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Wednesday 19 June 2019

Hopeful attendance at the Colburn & Richmondshire District Amateur Radio Society and exam booking

Tonight I hope to attend the club, primarily as they have a guest speaker, and secondly to book my advanced exam before the end of August or I face being tested against material I have not studied due to the syllabus change.

The guest speaker will be talking about their life in Amateur radio, which will be nice to hear about as they do hold a G prefix callsign, this will be my first attendance at the club in the last couple of months, after I missed the colinear installation, however on passing the venue recently I have seen how the colinear is erected, this will be handy to guide new visitors to the venue either over simplex or on the repeater, this club visit will also allow me to take the Yaesu FT2D with me.

I would need to speak to whoever holds the position of exam secretary at the club in order to arrange the exam, as well as be able to have the invigilators available, getting the exam booked means I will still be tested to the old syllabus and will have time to catch up and revise, though I do have a guest scheduled to arrive in approximately one week from today, though as this guest has shown an interest in Amateur radio they may want to get a licence themselves, and I do have some plans for this summer for radio as well as the M0 exam

There will be an update later on should I attend the club, though the update may be posted tomorrow if I am not able to post it today.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Monday 10 June 2019

Devastating news for digital voice mode users

It has come to my attention that Chance Callahan KD0MXN had obtained a DMR ID in December 2018, and all this time I was under the impression that he was strictly D-STAR, however not so.

The DMR ID for gateway and repeater operators to blacklist, if this is even possible, is 3122805 if you value the safety of your gateway or repeater and Amateur radio operators worldwide, this comes as a massive blow because DMR reflectors and talkgroups can be crosslinked to Yaesu System Fusion, though I do use DMR myself and this means he could potentially send threatening and harassing messages over DMR as it supports a form of text messaging.

From what I can tell the contacts list in my DMR HT is not up to date from that point, however as I bought a radio for DMR that can record the second I hear a voice contact from him the second it gets recorded and then forwarded to the FCC to be dealt with, I can only summise the primary reason he got a DMR ID in the first place was to access the DMR network and harass me, obviously he won't be telling people that as he is a very sneaky conniving young man.

From what I can also tell is that because the DMR reflectors and talkgroupls I use are also accessible on YSF reflectors and FCS reflectors I can access from my Jumbospot through my two existing YSF radios, neither of which are able to record as far as I know however I am never far away from a computer or my mobile phone.

So why should we blacklist this young man from DMR? here's the list

I was hoping it would be some months before I would be posting about the single individual in our hobby that by rights should not be part of it, it sickens me that he is because his behaviour, attitude and history go contrary to what Amateur radio is all about, the sooner the FCC do revoke his license the better.

On closing he made a remark in ##hamradio on freenode on the 18th May speculating that a user there could have been an AI written by a University, considering his track record his speculations tend to become accusations pretty quickly.

I know that it will be a matter of time before the individual I refer to as the 'disgusting creature' will pass this on to him, however the stress caused to me will be low to nil unless of course I hear him on the air via CQ-UK or Hubnet as these are the primary places on DMR and YSF I monitor when not monitoring GB3IR or GB3HG.

73 de 2E0EIJ 

POCSAG in Amateur radio

The dreaded POCSAG (dreaded if you run cheap Chinese radios on 2-meters) has found it's way into Amateur radio, the Germans have been running it for years, in recent months I've seen an option for it in Pi-Star however up until a few days ago my Jumbospot would not be able to transmit it, however the board received a firmware upgrade and should now transmit it.

To receive it from the Jumbospot I'd need a pager though my RTL-SDR combined with PDW can do the same thing, however though I want to play with it I'm not sure what I could do with it or how it fits in Amateur radio however the Germans have it sorted, getting a used UK pager would not work  because the Jumbospot and the standardised frequency used are both in 70cm and UK pagers are set on 153MHz.

I am a fan of the older technology, pagers are no exception to this, even though I now know that poorly built 2-meter rigs (Chinese ones primarily) suffer badly from commercial installations of POCSAG and FLEX transmitters as these are so high powered and the radios alluded to have wide front ends, people may ask why I want to buy or even use a pager, however if it's in Amateur radio it would be free and I am pretty sure some kind of QSO can be done using them over the DAPNET.

Perhaps in the coming months I will play with this, after all it is there so why not.

73 de 2E0EIJ

In-car tablet mount delivered today

The mount for the CHUWI Hi10 Air tablet has arrived today, though yet to be installed, as you know the tablet will get used for APRS map display with the Yaesu FTM-400XDE and I needed to be able to mount the tablet to something.

So the mount needs fitting to the seat runner on the passenger side of the vehicle, I plan to include a USB 2 hub in the setup as well to allow a couple of extra peripherals such as a wireless keyboard and mouse, the Logitech K400 fits the bill well as it has a laptop style track pad so operating APRSIS32 would not be an issue at that point, the USB hub required to be able to plug two devices into the tablet (the radio would need the com port reallocating at the tablet end as this would break the setup as it currently is).

As the tablet charges from USB-C this means I can run it from the charging cable on long journeys, the tablet should gate anything it gets from the radio to the APRS-IS and also keep tracking active where the radio cannot transmit to an igate or digipeater itself.

I have test fitted the tablet on the mount without attaching it to the gooseneck that would hold it down, it fits snugly and should stay in place on the bumpiest of roads all being well, however that remains to be seen until after installation.

I hope to get the mount fitted to the car sometime this week, the speaker for the FTM-400XDE also needs reattaching as even Sugru does not seem to hold it despite the fact the FTM-400XDE itself is still held in place and is the heavier item, I could fix the speaker to the gooseneck of the tablet mount as it seems to be of good quality and I'll be attaching, somehow, a USB hub to it anyway.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Monday 3 June 2019

Yaesu FT2D has arrived

The latest addition to my collection of radios, the Yaesu FT2D, has arrived, and it seems to be a well sorted radio, I did note immediately that like my Retevis RT87 it has the female SMA connector for the antenna on the radio, again this seems to be to do with waterproofing however I do not believe the antennas are interchangeable between the two radios in any way.

The APRS is working and my local repeaters are programmed in to it, by hand as the supplied USB cable is only any good if you want to update the firmware, which I may need to do.

The radio is on its 9 hour charge, as the supplied charger is not a drop in charger, the only other HTs I have bought that did not include one are the licence-free HTs by Intek and Midland despite the Intek radios having this provision, those radios were a fraction of the cost of the FT2D so it's my only real criticism of the radio.

It works on receive fine on C4FM, TX I've not been able to test as it was at that point the battery ran out, FM transmits fine and I got a brief QSO on the local repeater with Dave G8YPN just as he got home.

So my second Yaesu radio and the day of purchase not ruined by the nasty Chance Callahan KD0MXN doing something horrible to me, nor the nasty stalker doing something, primarily because of my step-back from Twitter (infrequent tweets) and IRC (seriously reduced activity), though because the former is licensed and can use anything that uses Internet linking which are generally found on 2-meters and 70cm he could quite easily have harassed me and further stabbed me in the back, but he didn'.

I am in the process of doing the video for the radio, however that won't be completed until much later in the week.

In an unrelated note a colleague of mine gave me a wind-up broadcast receiver either as spare parts or to repair, as he had no use for it and it didn't appear to work, I've wound the crank and found that the internal battery is low on charge.

73 de 2E0EIJ

Sunday 2 June 2019

Update to mounting radios for /m in the car with Sugru

On Thursday, my day off, I went over to Darlington to pick up some Sugru, on returning home I used it to attach the speaker bracket and the FTM-400XDE bracket in the places I wanted them, 24 hours later the speaker was put back onto the bracket and a little over 36 hours later the FTM-400XDE went onto its bracket and it appears to hold well.

With the next job to do is to fit the mount for the tablet, which is on order, into the car, which will require me to get a relatively large torx driver to remove by the looks of it (a good reference is the Haynes manual for the car), the radio is close by so there would be no stress on the data cable running to the tablet and it will also be set up so that there is a USB-C cable for the tablet in order to run it on the longer journeys, which will be tried out for the first time on the 26th June.

I'll give the Sugru a bit longer and see how well it stays on, and if it holds for beyond a week I'll use it on the CRT SS9900 as well provided I can get the antenna cable to it, a very non-standard use for Sugru but it seems to work, and is useful both in and out of the Amateur radio hobby.

My next post should be on the arrival of my Yaesu FT2D tomorrow which a video will be filmed for it, and that video may have a segment in it similar to that done by YouTube user "knoxieman" G6LNK, though rather than just range in the case of his videos I plan it to be a test of audio as well against the Chinese competition, as I have lots of Chinese radios, it may take a couple of days to do this however due to work commitments and other commitments, a post will be up as soon as the radio lands.

73 de 2E0EIJ