After many months of degraded performance and neglect, I’m very happy to announce that Rick WA7RPM and myself have successfully re-deployed the scanner at a significantly higher location with a much better antenna. Give a listen on scanner.kf7hvm.com and hear what we hear!
On my last plane ride, I caught up on a paper I’ve been meaning to read, Junkyard Computing: Repurposing Discarded Smartphones to Minimize Carbon and it reinvigorated my efforts to breathe a second life into discarded chromebooks not only because they are dirt cheap (I paid $17 per machine last week), but because they are also a great carbon offset. However, my latest batch of 3 machines still had their write protect screws in place, which means they’re not immediately reusable as x86_64 Linux laptops without popping open the case and removing a tiny screw.
To help my local radio club remotely control some of the rigs at the clubhouse, I’ve deployed a headscale control server to enable location-agnostic private mesh networking between different sites, services, and users while leveraging the very nice Tailscale clients and technology developed commercially.
I recently posted my steps for creating a VARA+direwolf Hybrid Packet Gateway, but one problem has been eluding me, and thus preventing me from sharing this information further:
After ramping up 2 packet nodes on the latest Raspberry Pi OS 2022-04-06 release and struggling, I decided I’d write up the steps I followed, for my own benefit, and that of others: pi4-setup.
The exercise starts at 09:00, join us on the 147.260 MHz repeater [Exercise Overview]. Stations will need APRS or Winlink capabilities and should prefer RF paths. Check out the new packet radio info pages for help getting set up.
Sure! Why not? After hearing about a fellow ham’s recent experience installing GalliumOS Linux on a chromebook, I decided to take the plunge myself since I need multiple low-cost, low-power nodes for packet radio and APRS use and the Raspberry Pi is currently in low supply and expensive. Plus the built in screen, keyboard, mouse and battery is hard to beat for monitoring, troubleshooting and tweaking settings at the repeater site.
Thanks to a local ham, Ed K7WCT, 3 club members have received new Signalink devices and training from myself on how to configure and use them. Unsurprisingly this has created a buzz of APRS activity and conversations about packet radio on the local repeater.
Our recent silent key, Randy Greeley (NU7D), provided a weekly newsletter / calendar with activities of interest to ham radio operators in Cowlitz County, including nets, club meetings, and club-sponsored events. In his absence, I have compiled the most recent list of recurring events to my knowledge and will publish a calendar and ICS file containing these events for 2022 and beyond.
In the last month, I’ve helped stand up 2 new digipeaters. One at the top of
Columbia Heights in Longview and (soon to be) on Rainier hill across the river.
Both of these machines have good elevation and line of sight, so in a default
digipeater configuration of
^WIDE-$, they end up bringing in a fair
bit of “out of area” traffic to the local RF channel that can clog up the
Unlike summer 2020, I found significantly less time for radio projects this year. Between mentoring a team of interns at my day job and twice as many weddings as usual, I rarely had time for more than Monday net control and occasional check ins.
Your account at Repeaterbook.com has been temporarily suspended due to unusual export activity. We are seeing multiple CSV exports occurring from multiple IP addresses less than a second apart. This could only be accomplished by some sort of bot. This puts a substantial strain on the server resources.
After 3 months of sporadic development, I’m pleased to announce the public release of my DMR codeplug generator, dzcb.
Last Saturday, I participated in a simplex testing exercise in Kalama, WA to determine communication capability in the absence of grid comms. The activity was sponsored by W7MSH - Mercury Mount St. Helens.
I’ve been having a lot of fun with the SDR scanner and ham2mon-gui interface for playing back the recorded calls. However, in the last week, there have problems keeping the calls flowing, causing the interface to be hours or days behind.
tl;dr New Logs are Here
The day of talking to the same people on many different modes!
Today we took a hike on Mirror Lake Trail, near Mt. Hood, Government Camp. [APRS Track].
- 20:00 147.26 Cowlitz ACS Net ✅
- 20:10 147.04 Linux User Net 🐧 ✅
Today I experimented with DMR on my new TYT MD-UV380 dual band HT.
Friday, October 9, we took a hike on S. Coldwater Trail, near Mt. St. Helens’ Johnston Ridge Observatory [APRS Track].
Saturday Oct 3 - 4, we took a backpacking trip to Snowgrass Flats in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and I took the opportunity to test out APRS coverage in the area and chased a SOTA activator!
Comments make an otherwise static site interactive and engaging for readers, but for jekyll/github pages sites, there aren’t a lot of options for enabling comments. Disqus and Facebook comments are free, but include invasive tracking that slows the site down and forced sign up which increases friction and reduces contribution.
- 17:45 147.26 QSO KJ7OHC
- Testing out New Condensor Mic and PTT button
- 19:30 147.26 QSO KD7BBJ
- 19:45 147.26 QSO AD7QA
- 20:15 147.26 Mercury MSH Net ✅
- KC7FTS - Wally - Net Control
In this post, I share my 2m/70cm frequency and repeater list which I’m constantly revising and editing. I program these frequencies into my various radios to achieve somewhat consistent results regardless of which unit I’m operating.
- 13:30 147.26 QSO KJ7FOY
- 18:00 147.26 QSO KD7BBJ
- 18:30 146.56 simplex drive around
- recording simplex from various points around Longview from my HT in my car!
- approximately 3 mile range
- 20:10 147.04 Linux User Net 🐧 ✅
Today the family took a trip up to Mt. Rainier National Park [APRS Track].
You can run Kenwood’s windows-only memory control software on macOS (<10.15) or linux using Wine.
- 10:50 146.415 QSO N7OPW
- 21:00 - 22:10 PDT 146.52 QSO round table [Longview]
- W7BSB NE Portland S7
- W7TER NE Portland S3/4
- WB7VPI gresham - no copy
- W7RC Ridgefield
This setup allows for the automatic simultaneous capture of multiple narrowband FM signals. The ham2mon-gui enables easy archiving and playback of captured files. Primarily I’m using it to listen to every 2 meter repeater within hearing distance to my home QTH of Longview, WA.
- 11:15 146.52 QSO W7ULV (Longview)
- 22:00 146.52 QSO W7RC
Preregister for the GNU Radio Conference 2020 to learn about exciting developments in the software defined radio space.
- 20:00 147.26 W7DG Monday Net ✅
- 20:30 147.32 End of Linux User Net 🐧