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D-RATS over D-STAR - new life in the old program
In D-STAR
D-RATS over D-STAR - new life in the old program
In D-STAR
Can I post quality entertainment electronics?
In Items for Sale
AREDN
In ARES Technology Research
Chris VE3NRT
Oct 21, 2020
Here's a short article by K1CE from the ARRL "ARES Letter" on October 21, 2020. It provides yet another reason to use technologies like AREDN - preservation of Spectrum for radio amateurs. While the range of these devices is limited to near line-of-site, the high speed and lower power consumption are very compelling. We need people in high places (literally) to make this vision a reality. It would work very well from apartment balconies, towers (of course), hilltops for mobile operations, etc. 73, Chris, VE3NRT. K1CE for a Final: Use or Lose the SHF Bands; Increase Data Speed, Modes for Keeping Up with Needs of Served Partner Agencies The FCC's decision to delete the amateur service from the 3.3 - 3.5 GHz allocation sent a chill down my spine. The message is clear: we must use our super high frequencies (SHF) or risk losing even more access. There is ever-increasing demand by our served partner agencies for higher speed data, digital voice and image transfer, the kinds of data rates that are made possible by the greater bandwidth afforded by our access to the SHF spectrum. There are many forward-thinking amateur groups around the country that are exemplary. The 5 cm amateur band was recently used for filing a wildfire report - on September 8, 2020, two hams in the Puget Sound region of Washington State were watching the live camera feed from the Mt. Baldy HamWAN site and spotted and reported a wildfire in the surrounding forest. The Ham Wide Area Network is a system of commercial microwave radios tuned to the 5.65-5.925 GHz amateur radio band. Data speeds between the link sites vary depending on the path, but speeds four orders of magnitude faster than 9600 baud packet is common. Video cameras with PTZ control have been added to many of the link sites. The use of HamWAN as a backup emergency communications system throughout the Interstate-5 corridor in Washington is growing. The Washington Emergency Management Division EOC, the Washington State Department of Transportation Southwest Region EOC, two county and four city EOCs, three hospitals, and one Red Cross office already have permanent connections (so far). The Northwest Ohio Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) Mesh Steering Committee (Lucas County ARES) conducted a drill focused on setting up individually-owned AREDN Mesh gear, troubleshooting and operating the ancillary gear (phones, cameras, laptops, self-contained power boxes) on an individual basis. Numerous law enforcement officers from Wood County as well as from Lucas and Monroe counties in Michigan were enthusiastic about the Mesh Networking capabilities. In Colorado, the Boulder ATV club installed its new 5.9 GHz, FM-TV beacon transmitter on a government building for the purposes of encouraging microwave experimentation; to get hams to try ATV, especially with the really low cost FM-TV gear now available for drones; to be used as a known signal source for testing antennas and receivers; and to increase usage of our microwave bands, to help prevent their being taken away from us. Use it or lose it. Add microwave apps to your ARES toolkits. There is a wealth of information from ARRL to get you started. A quick click on any search engine will lend more. Copyright © 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Posted with permission.
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Winlink Express - How to get going
In ARES Technology Research
Chris VE3NRT
Oct 10, 2020
Results of the experiments with different protocols by Pablo VA3HDL and me. We used P2P mode to send messages to each other. Neither of us had a VARA software licence which provides much higher speed transmission. The licence is $69 US. VA3HDL used his FT991A while VE3NRT used an Elecraft K3. AX.25 Packet, using Direwolf (VE3NRT) and Sound Modem (VA3HDL). Worked well at 1200bps on both 2m FM and 10m SSB. We could not get it working at 9600bps. VA3HDL has an FT991A which has a USB interface without serial port PTT. While the slow speed version of Sound Modem has CAT control, the high speed version doesn't. Direwolf, which supports both low speed and high speed modes in 1 program, does not have CAT control on Windows, although it does on LInux. VE3NRT was able to transmit 9600 bps messages using Direwolf. When VA3HDL put his 2m antenna on his tower he was able to send messages into the Winlink system through the gateway run by VA3MCT. VARA-HF Tried on 80M SSB. Worked fine. VE3NRT tried the mode for standard Winlink messages through several gateways up to 1000 km away. The "slow" mode in VARA send a short message with all headers in about 2 minutes. VARA-FM Tried on 2m which worked well and similar to AX25 1200bps packet. ARDOP This mode, designed for HF, was tried on 80M and worked at about the same speed as VARA-HF. Conclusions All the above modes, with the exception of Direwolf, are quite easy to set up. Sound Modem is favoured by the Winlink community although Linux users may prefer to use Direwolf as it works on Linux and is also open source, unlke the others. ARDOP is also open source but the performance is not fantastic. VARA is the highest performance software modem on both FM and HF but requires a USD 69 licence. It is, however, very popular and there are lots of gateways available. Pactor 4 is higher performance but is more then 10x the price of the VARA licence. Further testing will require VE3NRT to erect a 2m antenna where it can be heard at a distance. This will hopefully be done soon. Chris VE3NRT
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First Virtual Club Meeting
In Photos from YRARC events
Technology FAQ
In ARES Technology Research
Chris VE3NRT
Oct 06, 2020
Several of the 2020 seasons presentations on VHF/UHF digital communications technology at YRARC club meetings mentioned "codeplugs". I more or less understood what they were from the context, but today I decided to look it up. I found this explanation which seems pretty good to me. Let me know if you have any comments or information that would further clarify this term. Just like we still say "the tape is rolling" in an age where tape is hardly used any more, this term is a bit of a relic, having lost its original meaning to the relentless march of technology. Back in the good old days, radios used crystals to control the frequencies and sometimes had internal jumpers for various options. Later on, options were set using a jack on the back of the radio. Plugs had wire jumpers which configured the radio by plugging into the jack. These became the original code plugs. Later on, more things were controlled by these code plugs, such as tone encode/decode. As radios became microprocessor controlled, the external code plugs moved inside the radio as programming information. The term has remained with us even there's not much that still plugs in. The code plug contains the operating frequencies, tone selections, timeout values, system IDs, etc. These days, the code plug is just a relatively small binary file that's transferred to or from the radio and a computer. So it seems a code plug is very similar or identical to a configuration file that we commonly used when programming a radio using the manufacturers configuration software or from third party software like RT Systems.
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Winlink Express - How to get going
In ARES Technology Research
Wanted - Rack-mounted junk
In Items for Sale
Wanted - Rack-mounted junk
In Items for Sale
Chris VE3NRT
Aug 22, 2020
That would be great Ron. Thank you.
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Wanted - Rack-mounted junk
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Chris VE3NRT

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