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 when we started talking about how to include other digital voice modes such as DMR and Fusion. A cross-mode reflector is what we needed so we ended up on the QuadNet Array on REF757A. Someone from JerryNet threw out the idea of setting up our own multi-dv reflector like 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… 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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CW and FT8 and PSK, oh my!

In the past month, I’ve finally unblocked my antenna issues and made great strides in the digital realm of ham radio. Using the PreciseRF HG-1 magnetic loop antenna along with my RigExpert AA-600 to get the lowest possible SWR, I have found that I can get out to virtually all over the country simply from putting the antenna on the street. The loop only supports max 45W PEP, so it is definitely a low-power antenna. But I can only imagine how it would function if I were in a flat field or on a peak. With gray-line propagation some days, I see strong signal spots via Reverse Beacon Network or… Read More

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Sent first SSTV image

Using SSTV for iOS on my phone and a BTECH APRS-K1 Audio Interface Cable (albeit connected to a Kenwood TH-D74A), I just sent my first SSTV image on 145.510 MHz FM simplex. I don’t think anyone heard, but it was a proof of concept exercise. I recorded the transmission on a separate handheld, using a small voice recorder. Despite this lossy recording method, I was able to reconstruct the image pretty well using the same SSTV app. Here is the recording, give it a try with your decoder: Encoded with Scottie 1, try decoding this SSTV transmission with your own SSTV app. (here’s a media file download link) The implications of this mode are fascinating.… Read More

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Choosing the Next Rig

In my quest to find the next portable rig (I already decided), I made a comparison sheet with stats about the various rigs I was considering. Here is my portable rig matrix (including handhelds). Hopefully this list could be of help to others.  Bear in mind, I had specific goals in this rig evaluation: Portability of station setup Ease of use in multiple modes CW practice wherever I was Expansion of my amateur radio capabilities into other modes, e.g. APRS, packet, digital HF, base and mobile antenna improvement Versatility and integration with my existing setup While I was dead set on getting the Elecraft KX3 fully loaded, I decided… Read More

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80m RTTY

I found a load of RTTY on 80m band on Sunday night (1/7/2018). I tuned to 3580 kHz and found a particularly strong signal, so I hooked up my USB soundcard to my laptop, fired up fldigi and made attempts to reply, but I guess my QRP setup didn’t get heard in all the pileup chatter. Turns out, January 6-7 was “ARRL RTTY Roundup“, a nationwide contest to make contacts in the digital format, so it was easy to catch the conversations on almost all HF bands. I found the CQ‘s in this format a bit odd, and didn’t really know how to format my responses or how to call… Read More

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