General Club Meeting August 17, 2018. – DMR Revisited

SBARC now has numerous members with DMR radios, but many have not yet quite gotten the hang of how DMR works and have not yet been able to enjoy the full capabilities of the DMR network. I have been asked several times recently about the possibility of having DMR be the topic of a club meeting, so I thought this month might be a good time to have one. Now that a lot of members have radios and have had at least some exposure to DMR, I think another meeting to go over the numerous capabilities of DMR might help clear things up for a lot of people, and get a few more people interested in jumping on board. We’ll also demonstrate and explain some different kinds of “hotspots” that you can set up at home and basically operate your own tiny, low powered DMR repeater. So bring your radios, and bring your questions! Post expires at 8:00pm on Friday August 17th, 2018 but will still be available in the archives.

ATV Special Modes Net – February10, 2015

We had a great turnout this week with 9 check-ins to the net. Several Club members have recently purchased new Yaesu digital VHF/UHF radios, so this net is becoming the place to come to learn about this exciting new twist on day to day FM voice communications. Everyone that has experienced using this special digital mode cannot stop raving about the clarity and total lack of noise. Often, when two or more members go off to another frequency to experiment with digital, it is difficult to get them to come back! As we continue to experiment and test we’ll devote a portion of this net to talking about digital FM each week. During the past couple of nets we have also been talking about operating with JT65. To many, this low power, weak signal mode seems somewhat boring, so we talked about some of the finer points this week. Low power, weak signal operating can really become an art form if one takes the time to explore it deeper than face value. Once you learn basic operation, it is not unusual to hear about operators using incredibly small output wattages in the sub-1W range and making thousand mile contacts. We also talked about using JTAlert, an add-in product for JT65 that adds a lot of additional functionality and convenience to the two major JT65 applications. JTAlert can be freely downloaded at If you are a JT65 user, this is a useful addition to your setup. It offers a full macro system, callsign lookups, log book interface, and even allows user to user real time chat.

ATV Special Modes Net – February 3, 2015

Last nights net was very well attended with 8 checkins and at least half of us operating JT65 at the same time. KI6HGH Steve, also joined in on both Allstar and 40m JT65 from Yucca Valley. HGH and K6FLD Frank also carried on QSO’s with other hams on the band and we were all able to watch the action. Even the Shackmaster was able to find a little time in his busy Tuesday night schedule to follow along from the Club Station. This was a really great demonstration of how JT65 works and why it is becoming so popular. We also took some time to discuss Yaesu’s new digital voice HT radios. In a week or two, we should have 5 members who have these powerful little radios and we’ll be able to add a new digital activity to our nets. These radios have a lot of interesting capabilities we’ll be exploring and learning about. So tune in to the ATV Special Modes Net next Tuesday at 8:30pm and keep up with the latest and greatest in digital ham radio.

Digital Voice 2m Communications – First Impressions

If you get QST Magazine, it is hard to miss Yaesu’s push for their 2m/440 digital/analog radio offerings. They have been taking out 2 page ads right after the cover for some several months now. Yaesu  digital radios use the C4FM modulation method. It is currently only compatible with other Yaesu radios. Yaesu’s base HT radio, the FT1DR, has become very reasonably priced, with most outlets selling them for less than $300. First, they are full featured dual band analog HT radios with all the features you would expect from Yaesu. But there’s more. A lot more. This radio also has digital capabilities, GPS, and APRS. Levi K6LCM and I decided to take the plunge and order a pair of these powerful little radios. They operate just like any other quality HT on VHF and UHF analog so they are great for every day communications. Levi and I tried our first experiment with digital using simplex between his home QTH on the far western end of the ocean side of the Mesa, and my QTH on the far eastern end of the Riviera. Between us there are two hills to overcome, so we hooked our radios to our rooftop antennas and used 5 watts of power. Wow! The first thing I saw was Levi’s callsign come up on my radio. His voice was completely natural and absolutely clear. No static, no background noise, just an absolutely clear voice as if he was next door. There are all kinds of other cool features we have yet to experiment with, like seeing the other person’s location and relative distance. For now the bottom line here is that digital communications is not a gimmick. It really works. We’ll continue to explore the capabilities of these little radios and post more in the future. If you want to learn more about digital voice radio, tune into the ATV Special Modes Net on Tuesday at 8:30pm. We will be discussing this more there this week.