@432:1/101 to All
on Wed Apr 8 20:44:00 2020
Lots of work around the shack. :)
My shack is very user unfriendly, occupying the only bit of space that it could, but it's definitely not good for operating. So most things are remotely accessible from around the house.
The remote system started as an IRLP node many years ago, back in 2001. It was brought online in September 2001, and was initially connected to a 2m radio.
In 2003, after having discovered Echolink as well, and finding it rather silly that I needed 2 nodes to talk to everyone I wanted to, I got in touch with some like minded amateurs from around the world, and eventually, EchoIRLP was born. My node became the first true EchoIRLP node on the planet. Shortly afterwards, I setup a repeater and connected the node to it. The node has been on some form of repeater since.
Since those days, the system has been heavily modified, and is a real one of its kind. In 2014, I wrote a remote base addition in Bash shell scripting, with the support of a few usilities and Hamlib. And that's the configuration the system had, until COVID-19 came along. However, as I never got the paperwork for the repeater licence sorted for moving the system back in 2010, I've only been able to run it for short bursts.
So the first thing I did was to put the system on a dummy load, so I can run it 24x7, but it's still accessible around the house. Next, there were some level issues. the previous settings were touchy, so I added a padding resistor between the remote base's soundcard output and the radio. Now, my voice operation could be handled with a HT.
I also wanted to add digital modes, but the only available PC and operating position was in the opposite end of the house. I had a spare URI (same as the radio uses), and gound a way to wire that in paqrallel with the remote base's interface. The best way to get the audio across the network turned out to be to use USB over IP, as there were no suitable cross platform options for audio over IP. The USB over IP also had very low latency. Transmitter control was another issue. A lot of software expects a fully features CAT interface, and my ancient FT-736R has very limited CAT capability. While Hamlib offers a convenient way to control the radio over the netowrk, a lot of digital mode packages expect more functionality than the radio is capable of. In the end, VOX has turned out to be the easiest way for most software to key the radio. With digital modes, that's not such an issue, unlike voice.
The next stage is to add HF, which will be independent to the main system. The HF rig is connectied to a keying interface, which can be reached using USB over IP. However, I need to install a USB sound card, so I can get the audio across. That will allow me to play FT8 on HF, among others. :)
And I just competed another side project - retriving the OpenSpot and putting DMR back on the air.
Has COVID-19 increased anyone else's ham related activity?
... I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!
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* Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (432:1/101)