Author Archives: John Cole

DMR: Pi-Star Update Error Fix

If you get error issues with git failing to update your pistar system files, it will always be that the checksum of a file/s has changed in either /usr/local/bin or /usr/local/sbin or /var/www/dashboard

It is caused by the file system having been put back into read/write (rpi-rw) and your pi suffers a hiccup while a file is being accessed or if you happen to edit files in those directories.

Here is how to resolve this problem..

Log into SSH and do one of the sets of commands that is for the area having the error.

rpi-rw
cd /usr/local/bin
sudo git stash
sudo git pull
rpi-ro

rpi-rw
cd /usr/local/sbin
sudo git stash
sudo git pull
rpi-ro

rpi-rw
cd /var/www/dashboard
sudo git stash
sudo git pull
rpi-ro

After it completes do a sudo pistar-update to make sure it is fixed.

By Al AF4FA

Newsletter – July 2020

LAST UPDATED: 6-JULY-2020 – 0849 ET
PLEASE NOTE: Newsletter may be undergoing updates

Proposed Minutes
CLICK TO REVIEW

Subscribe
CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE

Announcements

  • BRARA Monthly meeting Tuesday 7-July 7pm via Zoom (see below details)
  • PBC Regional Parks are OPEN 
  • The Shack opening status
  • 2020 Field Day is a wrap
  • Listen to ARRL Weekly Audio News on BRARA website
  • Remote Station piloting underway
  • South FL NBEMS moves to Wednesdays on 22-July 2020


BRARA Monthly meeting Tuesday 7-July at 7pm will be conducted via Zoom conference.

Join Zoom Meeting: CLICK HERE TO JOIN ZOOM MEETING

Meeting ID: 865 5255 5294
Password: 123456


LATEST MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Would you like to view the last General Membership Zoom meeting?

VIDEO: Watch last General meeting CLICK HERE


 


2020 Shack Status

A few weeks ago, the BRARA board prepared a plan for approval by Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation outlining the precautions and limitations that we planned to implement to allow access to the club station to resume on a limited basis. Although the county approved our plan, the recent and sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in the short time since our plan was submitted has given the board cause for alarm and caused us to reconsider our decision.

To ensure the safety of our members, we the full BRARA Board have decided to postpone our plans until the pandemic stabilizes in the state of Florida. We all feel very strongly that our club must not in any way, however small, add to the risk of spreading the virus. We will revisit and resume our plans as soon as we are confident that it is safe to do so.

In the interim, we hope that everyone is doing all they can to remain safe and healthy, and we look forward to being able to resume our normal activities once it is safe to do so.

73,
Bruce Ratoff, KO4XL
President
Boca Raton Amateur Radio Association


From ARRL: 8.2. Entries must be postmarked or submitted by Tuesday July 28, 2020. Late entries cannot be accepted.

2020 Field Day is a WRAP. We hope everyone had a positive experience and had some takeaways for what to do different the next time.

Each participant will submit his or her own independent entry under his or her call sign. ARRL will calculate the aggregate score based upon the club name entered on the official Field Day entry form via the web applet (preferred method) or on the paper Field Day entry form. In order for results to be tabulated correctly, all club participants must enter the club’s official name exactly the same (see below), avoiding abbreviations or acronyms. This is important!

BRARA MEMBERS USE THE FOLLOWING OFFICIAL NAME

Boca Raton Amateur Radio Association

Do you need help submitting your results? Please email John N1QFH wirehead52@gmail.com

BRARA Interclub Challenge

When you send your 2020 FD results to ARRL, also send a copy to Bruce and he will collect and tabulate the results. These results and prize will be announced at one of our member meetings.  Please email your entry for the inter-club challenge to KO4XL@BRARA.ORG



REMOTE STATION ADVISORY
The remote station investigation continues and a new WiFi care of Jeff W4AEQ will soon be in place. Also, once we have IP via microwave from FAU to The Shack, the inbound connection to the remote station can begin full comprehensive testing. Todate with Eric Rodriguez’s KF4LZA help, the Remote server application has been installed and configured at Station 3 where one of the IC-7600 resides.  The fan dipole located on the VHF/UHF tower will be dedicated to this station. This will avoid any antenna switching requirements.


Announcements

  • Starting on 22-July 2020
  • South Florida NBEMS moves to Wednesdays
  • Same time 8.00pm ET on 145.29

WEDNESDAYS
8.00pm Southeast Florida NBEMS Net 
BRARA repeater 145.29- PL110.9 

Please share this with all individuals and clubs in South Florida


PROJECT NAME: Satellite Antenna Installation (Phase-2)

  • PLANNER: George WA2VNV
  • STATUS: ON-HOLD 
  • WHEN: TBA 
  • WHERE: The Shack @ West Delray Park
  • WHAT: Install satellite system
  • WHO: All able folks who can help 
  • CONTACT: Email George sintchak@optonline.net

FOLLOWS ITEM NEEDED

  • Power supply (20 amp / 13 volt) for the transceiver
  • Up to date computer to support the satellite and EME operation

VHF / UHF Room at The Shack: WEAK SIGNAL STATION 

We are looking for donation of an ICOM IC-706-Mk2g to replace the current 6 meter weak signal operation. The current transceiver is intermittent and not repairable.

If you have knowledge of an ICOM IC-706-Mk2g, please contact George WA2VNV by emailing him wa2vnv@optonline.net and let him know the details


Free Laurel VEC Testing
CLICK TO READ MORE


Calendar


CLICK TO VIEW CALENDAR

CLICK TO VIEW EVENTS


This Month’s Speaker

July Presenter:

Kai Siwiak, KE4PT on “Near Vertical Incidence Skywave Propagation


Ham Shack News

  • Station-1 IC-7600 working normally
  • Station-1 Amp being repaired
  • Station-2 Available space
  • Station-3 IC-7600 working normally
  • Station-3 Yaesu Amp and tuner working normally
  • Station-4 FT-1000MP working normally
  • Station-4 FT-897 offline
  • Station-5 TESTING STATION
  • Station-6 Various VHF/UHF radios are working normally

Special Projects

The following are project and watch weekly emails for status.

All project are ON-HOLD until we have the all-clear to enter the park and shack

  • Station 1 AL-82 Amp repair WIP
  • Satellite TOWER BASE installation COMPLETE
  • Satellite ANTENNA and radio installation WIP
  • Shack outside power replacement WIP
  • Repeater case and shelve replacement ON HOLD
  • Repeater microwave relocation and maintenance TBA

Report (by Ed N4II)

TBA

Ed N4II


Dx Operating News and Information
CLICK TO READ MORE

The very latest information on DX Operating News, including DXPeditions, DXCC, and QSL information


Contests and Special Events
CLICK TO READ MORE

Looking for upcoming contests and special events from around the world?


About Our Members

We honor and remembered our members who have passed

  • Keith McPhail K3SKM
  • Linda Lindeman N4JNL
  • Sidney Gogel W2FUR
  • Bob  Dobski KB8WJF
  • Robert Fox W1VEI
  • Myron Goldstein WA2PWJ   CLICK FOR OBIT 
  • Hap Patterson WA4ZLJ         CLICK FOR OBIT

We welcome the following new members:

  • NO NEW MEMBERS

New Membership Form
CLICK FOR MEMBERSHIP APP AS PDF

Statistics

  • 0 New members
  • 3 Pending online applications
  • 7 Silent keys
  • 114 Regular members
  • 2 Associate members
  • 24 Family members
  • 2 Lifetime
  • 142 Paid members

Good and Welfare


If you know of an amateur or their family dealing with health issues or may have lost someone, please let us know. Robert.K K3SUH is our go to person to send a communication in the form of a card to the person or family.

CLICK HERE to email details.


Our Scheduled Nets

Status: Art and Lew have been addressing various issues at the 2m repeater site. These include cabling, connectors, amplifier and antennas. FYI: the repeater site is located on top of the Social Security building near R95 and Glades in Boca Raton. As you may imagine, when they are on the roof, its very hot and they have limited time to be exposed to such heat. 

DMR Brandmeister 70cm 442.875(+) CC-1 TS-2 TG-311037  50 watts out. The FAU IP link has been restored and is working normally. The root cause was on the FAU end between the microwave dish and the control unit on a rack in the FAU engineering building.  

SCHEDULED NETS 

Monday to Saturday 

7am and 7pm Ad Hoc Free Net
Analog 145.29- PL110.9  
DMR     442.875+ CC-2 TS-2 TG-311037


Sunday

8.00pm South East FL DMR Tech Net TG-311037
BRARA 442.875+ CC-2 TS-2  
GCARA 443.350+ CC-11 TS-1  
Wellington ARA 145.19- CC-2 TS-1  


Monday

7.00pm Voice Com Net  
BRARA 145.29- PL110.9 


Monday

7.30pm DMR BrainWaves NotANet TG-311037
BRARA 442.875+ CC-2 TS-2  
GCARA 443.350+ CC-11 TS-1 
Wellington ARA 145.19- CC-2 TS-1 


Monday

8.00pm Southeast Florida NBEMS Net 
BRARA 145.29- PL110.9 

At a date in mid or late July, this net will be moved to Wednesdays at 7.30 pm. Stay tuned for details.


Tuesday 

9.00am Breakfast Club Net 
BRARA 145.29- PL110.9 


Other Local Analog Repeater Nets

  • Daily 6.00 pm SEFL Traffic 146.61 MHz
  • Tue 7.30pm CERT Plan-B 145.29- PL110.9

Club Repeaters

  • 144.390 APRS Repeater (NOW ACTIVE)
  • 145.070 Packet Repeater (OFF LINE)
  • GPS Location: 26.39724 –80.09485

Please use 3102 on your pi-star or any replated hotspot.


Local DMR Repeaters
CLICK FOR REPEATER LIST


Scheduled DMR Nets
CLICK FOR DMR NETS

  • Sun 8.00 pm TG-3110037 SeFL DMR Tech Net
  • Mon 7.30 pm TG-311037 BrainWaves Net
  • Tue 8.00pm MA DMR Tech Net TG-31630 via any Brandmeister / hotspot 
  • Tue 8.00pm VT DMR Tech Net TG-3150 via CANTURBO server 
  • Wed 7.30 pm TG-3149803  Wellington DMR Tech Net
  • Wed 9.00 pm TG-3  NA Tech Net
  • Thu 8.20pm TG-31777 NotQuiteRight Net
  • Sat 12.00 noon TG-1 WW
  • Sat  8.00 pm TG-310035 GCARC KnowItAll Net


Newsletter Guidelines

Thanks for all who submitted articles and I hope you continue to do so. We’re also looking for new writers as well. Here are some guidelines for article submissions.

  • Text should be in MS Word or equivalent, saved as a .DOC file
  • Write your best stuff, but don’t sweat the grammar. That’s why there’s an editor.
  • Please submit pictures/illustrations as separate files, don’t embed them in the text.
  • Be sure to submit clear, in-focus photos


Club Ham Shack

West Delray Regional Park
10875 West Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33446


Board of Directors Scheduled Meetings

We hold scheduled monthly Board meetings at 12:00 Noon at the Shack on the Sunday preceding the next General Meeting.


Donations and Contributions

 

 

 

Contributions to BRARA— a 501(c)(3) organization—are tax deductible as charitable donations. As you complete your membership renewal or begin your year-end tax planning, please consider making a donation to BRARA.

Please donate to BRARA via Amazon Smiles:
Search for:  Boca Raton Amateur Radio Association

CLICK HERE TO SMILE AT BRARA

Planned Giving: Please also consider BRARA when updating or initiating planned giving (including charitable gift annuities, bequests and gifts or retirement plan assets) and other assets.


For More Information

Website:    www.brara.org  Twitter: BRARA@N4BRF  Instagram: #BRARA_N4BRF

Facebook:    CLICK VIEW FACEBOOK

Please be advised that the above are the official BRARA social media sites. No other social media sites are recognized by BRARA.


Newsletter Contributions

Got an idea for an article? Or constructive critique? Want to share club news and events? How about writing a short 30-minute project idea? Your submissions to the Radio Flyer are needed to help keep this one of the best club newsletters in South Florida.

Please send articles to   BRARA@BRARA.org


Ham Shack Access Rules

To obtain a key to the BRARA Ham Shack you must be a member in good standing for a minimum of one continuous year, hold a valid FCC Amateur Radio License, and complete a short training session with one of the Club officers.

Address

the Radio Flyer
P.O. Box 480162
Delray Beach, FL 33448-0162


Copyright and Protection

Copyright © 2020 Boca Raton Amateur Radio Association (BRARA).

Reproduction of material from any BRARA web page without written permission is prohibited.

Regards and 73 from The Shack
de N4BRF

             GOOD HEALTH         

DMR: How to set up multi network hotspots

Revised 25 May, 2020
Often when people create a DMR hotspot they set them up for only one network. But if they want to use DMR+ one moment, then Brandmeister the next and then later talk with someone on the TGIF network they will need to switch back and forth depending on which network they want to use.

Switching back and forth between networks works well. But this involves loading the configuration for the network that you want to use. But what if you want to be able to use multiple networks at the same time? This can easily be done by configuring the following within your Pi-Star settings. You will also need to update the code plug within your radio. But once you have everything setup you will be able to go from Brandmeister to DMR+ to TGIF all within the radio. No need to change the configuration within your hotspot.

Hotspot Setup
To get started, first you will want to backup your configuration. This way if something goes wrong you will be able to get back to where you started. Next, in pi-star click on configuration, then Expert, then in the Full Edit row click on DMR GW. You will want to configure the various DMR Networks.

Cut and paste the following into the section showing your DMR networks in the expert configuration file. Be sure to modify the proper sections with your DMR ID etc otherwise the network will not let you connect. Your DMR network sections should look exactly like my examples below except for the following:

DMR Network 1 – you will need to enter your Brandmeister Hotspot Security Password between the quotes and your DMR ID where it is called for. You may also want to change your Brandmeister master server to the one closest to your physical location however it probably won’t really make much of a difference in performance. The Canadian server works quite well and has very low latency from just about anywhere. It also has fewer users than other servers so you may actually find it works a little better.

In DMR Network 2 you need to enter your DMR ID where it is called for. I suggest keeping the IPSC2 server as IPSC2-QuadNet. Full disclosure, I am an admin and founding member with QuadNet so I am probably a little biased. IPSC2-QuadNet is the server that we run and one that we can make sure works and works well. If there is a problem, we fix it. If our users have an issue we can try to help We can’t say the same about other servers. That being said you can use any IPSC2 server that you prefer. If you select a different server you may find that talkgroups may not work as expected but you can contact the server owner for assistance.

The options= line in this section is configured with the most active DMR+ talkgroups and is how I
have my configuration setup. But you can change these as desired.

DMR Network 3 can be left as is
DMR Network 4 – Enter your DMR ID where it is called for
[DMR Network 1]
Enabled=1
Address=158.69.203.89
Port=62031
TGRewrite0=2,9,2,9,1
TypeRewrite1=1,9990,1,9990
TypeRewrite2=2,9990,2,9990
SrcRewrite0=2,4000,2,9,1001
PassAllPC1=1
PassAllPC2=2
PassAllTG1=1
PassAllTG2=2
Password=”Enter your BM Hotspot Security Password here”
Debug=0
Name=BM_Canada_3021
Id=Enter your DMR ID here
[DMR Network 2]
Enabled=1
Address=168.235.109.210
Port=55555
TGRewrite0=2,8,2,9,1
TGRewrite1=2,80505,2,505,1
TGRewrite2=2,80800,2,800,100
TGRewrite3=2,83801,2,3801,8
TGRewrite4=2,89990,2,9990,1
TGRewrite5=2,80001,1,1,9999
TGRewrite6=2,80001,2,1,9999
PCRewrite0=2,84000,2,4000,1001
Password=”PASSWORD”
Debug=0
Id=Enter your DMR ID here
Name=DMR+_IPSC2-QUADNET
Options=”TS1_1=1;TS1_2=2;TS1_3=3;TS1_4=13;TS1_5=133;TS1_6=235;TS1_7=315;TS1_8=320″
[DMR Network 3]
Enabled=0
Name=HBLink
Address=1.2.3.4
Port=5555
TGRewrite0=2,11,2,11,1
Password=PASSWORD
Location=0
Debug=0
[DMR Network 4]
Enabled=1
Name=TGIF_Network
PCRewrite1=1,4009990,1,9990,1
PCRewrite2=2,4009990,2,9990,1
TypeRewrite1=1,4009990,1,9990
TypeRewrite2=2,4009990,2,9990
TGRewrite1=1,4000001,1,1,999999
TGRewrite2=2,4000001,2,1,999999
SrcRewrite1=1,9990,1,4009990,1
SrcRewrite2=2,9990,2,4009990,1
SrcRewrite3=1,1,1,4000001,999999
SrcRewrite4=2,1,2,4000001,999999
Address=tgif.network
Password=passw0rd
Port=62031
Location=0
Debug=0
Id=Enter your DMR ID here

Once your DMR Networks are configured as shown in the examples, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Apply Changes. Next click on Admin, then power, finally click on reboot to restart your hotspot.

Radio Setup
The next thing you will need to do is to configure your radio to work with the new hotspot settings. Each talkgroup you add to your code plug will need to have the proper prefix added except for Brandmeister. BM talkgroups can be used as you always have without a prefix. This should make updating your code plug fairly painless. The other networks you will need to add the prefix as follows:

DMR+ Setup
The DMR+ prefix is 8 and each talkgroup has 4 digits. So to use access the QuadNet Array you would use talkgroup 80320. To program the talkgroup for North America you would use 80003 and so on. The following are the most active DMR+ talkgroups so I converted them to the proper format for you:

80001 – World Wide (All languages)
80002 – Europe
80003 – North America
80013 – World Wide English
80113 – UAE 1 (User Accessible English 1)
80123 – UAE 2 (User Accessible English 2)
80133 – USA Wide
80235 – United Kingdom
80302 – Canada Wide
80315 – QuadNet Technical (Linked to D-STAR)
80320 – QuadNet Array (linked to D-STAR, Brandmeister DMR, Yaesu System Fusion & Wires X
80505 – Australia Wide
89990 – DMR+ Parrot. This needs to be setup as a group call.

Brandmeister Setup
Brandmeister has no prefix. Just program the talkgroup number as you always have
TGIF Setup TGIF is 4 and the talkgroup numbers are 6 digits. So to use the IRN talkgroup on TGIF talkgroup 320 would be programmed as 4000320

Testing your hotspot
Now let’s test your setup to confirm everything is working using each network’s Parrot. To test the Brandmeister connection, do a private call to 9990. To test DMR+ send a group call to 89990 and to test TGIF send a private call to 4009990. Each should play back what you transmit. If one of the networks does not work check the configuration file to be sure you entered all of the required information such as your DMR ID or your Brandmeister hotspot security password, save and try again.

Private Calls
To make a private call to another station, just enter their DMR ID in your code plug and select private call. The call will be routed over the Brandmeister network. I hope this helps you to get your multi network hotspot up and running. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call on the QuadNet Array DMR+ talkgroup 320. You can also send an email to jeff@edmontonfireradio.com. If you have any questions about the IPSC2-QuadNet server, send an email to admins@openquad.net I would like to thank Cliff VE6PLC and Andy MW0MWZ for your help with this configuration.

Without your input this solution would not have been nearly as elegant. I would also like to thank the many volunteers that helped make sure this worked on their hotspot. If it weren’t for you helping to find bugs this project would have been a lot more difficult.

73 –

Andy MW0MWZ
Jeff VE6DV

DMR: Obtaining faster GPS lock

It is commonly observed that the GPS is slow to lock.

The GPS module as used in 868/878 is a dual GPS & BDS (BeiDou – Chinese equivalent to GPS with worldwide coverage) sensor, and it is configured to check not only L1 frequency for GPS, but also E1, E2, E5a, E5b and E6 frequencies for BDS.

That is a lot more work for the module to do and explains why it is a bit slow to get an initial position lock.

878 firmware versions permit the user to choose GPS only, BDS only or both systems used together.

For the 868 this mod has to be done in order to to speed up obtaining a position fix by selecting just GPS or BDS, but not both together.

For those who want to upgrade to later firmware versions, you can still make this selection with a bit of work each time you upgrade the firmware.

The GPS module uses standard NMEA text strings, and the configuration for the GPS module is sent by the MCU from plain text instructions stored in the firmware.

If you use a hex editor to search for the NMEA command text $PCAS04,3 and change that text to $PCAS04,2 for BDS only or $PCAS04,1 for GPS only, you will speed up the time to get a position lock quite a bit, from typically 134 seconds to less than 30 seconds when outside.

You only have to change the 3 to a 2 or a 1 depending on which one you want to use.

After you make the change make sure you save the file.

This also translates to slightly improved lock times when GPS signals are weak such as inside a house or inside a vehicle.

 

Good Luck

AL AF4FA

Newsletter – June 2020

LAST UPDATED: 28-MAY-2020 – 0847 ET
PLEASE NOTE: Newsletter may be undergoing updates

Proposed Minutes
CLICK TO REVIEW

Subscribe
CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE

Announcements

  • BRARA Monthly meeting 2-June 7pm via Zoom (see below details)
  • PBC Regional Parks are OPEN with restrictions
  • The Shack remains CLOSED
  • Listen to ARRL Weekly Audio News on BRARA website
  • BRARA cancels 2020 Field Day Plans
  • BRARA Board working on The Shack opening plans
  • Remote Station advisory


BRARA Monthly meeting 2-June at 7pm will be conducted via Zoom conference.

Join Zoom Meeting: CLICK HERE TO JOIN ZOOM MEETING

Meeting ID: 865 5255 5294
Password: 123456


LATEST MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Would you like to view the latest General Membership Zoom meeting from 5-May-2020?

VIDEO: If you CLICK HERE, you will download the VIDEO of that meeting. Its large about 916M so be sure you have a place that can hold that download. This VIDEO contains the meeting and the presentation by Jeff.S K4BH on Digital on the Cheap.

AUDIO: If you CLICK HERE, you will download the AUDIO ONLY and its much smaller, about  46M.


The Shack remains CLOSED by order of county authorities

West Delray Park is now OPEN

CLICK FOR PALM BEACH EXECUTIVE ORDER 

If you believe you have an urgent need to briefly enter the station (eg. to retrieve personal property, etc.) please contact a club officer so that we can request authorization and arrange for a park ranger or sheriff’s deputy to escort you.

PLANS TO OPEN SHACK
The Board met Saturday 30-May to review the final draft of Phase-1 Plans to open BRARA Club Station and will be submitted by Bruce KO4XL to PBC for approval. After that approval is given, the details will be shared with members. The next task is to define the implementation plans that members will need to know in order to use the facility. Work on this document has begun and will be shared when the board approves.



On 20-May-2020, the board discussed 2020 FD and how other groups such as GCARA were handling their plans. The risk factors were discussed and how we may mitigate.

With several risk factors and that the shack will open (date and plans TBA) on very limited use given PBC guidelines, the board felt participation in FD should be curtailed and that BRARA would not participate in 2020.

If you have questions, please contact Bruce KO4XL.



REMOTE STATION ADVISORY
The Board agreed Saturday 30-May 2020 to begin investigation and testing how BRARA could bring remote operation to the members. A group is tasked to install the client and server side apps at station 3 and observe how it behaves. Another group already underway is to pass the FAU internet service to the shack via microwave. Watch for updates in the progress of these two efforts.


PROJECT NAME: Satellite Antenna Installation (Phase-2)

  • PLANNER: George WA2VNV
  • STATUS: ON-HOLD 
  • WHEN: TBA 
  • WHERE: The Shack @ West Delray Park
  • WHAT: Install satellite system
  • WHO: All able folks who can help 
  • CONTACT: Email George sintchak@optonline.net

FOLLOWS ITEM NEEDED

  • Power supply (20 amp / 13 volt) for the transceiver
  • Up to date computer to support the satellite and EME operation

VHF / UHF Room at The Shack: WEAK SIGNAL STATION 

We are looking for donation of an ICOM IC-706-Mk2g to replace the current 6 meter weak signal operation. The current transceiver is intermittent and not repairable.

If you have knowledge of an ICOM IC-706-Mk2g, please contact George WA2VNV by emailing him wa2vnv@optonline.net and let him know the details


Free Laurel VEC Testing
CLICK TO READ MORE


Calendar


CLICK TO VIEW CALENDAR

CLICK TO VIEW EVENTS


This Month’s Speaker

  • June Presenter: Kai Siwiak, KE4PT on “Propagation Modes by Colors”

Ham Shack News

  • Station-1 IC-7600 working normally
  • Station-1 Amp being repaired
  • Station-2 Available space
  • Station-3 IC-7600 working normally
  • Station-3 Yaesu Amp and tuner working normally
  • Station-4 FT-1000MP working normally
  • Station-4 FT-897 offline
  • Station-5 TESTING STATION
  • Station-6 Various VHF/UHF radios are working normally

Special Projects

The following are project and watch weekly emails for status.

All project are ON-HOLD until we have the all-clear to enter the park and shack

  • Station 1 AL-82 Amp repair WIP
  • Satellite TOWER BASE installation COMPLETE
  • Satellite ANTENNA and radio installation WIP
  • Shack outside power replacement WIP
  • Repeater case and shelve replacement ON HOLD
  • Repeater microwave relocation and maintenance TBA

Report (by Ed N4II)

TBA

Ed N4II


Dx Operating News and Information
CLICK TO READ MORE

The very latest information on DX Operating News, including DXPeditions, DXCC, and QSL information


Contests and Special Events
CLICK TO READ MORE

Looking for upcoming contests and special events from around the world?


About Our Members

We honor and remembered our members who have passed

  • Keith McPhail K3SKM
  • Linda Lindeman N4JNL
  • Sidney Gogel W2FUR
  • Bob  Dobski KB8WJF
  • Robert Fox W1VEI
  • Myron Goldstein WA2PWJ   CLICK FOR OBIT 
  • Hap Patterson WA4ZLJ         CLICK FOR OBIT

We welcome the following new members:

  • NO NEW MEMBERS

New Membership Form
CLICK FOR MEMBERSHIP APP AS PDF

Statistics

  • 0 New members
  • 1 Pending online applications
  • 7 Silent keys
  • 112 Regular members
  • 2 Associate members
  • 24 Family members
  • 2 Lifetime
  • 140 Paid members

Good and Welfare


If you know of an amateur or their family dealing with health issues or may have lost someone, please let us know. Robert.K K3SUH is our go to person to send a communication in the form of a card to the person or family.

CLICK HERE to email details.


Our Scheduled Nets

Status: Art, Lew and George accessed the repeater site and discovered what may be the root cause of the 2m repeater noise: a failed hardline connector. They removed the split antenna configuration and configured the input and output on the one high performing commercial antenna with about 15 watts out. They are in the processing of finding a replacement hardline connector. They may place the amp back inline and adjust the output so as to not experience descencing. 

DMR Brandmeister 70cm 442.875(+) CC-1 TS-2 TG-311037  50 watts out. A new problem has been discovered where IP is down. From what Jerry W4BFL has discovered, the root cause seems to be on the FAU end. He will be working with FAU folks to figure this out and implement a solution. 

SCHEDULED NETS 

Monday to Saturday 

7am and 7pm Ad Hoc Free Net
Analog 145.29- PL110.9  
DMR     442.875+ CC-2 TS-2 TG-311037


Sunday

8.00pm South East FL DMR Tech Net TG-311037
BRARA 442.875+ CC-2 TS-2  
GCARA 443.350+ CC-11 TS-1  
Wellington ARA 145.19- CC-2 TS-1  


Monday

7.00pm Voice Com Net  
BRARA 145.29- PL110.9 


Monday

7.30pm DMR BrainWaves NotANet TG-311037
BRARA 442.875+ CC-2 TS-2  
GCARA 443.350+ CC-11 TS-1 
Wellington ARA 145.19- CC-2 TS-1 


Monday

8.00pm Southeast Florida NBEMS Net 
BRARA 145.29- PL110.9 


Tuesday 

9.00am Breakfast Club Net 
BRARA 145.29- PL110.9 


Other Local Analog Repeater Nets

  • Daily 6.00 pm SEFL Traffic 146.61 MHz
  • Tue 7.30pm CERT Plan-B 145.29- PL110.9

Club Repeaters

  • 144.390 APRS Repeater (NOW ACTIVE)
  • 145.070 Packet Repeater (OFF LINE)
  • GPS Location: 26.39724 –80.09485

Please use 3102 on your pi-star or any replated hotspot.


Local DMR Repeaters
CLICK FOR REPEATER LIST


Scheduled DMR Nets
CLICK FOR DMR NETS

  • Sun 8.00 pm TG-3110037 SeFL DMR Tech Net
  • Mon 7.30 pm TG-311037 BrainWaves Net
  • Tue 8.00pm MA DMR Tech Net TG-31630 via any Brandmeister / hotspot 
  • Tue 8.00pm VT DMR Tech Net TG-3150 via CANTURBO server 
  • Wed 7.30 pm TG-3149803  Wellington DMR Tech Net
  • Wed 9.00 pm TG-3  NA Tech Net
  • Thu 8.20pm TG-31777 NotQuiteRight Net
  • Sat 12.00 noon TG-1 WW
  • Sat  8.00 pm TG-310035 GCARC KnowItAll Net


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the Radio Flyer
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Copyright © 2020 Boca Raton Amateur Radio Association (BRARA).

Reproduction of material from any BRARA web page without written permission is prohibited.

Regards and 73 from The Shack
de N4BRF

             GOOD HEALTH         

DMR: Configure a Pi-Star based multi network DMR hotspot

Revised 25 May, 2020
Often when people create a DMR hotspot they set them up for only one network. But if they want to use DMR+ one moment, then Brandmeister the next and then later talk with someone on the TGIF network they will need to switch back and forth depending on which network they want to use.

Switching back and forth between networks works well. But this involves loading the configuration for the network that you want to use. But what if you want to be able to use  multiple networks at the same time? This can easily be done by configuring the following within your Pi-Star settings. You will also need to update the code plug within your radio. But once you have everything setup you will be able to go from Brandmeister to DMR+ to TGIF all within the radio. No need to change the configuration within your hotspot.

Hotspot Setup
To get started, first you will want to backup your configuration. This way if something goes wrong you will be able to get back to where you started. Next, in pi-star click on configuration, then Expert, then in the Full Edit row click on DMR GW. You will want to configure the various DMR Networks. Cut and paste the following into the section showing your DMR networks in the expert configuration file. Be sure to modify the proper sections with your DMR ID etc otherwise the network will not let you connect. Your DMR network sections should look exactly like my examples below except for the following:

DMR Network 1 – you will need to enter your Brandmeister Hotspot Security Password between the quotes and your DMR ID where it is called for. You may also want to change your Brandmeister master server to the one closest to your physical location however it probably won’t really make much of a difference in performance. The Canadian server works quite well and has very low latency from just about anywhere. It also has fewer users than other servers so you may actually find it works a little better.

In DMR Network 2 you need to enter your DMR ID where it is called for. I suggest keeping the IPSC2 server as IPSC2-QuadNet. Full disclosure, I am an admin and founding member with QuadNet so I am probably a little biased. IPSC2-QuadNet is the server that we run and one that we can make sure works and works well. If there is a problem, we fix it. If our users have an issue we can try to help We can’t say the same about other servers. That being said you can use any IPSC2 server that you prefer. If you select a different server you may find that talkgroups may not work as expected but you can contact the server owner for assistance.

The options= line in this section is configured with the most active DMR+ talkgroups and is how I
have my configuration setup. But you can change these as desired.

DMR Network 3 can be left as is
DMR Network 4 – Enter your DMR ID where it is called for
[DMR Network 1]
Enabled=1
Address=158.69.203.89
Port=62031
TGRewrite0=2,9,2,9,1
TypeRewrite1=1,9990,1,9990
TypeRewrite2=2,9990,2,9990
SrcRewrite0=2,4000,2,9,1001
PassAllPC1=1
PassAllPC2=2
PassAllTG1=1
PassAllTG2=2
Password=”Enter your BM Hotspot Security Password here”
Debug=0
Name=BM_Canada_3021
Id=Enter your DMR ID here
[DMR Network 2]
Enabled=1
Address=168.235.109.210
Port=55555
TGRewrite0=2,8,2,9,1
TGRewrite1=2,80505,2,505,1
TGRewrite2=2,80800,2,800,100
TGRewrite3=2,83801,2,3801,8
TGRewrite4=2,89990,2,9990,1
TGRewrite5=2,80001,1,1,9999
TGRewrite6=2,80001,2,1,9999
PCRewrite0=2,84000,2,4000,1001
Password=”PASSWORD”
Debug=0
Id=Enter your DMR ID here
Name=DMR+_IPSC2-QUADNET
Options=”TS1_1=1;TS1_2=2;TS1_3=3;TS1_4=13;TS1_5=133;TS1_6=235;TS1_7=315;TS1_8=320″
[DMR Network 3]
Enabled=0
Name=HBLink
Address=1.2.3.4
Port=5555
TGRewrite0=2,11,2,11,1
Password=PASSWORD
Location=0
Debug=0
[DMR Network 4]
Enabled=1
Name=TGIF_Network
PCRewrite1=1,4009990,1,9990,1
PCRewrite2=2,4009990,2,9990,1
TypeRewrite1=1,4009990,1,9990
TypeRewrite2=2,4009990,2,9990
TGRewrite1=1,4000001,1,1,999999
TGRewrite2=2,4000001,2,1,999999
SrcRewrite1=1,9990,1,4009990,1
SrcRewrite2=2,9990,2,4009990,1
SrcRewrite3=1,1,1,4000001,999999
SrcRewrite4=2,1,2,4000001,999999
Address=tgif.network
Password=passw0rd
Port=62031
Location=0
Debug=0
Id=Enter your DMR ID here

Once your DMR Networks are configured as shown in the examples, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Apply Changes. Next click on Admin, then power, finally click on reboot to restart your hotspot.

Radio Setup
The next thing you will need to do is to configure your radio to work with the new hotspot settings. Each talkgroup you add to your code plug will need to have the proper prefix added except for Brandmeister. BM talkgroups can be used as you always have without a prefix. This should make updating your code plug fairly painless. The other networks you will need to add the prefix as follows:

DMR+ Setup
The DMR+ prefix is 8 and each talkgroup has 4 digits. So to use access the QuadNet Array you would use talkgroup 80320. To program the talkgroup for North America you would use 80003 and so on. The following are the most active DMR+ talkgroups so I converted them to the proper format for you:

80001 – World Wide (All languages)
80002 – Europe
80003 – North America
80013 – World Wide English
80113 – UAE 1 (User Accessible English 1)
80123 – UAE 2 (User Accessible English 2)
80133 – USA Wide
80235 – United Kingdom
80302 – Canada Wide
80315 – QuadNet Technical (Linked to D-STAR)
80320 – QuadNet Array (linked to D-STAR, Brandmeister DMR, Yaesu System Fusion & Wires X
80505 – Australia Wide
89990 – DMR+ Parrot. This needs to be setup as a group call.

Brandmeister Setup
Brandmeister has no prefix. Just program the talkgroup number as you always have

TGIF Setup
TGIF is 4 and the talkgroup numbers are 6 digits. So to use the IRN talkgroup on TGIF talkgroup 320 would be programmed as 4000320

Testing your hotspot
Now let’s test your setup to confirm everything is working using each network’s Parrot. To test the Brandmeister connection, do a private call to 9990. To test DMR+ send a group call to 89990 and to test TGIF send a private call to 4009990. Each should play back what you transmit. If one of the networks does not work check the configuration file to be sure you entered all of the required information such as your DMR ID or your Brandmeister hotspot security password, save and try again.

Private Calls
To make a private call to another station, just enter their DMR ID in your code plug and select private call. The call will be routed over the Brandmeister network.
I hope this helps you to get your multi network hotspot up and running. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call on the QuadNet Array DMR+ talkgroup 320. You can also send an email to jeff@edmontonfireradio.com. If you have any questions about the IPSC2-QuadNet server, send an email to admins@openquad.net

I would like to thank Cliff VE6PLC and Andy MW0MWZ for your help with this configuration.
Without your input this solution would not have been nearly as elegant. I would also like to thank the many volunteers that helped make sure this worked on their hotspot. If it weren’t for you helping to find bugs this project would have been a lot more difficult.

73 – Jeff VE6DV

DMR: Remove Password MD380/90

Go to the folder the CPS is in (C:\TYT-CPSxxx) or where you saved it to
2. look for file – setting.ini
3. Right click and edit
4. password=0 change to password=password
5. Save the file

Connect radio to PC and turn on in normal mode.
a. Read the Code plug from the radio.
b. Click on General Settings and remove all password entries
c. Save Code plug
d. Write the Code Plug back to the radio

Now all should be good

Al AF4FA

DMR: BrandMeister Messaging

One very cool but often underutilized feature of DMR is the ability to send and receive SMS messages.The BrandMeister network has a few different SMS service numbers and functions available. The details on this service can be found on this page in the BrandMeister wiki (which you will have to translate from German). In this post I’ll summarize those functions and discuss how to use them.

Initial Setup

Before using BrandMeister SMS, you need to have messaging configured properly in your radio and in BrandMeister selfcare. This varies by radio, but for the AnyTone radios you will need to set messaging to M-SMS in the CPS under “Optional Settings>Digital Func” (see image), and in BrandMeister SelfCare select Motorola under “Brand” (see image).

AnyTone CPS settings
BrandMeister SelfCare settings

Once you have these settings in place, you can start messaging. I’ve tested this extensively with my hotspots and the AnyTone 878. It works reliably with my simplex hotspots, but is *not* reliable with my duplex N5BOC hotspot and the 878. I believe this is because the radio and hotspot cannot maintain the back and forth handshake needed to complete the message transmission, especially when passing from the hotspot to the radio. This issue with the AnyTone radios and duplex hotspots is well known and documented, and manifests itself as missed key-ups during normal voice operation. I have not tested in with a BrandMeister repeater and the 878 yet, so your mileage may vary.

Available SMS Functions

Here are the SMS service numbers (private calls) and associated functions available through BrandMeister:

  • 262993 – GPS and weather
  • 262994 – Repeater query / POCSAG / dapnet
  • 262995 – SMSC

Based on the function you desire, you will be sending the SMS to one of the three private call numbers above. I’ll walk through message format and features for each. Note that case is not important, so you can send in UPPER or lower case.

Because of message length limitations on the AnyTone radios, you first need to set a custom configuration for message length in order to properly receive some messages with the AnyTones. To do this, you first need to activate your special configurations option by sending this to 262993:

CONFIG ON

Then send this to limit the message length:

CONFIG SHORT

You can check that the setting was received by sending:

CONFIG

The returned message should confirm that your special config is Active and SMS: SHORT. Now you should be ready to go. For more details on the special configuration settings, see this part of the wiki.

262993: Weather and GPS

For all of these functions, you will be sending SMS to 262993 as a private call. To receive and SMS with a list of the various functions available on this service, send:

help

To receive the weather locations at the repeater or hotspot site (provided that the location is set), send:

wx

You can also use the following message formats to receive weather conditions when the repeater or hotspot location is not set:

wx Town
wx zip town
wx zip, cc
wx Town, cc
wx zip town, cc

For example, I could send:

WX MELBOURNE, AU

…and I would receive this message in return:

You can also request a METAR weather report for any airport using the four letter ICAO Airport code for that airport. For example, to request the METAR for Broomfield/Jeffco airport in Colorado, I would send:

METAR KJBC

which returns the METAR as long as it is no more than 2 hours old.

You can also request weather for a specific location based on GPS. To do so send:

WX GPS

And if you have sent a GPS location recently to the system (ie through DPRS) it should return weather for that location.

You can see the GPS location that you have sent to the system by sending:

GPS

which will return your last reported position. If you want to manually update the APRS system (and Brandmeister) without sending a GPS formatted message to the BM APRS call (xxx999 where xxx are the first three digits of the master server), then you can send:

APRS LAT LON

Where LAT and LON are you coordinates in decimal format.

262994: Repeater query / POCSAG / dapnet

To use these functions, you will be sending messages to 262994. You can query a repeater and get a message listing its static and dynamic talkgroups by sending:

rpt

And although I have not tested it, apparently you can send an SMS to a POCSAG pager on dapnet by sending the following (without brackets) to 2262994:

<callsign> <message>

If anyone uses dapnet, try this and let us know how it works.

262995: SMSC

One of the most useful function in my opinion is the ability to send SMS messages to another station without using their CCS7 ID. Of course you can just send an SMS to another user’s CCS7 ID and if they are on the same system at the time they will receive the message. But the Brandmeister system allows sending to callsigns, and provides store and forward functionality, which is a great feature. So the receiving station does not need to be online at the time the message is sent. They can query their message inbox when they come back online and retrieve the message then. Like an old packet BBS, but with DMR!

To send an SMS to another station, send the following to 262995:

<callsign> <message>

So for example I could send Jon a message:

KE8JLU Hey Jon what TG are you on?

And the message would be sent to Jon. The system will send you a message to confirm receipt:

Message receipt from BM 262995

On the receiving end, automatic delivery is possible. The wiki specifies that: “For notification and for automatic delivery, the radio must have activated ARS (Motorola) or RRS (Hytera) or send the GPS position regularly.” That means you will receive automated delivery as long as you update you GPS position by sending APRS formatted messages to xxx999 (e.g., 310999 in the USA). You still need to activate automatic message delivery by sending this to 262995:

DIRECT ON

You will then receive a message from 262995 stating:

Direct SMS ON, you will receive SMS after ARS/RRS/GPS was active on xxx999 or 5057

(Note that 5057 no longer exists, so do not send a message to that ID). To manually check messages, send:

INBOX

You will receive a message with a lit of messages in your inbox. To retrieve and read one (say message number 3 in the list), reply with:

GET 3

and you will receive message number 3. To delete message number 3, send:

DELETE 3

and you will receive confirmation that the message has been deleted. Be cautious – if you just send:

DELETE

all messages in your inbox will be deleted!

I think some best practices for using the BrandMeister SMS functions would be to make sure your intended recipient knows to check their INBOX, or has set up automatic delivery. And saving some “Quick Text” messages in your codeplug would be a great idea, for example, “On my way”, “What TG are you on?”

Note that you can also combine SMS with the BrandMeister APRS service. By sending a properly formatted SMS to xxx999 (where xxx is the first three digits of the BM master that you are on) you can send the SMS to a mobile/cellular phone number using the APRS SMSGTE service. To do this, send the following to xxx999:

SMSGTE @<phone number> <message text>

For example, I sent this to my mobile number through BM master 5051 (I’m in Australia now using my VK3BUD callsign):

SMS sent to my mobile phone using the BM service and SMSGTE

I received this on my phone and replied as shown in the screenshot:

SMS received on my mobile, and reply sent

Then received that message back on the AnyTone as shown:

SMS from my mobile received on the AnyTone

Note that the reply on the radio came from “@ME”. This is because I’ve set up my mobile number as an alias in the SMSGTE system. See the SMSGTE website for details on how to do that. Pretty cool!

Closing Thoughts

BrandMeister has some very cool and useful SMS functions built into the system. The ability to retrieve current weather may not be so useful when we have smartphones, but I could envision using it with a remote BM repeater (like the N0WAR machine in Estes Park) while hiking in the backcountry. The ability to send store and forward SMS is a great feature. I can think of a number of use cases where this would come in handy when communicating with others on the BrandMeister network. And when coupled with external services like SMSGTE on the APRS network, one can communicate with mobile phone users. We hams should practice using these features more. It’s a lot of fun!

DMR: Updating the Pi-Star system

Updating the Pi-Star system to the new system by creating a new SD card

CLICK HERE FOR PLAYING WITH PI-STAR

First thing to do is to save your current configuration by logging into your pi-star and going to configuration and the backup/restore and click on download configuration. This will create a zip file needed later.

Bring up your web browser and go to www.pistar.uk

On the left side near the bottom hover over downloads

then click on Download Pi-star

then click on bottom one (Pi-Star_RP1_V4.1.0-26-Mar-2020.zip)

download it (save the file)

If you need the SD CARD FORMATTER program

Bring up your web browser and enter in the search box sd card formatter

pick the first entry and download the zip file

unzip it and install the program

If you need the IMAGE INSTALLER program

Bring up your web browser and enter in the search box balenaetcher

pick the first entry and download the exe file

Install the program

If you would rather use a different IMAGE INSTALLER

Bring up your web browser and enter in the search box w32diskimager

pick the first entry and download the exe file

Install the program

After you have done all the above

Insert your sd card into a holder and insert it into the computer

Make sure you write down the drive letter assigned to it.

Click on the sd card formatter and enter the drive letter associated to the SD card and format it. this takes a long time, approx 20 min or more.

Unzip the pi-star file and save it to the desktop

now click on the IMAGER program you chose and again make sure the drive letter is correct. Select the .img file you unzipped and write it to the SD card. This takes about 5 to 10 min.

After the write is complete copy your saved configuration zip file from your old pistar to the base directory of the sd card.

You are now ready to insert the SD card into your Pi-Star hotspot and turn it on to automatically expand the system files and reapply your configuration.

This will take a couple of minutes to do and then you can log into the Pi-Star and do an update to get current by going to configuration then expert then SSH access.

Enter pi-star then the password(raspberry).

Then enter sudo pistar-update and after that completes enter sudo-pistar-upgrade.

In some cases if jumping multiple versions, you will have to upgrade several times aka the number of versions to become current.

After this is done type exit to leave the SSH.

If you had changed the password you can now reset it by going to configuration and entering your own password.

In some cases the display will reappear once you try transmitting to the pistar.

Good luck and 73

Al AF4FA

 

Propagation – A Index and K Index

The Earth’s magnetic field is continuously monitored by a network of magnetometers. These readings are converted into the A and K index values.

The K index is computed once every three hours (eight times a day) and the values can range from 0 to 9, with 0 being inactive, and 9 representing an extreme severe storm condition. The values are quadi-logarithmic.

  • K = 0 Inactive
  • K = 1 Very quiet
  • K = 2 Quiet
  • K = 3 Unsettled
  • K = 4 Active
  • K = 5 Minor storm
  • K = 6 Major storm
  • K = 7 Severe storm
  • K = 8 Very severe storm
  • K = 9 Extremely severe storm

The A index is linear, and is computed from the eight previous K index values. It ranges from 0 (quiet) to 400 (severe storm).

  • A = 0 – 7 Quiet
  • A = 8 – 15 Unsettled
  • A= 8 – 15 Unsettled
  • A = 16 – 29 Active
  • A = 30 – 49 Minor storm
  • A = 50 – 99 Major storm
  • A = 100 – 400 Severe storm

Generally, propagation conditions are best when the A index is 15 or lower, and the K index is 3 or lower.

Besides causing auroral activity, high geomagnetic field conditions can affect the electrons in the ionosphere, reducing the maximum usable frequency (MUF).