Six Meter M/S Project news
ka2zev at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 31 10:36:58 CDT 2008
Thanks for trying this weekend.
Got a message from K7BC out of Springfield VA.
Seems he caught my mobile station around 18:00 on Friday and heard no others.
I fabed up this base station, it's on loan to Bruce.
(Link to 'how to' article)
In TX the dev is not up to specs.
Need to get into the TNC and make the audio drive signal a bit hotter.
(Link to the 'how to' article)
That makes sense, I had just delivered a bunch of radios to the contact guy for the Lexington KY radio club who was visiting family in Richmond.
At that point I was coming back from Richmond and heading North on the 95, passing Springfield VA. So that was a direct contact.
Saturday went to the Timonium MD Ham Fest.
Ran into more than a few guys who had heard about the M/S project and one guy who wanted a radio for just this thing.
He didn't have my price, so I let it go for what he had and I feel good that the rest will be in the mail directly. I was demoing with Team AMRAD (www.amrad.org).
The table next door was the Maryland ARRL squad, and they were impressed with the project.
Loaned one of my 6m conversion radios to the guy in charge of the Price Georges County ARES/RACES team.
(Link to the 'how to' article)
He thinks that 6m may be just the ticket for many of his projects.
Rumor Control here says that the TV 3 station in Baltimore is slated to go 'HDTV' soon and vacate it's bandwidth. That thing generated a lot of noise from spatter. So 6m around here may just pick up a bit. More when I know more.
High Speed Data Link Project.
Another AMRAD project is to put high speed data on a standard voice channel.
One of our guys makes modem's for small satellites and uses a chip set that can do this. Right now they think 14kb's is achievable and hope with some minor tweaks that 19.2k bits can be had.
Ive issued Bob WB3WDR three of my 'duds'.
Radios that the receivers were not up to specs to cut up and abuse.
So if he kills some in testing, no great loss.
Bob (who sometimes goes by the nick name Bacon) has awesome test and troubleshooting skills. So I suspect it will be a snap for him.
If the project works as expected, AMRAD may either issue boards and or kits for this project.
Some of the larger counties in Northern Virginia want to have wireless remote computer access for ARES/RACES events. They also don't want to depend on commercial carriers like Sprint or Nextel. Having a high speed data ability wouldn't hurt.
A number of other teams are excited by this prospect.
Just wondering how the rest of you did.
Stations up and running, paths connected.
In other news.
Been working with a vendor on a product for the ham community.
As you know I convert old Midland XTR radios to the ham bands.
The under dash radios are not a problem, but very often the trunk mounted mobiles are short control heads and cables.
So the radios either go 'cheap' when they sell or are simply chopped up for scrap.
I have a line on one vendor that has 500 some odd units that he can't sell because there he lacks accessories.
A cheap ($25) high power (110W) radio and a reasonable kit, most anybody on 6m as the skills to set up a 'data brick' radio.
This kit will take the place of the control head and cable, and plug directly into the radio.
Volume, squelch, audio output, PTT, LED Status lights, all kinds of stuff.
It can be configured for either Packet, Remote Base, or half a repeater station.
The first prototypes are due in the US directly.
The vendor is going to build up a few and beta test with some friends.
Testing on the remote base, and the repeater variant he will do.
Bob B WB4APR and I will be part of the packet team test.
I expect to make at least one base station and one mobile station to support the test program. Expect a photo article.
This beta program will take some time. I can't tell you how important it is to get things right on the first pass. Anybody who has owned a Ford Pinto or a Chevy Vega (Ive had both in my deep dark past.) knows the value of real world product testing.
When the lessons learned are tallied up , changes made, the first production release will be considered and pre orders taken.
If no major changes happen, it is the plan that early June for pre orders.
Our vendor plans to show and demo this new item at the '08 Dayton Hamvention.
As soon as the prototypes are finished, I hope to have some photos up.
A construction article with photos on the Flickr.
Plus details on any wire work that needs to be completed.
This will make life a lot simpler for the guys using APRS stuff.
Not quite plug and play, but real close.
The TNC's, repeater controllers, and the encoders like the Byronics connect to the new board with DB9 cables. This vendor has worked very hard to make a design that is nearly universal for all our needs.
Since it plugs into the radio via it's control head interface, the kit will work on any band XTR radio, 6m, 2m, and UHF.
I can see this being a very handy thing to have.
The radios can be had cheap, are not hard to program and tune up.
This same vendor also sells a programing cable kit for the XTR, so Ive suggested a 'package deal', he is thinking on it. Kit, plus assembled and tested editions are part of the plan.
For the moment, the name of the vendor is going to be held until it's ready for prime time.
If he is busy answering the phone, he can't work on the prototypes.
That's the news from this end.
Keep it safe and again, thanks for your efforts.
Questions or coments please answer on the
sixmeteraprsexperimentersgroup at yahoogroups.com
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