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Obtorto collo, DMR

Obtorto collo, DMR

In cooperation with IW0GXY (formerly ON4GXY) Massimiliano, I started to explore the non-sense of the DMR technology. We bought a pair of Tytera MD-380 handhelds and a couple of DV4mini and we will try to experiment on such technology. I got my ID 2066034 which is required by the repeater in order to grant access to the equipment.

The plan is to explore the radio and try to catch the flavor of it and then, eventually, install an access point or a repeater.

Stay tuned…

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Repeaters status

Repeaters status

ON0MON and ON0MNS are back operational.

ON0MON is connected to the DCS011-D however due to the CCS7 configuration I have no idea if it works or not, feedback are very welcome, please let me know via comment or via private message if you are experiencing any issue with the D-Star Repeater.

ON0MNS is connected to the WIRES-X Network and join the room 27259 which includes, at the moment of writing this post, ON0LGE, ON0LUS and ON0LRG repeaters.

Regarding the rumors about a DMR installation at Rouveroy, at the moment there are no plans to invest in another digital technology especially if that technology is proprietary and controlled by a single user/team located in another country not willing to share it among the repeater system administrator. In this light, and thank you for reading the complete message, I am planning to decommission off the D-Star repeater. I don’t like someone else to dictate rules on something not belonging to them.

Life is too short

Life is too short

Imagine a group of 100 people with a common interest, each one has his own ideas and each one thinks its idea is the best one compare to the others. Now imagine each one of these individuals starts to develop its own idea without sharing, at least the concept, among the group. The group will end up to have 100 different projects not compatible between each other or, maybe, interchangeable but all of these projects are having a common line: the ether, the wave lines.

Now apply all I wrote above to the Amateur Radio Community: in the last 10/15 years we have developed (or used) new technologies and each one absolutely not related to another one. Some of them, such as Echolink, cannot be compared as they are a different way to communicate (for which, in my honest opinion, I’m not seeing it as Ham Radio) but we also developed or adopted new digital technologies. Nowadays we have D-Star, DMR, C4FM along to their respective “via-the-cable” connections such as Wires-X, Reflectors, X-Reflectors, Echolink,, etc…

Inside that we have the additional features allowing people to interact with the systems when they are not geographically close between each other, so like Wires-X interconnects a Japanese node to an Italian node, on the same way X-Reflectors can interconnect a Brazilian D-Star node to a Finnish D-Star node.

D-Star “new” capability is now the CCS7 protocol, nowhere defined as such, but (will be) de facto an additional feature to the D-Star world.

So where is the problem in all the above ruminations I wrote above? None of these systems is interconnected or can be interconnected to the others, A D-Star repeater cannot communicate with a C4FM repeater, despite the fact Yaesu is calling “Fusion” their system, and all because of royalties on their respective protocols (Icom for D-Star, Yaesu for C4FM, Hytera for DMR) not counting the wannabe digital radios the Chinese marketers are selling now on almost any online platform.

We all need to focus on the fact that, by the time goes by, there are less and less Amateur Radio aficionados, look at your local Ham Radio Fests, look at your hair colour, look at your son/grandson how interested they are in our technology and think about it and for how long we can be “a single piece” if we continue to fight for our and just our idea without sharing it.

Life is too short.

ON0CPS QRT, I can’t blame the sysop…

ON0CPS QRT, I can’t blame the sysop…

ON0CPS D*Star Repeater is definitely QRT, not seen online since 25 Dec 2013.

I can’t blame Roger ON4BK, sysop for ON0CPS D*Star Repeater. I went through the statistical reports and the results are depressing. There are just 11 transits routed by IRCDDB in over 1 year. Read again, OVER 1 YEAR!

These cannot justify any repeater unless it is located in the middle of the desert and provided for safety purposes but this is not the case for ON0CPS. It is an AMATEUR radio repeater maintained by a normal person with his regular life.

The main problem for the D*Star is the scattered access, it is useless when you have so many “rooms-and-channels” and not enough people to use them. Example given: DCS011, the Belgian HUB, there are at the moment of writing this, 33 Repeaters connected, mostly Belgian (ON), a couple Swiss (HB) and some French (F).

Two of them are in the “World Wide” channel, 11 are in the Belgium General channel, 1 in the Flemish channel, 17 French channel and 2 in a chatroom.

During the last 2 days (50 hours) the French channel, the “most” populated from the  was used just 40 times…  The Flemish channel got 11 contacts in 11 days, an average of 1 user per day and most of the calls are from a German callsign.

What that means: The D*Star is useless like any other repeater in Belgium. Belgian are not really keen to chat via radio anymore, there are just few brave people which are still interested in this hobby but they will give up soon due to lack of correspondents.

Do you want to know the statistics for ON0MON? Well in almost a year of activity, including the test and the quality assurance calls, there were 3 users which tried to connect to ON0MON and myself.

I’m giving time till the end of 2014 to see if the traffic grows otherwise I will declare QRT as it is a waste of energy and resources.

References:
ON0CPS Dashboard on CCS: http://ccs001.xreflector.net/server/index.php?call=ON0CPS
X-Net DCS011 Users: http://dcs011.xreflector.net/dcs_userstatus.htm
X-Net DCS011 Dashboard: http://dcs011.xreflector.net/dcs_rptstatus.htm
X-Net DCS011 Group Info: http://dcs011.xreflector.net/dcs_info.htm
DCS011 Live Monitor: http://xreflector.net/dcs/index.php?call=DCS011
IRCDDB Status (Belgium): http://status.ircddb.net/cgi-bin/ircddb-gw?BEL
IRCDDB ON0CPS Last Heard: http://status.ircddb.net/cgi-bin/ircddb-log?30%200%20ON0CPS

 

APRS Up, D*Star AMAZING

APRS Up, D*Star AMAZING

ON0MON APRS is back online. I tried several different APRS applications but none of them was working really good on the second Raspberry Pi. Most of them were simply too entangled in configuration and connections. All the examples and experiences I found online are based on the audio modem configuration. Well I bought a real TNC so I can’t see the point to use a USB dongle instead of my TNC, but no one posted an example on how to use the software with a KISS-like TNC.

Now ON0MON D*Star Repeater is working extremely well, amazing configuration and the server is up and running non-stop since several days.

APRS is back on a Windows machine Atom-based with 2 GB of RAM and 64GB SSD Harddrive running APRSISCE/32, exactly like it was a week ago.

Happy New Year.

D*Star Up, APRS Down

D*Star Up, APRS Down

During the last days the D*Star repeater was having some strange behavior by looping itself and dropping the connection to the DCS011 which is the default hub. I did some investigation and I realized that the Windows version of the software are having problems.

Now the repeater is running on a Raspberry Pi version B using the exact software but Linux version and seems to be a little bit better stable but still having issues with DCS011. In fact it drops the connection and tries to connect every minute. The beacon announces the connection to the DCS but in fact it is not connected. It isn’t something which happens very often so it can be that the problem is located somewhere else, such as the Internet connectivity, the DCS itself… who knows… Investigation ongoing.

The APRS instead is now partially (not) working. The computer in charge to run the D*Star software is offline and the APRS system is setup to act as a digipeater only. No iGate capabilities at the moment. I’m planning to setup a smaller PC running just the APRS software. It is a waste of resources to run a quad-core server with 8GB of RAM just for the APRS. I have a small Foxconn Atom which should suffice the requirement for the APRS iGate and Digipeater.

Tomorrow is another day.

 

ON0MON New Frequencies

ON0MON New Frequencies

I have been requested by the BIPT to change the frequencies for ON0MON.

New Frequencies are:

Downlink: 439.1125 MHz
Uplink: 431.5125 MHz

Basic setup: 439.1125 MHz , SHIFT -7.6MHz, Digital D*Star, default connection DCS011 D (French)

Operational every day from 06:00 to 24:00.