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G7PQL England flag England

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Hi, my name is Mike. Awarded my UK Amateur Radio License in 1993. Between 1993 and 2003 I spent many happy hours on 6M, 2m and 70cms experimenting with SSTV, FSTV, RTTY, ATV, Packet, Satellites and trying to work (and occasionally succeeding) the NASA SAREX missions. I made some very, very good and knowledgeable friends from whom I learned so much.

2013 - I have been listening on the bands for some months now. How things have changed! My "old" bands, 6M, 2m and 70cms, appeared to be pretty dead in this area.  The absence of 2m and 70cms spurred me to opt for an HF QRP setup. So armed with a Yaesu 817ND I can be found 'out and about' with flask and sandwiches in the Ribble Valley.

It's now 2015 - nearly 18 months back on the air.  Whilst I enjoy HF QRP, I have to admit I am still drawn more to the VHF and UHF bands.  Time has shown that there IS activity on the VHF/UHF bands if you look hard enough.  Plenty of experimentation and new fields to explore.  it feels just like the 'old days' again.

It's now 2016 -I finally tried the digital VHF/UHF modes but wasn't keen on running a computer all the time.  I wanted something more 'stand alone'.  So I invested in a DV4mini and a Raspberry Pi with a 7 inch screen.  Didn't know very much about Linux but by trial and error plus Google I managed to work out a very usable portable system - as shown below.  Only requires a 5V 2A power supply.

I have now developed the above even further. I use a VERY OLD 17" flat screen monitor (my first TFT monitor - 10 years old now) with a headless RPi3..  I use the Raspberry Pi 3 with the DV4mini v1.77 software to input to the TFT via the HDMI port. Thus no computer - just a RPi3 and a screen. 

Since finishing the above Pascal VA2PV wrote the software image for the DV4mini Compact.  This utilises a 3.5 inch screen but is VERY usable and far more portable than the above 7 inch version.  If you have the same problems as I have I would highly recommend building this version.  Again this requires only a 5V 2A supply. (Thanks to my son Peter for taking the photographs)

It's now 2017 - C4FM and Wires-X using the FT400D and the HRI-200 interface.  I find this mode fascinating.  It is so flexible and, with the HRI-200 interface, so intuitive to 'get around' in Wires-X mode.  It does take a bit of setting up but it's well worth the effort.

Apart from the Wires-X side I also find C4FM to be good in 'normal' mode.   By setting the FT400D (or any other Fusion enabled radio) into dual mode (C4FM/FM) operation then normal simplex FM contacts can be made - the Fusion radio automatically switching between C4FM and FM modes to facilitate the non Digital operator - thus no one is left out.  All thats required is the FM operator pushes the PTT. I don't think this feature is 'broadcast' enough.  A great FUSION information web site is produced by the CQ-UK group at http://www.lbar.co.uk by Stuart M0SGS.

Currently I am working FUSION and DSTAR. I have set up DSTAR using a DVAP on a 'headless' RPi2 running DVAP_Commander software written by Jonathan Naylor G4KLX. This software, in my opinion, is absolutely superb. Not only does it conform to the ID-51 and ID-5100 DStar commands but will also control the RPi2 after some additional controls are programmed in to the radios.

I'm now  happy using DIGITAL and my trusty FT817 QRP HF set.

Warmest Regards and 73's: Mike













DV4mini COMPACT with apple to denote size. 












DV4mini COMPACT Operating Mode selection screen.












DV4mini COMPACT showing best WIFI dongle I found.












The origional 7" screen. Now used for APRS.


8360759 Last modified: 2017-09-30 18:51:08, 7004 bytes

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