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

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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

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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

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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

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Projects 2018

This past year was an eventful ham radio one. As I begin to look ahead to goals and daydreams of 2019, it’s always good to not expect the past to be the norm, but to take a moment and appreciate all the stuff that’s happened good and bad. Thinking back, it’s amazing when I consider HF newbie AD6DM 2017 vs. AD6DM 2018. Here are some of the things I experienced in 2018: Completed ARRL ARES training: EC-001 Introductory Course. Set up a ham Twitter account @AD6DM. First time having my own QSL cards and people to send them to. Had my first CW QSO with AB6ET. Learned the workings of… Read More

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The Gamification of Ham Radio

I think contest organizations and the ARRL understand one aspect of fostering activity in the hobby. The logbook awards, contests, and sprints have their roots in achievement, competition, and accomplishment. Stanford gaming theorist Jane McGonigal recently spoke at a Security Conference I attended where she remarked on the incredible amount of time poured into online gaming. More than the combined manpower of the largest companies in the world, games contribute literal trillions of man-hours (billions a week) to seemingly “useless obstacles”. Why? Because games bring out a full-brain engagement like few other daily activities. The same concepts are readily (albeit unintentionally) applied to ham radio. Even contests that aren’t scheduled,… Read More

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Test Ed Fong Roll-up J-Pole

One of the few things I actually took home from Pacificon 2018 in San Ramon was an Ed Fong “DBJ-2” Dual-band Roll-up J-Pole for 2m/440. A vendor was asking me if I needed a cool base-station 2m antenna (DBJ-1), and I said I already had one set up. I recognized the seller’s nametag and said, “But I do know your name… Do you happen to have any of your famous Roll-up J-pole antennas?” He had only a couple more. I knew about this antenna from SOTA YouTubers KG6HQD Jerry and W6RIP Kevin, and wanted to try one since seeing Jerry throw one over a tree and blanket the whole Los… Read More

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