Good QSO on with 7J1AJH @jimt - Saturday night here, Sunday morning there.

10 year anniversary 

Got my technician license 10 years ago, at the 2010 Maker Faire Detroit.

Thanks to the members of the Tin Lizzy Club (Ford Amateur Radio League) for hosting the exam!

Ed W8EMV boosted

I am reading "How To Wreck a Nice Beach", a history of the vocoder from World War Two to hip-hop.

Written by music journalist Dave Tompkins, it primarily a music history rather than a technology history, and you'd be well-off if you looked up some tunes and played them as he writes about them.


but let me read it first before you reserve it

new ham 

Sent a QSL card just now to a new ham (Greg KE8OYZ) after about 30 minutes discussion on a local FM repeater.

He was tuning up his radio and couldn't hear me at first, but he was persistent and finally fixed something (not sure what) that allowed him to hear me. I am glad I was monitoring.

Greg took the ham test at a club about an hour away that was doing outdoor VE sessions at a park!

ham radio class from KB6NU 

Dan KB6NU is teaching his "one day" ham radio class for the Technician license. He writes:

My next online Technician Class amateur radio license class starts on Monday, August 3,. It will consist of four, two-hour sessions starting at 9 pm EDT (6pm PDT) and running until 11 pm EDT (8pm PDT). Classes are on the following dates:

Monday, August 3
Thursday, August 6
Monday, August 10
Thursday, August 13

details at

(this is a class, not the test.)

raspberry pi booting from USB3 flash drive 

The successful hacking of the afternoon involved getting a Pi 4 to boot directly from USB3, no SD card needed.

This will be more interesting when I get a bigger USB3 storage device, e.g. a USB3 SSD.

Instructions are still pretty beta, but Jeff Geerling's writeup was just what I needed:

tailscale , pi-star, needing a bigger SD card 

I squeezed Tailscale onto my hotspot, but it only has 1% disk space free on the SD card after I'm done. Normally that SD card runs in read-only mode so I'm not all that worried, but I think a next hotspot investment will be a fresh system load with newer software onto a bigger SD card.

(of course I was afraid I would brick the whole thing)

What this should let me do is monitor the console while I'm out and about doing range testing.

DMR hotspot range 

A little writeup of yesterday's DMR hotspot range experiments.

includes links to some entertaining Youtube videos from K0LWC (handheld DMR range test) and KG4VDZ (running a DMR hotspot into a 50 watt amp and a tower-mounted antenna)

how far does my DMR hotspot go? 

At about a block away from it, transmitting on low power, I can get a clear echo reply with Parrot.

At four blocks away, the low power TX doesn't get into the hotspot, but my RD-5R still picks up some fraction of activity on an active channel.

Next thing to try of course is to turn my hotspot link to high power instead of low power, and see if I can increase at least the range on Parrot.

This is way more range than wifi!

listening on feditalk 

radio is tuned in to DMR TG 23514 if anyone is interested in a chat

brief notes from the a.m. QSO 

Notes from my a.m. DMR QSO with @M0YNG on Feditalk

Not sure how to crack the problem of over-use of jargon in technology - there are so many elements where you could easily take something straightforward and introduce complications that would be obvious to an expert but incomprehensible to a novice.

Ed W8EMV boosted

So get off the wall, become involved / All your radio problems have now been solved 

from LL Cool J, "I Can't Live Without My Radio"

a 1980s ode to the boombox


Some stations heard from my QTH in Ann Arbor MI

89.9 CBE Windsor ON (CBC Radio 2)
90.3 WCPN Cleveland OH
90.5 WKAR Lansing MI
91.3 WGTE Toledo OH

Of these the surprise is WCPN Cleveland - I'm not used to picking up stations from that far away.

thanks again @witchy for the pointer to dmrconfig - I wrote up a tiny little report on it here

mostly to say "it works for me", and to also note `qdmr`

which looks like it's derived from the same codebase.

DMR "Upper Peninsula" talkgroup 

TG 31268. There's a repeater in Marquette, MI run by KB0P that has this DMR channel on TS2. Very entertaining roundtable discussion with Paul KB0P and Dave KE8OSP about U.P. history, programming DMR radios, and how it all works.

For more info about the Marquette repeater see under "DMR articles". KB0P repurposed an old Yaesu DR-1X repeater to a DMR repeater using the STM32-DVM system by Repeater Builder.

DMR ragchew, 1970s/80s analog cable TV 

Hey! People are listening on the Michigan statewide DMR net (TG 3126), enough to have a good chat with AA8HS and pose a puzzling question.

In the 1970s and 1980s, you could pick up WKBD TV50 on analog cable TV in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a signal from Detroit, MI 400+ miles away.

How did the signal get there? Satellite downlink, microwave, or? There was no fiber to speak of, and certainly no internet.

I watched a lot of cartoons on TV50!

RD-5R RX Group List; or, why you can hear me and I can't hear you 

Operating notes here

Thanks to @M0YNG and @KC3OWU for helping debug this, and to W8XM for the original ARROW code plug for the RD-5R that got me started.

The tl;dr is, if you have a Radioddity RD-5R with stock firmware, and you want to add a Feditalk channel, you have to add that channel both to TX info and to the RX group list.

(sounds blindingly obvious once you write it that way, but there you are)

halfway there on Feditalk 

I'm pretty sure that @KC3OWU heard me on Feditalk just now, but for reasons I can't explain at the moment I can't hear him - even though the various lights lit up & no errors seen.

very puzzling

MMDVM hotspot, setup notes 

Wrote down the various things I needed to do to get an MMDVM hotspot up and online.

There are some very good tutorials for this task, so I referenced them rather than try to repeat them. Any of them are much better than the single page of tutorial text that was printed and came in the box.

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