hotspot. Also check to make sure ircDDB is enabled in your Gateway Configuration. If that does not resolve the issue you may need to create/modify a local hosts file. From the command prompt on your Pi enter the following:
If you're still having trouble, see the Who Can I Contact question below to send us an email. You might also find some helpful information here.
Who owns/maintains this thing?
XRF223 was created and is maintained by the Parker Radio Association; we're a group of ham radio enthusiasts located in, around and sometimes nowhere near the Parker, Colorado area. The current reflector trustee is N0KEG (Ray Strickoff).
Why didn't you just use XRF720 or XRF719?
XRF720 is a reflector that ties together several Denver metro area D-Star repeaters; XRF719 is a reflector covering several repeaters in the Colorado Springs area, south of Denver. Several people have asked why we didn't use those reflectors, or add our repeaters on to them. The simple answer is all this started as an act of curiosity - we really weren't sure we were going to be able to get a reflector on the air! We welcome any other reflectors to link to us at anytime! For more on how all this started, see the next question...
Why did you build this?
A few club members were talking about various ham radio topics on 40m HF one night when the question of D-Star reflectors came up. Our club is in the process of putting up several D-Star repeaters around the Denver Metro area, and while there is lots of information online about how to build and maintain a D-Star repeater, there's nothing that explains how to setup and maintain a reflector. We decided to try and setup our own reflector as a learning exercise. Once we got something on the air and working we decided to leave it up, share it with the world and spread what we've learned about D-Star in the process. We're not trying to compete with anyone else, we just want to add another resource to the D-Star community!
Why did you choose module B as the main module? Can I use A, C, or D as well?
Why module B? Just because. No particular reason at all.
Modules A and C are voice modules as well, feel free to connect to and use XRF223A and XRF223C if the B module gets a little too busy, or you want to QSY to somewhere else and free up the main module. Module D is a data module, as is for D-Star data usage. Module E is an echo test - connect to XRF223E and make a transmission and you'll hear it come back to you (if you're connected okay). Use this module for testing coverage, setting mic gain, checking sound quality, etc.
Can I set up my XReflector too?
Yes! One of our goals is to make this a repeatable process for anyone that wants to expand D-Star by adding their own reflector. We're currently working on putting everything we've learned about D-Star together into D-Star University, a comprehensive D-Star crash course designed to take anyone from D-Star newb to expert in a few hours. We're planning on including a session with a live demo showing how to setup and configure an XReflector. For more information on D-Star University visit our site at ParkerRadio.org.
So, are there any nets on XRF223?
YES! We have a net every Monday night at 8:30 PM MST on XRF223B were we discuss anything D-Star related as well as just hang out. It's an information rag chew net for folks who love D-Star as much as we do. Come check in with us every Monday night at 8:30 PM MST. You can also join us for our weekly Parker Radio Association club meeting nets, every Tuesday night (except the 2nd Tuesday of the month) at 8:00 PM MST. The Tuesday night nets are hosted on the W0CFI analog repeater, and you can check-in from XRF223B. Be sure to ID when you check-in, the net controller on the analog side won't be able to see your D-Star callsign.
Can I use XRF223 for my own nets?
YES! If your club or organization is looking for a place to host regular nets we'd be happy to have you. Just send an email to Ray Strickoff - N0KEG with a description of your net and the time you'd like to have it.
You guys seem like a good group, can I come to a meeting sometime?
Yes, absolutely! The Parker Radio Association meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at Douglas County Library in Parker (20105 Mainstreet, Parker, CO 80134) at 6:30 PM MST. We're always excited to have new members, whether you've been licensed for decades or you're just starting out. You can see our meeting schedule here. Our official club nets occur every Tuesday night that we're not meeting in person. You can find us at 8:00 PM MST on the W0CFI FM analog repeater on 448.675 Mhz. Anybody and everybody is welcome to check-in, so come say hi if you're free on Tuesday nights.
I have a question, who can I contact?
The current repeater trustee is Ray Strickoff - N0KEG, If you have any questions or problems with this XReflector feel free to email N0KEG -at- parkerradio -dot- org.