Tuesday, June 5, 2018

DMR (VK-DMR) repeaters in Sydney basin

as on 5th June 2018

VK2RLE - Heathcote
VK2RWW - Dural, I guessing a WICEN rptr
VK2RWI - Dural
VK2RHP - Horsley Park
VK2RCG - GPT city
VK2RHT - Chatswood
VK2RMB - Terrey Hills
VK2RHR - High Range
pretty good saturation of  DMR (MARC) across Sydney basin.

and if you driving to Canberra, then there is coverage at Goulburn and Yass and Canberra.

Friday, May 25, 2018

DMR update - May 2018

 a few locals from my local club (MWRS) getting interested in DMR, so I thought I better check the programming of my TYT MD-380 to add the new club DMR rptr (VK2RMB) details into my radio, while I at it I thought I would check up on what new DMR rptrs there were nearby, as I used to be able to work VK2RHP Horsley Park but hadnt heard it for a while, anyway, I discovered it moved from BM network to MARC network, as had VK2RCG (GPT rptr) switched earlier. 

I thought it is fine, I still have VK2RAG, but after checking the Brandmeister dashboard I see VK2RAG moved DMR to 2metres. I then see VK2RMP is showing 438.725 for DMR,  so I programmed the radio & tested it, nil response, check the Illawarra (IARS) website to find DMR gone and replaced with a Fusion rptr on 438.725.

Damn it, all the Brandmeister MMDVM rptrs are gone in the Sydney basin, so doing a check of the dashboard, I find only these 70cm rptrs running on the BM network here in VK:
VK2RHK Wyee, VK2RGP Toronto, VK2RHX Newcastle, VK3RBA, VK4RBX,VK4RSA, VK4RBY and VK7RCR,  plus a bunch of private hotspots listing themselves as repeaters, I dont know why they doing that, because a hotspot is a hotspot.

Looks like I need to setup my own MMDVM hotspot on a simplex freq to be able to do some experimentation, as there are no MMDVM rptrs running in Sydney basin.
I was looking forward to seeing some more MMDVM type rptrs on the BM network to do some cross mode experimentation, but unfortunately they moved to the VK-DMR (MARC) network which is closed shop network, meaning DMR only, no cross-mode operation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Registrations for GippsTech Conference 2018 now open

Registrations for GippsTech Conference 2018 now open,  July 7th & 8th .


new AnyLocker- radio reference locking board

Glen VK1XX  has designed a new  XRef type board  so you can frequency lock your transceiver with a 10 Mhz locked reference source such as a Rubidium or GPSDO, which is a requirement for doing weak signal digital modes such as WSJT, FT8,  WSPR etc.  See Glen's blog below for details.

I am keen to see Glen's  next project which will use a 1PPS reference as the lock source, which means using any of the cheap ~$5 GPS boards on Ebay such as Ublox Neo series or Telit JF2 boards that provide a 1PPS output from the GPS. Its easier to distribute a 1PPS to multiple Xref disciplined transceivers, as I wish to run multiple bands ie. 6,2,70 & higher.


Monday, May 7, 2018

40,000 km for Valentino Rossi

congratulations to Valentino Rossi for passing the 40,000km barrier for MotoGP races during the MotoGP race at Jerez Spain yesterday. 40,000 km is equivalent to circumnavigating the earth.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


I thought I should mention some useful apps for Android :
SOTA Spotter - this is the spotting app for stations activating SOTA locations. (Free app)
SOTA Finder - this is a database for finding the SOTA locations, ie. tell you where nearby locations are such as when you mobile (Free app)
Pocket SOTA - another SOTA database (pay app)
info on SOTA see  SOTA Australia FAQ

There is a ParksnPeaks iOS app for working National Parks , SOTA and other awards
see ParksnPeaks spotting

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

George Smart M1GEO's Blog

Often I looking for some info on a amateur radio project I interested in, I do some searching on the web, one site I usually end up on and finding some good info is George Smart's (M1GEO) blog. He trying all sorts of stuff with the hobby (and general electronics too) and find his posts well documented with what the particular subject is about and what he trying to achieve in it and what the results are. Always worth a look here. One such example was compiling up up WSJT for Linux, I found George's article most helpful and I was able to successfully compile WSJT on Linux myself following his instructions.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

RFI from Foxtel IQ2 STB's on 10m & 6m bands

I noticed hearing modulated signals across 29 MHz band and 52-53 MHz bands when scanning the FM segments from time to time, not clean carriers but data  modulated carriers appearing then disappearing.  By accident, I just happening to hear this occurring one day and by chance doors were open in the house where I could see through doorways to the TV set where the XYL was flicking through Foxtel channels.  OMG, the modulation on the signal varying as channels are being changed, here was the culprit, our Foxtel IQ2 STB (set-top-box).

I got out the Uniden handheld scanner and did some sniffing around the  STB, but no, it seems to be radiating from the LED flat panel TV,  turned power off to the TV but noise still radiating, unplug power cable from TV and noise still there, unplug HDMI cable to Foxtel STB, then RFI signal drops off drastically.

Sniff closer to Foxtel box, very strong signal from the ethernet RJ45 cable and the HDMI cable.  Remove both cables and noise almost non-existant.  sniff the power cord at the rear of Foxtel STB and noise still very low,  plugin the HDMI and ethernet cables one at a time, pretty equally as strong.
I noticed it detected noise on 2m band too, but much lower levels than that of 10m and 6m bands.

Outcome, the Foxtel box itself not radiating but very bad when HDMI cable plugged into a LED flat panel TV, as it using the TV as a RFI antenna.  As a secondary source of RFI it using the Ethernet RJ45 cable as a nice antenna too. I think from memory the IQ2 box made by Pace.

Solution, grabbed my box of various  sized ferrite clipon cores, added 7mm ID and 9mm ID cores on the power, RJ-45 and HDMI cables, closest to the rear of the Foxtel IQ2 box, this suppressed the RFI  sufficiently, in terms of 10m and 6m bands, could now only receive RFI up to about 1 metre from the STB, whereas my  transceiver antenna could hear it from 20 metres away.   I also tried clamping some ferrite cores over the two coax leads running to the satellite dish LNA but that made absolutely no difference, so RFI not radiating back out via coaxes, that I could see.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

new 23cm beacon gone live - VK2RSF 1296.414 MHz Nimatabel

a new 23cm beacon has gone live today,  VK2RSF 1296.414 MHz Nimatabel at grid QF43QL, to compliment the existing two beacons on 144.414 MHz and 432.414 MHz

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

GippsTech 2018 now offically dated - 7th & 8th July 2018

I can see the GippsTech team doing a call for papers for GippsTech 2018 now.
To be held 7th and 8th July,   with Friday night dinner at Morwell Pub.

GippsTech 2018 conference