I got on the bands last night to see what was happening on FT8, and 40 meters was really busy. I tried replying to several station, but either they couldn’t hear me or were ignoring me. I ended up working one station in California that was a repeat contact. Eighty meters had a few stations, but no luck there either. Just a bummer of an evening.

I fired up the DMR rig and hotspot and talked to a couple of guys … one in Yorkshire, England, and another in Malta, and had a pleasant chat with them. That’s a great medium for ragchewing. Crystal clear most of the time … world-wide.

Well, that should hold me for this morning. I’ve got a radio club meeting tonight … not sure what the program is. I should be able to hit the local DMR repeater from our meeting location (which I can’t do from home, thus the reliance on a hotspot). Maybe I can demo some DMR to a bunch of D-Star folks!

73 de Dick N4BC

Last Weekend

Well, the best laid plans … . I had planned to participate in the NC QSO Party, but circumstances changed that. I just had too many honey-dos to finish.

I did get my Tytera MD-380 codeplug programmed, but can’t hit my local DMR repeater from my house (maybe improved antenna?). I drove a few miles closer and did hit the repeater OK. Checking, I see that his antenna is only at 30 feet, but he does have plans to raise it, I believe.

So, my solution is to add a hotspot to the mix. I have a Raspberry pi lying around, and ordered a dvMega to link into the network from the DMR portable. It should be here on Tuesday, so I’ll let you know how it works. Yes, I know some people say it’s not “real” ham radio if it uses the internet, but I want it for communications, not for awards. I’ve already created a SD card ready to plug into the pi with the Pi-Star image on it.

Well, that should do it for now. I’ve done a lot of research on this DMR stuff, and actually think I’m beginning to understand what’s going on. Oh, I knew a lot, due to working with Motorola radios and systems for years, but this is a new realm for ham radio.

73 de Dick N4BC