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Jim Silly-Balls
Jun 6, 2001

Fondle my shiny metal ass


I expected Jonny to post this but here we are

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Partycat
Oct 25, 2004

Life at last
Salutations from the other side


Plaster Town Cop

idgi

Partycat
Oct 25, 2004

Life at last
Salutations from the other side


Plaster Town Cop

Do we have enough people and tech to resurrect a SAARS net on a brandmeister group ? I have a hotspot and DNR portables , and some are linked into allstar, fusion, etc

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[A]sk me about OS/2 WARP


Yeah sure, i could use a reason to break out the md380 again

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Hey, I ended up with one of those too after one of your posts about it. It hasn't gotten a whole lot of use lately.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010



I too have an MD380 and I've more or less got a handle on programming the drat thing, so if something's going up I'll probably check in.

wolrah
May 8, 2006
what?


I'd be in as soon as I get a hotspot set up. I got a 380 for xmas and finally started playing with it the other day but as far as I can tell I'm not able to reach either of the local repeaters.

I'm currently looking at the $40-ish duplex hats from a million different Chinese brands, figuring I'll slap it on to one of the dozen spare Pis I have around. Any thoughts?

I've heard that one channel can desense the other on those, but that using external antennas spaced further apart solves it pretty simply. Not sure if the N5BOC design in Pi Zero format has the same issue since its antennas are on opposite ends of the board, but it's also more than twice the price and lacks some shiny factor.

Partycat
Oct 25, 2004

Life at last
Salutations from the other side


Plaster Town Cop

I bought one of the Pi Zero looking ones from eBay with the spring antenna that makes a "sproing" sound when you flick it.

It works just fine.

My MD380 has a busted internal microphone, and the screen's backlight barely works when it wants at this point. I have a CS780 from Connect Systems which I don't recommend anyone going out of their way to purchase, and an Alinco DJ-MD5 which is pretty good. The Anytones have good reviews.

I've largely been monitoring local talkgroup on some repeaters or America Link for the comedy of it, but if people are something or if we want to try a TAC I'll be happy to. 3136372 for messages on the network.

e: ordered this one

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Assembled-...se/122878428117

Partycat fucked around with this message at 21:55 on Apr 13, 2020

Progressive JPEG
Feb 19, 2003



I have an Anytone D878 and it's been fine, though I admit I haven't used it much lately. I got mine direct from China via Ebay since nobody in NZ carried it anyway. I was able to reach a nearby DMR repeater with it just fine, after some trial and error with getting the code plug right.

It's an HT, so the interface is an unintuitive mess, but it's not any worse than any other HT. It "feels" very solid and high quality, right in the territory of my FT60. I imagine it'd be a bad idea to let it get wet though.

The Hambulance
Apr 19, 2011



ASK ME ABOUT MY AWESOME STARTUP IDEA


Fun Shoe

Terminal posted:

I'll be taking my Technician test online this Wednesday through a Massachusetts VE group as part of the "beta". It's being conducted over Zoom and will require connecting both the testing computer and a cellphone to the session so I can pan around the room. Currently it's one test-taker at a time so they're only offering 3 time slots per day and only a single level so I can't shoot for General until a later date.

Hopefully once this first round is done they'll be opening it up to the general masses.

Please let us know how it goes. I'm curious to see if the FCC is functioning and grants the license.

Terminal
Feb 17, 2003
The Void

The Hambulance posted:

Please let us know how it goes. I'm curious to see if the FCC is functioning and grants the license.

Just finished my remote Technician exam, 35/35

It was put on by a VE group in eastern Massachusetts that normally holds guided study + exam sessions as part of a larger science organization. They're easy enough to find but I don't want to totally out them since this is all still a WIP and all remote slots are booked till late April.

A few hours before my exam I was sent a link to get a test PIN and also enter info to generate a form 605. An hour or so after that I was sent the 605 and had to e-sign and return it. I was asked to sign into Zoom 15 minutes early in case their last session went quickly, we only ended up starting ~5 minutes early.

The pre-exam guidelines sounded fairly strict: scanning the room with a cellphone camera, eyes on the test, threats of tarring and feathering if they think you cheated, etc. Thankfully the reality is a bunch of elder nerds all trying to one up each others webcam backgrounds. There's definitely some awkwardness with 3 VE's all trying to ask you to pan your cellphone in different directions and 720p laptop webcams don't work too well for ID verification, but for something that just launched last week I can't really complain.

The actual test was done through examtools.org which if you've used hamstudy.org will be a familiar site. It just loads one long page with all 35 questions, you're free to scroll forward and back at your leisure as well as review and change answers up until you hit Grade Exam. The VE's all turned off video right before loading the test to minimize "not that one!" looks as you go through it.

Your grade is available immediately after hitting Grade Exam, if you do get any wrong it won't show which. I should shortly receive my CSCE as a just-in-case measure.

Since this is an ARRL group they'll be submitting my results to them tonight which should make it to the FCC tomorrow. I was warned that the FCC is having database issues but that beyond those they are functioning at somewhat regular speed. I was encouraged to reach back if I don't see a callsign in the next 2 days or so.

Overall very uneventful and actually preferable to finding the "community room" in the local community college or shopping mall but obviously a huge bottleneck for the VE's right now. Now to study for General...

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Glad to hear that, even before all this poo poo went nuts the test availability here near me wasn't all that compatible with my schedule.

The Hambulance
Apr 19, 2011



ASK ME ABOUT MY AWESOME STARTUP IDEA


Fun Shoe

Terminal posted:

Since this is an ARRL group they'll be submitting my results to them tonight which should make it to the FCC tomorrow. I was warned that the FCC is having database issues but that beyond those they are functioning at somewhat regular speed. I was encouraged to reach back if I don't see a callsign in the next 2 days or so.

My local ARRL guy was ADAMANT that the FCC hadn't approved online testing and these darn kids and their fancy online technology... I had also heard from another former ARRL person that the FCC was "completely shut down" despite there being new licenses granted every day.

Please post when you get your call sign so I can wave it under their noses Up to you if you post your actual call or not, as the database is publicly viewable.

This entire hobby needs some new blood to get it into the 21st century (and I'm a greybeard myself).

In totally non-shocking news, I went ahead and purchased a Yaesu FT-891 with the FC-50 antenna tuner and a couple of hamsticks. Also a cable for battery operation, the RT Systems programming software, and a few other "might as well to save on shipping" items. Soon I will be exploring 6 meters and the Tech portion of the 10 meter band.

I also stumbled onto a net that was more than geezers complaining about their ailments. It was on a WAN linked repeater, and there were probably 50 people from the eastern USA checking in. It was actually fun to just listen.

Terminal
Feb 17, 2003
The Void

The Hambulance posted:

My local ARRL guy was ADAMANT that the FCC hadn't approved online testing and these darn kids and their fancy online technology... I had also heard from another former ARRL person that the FCC was "completely shut down" despite there being new licenses granted every day.

Please post when you get your call sign so I can wave it under their noses Up to you if you post your actual call or not, as the database is publicly viewable.

Even the initial ARRL statements on online testing were similar to this, most people waved the Alaskan VE group as a counterpoint. Their recent announcements have softened and basically said "give the VE groups time" which at least means if your local one is curmudgeonly there should be others with eventual availability. Obviously the FCC is still up and running to an extent, though my GMRS license I put in for last month did take about a week.

Received my CSCE this morning (~1am) with an apology for the lateness. Not sure if that means it was similarly delayed to the VEC, I'll just keep -ing the ULS as normal.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

The Hambulance posted:

In totally non-shocking news, I went ahead and purchased a Yaesu FT-891 with the FC-50 antenna tuner and a couple of hamsticks.

Nice choice. You'll enjoy it.

Terminal
Feb 17, 2003
The Void

Not sure where the paperwork is tied up but still no callsign.

Also found out very quickly how insular and toxic the local GMRS & 2M repeaters are. Everything from running digital modes on GMRS because it's "their" repeater to poo poo-talking others between bands. Apparently they've never had the thought that people run scanners, or just don't give a poo poo. The final straw was a good 15-20 minutes of dog-whistling when someone with a minority accent came on and did his best to make acquaintances.

In somewhat related news, going to be returning my analog CCR because even after casing mods I still have to shout out it for barely acceptable modulation. Have an Anytone 878 on the way and will probably be investing in a hotspot since the closest DMR repeater would be a hail Mary without another 50+ watts.

The Hambulance
Apr 19, 2011



ASK ME ABOUT MY AWESOME STARTUP IDEA


Fun Shoe

Terminal posted:

Also found out very quickly how insular and toxic the local GMRS & 2M repeaters are. Everything from running digital modes on GMRS because it's "their" repeater to poo poo-talking others between bands. Apparently they've never had the thought that people run scanners, or just don't give a poo poo. The final straw was a good 15-20 minutes of dog-whistling when someone with a minority accent came on and did his best to make acquaintances.

The only good thing about this is you can just turn the dial. Or call them out on their bullshit and be nice to the people they are making GBS threads on.

There are clubs filled with shitheads, and there are clubs that are pretty laid back. You just have to find one that fits. Repeaters are, at least in my area, a dime a dozen.

Terminal
Feb 17, 2003
The Void

License showed up in the ULS about 11am EST, not a bad timeline considering current world affairs. Now to find a decent vanity to apply for since the suffix characters in my sequential are terrible to enunciate if not done in NATO.

The Hambulance
Apr 19, 2011



ASK ME ABOUT MY AWESOME STARTUP IDEA


Fun Shoe

Terminal posted:

License showed up in the ULS about 11am EST, not a bad timeline considering current world affairs. Now to find a decent vanity to apply for since the suffix characters in my sequential are terrible to enunciate if not done in NATO.



I'm in the same boat with the call letters. The last three all sound the same. Some people even screw it up when I use the NATO phonetics.

EDIT: http://ae7q.com/query/ has been invaluable when looking for a vanity call. More reliable than the FCC's website.

The Hambulance fucked around with this message at 15:46 on Apr 20, 2020

CapnBry
Jul 15, 2002

I got this goin'

Grimey Drawer

Terminal posted:

Also found out very quickly how insular and toxic the local GMRS & 2M repeaters are.
I get a real kick out of listening to some of the crazies out there on 40m. There's one guy I hear from Georgia who will just say the most batshit insane stuff about like how Mexico did Vietnam and that's how Obama (if that is even his name) turned the interstate system into a death trap. He goes on and on for 5-10 minutes at a time and almost interrupts himself mid-sentence to say "come back" and then pauses so his buddy can just get "mmhmm" in, and then goes on for another 5-10 minutes. I love sharing his accusations with my best friend. There's plenty of terrible people out there but it seems less awful and hateful than many gaming Discords!

I've got a dumb dumb question. I'm trying to throw together a quick 20m spiral loop antenna and I have never used a variable capacitor before. As you can see here I turned my L-C resonating bit into just a wire by soldering the loop to the solder lugs on both sides.


Soooo where does one solder the other wire? To the clippy wire bit in the center? To the case somewhere? Sorry about the lovely lighting it was impossible to get enough light on it.

Forseti
May 26, 2001
To the lovenasium!


Question about PLLs, I figure this is probably the thread with the people most likely to know these things.

I'm working on a circuit that I want to sync on the NTSC colorburst at 3.58MHz. From what I gather searching around the interwebs, people love the CD4046 and hate the 74HC4046 in general. Problem is the CD4046 tops out at 1.4MHz while the 74HC4046 should get to around 18MHz. The use case is actually decoding NTSC video, so my thought was to use the PLL to generate a reference clock from the colorburst to use as a reference to demodulate the phase modulated color data in the active part of the line. I know there are complete chips that do this (NTSC decoding), but I would rather design my own because I want to decode the non-standard 240P signal from older video game consoles. Also I just find it a fun challenge.

Is the 74HC4046 a buggy piece of crap as sold today? Should I be looking at another PLL completely?

longview
Dec 25, 2006

heh.


First I've heard that people hate the 74HC4046, maybe just pissed that it only works at 5V?

There's also the 74HCT9046A which is a slightly higher performance 74HC4046,

Terminal
Feb 17, 2003
The Void

Friendship ended with Baofeng, now thicc Anytone is my best friend.



Returned the UV-82C I'd been toying with as even after drilling out the mic port on the case and speaker mic it still had as much modulation as a $15 FRS bubble pack.

Spent some time monitoring the output of the closest DMR repeater and it looks like no chance I can receive from it let alone hit the input. I've got one of the generic Pi Zero-based MMDVM's arriving next week so I can at least play with some of the digital side.

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[A]sk me about OS/2 WARP


CapnBry posted:


Soooo where does one solder the other wire? To the clippy wire bit in the center? To the case somewhere? Sorry about the lovely lighting it was impossible to get enough light on it.

The rotor (spinning plates) is actually bonded to the frame. The stator (fixed plates) are insulated and there should be a terminal for those somewhere.

taqueso
Mar 8, 2004









Fun Shoe

I'm working on a car pc project and I'm going to use SDR for FM radio. I have an upconverter and can rx AM fine but it's low priority. The AM/FM functionality works now using the antenna that was included with the SDR dongle but eventually I need to permanently mount it in the car and figure out a real antenna to use.


The car is a 2004 Volvo XC90, the rear 1/3 of the roof is plastic and has a circuit board with planar antennas for the radio and GPS. It works but it doesn't have especially amazing reception that makes me want to keep it. There have been a lot of antenna advances since 2004, how plausible is replacing this with a modern cooler planar antenna setup? I have EE experience but hardly any with RF, but I'm willing to dive in and learn. A steerable phased array should be possible right? Something with fractal antennas which I don't know anything about but I keep seeing the term? Alternately I could use off the shelf external antennas, but that doesn't make for much of a project. Ideally I would eventually have antennas for terrestrial radio, GPS, 2.4GHz, and LTE.

assuming MIMO for most of that means a lot of antennas...

mycomancy
Oct 16, 2016

Not keeping silent about crimes committed by the government of China is racist!

taqueso posted:

I'm working on a car pc project and I'm going to use SDR for FM radio. I have an upconverter and can rx AM fine but it's low priority. The AM/FM functionality works now using the antenna that was included with the SDR dongle but eventually I need to permanently mount it in the car and figure out a real antenna to use.


The car is a 2004 Volvo XC90, the rear 1/3 of the roof is plastic and has a circuit board with planar antennas for the radio and GPS. It works but it doesn't have especially amazing reception that makes me want to keep it. There have been a lot of antenna advances since 2004, how plausible is replacing this with a modern cooler planar antenna setup? I have EE experience but hardly any with RF, but I'm willing to dive in and learn. A steerable phased array should be possible right? Something with fractal antennas which I don't know anything about but I keep seeing the term? Alternately I could use off the shelf external antennas, but that doesn't make for much of a project. Ideally I would eventually have antennas for terrestrial radio, GPS, 2.4GHz, and LTE.

assuming MIMO for most of that means a lot of antennas...
What the gently caress did I just read?

Forseti
May 26, 2001
To the lovenasium!


taqueso posted:

I'm working on a car pc project and I'm going to use SDR for FM radio. I have an upconverter and can rx AM fine but it's low priority. The AM/FM functionality works now using the antenna that was included with the SDR dongle but eventually I need to permanently mount it in the car and figure out a real antenna to use.


The car is a 2004 Volvo XC90, the rear 1/3 of the roof is plastic and has a circuit board with planar antennas for the radio and GPS. It works but it doesn't have especially amazing reception that makes me want to keep it. There have been a lot of antenna advances since 2004, how plausible is replacing this with a modern cooler planar antenna setup? I have EE experience but hardly any with RF, but I'm willing to dive in and learn. A steerable phased array should be possible right? Something with fractal antennas which I don't know anything about but I keep seeing the term? Alternately I could use off the shelf external antennas, but that doesn't make for much of a project. Ideally I would eventually have antennas for terrestrial radio, GPS, 2.4GHz, and LTE.

assuming MIMO for most of that means a lot of antennas...

Not sure if you actually want a really sensitive antenna for FM radio. Seems like you'd run the risk of just receiving a bunch of conflicting stations from different areas broadcasting on the same/close enough frequency similar to 2.4GHz WiFi in an apartment complex.

Internet Wizard
Aug 9, 2009

BANDAIDS DON'T FIX BULLET HOLES


Most of my experience with FM commercial stations and my SDRs has been trying to get an antenna setup that WONT receive those station whether I want to or not, so I donít think you need to worry about upgrading the antenna system your car already has for receiving FM

taqueso
Mar 8, 2004









Fun Shoe

mycomancy posted:

What the gently caress did I just read?

I'll happily admit I'm somewhat off the deep end on this project. But I'm just having fun and I will need some antennas.


Forseti posted:

Not sure if you actually want a really sensitive antenna for FM radio. Seems like you'd run the risk of just receiving a bunch of conflicting stations from different areas broadcasting on the same/close enough frequency similar to 2.4GHz WiFi in an apartment complex.


Internet Wizard posted:

Most of my experience with FM commercial stations and my SDRs has been trying to get an antenna setup that WONT receive those station whether I want to or not, so I don’t think you need to worry about upgrading the antenna system your car already has for receiving FM

In that case maybe I can re-use what's there.

mycomancy
Oct 16, 2016

Not keeping silent about crimes committed by the government of China is racist!

taqueso posted:

I'll happily admit I'm somewhat off the deep end on this project. But I'm just having fun and I will need some antennas.

I'm not joking, I have no idea what you're trying to do. Are you trying to build a super antenna for...FM broadcast radio?! Am I parsing this correctly or have my wild years of hedonism finally caught up to me?

taqueso
Mar 8, 2004









Fun Shoe

I want antennas for LTE, wifi, GPS, and terrestrial radio. I need to take off the headliner so I'll have access the the stock planar antenna soon.

longview
Dec 25, 2006

heh.


What you're suggesting sounds like a pretty major design job, especially doing anything involving phase steering.

If you actually want reasonable performance for most bands instead of a month/year long project, maybe just buy a standard shark fin antenna like this:
https://www.lairdconnect.com/rf-ant...vehicle-antenna

The UHF port will probably work for broadcast FM if you replace the included whip with a longer one.

taqueso
Mar 8, 2004









Fun Shoe

I'm kinda ok with a multi-month project but I do already have a stack of projects going on for this. Realistically, antenna diy stuff would be months away. I like the idea of doing it myself just to say I did, but I'm fine with not doing it. That antenna you posted looks about perfect, I was thinking I would need more than oneto get that many ports.

longview
Dec 25, 2006

heh.


Off the cuff:
I don't think you'll be able to outperform the old antenna for broadcast FM without making it bigger/sacrificing other bands. I'd suggest a whip for that, which would also be vertically polarized (I know some stations are circular, but a lot are vertical).
Phase steering for FM will probably not work very well unless you can get a larger baseline.

For LTE/5G low band, Laird makes higher gain antennas in the Phantom/Phantom Elite series but then you have extra antennas to deal with. See for example the TRA6927M3 (single port).

xergm
Sep 8, 2009

The Moon is for Sissies!

I guess the question also depends on how visible you mind your antennas being. Probably the best bet for broadcast FM is really just a whip.

Modern car FM antennas are usually clever compromises which conceal the antenna by using the metal bodywork as a part of it.
Most people like clean lines instead of metal radio whiskers everywhere.

If the car has a shark fin antenna with LTE/GPS leads, use those. Whatever you find probably won't be any better.
For FM, there may be better options if you don't mind sticking a big whip on the car. If you want it to look stock, your options dry up pretty quick.

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[A]sk me about OS/2 WARP


You could also get clever with conductive tape elements on the rear windows (like the rear side ones, not the back gate - that'll have defroster wires and will probably screw things up)

The Hambulance
Apr 19, 2011



ASK ME ABOUT MY AWESOME STARTUP IDEA


Fun Shoe

Dumb question time.

I bought a Fan Dipole that I'm going to install in my attic. It's made for 6 & 10 meters, and I bought it just to play on one of the local radio club's nets on those frequencies.

My first question is mounting: Do the wires of the antenna have to be free-standing? Or will there be heat issues if they touch the wooden rafters all along the run.

The second question is about transmitting. The 10 meter and 6 meter nets are USB, but there is a "Mini boat anchor" 6 meter AM net after the USB net. Is there anything I have to worry about when I use AM instead of USB transmissions? I'm guessing I'll have to transmit around 10 to 25 watts, but the transmitter will do 100. I never plan on exceeding 50 at my home, but who knows what may happen in the future.

longview
Dec 25, 2006

heh.


Stringing a dipole along wood will definitely de-tune it, possibly severely depending on the type of wood and the moisture content.
At higher powers you could end up arcing into the wood, posing a fire risk.

From what I know, the ends of a dipole are more sensitive to nearby objects and have a higher voltage than the feed-point, so they would be more important to keep free.

Mantle
May 15, 2004


I'm looking to get licensed to play around with packet radio to relive 1990s BBS nostalgia, but it seems expensive to get a minimally viable setup with an HT + TNC.

I have some Arduinos lying around so would something like the ham shield get me connected to anything in my city?

https://inductivetwig.com/products/hamshield

If not, what about a cheap USB SDR?

I just want to "dial up" to a packet radio node at 1200 or 9600 baud and do text chat or BBS mail.

Long term I want to be able to do something like control a remote Arduino or Raspberry Pi device over packet radio commands.

Mantle fucked around with this message at 20:34 on Apr 28, 2020

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Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Mantle posted:

I'm looking to get licensed to play around with packet radio to relive 1990s BBS nostalgia, but it seems expensive to get a minimally viable setup with an HT + TNC.

I have some Arduinos lying around so would something like the ham shield get me connected to anything in my city?

https://inductivetwig.com/products/hamshield

That's not HF, and I'm not aware of any packet radio activity anymore. Digi modes, yeah, but not packet BBSs.


Mantle posted:

If not, what about a cheap USB SDR?

An HF one maybe?

You don't really need a TNC for this stuff anymore. It's all done in software. I built a little isolator and use a USB sound card dongle and Ham Radio Deluxe/DM780.

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