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Thread: Digital options

  1. #1
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    Default Digital options

    Anybody playing with the new digital platforms on HAM frequencies? I'm a little confused about how it all works. Local HAM club is trying to buy and install a digital repeater, but I'm not understanding. If you need a hotspot to reach out, but can reach anywhere, why do you need a repeater?
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


    I typically carry a flask of vodka for snakebites. I also carry a small snake.- W. C. Fields

  2. #2
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    =KINGCHIP;784213]Anybody playing with the new digital platforms on HAM frequencies? I'm a little confused about how it all works. Local HAM club is trying to buy and install a digital repeater, but I'm not understanding. If you need a hotspot to reach out, but can reach anywhere, why do you need a repeater?
    A repeater is a device usually established high up on a tower or building to give it the advantage of antenna height...

    A repeater will repeat your transmission and send it out or repeat it electronically out to another station a distance away...thus giving the initial transmitting station more range.

    From my home on the Chesapeake Bay...I can reach the Richmond or Powhatan repeaters some 70 miles away ...usually at night and then reach this prepper group west of Richmond some 40 to 50 miles west of Richmond...a distance of some 120 to 130 miles as the crow flies..

    I can reach from home here the Repeater across the river some 17 miles away and reach points west ..further west...which I would no be able to reach without a repeater.

    A repeater allows short range radios in the VHF/UHF bands....FM...line of sight to reach out further....distances...by repeating the initial transmission again and often with higher power and altitude antenna advantage as repeaters are usually mounted on tall buildings or towers.

    Often you will see a taller building in town or cities festooned with antennas.....for this reason..repeaters..using short range FM ...frequency Modulation in the VHF/UHF bands.


    This particularly those of us often using walkie talkies or mobile radios with mobile antennas on our vehicles.

    My mobile rig is a walkie talkie hooked up to a magnetic based mobile radio....VHF/UHF dual band magnetic based antenna on the roof of my car...a repeater gives me more range on this low power walkie talkie.

    My truck has a similar antenna set up on the roof..a magnetic based VHF/UHF antenna.

    A system using radio to radio...no repeater is called a simplex...mode...radio to radio.

    Going through a repeater is often called duplexing....going to a repeater and basically being sent out twice...duplexing.

    Most of my radios are analog...not digital..

    Hope this helps.


    Orangetom
    Not an Ishmaelite
    Last edited by orangetom1999; 12-28-2020 at 08:06 PM.

  3. #3
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    Yea, I had a Yaesu 9800 quad band in truck that died in flood. Replaced and just mounted in a TYT 9800 quad analog. Unfortunately I'm driving a friggin beer can so magnetic mounts wont work on it, and for that matter the entire friggin roof is sunroof and glass so cant stick anything. I guess I could consider a suction cup mount, is that a thing?

    Yea, digi is the latest fad for many around here, and I'm considering it. I'm not entirely sure why, I got into radio in the event that power and comms went down, and Digital doesn't fit that. Well, I'm just in shopping mode now, I don't know enough about it yet, to know what to get. I saw a try band mobile somewhere that has two bands analog and a Digital band, kind of intriguing.
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


    I typically carry a flask of vodka for snakebites. I also carry a small snake.- W. C. Fields

  4. #4
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    The only 2 digital modes I've ever used is APRS and Winlink. I've only used them on VHF/UHF bands. But both can be used on HF as well.

    APRS is short for Automatic Position Reporting System. We used it mainly in mobiles during events so NCS could tell at a glance where a mobile was at. This was during bike rides or runs we supported. GPS is tied to the radio or TNC and set to broadcast on a given schedule. You can also send short messages.

    Winlink can be set to send messages to a station that is tied to the internet. We used it to send emails to give reports for the Red Cross. It is ok local, but even better using HF. Buddy of mine went to Alaska in his RV and kept folks updated on the trip via Winlink.
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

  5. #5
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    So like text messaging over open air radio waves? If so I'm interested..
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

  6. #6
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    Aprs can be used for short messages. Winlink 2000 more for email, or forms.
    Both need digipeaters (digital repeaters) for vhf/uhf use.
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

  7. #7
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    Yea, there are several platforms out there so what works I guess for your area. DMR looks like what we are looking for. Yea, apparently you need a hotspot and then digital radio. I' going to probably look for a deal on the hotspot and then hold off on radio. Maybe consider just a HT to start, but I cant hit a repeater less than a mile from my house with analog, so not really impressed with HT right now. I think hotspot with Digital completely different but we have no Digital repeaters around us yet.
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


    I typically carry a flask of vodka for snakebites. I also carry a small snake.- W. C. Fields

  8. #8
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    OK, bit the bullet and went DMR. Got the Anytone AT-D878UV "Plus". It's dual, analog and digital. Anytone was running a package deal over Christmas and I waited too late and they were out. So went to Amazon and got same radio, an upgrade Hotspot, and even a small Windows 10 laptop to use for my radio stuff. Not much out there available on Apple for Ham radio stuff.
    Last edited by KINGCHIP; 03-01-2021 at 07:43 PM.
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


    I typically carry a flask of vodka for snakebites. I also carry a small snake.- W. C. Fields

  9. #9
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    A guy I work with just got one of those. He is happy with his so far.
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

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