I never, ever, want to move again! So much still in tubes, boxes, etc. With any luck, we’ll make the last run to the old place for the biggers stuff and can start thinking about getting it on the market.
I’m still getting settled in the new home and getting the shack back together. As the shack is located in the lower level of the new home, coax runs are a bit of a challenge. As of this writing, I have a four inch hole drilled in the wall out to the brick. As soon as time/weather permits, I’ll punch through the brick and insert a PVC pass-through and get some antennas outside. Believe me, I’m ready.
I started down the road to convert my 33cm Quantar to P25. Alas, it appears that I need to upgrade the ROMs on my SCM, wireline card and my exciter module. Luckily, I’ve located a source for the upgraded ROMs and am working out a deal to get the parts or maybe just ship the boards off and let the guy upgrade the ROMs and align everything as neither of my service monitors do P25. Once this is complete, the repeater will join up with the Quantar Site Connect network. This particular network intrigues me because of its use of Cisco routers to make the connections. Serial Tunneling or STUN. Something new to me, and I’m excited to take what is normally the source for my daily bread and butter (Cisco Networking) and bring it into my favorite past-time.
One other similar crossing of my full-time with my hobby… A Motorola employee and fellow ham who maintains part of the TN statewide public safety network reached out for some Cisco asssitance in linking two of their sites via two routers and a serial tunnel. Very similar to the Quantar Site Connect. Due to the age of the gear they were trying to use, EOL (end of life) in 2008, I recommended either upgrading to something newer or falling back on another option for connectivity. As always seems to be the case with public safety, the funds were not there, so they stepped back to a fractional T1 for now. It was still a very cool opportunity to learn something about how they do things and I was honored to be able to lend my expertise.
Work continues on the IRC website/back end systems. The original email system proved to be less that expected, so we migrated to a different platform this past month. It’s always a challenge to provide feature rich functionality for zero cost. Luckily, I’m able to piggy back onto existing systems that I already use in order to make this happen. Of course, there is always more than one way to do things, so we’ll keep on it. I believe we will finally be able to put the email situation to bed. The repeater directory was updated and some miscellaneous posts to the website as well.
Investigated a local radio code plug issue for a local ham. After an initial look, all appeared to be normal and I continue to work with him to determine what might be the cause of the issues/symptoms that he’s reporting.
Two hams traveling through Indy reached out looking for a way to stay in touch back home via the Crossroads DMR network. Due to affiliations with multiple networks, in each case, we were able to find a common talkgroup to accomplish what they were looking to do. Very cool to be able to help out fellow hams in such a fashion.
Worked with a TN Ham on an interface of the AllStarLink network into a FreePBX system. FreePBX is exactly what the name implies. It is an open source PBX (phone) system based upon Asterisk and running on linux. I’ve used it in various capacities over the years, but this was the first real foray into Ham Radio, beyond what I’d done in the past with AllStarLink. Once our work is finished, endless possibilities exist from being able to dial into a repeater/talkgroup, etc., to trunking that traffic between sites via a SIP (session initiation protocol) trunk, etc.
I bought a couple of Stick PC’s. One by Lenovo and the other by Intel. I’m using these in the shack to control a unitrunker display and a local radar display. These things are pretty cool and about the size of a couple of packs of gum. Each has a quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, and 32GB storage along with a micro-SD slot. Both run Windows 10 out of the box. I’m still working on exactly how hard I can work them, but they are doing what I need. I am only able to get one RTL2832 SDR to work, but I hope that additional power to the USB hub will fix that problem. Now if I can only remember which box my USB hub power adapter is in…..
Consulted with a long-time friend who is interested in becoming licensed. We sat down over lunch and discussed the various aspects of the hobby and I’m happy to report that he’s planning on attending the WD9BSA Testing Session on 5/14. So hopefully next month I will report that we have new ham among the ranks.
Continued to experiment in various capacities with the DR-1X Fusion Repeater, DV4Mini, and P25. No major earth shattering initiatives or discoveries thus far, maybe next month…..
I think that about wraps it up. Until next month!