AD6DM-10 VHF Winlink RMS Gateway is on the Air

Winlink RMS Gateway AD6DM-10 is up, and serving the ham community. After collecting parts of this system for a few weeks, it is operational on 145.630 MHz in CM98hj. It is comprised of: An Alinco DR-135T VHF 2 meter transceiver set to 20 watts power An Arrow OSJ J-Pole up 21 ft at the home QTH A Masters Communications DRA-50 radio sound card interface with an Alinco-6 Mini DIN 6 adapter And a mini PC (Windows 10) and running on 12 volt power. Solar charged offgrid LiFePO4 battery power, for uninterrupted uptime (same system the shack rig uses). Software running the gateway are: UZ7HO Soundmodem, software TNC that provides PTT… Read More

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Amateur Radio Texting Using APRS

Experienced hams have been talking about using APRS messages for SMS texting to friends and family for a few years now. I was mildly interested but found messaging tedious on a handheld transceiver, as well as the brief privacy implications of APRS SMS registration a barrier to entry. However, when I finally bit the bullet and tried it out, especially with KI6NAZ’s revelations from using an Android tablet to compose messages (in Winlink), I realized that this is a fantastic and wholly viable option to traditional messaging when cell service is down in your immediate area. Hence, I present to you my documented findings of amateur radio texting using APRS.… Read More

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Podcast is Live

I had a weird journey toward making a podcast. I never really thought about doing one, after all, what would I talk about? I had a hard enough time making videos I was genuinely interested in. But I did have a problem: My PC Speakers were picking up errant noise from the motherboard and graphics card. The built-in audio-output of the motherboard would have a low buzzing noise when I was doing CPU or graphics intensive tasks, and it was getting annoying. So I started researching external USB sound devices that could utilize the Left/Right balanced line inputs to my speakers. At first it was simple, but with covid-19 sequester,… Read More

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Some Number Stations Sunday Morning

This morning I thought I’d search for number stations on the bands. According to Priyom.com, Number stations are shortwave transmissions from foreign intelligence agencies to spies in the field of foreign countries. They carry encrypted messages in form of groups of numbers or letters, using either automated voice, Morse code, or a digital mode. Here are a few number stations I heard this morning thanks to Priyom.com‘s schedule: M12 station (Moscow) on 13.379MHz in morse code at 16:40 UTC. For those who don’t know CW, it is repeating “931” over and over with occasional breaks of “TTT” which Priyom says means “000”.   E11 station (Warsaw) on 12.229MHz in upper… Read More

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What is Wrong with #hamradio?

In response to Ria Jairam N2RJ’s question on Twitter: Tell me what’s wrong with #hamradio and how you’d fix it. If you’re uncomfortable responding on twitter, email me ria@n2rj.com I’m not normally one to call out organizations but the ARRL is all we got as hams, really. People have argued with me on the merits of being a member, and I say “they’re all we have to represent us”. No other org lobbies the interests of hams and protects our bands– not ragtag petitioners, nor even conglomerations of clubs. Given that, the ARRL is our only hope. Yet it is a very slow and disconnected organization. Our “newsletters” are mostly… Read More

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Battery Components List

I’ve been sharing each of my LiFePO4 DIY battery builds on Twitter, and inevitably people want to know what parts they need. They’re too many to list in a tweet, so I thought I’d keep a running page here to refer people to. These things have been acquired over many months, and are not all inclusive. The reason I keep making them is to try out new things. Typical 6.5Ah to 7Ah 32700 build: LiitoKala 32700 LiFePO4 cells: ~$3.50/ea, ~$14.00 per 12v 4S1P battery. 100A 4S LiFePO4 BMS: $7.10 per batt 32650 battery holders: $1 for 4 cells Wiring (12ga, 16ga, 22ga in bulk, multiple batts): ~$50, ¢ /ea batt… Read More

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SOTA with AI6XG on Wragg Ridge

Dan AI6XG has been doing SOTA for a couple years, and we were in CWOps Level 2 class together in 2018. He graciously offered to go on a SOTA hike with me, and picked this great spot mapped out by Jeff AA6XA around the Lake Berryessa area. Enjoy watching my struggle as I get into this new facet of ham radio.

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