I have been doing DSTAR HF for about 5 years. There are scheduled nets for DSTAR HF. When the bands are open, you can talk to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and all over Europe. The way the conditions are right now on HF. You can during any net make it across the USA and Canada. About 15-20 stations participate during each net. About 5 or 6 are FLEX radios.
When FLEX added the DSTAR wave form, it had some real issues. Most all have been addressed. They are still working on a couple of minor nits.
The DSTAR signal is about 6.2khz wide, about like AM. So, it has the same propagation issues as AM. I have all three radios. IMOHO, the 7100 decodes DSTAR HF better than the other two. The FLEX with a ThumbDV decodes OK, but not as good as the 9100 or 7100. I think FLEX is working on this. HOWEVER, the FLEX on DSTAR allows one to find about 6.5khz opening on the bands. It cannot compete with other signals, so it needs a clear band path. It will never replace CW or SSB, but it is a lot of fun.
International DSTAR HF Testing Net – WINTER Schedule –
Use your ICOM 7100/9100, or STAR Boarded non ICOM DSTAR HF, or the FLEX 6000 series radios with software 1.5 or better and the ThumbDV.
Here is some video of DSTAR HF Voice simplex on a 7100
We are on each band only for 5 min. or so as to spend less time, if the band is dead we move on earlier. You can go back to a good freq after the net. MONITOR REF030C to coordinate. WE may need to move early or if the freq is busy. We do not want to step on any AM or SSB activity.
We also use a web page to keep track of who and where we are at - http://hf.dstar-relay.net/
You also can check-in to this web site anytime 24/7 to find a DSTAR HF Ham to talk to.
We have a PRENET for 30 min. before the start of the scheduled time. This PRENET is for ‘FREE FORM” contacts. One should check the web site http://hf.dstar-relay.net/ sign in and find a working freq to work on. When the net starts at the scheduled time, please join the net and follow the freqs.
DSTAR HF VOICE SCHEDULE
Sat PM 7:00 E (2400Z)
Sunday AM 10:00 E (1500Z Sunday)(Spend more time on each open band, and start on 80m)
Sunday PM 7:00 E (2400Z)
Check USB/LSB on freq to make sure the
freq is clear.
SUNDAY AM, we start with 80m and work towards 6 meters.
6 mtrs 50.210 DV for
10 mtrs 28.570 DV for 5 mins
12 mtrs 24.938 DV for 5 mins
15 mtrs 21.380 DV for 5 mins
17 mtrs 18.148 DV for 5 mins
20 mtrs 14.335 DV for 5 mins
40 mtrs 7.285(or another open freq) DV for 5 mins
75 mtrs 3.880 DV for 5 mins.
NCS will check the freq ahead of time to make sure we don’t step on anyone 3KC up and DOWN.
"Digital voice is defined in the Commission’s rules based on content as voice (i.e. phone), not data, per Section 97.3(c)(5) of the Rules." Check out the most recent comments by the ARRL: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521063715