COVID-19

All

As you are well aware times are difficult at the moment with the current COVID-19 virus outbreak. Due to this, I have made the decision to change UK wide traffic back to the reflector system on TG9 slot2 for the forseeable future. This is because many of you have radios programmed for this system and although I had intended to arrange a meetup to resolve this, I don’t think this is advisable in the next few weeks.

Amatuer radio is varied community and many hams are in vulnerable groups. At a time like this, we need to support each other so I will be making an effort to maintain a listening watch on TG23510 and I encourage others to do the same. If you need help or support, if you are ill and don’t know what to do, or if you just fancy a chat, please ask. We should all support each other at this time. I am looking to arrange a daily informal check-in so we can collectively keep an eye on members of our community and respond effectively if someone needs help. This may become more important as Internet and mobile phone networks are already showing signs of strain from increased load.

Please keep in touch and stay safe and well.

73

Simon

 

FR back on air!

After an extended period of downtime FR is back on air with an upgraded MMDVM board featuring better filtering, which might improve the RX sensitivity a little.

The talkgroup layout have changed to bring it closer to that used by other modern repeaters so please check the link in the left bar.

Thanks to G1WXC, G3UEQ and M0IMP for their support to help make this possible!

Talkgroups and reflectors

Hi everyone.

I want to re-visit the TG vs Reflectors discussion again.

Recently, BM 4400 has been pretty dead. I’ve actually seen much more traffic on DMR+ (Phoenix) of late. In fact, I was operating Phoenix on a long drive recently and I was struck by how much easier it is to operate with TGs when mobile. I am also beginning to find 4400 rather boring and tend to listen more to 4426 (BM Allstar Hubnet link).

Now, on BM it’s getting frustrating. The only TGs I can get via reflectors are UK local ones. Most of the international ones are TG only. It’s annoying having to maintain two systems, especially when the BM devs are pretty vocal about their dislike for reflectors. I am told that their days are numbered. I have noticed a big increase in UK stations that are using TGs in preference to reflectors.

For the record, I think there are problems with the TG method that don’t have any sensible solution.  I also have less control over things like UA group timeouts. It’s harder for the casual listener to hear what’s going on. However, I feel like we are getting sidelined more and more in the UK because of the reflector thing.

So, is it time to switch to TGs on FR? This would make for a much more consistent experience, especially when running two networks on the the repeater.

If I made the switch it would look something like this (subject to change or suggestions).

235 Phoenix UK wide calling channel – slot 2

80, 81, 82, 83 – Phoenix UA chat TGs – slot 1

92 – BM Europe – slot1

6 – XLX reflectors – slot 1

2350 – BM UK wide – slot 2 (Although I am tempted to drop this, possibly in favour of Hubnet)

23510 – BM SE – slot 1

Private calls, all UA on BM slot 1 and 2

Thoughts?

Desense?

It wasn’t until I put a scope on the ADC pin on the Due that I noticed there was a bit of low-level desense showing up on the the repeater. The TX and RX radios were sitting one on top of the other. I have separated them by a few cm and the desense appears to have gone. I wonder if this will make the repeater perform a bit better with weak signals….

Listening watch

In the event of weather causing a localised or more widespread communications loss locally (mobile, internet etc), I will keep a listening watch on TG23510 (South East) on S1 of the repeater and I would ask other users to consider doing the same. You never know when someone might need it.

If you’re venturing out in this weather, grab your radio on the way out; it can’t hurt!