Thursday, April 26, 2012


Someone asked me:
>How would one use this to call CQ ?

The simple answer is the same way you do/did with packet radio or any other digital mode.

Personally I haven't called CQ above 50 Mhz in years... but if you must...

Review how to embed messages in ping packets, and send a broadcast ping:

PATTERN=`echo -n "$MSG" |xxd -p`
/bin/ping -c 1 -p $PATTERN

 eth1: len 60 4b:42:39:4d:57:52->6b:62:39:6d:77:72 type = IP  
IP: len 42> ihl 20 ttl 64 prot ICMP
ICMP: type echo request id 54377 seq 0

Or perhaps you are seeking a voice QSO? Again, it seems much easier to plug in a pair of cheap Grandstream IP phones and dial the other end by IP address.

But if you must... review the CM-108 USB sound FOB.

The CM-108 FOB as detailed in the PDF is perfect for interfacing to FM rigs for repeater/simplex links.

Here I just wired an old microphone to a USB sound card.

The Ubiquiti Routerstation Pro has a USB port.

To get that USB sound to work review this:

Then install and use something simple like Speakfreely.

Or how about an IRC or Jabber server?

The correct answer is how do you want to call CQ?

Perhaps you are contemplating a pair of 70cm Doodle Labs DL-435 cards? May I suggest you do your CQ as amateur digital video with Laptops running NetMeeting. (or the Linux equivalent for those in-the-know)

Antiquated Bandwidth rules do not apply when there is a video component.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Customized D-Star Repeater

I have provided three simple bash example scripts. One says the time, another reports the weather conditions. And yet another will read back who was recently on your d-star repeater.

(I have since improved some of the quirky word concatenation from what is shown in the video.)

Special thanks to Kristoff, ON1ARF for his ambestream voice announcement toolkit.

Also to Scott, KI4LKF for his g2_link program.

To install this, first install ON1ARF's D-Star voice announcement toolkit, and download my premade AMBE library of files. (this also includes the three mentioned scripts)

To process DTMF; I suggest installing KI4LKF's g2_link program. (Alternatively ON1ARF's dtmf-rcq or a number of different DTMF decoding add-on options) Scott's g2_link will also give you the ability to connect to XFR and DCS D-Star reflectors. His g2_link program contains an easy to understand and modify to your liking shell script.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bandplans and Comments

Last month the ARRL released a draft of their proposed 9cm (3.5 GHz) band plan.

And just yesterday, 33cm (900 MHz).

They have been soliciting planned and projected uses of the amateur bands between 902 MHz and 3.5 GHz.

I was happy to see there are four 20 MHz wide slices for OFDM for 9cm.

When it comes to life above 900 MHz, the most prevalent thing out there that can easily be adapted to ham radio use is 802.11 network gear.

Ubiquiti, Xagyl, and Doodle Labs all have gear for 900 MHz (33 cm), as well as the standard 2.4 (12 cm) and (5 cm) 5.7 GHz bands. Ubiquiti has 3.5 GHz (9 cm) covered.

So its natural to form a band plan around what can be adapted for ham radio use.

From the ARRL board meeting notes:
4.1.4. At Minute 51 of its January 2012 meeting the ARRL Board assigned to the Executive Committee responsibility for periodic review of the National Broadband Plan Committee Report and managing the implementation of its recommended strategies. Steps being taken to encourage innovative and productive uses of the amateur bands between 222 MHz and 3.5 GHz include the updating of band plans for the four bands between 902 MHz and 3.5 GHz. The committee discussed challenges brought about by increased occupancy of the 1240-1300 MHz band by primary services, and promising developments that may lead to increased amateur broadband activity in the 3.3-3.5 GHz band.

The FCC is asking for input on a number of items, including regulations governing data transmission that inhibit public service/emergency communications by Amateur Radio: