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M3TZX England flag England

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I have been Licensed sinced 2007 and have enjoyed every minute of my 'AIR' time, even though my main interest is in the Antenna side of the hobby (creating efficient antennas), I still enjoy a good a good QSO or two.












I am a QRP operator running a solar powered station via a bank of batteries, I don't believe in all this high power stuff & think that it is not always necessary (you don't need a Big Gun to shoot a Little Rabbit).


I am on the APRS network & can be tracked on most of my outings or road trips, I bought a Yaesu VX8ge as a starter on APRS but I'm on the lookout for a decent dedicated APRS unit for the mobile shack,  you can track me on www.aprs.fi when I am active.

I am now on Dstar using an Icom ID5100e, i enjoy using Dstar and it's many features and learn something new every day. When at home i operate via my local dstar repeater GB7OK Module C, and linking to DCS005b, but as time goes on i will be linking randomly all over the world, I have also invested in the ID51e to complement the ID5100e, for use when camping etc... so I will have the option of both DPRS & APRS while out & about.


 At home I operate from my dedicated shack/workshop, shown in the picture, being modelled by my wife Sharon! This has enough room to dedicate a whole side as the radio shack & the remainder as my workshop for making antennas & walking sticks (another one of my hobbies)







I have been hooked on Data Modes, mainly PSK & RTTY since I was first licensed, but also love to practice the CW. Most of my contacts have been on PSK31 on 20 & 40m, but i do also venture across the other bands looking for rare DX.



I also Like camping, hiking & kayaking, and so often combine HAM Radio with these other hobbies, I never go anywhere without a radio of some description, so you may often catch me working local repeaters or portable HF from in the woods somewhere or along a remote stretch of river, there is nothing better than operating in a remote location sitting round a campfire and talking to the world.




     ID5100e Dstar.











Yaesu VX8ge APRS Handheld, setup for satellite use.







ID51e Anniversary edition Dstar Handheld, the latest addition to the shack, excellent for camping & hiking when combined with the DVMega Hotspot/Repeater unit shown below.



    DVMega Dstar Personal Hotspot/repeater, a Raspberry Pi computer fitted with a dual band (2m/70cm) dvmega shield (single band option available), a Diamond SRH805S mini antenna, a mini wifi adapter, mini bluetooth adapter.

Installed on the SD card is a special image including a Debian Wheezy OS & Dstar hotspot/repeater software, available from Maryland Dstar or Karl Powell at www.dvmega.co.uk, email Karl at dvmega@gmx.co.uk.

This all creates a standalone hotspot/repeater (NOV required if using the repeater function) giving you access to all of the worldwide REF, XRF & DCS reflectors without the need for conventional repeaters, and when combined with a Mifi unit or a mobile phone's tethering feature, it gives you a completely mobile/portable hotspot/repeater which will give you access to the complete Dstar network even when out of range of any repeaters.

Use at home connected by USB power lead to the normal Raspberry Pi wallwart plug or USB port on a PC, in the car using a cigar lighter plug adapter with USB port or use it on the trail when camping or hiking using a powerbank with USB ports, I use a 30,000mah powerbank with solar panel built in, but people have used ones as low as 2500mah, obviously, the higher rating gives longer performance without needing to recharge.

Well...time has gone by along with many events, some good some bad.  At the time of writing it is 3rd December 2017, The DV Mega Hotspot mentioned above now has a companion, a second Raspberry Pi with dual band DV Mega shield, one stay's in the shack, the other goes on my travels, wherever that may be.  They are both configured to automatically switch to the home network when in range or the mobile Mifi unit when out of range of the home network.  I did this so that if one packs up or goes bandy for some reason I can whip the other into use without any reconfiguring.  The DV Mega family has come a long way since it's first debut, with the Blue Stack & other flavours to choose from, also, the ability to cross talk between modes like C4FM, Dstar, DMR etc...  I have yet to invest in one of these new models (or upgrade my old ones), however, they are changing so fast that they are out of date by the time you have set them up.

I have decided to wait a bit longer until the pace slows down a bit, then I may invest in one when the bugs have been ironed out.  I have bought a new radio since, this is to add to the existing range, giving me WiresX II, C4FM, Fusion etc... rather than get another mobile for the car (fixing space is all used up anyway), I opted for the Yaesu FT2de handheld, I love this little radio & is on par with the Dstar handheld the Icom ID51e as far as build quality, price & usefullness.  I have found myself using this radio more than the Dstar ones, I still take both out with me on my travels as they both have very different uses. 

I have used this radio for just over a year now & I am still in love with it, when I update my DV Mega systems I will be able to use the FT2de on the DV Mega as well as the ID51e.  They have both been on roadtrips, Camping trips, Holiday's & even on hospital & shopping trips.

Well, until I get anymore updates, I'm off to do some work in the shack.....so, until next time...

Regards to all 73'


8490987 Last modified: 2017-12-03 22:51:54, 8955 bytes

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