DMR Sites of Interest Around The Web

DIGITAL MOBILE RADIOIf you are new to DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) there are a ton of Web sites that provide helpful and/or interesting information.

This list is in no particular order and I do plan to update it as I find other sites of interest.

The folks who run the Brandmeister Network have developed many cool Web pages but one of particular interest to newbies is Hoseline.  You can actually listen in on QSO’s in progress. By clicking the Talk Groups drop down, you can change the TG you are listening to. You may use the Scan feature to listen in on several TG’s.

KG5RKI has developed DMR Netwatch Map which includes information from related sites. It’s a work in progress but well worth the visit.

N0GSG has developed free software called Contact Manager where you can maintain code plugs from various vendors all in a single app. Code plug conversions between radios are also possible.  As of this post Contact Manager works with the CS700/750/800 Tytera MD380/390/390GPS, Retevis RT3, and AnyTone AT-D858 Radios.

W2XAB published a rather comprehensive PDF in 2015 called the Amateur’s Guide to Digital Mobile Radio. It’s worth the read for anyone interested in learning more about DMR.

K2YO and the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club presented an Introduction to DMR which does an excellent job of covering DMR for the newbie.

KC5HWB is the creator of HamRadio 2.0. As of this post, Jason has published around 90 videos. Many of  his videos cover reviews of various DMR radios, code plug programming and HotSpot reviews. If you want to purchase ham radio equipment, check out Jason’s ham radio store at Grapevine Amateur Radio.

The PRN System offers a Wide Area Digital Amateur Radio Network which spans areas of North and South Carolina as well as areas of Virginia.  Their Web Site offers a Getting Started Page, Repeater and Talk Group Information, Code Plug downloads and more!

KC7JOE’s blog has detailed information Fusion, DMR, DSTAR and HF NETS. Check out his Amateur Ham Radio Net List.

N2NSA has detailed information related to repeaters which connect to the New York Metro DMR Repeater Network. 

Use my Contact Form if you have or know of a DMR site that would be of interest to others.

Enjoy! 73 Gary KE2YK

How To Take Your SharkRF OpenSpot Portable!

Take Your Openspot Portable

Take Your Openspot Portable

I recently grabbed a SharkRF OpenSpot from Grapevine Amateur Radio. As of this post, Jason KC5HWB sells the units shipped for $215. What’s better than buying Ham Gear from a Ham! Jason does a video series on “What’s New In Ham Radio”. Be sure to check out his HamRadio 2.0 site for the latest and greatest goodies!

Since I already have a DVMega / Bluespot for the Ham Shack my plan was to set up the OpenSpot for portable operation.

Installed my Gatcepot 24000mAh 5.5A Universal 3-Port Ultra-High Capacity Power Bank , TPLink Nano Router and the SharkRF OpenSpot into the Pelican 1150 case and now go 100% portable by tethering the router to my iPhone 7.

With inspiration from Rob AK7RM’s how to (thanks Rob), I threw my How To version together with some extra info to help with the setup process. I also wanted to specifically cover the problem that hung me up for a bit. Check the note about the SSID value.

This how to is written specifically for use with the the TPLink Nano Router and an iPhone7 in Hotspot mode. However you can probably adapt it to any similar setup.

Get your copy of my OpenSpot Portable Ops document.

Enjoy! Hope To Catch you on DMR 73 – Gary KE2YK

Special Event – US Rangers Museum – 6/19/17

Event Date: 19 June 2017

Event Title: GB0USR

Location: US Rangers museum, Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland.
GB0USR (United States rangers ) 75th anniversary of rangers foundation in 19th June 1942. Only US unit founded outside the US.

Website: http://www.qrz.com/db/GB0USR

Talk In:

Public Contact Info: GI0BFO
Johnston Dixon
16 Glenview Ave.
Belfast
BT5 7LZ
U.K.

Pubic Contact Phone: 02890791464

Public Contact Email: gi0bfo@talktalk.net

30th International Marconi Day

International Marconi Day

Many registered award stations will be on the air taking part in the 2017 International Marconi Day that is on April 22, 0000-2359 UTC (starting on April 21 in US time zones).

This year marks the 30th IMD, held each year that honors the anniversary of the wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi born on April 25, 1874.

This event is not a contest but provides a way for Amateur Radio Operators to make contacts with Marconi sites using HF equipment.

For detailed information visit:

ARRL International Marconi Day Article.

National Parks on the Air

National Parks on the Air https://npota.arrl.org/nps-events.php
Throughout 2016, Amateur Radio will be helping the National Park Service celebrate their 100th anniversary. Hams from across the country will activate NPS units, promote the National Park Service and showcase Amateur Radio to the public.

National Parks on the Air

National WW1 Museum Event

National WWI MuseumEvent Date: October 8-9, 2016

Event Title: WW1USA

Location: National WW1 Museum, Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, MO

Website:

Talk In: 145.1300

Public Contact Info: National World War 1 Museum Amateur Radio Club
100 W. 26th St
Kansas City, MO 64108

Battles of Isonzo, Hosted by the Raytown ARC, www.k0gq.com

All licensed operators can get $5 admission to the Museum.

More info at QRZ as well

Pubic Contact Phone: 816-888-8100

Public Contact Email: ww1usa@theworldwar.org

Image

GSARA Hamfest – May 2016

GSARA Hamfest

Install DV4Mini Console On Raspberry PI

DV4mini Console SoftwareAs a retired ‘NIX Systems Admin I still have to find out what makes things tick.

So I decided to build a Raspberry Pi 2 model B using a 32Gb Micro USB Card and the vanilla copy of Raspian Jessie 8 into a fully working DV4mini Console.

I used Putty with the DHCP provided IP address to run raspi-config expanding the file system and to change default localization settings.

Then it was on to installing x11vnc so I could work from my Windoze desktop using Tightvnc. Next it was getting the Edimax Wireless card online. From there I installed Mono 4.0 (Note: an 8GB Micro USB Card will run out of space while installing Mono 4.0) and finally the DV4Mini Console.

Since I created a series of crib sheets, I put a home-brew forum together as a central repository for my notes.

For those interested, go straight to my work-in-progress forum at KE2YK’s Ham Radio and Systems Forum. BTW, You don’t need to register to poke around its contents.

72 and 73,
Gary KE2YK Email me for additional help!

DV4Mini Dongle

DV4mini HotspotLook! In the Shack! It’s a Memory Stick, it’s a Wireless Card. NO it’s SUPERDONGLE! Yes SUPERDONGLE, able to leap huge RF gaps, more powerful than a 10 KW Amp, faster than….

Okay Okay, so it’s just a dongle but it’s sure packed with features!

The DV4mini is a very small but also very capable USB Stick that can expand any system running Windows or LINUX into a Hotspot for the D-STAR, DMR, C4FM and APCO P25 modes.

The DVmini is a powerful 32 bit micro controller, a complete 70 cm transceiver and a modulator/demodulator for GMSK and 4FSK and a USB interface.

One nice feature of the DV4mini is that it does not require external power. The unit gets powered from the USB interface. For some of us that means less complicated portable use.

Another feature is the included software package which is easy to use and easily links with DSTAR, DMR+, P25 and Fusion reflectors.

There are many Hams who have DV radios but are out of range of the nearest DV repeater. DV4mini to the rescue! The DV4mini creates a hotspot with minimal resources and provides access to many DV networks.

The Code Plug:

Assuming you have your associated Channel and Zone set up in your radio to operate the DV4mini hotspot, you should be ready to go with setting up the DV4mini software.

For DMR+.  My Hytera PD-362 DMR HT is set up at 436.000 tx and rx (default for DMR+ in the software), Talk Group 9, low power and TX Admit set to always allow.

HYTERA PD362 Channel For DV4mini

 

Setting Up The Mini:

My Dv4mini was up in running in a matter of minutes. Yes, I did scan through the manual first.

Presently I am only working the DMR+ systems. Some may ask, what is DMR+ as opposed to DMR?Simply put DMR+ is the Hytera network (more widely used in Europe but growing rapidly in the US). DMR is the TRBO-DMR network. To my knowledge the two networks are incompatible for a number of reasons. Hytera DMR+ is more ham radio friendly in that repeaters can directly interconnect without expensive bridging equipment.

Once again, my old Windows 7 Lenovo T60 Laptop came in handy.

The first thing to understand is that the DV4mini software is no longer supported on XP. Since XP is also no longer supported by Microsoft, security vulnerabilities would not be something I’d want in my shack anyway. However, if you insist on using XP it is recommended that you flash your stick with the older version 1.4 firmware. Read the manual to find out how to flash your stick….

As the software download Web page states, the first software package you need to install is VS2013 redistributable package from the Microsoft Web site. This is nothing more than a run time version of Visual C++. The 32 bit version is required even if you are using a 64 bit Windows O/S.

Now download the Windows software and perform a normal windows style install. A desktop icon will be created as part of the install process.

Next, connect the antenna, insert the unit into the USB port and start the software. In the status window you should see that your DV4mini was found.

Configuring The DV4Mini Software:

On the DV CONTROL PANEL, for DMR+ I entered my DMR id, call, grid square and location. DMR+ as my DV option and reflector 4639 USA-Nationwide.

DV4mini DV Control Panel

Now to the expert panel where I checked the auto-connect option and set my DMR Master to USA-EAST. Select the DMR Master closest to your QTH.

There are two other settings to pay attention to on the EXPERT PAGE.

QRG which is the offset in HZ between your radio and the DV4mini transceiver. Depending on the radio you use, you may have to adjust the QRG and ask for a few radio checks to insure your packet loss has been minimized.

The transmit buffer size is dependent on your network. I have had success with this set at .25 since I have a high speed network here.

DV4MINI EXPERT PANEL

Final Thoughts:

The Dv4mini is an excellent way to get on the DV networks. It is reliable, easy to upgrade and operate. There are a number of additional features that you will discover as you work with the unit. Again, I am only working DMR+ so I am sure you will learn more than I have when you explore the other DV’s.

My experience shows that you need to operate a distance from the DV4mini so that you don’t overdrive it. One ham I spoke to used foil to shield the unit.

Interested in getting one?

In the USA, visit Wireless Hold

Videos about the DV4Mini and links to the manual and software can be obtained at the bottom of the Wireless Hold home page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N6T at Rocklin Maker Faire

Public Contact Email: kp4md@arrl.org
Website: http://makerfairerocklin.com/attend/
Location: Sierra College, 5000 Rocklin Rd, Rocklin, CA 95677
Event Date: 10/3/2015
Event Title: N6T at Rocklin Maker Faire
Talk In: N6NA/R 145.250 MHz, – offset, PL 162.2
Public Contact Info: Special Event Station N6T will be active from the ‪‎ARRL‬ booth #49 at the Rocklin ‪Maker Faire‬ at Sierra College 1700-2200 UTC on 10-40 meters HF and 2 meter FM.  Frequencies will be posted on www.facebook.com/ARRLSacramentoValley
Pubic Contact Phone: (916) 782-3786