Friday, November 20, 2015

Packet Radio 2016

Data at 1200 baud?    That's plain and simple baud - not Mega bauds or Giga Bauds..   Crazy?  Maybe not.  Much of what we do when Video isn't involved can be handled with slow and simple systems.

If we do it right...

Here's a start of a fresh look at  putting 1980's data technology to real use.

  1. No more than one digipeater.   
  2. Use APRS for resource discovery.
  3. Separate users and data backhaul.  Shared channels cause exponential degregation of performance.
  4. Use full duplex digipeaters for wide area resources.
  5. Use DAMA style resource management. 
  6. Move away from fixed mode hardware TNC's.  Soundcard packet options are here and offer higher speeds and better data simply by changing the software.
  7. much more...

Friday, October 30, 2015

Who's the backup?

It's easy to donate resource to ham projects.   What happens when you don't control those resources?  Who's the backup?   Who's the backup for the backup?


How often do you eat at McDonalds?

Quick, easy, relatively inexpensive.   Why not eat there all the time?

Same can be said for Ham Radio over the Internet...   Quick, easy and inexpensive.  Who needs to bother with silly radios, antennas and all that stuff...

Or maybe it's just like cooking at home..   Better, healthier, learn more, more fun...   It's radio that makes what we do special.  When we bypass the radio - which is so easy to do these days - we lose all the opportunities that make make it so much more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

First Gigabit Link

Purchased a Netgear GS105Ev2, mostly for education about modern networking with VLANS - as described by AREDN.   Secondary was putting it to use right away on the new 'real-IP' home LAN.

GS105E or GS105Ev work.  Other similar models are not 'managed' and will not work.

Put the GS105Ev2 between connection to web switch in the computer nook and the upstairs home computer.  Noticed that both LED's were lit on the switch - left light is 100 MB, right light is 10 MB.  Both is 1000 MB or 1 GB.   Need to check that cable as it might not be CAT 5E or CAT 6.  Regardless it's showing as 1 GB and that's the first I've noticed a link like that even with all the various local network circuits.

It does have a nice web interface. The only trick is accessing it the first time ( in order to put it in DHCP mode so it can be accessed on the local LAN. Manually setting a system to the 192.168.0 net should allow access and that initial tweak. The web interface looks like a functional duplicate of the Windows management application.. So outside of the install issues and the byte counters that count bytes (instead of the much more practical petabytes) I'm still giving it a thumbs up.

AREDN - Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network documentation

Ken said:

Mine was already in DHCP mode and all I had to do was query the openwrt router for the assigned address. Pointed the browser at it and there it was.  Thumbs up here too.

Contest rules changing to allow use of 146.52

This is a really bad idea.... 

From The ARRL Letter for October 22, 2015‏:
The EC took note of the Programs & Services Committee (PSC) endorsement of a VHF and Above Revitalization Committee recommendation to end the prohibition to contest use of 146.52 MHz, the traditional 2 meter FM simplex "calling channel." Advance notification of the rule change has been communicated to the full Board, and the change will take effect in 2016, starting with the January VHF Contest.

  • The simplex channel, 146.52, has always been a quiet watering hole for conversations during active contests.  That will be less possible if there are contests using the channel.
  • It's good for hams at home and mobile to monitor the radio, usually 146.52, all the time.  A weekend of contest chaos blasting from a normally quiet radio will result in those radios being turned off - and probably not turned back on.
  • The idea of Priority Tone 123.0 Hz use on 146.52 won't necessarily be affected by this.  Or even worse totally cluttered if somebody makes contest contacts with tone enabled.
  • Summits on the Air (SOTA) activity is picking up and they make good use of 146.52.
  • Contest folks NEED a calling channel on VHF two meters.  Some don't operate because they don't know where they should go.  That's easy to fix without cluttering 146.52 - use 146.55 for the contest calls.
  • Contests need more activity.  Ham Radio needs more activity.   A different tweak to the operations would, in my opinion, get more folks on the air.  To Be Posted Soon...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

ICOM IC-7100

Good reivew on the IC-7100 by M0ZZM


  • It does RTTY natively.   That's a big plus.  RTTY is one of the many Ham Radio modes I've never tried.  I did have a MARS provided 19" rack mount dual diversity tube decoder many many years ago.  I copied a few RTTY transmissions with it but never transmitted.  In the good old days it required adding small capacitors on the tuning VFO to pull the frequency.  Today it's just another program...
  • AB4OJ 7100 notes

Monday, October 19, 2015

Portable Go Box

>> This is an nice post by VE6AB, the same author that had the article on
>> HF APRS in the last QST.
>> My DSP TNC is on order.  Looking forward to exercising it on all band
>> with all modes once it arrives.

> Are you going to put it in your car, your boat or plane? What radio are you going to use?

The plan now is to build it into a portable communications Go box.
It'll have the good old ICOM IC-706Mk2, a small switching power
supply, manual tuner and basic netbook for controlling the radio and
talking to the TNC.

So the next time I'm visiting Montana or Seaside I should be able to
check in to the Traffic Net or Noon-Time-Net or voice, run Robust
Packet for tracking on 30 meters and access the local 9600/1200 packet
infrastructure on VHF/UHF.

It's a fun little project that may turn out to be very useful...