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D-RATS a multi-platform software tool for DSTAR

February 8, 2008

D-RATS windows

I recently installed D-RATS on my shack computer for use with my DSTAR ready IC-2200H. This appears to be a nice piece of software that allows keyboard to keyboard chatting as well as file transfer. The nice feature is that it is written in python and uses a couple of libraries so that it can run on Linux and Windows and almost MacOS X, see the install page for more information.

In my immediate area I have noticed that simplex use dropped off dramatically once the repeater and gateway were up and running, even though simplex performance seems to be good with DSTAR, if external antennas are being used. See my post on DSTAR simplex performance. Further, I noticed very little use of DSTAR’s data transfer capabilities in the VHF region, but perhaps I was not looking hard enough. An application like this could really boost the use of DSTAR in simplex and data transfer modes. I can further see that applications like D-RATS can be of good use in emergency communications.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Alessandro IK4UWZ permalink
    October 13, 2009 6:36 am

    Do you think it’s possible to use D-Rats Software with ID-E880 radio?
    And what kind of cable connection must I use?
    73 Alessandro

    • va3stl permalink*
      October 13, 2009 11:33 pm


      A good question.
      I would expect that D-RATS should work with the new ID-E880. I see it listed in the radio configuration section of the documentation at The key thing is to properly set-up the serial interface, especially the baud rate. Match it between the radio and the computer.

      As for a cable, check your manual. It will need to be a serial to the required connector on the radio. For my IC-2200H it is a 2.5mm stereo jack at the radio end. I made my own, but if you do not want to homebrew one from microphone cable then buy one. Icom should give the part number. If you do not have a serial port on your computer, then you will need a USB to serial converter cable. They are not too expensive, I can get them here in Canada for around $30 CDN.

      All the best with the project and let us know how it goes.

      Alan, VA3STL

  2. Greg Speakman permalink
    April 10, 2010 3:33 pm


    Disregard my last. It appeared that I was on the Internet doing my communicating. I set the DATATX on my radio to Auto. Now it transmits via commands from the D-Rats software. I have been monitoring the simplex frequency for a few hours. No contact via that means so far. Cheers,



  1. Results of initial D-RATS testing on DSTAR « VA3STL’s Weblog

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