At the beginning of the month, I participated in a radio Net across the State of GA. It is called the GA Hospital Net and I was operating from the basement of Memorial Hospital in Savannah. It had two parts, a DStar and and HF. HF is High Frequency and I have done it often and have equipment at home to do it.
DStar, though not new is to me. It is a digital mode of communication where my radio goes to a repeater and then through the internet local, regional or around the world via what is called a Reflector. GA Hospital is on 30B and we talked with hospitals all around the state to test our abilities to communicate in an emergency. (I had previously volunteered to assist in this Net from Savannah)
I was so impressed with the clarity and ability to communicate around the state so easily. After some research, I had added some equipment to my home Station. First was the Icom ID 5100, a large touch screen mobile that I mounted right above my HF in the house. It does all the regular VHF/UHF modes as my 8800 unit including dual receive plus the Dstar. I replaced my 8800 with it and will later move that to the truck (it also has dual receive which I really like) I later added an ID 51A Plus Portable which is also DStar enabled.
With DStar, I have listened (and can talk) to stations in Korea, South Africa and more!