Getting Tired of Battery Posts Yet?

I know I am getting tired watching myself talk about batteries. But it’s just fascinating to me to refine the build and power management process of readily available LiFePO4 cells. There are so many kinds! And they keep improving. I guess I have China to thank for that, so much of Maker / electrical components can be found from inexpensive Chinese distributors, making it easier and easier to have your own DIY projects. Anyway, here’s the latest in my series of portable battery builds. I found some really cheap 7Ah cells on Aliexpress, and had to try them out. I don’t want to become “the Battery Guy” since there are… Read More

Continue Reading

Fabricating Gear

As many on Twitter have seen (and are probably already tired of seeing), I got myself a budget 3D Printer. Several of my coworkers would come to work with their “latest print” and it would range from utilitarian to really cool movie prop reproductions. In my mind, this hobby was prohibitively expensive. Last I heard about 3D printers, the entry-level ones ranged in the $1500+ range. And all I was seeing from those early adopters (circa 2013) was plastic bow ties and other such useless figurines; not enough of a motivator to dish out that kind of cash. I carried this mindset even to just this month, where one coworker… Read More

Continue Reading

DIY Portable 12v 15Ah Power Box

It’s been quite a journey since I first received the 3.2v Headway 40152S cells from China in March. Slowly but surely I have been learning more about DIY battery building, from balance management systems, to electric capacity and current calculations, all the way to how to fit things into a case with extensive wiring. There are plenty of YouTube mentors out there building batteries. Now I’m on a craze about Lithium power storage and solar energy, with the hopes of one day building my own home multi-Kwh power wall. In the meantime, I don’t think I’ll ever look at consumer batteries the same way ever again. I will always think,… Read More

Continue Reading

The Other Side of SOTA: Failed Chasing

In today’s episode, I go on my typical Lunch Time on the Air™ (LTOTA) during my lunch hour at work in Rancho Cordova, and I fail at chasing two of my friends activating Summits on the Air (SOTA): – Jose K6HZR activating San Juan Hill (1 pt) W6/CT-230 – Scott N0OI activating Bertha Peak (8 pts) W6/CT-103 Heard voices on Jose’s frequency, but couldn’t verify if it was him. Heard lots of chasers answering Scott, but I guess he couldn’t hear me. In any case, it’s great to know fellow ham friends are out and about, and I’ll try to do my part to help them even if I don’t… Read More

Continue Reading

How to Create a Multi-Mode XReflector

JerryNet is so named because one bored commute home, KG6HQD Jerry went on his DStar radio and connected to REF012A to see if anyone wanted to talk. This became a regular thing and JerryNet™ was born. Later we started talking about how to include other digital voice modes such as DMR and Fusion. We needed a cross-mode reflector so we ended up on the QuadNet Array on 757A. Someone from JerryNet threw out the idea of setting up our own multi-dv reflector similar to Quadnet’s. When I first heard this idea, I immediately thought it would be an impossibly daunting task. I had impressions of expensive hardware and codec boards… Read More

Continue Reading

DStar and YSF/DMR Reflectors are Live

XLX367 reflector is live! Update: February 2019: All three modes DStar, YSF, and DMR are now crosslinked! DStar REF367A (also XRF367A and DCS367A) is up an running. This is a new multi-protocol DStar Digital Voice reflector, running in the cloud. It is available for public use and is tied primarily with JerryNet communications. Also, a Yaesu Fusion YSF room 68798 is running at the same server, and is bridged to DMR Talkgroup 3128459 DMR (here’s how to connect to XLX DMR). Fusion users can talk in this YSF reflector to other Fusion users, and it is cross-linked to DMR as well for wider reach. I am currently working within the… Read More

Continue Reading

Build Your Own DMR/DStar/Fusion Hotspot for CHEAP

In an effort to get more people on digital ham radio easily, I posted a video about how to put together your own multi-mode digital voice hotspot device very inexpensively, and with little effort. I have put together several of these and the work pretty well. Kind of like an oil change, almost anyone can do it. I admit, I used to have a purist mindset about ham radio. All these Internet-dependent modes such as Echolink, IRLP, and even analog repeater inter-linking over the Internet had me thinking “but what happens when the grid goes down?” I’ve experienced some pretty bad fails as a systems & software engineer, and also as… Read More

Continue Reading