Click here for the Ban PLT website.

Saturday 30 September 2017

National Hamfest 2017

Today I was in attendance at the National Hamfest, and Yaesu have answered my question, they informed me the new TX/RX ID function is similar to CTCSS, works with networked (not Internet linked but radio linked) repeaters and is called System Fusion II, something I had seen advertised, I had also seen the new System Fusion II repeater, I also looked at the new online exams being rolled out and a look at the equipment used for ATV courtesy of BATC.

I picked up the Advanced book from the RSGB book stand and had a look at a smart phone DMR and various other bits and pieces useful to Amateur radio operators, unfortunately I wasn't able to get the handsfree mic for the car as this was unavailable, and other items such as a base antenna due to financial constraints.

Needless to say, the car chose the journey to develop another fault, initially detected as a developing oxygen sensor malfunction (on the sensor post-cat), however when I had chance to look under the car at the exhaust this revealed a massive leak in the exhaust system as the centre pipe (which includes the post-cat O2 sensor) had parted company with the catalytic converter, so my car sounds very much like an old motorcycle or tractor, and I will keep the car off the road until I can fix it unless I have to use it, ruling out October's 2-metre FMAC.

Otherwise I have had a good time at this year's National Hamfest and hope to do it all again next year.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Saturday 16 September 2017

FTM-400XDE Firmware upgrade

In the time I have owned it I have never once updated the firmware on my Yaesu FTM-400XDE, until tonight that is, though this was a bigger job than anticipated given the location of the main unit within the car, however I was able to access the upgrade switch to do the firmware then subsequently update the DSP, I am not sure what changes have been made to the DSP, however the firmware has something called 'Digital Group ID' and 'Digital Personal ID', what purpose these serve I don't actually know, however now at the top of the radio screen there is an extra field with TX and RX ID, along with the repeater shift direction, CTCSS/DCS and clock (I have my 400 in the car therefore have this set to display the voltage instead which is handy if the engine is off).

I am trying to find out the purpose of this new feature, though I cannot seem to find information on it it however I am hoping to speak to the Yaesu representatives at the National Hamfest in 2 weeks time regarding what future improvements are heading towards System Fusion, they may even be able to shed some light on this interesting update.

All that remains for me to do is just keep using the radio.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Update 29/9/17

Less than 18 hours before I go to the National Hamfest as it so happens, I have a photograph of the display as I described

The radio is currently set to AMS as I prefer this, the selected repeater, GB3IR, is an FM-only repeater located about 2 miles away from my current home QTH, I may ask the Yaesu reps at the National Hamfest what the "ID:TXnn/RXnn" means as I have not found any information on it yet, otherwise the radio is working as it ought to ready for the drive to the Hamfest and hopefully also for participation in October's 2-metre FMAC.

Friday 8 September 2017

Car now cleared for this year's trip to Newark

With the oil leak in the gearbox now repaired, my car is now ready for the drive to the National Hamfest for the 3rd time, the furthest I've really been this year is both coasts (Scarborough and Blackpool respectively) and to Gateshead, though this is not the final rally as I'll be attending the Bishop Auckland rally in Spennymoor in December (which reminds me that I really need to be getting up to the Bishop Auckland club again as soon as possible).

I was originally intending to camp at Newark and have a portable station however with the clutch failing on my car earlier in the year along with the QTH move the camping had to be put on hold however I intend to get all the camping gear I need during the off season and go next year, I still have my drive-on mast stand yet have not put that to any use at present, it was intended to get an outing at Newark this year but of course with all that has gone on this has had to wait.

Of course I do not plan to leave the National Hamfest empty handed, I am working some extra hours and hopefully will leave with another radio, a Diamond X50 antenna, and some more PL259s, particularly of the compression fit or crimp fit variety, as well as a right-angle connector for the antenna port of my Yaesu FTM-400XDE as there is very little room behind there for plugging in and disconnecting the antenna when I want to connect the SWR meter for tests, and maybe some freebies if possible, and also the Advanced book so I can get on and study for my full licence as soon as I can.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Friday 1 September 2017

Car almost ready for the trip to Newark

Today as you are aware my car went in for its MOT (The UK roadworthiness examination) which it has passed with flying colours despite my own worries that the vehicle would fail, now this would have meant the all-clear to participate in the 2m FMAC on Tuesday night, however a new problem has arisen that needs to be rectified immediately.

While the car was in for the MOT, the mechanic found the gearbox to be leaking oil from a seal on the offside (driver's side, right in this case) driveshaft coming out of the gearbox, this requires urgent attention and the car is booked in for this repair on Wednesday, I will have to drop the car off on Tuesday night and this means I cannot take part in the 2m FMAC this month, much to my disappointment, however this gearbox issue cannot be ignored as if the gearbox loses a large quantity of oil it could potentially seize which could cost more than what the car is actually worth to fix, fortunately it is being repaired under the extended warranty.

Once this oil seal is repaired this will then give the car the all clear for the 2017 National Hamfest at the end of this month, as usual I will be in attendance.

I aim to take part in the October 2m FMAC as all my car troubles should then be resolved.

73 de 2E0EIJ