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Random Ramblings

Yaesu FTM-7250D

New radio day (well two days ago) I've been lucky enough to have been bought (birthday) the Yaesu FTM-7250D to replace the Yaesu FT-90R that has been in the car for almost as long as I've owned it! So far I'm impressed with the radio and its operation is almost identical to the Yaesu FT-70D hand-held.

Radio Features:

  • System Fusion-II Compatible
  • Operates Advanced C4FM Digital and Conventional FM modes
  • AMS (Automatic Mode Select) function automatically recognizes the signal as C4FM digital or conventional FM
  • Sophisticated Digital-Group-ID (DG-ID) Operation
  • Digital-Group-ID (DG-ID) Memory Feature : Up to 10 DG-ID pairs with alpha-numeric tags
  • True 50 Watts (VHF and UHF) Stable High-Power Transmitter with FACC
  • * FACC: Funnel Air-Convection Conductor (Wind Tunnel)
  • High Stability ±2.5 ppm TCXO Included
  • 3W Powerful & Clear Audio with Front Speaker
  • AMS with Multi-colored large LED Mode-Indicator Effortless FM and C4FM Operation – 225 Memory Channels with Alpha-numeric tags (maximum 8 characters)
  • Wideband Receive for 108MHz – 579.995MHz (108 – 137MHz: Airband)
  • Weather Broadcast Reception
  • Severe Weather Alert Feature
  • Easily connect with the WIRES-X linking system (Not support operation of WIRES-X Node Station)
  • Keyboard entry of operating frequencies from the microphone – CTCSS and DCS Encode/Decode, with split Tone – Versatile Scan features : VFO scan, Preferential Memory scan, Programmable memory scan and Dual watch

It's early days, but would I recommend this radio? Yes I would, because for the price ($399AUD) you're getting a dual band & dual mode (FM & C4FM) radio.

Categories
Amateur Radio Random Ramblings

Pi-star Facebook Group & Forum

*** Warning contains strong language and views ***

Pi-star is a great hotspot operating system for the raspberry pi and a few other SoC (System on Chip) that has been embraced to pretty much be the standard for multi mode digital voice. But there's a very dark side to the small group of people who are the Admins/Moderators for the Facebook group and the Forum. These people are totalitarian and will not take criticism for their actions.

This is a post to the Forum from me complaining about being soft banned from the Facebook group for what all I can assume was to refer a person to a thread on the forum where another person was complaining about his posts to the Facebook group were being deleted and or the comments being switched off. Then the next time I went to check out that forum post it was removed! Ok so I figured that I would start a new thread (picture above) that lasted for about a day and it was deleted.

So I started another thread, oh and you guessed it, deleted!

So again I started yet another thread… Deleted!

Ok so it's pretty obvious that whoever the admin/moderator that keeps deleting my posts has a problem with my complaint!

So this is the final post on the topic and as of the time of writing the above post was still available… But for how long?

So if anyone else has issues with the pi-star Facebook group or Forum you're fucked because if you raise the issue you will be deleted by these spineless cunts who clearly believe that they are of a higher value than any one else…

Fuck you!

Edit:

It now appears that I have been banned from the Facebook group as it's no longer visible from my Facebook account. Also I ended up posting one last post on the forum…

And yup you guessed it… Deleted. Not sure if I'm banned from the forum as I can still view it on Tapatalk.

Categories
Amateur Radio Random Ramblings

Baofeng UV5-RX3 From Radioddity

For those familiar with the UV-5xx series radio's they are targeted for Amateur Radio use (that may change in the future) for both the 2m VHF and 70cm UHF bands however this model also includes the 220MHz 1.5m band (predominately used in the USA)

Supplied items

  • UV-5RX3
  • 1800mAh Li-ion Battery
  • Dual Band Antenna
  • 220MHz Single Band Antenna
  • Desktop Charger Adapter
  • Original Earpiece
  • Wrist Strap
  • Belt Clip
  • User Manual

As there are two antennas supplied you need to ensure that you use the appropriate antenna for the intended frequency otherwise you will damage the radio. As the 220MHz band is not permitted here in Australia my testing for this radio was limited to the 2m & 70cm bands.

Specifications & Functions:

  • Frequency Range: 136-173.975MHz, 220-225MHz, 400-519.975MHz
  • FM Radio: 68-105MHz (RX)
  • Memory Channel: 128
  • Output Power: 5 Watts
  • Tone Scanning: CTCSS, DCS
  • Wide/Narrow Bandwidth Setting
  • Tone Burst
  • DTMF
  • VOX

This radio works well and the build quality is good, although for the Australian market having access to 220MHz is of no benefit as VHF DVBT is primary service and there is no 1.5m band available within Australia.

Categories
Amateur Radio Random Ramblings

GA-5S From Radioddity

I was lucky enough to be selected to review the GA-5S dual band FM Radio. I've never used or owned any of these entry level Chinese radio's so I was interested to see how they compare to some other known brands radios!

Unboxing this radio reveals that it comes with…

  • 1 x Radioddity GA-5S
  • 1 x 1800mAh Li-ion Battery
  • 1 x High Gain Antenna
  • 1 x Charging Cradle (with 100~240V Power Adapter)
  • 1 x Belt Clip
  • 1 x Earpiece
  • 1 x Wrist Strap
  • 1 x User Manual

After assembling the radio (antenna & battery) and powered the unit to find that it was programmed with frequencies that are not for general use in Australia, this is not a problem as I'll be reprogramming this for the 2m and 70cm bands and limiting the receive to the amateur bands only (144-148MHz 430-450MHz) as the ACMA are not to keen on these radios because of how easy it is to use them on frequencies that are not for the general public. Now I've not had or used baofeng radio's before so this is essentially the internals of (from what I have read online) a UV5-R. The supplied software for programming the radio is very basic, but it is compatible with Chirp so you can take advantage of the repeater database and import your local repeaters. At the time I first tried Chirp the support for the GA-5S wasn't available, but on the second reprogramming I did the latest daily build had included both the GA-5S and the UV5-RX3.

For the price point this radio is targeted for its certainly fine, however I'd possibly not run it on full power for extended periods as the radio will get hot!

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Amateur Radio

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Nonprofit Random Ramblings

Ten Years with WordPress!

So a thing happened…

It all started from reading Linux magazine that had a feature article on WordPress and well I must liked it cause I'm still using it! Originally I was hosting my own website from home, but after quite a few years I then moved to hosting with Gandi and its lived there ever since… 😀

Categories
Random Ramblings Raspberry Pi

Zumspot Revival (I was wrong!)

Ok so I wrote recently that the ZUMspot Pi boards were no longer available from Bruce and I made the mistake of concluding that meant they were no longer available. Tuns out I was wrong! The ZUMspot Pi boards are available in the USA exclusively from HRO (Ham Radio Outlet)

There's four listing's when you do a search on their website for "ZUMspot"

So yup, I was wrong! I'm happy to wrong because it means that you can still get yourself a ZUMspot Pi board!

Edit: Updated links to Zumspot products

Categories
Random Ramblings

Death of the ZUMspot

Sadly it's seems that the Chinese push into the mmdvm hot spot market (aka Jumbospot) has taken its toll on the ZUMspot team and they have ceased operations with a departing notice on mmdvm.blogspot.com stating that they no longer sell the ZUMspot Pi and the MMDVM Pi boards with a further notice advising to visit www.zumspot.com however that domain name no longer resolves!

Categories
Raspberry Pi

MMDVM Hotspot with ZUMspot Pi

So I've entered the relatively new digital modes (for me anyway) of DMR & YSF. This requires either a digital repeater or personal hotspot to access. The popular way to do this is with a software suite called MMDVM and currently there's two Raspberry Pi images available that take care of having to build everything yourself. The first is PiStar and the other is by KB5RAB

I'm using the Pi-star image as it's headless (meaning it doesn't require a keyboard & monitor to run)and uses a webui to configure and uses a read-only file system once everything is loaded, whereas the KB5RAB is a full Raspbian desktop.  As you can see from the pictures I'm using a Raspberry Pi2 and the ZUMSpot Pi and a dual colour OLED.

When portable I have 10000 (mAh) 5v power pack that is about the same size as the case I'm using for the Pi2, so a few rubber bands double looped holds it all together rather nicely! The ZUMSpot Pi hat is the perfect size for fitting the OLED screen inside the case using some double sided foam tape stuck to the HDMI socket and the very top edge of OLED is resting on the CPU heat sink. Initially I was going to attach the I2C ribbon cable to the bottom of the Raspberry Pi, but if I ever want to swap the ZUMSpot out I'd be without the OLED so instead I attached it to the ZUMSpot hat.

 

Finally links to items…

Pi-Star by Andy Taylor

ZUMSpot Pi by Bruce Given

Generic OLED screen

Generic Nextion screen

 

Categories
Random Ramblings

Cancer Ten Years On

As I've mentioned on this blog I had a bit of a run in with Lymphoma back in 2006/2007. Well here we are and ten years have passed so what's changed in this time? LOTS! But more importantly what has changed within me, the survivor?
Well I'm cancer free, and I have issues related to my treatment that have effected me both physically and mentally. It's more of the mental health that are my biggest problems.

I have issues with certain parts of the treatment I received, namely Radiotherapy and the high dose of Methotrexate. It was the latter that causes me the most trouble. But why? this is the question that plagues me still. There's no logic in why I feel the way I do, but if the mind was this simple to question then my issues wouldn't exist! The issue of Radiotherapy isn't one of a mental issue but that of a physical. I suffered from burns to my tongue, throat and neck, and the healing of these wounds took longer than it would if my body wasn't so run down. Today the effects of those burns has affected my taste due to about 2/3rd of my taste buds being removed!

All through this I'd lost my ability to smell, I originally thought it was due to the necrotic tissue that had physically blocked my nose. However several months post radiotherapy and my nose had almost cleared up, but not a hint of my sense of smell was going to return any time soon. 😡

Then finally in 2013 we got around to doing what was planned for 2006! (but only one!)