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Dstar Image of W6KD ( Very stable for your Pi )

15 JUN 2016: DStar Commander V2.01 is most current release

The DStar Commander enhanced images for the G4KLX ircddbgateway on the Raspberry Pi are available here. The download links are listed below: 

V2.01 is a maintenance and bugfix release with no new features added to V2.00

V2.00 has been rebuilt on the Raspbian Jessie OS and implements the G4KLX ircddbgateway dated 20151116 and dstarrepeater version 20151012, including CCS7. This release adds compatibilty with the new RasPi 3B and supports the Pi 3's onboard WiFi and Bluetooth (note: on the dvMega version of the image, the onboard Bluetooth is disabled to keep a stable UART dedicated to the GPIO serial I/O pins). 

A Beginners Guide to Repeaters

Questions and Answers...
By Kevin K. Custer W3KKC   (AKA "the repeater builder guy")

For the sake of the complete beginner I'm going to cover all the parts, even those which may seem obvious.

What is a Repeater? 
A repeater, in concept, is not really a complicated device. A repeater is an automatically controlled transmitter and receiver that simply transmits what the receiver hears simultaneously. Imagine having a receiver on one channel, and a high power transmitter on the other, and then holding the microphone of the transmitter in front of the speaker of the receiver. Now make the operation fully automatic. Any user that can be heard by the receiver has the effectiveness of the high power transmiter at his control.

EME On A Budget By Paul Bock K4MSG

EME on a Budget:

Moonbounce for the Rest of Us


Paul Bock, K4MSG





           The purpose of this article is to provide radio amateurs with enough background information to understand the technical challenges involved in "small-station" digital EME on the 144 and 432 MHz bands. Suggested configurations, approximate costs and operational potential will be included, all with the goal of encouraging amateurs to consider EME by showing that it is neither excessively complex from a technical perspective nor prohibitively costly when compared to other amateur activities. The article also includes a brief overview of the author's operational success to date.



Where to buy WHAT after you pass the RAE (Applicable to South Africa ONLY)

After I passed the RAE, it accured to me that once the exams were complete, there is generally no follow up where to buy what and from whom. You are unfortunatly on your own, that's if you are fortunate to have a buddy to assist you in this very vast hobby. Iv mentioned this in order to add some contact details behind the RAE manuals but since then not much has come of it. I hope that these contacts will assit you indefinaitley going forward, from coax cable , plugs, radio's and many other needed items to get started.

There will certainly be a few links that I may have missed, but the ones I remember are listed below.

D-star, DMR, Fusion, Which is right for you?

If you are an amateur radio operator and have not been living under a rock, then I am sure you have heard of one of the digital modes: D-Star, DMR or Fusion.  You may be wanting to dip your toes into the digital modes water but not sure which pool to dip them in.  This blog post is intended to present a fair unbiased opinion on each of the modes.  

Not until the end will you learn my preferred mode.  I use all of the modes I will discuss.  There are additional digital modes like P25, and Nexedge that I have not used and are also much less prevalent that I will not discuss.  I do not have enough knowledge of those modes to represent them.


Quick link to The SARL Swop Shop


Forget sniffer dogs…we need to talk about spinach.

The team at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have been working to transform spinach plants into a means of detection in the fight against buried munitions such as landmines.

Nanoparticles, plus tiny tubes called carbon nanotubes, are embedded into the spinach leaves where they pick up nitro-aromatics, chemicals found in the hidden munitions.

It takes the spinach approximately ten minutes to absorb water from the ground, including the nitro-aromatics, which then bind to the polymer material wrapped around the nanotube.

But where does the Pi come into this?

The MIT team shine a laser onto the leaves, detecting the altered fluorescence of the light emitted by the newly bonded tubes. This light is then read by a Raspberry Pi fitted with an infrared camera, resulting in a precise map of where hidden landmines are located. This signal can currently be picked up within a one-mile radius, with plans to increase the reach in future.

Comms with Dstar radio off your own HOT SPOT

Hi my name is Michael Spencer-Wilson ZS6MSW, some time ago I bought the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and battled to find a use for it. Over a period of time I was introduced to Dstar through some friends, and aquired the ICOM 7100 Ham Radio. Soon realising that this mode of Didgital voice was a great way of reaching and making new friends all over the world, I decided to put the Pi into action.smiley

There are several benifits to a hotspot, they give you freedom of movement and in the case where your local Dstar repeater may be under maintenance you can easily log in via the GSM network off your cell phone, or your home wifi until the local repeater is up and running again.


Cool Stuff from around the Web

Building your own Amp

Ever wanted to build your own amplifier? 

This guy has an amazing range of very powerfull transverters and amplifiers that cover 160m to 9cm all with plans and in some cases he also sells kits. 

openSPOT: a new standalone digital radio IP gateway / hotspot

If you are thinking of building a DVAP hotspot you should also look at the openSPOT solution. openSPOT is a standalone digital radio IP gateway designed mainly for amateur radio. You can reach DMR, D-STAR and C4FM/System Fusion networks by using an openSPOT, internet access, and your DMR/D-STAR/C4FM radio.

It if a fully integrated solution so ne need for rasberry Pi's or PC. It has the following key features:

Type in Morsecode

If you have really nerdy Old Skool Ham Radio friend, who think that Morse is an effective digital mode you can now type them a letter (which you will obviously have to send by snail mail as they will certainly not have e-mail) in morse code with the True Type font available for download here

Umbrella Antenna for 80M

I was looking at reasonably sized 80 meter antenna's and this looks like umbrella antenna looks like it would fit the bill.

Go and visit this page to find out more on how to build one.  

Ever wanted to Experiment with Amateur TV?

It always had my fascination. The British Amateur Television Club published a handbook on how to get started. It culminated in a a 20 page PDF Handbook about Amateur Television by G3YQC and G8CJS published by The British Amateur Television Club. I've placed it here on the website for download.

Icom announces IC7610

Icom announced the IC-7610 during the HamFair 2016 in Tokyo. A new SDR HF+50 MHz transceivers. The IC-7610 will be the successor the IC-7600 and comes one year after the introduction of first ICOM SDR Transceiver, the IC-7300. SDR is the space to watch.

Go-box project by Thomas OE2ATN

Here is a great go-box project by Thomas OE2ATN based on an Elecraft KX2. Really nice handywork. Love the Pelican case solution. Probably Thomas chose the KX2 as it puts out only 10W so heat problems are not to severe in the pelican case.