Dies & Das

Hier finden Sie verschiedene Informationen, Meinungen, Beschwerden, Lustiges usw.. Wenn Sie auf den Link in der Tabelle klicken werden Sie zum entsprechenden Post weitergeleitet.

Post / Link Kurzform
Warum sind Repeaterlisten so inkonsistent ? Wenn Sie Repeater-Listen von den Registrierungsstellen herunterladen, werden Sie schnell herausfinden das diese Listen Tage der Bearbeitung brauchen bevor sie benutzbar sind. Viel schlimmer noch, darin befinden sich Repeater ohne Informationen, zu welchem Netzwerk (BrandMeister, DMR+, DMR-MARC usw.) sie gehören. Dies ist definitiv eine schlimme Sache, wenn man Repeaterlisten für einen Kontinent (z.B. Europa) oder ein Land (z.B. Deutschland) erstellen möchte, da es keinerlei Garantie dafür gibt, das die Liste korrekt und vollständig ist.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

Miscellaneous

Here you will find various informations, opinions, complaints, funny stuff and so on. If you click on the link in the table, you will be redirected to this post.

Post / Link Excerpt
Why are repeater lists so inconsistent If you download repeater lists from the registrar(s), you will find out that these lists need days of editing before they are useable. Even worse, there are many repeater with no information to which network (Brandmeister, DMR+, DMR-MARC etc.) they belong to. That is definitely bad, if you want to create continent wide lists i.e. for Europe, or country wide ones, as you can not guarantee, that the list is correct and complete.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

Hotspots einrichten

Mein erster Hotspot war ein ZUMspot von HAM Radio Outlet, gekauft in Plano, TX, USA. Dahinter verbirgt sich ein PI-Zero in einem schönen Gehäuse. Er ist nur für simplex mode geeignet und hat ein OLED Display. Am Anfang hat der ZUMspot bestens funktioniert aber aus irgendeinem Grund (noch nicht näher angeschaut) wurde er instabil. Da ich noch zwei Raspberry Pi 3B hier zu Hause hatte, hab ich einfach zwei MMDVM’s aus Chinesischer Produktion bestellt die mittels pi-star Software betrieben werden. Das Ergebnis sind Duplex-Mode Repeaters die schnell sind und problemlos arbeiten. Mein Aufbau sieht so aus, das ein MMDVM für DMR läuft, der andere ist dediziert für DStar jeweils mit der neuesten Beta Version von pi-star. Der DStar MMDVM hat ein OLED Display und der MMDVM für DMR bedient sich eines Nexion displays, welches schwieriger zu installieren ist als ein OLED Display.

Der allerneueste Hotspot ist der SharkRF openSPOT3, der definitiv in einer weit höheren Liga spielt als die MMDVM’s. Eigene Lithium-Ionen Batterie, bootet binnen 5 sek – interessant für Betrieb im Auto, da im Startmoment der Hotspot (Raspberry pi, mit Dual-Hat) stromlos wird. Raspberries mögen das nicht so wirklich, weshalb ich immer eine Powerbank dazwischen schalte.

Falls Sie viel mehr über Hotspots wissen wollen, versuchen Sie mal diese Webseite, die Tonnen an Informationen bereithält. Darüber hinaus ist die pi-star Webseite, die von Andy Taylor (MW0MWZ) betrieben wird eine gute Informationsquelle wenn man MMDVM Dual-Hats auf einem Raspberry installieren will. Informationen zm openSPOT3 findet man auf der  SharkRF website.

Ich werde hier nicht weiter auf Hotspots, deren Technologie, deren Konfiguration eingehen, als es vermutlich schon 10.000 Seiten dazu gibt. Außerdem: Google ist Dein Freund !!

Hotspots sind ideal bei Antennenverboten oder wenn man unterwegs ist und nicht jeden Repeater kennt, wenn man im Hotel, Krankenhaus ist – oder der Repeater schlicht zu weit weg. Zusammen mit meinem Mobiltelefon in Access Point Mode oder einen LTE/WLAN Router, diese Hotspots sind einfach Klasse ! Speziell der SharkRF ist eine neue Klasse an Hotspot als er durch Hardware transcoding mittels eingebautem AMBE® vocoder chip Bridging zu anderen Technologien aufbauen kann, z.B. von DMR nach C4FM, DStar und umgekehrt.

Codeplugs explained

Most HAM’s have big problems to understand codeplugs, but actually they are not so difficult to understand. A codeplug is nothing else than a bunch of csv (comma separated files) like an excel spreadsheet, just in ASCII format, each cell separated by a comma (or semicolon), each row separated by CR+LF (Carriage-Return+Line-Feed or simply ENTER). These files are than imported and compiled by the manufacturers program for the radio into the codeplug (CP). This CP-program needs some basic settings how the radio should behave in general i.e. Audio-Settings, DMR-ID, Bluetooth-Settings, How the keys should work etc.. Have you used CHIRP before to program your radio ? Well this is basically the same, but you don’t have only one file to upload to the radio, you have many in different formats.

As I mentioned before: Please search for an existing CP like the one from the Dutch HAM PC5E, export the CP entirely into CSV files (in a separate directory and inspect them. What you definitely need is Ron’s CSV Editor which can be downloaded and bought from Ron’s Website.

The interesting information can be found (after exporting to CSV) in a fair amount of CSV-files. Now you can start experimenting with it, using Ron’s editor, Excel also works but it’s too heavy for my taste. A complete export of the whole codeplug into CSV files looks like this:

Please do not forget to save the initial codeplug (factory setting) as the first task after unboxing, to be able to set the radio back into “as delivered” mode.

The files interesting for us as beginners are: Channel.csv, TalkGroups.csv, Zone.csv, DigitalContactList.csv. These files are quite hard to edit just through the manufacturers software, but Ron’s CSV Editor speeds the process of modifying/editing up by the factor of 100.

Now collect from different souces the necessary information, like repeaters analog and digital as well as your hotspot frequencie(s), the DigitalContactList and the TalkGroups you are intersted in. You will see that this will be one of the hardest tasks, as you find so much outdated, non-accurate lists and you may have to edit a lot. How do these files look like ? Just click on the below file name to download and view it in the editor:

Channel Here you will find all channels (all frequencies) you will use. Analog, Digital in Duplex or Simplex Mode
Zone Zones are frequencies grouped together as a zone, for easier selection. A zone can be a functional group like i.e. hotspots, all repeaters in your state or in a country
TalkGroups TalkGroups are areas you are interested in your communication, like i.e. Talkgroup 91 (=Brandmeister World), Talkgroup 262 (=Brandmeister Germany)
DigitalContactList Is the “Phonebook” of all registered DMR/CCS7 users worldwide (CCS7 is your registration id for DMR and DStar) i.e. my callsign is DO1AWD and my DMR/CCS7 Id is 2644671

Where to start ? I started with the codeplug from the Dutch Amateur PC5E. I exported everything and started carefully to edit i.e. the channel list by adding some local repeaters, my hotspot frequencies, my analog repeaters and so on. After modification I imported these files into the CP-Software, saved the CP and uploaded the information to the radio.

The easiest is the DigitalContactList. For some bucks per year, you can download (after registration and donation) the worldwide DigitalContacts for the Anytone radios directly in the right format. Import this file into Anytone’s CP-Software and write it to the radio. I do this once every week, because otherwise I see only the CCS7 Number of new HAM’s instead of details like CCS7, CallSign, Name, Town, State, Country. This magic URL is AmateurRadio.digital.

I modify Channel and TalkGroups exclusively with Ron’s CSV Editor. Some other information I change within the Anytone CP-Software like the creation of Zones from the Channel list. When you get more experienced and want to create RoamingChannels, you will also use Ron’s Editor for the RoamingChannel list, but the CP-Software to create RoamingZone’s.

 

My Digital Radio Setup

How it all begun…

When I was on a business trip in Plano, TX, I visited a local Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) and bought an ICOM ID51E for DStar and a ZUMSpot. Back home in Germany I made it to work within a few days as this was completely different from my analogue experiences in HF/VHF/UHF so far. But the activities here in Germany on DStar were not overwhelming and in a lot of publications DMR was pushed heavily. The ID51E still exists but I am now mostly on DMR-Brandmeister, which I really like.

Due to the fact that the ZUMspot can do both, I ordered an Retevis RT90, but we both did no click into each other. I got it working, but the software was not stable, crashed very often and the radio could only be run via Codeplug, no VFO Operation possible.

As I bought it at Amazon, I could send it back within 30 days, but I was already highly frustrated after 14 days and simply sent it back. I promised myself to do some more researches which radio could suite me best and came across the ANYTONE radios. I had a look at the AT-D868UV and AT-D878UV Plus (with Bluetooth and Bluetooth-PTT) and ordered it at a distributor here in Germany. Received, unboxed, Software installed. WOW !!! THIS IS COMPLEX AND COMPLICATED ! (Actually it isn’t when you have understood the basics, which I will explain in another post)

 

During my researches I came across the website of a Dutch HAM, PC5E who is dedicated to a lot of different DMR radios of many manufacturers. I downloaded his Anytone codeplug for Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and studied what he had done to get the Anytone UV878UV running. Playing around with it I understood the concept of codeplugs. Not in depth and not using all features of the Anytone, but enough to get it running. Now, 6 month after buying the AT-D878UV I create Codplugs for others, using my blueprints and being the proud owner of one AT-D878UV Pro and two AT-D578UV Pro (one in the car, one in the QTH).

Beside the radio’s I own four hotspot’s. One ZUMSpot, which I do not use anymore, as it was making problems (not investigated on it) when I visited a friend in Canada (12/2019) and I will later take care of it. I use two MMDVM (China-Clone) Dual-Hat Hotspots mounted on two Raspberry Pi 3B, one for DStar, one for DMR and a brandnew SharkHF openSPOT3 for use in the car, hotel or anywhere I do not have a proper repeater or do not know the repeater frequencies. The openSPOT3 is typically connected through a LTE wifi hotspot or my mobile phone in tethering mode.

At home I use the Dual-Hat Hotspot for DMR to have TG91 (world) and TG262 (Germany) on Timeslot 1 and Timeslot 2 in static mode as the German Brandmeister Repeater OM’s only have TG262 static, TG91 is set to dynamic, which means you get kicked out every 6-10 minutes (I personally don’t understand that and think it is a shame not doing TG91 static – it is contrary to the idea of amateur radio). With this fact in mind I use my portable radio to monitor TG91 via the hotspot and the D-578UV in the shack to monitor TG262. Both, TG262 (TS1) and TG91 (TS2) are set to static on my hotspot(s).

The other Dual-Hat hotspot at home is dedicated to DStar. Both Dual-Hat Hotspots run the pi-star software.

Here at home I use a DIAMOND X30 about 10m (30ft.) over the ground and  under the roof for the AT-D578UV Pro and a special construction at the car for a Diamond NR-770H which can be flipped to a horizontal position which is useful for parking garages. In the car I use the Bluetooth PTT switch, mounted to the gear-stick and a typical BT-Headphone for a mobile phone. This does the job more than well. Same for the handheld AT-D878UV , BT-PTT-Switch attached like a wrist watch (with a wrist watch band) to my right arm with the same BT-headset from the car. In the QTH I use a callcenter style BT-Headset with the PTT-Switch on the desk or in the pocket.

BT-PTT Switch with a wrist watch band  BT-PTT Switch as delivered

 

+ QTH use: AT-D578UV Pro with a callcenter like BT headset and the BT PTT-Key either in the pocket or on the desk
+ Portable use: AT-D878UV Pro with a BT headset for mobile phones and the BT PTT-Key with a wrist watch band
+ Mobile use: AT-D578UV Pro with the same BT-headset for mobile phones, BT PTT-Key mounted to the gear-stick

For the handheld I use (depending where I am) the DIAMOND SRH805S which is only 3.5 cm or 1.5″ long (!!) which works very well, the manufacturers antenna and a DIAMOND SRJ77CA Antenna, about 40.5 cm / 15.9″ long. With the SRJ Antenna I could easily reach repeaters in Canada 30km / 19mi away from the livingroom of my friends house.