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VK2YHX Australia flag Australia

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​Welcome to VK2YHX located in Newcastle Australia

Hi I'm Spero, VK2YHX... I've been licenced since around 1978. I also run the MMDVM repeater VK2RHX

I gained my Limited Amateur Radio call sign of VK2YHX which was recently upgraded to an Advanced licence, whilst residing at my previous QTH of 36 years, which was located in the inner Newcastle city suburb,'The Hill', on the east coast of AU, situated around 62 meters ASL.

After moving to my new QTH in 1974 one of my first important acquisitions was a triangular self supporting 80' tower which i planted in my backyard and next to my 1st floor radio workshop. Most of my early amateur radio years were taken up building and experimenting with ATV transmitters and various VHF and UHF antennas as well playing on 6 meters. I was, and still am, a member of Westlakes Amateur Radio Club and the old Newcastle ATV and UHF Group.

During a fierce storm on the 23rd June 1998, the winds came up and the 80 foot tower came down... down onto the ground... with the tower broke into many bits, and the added presure of running my successful business, I had to put Amateur radio aside for a few years....  

              After 36 years of living on The Hill, we decided to 'downsize' our QTH and are now living just down the road in the Newcastle suburb of Hamilton East.... After 2 years of renovating my newest QTH, it was now time to get back into Amateur radio.....

The construction and installation of new antennas and acquiring new Amateur radio gear begins.....  

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August 2014..... We begin again after a few years break from Amateur radio.... The first acquisition is the new Kennwood TS2000... an all rounded DC to UHF machine...

My HF antenna is the Diamond CP-VU8, HF/VHF/UHF beast. It's a full 8 band, base fed vertical with top resonators and bottom loaded resonant radials for each of the HF bands, mounted about 8 meters off the ground and ready to go. It also loads up quite nicely on 2m and 70cm.

Alongside it sit 2 new 2m/70cm X-510 omni, at over 5meters tall, with a good 8.3dbi gain on 2m and around 12dbi on 70.. which may i say, they realy get amongst it all!!

Since then i have installed the X-6000N ACS 2M/70cm/23cm Tri Band Base Antenna 

Due to the smaller size of the my new QTH and no real space to install another tower, the existing antennas are fixed on top of a stack of 6meter high scaffold pipes, attached to 3.5inch galvanised steel fence posts, on the side of the house. The coax feeds are all LMR400 terminated with 'N' type crimp connectors which were 'left over' from my 2.4g commercial installs a few years back....  It was lucky that i kept a thousand or so meters of the old LMR400. it works so well on longer runs of UHF...

  

           

During 2014... 

Welding the outrigger 50mm galvanised steel brackets to the RHS section of the building to hold my proposed rotator and TH3 Junior or similar HF beam.  I should be able to install my 6meter beam thats been stored in the garage for the last 15 years, on there as well..

The building structure and consequently the mast is earthed to a common radio station ground earthing system.   

 

September 2014... Set up my new Byonics Micro Track APRS System into the 4x4. We had a few glitches in the begining but now after reconfiguring the software to operate on 'smartbeaconing', and making minor adjustments to the data, it all seems to have stabilised.. 

December 2014....  I must have been bitten by the 'Digital Bug'...

My D-Star gear starts to arrive... Starting with my new Icom IC2820H  D-Star Dual band Digital radio.. Now to start  mastering the D-Star  system..

 

                 ID-5100, ID-51, IC-2820h and IC92AD

January to March 2015.... New arrivals...ICOM ID-5100A, Icom IC-92AD with am/fm and D-Star, My DVRPTR V1 board, a bunch of Raspberry pi units, a couple of kenwood dual bander TM-D710A with Aprs, Gps... ok, now we can get a bit more serious with Dstar....

                      ​                                                                         

 April 2015... Thanks to all the help from Waratah VK2BQ and Adrian VK4TUX, I now have my D-Star hotspot running using the DVRPRT V1.1 Board driven by a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B V1.1 as VK2YHX Bravo on 438.950Mhz simplex.  Using one of my dual band antenna's at the QTH, it seems to cover most of the Newcastle CBD area on simplex.. 

 

September 2015... brings a few more changes to the D-Star line up, I now run 3 hotspots at the QTH, one as the main UHF unit and the other two as experimental as well as mobile. The mobile hotspot is still 'work in progress' whilst researching different ways of using the 3G/4G cell phone data out of the air and creating a stable environment for the DVmega during cell handoffs......

October 2015... sees the end of the old  Alinco DMR610 mobile, which was replaced with my new Icom ID-5100 so I can use my local Dstar hotspot whilst mobile around the Newcastle CBD

October also saw the end of the 4 raspberry Pi 2 model B devices on the dstar network which were replaced with Odroid C1+ units. The C1+'s seam to be outperforming the old RPi's by a long shot. They have also been proven to be very reliable and run a lot faster with their EmmC card instead of using the micro sdcard of the RPi's.

November 2015... now running on DMR plus, using the TYT MD-380 via the DV4MINI. Currently running with the 1.65 dv4mini software on the Odroid C1+ using MMDVM software

December 2015  We are now on the DMR BrandMeister system which utilises a huge range of network features. December also kicks of our own Australian talk group 505 as well as our reflector 4805 using our own AU Master 5051server on the BrandMeister system.

January 2016 My second DV4MINI has just landed. I am now running two dv4mini's, one on the DMR network and the other is free to run on any of the other modes. At this stage i am now running a total of 5 digital hotspots, all trying to share 2m/70cm local spectrum... 

February 2016 ...  Now running the all new Connect Systems CS-800 on DMR via my BlueSpot running BlueDV on the samsung 10" tablet or the windows PC version. The odroid C1+ with the DvMega is on standby

March - November 2016 ... Now on C4FM with the FTM-100D also on the P25 Motorolla XTS 3000 on the AU TG10400

Welcome to 2017 

 

January 2017... Launching today... our first MMDVM repeater in Newcastle AU. It is located at my QTH. its in its primary state, at this stage, waiting to be mounted in its 2u rack. It is running around 20 watts into the X510 diamond duel band antenna giving me quite acceptable results covering an area of around 20k. 
TX is on 438.750Mhz with a -7.0Mhz offset.
It is a full DMR brandmeister repeater with P25 covering the Pacific region and YSF001 on the yaesu system. Dstar is turned off on this repeater, at this stage, and is being transmitted on its own UHF Hotspot on 438.950Mhz.
If you are in the vicinity, give it a go. Site survey reports would be appreciated....

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Listening on...

  • DMR listening on the main Australian talk group 505 via my repeater on 438.750Mhz -7
  • DSTAR: Running a local 'hotspots', on 438.950 simplex which is linked to Reflector REF003Charlie 
  • C4FM Listening on YSF001 
  • P25 Listening on Talk Group 10400 on the Pacific Reflector
  • ANALOGUE VHF/UHF: on Newcastle AU repeaters146.775 and 146.975 and UHF on 438.025Mhz & 438.625 -7
  • HF: occasionally on 20m at around 14.200Mhz and also 40m on around 7.150Mhz
  • Repeater VK2RHX MMDVM

73's Spero

(The top ID photo was taken on the Island of Ithaca, Greece, looking over the water to Kefalonia. In the background is one of my old olive trees)

 

8321123 Last modified: 2017-09-09 05:09:07, 12543 bytes

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