Successful JOTA Oct 20-22

Many club members participated in JOTA this weekend at Glen Park.  Rob KB1ZZU will have many details at our next meeting (along with some excellent photos from Dave KC1AAA), but in round numbers approximately 20 scouts participated with a large number obtaining their Radio Merit Badge.  Two VHF (analog and DSTAR) stations were fielded along with two HF stations.  The DSTAR Reflector was much better organized this year and allowed scouts to have arm chair conversations with other scouts world-wide.  HF propagation was pretty good with 17 meters open to Europe and Africa the entire time.  Dulcet CW Tones were even heard emanating from Rich KC1ARO’s station!

Special hats-off to Jim KA1ZOU and his team of instructors — there were many excellent comments about the revised teaching plan this year.

Raspberry Pi Net 1st & 3rd Monday at 0230 UTC on REF038C

Now that the W1AAD DSTAR repeater is back on the air, there might be some interest in participating in (or listening to) the Raspberry Pi Net which meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the Month on Reflector 38C.

You can change the link over to 38C by keying your rig and pressing the “*38C” DTMF keys, or by adding a “REF038CL” to your UR list.

Please be aware that the repeater will automatically relink to Reflector 69C after 25 minutes of inactivity, or you could put it back there when you are done by sending “*69C” or using “REF069CL” from your UR list.

There is also a rather active Facebook Group called “Raspberry Pi Amateur Radio” with almost 3,000 users.

W1AAD Software Updates Complete

The W1AAD repeater software upgrades have been completed.  We now have full G3, DPLUS, and ircDDBGateway features.  The new G3 features are pretty obscure and don’t operate without purchasing the latest Icom gear like the ID-51APLUS2, so the repeater not usually be in that mode.

The repeater will normally be in the ircDDBGateway mode and connected to Reflector 69C, which services CT, RI, and Western MA.

You can tell what mode the repeater is in by viewing the “Dashboard” status screen, or by the voice announcements.  A female voice means ircDDBGateway, and a male voice means pure Icom G3.

W1AAD running ircDDBGateway Mode

W1AAD running Pure Icom G3 mode



W1AAD Back on the Air — more upgrades to come

The W1AAD repeater rejoined DSTAR service tonight at about 6:30 PM when it was linked into REF069C for the first time since early January.  Immediately, traffic was heard from all the other repeaters in CT/RI that are linked into 69, so things are working.

This is only the first step in the upgrade, getting the latest Icom G3 software running on the new computer gear at the site.  Over the next few days ircDDBGateway services will be added and the dashboard will be set up.  So don’t be surprised to hear the repeater up/down for the next couple of days.

We are the 63rd G3 level repeater running in the world!

Thanks to Pete W1LAB, Ted W1GRI, and Bob WB4SON who have been spending a bunch of time working on this upgrade over the past four months.  Pete, Ted, Bob and Paul K1YBE have donated equipment or funds to get this done at no expense to the club.

W1AAD repeater — the business end

W1AAD Dashboard

W1AAD Repeater Off Air for Repairs

The computer used for the gateway function of our DSTAR repeater, W1AAD, has been failing for the past few months.  We have decided to take the repeater off the air until we can come up with a reliable alternative that can be managed remotely (access to the site is very restricted).

There is no definite timeframe, but several weeks is is the minimum.