Entries from 2019

Sunday, 24th February 2019
After being down in Somerset for a few weeks, I set up my iGate as 2E0RLZ-10 and hung the antenna so that it points towards the M5 and the A38. …
Friday, 1st March 2019
Yesterday I installed the latest image onto my iGate setup. While I was playing with it, I noticed that sometimes the frequency drifts quite significantly and sometimes it stays pretty much spot on, especially if it's had chance to warm up a bit. …
Sunday, 3rd March 2019
The iGate has started to pick up passing stations. One of them was M0LXD-9, 63km away. I'm rather sceptical, to be honest.
Wednesday, 3rd April 2019: PicoAPRS
I noticed that the iGate relayed a dozen packets last month from G7NVZ-7, a PicoAPRS tranceiver. These are tiny – about seven grams – with a transmission power of a watt. It's cool to see that they work, even with the fairly ropey antenna that I've got set up to receive these packets.
Friday, 5th April 2019
G7NVZ-7 passed again yesterday. When I compare each of the traces, I can see there's a range of about 3km in each direction on the M5. This is more likely due to my antenna than the PicoAPRS. I should look into getting a better antenna and asking for permission to install it on the roof.
Monday, 8th April 2019
On Friday I was asking in #lhs-radio about ways to improve the iGate's antenna. I remembered I had a loft, so far unexplored since moving to my new place in January. Depending on the roof material and the availability of power, a colinear antenna up there might work quite well. …
Tuesday, 16th April 2019: Interruption in service
The iGate has been packed away in preparation for a visit from some good friends. It should be back in a week or two. By that time my APRS radio should have arrived back from its second round of repairs and I can see what the range is like first-hand.
Friday, 26th April 2019: Back online
After a happy week with friends, the guest room is free, and the iGate is set up and working.
Wednesday, 19th June 2019
Marrold (of #lhs-radio, the LHS Radio Club IRC channel) now has a HG-UV98, the first Chinese APRS handheld. Details are yet to emerge, but I'm hoping its TNC is accessible, it's hackable with new firmware (including the rough-looking UI), it behaves itself with the radio spectrum and it's rugged. …
Monday, 8th July 2019
There's now a 5MHz band web SDR near me in Wells, and it's one of many worldwide.
Tuesday, 23rd July 2019: I heart APRS
According to APRS Direct, my station's coverage is a roughly cardioid shape, 6km across at the longest. It's covering a good patch of the M5, at least. …
Thursday, 15th August 2019: Are RX-only iGates bad for the network?
Some people say if you run a receive-only iGate, you are breaking the network by obstructing two-way messaging and even being a 'jerk'. Other people say that this doesn't happen because if there are transmitting iGates present, additional receive-only iGates can only improve messaging performance.
Wednesday, 21st August 2019: Going off-grid
The iGate is being moved to a new location nearer the M5. It will be powered by solar energy and connected to the internet via a wireless modem. Longer term, we plan to put up a much bigger antenna. Hopefully the iGate will be back next week.