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:
- 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
- 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
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.
As of July of 2016 the two Central Puget Sound sites are off the air since all hams were kicked off of Buck Mt. Work is underway to replace them with an equivilant location but in the meantime Olympia and Lyman are linked via other paths. (I know, it sucks)
I generally avoid Windows but sometimes cannot: Radio programming where Linux open-source programs don't support particular models.
Usually I use CHIRP, a Python program that runs multi-platform, so can do the programming on Linux. Linux drivers usually talk to USB->Serial chips, whether genuine -or- counterfeit: They just don't care.
Windows drivers have been tweaked by the chip manufacturer to detect counterfeit chips, then refuse to talk with them. To get around this you must install OLD Windows drivers various people have spirited away and made available for download. That's where the difficulty comes in... I tried and tried to get the old driver installed. The popups led me to believe I was uninstalling the new driver and installing the old. Turns out Windows is misleading. There's a checkbox you must check along the way to actually remove the files, which may or may not get removed depending on your permissions. I ended up with both drivers installed and still USING the newest driver. To fix this: Go into Win10Pro Device Manager. Select the USB->Serial driver of interest. Tell it to "Upgrade" the driver, search on my computer, show me the installed drivers, then click on the OLD driver. After this the port comes up and starts working.
The Chinese have counterfeited both Prolific and FTDI chips, so you may have to go through this procedure with either if you're running Windows. Turns out my Wouxun programming cable I bought many years ago and have been happily programing with under Linux happens to have a counterfeit Prolific chip in it.
For the FTDI driver there was at least one Windows driver version that detected the counterfeit chip and wrote 0's to the PID for the chip, therefore making it unusable in ANY operating system. There's a way to re-write a valid PID to the chip under Linux again. The lastest Windows drivers don't do this write so you needn't worry as long as you update to the latest drivers before plugging in that cable.
The problem for the user is not that the Chinese copied the chips, it's that they decided to make the chip identify as the real chips so they'd use the FTDI or Prolific drivers. If their chips used a new identifier and a Chinese-provided driver, there's no problem getting them to work. I've heard they're doing this now for some chips.
Interesting. Basically a ruggedized android phone + dual-band HT with a 6AH battery (removable, so you could have spares with you). I looked for Part 90 certification but didn't see it in the specs. Too bad, 'cuz I could see applications outside of ham radio, assuming one could protect the glass enough for real outdoor use.
Also looked for mention of a modem for doing data through the VHF/UHF radio. Nothing. Looks like it has earphone and mic jacks under a rubber cover on the side (I can't figure out the top symbol there), so a Bluetooth modem should give you APRS/data capability at the expense of having something else strapped to it with a cable, and more batteries and waterproofing to worry about.
3.2 W on VHF or UHF, so might be the Chinese $35 HT guts added on to an Android phone. Runs Android 5.1, so it's behind the times already on that.
Below is a rehash of my posting to the seatcp mailing list back in May, outlining a bit about the death of the old wetnet server and it's resurrection.
As of today the website itself is back in it's original form. I have plans for a complete web overhaul but life seems to be getting in the way so the old system will have to do until I complete the planned site upgrade.
-------------------------The Story so far-------------------------
Back at the end of May the Wetnet server died while I was logged in fighting a sudden influx of spam and web bots along with it's sudden desire to kill processes for lack of memory, even though memory was fine.
Rather than fight it any longer I spent the remainder of the week (with the exception of a one day trip to Lyman to put a spare antenna on 224.78) getting the new server ready. I already had the OS installed (openSuSE Leap) and was running a VM for the jabber/xmpp server so I continued on and put in roughly an additional 30+ hours.
It all got installed on May 29.
It's now a dual, 2.5Ghz Xeon quad-core server with 16gig of ram and lot's more disk space. Thats the host machine. There are Virtual Machines handling different services like mail, xmpp,dns,web and keyserver duties. Plus a couple more for special cases like Curt's firenet processes.
In the long term all this virtualization will make it easier to protect, backup and even provide some redundancy by potentially hosting VM's elsewhere.
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: https://www.sdr-cube.com