Interested in Amateur Radio, Software Defined Radios, Ham Satellites, APRS, or just about anything involving radios and/or computing?
Then you've come to to the right place.
Feel free to browse around, join/visit the mailing lists (seatcp is where it's at) or just use the tools provided here.
The WETNET Gang: A bunch of Ham Radio operators in the Pacific Northwest interested in all of the above. While many of us are in the PNW we welcome anyone with common interests.
On the air we can be found on the following repeaters:
Location Frequency PL
- Olympia 224.08/ -1.6Mhz 103.5 Capitol Peak 2700' West and slightly South of Olympia
- Central Puget Sound 224.58/ -1.6Mhz 103.5 Buck Mt 3747' near Quilcene
- North Puget Sound 224.78/ -1.6Mhz 103.5 Lyman Hill 4300' East Northeast of Sedro Woolley
- Central Puget Sound 441.950/ +5Mhz 131.8 Buck Mt. 2700' West and slightly South of Olympia
All four machines are linked together (441.950 is the hub machine) 220Mhz is the preferred band although we won't scream if you come in on 441.950.
While it's not news that over the past couple of decades, the cellular phone business has slowly changed from an exotic, elite high-tech, high-priced business into a cut-throat melee similar to the present day PC business this chart shows the dramatic fall of Nokia and rise of Apple. What's even more interesting is the item in the comments explaining that Tim Cook, Apple's COO, is an (evil) genius that has cemented Apple's place in the computer and cell phone industries not through innovation, low-costs, or other traditional paths, but by cornering the supply of critical components and ensuring that competitors are unable to obtain them:
The real story about Apple isn't the innovation or design of Steve Jobs or Jony Ive, it's that Tim Cook is becoming the greatest monopsonist of modern times. He is to computing and electronics what Walmart is to general stores; a weapon that sucks the life out of everything around it. The reason you can't get a high-end lightweight laptop from anyone other than Apple, or the reason that Macbook Air competitors on the PC side are rather expensive isn't because HP or Lenovo are stupid, it's because Apple cornered Foxconn's assembly line for making metal computer cases. Tim Cook's business skills in completely cornering supply chains is great for Apple's current customers while it lasts, but it is not sustainable for the broader market and it will cause more harm than good if it continues, in the form of less choice and less product at higher prices.
Some people at UC Berkeley have been doing some interesting work with SDR that kind of mirrors what's been going on in the amateur SDR community: They have concluded that building custom systems takes too long and costs too much money, so they've started using the same kinds of components and techniques that the amateur HPSDR community is using. Check their web site at https://casper.berkeley.edu/
As an example of the kind of things they are doing, consider a 44 receiver array with beamforming and correlation centered at ~1400 MHz with a 200 MHz bandwidth! This takes a _lot_ of processing power, but the compared with what can be done with a single receiver, the contrast is dramatic. To me, this validates the approach of using high-speed direct ADCs and large FPGAs performing the DSP "heavy lifting". I also notice that they are using the Polyphase FFT filtering being championed by Frank Brickle and Robert McGwier for the AMSAT DttSP project.
While Friday was a bit on the cloudy side that made it perfect for putting up antenna's. Richard (n7rig), Tor (ae7ev), Curt (we7u) and I (n7ipb) put up Richards new HF vertical, the forty foot mast for the dipoles and the operations tent.
Considering it was only the four of us (and Richard left early to attend n0fpf's wedding open house) we did pretty well.
Then it was off for beer and food at the Skagit River Brewery.
Once again the WETNET gang will be participating in ARRL Field Day from the QTH of N7RIG in the beautiful Skagit valley.
Tlhis year, unlike years past we're not doing a special antenna project nor are we putting up one of our previous big antenna's. No Bruce array, no 20M rhombic.
Instead we'll be keeping it simple.
- One Titan-DX multi-band vertical (destined to eventually become N7RIG's permanent HF antenna)
- One 160/80/40 dipole and G5RV on a single mast
- One 6-meter quad.
Our annual outing to the SEAPAC convention in Seaside Oregon is over for this year. Once again a fun time was had by all with something like a dozen and a half of the Wetnet gang there as well as countless other acquaitences there was no lack of activity.
This year Peter (wa7fus) provided a portable 224.22 repeater and ran it from his hotel room. It made staying in contact with everyone extremely easy and avoided the hastle of finding a clear simplex frequency for our use.
I didn't win anything but I did pick up some clamp-on ferrite filters to see if I can kill the two meter interference in my car and maybe make an attempt at eliminating the 144.39Mhz interference from my Clear modem at home. I'm not holding my breath but it would be nice not to have to relocate the APRS antenna.
Richard (n7rig) was the real winner this weekend, getting two small prizes ($10 at the booth of the guy with all the soldering equip. and a free pizza at a local place).
But the biggie was when he came away with a Yaesu VX-3R handheld at the main drawing.
Pictures are here:
Man that Eye-Fi SD card for my camera is great. :-)
George Heron N2APB and Juha Niinikoski, OH2NLT - SDR Cube: A portable SOftware Defined Radio Utilizing An Embedded DSP Engine for Quadrature Sampling Transceivers
George and Juha have designed a complete SDR transceiver in a 4" x 4" cube. It contains a Softrock RxTx v6.3 and an embedded DSP controller a graphic LCD display and all controls.
It also allows connecting the NUE-PSK Digital Modem for various digital data modes.
They expect to cell kits and assembled versions sometime in the next couple of months.
More info at: http://www.sdr-cube.com
Dan Smith, KK7DS - Teaching D-RATS about AX.25 and WInlink
Dan gave a very nice talk with some background on D-RATS and whyAX.25 support might be desirable.
For about a year D-RATS has supported D-RATS frames stuffed into a kiss frame. This has allowed the use of kiss mode tnc's but without AX.25 you can't digipeat or make use of any ax.25 infrastructure.
The current design does not implement (or ever will) AX.25 layer three it simply wraps it's frames in a AX.25 UI frame.
More info at: http://d-rats.danplanet.com/
Alex Schwarz, VE7DXW - Bidirectional Low Frequency Transverter (Bi-LIF) Computer Interface for Demodulation and Modulation of Radio SIgnals
Alex outlined a Software/Hardware system that allows you to use current or older HF gear with an SDR based replacement for the original mod/demod section of the rig.
Essentially what he's doing is tapping into the receiver IF and using SDR techniques to provide demodulation on receive, and also tapping into the transmitter section to modulate. Couple this with PC software to control the radio and do the mod/demod and you have some of the benefits of SDR applied to older radios.
Boards and kits available.
More info at: http://kenai.com