Added my new Jan-Feb TCA column QRSS CW: Part 2 (ATD028) to the All Things Digital section.
new Softrock RXTX Ensemble QRP/QRPp CW/SSB transceiver by Tony Parks, KB9YIG. He's built 200+ of these kits so it was worth the
extra few dollars to have one made by hands. An unbuilt Softrock kit, bought a few year ago, has been collecting dust
because I just can't work up the nerve to tackle the elicate SMT soldering required for some of the board's circuitry.
version is being "burned" in sending dual WSPR & QRSS SMT beacons (40 metre band). It's one sweat little SDR & only
draws 20 ma (receive), which is outstanding (250 ma for 1 watt output @ 12 VDC) so it's a backpack QRPers digital delight! A W10 netbook "drives"
it, powered by SLA batteries (9 Ah for portable or field "work" & 36 Ah in the shack).
February 09, 2017
new reissued & revised SSTV articles from my past TCA columns for early 2016 to the All Things Digital section
(ATD022 & ATD023 refers) & this completes the 4-part series. Since then the RTL-SDR USB dongle SDRs & SDR# DSP software
has advanced so much in only 12 months I just can't imagine what the digital radio world will look like in 2020! Plus there is an
amazing new crop of software add-ons (plugins) to go with.
January 27, 2017
Just spotted a 1/4 page blurb in the Feb. QST.
Check out this totally cool Raspberry Pi project called PiGate.
Rewording made to paragraph in the BBHN article 'Webmail
Access to Paclink' regarding port 80 conflicts (see All Things Digital section). Many newer Wi-Fi cards have built-in
"hosted" or stand alone network support (a close "cousin" of mesh networks) along with regular hotspot capability (W7 to
W10) & was enabling this feature on a new laptop when the confusing wording was spotted. There's an excellent Wikiweb article on
testing for & enabling hosted networks.
Note: Both hosted and mesh networks have the ability to provide internet
connectivity, if available, but they can also stand alone without it & act as intranet servers for everyone in the
surrounding wireless area; Amateur Radio mesh networks have additional capabilties (BBHN and AREDN). A Wi-Fi "hotspot" can only provide
internet connectivity when it's available else it can't function on its own. Subtle, but very important differences
to know. But, I digress...
Anyone can now join your hosted wireless network using any wireless device (smartphone, tablet, et
al) just provide your node's IP address & any required user name/password for emergency communications (EmComm) email access. Any
extra web services can be either open access (i.e. for APRS using UI-VIEW's built-in web server) or private for EmComm use only. "Guest"
account email access can be setup to allow "civilians" to send short message service (SMS) text only messages out of disaster
areas when commercial comms are cut off. Both mesh & hosted email servers can piggyback the Winlink 2000 (WL2K) global radio
email messaging system using a combination of HF/VHF radio message server (RMS) "gateway" stations & other available systems
(internet "cloud", cellular, et al).
If you enjoy reading about the history of technology from the late 1960's to the present, check out the Analog Devices
Inc. newsletter Analog Dialogue. While it's written for engineers by engineers, there is "stuff" that even we "mortals" can understand
& use in our radio/electronics hobby.
January 7, 2017
Added new link for the KE9NS website in the All Things Digital section. Darrin
provides awesome support for the older Flex SDR series enahncing the features of PowerSDR. His latest release includes a firmware
upgrade to enable 60 metre band transmit for IARU Region 1 users.
I've been receiving & streaming AO-73 telemetry (PSK31 format) to the "warehouse" & will crack the top
100 list of active telemetry contributors in a month or so. I don't do two-way digital comms because the antenna's preamp isn't
a transmit through type, but many are active users & the "bird" was very popular over the the holidays.