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Friday 31 May 2019

Yaesu FT2D now ordered

The main handheld I've been after since getting the FTM-400XDE, the Yaesu FT2D, is now on order from, you guessed it, Martin Lynch & Sons, I want to quickly thank the people that tipped me when I delivered food to them for their help in getting me to this stage, I plan to continue saving for either an FT450D or an FT991A, though preference is the latter.

I ordered some screen protectors as well as the radio is a touch screen radio, and a video will be put online when it arrives before it is taken out of the box.

It ticks these boxes for me:

  • APRS on HT without extra hardware
  • Yaesu System Fusion
  • Superhet receiver
  • Access to System Fusion out of the car without removing the FTM-400XDE
There are a few other things in the radio worth exploring which I won't cover in this post, and if it arrives before my next club visit I will certainly be taking it along with me, I will also be testing it with the Jumbospot, which at home is solely used for DMR at present, it only gets YSF use in the car.

As I ordered the radio before 2pm it should arrive before Wednesday if all goes according to plan, and if I am on a day shift Wednesday, or even off that day, I should be able to get to the club with it.

I will post more on the radio when it arrives, it's been a long time coming for my first decent HT.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Catching up with ICQ Podcast

Since a bit after last year's National Hamfest after speaking to one of the gents involved with it I've been catching up with ICQ Podcast (link on right on desktop version of this blog), I'm currently roughly 2 years behind now and hope to be caught up before this year's National Hamfest as I have a feeling they will be there again.

I listen to the podcast when I am in the car and there's noting going on on the radio, though I do monitor the local repeaters (GB3IR and GB3HG) during work hours when I am out on deliveries, they don't tend to be active often when I am working and there is one local Amateur that seems to have this uncanny timing of calling on the repeaters just as I am unable to respond, the podcast is good entertainment and very informative so while there's nothing going on on the air I can listen to other Amateurs discussing Amateur radio related subjects and going to Amateur radio shows and rallies that I simply cannot go to such as Dayton and Friedrichshafen and talking to companies and groups attending these events.

I  have the podcast on at time of writing, currently at show 249, latest show at time of writing is number 295.

I recommend this podcast to anyone who is licensed or interested in taking up the hobby, all the presenters are licensed Amateurs and they take no advertising.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Monday 27 May 2019

The Yaesu FT2D could be coming to the 2E0EIJ shack very soon

As is known, I run a Yaesu FTM-400XDE in the car, a radio that can do both FM and Yaesu System Fusion, I've run this radio for the last 3 years with no major problems, now the prospect of the Yaesu FT2DE handheld is becoming real, at a price of £299.95, it's gone down as Yaesu are soon to release the FT3DE, which is a similar concept to the FT2D however it has a colour display and Bluetooth on board whereas the FT2D has a monochrome screen and no Bluetooth hardware, though all these radios do have APRS which is the selling point, along with YSF, for me, however the FT2D is the radio I am interested in.

I've checked my savings to date and they appear to be within reach of the £299.95 price of the FT2D, the radio will most likely be in my shack in June or July.

Currently all my 2/70 HTs are Chinese (Wouxun, Baofeng, Retevis and AnyTone) and the Baofeng units in particular have the problem of poor front-end filtering in RF-dense areas, the FT2D would be the best tool to have to do /p from the top of Blackpool Tower or just even on a big hill with the stock antenna of the radio.

So, I have until *before* the end of June in which to order and take delivery of this radio and get a video up onto YouTube, with the rate of saving I should hit the magic number and still have money in my savings account in good time, this is because of the events that will be taking me to Manchester at the back end of June and I'd like to have the radio by then.

I have the FTM-400XDE, it is time to expand my YSF abilities out of the car now and RF based APRS.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Sunday 26 May 2019

3 years since I was betrayed

Regular readers will know it has been three years since I made the journey to Staines to go to Martin Lynch & Sons to purchase my FTM-400XDE, my Diamond NR770RSP antenna and a Sirio magmount, however that day was marred by Chance Callahan KD0MXN, who stabbed me in the back, and as the years have gone on I think I may have found his motive behind it now, but first to bring you all up to speed on this young man from America who is grossly unfit to hold an Amateur radio licence.

Apart from stabbing me in the back when I went to Staines to ML&S he also:

So it seems to sum him and his negativity up, my theory, though not proven, regarding why he stabbed me in the back is that because he thinks I am a stalker, which is certainly not true as stalkers make me sick to my stomach and I've had to deal with a genuine one of late, he thought I was stalking an IRC user who just so happened to live in the Staines area, the only interest I have in Staines is ML&S, nothing more, and the sooner Chance Callahan KD0MXN understands this the better, I still have the box the FTM-400XDE came in and it just so happens to have a 'ML&S' sticker on the side of it, I still have a copy of the invoice, so I have sufficient evidence to why I was in Staines that day.

The thing of note most of all is that there has been both no APRS and D-STAR activity by Chance Callahan KD0MXN, perhaps that is a good sign, who knows, but any action that sees him off the air is a good thing, and his licence is due to expire next year unless he renews it which he may not do so or the FCC may finally revoke it between now and then, but we will see.

I meanwhile am not deterred from the hobby and progress on to get my full licence, that would more than likely infuriate Chance Callahan KD0MXN immensely given how much he hates me and thinks in his own little messed-up head that I shouldn't have more privileges than him, but I do not care what he thinks, I just want the world to know that he is nasty and has no place in our hobby and his actions have not really done him favours in regards to this.
73 de 2E0EIJ

Saturday 25 May 2019

Fixing radios in the car without screws, or attempts to at least

So in my last two cars I've wanted to avoid putting screw holes into the dashboard when mounting radios and the extension speaker, fortunately the control panel for the FTM-400XDE comes with a sticky pad for the mounting bracket and this had held it fine in its final place in the current car, the main unit on the other hand has been loose in the glovebox and this was not ideal and in the past I've tried strong double-sided tape that did not hold it for long.

My second try at the beginning of this week was Gorilla tape, which is supposed to be very strong and 'permanent', not so as I also used it on the speaker and that fell off between yesterday evening and the previous night, and because of this I'm wary the main unit of the FTM-400XDE will also fall off, and it is significantly heavier.

My next try will be with Sugru, 5g of which is reportedly able to hold 400x its own weight once it has set according to the manufacturer, the FTM-400XDE is 1.5KG, however I will use as much as I can to ensure the radio stays attached where I want it, as Sugru is able to stick to uneven surfaces it should theoretically allow my FTM-400XDE to attach to the side of the centre console, the substance needing a full 24 hours to cure before any weight is applied to it, as I am planning on fitting a seat runner mount tablet holder for the CHUWI Hi10 Air as well it needs to be able to be installed and not foul it or the movement of the passenger seat (as I plan to run the full APRS setup during the run to Manchester in June I aim to get the tablet mount, and a powered USB hub for other peripherals, fitted as soon as possible).

The other radio to install in the car is the CRT SS9900, as this has an integrated display it is more appropriate to have it where it can be easily reached, this may warrant a coaxial cable extensions be made up for it, I plan to fit a feed for it that uses Anderson Powerpole connectors and take advantage of the full power available for the radio, this feed will be separate to the FTM-400XDE power feed.

I'll post a bit more on this, and probably a video if it all works out as it should, in the near future.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Tuesday 21 May 2019

More focus on Amateur radio, though stepping back from twitter... there comes a point

I have made a decision, for my own good, to step back from twitter and put more focus on Amateur radio (and the rest of the radio hobby too of course) and step back from IRC too, and if you read my twitter you'd understand why but it will be covered here.

An individual who I have simply referred to as 'the disgusting creature' owing to some deplorable and disgusting comments they made about a very frightening experience I had behind the wheel of my car while I was working a few months ago has been, for some considerable amount of time. block evading my twitter and using what they can from it to try and get me to "grow up" after I made the choice to cut ties with this individual because their behaviour was unhealthy and I felt excessively uncomfortable.  This individual later went on to try and find my current home address (without success) using (I only put the closest street onto that as my previous address had been compromised and I refused to allow a repeat it) and using to try and locate my work, again without success as I will NEVER run my APRS beacon during working hours, I only transmit analogue and digital voice during work hours.

This blog and my YouTube channel will not be affected nor will any other website I run, this stepping back mainly affects twitter and to a degree IRC (I run an IRC bouncer at home and therefore don't need to disconnect from IRC completely, just not run any clients on my machines.

This decision was not made lightly, I had become stressed and angered after I discovered my email address signed up to spam and given their track record of doing this in the past I knew full well who did it.

At least with Amateur radio I can not only get away from this unwanted drama, I know it cannot follow me there as this individual is not licensed and their behaviour would not be welcome in the Amateur radio hobby, they've earned a ban from ##hamradio on freenode which proves this point greatly.

My twitter will still be updated just not as regularly as it was and it will be more topics on Amateur radio and my YouTube videos as I upload them, I have no plans to put my YouTube channel on hold at present.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Sunday 19 May 2019

CRT SS9900 returned to the car

The SS9900 has made its way back into the car, connected to the cigarette lighter as before however this time it is plugged into that lead using Anderson Powerpole connectors, which should ensure a satisfactory connection.

The radio was connected to the antenna as well and powered on during my shift last night, popping it into 11-meter mode after I watched a video by fredintheshed on YouTube I had a listen on 27.555 USB (I don't TX on it) and found it was busy compared to other times I have listened in, which more or less correlates with the fredintheshed video, bearing in mind he was receiving on a proper CB antenna and using a Yaesu FT-450D, which is a better setup than my mobile antenna and CRT SS9900, though I have no issues at all with the 9900.

I'm going to have to get the antenna retuned for 10-meters, I just need to shorten the whip as far as I can and hope to do this when I get 5 minutes as it looks like conditions may be picking up and I can start to think about operating 10-meters.

Before I do that I'm going to be trying to do some CB tests using the RTL-SDR at a distance and the legal CBs on a clear enough channel, using the antenna on the car of course, and put the results up to YouTube, most of my CBs are now also on Anderson Powerpole connectors so can use the same lead.

After this I can tune the antenna for 10-meters

73 de 2E0EIJ

Upcoming events at the Colburn & Richmondshire District Amateur Radio Society

The club of which I am a member, the Colburn & Richmondshire District Amateur Radio Society, callsign GX3EKL, have, albeit in my absence due to work commitments, put up a a summer programme of events, complete with an idea that I was going to suggest myself to the club however it looks like Chris G4FZN got the idea in before I could (great minds think alike), that being a "fox hunt", or ARDF (Amateur radio direction finding).

The first meeting of June sees the club erecting a colinear thus putting it on air on 2-meters and 70cm, which since its formation it rarely if ever has been and from its elevated point at Hudwell it should do quite well with, ideal for those new to the hobby and not gaining the confidence yet to go on HF, I hope to be there for this however work commitments may not allow for this so what I can do is help out on receive from my car, this should allow me to participate in some capacity with the club when I am not able to attend due to work, though on operating nights only.

The direction finding appears to be taking place in August, due to slightly conflicting schedules I may or may not be able to attend however this remains to be seen, the regular Wednesday meetings usually depend on work commitments, however with an increasing number of drivers at the place I work it may well be that I will be able to make more club meetings however we will see.

The calendar of events for the club can be found here and at time of originally posting the events listing goes from the 5th June to the 16th October, a link to the club's website can now be found at the side of this blog (for computer and most tablet browsers) and if you are in the Richmond area and have an interest in Amateur radio or are licenced then we at the club welcome you to pop in, and membership details can be found on the website if you wish to become a member, the more the merrier as they say.

I attend most meetings where possible and if I am there please do say hi

73 de 2E0EIJ

Saturday 18 May 2019

Testing the Leixen VV-898 on APRS receive and the hopeful igate plans

I've set up the Leixen VV-898 on a power supply and connected the antenna from the NooElec NESDR SMArt to it, using a creative method to adapt it and left it on RX on the APRS channel, so far it sounds like it is working fine on RX however I'd like to test it out both ways at some point.

This did indicate that APRS activity around here is next to non-existent though I did hear the odd packet come through over the course of this, and there is, of course, a blackspot in the area as far as APRS is concerned, with there no longer being an igate in the locality which is inspiring me to apply for the NoV to run an igate from home, the radio is capable of 10 watts though can be dropped to 5 watts if needs be, the radio has already been configured to make it a little difficult for anyone casually going near it to press buttons and change settings as well as to turn off the backlight if no buttons are pressed to save energy.

I have alluded to looking to purchase the Yaesu FT2D now it has come down in price and with APRS on board it makes sense to have an igate in the locality, and it would be of benefit to other local hams, at present the closest igates are MB7UMB at about 13 miles LOS and MB7UVU which is a little further than that in the opposite direction, not ideal on a handheld right down in a built up area.

I am now looking at a TNC and have my eye on the TNC-Pi from the US, sadly I cannot find any local sellers of this unit and would have to import it from America then build a custom loom for the VV-898 to work with it and do various bench tests with the radio and the Pi to get everything just so, it may also require a ground loop isolator though I can get these cheaply off Amazon or ebay.

As I plan to run this unit off a battery and solar charging I will need to fit a fusebox to the output of the charge controller then an output with Anderson PowerPole connectors to take the radio connection, this way should someone unplug the radio it can be reconnected without causing a reverse-polarity incident, I also intend to fit a stop button to the same circuit and a heavy current relay to kill the radio instantly if requested to do so by Ofcom or in an emergency, a light will be added to the shed as well ahead of time all being well.

The antenna, well I have a clever plan for that one to disguise it from the local residents.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Thursday 16 May 2019

YouTube channel “Ringway Manchester” on indefinite hiatus

I, amongst the many that are subscribed to YouTube channel “Ringway Manchester” by Lewis M3HHY, found out yesterday that for personal reasons, Lewis has had to make that hard decision to put the channel onto an indefinite hiatus, some very sad news as his radio reviews were truthful and honest, and I as such bought one radio he reviewed based on that fact, the Retevis RT87, I also own a Radio-Tone RT-3 Network radio which he also did a review on however I bought it based on exploring Network Radios rather than Lewis’ review.

This means I may not be working him through GB3MN and/or GB3MR as hoped, however in the grand scheme of things there are things that take priority over YouTube channels and the radio hobby, those must come first and the hobby and YouTube have to take a back seat until such times they can be returned to.

I, as a fellow Amateur radio operator and YouTuber, wish Lewis well and I hope that whatever is happening in his life right now is resolved with a positive outcome and he returns to YouTube and Amateur radio, if he has also had to step away from it which I get the impression he has had to do as well, sometime soon.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Wednesday 8 May 2019

Manchester repeaters and potential for possible QSO with M3HHY

So today I received some good news that will involve me driving to Manchester, and my first ever use of GB3MR and GB3MN, as these are the local repeaters of Lewis M3HHY from YouTube channel Ringway Manchester there is a potential that I could work him for the first time during this journey and maybe on the return leg too while in the coverage of both those repeaters, one is 70cm, one is 2-meters.

I try and work through local repeaters when I can on journeys that take me away from home while /m, gives me an idea of what is actually going on from a radio standpoint there, and also get me on the air through repeaters I’ve would not otherwise be able to use.

I am not going to divulge any information on the nature of the journey or the news I received as it is off-topic for this blog and there are certain individuals on the Internet that do not need to know why I am travelling to Manchester, nor on what date, it will be a few weeks before I go though.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Friday 3 May 2019

APRS in-car mapping again

The new tablet arrived a few days ago and I got it working with APRSIS32, the Bluetooth GPS receiver and the FTM-400XDE, so I took it out for a test run to see how it faired, it worked fine and was able to show me stations that the radio received, as well as gate them to APRS-IS but it also showed up stations out of range as I used my phone as a WiFi hotspot to connect it to the Internet, in a previous post I mentioned that I need a mount, I still do as it is not quite the end of May yet, in fact it’s only the beginning of May.

As the tablet is Windows 10 it should also allow me to update the firmware of the radio and reprogram it as needed, though I don’t have a need to do either in a hurry as the radio is working and as far as I am aware there are no major fixes though I will double-check Yaesu’s website in the coming weeks.

The best test for the setup will be long journeys though at present I have none planned, next one hopefully will be the Bowburn rally and after that the National Hamfest, though by the latter I should be an M0 by then.

I’ll keep you posted on this topic

73 de 2E0EIJ