Using the DV Dongle

  1. To start using the DV Dongle, double click on the file DVTool.jar contained in the DVTool folder on the Windows desktop.  DVTool will start and display a dialog windows similar to the picture on the right.

  2. There are two sections in the main window, the Device section and the Action section.

  3. The DV Device drop down selection lists devices that use the FTDI chip used in the DV Dongle device and other serial to USB devices.  Select the appropriate device.  Remote host is an advanced feature that allows the DV Dongle to be placed on a different computer from DVTool and is usually not used.

  4. The Audio Input and Output drop down lists allow for the selection of multiple audio devices if they exist.  The default is usually the best selection.

  5. Click on “Open” to connect to the DV Dongle.

  1. Once the DV Dongle is opened, the Device Name, Serial Number, Boot Version, and Firmware Version fields should show data specific to the hardware you have opened.

  1. DVTool then makes a request to an internet based D-Star gateway name server.  The D-Star gateways that are available for DVTool connections are listed in the drop down selection box next to “Connect to Gateway”.  Before you connect to a D-Star gateway, you should test your Audio Input and Output devices.

  1. Select “Audio Loopback Only” and click “Start”.  This is a simple audio loopback that will play audio from your microphone out to your speakers.  It is recommended that you use a headset for this test as audio feedback may happen with an open mic and speakers.  Adjust your microphone input level and speaker output level until you have a good mix.

  1. After you have adjusted your audio properties, you can move onto other functions within the Action Section.


  1. Audio Loopback Only

  1. Loop back audio from the microphone to the speaker(s).  This is used to verify audio input and output levels.

  1. AMBE/Audio Loopback

  1. Loop back audio from the microphone to the speaker(s) using the DV Dongle to compress and uncompress.  This is used to test the DV Dongle AMBE DSP chip.

  1. Record

  1. Record audio from the microphone using the DV Dongle to compress.  The compressed audio is stored in memory and played by using Record.

  1. Playback

  1. Play audio recorded using the Record function above to the speaker(s).

  1. Record to File

  1. Record audio from the microphone using the DV Dongle to compress.  The compressed audio is stored in the file selected using the Filename/Browse dialogs.

  1. Playback from File

  1. Play audio recorded using the Record to File function above to the speaker(s).

  1. Connect to Peer

  1. Allows a direct connection to another DV Dongle user.  The other user’s IP address and IP port are entered and must be the same as those used by the other user.

  1. Listen for Connection from Peer

  1. Allows for a direct connection from another DV Dongle user.  The IP port entered must match the other user’s entry in “Connect to Peer”.  Note that many internet cable/DSL routers do not forward connections from the internet to an inside user unless they are configured to do so.  Consult your router’s configuration manual for details.

  1. Connect to Gateway

  1. Connect to a D-Star gateway for receiving and/or transmitting voice.  The gateway drop down selection box lists all gateways that are currently running the required software and have IP ports forwarded correctly.  The Module drop down selection box is used to select the module you wish to access.  If you select the “*”, you will hear audio from all modules.  This allow for monitoring all repeaters served by a gateway.  You must enter your valid, legal callsign in the Callsign box.  Callsign entry may be in upper or lower case.  The PTT button behaves similar to the PTT button on a radio.  When you click and hold, your mic audio is transmitted to the gateway/module selected.  When you unclick, the transmission ends.  You may use the lock checkbox to change the PTT button into a toggle for transmit/receive.  Note that if Module “*” is selected, the PTT button is disabled to prevent transmission to all modules.  The PTT button is also disabled if you do not have transmit permission to the connected gateway.  The PIN field is used to allow gateway administrators to provide access to users that are not registered in the D-Star gateway system.  This field should normally be left blank.

Select an Action and click Start

  1. The DV Dongle has four LED’s which indicate the current operating status.  The blue LED shows data is being transmitted from the PC/Mac to the device.  The yellow LED shows data is being transmitted from the device to the PC/Mac.  The green LED shows the mode of operation, slow pulsing indicates idle and fast blinking indicates running.  The red LED shows overruns or underruns between the PC/Mac and the device and should normally be off.  If you notice frequent red LED activity, your PC/Mac may not be sufficiently fast to operate with the device or you may have other programs running that are taking CPU cycles away from the DVTool application.

Status indicators:

Operating notes:

  1. The DV Dongle is a high speed, real time device.  It communicates with the PC/Mac at 230Kbps and needs adequate CPU speed and time to operate properly.  Many operations on the PC/Mac can interfere with normal operations.  These include screen savers, web browsers, instant messengers, etc.  For best operation, avoid running CPU intensive applications when operating the DV Dongle.