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The Claptain
May 11, 2014



Grimey Drawer

What logging software do you all recommend that doesn't have completely horrible interface and makes eyes bleed?

Like, I know the good majority of ham radio software follows the 90s "aesthetics", but there must be something out there that doesn't make me seriously consider plain pen and paper.

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Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

The Claptain posted:

What logging software do you all recommend that doesn't have completely horrible interface and makes eyes bleed?

Like, I know the good majority of ham radio software follows the 90s "aesthetics", but there must be something out there that doesn't make me seriously consider plain pen and paper.

I'm still using the last free version of HRD (which looks like it's still available here: http://www.oh1sa.net/data/software/HRD/ham_radio_deluxe/)

I went through some newer stuff a few years back, but even if the UI was better they were just real....."this is the first thing I've ever coded" full of C# and bad decisions.

MisterOblivious
Mar 17, 2010


Twerk from Home posted:

Do you have GMRS radio recommendations? It looks like MidlandUSA is basically the only game in town, at a glance.

gently caress the law, nobody cares, get a ham radio and program GMRS frequencies in to it.

Doubly so if you use FRS frequencies. There isn't a ham out there bored enough to police FRS for only FRS legal radios, despite what reddit may claim.

MisterOblivious fucked around with this message at 13:54 on Mar 24, 2021

wolrah
May 8, 2006
what?


As always there's the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.

The letter of the law says you must only use unmodified radios of the proper type in basically every band other than those allocated to amateurs.

The spirit of the law is to prevent users with badly modified or entirely inappropriate radios from interfering with other users.

It's my personal belief that if you take the time to ensure your amateur radio is properly configured for a non-amateur band including both bandwidth and transmit power that you'd likely be transmitting a cleaner signal than many legal radios (especially in FRS/GMRS land where many people buy the cheapest one on the shelf) and thus complying with the spirit of the law regardless of the letter. If you're not harming the shared spectrum, who cares?

How loosely GMRS licensing is handled demonstrates how much the FCC really cares about walkie-talkie bands. Don't draw attention to yourself and it'll never be an issue. Intentional interference is really the only thing that actually gets enforcement in non-commercial bands.

wolrah fucked around with this message at 15:40 on Mar 24, 2021

hbag
Feb 13, 2021

piss lord




decided to take a look at this poo poo and ive heard some weird poo poo listening to the wide-band webSDR

a lot of data transfers(?), radio stations, etc
nothing extraordinary but its interesting for some reason

The Claptain
May 11, 2014



Grimey Drawer

Motronic posted:

I'm still using the last free version of HRD (which looks like it's still available here: http://www.oh1sa.net/data/software/HRD/ham_radio_deluxe/)

I went through some newer stuff a few years back, but even if the UI was better they were just real....."this is the first thing I've ever coded" full of C# and bad decisions.


Thanks, I'll give it a try.
It also looks like qrz.com logbook has been updated since I last looked at it, and it's pretty ok now.

hbag
Feb 13, 2021

piss lord




is it weird if i think the main reason i find this interesting is more for the "building my own equipment and transmitting with it" part and less the actually transmitting part (while that's also pretty cool)

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

hbag posted:

is it weird if i think the main reason i find this interesting is more for the "building my own equipment and transmitting with it" part and less the actually transmitting part (while that's also pretty cool)

No, a lot of us are exactly like that. I go back and forth on just playing with electronics to "I guess I'll actually use it to talk to people now".

hbag
Feb 13, 2021

piss lord




Motronic posted:

No, a lot of us are exactly like that. I go back and forth on just playing with electronics to "I guess I'll actually use it to talk to people now".

yeah
probably doesnt help that i have anxiety re: my voice anyway lol so ill probably just use it for SSTV bullshit if i get licensed for it

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

hbag posted:

yeah
probably doesnt help that i have anxiety re: my voice anyway lol so ill probably just use it for SSTV bullshit if i get licensed for it

There's a ton of digital modes out there other than just SSTV if you're mic shy. You can still have a great time with those.

hbag
Feb 13, 2021

piss lord




Motronic posted:

There's a ton of digital modes out there other than just SSTV if you're mic shy. You can still have a great time with those.

that just gave me an idea for something that probably sounds way cooler in my head than it actually is

the milk machine
Jul 23, 2002



hbag posted:

is it weird if i think the main reason i find this interesting is more for the "building my own equipment and transmitting with it" part and less the actually transmitting part (while that's also pretty cool)

no thatís me also, I havenít gotten motivated to get licensed yet but Iím here for building cool antenna and electronics stuff

txing is cool of course but I donít know what Iíd say other than ďhello itís me, Iím on the radioĒ

I mainly wanna get into digital/sstv/whatever and similar stuff too

manero
Jan 30, 2006





Yeah, absolutely not. I've been licensed since 1992, I really got back into the hobby around 2012, and enjoy operating.

But right now my main interest is writing some web-based remote software for my HF radio, so that's taken up the majority of my "hobby" time.

The great thing about the hobby is you can really make it fit your interests, even if they don't stay the same through the years. There's always something to do or a new interesting corner to explore!

Neito
Feb 18, 2009

Finally, an avatar the describes my love of tech, my love of anime, and why I'll never see a real girl naked.


Mic fright is real poo poo, though hanging out on the AG0ON TG with other goons helps.

Also, if you're looking for some digital modes, RTTY, APRS, and if you get up to General/Extra FT8 are all pretty popular. I know there's something of a movement to bring back RTTY Ragchews, but I dunno if that's going anywhere.

hbag
Feb 13, 2021

piss lord




welp i bought a manual for getting my foundation license (im in the UK) so heres hoping my ADD lets me loving read it for more than 5 minutes

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Neito posted:

Mic fright is real poo poo, though hanging out on the AG0ON TG with other goons helps.

This right here. We've been doing DMR stuff pretty regularly (like twice a week) and you can just fall on your drat face and disappear or say you can't do it on our discord or just bail out. It doesn't matter, we don't judge you. We're doing "formal" nets just to get people used to the format and have something to say on mic. Then just talking after....just jump in. Or just be on discord and talk there while we're talking on radio until you're comfortable to jump on.

I get the hesitation. But I think you'll get over it quick in a space full of goons who aren't judging you and just want to nerd out.

drunk mutt
Jul 5, 2011

I just think they're neat

hbag posted:

welp i bought a manual for getting my foundation license (im in the UK) so heres hoping my ADD lets me loving read it for more than 5 minutes

So, while I'm not quoting the post I'm actually responding to, once you are licensed, we run a DMR net that's "formal" while not really being formal (in the sense no one will care if you gently caress up).

The timing probably won't work out for you for our current schedule, however, I'm willing to run a net on Saturday at a time that is more suitable for your TZ.

If you are not already a member of our Discord, join it and we can get you over your mic anxiety (we all have it and are working on it).

hbag
Feb 13, 2021

piss lord




drunk mutt posted:

So, while I'm not quoting the post I'm actually responding to, once you are licensed, we run a DMR net that's "formal" while not really being formal (in the sense no one will care if you gently caress up).

The timing probably won't work out for you for our current schedule, however, I'm willing to run a net on Saturday at a time that is more suitable for your TZ.

If you are not already a member of our Discord, join it and we can get you over your mic anxiety (we all have it and are working on it).

eh my sleep schedule's hosed anyway i could probably stay up for it
and, sure, i'll join the discord once ive figured out if im actually gonna commit to this or if i lack the attention span

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

hbag posted:

and, sure, i'll join the discord once ive figured out if im actually gonna commit to this or if i lack the attention span

I guess you're in good company.

(seriously.....join the discord, have fun soldering on radios, and if you like talk to us nerds)

hbag
Feb 13, 2021

piss lord




poo poo i dont even own a soldering iron
...and my bedroom isnt very well ventilated
...and i live with my parents

maybe i can set up a fan next to my window and wear a respirator or something

DevNull
Apr 4, 2007

And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
A human being that was given to fly



Neito posted:

Mic fright is real poo poo, though hanging out on the AG0ON TG with other goons helps.

Also, if you're looking for some digital modes, RTTY, APRS, and if you get up to General/Extra FT8 are all pretty popular. I know there's something of a movement to bring back RTTY Ragchews, but I dunno if that's going anywhere.

Outside of the goon DMR group, I have used a mic three times in 2 years. Once was to a co-worker. I have done hundreds of contacts with FT8.

hbag posted:

welp i bought a manual for getting my foundation license (im in the UK) so heres hoping my ADD lets me loving read it for more than 5 minutes

I took around a year to study for my tech and a year for my general. I have the book for extra, but will probably take even longer. No need to rush.

poeticoddity
Jan 14, 2007
"How nice - to feel nothing and still get full credit for being alive." - Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five

hbag posted:

poo poo i dont even own a soldering iron
...and my bedroom isnt very well ventilated
...and i live with my parents

maybe i can set up a fan next to my window and wear a respirator or something

While definitely not ideal, my first foray into soldering was using an $8 radio-shack pencil iron on my back deck specifically for concern from fumes that I no longer care about.

Turmoil
Jun 27, 2000

Forum Veteran



Young Urchin

I finally got my DMR hotspot configured and I'm pretty impressed with it.
Even thought I have a few DMR repeaters in range, it's nice to just be able to listen on my hotspot without taking up a time slot on the repeater.

I ordered a C4 Labs DRPi-1NSX case(with a 2.4" Nextion screen) and a AURSINC MMDVM Duplex Hotspot Module Dual Hat V1.3.

Assembly was easy and getting Pi-Star running took a little tinkering, but overall wasn't too difficult. The Nextion Ham page and Pi-Star forums had the information I needed to get everything working.

The screen is nice and everything coming through the hotspot sounds great.

Now if I can just work up talking to people.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Nice. You should join us on Discord and then on a net. Next one is Tuesday evening.

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[ASK] me about OS/2 WARP




Nice. I never could get my hotspot running right, just constant dropouts that made it unusable. Even bought a usb otg ethernet adapter to hard wire it, no luck. Sucks because i'd really love to join in to the goon tg but maybe once I move to portland i'll find better luck.

hbag
Feb 13, 2021

piss lord




just while i read up on this poo poo, anyone feel like sharing what i should expect when trying to get my foundation license? as in, how much of this i'm going to need to absolutely 100% memorize
because my memory sucks

thehustler
Apr 17, 2004

I am very curious about this little crescendo


Been beavering away for a week or so on Babbyís First Arduino/Si5351 VFO and got it working, ended up sending it into a BJT PA and it all worked fine. A few hundred milliwatts out.

Then replaced with a MOSFET in the schematic design after some tips on Reddit, so hopefully Iím good for a few watts with this and Iím going to order the parts. Having to go through a NAND gate buffer like the QCX to reach the voltage required to open the gate.

And then the whole thing grew legs and welp, I made a full board for it. I should probably add a test mode automatic message thing. Maybe even an RTC and a temp/alt sensor for information.

https://ibb.co/B2qTbdj

https://twitter.com/markpentler/status/1376914389178146816?s=21

Just need to finish the actual code now. Iím surprised how easy itís all been. Kinda cool how far Iíve come since picking up an Uno a few years ago and making a light blink. Honestly assumed Iíd get frustrated and give up.

And should probably do my intermediate licence too...

thehustler fucked around with this message at 17:13 on Mar 30, 2021

thehustler
Apr 17, 2004

I am very curious about this little crescendo


Oh, the prototype of my data mode interface thing from a few weeks back is fine for speech but I had little luck with POCSAG pager audio. Is that just going to be the lack of a discriminator tap?

Will I need a discriminator tap for decoding more amateur-related things like SSTV or RTTY? Should also check my connections I guess but it just seems a bit distorted even at non-full volumes.

What about WEFAX?

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[ASK] me about OS/2 WARP




thehustler posted:


Will I need a discriminator tap for decoding more amateur-related things like SSTV or RTTY? ...
What about WEFAX?

Not at all. All of those are designed to be yeeted through a lovely 2.8 KHz SSB channel with flexible phase.

The only ham or ham-adjacent things that i've seen that _need_ discriminator taps to run right are pocsag and 9600 packet. I guess some maniacs are figuring out how to software modem D-Star and that might need it, but that's all I can think of.

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





i spent some time over the weekend putting an analog bridge+mmdvm bridge setup that uses a thumbdv into docker and then into unraid. now i can do the things i could before, but in a container instead of hanging off my server

maybe i will eventually hit up the dmr net yall run

thehustler
Apr 17, 2004

I am very curious about this little crescendo


Jonny 290 posted:

Not at all. All of those are designed to be yeeted through a lovely 2.8 KHz SSB channel with flexible phase.

What if Iím doing it over FM simplex - does the increased bandwidth matter then? Iíll give this a try at the weekend anyway, from the top of a large hill.

Gonna try an SSTV SOTA activation.

Neito
Feb 18, 2009

Finally, an avatar the describes my love of tech, my love of anime, and why I'll never see a real girl naked.


thehustler posted:

What if Iím doing it over FM simplex - does the increased bandwidth matter then? Iíll give this a try at the weekend anyway, from the top of a large hill.

Gonna try an SSTV SOTA activation.

If anything, it makes it a bit clearer.

SSTV is super "durable" and can be tossed out over basically anything. Some youtubers I watch did it across their little suburban development by holding a phone up to a $10 Wal-Mart FRS radio.

Hell, the space station throws it out over an FM link while spinning wildly and screaming through space at whatever speed and people can pick it up with rubber duckies on HTs.

thehustler
Apr 17, 2004

I am very curious about this little crescendo


Neito posted:

If anything, it makes it a bit clearer.

SSTV is super "durable" and can be tossed out over basically anything. Some youtubers I watch did it across their little suburban development by holding a phone up to a $10 Wal-Mart FRS radio.

Hell, the space station throws it out over an FM link while spinning wildly and screaming through space at whatever speed and people can pick it up with rubber duckies on HTs.

Iíve done it holding the speaker to a mic before so this is all probably true. Thanks!

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[ASK] me about OS/2 WARP




yeah, FM SSTV looks really good from my experience. My Allstar node used to have a dial-a-cat-pic feature where you'd hit #3 or something and it'd encode and then send a random kitty photo

Vir
Dec 14, 2007

Does it tickle when your Body Thetans flap their wings, eh Beatrice?


Some of the newer data modes in fldigi are even made to be used over an HT microphone held up to the speaker, but getting regular packet/APRS to work that way is something I've had less success with. I did get SoundModem to work on a Linux PC and set up AX.25 packets and use Xastir to send and receive APRS map beacons with my FT-817, but when I got time to play around with APRS again I just got an HT with a built-in TNC, rather than doing all that song and dance with audio levels and network configuration.

On HF I've been trying a bit of FT8, and getting ready to try JP8Call. FT8 is nice for those who don't like talking - it's mainly a propagation study tool and DX collector - but JP8Call adds communcation on top of it.

Since I'm more active on VHF/UHF now than in the past I've also started tracking down sources of interference on 2m. The first one was the terrestial TV box. The second was a birdie in the HT itself, but it's in the CW part of the 2m spectrum which it isn't supposed to transmit on anyway, and it doesn't emit the birdie it into the air.

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[ASK] me about OS/2 WARP




those multi carrier wide PSK modes in fldigi are amazing yeah. you can hold an HT next to a laptop and transmit and receive data at like 4kbps, way way way beyond the old '1200 AFSK is the best you can do on an FM radio' standard.

thehustler
Apr 17, 2004

I am very curious about this little crescendo


My cable works on FM simplex and SSTV was indeed all fine. I held up my phone playing the audio to another radio and had it coming in to the first radio just perfectly. Now zipping memes across the room.

A whole new world awaits! I am kinda excited. My PTT is manual slide lock switch though so no serial control yet.

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[ASK] me about OS/2 WARP











MLA-30 loop + cheap tripod + collapsible fishing pole.

---

I picked up an icom R10 for a song this morning so wanted to have a cute park antenna setup that doesn't require throwing poo poo in trees or stringing wires around. The whole setup should tuck into even my smaller backpacks. I'll report in when the icom shows up and we'll see how she runs!

Big Mackson
Sep 26, 2009


I demand low signal propagation report so i can see if i too will be loopy.

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Merv Burger
Jan 3, 2008



Yesterday was a nice day, so I decided to test out my kit that I've been building out for the past month after upgrading my licence. I've decided to go with a portable setup, since it's not really practical to have a full-time setup at home.

Strung up the antenna, hooked everything up and did some operating out on the deck.



Rig is a Xiegu G90. Not bad for cheap, and seems like it punches above its weight class. Had it hooked up to a 6Ah LiFePO4 battery, and was able to go for about 4 hours off of whatever charge was on the battery that it shipped with.

Antenna is an end-fed half wave, I bought the KM4ACK kit. It's a nice portable kit, and comes with everything you need to put it together. Got it tuned for 40/20/15/10 no problem.

I got contacts in Venezuela and the Azores using FT8/FT4, and had a solid signal report on SSB with someone doing POTA in Virginia. Would have had a good contact on SSB with someone in the Canadian Rockies, but I forgot that I needed to change the input source on the radio back to microphone after switching from digital operating. Not bad for 20 watts in New York.

This all can fit between a Harbor Freight Pelican-style case and a backpack, and wasn't too bad to get everything all set up. I'm definitely looking forward to trying out doing Parks on the Air activations in the future.

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