Activation of Masseria Fortificata Feudo di Monteferrato in Conversano

Activation of Masseria Fortificata Feudo di Monteferrato in Conversano

18 Dec 2016 – Activation of Masseria Fortificata Feudo di Monteferrato in Conversano, Diploma dei Castelli Reference DCI BA129 – WCA I-12985.

First a big thank you to IZ7SIA Jean and IZ7XNB Michele for the great support, we had a lot of fun and celebrated the activation with birra and focaccia barese

Activated with call ON8CB/I7/M using a FT-991 and a mono-band 40m vertical antenna,

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ON0MON – QRT 31 Dec 2016

ON0MON – QRT 31 Dec 2016

Due to some personal issues, I will no longer run and maintain the ON0MON Repeater. I will decommission the equipment on the 31st of December 2016 and probably return the call sign to the IBPT/BIPT on the same date.
The repeater is for sale, in case someone wants to buy it, and it is based on:

  • Motorola RM900,
  • Tono 70W UHF Power Amplifier,
  • Duplexer cavity tuned for the actual frequencies
  • D-Star DVRPTR V2 (Ethernet + USB support, works standalone).

I’m asking 600 Euro + shipping but you can pickup it in Mons if you don’t want it shipped.

Thank you to all the amateur radio enthusiast that used the repeater and provided feedback. if you want to contact me, please use the email address published on QRZ.com.

Solar PowerBank for FT-817ND

Solar PowerBank for FT-817ND

Weekend project: Solar rechargeable Power Bank for the FT-817ND.

I had two spare batteries, a plastic box IP65, a 20W solar panel with its controller, a tripod and some wires lying around my garage and I’ve decided to build something with it. I placed the two batteries in the box and wired using a 1.5mm cable, then installed the solar panel controller outside and wired the batteries to it. I’ve used a 3 X 12V car plugs as output considering that the solar panel controller has two USB ports embedded so I will have both 12V and 5V ready available anytime.

For the step two I started to build the support for the

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FT-817ND

FT-817ND

I went to Friedrichshafen last June and my friend Jean (IZ7SIA) started busting my chops by eulogize how wonderful is the Yaesu FT-817ND, how portable is the FT-817ND, how nice is the FT-817ND, and blah blah blah.
I was not really interested in a portable HF device because I’m already working on the M0NKA’s project, the pain-in-the-ass-to-build QRP radio mcHF therefore I didn’t want to spend money on another portable rig; then when you cross Jean with Max (IW0GXY) and both are with you in front of Marco’s stand (IW2CSY) then you are forced to take out your wallet and swipe your credit card… so now I’m a owner of a FT-817ND.

I had a plan during my holidays to use it somewhere and try some QRP calls, up to now, since the purchase, I had the chance to turn it on just a couple of time, my actual review abut it is: it lights on and makes noise…

MMDVM Single Face Modem

MMDVM Single Face Modem

My old and very good friend Enzo (Vincenzo – IU7ACP) has just build a single face MMDVM modem for testing. I will receive the board in the next few days and start some tests with some Motorola and Kenwood radio to see how it works. There are no plans for a mass production at the moment. I will deal with Enzo to have it Open Source with all the diagrams published for everybody.

Update 18 Mar 2017: Unfortunately the device didn’t work and I have abandoned the project.

MMDVM Single Face Modem
MMDVM Single Face Modem
DV4Mini + Raspberry PI Kit

DV4Mini + Raspberry PI Kit

DMR, C4FM, DSTAR, DPMR, Portable Kit composed by:

  • Raspberry Pi 2 + LCD Display touchscreen
  • DV4Mini Dongle + Mini antenna
  • RF Wireless Keyboard with touchpad
  • Original Raspberry WiFi Dongle
  • 2.2A USB Power Supply
  • Cables, patches & card reader
  • All in a Pelicase waterproof floating box

It actually hooks up to my cellphone configured in Hot Spot mode and from there to the 4G or 3G Network and does the job. Next additions will be a standalone 4G or 3G access point and a Power Bank for a totally independent setup. Stay tuned!

Kit

mcHF 0.1-30Mhz QRP RTX

mcHF 0.1-30Mhz QRP RTX

My son (ON3II) and I just started building the mcHF SDR Transceiver project form m0nka (http://www.m0nka.co.uk).

It is an interesting project and honestly quite difficult to complete even using the pre-populated boards.
There are so tiny components such as the coils and some SMD integrated circuit which are requiring a proper SMD soldering station. A reworking station might do the job but the risk of de-soldering another component installed nearby is very high.

The radio itself costs 259 GBP plus 10 GBP for the shipping in Europe which converts to 350 Euro circa, not a bargain but still a funny project. The kit doesn’t include the box neither the Power Amplifier final Mosfet (RD16HHF1); the box is available from Artur SP3OSJ (http://www.sp3osj.pl) for 50.50 Euro shipping included in Europe. For the Power Amplifier MosFet, you can find them almost everywhere at a price ranging from 1.50 Euro to 25 Euro per piece. I bought mine from FunkAmateur in Germany (http://www.box73.de) for 6.70 Euro each, so 13,40 for the pair plus shipping.

I’ll post a review as soon as the kit is completed.

mcHF Display board
mcHF CPU side controller board

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GoFundMe

GoFundMe

EDIT: Waste of time, I cancel the fundraising. 

I posted on GoFundMe a support request for a money collection to buy a DMR Repeater to cover the Mons area.
The crowdfunding is something mysterious to me and I don’t have idea on how it will end up, if someone will really put money on such a project or not. I’ve advertised the initiative on Facebook and Twitter and got some feedback but no money (yet!).

If you wish to contribute the link is: https://www.gofundme.com/dmr-mons

 

DR-1X Repair

DR-1X Repair

Some weeks ago the Yaesu DR-1X repeater decided to give up on power.
Aurelio ON5AFB, Giorgio ON3II, Alex IW0GXY and myself started to troubleshoot the issue to discover that Yaesu sucks. Please read twice: YAESU SUCKS!

Yeasu engineers decided to build a repeater by using a pair of downgraded version of FTM-400 radios and a aluminum radiator stuck on the transmitter with a silicon gen. These radios are build for a duty-cycle of 1-15 not for a heavy-duty cycle therefore the poor 1/32w resistors controlling the MosFet had become charcoal…

Thanks to Max IW0GXY, we managed to install a front-end to the transmitter and thank to the patience of Aurelio ON5AFB, the resistors were replaced with a more powerful one. Aurelio did something better, re-built the cover of the transmitter to have an additional fan directly on top of it. The fan is configured in extraction mode so the air flows from inside to outside reducing the collection of dust.

Jpeg
Final result, the repeater is back in the box.

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DMR Repeater

DMR Repeater

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. (Bertrand Russell)

Max IW0GXY is a great friend but he is also a problem (to me) at the same time; it is solely his fault if I reach the point to dig the internet to find a way to build a home-brew DMR repeater.

We are evaluating several ways ranging from a ready-made Hytera repeater for 1800 Euro to a cheap experimental MMDVR board plus two Motorola GM300 or two Kenwood TK-805.
Honestly there is absolutely nothing in between unless you want to consider the Motorola DR3000 as a valid solution which costs more than the Hytera compare to a brand new Motorola or like an Hytera compare to a used device on eBay with absolutely zero warranty, so Hytera is more convenient than a Motorola and MMDVM is more convenient in absolute.

There is another offer, a chinese Tytera, KYD, MYT, BelFone, you-name-it products which are not available on the B2C market but only on Alibaba and again no warranty on any aspect and I mean: compatibility, quality, reliability, etc.

No rush…