Thought i would give you my views on d star having been experimenting with it this weekend.
First of all APRS i have been using the old kenwood thde mated to a garmin gps which has proved very useful, unfortunately this rig is no longer available, (maybe the vxr8 may help). Stuart G0MJG has used a device tracker from the states small self contained and bluetoothed to a small gps, results of this set up have been varied. unfortunately i cant provide details of stuarts kit until he gets back.
For d star i have upgraded to icom 2820 for the car and a e92d handy( without the gps mic) Whether the handy will be much use on the summits remains to be seen but both radios cover fm anyway.
Using digital voice the audio can be a bit robotic but will out perform fm in noise environments so i would be interested if anyone in the np sp, ld and nw areas would like to try dv simplex from a sota top.
With advent of small laptop/notebooks then portable from a hill top might become viable, some of the features i have played with using digital modes
mainly from a package called d star comms are as follows.
remote email from one radio to another then onto the wide world.
message tranmission with voice together radio to radio.
external gps data with google mapping sent as a beacon.
remote acess to one radio and re transmit to local connected radio/internet.
beacon and position reporting.
d star tv, a form of slow scan images with image capture from a web can this can be set as a beacon, all with no interrupt of voice transmission.( with the id1 this could be high speed video.)( good for summit imageing).
for those interested see d star comms and d startv.
im not saying its cheap but fun experimenting, just realised the above is a ramble so apolgies not got time to edit
73,s keith G0OXV