It's back, and hopefully better than ever. Starting this coming
Wednesday, February 1st at 8 PM, the 2 meter digital net will now be
held using FM, since very few people seem to have 2m SSB gear and that
was probably it failed before.
It will be done using the NOARC 145.490 +94.8 repeater in Grand Haven.
There is also a remote receiver in Grand Rapids with a PL of 91.5, and
an Echolink node (N8ARY-L).
This week's net will be done with PSK31, but in the future I do intend
to use other modes. MFSK16, RTTY, Olivia and any other modes that anyone
wants to try will have their nights. Also, at least once a month (and
possibly more), I want to use SSTV, or perhaps even HD-SSTV. Currently I
plan to do SSTV on the third Wednesday of each month.
A few things must be done differently due to the use of a repeater:
* Since it will timeout after 3 minutes, transmissions need to be kept
brief. PSK31 and MFSK16 should be kept to 500 words or less, faster
modes will permit more verbose transmissions.
* I will make a voice announcement every so often stating what's going on.
* A second or 2 should be left between transmissions on the off chance
that someone needs to make an emergency call.
Anyway, to get in on it, you need software and a soundcard interface.
For software I recommend:
- MixW (www.mixw.net) does everything but costs $50
- Free single-mode apps:
- PSK31/63: Digipan (www.digipan.net)
- RTTY: MMTTY (mmhamsoft.ham-radio.ch/mmtty)
- gMFSK -hkj fork (www.w1hkj.com), free, does almost everything
The soundcard interface is just a simple device to carry audio between
the rig and soundcard. A simple one can be made by running a straight
cable from your rig's speaker jack to your soundcard's line-in jack,
cutting the cord off of a pair of headphones and connecting it to the
rig's mic or data in pins, and using a transistor switch for keying
(google "PTT interface"). If you can't find something to harvest them
out of I can send you the needed transistor, resistor and diode, I've
got a box of them. If you don't want to homebrew one, tons of
commercially-made ones are available, such as the Rigblaster or Rascal.
They go for around $50.
Some rigs might have an explicit "packet" mode, which causes them to use
their data jack instead of the mic jack. If your rig has such a setting,
and you are using the data jack, you should set it to this. If you are
using an HF+VHF rig, it might also have a "digital" or "RTTY" setting.
Don't use this setting, since that will put the rig in sideband mode.
"Packet" will put it in FM mode. Most FM-only rigs, whether or not they
have a data jack, probably do not have a "packet mode" setting, instead
monitoring both the mic and data jacks all the time, and automatically
taking audio from whichever side the PTT signal came from.
Hopefully I've supplied enough information here to get everyone started.
I certainly hope to see everyone there!
73 de Joe KD8ATU SK . .