Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Rants and grants

I have been following the TH-D74 Firmware reversing project. The previous MD-380 project was great, but a lot more could be accomplished if the hardware was more capable. (Bigger flash space etc.) Either way the MD380 project opened the door for the OpenRTX project.

Apparently the few that are working on the TH-D74 project so far are having some dificulty with the Ghidra reverse engineering.

I think it would be benefical for a wider audience to understand the former md380 project... maybe Linux in the Ham Shack could interview someone so others better understand (& appreciate) the motiviations and process (stumbling blocks and all), etc.

I feel there are important lessons that can be learned, especially since manufactures apparently are content with pumping out the same old crap. Props to the folks working on these projects trying creative ways around that problem.

The problem is two fold. Obisuoly a lack of these fine folks; hackers, engineers, or just plain technically oriented folks. Then there are the gadget obsessed folks...

Oh! we changed the color of display and added another 1000 memory channels, come buy our new HT!
(which is really the same crap as the last model).

But then there obviously fools falling for this gimic buying this nonsense. I call them gadget obsessed dimwits. They seem to have more money than brains, cannot put on a connector etc.

Please study and learn to apprecaite the few fine folks that don't play that game. Those who are moving things forward, both past and present players. Ham radio needs their inspiration!

Here is my list on interesting / inspirational people:

Wayne Green, Phil Karn, Bruce Perens, Aaron Schwartz, Richard Stallman, Jason Scott, Cory Doctorow, George Carlin. Some of all time favorite article authors: Doug Demaw, Ray Marston, Joseph Carr, Harold Kinley, Bill Cheek, Don Rotolo, John Champa

Not all are hams, but they all to me thought a bit out of the box. The first guy that I payed attention to, was Phil Karn, since I entered ham radio with an interest in packet radio. Its interesting to learn a bit about the people behind certain things and their logic & motivations to see if you can understand what makes them tick.

To me there has been a lot of stagnation in the hobby lately, so I haven't been overly active. I spent the last half dozen years working with some more fearleess tower climbing folks here in my home state. Our goals were to help "get shit on the air" with as few strings for folks as possible. Getting on towers and working on them has been a big problem here in Wisconsin. A lot of clubs and indivduals don't have the resources for that. We got a lot done.

Now another one of my main tower climbing folks is taking a job out of state, so that is winding down, and I am looking for my next thing to dive into. I have to say sadly there really isn't a whole lot that holds my interests these days.

I like what is going on with the ARDC grants, but I think it will take some time for those funded initiatives to bear fruit.

There are two to me of interest, the M17 Grant, and the Allstarlink grant.

I'm glad this happened:

The ARRL Board granted several awards at its July 2021 meeting.

The Board bestowed the 2021 ARRL Technical Innovation Award on Steve Haynal, KF7O; Wojciech Kaczmarski, SP5WWP, and Roger Clark, VK3KYY. Haynal was cited as the instrumental and driving force behind the Hermes Lite 5 W HF SDR transceiver as a fully open-source hardware and software project. Kaczmarski was recognized for developing the open-source digital radio communication protocol M17, leading to the development of DroidStar (an Android application) by Doug McLain, AD8DP. Clark was cited for spearheading a successful effort to augment a low-cost handheld radio for use by visually impaired operators, significantly lowering the cost of entry for such amateurs.

Once upon a time the ARRL had a "Future Systems Committee", the RSGB has an "Emerging Technology Coordination Committee".. I think the ARRL needs to reinstitute this concept.

Too bad we don't have a technology director, but somehow Emcomm still is apparently even in the light of firstnet and starlink.



In the past, the leauge techical specialist was more vocal and had written regular pieces for QST. Not so these days for whatever reason. From their past censure tatics and over all lackadaisical attitude its time to write these good old boys off.

In short of anything ever changing at the league level (and it likely never will), I think the best option is to find a good number of hams willing to particpate in a coordinated social media and in person campaign to become more vocal to manufactures on what we'd like to see brought to the market. I believe if 100 hams would commit to making a point at Dayton to being more vocal to the reps then we might get something other than a "new HT" that in reality has a few extra memory channels and a new color display.

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